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UCSC members plan for FY2020 at Retreat

What do door prizes, NASA flight surgeons, and classified staff from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have in common? The 2019 University Classified Staff Council (UCSC) Annual Retreat!

The UCSC is comprised of members from operating units across UTHealth whose mission it is to advise the president and other UTHealth leadership on behalf of the classified staff. This is done by making recommendations on existing and proposed policies; weighing in on procedures and programs that impact the classified staff or are of particular interest to them; and voicing questions and concerns from classified staff members.

In addition, the UCSC holds its Annual Workshop for classified staff members; publishes newsletters throughout the year with informative articles, feature stories, and activities; fosters personal and professional development through UCSC Brown Bag Sessions; and raises funds for and administers the UCSC Educational Awards Program, a competitive, merit-based awards program that offers financial support for higher education to selected, eligible children of classified staff. The UCSC also helps with UTHealth activities and initiatives and participates in select UTHealth and UT System committees and councils.

On August 23, new, current, and outgoing UCSC members gathered for a one-day retreat, held at UTHealth’s Operations Center Building in Houston, to celebrate the past year and prepare for the up-coming year. The theme of the re-treat was “Shoot for the Moon.” The council honored members who were rotating off the council and celebrated new members beginning their terms.

In addition to honoring outgoing members and welcoming new members, the group addressed important business, such as the election of officers. Fiscal year 2020 officers are: William “Bill” Severson, Chair; Colin Dunham, Chair-Elect; Bethany Roachell, Secretary; Verlincia Williams, Treasurer; and Brenda Adams, Parliamentarian. To hear Severson’s vision for the council this year.

Members also heard from Eric Fernette, Vice President, Human Resources, & Chief Human Re-sources Officer. Fernette, who also serves as UCSC’s Executive Sponsor, shared an overview of the council with those in attendance. In addition, Nasa Flight Surgeon Sean Kevin Roden, MD, MPH, addressed the group, sharing about his work and offering advice on topics like collaboration and communication.

At the end of the day, members were assigned to one of UCSC’s five standing committees. These committees then each spent time electing a chair and making plans for how to serve staff in the upcoming year. Committees and their chairs are as follows: Jessica Vanderpool, Communications Committee Chair; Beth Watson, Educational Awards Committee Chair; Alainna Talton, Elections Committee Chair; Lexus Bradford, Staff Development Committee Chair; Jimaya Tates, Staff Recognition Committee Chair.There was even time for fun door prizes and games before everyone went home prepared for another year.

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