Prairie Research Institute

New Employee Information


Welcome to the Prairie Research Institute!

We are so excited to welcome you to the PRI team. We hope to make your onboarding experience easy and straightforward. Below is information regarding leaders and contacts within PRI.

As part of the onboarding process, please click the employee class link below that corresponds to the employee class referenced in your offer email from the PRI-HR contact. New employees must review information and fill out certain forms to complete the hiring process.

Meet Your PRI-HR Team

Please contact a member of the PRI-HR staff if you have any questions:

  • Amy Dillman, Associate Director for Human Resources
    Email or 217-333-0431
  • Jon Freiman, HR Business Partner
    Email or 217-244-2687
  • Amber Hall, HR Business Partner
    Email or 217-300-4080
  • Lori Walston-Vonderharr, HR Business Partner
    Email or 217-244-2401
  • Megan Weeks, HR Business Analyst
    Email or 217-244-4768
  • Andrea Nation, Office Support Associate
    Email or 217-300-5196

Get to Know Your Resources

If you are an incoming manager, grant writer, or have other lab, personnel or financial responsibilities, we encourage you to meet with these administration leaders. They can offer best practices, explain policy, provide training on systems, and serve as excellent resources.

PRI Leaders

Computing and Data Services

Nate Baxley, Associate Director


Shari Effert-Fanta, Assistant Director
  • Facility management, access and hours – Matt Thompson
  • Inventory policy and procedures – Devin Blobaum
  • Emergency security – Shari Effert-Fanta
  • Building maintenance – Matt Thompson
  • Shipping and receiving/mail – Kevin Schoening


Alan Dudley, Associate Director
  • Travel – Lacey Holman
  • Purchasing – Lacey Holman
  • Office of Business and Financial Services applicable policies – Karen Hartman
  • Grant management – Alan Dudley
  • PRIDE – Megan Weeks

Human Resources

Amy Dillman, Associate Director
  • Staffing
  • Payroll
  • Employee relations

Strategic Communications

  • Media relations – Lisa Sheppard
  • Social media – Tiffany Jolley
  • PRI and survey websites – Jennifer Davis
  • Promotional materials Danielle Ruffatto

More information about the organization, its leaders and all staff can be found on the PRI website and on the staff intranet (you must log in with your U of I NetID to access the staff intranet).

PRI New Hire Forms

Click the corresponding employee class link below.