On August 19, 2022, the University Classified Staff Council (UCSC) held its annual retreat at the Denton A. Cooley, MD and Ralph C. Cooley, DDS University Life Center. This annual retreat is a fun and 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 2022 UCSC Chair Lexus “Lexie” Bradford called the retreat to order and introduced new members. Outgoing members were also thanked for their service to the council with recognition and parting gifts. Then it was time to hear from each standing committee chair about the amazing work that has been accomplished in the past fiscal year.
Each representative on the council is a part of one of the five standing committees: Communication, Election, Educational Awards, Staff Development, and Staff Recognition. UTHealth Houston’s UCSC accomplished so much in FY22 despite being almost entirely virtual due to the pandemic.
Afterwards, all gathered at the retreat underwent a teambuilding activity using spaghetti, marshmallows, and their own creativity. Teams at various tables challenged each other to build the tallest structure in only a short period of time! This activity showed just how much each member will rely on each other throughout the fiscal year and helped the entire council improve our communication skills.
Then, UCSC was honored to have Mr. Kevin Dillon, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, joined in virtually to say a few words about the importance of classified staff and the part UCSC plays in enhancing the experience for staff members at UTHealth Houston.
Next, the council heard from Sharlene Johnson, MA, LPC-S, LBSW, LCDC - Senior Assessment and Referral Specialist for the Employee Assistance Program. Ms. Johnson’s presentation on stress and wellbeing was an absolute joy to participate in as she guided us all through both identifying stressors in our lives as well as solutions to mitigate that stress. It was a fun and entertaining session that allowed everyone a chance to participate!
Lunch was provided and almost everyone enjoyed using the photo booth!
After lunch, it was time for FY23 Chair Trudy Ludwig to set expectations for what she hoped the council could achieve in FY23 and give an overview of the bylaws, core values, and rules of trust. First on Trudy’s agenda is to start offering in-person meetings, followed by making sure classified staff members are kept informed about UCSC events, opportunities, and other information beneficial to staff members at UTHealth Houston!
The council then voted on its FY23 officers. The following individuals were elected to fill the officer positions:
- Alainna Talton, FY23 Chair-Elect
- Bethany Roachell, FY23 Secretary
- Christine Ocampo, FY23 Treasurer
- Teshana Alexander, FY23 Parliamentarian
- Wanda “Dennie” Clemons, FY23 InterFaculty Council Representative
- Nely Perez, 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 figuring out the committee chairs, meeting dates, and goals!
The retreat was a wonderful experience and a welcome return to an in-person gathering with lots of friendly faces and enthusiasm.
Additionally, please help welcome our new members for FY23: