Valubility of the Month: April 2021


Published: May 16, 2021

Damaris Javier – Center for Diversity & International ProgramsDamaris Javier

Damaris Javier demonstrates Valubility in everything that she does. She represents UNTHSC at the highest level to partners both inside and outside of our institution. Damaris is the heart of the NRMN team and a vital asset to the Center for Diversity and International Programs at UNTHSC. Over the last month, Damaris has not only extended the reach of our university through the development of national partners with NRMN, but she has also checked on each and every one of her team members within our department, CDIP, to make sure they had what they needed for work and personally. She really does put others first in everything that she does. Her dedication to putting others first is also shown through this quote submitted by Chris Pfund, NRMN’s Wisconsin-Madison, Principal Investigator
“Damaris has worked tirelessly to advance the goals of NRMN. In her work with NRMN, she has collaborated with colleagues from across the country. When asked how Damaris embodies the value of collaboration, one of the NRMN Principal Investigators wrote, “Damaris excels at collaboration. She has an amazing ability to bring people together and engage them in collective work. She recognizes the unique strengths each group member brings and intentionally draws out their ideas and talents. A great example of her collaboration style is how she approaches her role as a member of the editorial team for the NRMN newsletter with a national reach of 29,000 subscribers. She consistently finds new and innovative ways to engage national colleagues and elevate their work to the public.”

Nominated by Brady Burns for Serve Others First


Sarah Taylor – Office of Rural Medical EducationSarah Taylor

Sarah has been the singular stalwart presence for the faculty, staff, and students of the ROME program since January when two members of the three person support team were “otherwise engaged.” While promotions and maternity leave are great and joyous things, Sarah was left to handle clinical rotations for 3rd and 4th year students, integrate the newest 1st year students into the program, prepare 2nd year students for the transition to rural communities for rotations, provide administrative support for the physicians, handle the aftermath of the recent entire office’s move, process paperwork including coordinating the new hire process, and a plethora of tasks that most of us will never know about. Throughout the semester, she was consistently cheerful, concerned about “her students”, mindful of “her physicians”, and conscientious about deadlines, data processing, and details that many overlook. Her moral compass was her guide as she exemplified the collaborative nature of serving others first. She was never too tired to take a call, answer a text, reply to an email, offer encouragement, share resources, or volunteer to train others as part of the larger Clinical Education team. When asked about her compassionate resolve and unrelenting resilience, she quietly and humbly says “Doing what my daddy raised me to do.”

Nominated by Ann Smith for Serve Others First


Dr. Mark Chassay – Office of the ProvostMark Chassay

Dr. Chassay is a consistent role model of team-based care. He is generous with encouragement, instruction and praise. Specifically related to COVID-19 vaccines, he used his extensive network and personal history of successful relationship building to acquire several hundred additional vaccines when HSC Health was not receiving responses to inquiries regarding supplies.
His commitment to the health of the entire community, all members of each clinic team and the individuals and families we serve, forms the foundation of his visionary leadership. He is a tireless champion of high=value care and deserves recognition for going above and beyond to serve others first.

Nominated by Bethlyn Gerard for Serve Others First


Julie Herrmann & Jill Jernigan – College of Pharmacy Student Experience and Academic ServicesJulie Herrmann And Jill Jernigan

COVID-19 presented some serious challenges to our class, but both Julie and Jill went above and beyond to help the first-years face these challenges head-on. As our class certified in immunizations and earned our privilege to be pharmacy interns in the fall, Jill empowered every single person in our class to have every bit of our applications together, making these milestones in a student pharmacist’s career a celebration. As we transitioned to the spring semester with the magnitude of employment and summer options knocking at our doors, Julie continuously connected students to opportunities that would promote our individual potential.
Last, no amount of words can quickly reflect on how much help Julie and Jill were at maintaining our mental health and confidence. Without exaggeration, the pandemic has challenged some in our cohort far greater than any human should have to bear, much less handle on top of pharmacy school. Whether it was coordinating student financial assistance, rescheduling an exam deadline, or connecting students to CARE Team resources, Julie and Jill treated our cohort with the utmost compassion and care. They are a key reason why our cohort has been able to survive this last year.

Nominated by Haley Barnes (on behalf of the College of Pharmacy’s Class of 2024) for Serve Others First


Dena Silva – INCEDODena Silva

Dena encourages her team to invest in up-and-coming technology like xAPI, which allows her team to capture online learner experiences from within the education. Because of this push towards integration, the department is now capturing data that would have been impossible a year ago and has begun to use it to improve the learner experience and improve her team’s ability to understand their learners better overall.

She is always the first to extend the olive branch of collaboration within her team and outside her team. Repeatedly, I have seen her ready and willing to break down barriers and institutional silos. Her aim is always building and creating something better.

As a supervisor, she makes us feel that we all have equal voices at the table and makes sure that we are heard and acknowledged for what we do. She values diversity and inclusion. She is the kind of leader who makes an effort to connect with her people and her efforts in learning about my country, culture, and tradition has only increased my admiration and respect for her.
She is probably the most transparent leader I have had. Whether the news is hard or vague, she does not take the easy way out with our team. Her actions with our team are transparent. She is willing to acknowledge the emotions of change AND encourage the opportunities.

It is rare to have a supervisor with such genuine compassion for the work that she does as well as for her co-workers. She has always supported our continued growth both on a personal and professional level providing encouragement along the way. She is always quick to congratulate and communicate your accomplishments with others. I look forward to our monthly one-on-one meetings because I value the open and honest feedback as well as the direction and vision that she provides. She constantly stays up to date on industry standards and shares that info with the team so that we can continue to provide the highest quality work in our field. She has fostered such a collaborative and comfortable environment within our team that I can honestly say that I have never had a better work family.

Nominated by Sujita Adhikari, Suzy Gardner, Stephen McBroom, Donnell McKenzie, Jennifer Parker, Andy Pottkotter, Brenda Wilson and Kelly Zarwell for Serve Others First, Integrity, Respect, Collaboration and Be Visionary