November 02, 2022
When did you join UTHealth Houston?
May 2001, right before Allison hit. When we could get back into the building, I got a call from my supervisor saying we had to go into the labs and turn off all the gas in the department; the building was filling up with gas. That was on my birthday. I kind of wondered if I’d have another one. That was quite an experience. I still have the hard hat they gave us to wear so we could climb the stairs in the dark.
What brought you here?
I had an opportunity to go to school and get a degree. Once I graduated, one of my instructors gave me the name and phone number of a UT employee, Beth Martin, who was looking for someone to be a PC Specialist. Beth had been in my instructor’s class several semesters prior, so she reached out to the instructor knowing he’d be a good source. It got my foot in the door, and for that I’m very grateful.
Tell me about your work history here.
I started as a PC Specialist. I had an opportunity to take an administrative position doing the purchasing for our department. I took the job and never looked back. Now I spend my days doing a variety of things, such as dealing with facilities issues, coordinating rehab for labs, service for equipment, reconciling faculty accounts, maintaining the departmental website, as well as providing back up for the daily purchasing activities when needed, and those “other duties” we all find ourselves doing these days.
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
There are several things I’m proud of accomplishing; having worked for the same department my entire UT career; seeing a new faculty come on and approve the lab renovations we’ve made for them; the processes that have evolved out of procedures put in place when I began processing the department’s purchasing; the year I headed up the SECC program for our department. We collected somewhere around $5,000, which, at the time, was the highest ever donated for our department. If you donated you could attend an ice cream social and win a chance at putting a “pie in the face” of either our chairman or several volunteer faculty members. That was a lot of fun. Somewhere I have pictures of that.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The people I work with, the contacts I’ve made, most of whom I now consider friends, and the laughter we share.
Why have you stayed?
UTHealth has great benefits and a great work/life attitude. Also, the people I work with. I’m currently working on my fourth chairman. The admin staff has managed to work together for many years, and yet we still enjoy getting together socially from time to time. We all like to laugh, which makes for some pretty loud lunches.
When you are not at work, how do you spend your time?
At the beginning of COVID, my mother moved in with my husband and me. She’s going to be 88 in just a few days, so we do our best to take care of her. We have two grandsons, we’re very proud of, who play a lot of sports; so we’re always going to baseball, basketball, or football games. My mom loves to go to some of the kids’ games, as well. Sometimes, I babysit my youngest granddaughter, and that’s always fun. Mostly, my husband and I love spending time with family when we can. Most of our relatives don’t live close to us, so when we take time off, we try to incorporate visiting family with a vacation.