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Join Women In Bio’s Baltimore Meet-Up on Jan. 24

Women In Bio is hosting its first Baltimore meet-up of 2018 on Jan. 24, 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., at the University of Maryland BioPark.

Women In Bio is an organization of professionals committed to promoting careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship of women in the life sciences. The Baltimore meet-ups are a way to hold meetings, networking events, etc., in the area throughout the year.

The BioPark is located at 801 W. Baltimore St.  Parking is available on the street or at Garage One.

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Karen Underwood Collaboration, Community Service, Education, People, USGAJanuary 17, 20180 comments
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‘Live Near Your Work’ Benefits Touted as Improved Program Kicks Off

Bill Joyner, MSW ’14, coordinator in UMB’s Office of Community Engagement, knows a thing or two about living and working in Baltimore, so he’s a compelling advocate for the University’s improved Live Near Your Work (LNYW) Program.

Joyner, speaking as a panelist at the LNYW Program’s employee kickoff event Jan. 11 at the SMC Campus Center, extolled the virtues of owning a home in a neighborhood adjacent to campus, describing the commuting, community, and financial benefits he has experienced as a resident of first Hollins Market and now Union Square.

“I’ve been in the area a long time, and I highly recommend living there,” Joyner told a crowd of 60-plus UMB employees. “Your commute is minimized if not eliminated. I can be home in 10 minutes walking, and I don’t have to pay for monthly parking on campus. I also pay much less in housing now that I pay a mortgage instead of rent.

“There’s also something special about living on this side of MLK Boulevard near campus. You don’t just live close to work, you live in a real community where your neighbors actually know your name and you know their name. You get to know the people who own the businesses to and from work, and you stop in and say hello. And the time you had spent commuting, you get that back, and can spend it how you want, which is really important for work-life balance.”

Joining Joyner on the panel were Emily Kordish, benefits manager and LNYW Program coordinator, and representatives of three key community partners: Liz Koontz, employee outreach manager for Live Baltimore; Michael Seipp, executive director of the Southwest Partnership; and Matthew Gregory, program manager for GO Northwest Housing Center.

Before the panel took questions, UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, delivered opening remarks and Dawn M. Rhodes, MBA, chief business and finance officer and vice president, gave an overview of the revamped program, which they both see as a great opportunity for the University to help revitalize and stabilize Southwest Baltimore.

The program offers up to $18,500 in grants ($16,000 from UMB and $2,500 from the city of Baltimore) toward the purchase of a home in seven nearby neighborhoods: Barre Circle, Franklin Square, Hollins Market, Mount Clare, Pigtown/Washington Village, Poppleton, and Union Square. To qualify for the LNYW Program, one must be a regular full- or part-time (50 percent FTE or more) faculty or staff member who is in good standing, complete a homebuying counseling program, demonstrate creditworthiness, and contribute a minimum of $1,000 to the down payment.

Perman said he expects the University’s financial commitment will “change the game” compared with the former LNYW program’s $5,000 grant, which consisted of $2,500 apiece from UMB and the city.

“We’ve dramatically increased that number to $16,000,” Perman said. “I hope that these grants will help many of our employees who are first-time homebuyers and I hope it will make a difference in the community. It is a vibrant, shared community where there are multiple stakeholders. My dream would be to see many of you walking to and from work and to see you out at local restaurants and local shops.”

Perman introduced Rhodes, who walked the crowd through PowerPoint slides that detailed the program’s parameters and partnerships. She said the University’s initial $1.5 million commitment is expected to help 93 employees buy homes.

Rhodes said a requirement that an employee live in the house for at least five years was added to help fulfill the goal of community stabilization – “We don’t want employees flipping these homes; we want them living there,” Perman said — and she added that the onus was on employees to make sure their application is complete before submitting it to the city, which will disburse the grant funds.

Having said that, Rhodes explained that there will be many hands helping applicants navigate the road to homeownership.

“Do not at any point get overwhelmed,” she told the employees. “We have intentionally created partnerships with people who can provide you with answers to any question you have. This is an intricate process, but we’ve got the experts to help you get through it. We would not be here today without the collaboration of our community partners. These people are just as excited as we are about this program, because we’ve been working on this together for the last seven months.”

The panel fielded questions after Rhodes’ presentation, with Kordish describing UMB educational efforts such as Launch Your Life financial planning classes and the community partners discussing events they will be hosting in the coming months to support the LNYW Program.

Live Baltimore will host a trolley tour Jan. 27 that starts at the SMC Campus Center. The narrated tour (free to UMB employees) will take participants around local neighborhoods, including the ones that qualify for the LNYW Program, and features a lottery for an additional $5,000 incentive that can be stacked onto the UMB grant. “We’re really committed to the Southwest Baltimore neighborhoods,” Koontz said.

