As a human resource associate for the Department of Mathematics, Emily Lange handles countless situations with empathy and knowledge that allow others to settle into new roles. From hiring activities to assisting with immigration roadblocks, Lange is instrumental in providing support to Illinois mathematics scholars from around the world.
Position: Personnel and administration coordinator
Briefly describe your responsibilities.
As part of the Department of Mathematics human resources office, I am responsible for the hiring activities of our academic professional, civil service, and academic hourly employees. I am also the liaison between our department and International Student and Scholar Services for all J, H, and Green Card requests. I am also the HR contact for our NetMath program helping them with all of their employment needs.
Where is your office located?
What do you remember of your first visit to campus?
I was 5, and my mom was taking summer courses at the College of Education. We would ride up as a family, and my dad and I explored campus while she was in class. I remember visiting Krannert Center for the Performing Arts for the first time, walking in the Armory, and getting Baskin-Robbins ice cream.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I fell into HR due to my background in foreign national processing while with the University Payroll & Benefits office, and this has remained a passion of mine throughout my time here with UIUC. The courage that it takes to leave your home country and go some place new where you potentially know no one has always been amazing to me. So, when I am working with individuals from outside of the U.S., I always treat them as I would want to be treated or as I would hope my daughter would be treated if she were going to another country.
Do you have a favorite memory or project from your role with your unit?
I have had several occasions where students come in crying to the office because they are overwhelmed, lost, confused, and just need that one person to help them figure out exactly what is going on and break it down into a more reasonable list. These are situations that I handle in my role and pride myself on helping to solve.
What is the best part of your work day?
Payroll, taxes, and everything HR related can be complex. Nothing is black or white, there are various shades of gray everywhere. I love that I am able to help people find a resource that they need, or provide the explanation that really helps them understand a situation or you see the light bulb come on
Editor's note: This LAS Staff Spotlight profile is part of a series that features College of LAS staff and the important work they do to support units across the college. Visit here to learn more.