The Employee of the Year award recognizes three outstanding UNLV classified staff employees that go above and beyond and contribute an extra something to the UNLV community. Nominees are scored on their concern for the university/department, job performance, attitude, and other relevant criteria. The award committee also annually awards the Classified Rookie of the Year. Each received a plaque as well as monetary awards ranging from $250 to $1,000.
Read more about the winners below.
Classified Employee of the Year
Facilities Manager, Landscape, Grounds, and Arboretum
Rebel since: 1985
What you do: Ensure the appearance of the campus is kept to a high standard. I also coordinate activities and requests on campus grounds with various departments and design and install turf conversions.
Biggest challenge: Bringing the intramural field back into playing condition after the National Finals Rodeo. It involves changing more than 70 irrigation heads, fixing mainline breaks, valve damage, cleaning the manure off the field, and much more.
Proudest accomplishment: Personally, having my son. Professionally, taking 1st and 2nd place in the 2009 Southern Nevada Water Authority's landscape design competition, and receiving the Grand Award from the Professional Grounds Management Society.
What is something about your job that few people realize? I design all of the campus's turf conversions. My favorite conversion was the one southwest of CBC, because it combined xeriscape with sidewalk and areas where students can sit and study.
What can people do to make your job easier? Use the trash receptacles on campus. Don't clean your cars in the parking lots, throwing trash on the ground.
If I weren't at my job... I'd be serving my county in the United States Marine Corps. I was in the Marine Corps for four years, stationed in Okinawa, Japan.
First job? In high school during summer break I worked in an air conditioning shop. I once cut my finger in a fan, learning the hard way about the importance of workplace safety.
People would be surprised to know: I care about animals. I save numerous dogs, cats, and even the ducklings on campus when they hatch and are not near a water location. I also save the baby birds that fall out of their nest in the spring. I find homes for the dogs and take the kittens to a no-kill shelter for adoption. I take the baby birds to a veterinary clinic where they are cared for until they can be set free.
Classified Employee of the Year, Second Place
Administrative Assistant III, Economics Department
Rebel since: 2000
What you do: Manage the department of economics and real estate.
Why UNLV? As an alumna who graduated in 1999 with a degree in health care administration, UNLV is very important to me.
What do you like about working here? I enjoy working autonomously and determining how to prioritize tasks to meet deadlines.
Can't work without: My computer and typewriter. Yes, I still use one!
What can people do to make your job easier? Listen when someone answers your question. You may not like the answer, but they are trying to guide you on the right path.
Tip for a new employee: Don't be afraid to ask questions.
First job? I worked in a department store where I learned how to deal with people. It doesn't matter what the job is, you have to work with and for people.
People would be surprised to know: I spent 24 years, 9 months, and 4 days in the Army and retired as a master sergeant. My favorite stations were Hawaii and Okinawa, Japan.
If I weren't at my job... I would spend time traveling and quilting. I would like to go to Australia, New Zealand, and Alaska. These are places I have wanted to see and I was never stationed there.
Stress reliever: Quilting. I spend time every day doing something related to quilting. I am a member and the program coordinator of the Vegas Quiltin Bees. We support charities such as the St. Jude Ranch in Boulder City, Project Hope, and Susan G. Komen. We are making quilts for veterans returning from combat with injuries to send to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. We also teach a children's class at the Hollywood Recreation Center to foster the love of quilting in the younger generation.
Classified Employee of the Year Third Place
Administrative Assistant III, Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences
Rebel since: 2003
Perfect day: Rising early and taking my dog for a walk before going to work.
Why you do what you do: I am a people person and love working with the faculty, staff, and students.
Why UNLV? After working in the casino industry for more than 20 years, I wanted a change.
Biggest challenge: Finding enough time in the day to get everything done.
Proudest accomplishment: This award.
Something about your job that few people realize: Nutrition sciences is not just about food, it is about the science of how things breakdown in the body and how they affect the body.
If I weren't at my job...I'd be traveling with my husband around the United States and Canada.
Tip for a new employee: Go to as many of the campus classes related to the various systems and policies as you can. There is so much to learn. [Find out more about UNLV's professional development classes.]
First job? I worked as a receptionist for the Easter Seal Society where I learned compassion for others.
Pet peeve: Unreturned phone calls.
People would be surprised to know: I have 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Stress reliever: Reading mystery books and cooking Italian and Mexican cuisine.
Classified Rookie of the Year
Dispatcher III, Police Services
Rebel since: 1997, including part-time work as a student. He has worked full time for police services since 2006.
What you do: Receive, organize, and distribute information in a timely manner. This includes everything from incoming and outgoing telephone calls to ensuring officer safety in the field. As part of a small department, we also are assigned other duties; mine include working with the student security program.
Perfect day: A day with few calls for assistance and being able to work on and complete a significant project.
Can't work without: Coffee and a McDonald's cinnamon melt.
Biggest challenge: Focusing on finishing my degree in business management.
Something about your job that few people realize: Our dispatch unit operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to handle any and all concerns for a community that includes three Nevada System of Higher Education institutions. We serve more than 73,000 students and more than 5,000 employees.
What can people do to make your job easier? Have a little more patience and understanding. Know that we only ask questions in order to organize information and send the proper response.
First job? During high school, I worked at Haagen Dazs, which taught me the importance of responsibility.
Pet peeve: Condescending attitudes and repetitive questioning.
People would be surprised to know: I'm an identical twin.
Stress reliever: Eating some dessert. My favorite is tres leches cake.