The Southwest Partnership, which organizes and promotes community-building and revitalization efforts, has scheduled a housing fair for March 24 at the UM BioPark. “We are going to bring together developers who are renovating houses, realtors, and brokers, and you will be able to walk through the door and basically be in the Macy’s of house shopping,” Seipp said. “You’ll be able to see between 50 and 70 houses — some already completed and others that are just shells.”

GO Northwest will host homebuying workshops at the SMC Campus Center on two upcoming Saturdays — Jan. 20 and Feb. 3. Completing the workshop is the first of a two-step process toward earning the homeownership counseling certificate required for program eligibility. The second step is a private homeownership counseling session, which you can sign up for during the workshop.

Ying Zou, PhD, associate professor and director of the Clinical Cytogenetics Lab at the School of Medicine, was gathering information at the kickoff event. She says she lives in Ellicott City, would like to cut down on her commute, and is intrigued by Hollins Market in particular.

“I always wanted to live close to my workplace to avoid traffic,” she said. “One of my best friends lives in Hollins Market. Sometimes we go there for pizza, sometimes we go to the market, sometimes they have art shows in the streets. It’s interesting, and there are a lot of activities in Southwest Baltimore.”

Jimmy Mszanski, MBA, assistant director at URecFit, also was soaking up the LNYW information, saying he was drawn by the idea of owning a home instead of renting and cutting down on his commute from Woodlawn.

“Living just outside of the city, there is traffic and things like that I don’t particularly like,” he said. “But living near work and living within the city, there are more things to do within walking distance, and that’s something that attracts me.”

— Lou Cortina

Learn more about the LNYW Program at its website, which includes application instructions, neighborhood testimonials, and more, and get a list of upcoming events here.

Click here for more coverage of the LNYW launch, and click here to watch a video of the Jan. 11 event.

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Lou CortinaCollaboration, Community Service, Global & Community Engagement, People, UMB News, University Administration, University LifeJanuary 16, 20180 comments
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Nursing’s Wiseman Leads Work Group in Revising State Nursing Articulation Plan

Rebecca Wiseman, PhD ’93, RN, associate professor and chair of the School of Nursing at the Universities at Shady Grove, served as project coordinator for the recently revised Maryland Nursing Articulation Plan. The original Maryland Nursing Articulation Plan, which dates back to 1985, set the stage for several other articulation plans in the state of Maryland.

“The articulation model serves as a road map for colleges and universities as they plan and provide academic progression models for registered nurses. It allows us to adequately address the barriers encountered by registered nurses as they continue their education, which is crucial as we strive to adhere to the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Future of Nursing recommended goal of 80 percent of registered nurses prepared at the Bachelor of Science level by 2020,” Wiseman said. “The revision to the Maryland articulation plan reflects the current practices in transfer of credits, prerequisite requirements, and dual-admission/dual-enrollment programs.”

Maryland is one of four states predicted to experience a shortage of 10,000 registered nurses or more by 2025. Through the Maryland Action Coalition (MDAC), formed in 2011 in response to the IOM report, the state has been promoting seamless academic progression to baccalaureate programs as a solution and top priority. In response, the dual-admission articulation model was created, allowing students to apply and be admitted to a Bachelor of Science (BSN) program while in an Associate Degree in Nursing program at a community college. These new approaches and commitments to academic progression models needed to be reflected in the articulation plan to assure consistency across colleges and universities.

In 2015, Wiseman solicited the Maryland Council of Deans and Directors of Nursing Programs (MCDDNP), currently chaired by Nina Trocky, DNP, RN, NE-BC, CNE, assistant professor and associate dean for the baccalaureate program at the UM School of Nursing (UMSON), to form a work group to review the articulation plan. Wiseman led the six-member group in discussing and revising the plan.

“Dr. Wiseman was instrumental in coordinating the Maryland Council of Deans and Directors of Nursing Programs to develop an articulation document that more accurately supports nursing education and, specifically, the attainment of the BSN,” Trocky said. “MCDDNP is committed to developing a competent nursing workforce who provides high-quality care to the citizens of Maryland. This revision minimizes barriers to academic progression, thereby supporting this goal.”

The work group presented a final draft of the revised articulation agreement to the MCDDNP in December 2016, and after review, a subgroup submitted recommendations to MCDDNP in February 2017. In May 2017, MCDDNP members voted on the revision, resulting in 100 percent acceptance. The Maryland Higher Education Commission endorsed the articulation agreement in November.

