Saluki Pride: Cynthia Heisner’s exceptional relationship with students contributes greatly to their success

Cynthia Heisner (center) celebrates winning the Staff Excellence Award with School of Law Dean Camille Davidson and Chancellor Austin A. Lane. (Photo by Russell Bailey)

Cynthia Heisner, an office administrator in the School of Law, approaches her many responsibilities with precision, which makes her a favorite in the office, said a colleague.

Trish McCubbin, professor in the School of Law, nominated Heisner for the university-level Staff Excellence Award, because of her outstanding skills, great teamwork, and the extraordinary relationship Heisner has with the law students.

“Ms. Heisner demonstrates an exceptional level of commitment to students, faculty, and staff. Her behavior is exemplary, and her role at the School of Law is critically important to the success of the university,” McCubbin said.


Name: Cynthia Heisner

Department/title: School of Law, office administrator

Years at SIU Carbondale: 14

Give us the elevator pitch for your job. 

I am currently working as faculty support for 20+ faculty members as well as the business manager of the Southern Illinois University Law Journal. Some of my daily duties include calendaring, travel forms, P-card review, records management, formatting the law journal and student support. One of the unique things about this position at the law school is that assignments are graded anonymously — faculty don’t know which student they are grading. I make anonymous numbers for each student for every assignment, quiz and test, along with administering all midterms and finals. Because of this, I spend the majority of my time playing in Excel. This system also puts me in contact with every student at the law school, which happens to be my favorite part of my job.

Tell us more about the favorite part of your job. 

I love when our students come to me for advice, to vent or just visit. As mentioned above, through testing, I am in contact with all of them. I get to spend the moments before exams with them where, hopefully, I can calm their nerves and create a great environment for test taking. I also return their grades after exams, so they must come see me for those as well. It is great to tell a student who has been struggling that they received the highest grade in the class or give a pep talk to someone who didn’t score so well.  

Why did you choose SIU?  

We are Salukis at my house. I graduated from SIU, along with my husband who is a current faculty member. It was an obvious choice for employment for both of us when we moved back to the area.

What are some places on campus you can visit to relax?

I love visiting with Kevin in the Dawg Lounge at Health Services. I think it is the most fantastic service on campus! I also like to eat lunch at Campus Lake on nice days.

What is your favorite holiday?

I live in Pinckneyville, and we celebrate Halloween with a Mardi Gras event every year. It is a weekend full of fun traditions, homecoming and more. That makes Halloween a definite favorite!

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