Financial Aid Counselor, Student Affairs
Kristi Wolfe constantly improves processes so students will have easy access to scholarship applications in a timely way.
Since she arrived on campus in 2010, she has lived the Be Visionary Value, moving the scholarship process from an in-house manual process to a software called Academic Works. This has made the scholarship application easier for students. It also allows the Financial Aid office to post opportunities for external scholarships in the same place. This helps students see more easily what may be available to them.
Wolfe’s nominator says she also is a master collaborator, working closely with Institutional Advancement and the Scholarship Committee to make sure that students have access to scholarship dollars. She works hard to gather all necessary information to make the application available in early December, giving students three months to complete it. This past December, technical issues cropped up, but she pushed through to make sure students had access in early December.
Wolfe communicates and collaborates with Advancement throughout the year to make sure scholarship information is accurate. Scholarships’ legality is an important piece, and Wolfe ensures that she gets credible memoranda of understanding so there are no glitches. She also makes sure that the funds available in the Academic Works system reflect the information Advancement has provided to her.
She recommended using Academic Works to house our scholarship application. Not only has it worked out very well, but Wolfe also attends the Academic Works conference each year to make sure she is using the software to its full capability. The Academic Works people regularly tell her that she suggests innovations, helping them improve their product.
Wolfe makes it a top priority to keep the scholarship process as simple and efficient as possible for the Financial Aid Office, Advancement, and the student.
Nominated by Cathy Sanchez
Vice President of Operations
Parking in Lot 5 (east garage) became a serious issue during construction of the Interdisciplinary Research and Education Building. Several construction crew members purchased parking permits, and others were parking in the garage without permits. Many drive trucks with extended cabs or beds, which are difficult to see around or to maneuver around in the garage’s tight confines. The construction crew arrives just before 7 a.m., so spaces were occupied before our workday starts.
To solve the problem, Jason Hartley contacted the City of Fort Worth and made alternate arrangements for the construction crew to park just off campus instead of in the east garage. He communicated the new arrangement to the UNTHSC Police, and worked with the construction company to tell its crew members.
Hartley lived the Values. He Served Others First by tending to a concern that makes the start of the workday or school day much more smooth. Although he handles more-critical issues, he made time for this one.
He lived the Value of Respect by taking seriously one of the most common complaints among students and staff. On our campus, like most college campuses, there is very little that can be done to address the issue and people often feel unheard when they voice this concern, but Hartley took the time to find a solution. He lived the Value of Collaboration: Making these arrangements required some political finesse with the city, construction company and campus police in order to maintain strong working relationships with all. And he was Visionary in creatively arriving at a solution.
Nominated by Carla Lee Johnson
Director of Development-Major Gifts, Institutional Advancement
Mark Hughes’ nominator says, “What he’s accomplished in just over a year is deserving of a lifetime achievement award.”
Hughes joined the Institutional Advancement team in the fall of 2016 as the major gifts officer, bringing more than 20 years of fundraising experience. His nominator said that he helped amp up the department’s innovation and passion.After taking time and care to thoroughly review the notes left by his predecessors, he developed a comprehensive plan to pursue several different avenues, including alumni, community members and founding faculty.
One of the prospects he uncovered was a lapsed planned giving donor, Peggy Schooler, who, along with her late husband Joe, had indicated they wished to leave their future estate to UNTHSC. However, there had been no contact with the Schoolers for eight years, so Hughes wasn’t sure what kind of response he would receive.
Undaunted, Hughes forged on. After weeks of phone calls and emails, he finally arranged a meeting to reconnect with Mrs. Schooler and confirm her wishes for the planned gift. Sadly, less than two months later, Mrs. Schooler unexpectedly passed away. The executor of her estate contacted Mark immediately. A probate attorney, the executor and Hughes began to sort out the details of the gift and how it would be disbursed. With persistence and professionalism, Hughes was able to turn a non-binding, long-ignored pledge, previously deemed a lost opportunity, into one of the largest non-research gifts ever received in our university’s almost 50-year history.
UNTHSC will soon establish the Dr. Joe and Peggy Schooler Endowed Chair in Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics as well as student scholarships in the same field. As monumental as this accomplishment is, it’s but one example of how Hughes routinely exemplifies our values, which he takes very seriously.
He acted with integrity in working with Mrs. Schooler and talking through the specifics of her estate gift. He also embraced the fiduciary responsibility inherent in stewarding the Schoolers’ large planned gift, which required attending to many internal details as well as legal aspects. He carefully read and re-read the Schoolers’ will, did his own research, and regularly sent updates to ensure everyone involved was informed during the probate process.
Hats off to Mark Hughes!
Nominated by Marla Morris