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University announces December 2014 employees of the month

Thursday, January 29, 2015

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has announced the December 2014 Employees of the Month. They are as follows:

Name: Amber Wood

Start date: March 2013

Title: Administrative associate senior in Facilities Services

What that means: Wood provides administrative support for senior leadership within Facilities Services, which requires a high level of customer service, coordination of multiple activities and attention to detail in a demanding and diverse setting. Wood provides the administrative support that management needs to focus on its mission of delivering service to campus users.

Notable: With more than 400 employees within Facilities Services, tracking information departmentwide is a constant challenge. Wood has worked with management to develop a Master Roster for more efficient tracking purposes. Now leadership needs only to refer to this roster to determine who has been trained and certified on different equipment throughout the various units within the department. This particular endeavor has simplified and improved the training process. Scheduling and training was further complicated by the fact that Facilities Services is a 24-hour operation, with employees working multiple shifts. In the first year of the program, Wood scheduled 2,000 hours of training, across 48 different sections within the department, with every detail in place. Her attention to detail is valued and relied upon by the Facilities Services administration. When assigned a task, Wood takes ownership and runs with it. Wood also took the initiative to work with the campus computer center to develop basic computer courses for custodial staff that wanted to expand their computer skills. This training has served to improve the technology skills of employee’s departmentwide.


Name: Samantha Bishop Simmons

Start date: August 2010

Title: Communications coordinator with the Hall Center for the Humanities

What that means: In this role Simmons is responsible for the creation and dissemination of all print and electronic publicity generated by the Hall Center, including the annual report, the Communiqué newsletter, electronic bulletins and press releases. She writes synopses of all events and publicity copy, works closely with a graphic designer in creating print publications, designs electronic bulletin templates, serves as the Center’s web developer, designs and maintains the website, and oversees all social media accounts.

Notable: Since Simmons began with the Hall Center, the organization’s profile on campus has increased dramatically. Simmons developed new designs for both the Center’s Annual Report and Communiqué and worked with the graphic designer to enact the design changes. This was the first time these two publications had seen an update in at least a decade. Simmons also redesigned the layout and theme of the Hall Center’s weekly and monthly bulletins, which had not been updated since they were initiated five years ago. Her changes were not only to the design of the publications; Simmons has made the publications more interactive and a better representation of the Hall Center’s events and programs. In addition to Simmons’ work toward print publications, she took on sole responsibility for moving the Hall Center’s website to the new Drupal CMS platform. 

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