August 11, 2021
When did you join UTHealth? What brought you here?
I joined UTHealth back in October 1990. I was originally a part-time research tech in the Substance Abuse Research Center in the lab of Richard Meisch, MD, PhD. I was completing my bachelor’s of science degree in psychology, and I needed some research experience. The original building I worked in (MSI) doesn’t even exist now.
Tell me about your work history here.
I spent my first seven years with Dr. Meisch. After the first three years, I became a full-time research assistant. I really enjoyed working with him. We had healthy, good-natured debates. He was a behaviorist, and I am not. When I determined that graduate school was not my path, I started looking for other positions. Although I adored working with Dr. Meisch, there were no advancement opportunities. I interviewed for an information technology job with the dean’s area. Bassel Choucair interviewed me, and he took my resume over to Florinda Guerra in Graduate Medical Education (GME). After meeting with Florinda and Patricia Butler, MD, I was hired and transferred to GME. I have been in this department ever since. I keep track of data related to our House Staff in several different data systems. I even make their graduation certificates.
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
I organized an all-day workshop for graduating residents and fellows a few years back. I brought in several speakers and put together a panel of different physicians who work in the clinical setting, research, academic, private practice etc., and then the residents were able to ask all kinds of questions and get real-world answers about what career path they might choose. It was received really well by all. I also built a historic database of all our past house staff since the beginning of GME here at UTHealth. It made my job so much easier.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy working with different people from multiple organizations and the relationships I have built over the years. I have been lucky to form some friendships that have grown beyond the professional setting.
Why have you stayed?
I am one of those people who performs best when given a task and deadline then getting lost in my work. I work from home now and this has been really productive for me. It was a silver lining from the whole COVID experience. I also like the knowledge that I have built through all my years with this department and working with the House Staff. I also like the staff I work with. I may not be in the office with them, but I still interact with them daily.
When you are not at work, how do you spend your time?
I enjoy researching my genealogy. My idea of fun is visiting a cemetery and taking photos of the headstones of ancestors. I also love cooking, reading history, and hanging out with my two dogs.