It is an honor and commitment to represent and lead the classified staff as Chair of the University Classified Staff Council (UCSC) during fiscal year 2023. UCSC accomplished many things this year; we increased our presence and had a positive impact at UTHealth Houston. My goal as UCSC Chair was to continue where Lexus Campbell left off in FY22 and build a community of giving. We hosted a successful donation and volunteer drive for Houston Area Women’s Center (HAWC). Not only did we make a difference in the lives of those that use the services of HAWC, but also several of us were also able to see the council’s positive impact in action when we took a tour of the building before helping to organize all the donations received for the holiday season. I was proud to see our council members and classified staff unite for this amazing community service event.
Another goal I had was for each member to take back insights and information about things happening around the Texas Medical Center (TMC) and within our UTHealth Houston community through our monthly, general meetings. These meetings are important to attend and imperative for each member to take back information to their school/operating unit to keep staff informed. All of the work done on the council helps further the mission of the university and contributions from the members helps to bring success to all of UTHealth Houston.
Our UCSC members are leaders throughout our institution that advocate and communicate for our classified staff. As the leader of this group, I was thrilled to work with executive leaders to create the ombuds program for all staff, which went into effect at the start of the new fiscal year.
Throughout the year, we invited various UTHealth Houston Leaders to our monthly meetings to discuss professional development opportunities, benefits, safety, and wellness. In addition, for the first time in UCSC history, we switched up our meeting location and had the opportunity to tour the Dunn Behavioral Science building during one of our general meetings.
Our Communications Committee, chaired by Roxann Marroquin, wrote over ten articles and sent four newsletters in FY23. The Communications Committee also increased our mailing list by 200 new subscribers this fiscal year. In addition, the Communications Committee emailed over two thousand new classified staff employees, welcomed them to UTHealth Houston, and informed them about the UCSC.
Our Educational Awards Committee, chaired by Telisha Green, raised more than $16,000 this year and awarded scholarships to 27 students of classified staff. The Educational Awards Committee collected donations through several fundraising events and crowdfunding efforts throughout the year. Students recipients and their parents were honored as a portion of our annual workshop held on July 14, 2023.
Our Elections Committee, chaired by Verlincia Williams, maintained our UCSC roster monthly. The Elections Committee held our annual call for UCSC nominations from May 17 - June 2, 2023. During this time, we also held in-person meet and greets for the first time in three years, which gained a lot of interest. They concluded the year by planning and executing the annual retreat for outgoing and incoming members of UCSC.
Our Staff Development Committee, chaired by Marchele Jones, held four virtual Brown Bag Sessions. These sessions provided important information and resources to our classified staff on these topics: 360 Development and Microsoft 365, coping with trauma and depression, HR Interview and resume writing tips, and UTH-Share data migration and EPIC updates.
Our Staff Recognition Committee, chaired by Carey Goode, held the first in-person workshop since 2019, which was extremely successful with 121 attendees. The workshop included three different speaker sessions with an inspirational story from Dr. LaShawn Pursley Huey opening the event and followed by topics from our IT Security team and HR on tips and tricks for interviewing. Kevin Dillon, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, attended as an executive leader. During the retreat, we also distributed the Educational Awards and Spotlight Recognition awards. This is the second year of having the Spotlight Recognition awards and first time being able to distribute the awards in-person. It was truly remarkable to gather in-person and come together for this annual event.
I want to express my appreciation to every UCSC member, committee chair, and officer. Each of you has an important role and responsibility to our University, our President, and Executive Leadership Team at UTHealth Houston.
I want to send a special thank you to President Giuseppe Colasurdo, Kevin Dillon, and UCSC’s Executive Sponsors, Karen Spillar and Allison Bashir for supporting our council. With the support of our Executive Leadership Team, we can continue our mission and discuss important matters that affect the classified staff at UTHealth Houston.