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 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, Senior Associate Director, Workforce Planning and Organizational Development
    Email or 217-333-0431
  • Jon Freiman, HR Business Partner (primarily supports ISTC and ISWS)
    Email or 217-244-2687
  • Amber Hall, HR Business Partner (primarily supports INHS) 
    Email or 217-300-4080
  • Lori Walston-Vonderharr, HR Business Partner (primarily supports ISGS and ISAS)
    Email or 217-244-2401
  • Megan Weeks, HR Business Analyst (primarily supports OED shared services)
    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 for Computing and Data Services


Shari Effert-Fanta, Assistant Director for Facilities and Safety
  • 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, Senior Associate Director for Strategic Operations and Administration
  • Travel & Purchasing – Lori McLain 
  • Office of Business and Financial Services applicable policies – Karen Hartman
  • Grant Management – Lacey Holman, Holly Pankow
  • PRIDE – Megan Weeks

Human Resources

Amy Dillman, Senior Associate Director, Workforce Planning and Organizational Development
  • Staffing
  • Payroll
  • Employee relations


Shari Effert-Fanta, Assistant Director for Facilities & Safety
Morgan Bailey, Research Safety Specialist
  • Building and lab safety
  • Field Safety  
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 
  • Emergency Training 
  • Building Safety plans
  • Injury/Illness reporting 

Strategic Communications

Tiffany Jolley, Assistant Director for Strategic Communications
  • PRI and survey websites – Jennifer Davis
  • Writing – Rosalind Essig
  • Social media – Xander Hazel
  • Design and promotional material – Jessica Quigg
  • Design and content strategy – Danielle Ruffatto

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

PRI New Hire Onboarding Process

Click the corresponding employee class link below as provided by your HR contact.