Valubility of the Month: August 2017

September 7, 2017 • valubility, VOTM

The August recipients of Valubility of the Month bring stories of helping a team members, integrity and collaborating with others.

These recipients of the Valubility of the Month honor were selected from among dozens of nominees that a UNTHSC committee reviewed.

Nominate a teammate for Valubility of the Month


Jim Trammell, ITSS – Telecom ServicesJim_values

How many times would you return to an office and move a machine without getting a little . . . impatient?

For Jim Trammell, Telecommunications Tech II, the answer is: as many times as it takes.

His nominator wrote, “During the Center for Geriatrics move, Jim had many competing priorities and was very busy. However, he did not put me off, or keep me guessing. He would fit me into his schedule no matter how busy he was.”

His nominator also said that Trammell is consistently a role model for reliability, consistency and pleasantness—in other words, living our Values of integrity, collaboration and respect.

Trammell went above and beyond on several occasions. “We had to move and/or change phone numbers countless times, including installing and removing phones, computers, fax machines, etc.,” said Trammell’s nominator.

Although the entire move took months, Trammell exhibited leadership by always arriving on time — or early — and communicating fully about what would be done and when. “I was always aware of the ongoing status of any outstanding projects,” said his nominator.

During the move, a medical assistant asked that a fax machine be moved for easier access. Trammell physically helped move the machine and made sure the port was active.

“When the medical assistant decided to move the fax again to free up cabinet space, Jim was once again right here to assist and physically move the fax machine again,” said the nominator.

The machine eventually needed to be moved yet again. Trammell moved it for the third time, activated the port and, said his nominator, “once again, not a complaint or a negative word.”

Nominated by Charlene Merryman

Annetta Miller, Center for Human IdentificationAnnetta_values

Administrative Coordinator Annetta “Etta” Miller has a special talent for helping a new team member learn the ropes and feel welcome.

After just six weeks on the NamUs team, Miller’s nominator deeply appreciated her collaborative and serve-others-first approach.

The little things, such as showing her the MET café, and the more consequential things, like where to turn in forms for HR, made all the difference to a new worker. Miller took the time to do this in addition to training the new hire in procedures and various tasks. Miller “is an excellent example of UNTHSC’s values in her actions and respect for others,” said her nominator.

Miller lost her husband recently after a lengthy illness, yet she “comes to work every single day with a smile on her face,” her nominator wrote.

Miller worked tirelessly at a June event, NamUs’ Missing in North Texas Day, and sets a high bar of leadership that her nominator aspires to meet.

Her nominator described her as “the glue that holds the NamUs team together. We are spread throughout the entire country and there are less than 20 of us to manage approximately 40,000 cases.”

Miller maintains integrity and compassion in dealing with families who have a missing loved one. She helps others understand chain-of-custody requirements and the importance of keeping evidence and DNA samples sealed and secure until they can be safely stored.

Sharing her wealth of knowledge, she gives positive feedback to co-workers and is kind when giving constructive criticism.

Her nominator summed up, “She treats everyone with the utmost respect, regardless of title, education, or background,” adding that Miller is compassionate and caring when speaking with people who are often distraught, or law enforcement officers who may seem short or impatient. “She is the embodiment of all the UNTHSC values.”

Nominated by Caitlin Krauss

Jennifer Nanni, Institutional Advancement


How do you build a team, affirm everyone’s contributions and help them become even more effective? Just watch how AlumniRelations Manager Jennifer Nanni does it. Wrote her nominator, “On every task, Jennifer not only ensures that all processes are followed correctly, she also makes sure all team members feel needed and appreciated. Whether it be thanking the communication team for their expertise on an event webpage, asking the Physician Assistant department for their ideas on alumni endeavors, or giving out High-Five cards to Advancement members for their part on tasks, without fail Jennifer incorporates all five values in her role on a daily basis.”

Nanni helped a new team member transition into her role, not only answering questions but also “showing she cares about me as a person, not just a co-worker.”

She takes the initiative to anticipate a team member’s needs, provides documents that could be useful in the future, and follows up by finding out if her team member’s project was successful.

