NWU’s Lab Manager Recognized for Flawless Building Move

Jennifer Agee, NWU CORE Award Winner

Jennifer Agee, science lab and safety manager, was the mastermind behind the biology and chemistry departments' move from Olin Hall of Science to the new Acklie Hall of Science. She was recognized for her successful planning with the university's CORE Award.

It took a few weeks to move every item belonging to the biology and chemistry departments from the Olin Hall of Science to the new Duane W. Acklie Hall of Science. 

It took over a year of planning to make it a flawless move. 

Coordinating the move to a brand-new academic building after nearly a half century of classes in Olin Hall required a talented point person who could make this once-in-a-career initiative run flawlessly.

That talented point person was Jennifer Agee, NWU’s science lab and safety manager. Agee was honored in March with Nebraska Wesleyan’s CORE Award. The award recognizes an individual whose efforts and contributions significantly exceed expectations in demonstrating or promoting Nebraska Wesleyan’s core values: excellence, liberal arts, personal attention to students, diversity, community and stewardship. 

The move to Acklie Hall of Science required coordination of chemicals, laboratory equipment, supplies, taxidermy, live animals, a cadaver lab, office equipment and more. It required coordination of where to store some items during the year that were already packed and ready for the move. Agee spent the past year working closely with the administration, faculty, project managers and the construction company in orchestrating one of the university’s biggest facility moves.

“Jennifer was always thinking ahead in order to solve problems before they arose,” said an award nominator.

On December 17th— the first day of the move — everything fell into place. Faculty had their items boxed and labeled, volunteers made hundreds of trips between the two buildings while other volunteers did the unpacking. The Chemistry Department, for example, completed their move in just hours rather than the two days that were initially planned.

“She accomplished it with a smile on her face,” said another nominator.

The Lincoln Journal Starcaught up with Agee in December as she made numerous trips up and down the three floors of Acklie Hall coordinating the move. 

"I can already feel this new happiness and a new attitude," Agee told the Lincoln Journal Star. "Each department put a lot of thought into the layout of the labs and how this is all going to work."

Now, nearly three months after the building opened, Agee is still smiling. She has checked off the building move from her to-do list and now continues to make sure the laboratories are safe for its faculty and students.

“Her efforts showcased her loyalty to the university and to her colleagues on the faculty,” said an award nominator. “An exceptional result would not have been achieved without excellence in planning, organizing, and communicating.”