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UCSC Annual Retreat

UCSC Annual Retreat

The University Classified Staff Council (UCSC) held its annual retreat on August 18, 2023, at the Cooley University Life Center at UTHealth Houston. This annual retreat is an engaging way to celebrate representatives who are finishing their terms, welcome new representatives that are just beginning their terms, and set goals for the upcoming fiscal year.

After registration and breakfast, FY 2023 UCSC Chair Trudy Ludwig called the retreat to order and gave a brief recap of the year. Each standing committee chair reported about the incredible work accomplished in the past year. Outgoing representatives were thanked for their service to the council with recognition and parting gifts. A notable accomplishment of the FY23 UCSC representatives’ advocacy was the expansion of the ombuds program to include staff.

Each representative on the council is a part of one of the five standing committees: Communication, Educational Awards, Election, Staff Development, and Staff Recognition.

UCSC was honored to have Karen Spillar, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, join to say a few words about the importance of classified staff and the part the staff council plays in enhancing the experience for employees at UTHealth Houston. The council heard from Kevin A. Morano, PhD, Senior Vice President for Academic and Faculty Affairs, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at McGovern Medical School, and Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Dr. Morano emphasized to the council how change and the willingness to accept change and try new things will lead to opportunities where one can make a positive impact. He also introduced the ombuds program, outlined the program’s history at UTHealth Houston, and how the program opened to all staff at the start of the new fiscal year.

To break the ice for both new and old members, team building activities were conducted throughout the day. Additionally, fun activities such as a 360-photo booth, face painting, and a caricature artist were available. The retreat was a wonderful day filled with friendly faces and enthusiasm for the upcoming year.

Check out the photos! 

To prepare for the coming year, FY24 Chair Alainna Talton gave an overview of the UCSC bylaws, core values, and rules of trust. Alainna informed the members that meetings would be exclusively virtual half of the year and a hybrid option at different school locations the other half of the year to encourage further collaboration from members amongst the different schools/units.

The council then voted on its FY24 officers. The following individuals were elected to fill the officer positions:

  • Nena Fairbanks, FY24 Chair-Elect
  • Roxann Marroquin, FY24 Secretary
  • Amanda Fields, FY24 Treasurer
  • Patrick McNeill, FY24 Parliamentarian
  • Carey Goode, FY24 Interfaculty Council Representative
  • Erin Wells, HOOP Advisory Committee Representative

Congratulations to our newly elected officers and affiliation representatives!

The retreat ended with all representatives breaking off into their respective standing committees and determining committee chairs, meeting dates, and goals.

Additionally, please help welcome our new members for FY24:

  • James "Anthony" Bales
  • Shantel Beasley
  • Shannon Bishop
  • Sheri Brodie
  • Reema Budhwani
  • Tanja Calixto
  • Alyssa Chapa
  • Hezie-Ann Chrysostom
  • Zina Clay
  • Ashley Dubec
  • Mary Espinoza
  • Leslie Feld
  • Patricia Herwig
  • Evene Hopes
  • Assol Kavtorina
  • Maria Lopez
  • Aleaha Louis
  • Daniel Lugo
  • Ara Francesca Luz
  • Isaac Mancillas
  • Justin Mayberry
  • Bobby McKie
  • Shawna Mihelich
  • Ruth Palmer
  • Felecia Peterson
  • Roman  Petrowski
  • Sandra Pickrel
  • Lucia Rodriguez
  • Kyle Rogers
  • Sherron "Ronnie" Scott
  • Erin Wells
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