Nanni took the initiative to ensure that the correct procedures are followed when alcohol is to be served at a campus event. She did this not only for her own information, but also to share with everyone who may need to know.  She arranged meetings with the Compliance team to learn the steps. Then she shared what she learned with the Events Council. The one-page checklist Nanni created includes caterer requirements, lists the university’s responsibilities, and includes direct links to the policies so anyone viewing the checklist can see the procedures’ basis.

Nanni modeled the Collaboration value in organizing the Physician Assistants Alumni Reunion in July. She ensured that all relevant teams (PA, Advancement and Alumni Relations) participated in planning and holding the event, and she then publicly thanked each team member for their personal role in making the event a success.

She takes time at each event’s debrief meeting to do this, ensuring that everyone knows they are appreciated and their collaboration was vital.

She truly acts as a team leader, not simply as an individual.

Nominated by Patrice Buffkin

Rhonda Dash, Office of Research Compliance


The work required to audit research compliance is not for the faint of heart. It takes a special combination of exceptional subject matter expertise, rigor and diplomacy. Compliance Manager Rhonda Dash exemplifies these qualities as she serves the university to improve and enhance the human research protection program.

Writes her nominator, “In situations where some investigators anticipate a ‘gotcha’ moment, she shows understanding, and she offers encouragement for improvement and suggestions for better ways to manage research projects to stay in compliance with often complex federal and institutional regulations.”

Her supervisor says that investigators who work with Dash note how straight-forward and helpful she is during audits: “Time after time, audited researchers note that she’s polite, respectful, and exceptionally professional throughout what could be an intimidating process …  just the facts and a bit of relaxing humor tossed in.”

Investigators also relate that the audits are learning opportunities for them.

Dash handles even the more challenging audits in a manner that models our Values. One audit revealed recurring major noncompliance. The investigator chose to “blame the auditor,” wrote Dash’s nominator, but she showed grace and reserve as the matter moved to resolution.

Dash also has volunteered to take on more tasks, expanding her areas of responsibility as the Office of Compliance expands its areas of operations. She requested training to do reviews and make determinations on Exempt Category human subject protocols. In addition, she stepped up to manage the monthly agenda, pre-review notes and chair’s reports for each IRB meeting, daunting tasks in themselves. In this she shows exceptional Serve Others First and Collaboration values.

Dash’s work requires a high level of integrity. Her nominator wrote, “When conducting audits and giving staff regular guidance and advice, she is quintessentially focused on doing the right thing in a positive, collegial manner.”

Nominated by Brian Gladue

Eronia King, Student Affairs


In just over a year with the Career Center, Student Services Associate Eronia King has created collaborations that multiply the strengths of team members and departments.

Among her initiatives to engage students and alumni:

  • Including Alumni Relations in projects whenever possible
  • Increasing the number of Career Services LinkedIn users to more than 500—far more than the goal of 188. She used contests, emails, collaboration, and hard work.
  • Working with others to repeat a LinkedIn contest every student orientation cycle.
  • Partnering with Alumni Relations for the HSC Connect/LinkedIn Fitbit Giveaway.
  • Hosting a reception for graduating students so they can provide contact information and sign up for HSC Connect and the LinkedIn group to help us stay connected to our alumni.

One of her nominators says that King thinks of “sophisticated and innovative solutions that buck the status quo” and couples them with high productivity but little fanfare. “From day one, she has taken ‘the way we have always done things’ up to the next level and has expected nothing in return.”

King dived right into campus involvement with significant activities as part of the UNTHSC Strategic Plan, recently becoming co-chair of the Best Place for All Committee.

She worked on the Flex Time initiative and, building on a foundation of trust, led a pilot program to experiment with telecommuting one day per week.

In addition, she served on the Research Appreciation Day 25th Anniversary Communications Committee, the Career Data Tracking Coalition, Customer Service Culture Committee and Fun Club.

In her “regular job” she has been a staunch advocate and confidant for students as a Career Consultant. She serves all students equally from all academic programs. In addition, she is one of a handful of go-to staff for students pursuing the MS in Medical Sciences degree who are seeking preparation in applying and interviewing for medical school.

The students she assists, regardless of the academic program, frequently come back to her saying, “You helped me to succeed.”

Nominated by Jimmy Renfro and Jennifer Nanni