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Belinda Roller named director of Architectural and Engineering Services

April 3, 2019

A familiar face has taken on the role of director of Architectural and Engineering Services of the university’s Facilities Management and Campus Services. Belinda Roller, who was named interim director in January after Tom Wroblewski retired, was selected after a national search and officially assumed the position on Friday, March 1.

Belinda Roller

“Belinda’s experience with NIU and her strong background in design made her stand out from other candidates,” John Heckmann, associate vice president of Facilities Management and Campus Services, said. “She has been key to numerous NIU facility improvements for more than six years, understands the campus mission and knows how to coordinate work for successful execution.”

Roller, a native of Ireland, earned a bachelor of architecture from the University College Dublin. After working as a project manager handling public-sector construction projects for a private firm in the Chicago area, Roller joined NIU in 2012 for a short-term position and was hired as a full-time architect in 2013.

“I enjoy working at NIU, which is like a small city all unto itself,” Roller, who now resides in Batavia, said. “Playing a role in the upkeep and improvement of the built environment for the campus community is something I take pride in.”

One improvement – the $20 million Holmes Student Center renovation – is something that Roller has been part of since the planning stage began in 2014.

“The Holmes Student Center project is something that I was lucky enough to be able to be part of from the very beginning,” Roller said. “It’s been designed to create a place where people will want to stay and hang out with friends, with new and enticing food venue options and attractive and comfortable surroundings.”

Heckmann said Roller’s extraordinary planning, coordination and tracking of details have contributed to the project’s success.

“Belinda demonstrates one of her major skills in the execution of this major project,” Heckmann said. “The effort and talent to orchestrate multiple contractors, coordination with Holmes Student Center events and planning for design details is a tremendous effort and an example of what she and others in the Architectural and Engineering Services office do for the university.”

In her tenure at NIU, Roller has been involved in many projects. And while they may not be to the scale of the Holmes Student Center, they all have significance to NIU’s newest director.

“Our department mission is to ensure that campus building environments and facilities are safe, comfortable, durable, attractive, functional, energy efficient and sustainable,” Roller said. “I look forward to being able to continue to plan and coordinate campus improvements whether they are large, small or somewhere in between.”