Human Resources

Employee Spotlight Debbie Lutz

Debbie Lutz

Office Manager
Department of Curriculum and Instruction

"Courage doesn't always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" –Mary Anne Radmacher

Debbie works in the Curriculum & Instruction (C&I) Department as an Office Manager. Debbie facilitates the needs for the chair of the department and the faculty. She stays busy supervising the Graduate Assistants and overseeing 14 budgets. Her creative talents are helpful as she manages the department's website. She is the heart of the office!

The journey to WIU was an interesting one for Debbie. She attended the Lab School in Junior High and her mom was a professor here. It was important to her mom that Debbie finished her education, and she did. Debbie graduated from Western Illinois University in 1984 from the School of Law Enforcement & Justice Administration. Debbie's artistic side was always something she wanted to pursue more. She returned to Western to obtain a degree in Art. She completed that degree in 2005 with a 4.0 GPA. She was then hired as a graphic designer in the Center for Best Practices. From there she began taking the Civil Service tests and was then hired into University Housing & Dining Services. She then worked in the Geography Dept. before being assigned to C&I through the bumping process in 2016. Debbie also does graphic design work for several Professors Emeriti.

The people Debbie works with are the favorite part of her job. She shared, "They are delightful to work with, the students keep me young, and I like the various personalities and diversity we have at Western. You will never be somewhere friendlier-the people here become family. I have made lifelong friends here. People talk to each other here. We are in a very friendly, warm, and welcoming part of the country."

One of Debbie's most memorable experiences at WIU was the day her art work, "Lightway" was displayed in the Spencer Recreation Center to honor her long-time friend and personal trainer, Adam Fox. Adam's mother commissioned Debbie to create the piece in Adam's memory.

Debbie gives much credit to Dr. Sam Thompson, the Chair of the Geography Dept., for helping her in her career at Western. She added, "Dr. Thompson gave me confidence in my abilities. He taught me patience in dealing with people. He is a very calm man, and I learned that from him, which made me feel valued. He greatly inspired me and he always had my back!"

Debbie lends her artistic talents to the "Rocky on Parade" statues that have been painted and sold over the last three years. This year will mark her third Rocky that she has completed, and the only artist to have painted three different statues.

When Debbie isn't keeping the C&I Dept. running smoothly, you will find her designing and creating her Fractal Art in her spare time. At the most basic level, Fractal Art is a mixture of art and geometry. You can see Debbie explaining and creating her intriguing and colorful art during an edition of "Illinois Stories" on PBS via YouTube! The piece hanging behind Debbie in her photo here will be entered at the Illinois State Fair this summer. We wish you much luck, Debbie!

HR salutes Debbie Lutz as one of our many committed Civil Service employees at WIU!