The University of Texas at Austin employs approximately 1,600 nonteaching staff members. Every year, the President’s Staff Awards program selects 30 staff members for the Outstanding Staff Award, in recognition of their "outstanding contributions to the continuing success of the university.”
Since the Dana Center is all about mathematics, we know that 30 out of 1,600 is a small fraction indeed.
So we are thrilled to announce that for the first time, a Dana Center employee, Erica Moreno, has received this award.
Erica, who graduated from UT Austin with a BA in radio, television, and film, came to work at the Dana Center in May 2006 as an administrative associate for the Online Services team. In March of this year, she moved into a new position at the Dana Center as a program coordinator for the Community College Mathematics Pathways program.
In her nearly five years at the Dana Center, Erica has impressed everyone who has worked with her. This year, nearly a dozen of her impressed colleagues—including her former supervisor, Online Services team lead Kathi Cook, other Online Services team members, and employees across the Dana Center who have had the pleasure of working with her—took it upon themselves to nominate her for the staff award.
The award guidelines stipulate that nominees for the Outstanding Staff Award must exhibit outstanding dedication, competence, conscientious performance, excellent customer service, or ingenuity and make a significant impact on the University.
According to those who nominated her, Erica exhibits all these traits. Grants and contracts specialist Eduardo Vela’s nomination for Erica noted that she “has made every attempt to streamline the way we get things done . . . She is a highly efficient employee, as well as a communicative one. Not only is she always willing to help others, she is a person who will ask for help when it is needed.”
Academic Youth Development program coordinator Brian Newsom wrote that “Erica has been exceptional in supporting myself and others in carrying out our daily responsibilities . . . she is my go-to person when I need to get things done.”
Erica’s former supervisor Kathi Cook summed it all up: “Since the day Erica walked into the Dana Center, she has contributed to the work and the life of the center and we are incredibly fortunate to count her as our colleague and as our friend.”
Erica reports that she was “completely taken by surprise” when she learned she had received the award. “I am very appreciative—thank you for the recognition, Dana Center!”
Erica will receive her award at the President's Staff Awards ceremony on May 13 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Texas Union Ballroom. The award comes with a $1,500 honorarium. Erica reports that so far she hasn’t made any concrete decisions on how the money will be spent, but “I’m foreseeing shoes for me and the kiddo [daughter Anaís]."