Human Resources

Employee Spotlight Julie Ford

Julie Ford

Office Support Specialist
Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration

"Keep moving forward and progressing."

Julie works in the Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration Department as an Office Support Specialist. Julie’s duties include oversight of the departmental budget, Horn Field Campus, and the Environmental, Conservation and Outdoor Education Expedition (ECOEE)—collecting funds and paying expenses for these programs. She also hires and oversees student workers. She helps students and works closely with the faculty.

Julie’s journey to Western began after she had worked at Carl Sandburg College for 15 years. She felt it was time to seek out new opportunities and she applied at WIU. After testing she was not at the top of the register. She shares, “Initially, I felt there was no way I would ever get called for an interview. However, I did get called for an opening in the Management/Marketing Department. I was hired there as an Office Support Associate. An opening then became available here and I interviewed for it and was offered this one.”

Julie enjoys working with the faculty and students the most. She likes being able to help students with their educational journey. She added, “Sometimes I’m like the parent away from home for them. I get close to them, then it’s hard to see them leave, but it’s also good to see all they have accomplished.”

One of her most memorable experiences was when she joined an activity in which the students were participating. Julie challenged Dr. Yoder to a contest to see which one of them would fall down first. Julie shared, “We had to put our forehead on the end of a baseball bat, then spin around ten times and stop. Needless to say, I fell down, so Dr. Yoder won! We all laughed and it was great fun with our students!”

Julie has much appreciation for several people who have helped her in her positions at Western. “Dr. Paul Schlag has helped me a great deal. Anna James and Dr. Joe Dobson in Management/Marketing were both very encouraging and supportive. Jo Davis also helped me. They all helped me to increase my confidence and to finish my degree. This moved me forward professionally!”

When Julie is not at Western, she loves to bake and make candies for gifts for others. She loves spending time with her two daughters who both attend Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She is involved in her church and she loves her dog and cat!

HR salutes Julie Ford as one of our many committed Civil Service employees at WIU!