Staff Excellence Honored at AHSC

Apr 18, 2014

Glowing letters of recommendation recalling remarkable acts of service were the highlights of the Arizona Health Sciences Center Awards for Excellence and Georgia Reynolds Dedicated Service Award Ceremony held this month.

More than 20 nominees, together with their colleagues, gathered in DuVal Auditorium to hear selections for a variety of awards designed to recognize dedication to excellence in service at the UA Colleges of Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy and Public Health.

Iman Hakim, MD, PhD, MPH, dean and professor at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, presented the following awards:

  • The 2014 Classified Staff Award for Excellence in Administrative Support was presented to Jaqueline (Jackie) Gomez. An administrative associate in the Division of Community, Environment and Policy, Gomez was recognized as a tireless worker who comes to work early and often leaves late, who is cheerful and helpful with her co-workers.
  • The 2014 Appointed Professional Service Award for Excellence was awarded to Nicole Bergier. Bergier, coordinator for the Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion, was recognized for her diligence and perseverance, as well as her friendly attitude, which has worked to change the climate for wellness at the college and throughout the Tucson community.

J. Lyle Bootman, PhD, ScD, dean at the UA College of Pharmacy presented the following awards:

  • The 2014 Classified Staff AwarLynda Klasky, who retired in March, receives the 2014 Classified Staff Award for Excellence from dean Bootman.  d for Excellence in Administrative Support was presented to Lynda Klasky, administrative assistant for pharmacy practice and science. An employee since 1999, she was commended for her willingness to take on tasks beyond her job description and for her desire to find new ways to improve the functions of the office. She was also recognized for her conscientious tracking of finances and for her commitment to the highest level of customer services. She retired from the UA in March.
  • The 2014 Classified Staff Award for Excellence in Research/Technical Support was presented to Rosa Jaime-Frias, research technician for pharmacology and toxicology. Jaime-Frias was recognized for her extraordinary work ethic – always performed with a smile – and for finding ways to improve the lab, while serving as a role model for teamwork.
  • The 2014 Appointed Professional Service Award for Excellence was presented to Cas Sprout, administrative services for pharmacy practice and science. Sprout’s colleagues describe her as trustworthy, reliable, hard-working, committed and intelligent. She is a humble mentor and teacher who is calm, efficient and eager to learn.

Donna Cochran, assistant dean for finance and administration at the UA College of Nursing, presented the following awards:

  • The 2014 Staff Award for Excellence was presented to Lisa Gelia, program coordinator, senior, in the Office of Nursing Research. Gelia, who has worked at the College of Nursing for nearly eight years, was honored for her outstanding contributions to improve efficiency and effectiveness at the college, as well as her loyalty and dedication. Gelia oversees grant compliance and works closely with faculty and students to help make the daunting task of grant writing and submission a smooth and transparent process.
  • The 2014 Employee of the Year Award was presented to Yvette Mathesen, assistant coordinator at the Steele Innovative Learning Center, known as the SILC Lab. Mathesen has worked at the College of Nursing for almost seven years and is known for her creativity and innovative problem-solving. She has fabricated many equipment modifications that successfully enhanced learning and cut costs associated with the technology. She exhibits positive energy and genuine willingness, talent, innovation and commitment to improve the SILC Lab and enhance the mission of the College of Nursing.

Joe G.N. ‘Skip” Garcia, interim dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and UA senior vice president for health sciences, presented the following UA College of Medicine – Tucson staff award

Lura Hanekamp Awards of Excellence are presented to two classified and one appointed personnel employee:

  • Julia Santa Maria, coordinator for application processing in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson Office of Admissions, earned the administrative pay grade 1-31, Luna Hanekamp Award. Santa Maria has been with the Admissions Office for almost three years, starting as a work study student. She was recognized for autonomously researching solutions and ensuring strong communications between offices. She works independently and is an effective team member committed to enhancing the overall applicant experience at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.
  • Jill Garcia, program coordinator, senior in the Office of Planning and Facilities, earned the administrative pay grade 32-40+, Luna Hanekamp Award. A College of Medicine – Tucson employee for six years, Garcia performs multiple tasks, serving as administrative assistant, facilities coordinator and as a data analyst. In these roles, she responds to questions and requests for help with a warm smile and a friendly demeanor. Even in the midst of a crisis, she remains calm and decides on the best – and most helpful – course of action.
  • Andrea Lopez, special assistant in the Office of Educational Affairs at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson Administration, earned the research/appointed personnel, Luna Hanekamp Award. With more than seven years of experience at the position, Lopez is a problem-solver who is willing to help in any way possible. Due to her resourcefulness and positive attitude, Lopez is often tasked by many units to help with problems and projects as they arise. While these technically fall outside her formal job description, she always cheerfully assists and understands that the College of Medicine’s success is defined as a whole and not by individuals or individual departments.

2014 Georgia Reynolds Dedicated Service Award was presented to Kathleen Tower, Arizona Health Sciences Library information analyst. Retiring after 32 years of service in March, Tower was the head of Inter Library Loans. Under her direction, the Inter Library Loan department ensured that faculty, staff, students and the community at large received critical information resources in a quick and timely manner.

Tower’s role at the Inter Library Loan department included supervising two staff members, as well as students. Her knowledge included every aspect of the area, ranging from technical computer systems that supported the inter library loan process, to specialized knowledge of the library’s journal collection, as well as a deep understanding of changing trends, which have dramatically changed how inter library loans will work in the future.

Jeanette Ryan, deputy director at the AHS Library, said, “Kathy has the ability to jump in and do everything during staff absences to keep the operation running. She maintains high standards and effectively monitors the work of the unit to ensure accurate and fast response. The AHS Library often receives compliments from faculty and staff who use the inter library loan service.”

Lynn Flance, librarian at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, said, “I’ve known Kathy since the early 1980s when we were both entering the library field. We have all gone through amazing and wonderful changes, but converting to new processes was not always easy. Kathy has gone through these changes with grace and determination. It is no surprise to me that she is being considered for an award for dedication and service, as her dedication and service orientation are outstanding.”

Congratulations to all the nominees and thank you for your dedicated service to the Arizona Health Sciences Center!

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