Jane Gardner, administrative assistant in the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities, and Kimberly Smith, administrative assistant in Residential Life, Housing and Food Service, have been named April's Classified Employees of the Month, the Staff Employees Council announced recently.
Gardner has worked at the University for more than 10 years, first as a student and now as an employee.
According to nominator Ashley Greenwald, Administrative/Clinical Director for the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities, Gardner has been a "huge asset" in the daily efficiency and operation of the center.
"Jane keeps others involved and informed, takes initiative, asks questions, speaks positively and is supportive of individuals and the organization as a whole," Greenwald said. "She demonstrates good listening skills and a willingness and ability to solve problems with others. ... Under pressure, Jane handles difficult client/visitor in our office and other situations in a cooperative, polite, courteous and helpful manner. She follows through to assume responsibility for success with any client/visitor and responds quickly to changing circumstances and client/visitors needs."
Greenwald, who noted that Gardner "started off this position bringing in a very good base of knowledge of University policies and procedures" has further distinguished herself by stepping "right up to the challenge of managing many different grant accounts for our project and done wonderfully. Speaking on behalf of everyone in the NCED and the Positive Behavior Support Project, we adore Jane and are so appreciative of her always positive attitude/demeanor, helpfulness and work ethic."
Gardner said she loves being a member of the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities because of "1) the people I work with are dedicated and nice people, 2) the projects we work on benefit so many people in our community, and 3) we actually see results from the work we do here. I enjoy working with the students, faculty and staff at UNR and am grateful for the fact that I LOVE my job. It is my privilege to be part of UNR and the NCED."
Smith's value to the Department of Residential Life, Housing and Food Services was perfectly summed up by nominator Lauren Slemenda, Resident Director of Argenta Hall.
In January, for example, as the campus re-opened from winter break, Slemenda said Smith was "an absolutely invaluable member of the Argenta Hall staff team, helping us navigate the re-opening of the building and the many administrative tasks that come along with that. In the month of January, Kim received almost daily notifications of room changes - students moving in, out and to different rooms. Despite the abundance of paperwork that goes along with this process, Kim never faltered in ensuring that our students receive excellent customer service and that all forms and keys get to the place they need to go. In fact, several times, I have gone to the desk to prepare paperwork for Kim, only to find that she already had it prepared and waiting for the students to check in or out."
Slemenda said Smith is quick to pick up the intricacies of new training, is untiring in her work and is extremely well organized and meticulous in her approach.
"Finally, Kim's support of our Resident Assistant staff and resident students in the building has been excellent," Slemenda said. "No matter how busy she is, she never hesitates to make time to talk to residents or staff members who stop by to say hello."
Smith said that indeed, personal interaction with students and staff is her favorite part of her job.
"Meeting and interacting with the students is what I enjoy most about my position within the Residential Living department," she said. "I enjoy meeting and talking to people from various locations and with diverse backgrounds. There is always a chance for a new learning experience."