March 02, 2022
When did you join UTHealth? What brought you here?
After a chance conversation with my friend, I applied and was hired as a Support Specialist in the Dean’s Office for the Department of Student Affairs and Alumni Affairs in December 1992. I worked for Dr. Margaret McNeese and Pat Caver in Student Affairs and Sondra Ives in Alumni Affairs.
Tell me about your work history here.
In 1998, I was transferred to work for Rick Gaines, associate dean for management, along with Linda Utterback, Claire Brunson, and Katherine Thatcher for many years. We were a great team. We supported the entire Medical School in finance as well as building needs.
After 9/11 our department went through many changes, and I was moved to work with Nancy McNiel, Linda Utterback, and Claire Brunson. The Medical School went through changes after the Houston community was ravaged by Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. Dr. McNiel played a big part in putting the School back together. There have been challenges, but with the sense of family, we were able to surpass anything that put the University to the test.
In December of 2006, I briefly left UTHealth and worked for MD Anderson only to return in 2008 landing a position working under Jeffrey W. Scott, DMO of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
I have worked directly for Jeff Scott since June of 2008. I believe that under his direction, I have learned and excelled over the years and am proud to work for Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, a department that is able to provide support to its patients, faculty, staff, and even to other departments. I feel that this working environment has afforded me the chance to grow in more roles than my own and has enabled me to provide support across multiple departments to ensure that more than just my department continues to thrive and succeed.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I love being able to help and support both the faculty and staff on our team. We support two other departments, Neurosurgery and Ophthalmology. These two departments can be credited with a vast variety of work as they are an integral part of the University’s success in research and patient care. I enjoy being part of a team that expands beyond what I am able to list in these few words; a team of like-minded people beginning with Dr. Anthony Estrera, chair of the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery; Jeffrey W. Scott, director of management operations; Sara Martinez, senior administrative coordinator and close colleague; and Maria Gibson, service line administrator, with the same goals in mind. We strive to assist to the best of our ability.
Why have you stayed?
It has been a wonderful 30 years full of challenges and changes, but one thing has never changed and that is the sense of family and belonging fostered by the institution. My continued employment with the University enabled me to provide a private school, collegiate, and doctorate education to both of my children. I am proud to have been part of this ever-growing and innovative university.
When you are not at work, how do you spend your time?
Spending time with my family is very important to me. When I am not spending time with my family, I work in my flower garden or spend time crafting seasonal wreaths for friends and colleagues. I recently became a beginner quilter and am enjoying this new hobby. I have always enjoyed sewing, but quilting is definitely an art—one that will be a challenge to master but I will nonetheless enjoy tackling.