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Summer 2014 Edition

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Summer 2014 Edition

NUIT’s Man Behind the Curtain—Don Hlinsky Honored as Northwestern Employee of the Year

Dave Carr, Don Hlinsky, and Sean Reynolds

Left to Right: Dave Carr, Associate Vice President of
Cyberinfrastructure; Don Hlinsky; and Sean Reynolds

Ask Don Hlinsky, communications project manager in NUIT Cyberinfrastructure - Telecommunications and Network Services, about his background in broadcasting or his 36-year career at Northwestern and you’ll hear the excitement of someone who is truly passionate about what he does. Ask him about the recent accolades he’s received, including winning Northwestern’s 2014 Employee of the Year, and what you’ll hear is his praise of others.

Twice in the past 12 months Hlinsky has been recognized for his work on a major University security project, the upgrade and transition of public safety operations to the new University Police Station in Evanston. This was no small task and Hlinsky had a vital role in the success of this project. He managed, designed, and implemented many aspects of the public safety systems and facilitated the seamless transition of equipment and services from the old location to the new one.

The strong working relationships Hlinsky built with outside vendors and other departments within the University, along with his personal interest in the details of the transition, were critical to its success. According to his nomination for Northwestern Employee of the Year, he “showed great dedication to the safety of the University and the community.”

To hear Hlinsky tell it though, the praise goes to his colleagues. “I felt like the wizard of Oz when I heard I was nominated. They pulled back the curtain and showed everyone who really works hard behind the scenes. I’m really not used to, and don’t expect, this kind of recognition,” Hlinsky says with genuine humility, “but this spotlight reflects well on all of NUIT and the people who contributed to this project.”

This wasn’t Hlinsky’s only honor for his outstanding efforts. In October 2013, he was selected as “Technician of the Year” by the prestigious Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO)—the oldest and largest international organization of public safety communications professionals. In their recognition of Hlinsky, it was noted that he “unselfishly shared his expertise and many years of wisdom, all in keeping NU radio and 911 systems functioning at the highest levels of reliability and confidence. Similarly, he has been much relied upon by Evanston Police and Fire Departments to resolve complex communications systems issues.”

Sean Reynolds, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, agrees the praise is well-deserved. “The qualities that Don exhibits in his work and in building relationships with his colleagues and partners in NUIT, at the University, and in the greater community are ones we can all aspire to,” says Reynolds. “We’re proud to have such a dedicated member of the NUIT team honored for his hard work and contributions to the University.”

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