KU announces employees of the month

Wed, 02/27/2013

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has bestowed Employee of the Month honors for the months of December and January. They are as follows:

University Unclassified Staff Employee of the Month for January 2013
Who: Jennifer Accurso Bryant
Start date: 1998
Current title: Director of finance and administration at the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project

What that means: Bryant oversees grant proposal budget preparation for 14 research scientists and is responsible for managing the financial and administration work for more than 20 grants and contracts in a $7-8 million annual operating budget. Her duties include pre- and post-award budget prep, new grant submission, analysis of project spending and research integrity.  She supervises an office staff of five in the diverse areas of purchasing, human resources, reception, community relations, and media. In addition Jenne oversees the facilities management and space allocation.

Notable: Bryant stepped into her managerial role after the untimely death of the former administrator and is widely recognized for having handled this unexpected transition and difficult circumstance with a finesse that was appreciated by her new colleagues. She had big shoes to fill, as the previous business manager had served for 40 years, which also meant that Jenne had a lot of work and reorganization to do in bringing the financial and personnel records up-to-date. She also was instrumental in the smooth transition of the program to a new building in 2010.

University Support Staff Employee of the Month for January 2013
Who: Cynthia Rodriguez
Start date: 2007
Current title: Accountant, Department of Molecular Biosciences

What that means: Rodriguez coordinates accounting of research grant monies; she works collaboratively with KUCR staff, the MB faculty, and others to get this done. Efficient and skilled at grants accounting, she has made things easier for her department’s faculty and administration in her short time with them.

Notable: Rodriguez is professional in her work and has the essential attention to detail and accuracy necessary for financial management, but she goes far beyond that. She was still new in her job when she stood in to operate the department’s Bio-Store when it was between managers. Another time, when a colleague and supervisor had to take medical leave, Rodriguez covered those duties as well as her own. Friendly and willing to help out as needed, she has been helpful training other new staff in Molecular Biosciences and consistent in responding to faculty/researcher needs.

University Unclassified Staff Employee of the Month for December 2012
Name: Cotter Mitchell
Start date: Fall 1984
Current title: Coordinator, Department of Visual Art

What that means: Cotter oversees the daily operation of this 6,100 –square-foot work area, on the second floor of the Art & Design Building, that includes a wood shop, metal fabrication shop, vacuum form/materials room, spray booth room, tool room, classroom and general working space. He manages the daily operation of the shop, supervises support staff and student hourly employees, and assists students and faculty with art projects.

Notable: Cotter is not only a skilled woodworker but also a creative problem solver. He is an exceptional resource for students and faculty who need technical assistance. He is invaluable in assisting faculty with special research needs, or with building anything from simple painting stretcher frames to specialized crates for shipping fragile art work or unique display devices. Freshman art students are trained how to use the Common Shop properly and safely. All faculty members work with Cotter in some capacity, whether to have his assistance in classroom instruction, for creative research, or to help with installing an exhibition.

University Support Staff Employee of the Month for December 2012
Destiny Poole
Start date: Summer 2011
Title at time of honor: Program assistant, School of Engineering

What that means: Poole worked closely with several departments and the engineering school to coordinate the program. As administrative assistant she kept the program running by overseeing the budgets and financial accounting, recruiting and graduate student support, student and program record keeping, and supervising student hourly employees.

Notable: The two-campus nature of the program sometimes leads to complex issues, and Poole was particularly good at seeking out the right person to assist her when intercampus issues arose. In addition to her official duties, such as assisting the Bioengineering Student Council, she went outside of her job description to make sure new students found their way to campus and into the program successfully.
 



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