Outstanding staff members recognized

May 3, 2012 | News, UToday
By Vicki L. Kroll

Seven employees were honored at the University’s 2012 Outstanding Staff Awards ceremony held last week in the Toledo Hilton Ballroom.

The event honored more than 20 nominees from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2415; the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 4319; the Professional Staff Association (PSA); and the UT Police Patrolman’s Association (UTPPA).

The top winners from the four groups each received $1,000. They were:


• AFSCME — Missy Johnson, a medical transcriptionist in UT Medical Center’s Radiation Oncology and a clerical specialist in Endoscopy. She has worked at the hospital for 23 years. “Missy is a pleasure to work with; she helps our department run smoothly. Whenever there is a need with updates, paperwork or any patient’s needs, she is willing to stop her routine and help in any area needed,” one nominator wrote. “On multiple occasions, I have seen Missy come away from her desk duties to offer a patient or family member a coffee or beverage following endoscopic procedures. She goes above and beyond every day to make our department a wonderful place to work.”


Roger “Chip” Lewis, physical therapy assistant in UT Medical Center’s Outpatient Rehabilitation. He has worked at the University for 17 years. “As a physical therapy assistant, he has been committed to offering excellent care. He always maintains a positive attitude and is always giving of his time,” a nominator wrote. “He has become the outpatient clinic’s go-to guy for many of our machines or to concoct a creative new device to meet the needs of our patients. There are even instances where Chip has built equipment to maximize our gym space. He does this on his own time with his own resources.”


• CWA — Ruth Ann Easterwood, secretary in the Educational Foundations and Leadership Department in the Judith Herb College of Education, Health Science and Human Service. She has worked at UT since 1992. “Ruth Ann is the epitome of loyalty and support. Due to budget cuts, she was asked to cover two departments and divide her time. Ruth Ann did so with a healthy attitude and without sacrificing the quality of service extended to students in both departments,” one nominator wrote. “She is a plethora of information and does not hesitate to pitch in and help when someone gets into a bind and needs extra care. Ruth Ann by nature is a caregiver. She is knowledgeable, kind and cares not because she has to, but because she wants to care.”


Tamara Phares, instructional laboratory coordinator in the Bioengineering Department in the College of Engineering. She joined the UT staff in 2000. “Tammy is clear and patient in explaining procedures to undergraduate students in the laboratory. She is also conscientious and prompt in passing on experimental results to me for distribution to the students,” one nominator wrote. “Tammy has an extensive knowledge base of experience in microbiology, tissue culture, molecular biology, laboratory management and experimental design that is of significant value to our students and faculty. She maintains a very positive and professional attitude with the students and faculty. I find it very refreshing to work with her because she is not daunted by any difficulties that we encounter in the laboratories.”


• PSA — Dr. Vickie Kuntz, director of the Engineering Career Development Center in the College of Engineering. She has worked at the University since 1996. “Vickie is the founding director of the program and is credited with creating relationships with thousands of employers who form partnerships with our students, who are paid a salary, which they use to pay their tuition, fees and books the following semester. The mandatory cooperative education program, one of eight in the country, allows literally thousands of students to graduate and leave the College of Engineering in no debt due to the financial stability the program brings to each student,” one nominator wrote. “Vickie does this not as part of her job, but because she has a deep appreciation for our students.”


Traci McDaniel, assistant to the chair of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. She has worked at UT since 2006. “Traci has completely modernized our system for teaching and interacting with second-year medical students. She now files and updates all our course schedules, creates and updates policies as necessary, and produces lecture materials and exam questions digitally and securely in a searchable fashion. She also has created and maintained our web-assisted elective courses for fourth-year medical students,” one nominator wrote. “Our students just love her for her cheerful personality and highest level of professionalism.”


• UTPPA — Sgt. Dan Protsman, a member of the UT Police Department since 2002 who was promoted to his current rank in 2011. “Sgt. Protsman leads by example. He wants everyone to do a good job, and he works hard to make sure the officers on his shift have the tools they need to do their job. He acts as a mentor and coach to make sure the officers feel supported in their duties and steps in when he is needed,” one nominator wrote. “Sgt. Protsman has spearheaded an objective to improve the professional look and feel of the UT Police uniforms. He strengthened our communication and contacts with the Toledo Police Department, as well as reached out to community members to maintain UT in a positive light.”

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