DeKalb Chamber salutes NIU’s Gaillard, Peddle

Elizabeth Gaillard

Elizabeth Gaillard

NIU employees Elizabeth Gaillard and Christina Peddle are among 10 women who recently were saluted by the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce for their tireless work in the community.

Gaillard, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was recognized for her research initiative and creativity in her profession. Peddle, an administrative secretary in the Office of the Provost, was recognized for her volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity.

Both were nominated for the prestigious national Athena Award, sponsored locally by the chamber and Mike Mooney Chevrolet-Cadillac.

“Beth and Christina are great examples of the high quality of nominees we receive every year,” said Jim Allen, executive director of the chamber. “Deciding who receives the award is always difficult.”

Women are nominated by the work colleagues and by organizations where they volunteer. Gaillard’s NIU colleagues nominated her, and Peddle’s friends at Habitat for Humanity submitted her name.

Christina Peddle

Christina Peddle

Nominees are not only active in their communities, but they are seen as leaders, mentors and role models for other women.

“Just being nominated is exciting,” Gaillard said. “It’s always delightful to see the community and university work together on projects.”

Peddle works as the volunteer coordinator for Habitat’s construction projects. At times, she juggles the schedule of dozens of volunteer carpenters, roofers and painters. She volunteers with the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of DeKalb County and also is a Girl Scout trainer and mentor.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by your peers,” she said. “The women I work with at NIU are such a good group.”

Gaillard has mentored 10 doctoral and graduate female students and dozens of undergraduate female students in chemistry, an area where women are underrepresented. She also established a networking group for women on the NIU faculty. In her professional field, she is known nationally for her research on aging and eye diseases.

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