Jacobs receives Staff Senate Customer Service Award

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

by Lana Koepke Johnson

Julie Jacobs, office associate for the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Pesticide Safety Education Program, received the Customer Service Award from the Staff Senate Recognition Committee at the 2024 All Staff Conference May 21.

The UNL Staff Senate Customer Service Award is an honor bestowed to an individual staff member who prioritizes customer service. The recipient is recognized for their commitment to providing exceptional customer service to internal and external customers of the University.

The PSEP program educates pesticide applicators on the best and safest practices for applying pesticides while protecting themselves, the public and the environment. PSEP offers in-person training sessions with the help of extension educators. They also offer online self-study courses for private applicators, commercial/non-commercial applicators and chemigation – a method of applying agricultural chemicals through irrigation water. All applicators must pass the Nebraska Department of Agriculture exam for licensing, which allows them to purchase, handle or apply restricted-use pesticides.

Jacobs has provided exemplary customer support for PSEP for seven years and is the first point of contact for the thousands of internal and external customers that go through pesticide safety training each year. She answers questions on how to register for training, how to access study materials and provides technical support for the online training.

“For many of our customers this is the first online training they have encountered, and it can be intimidating, but Julie is the friendly voice on the other end of the phone patiently guiding them through this process,” said Vicki Schroeder, PSEP program associate.

According to Jacobs, individuals from different generations use the programs. Some have very limited computer experience, requiring more encouragement, thorough explanations, and patience to help them meet the comprehensive online training requirements.

“I just try to be that understanding person that is there to help them get through it,” Jacobs said. “It really feels good to know they appreciate me and my contribution to our PSEP department.”

Jacobs has many other duties including developing quarterly reports, scheduling meetings, ordering study materials and grading tests.

“As Julie’s supervisor, I have received numerous compliments on her customer interactions,” Schroeder  said. “Many express their gratitude for the support she provides with just one phone call. She is a valuable asset to our team, and without her support, the PSEP team would be greatly hindered.”

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Julie Jacobs
Julie Jacobs