“Drs. Wiseman and Trocky are to be commended for their forward thinking and tireless efforts in actualizing the 2017 Maryland Nursing Education Articulation Agreement for the Maryland Higher Education Commission. MDAC has focused on ensuring that the state has a well-educated nursing workforce,” said MDAC co-lead Patricia Travis, PhD ’99, MS ’76, BSN ’69, RN, CCRP, senior associate director, clinical research, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Although the newly released HRSA report for 2014-30 projects that Maryland is no longer in danger of experiencing a shortage of registered nurses, the future is still uncertain. Promoting seamless academic progression is one strategy to meet Maryland’s upcoming nursing demands.”

The effort to revise the Maryland Nursing Articulation Plan was funded through grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AARP’s Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action State Implementation Plan IV and the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s Nurse Support Program II.

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Kevin Nash Bulletin Board, Education, People, UMB News, University Life, USGAJanuary 16, 20180 comments
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Broadening My Pharmacy Horizons in Australia

Reflections from a University of Maryland School of Pharmacy fourth-year student on his renal transplant rotation at a public teaching hospital abroad. Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

My fourth-year rotations have been incredibly fulfilling, helping to prepare me to take on the role as one of the most trusted members of the health care team upon graduation this spring. I was even fortunate enough to complete an international rotation from Nov. 6 to Dec. 8, 2017, in a renal transplant ward at The Royal Melbourne Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. The Royal Melbourne Hospital is one of Australia’s leading public teaching hospitals and is heavily engaged in clinical research.

Diving In, Headfirst

As soon as I arrived in Australia, I delved into the professional responsibilities of a renal transplant pharmacist who makes clinical recommendations for kidney transplant patients to an interprofessional team composed of nurses, physicians, dietitians, social workers, and clinical assistants. My mentors provided me with hands-on experience in medication therapy management, patient education, and interprofessional teamwork. Adhering to renal transplant medications can be a daunting endeavor for patients due to the dramatic increase in new medications and subsequent array of adverse effects. I helped educate patients about their new medications by concisely verbalizing dosing instructions at a level that matched each patient’s understanding, while also employing images from the medication chart. I also periodically asked my patients questions to better engage with them.

Outside of direct patient care, I helped manage immunosuppressant drug-drug interactions and monitored therapeutic medication levels, such as the concentration of tacrolimus (an immunosuppressant) in patients’ blood. My preceptor then adjusted each patient’s pharmacotherapy based on our analyses.

Gaining a New Perspective

Something that immediately stuck out to me during my experience was that none of the health care professionals wore white coats in the hospital. I eventually learned that white coats are not typically worn in hospitals throughout Australia, which is notably different from the United States. I appreciated this change because, from my view, normalizing white coats among a select few team members creates social barriers among professionals and patients. Although I have participated in hospital rotations where nearly all health care professionals donned white coats, patients were visibly distinguished as the only stakeholders not wearing white coats, which might hinder their propensity to build rapport with the professionals overseeing their care. I felt that the ubiquitous lack of white coats helped empower teammates and, most importantly, patients by mitigating social barriers to transparent communication.

The rotation also oriented me to the health care system of Australia. Australia provides universal access to a comprehensive range of clinical services, primarily funded through general taxation. “Medicare” is the term used when referring to the universal access to public hospitals and subsidized medical care. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Australian life expectancy is ranked higher than that of the United States, which suggests that Australia’s health care indicators are robust.

Considering an International Rotation?

Students applying for international rotations should plan ahead to achieve a fulfilling experience. Applicants should highlight pertinent leadership, professional, and volunteer experiences in their application. Accepted students should complete site requirements, such as blood testing, immunization records, background check, visa application, and housing plan, several weeks in advance, as instructed by the preceptor. Lastly, I recommend they consult with the UMB Center for Global Education Initiatives for International SOS travel assistance registration and financial aid resources.

An Experience to Remember

I believe that all students can benefit from participating in an international rotation, as the experience will help them develop new, informed perspectives in global health. Through my experience, I learned a lot about how pharmacists can engage with patients and other health care professionals as part of a specialized interprofessional renal transplant team. Ultimately, I am thankful that I had the opportunity to represent the UM School of Pharmacy on an international rotation.

– Mudit Verma, fourth-year student pharmacist

  
Mudit Verma Education, PeopleJanuary 12, 20180 comments
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The President’s Message

Check out the January issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on UM Ventures 2.0, an update on the Catalyst Campaign, the Snap! Photo Contest winners, the 2017 UMB crime report, a reminder about our Black History Month event on Feb. 1, and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

  
Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAJanuary 11, 20180 comments
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Leisure Reading Collection Available at HS/HSL

The Leisure Reading Collection offers an alternative to the Health Sciences and Human Services Library’s usual content.

The HS/HSL collection includes magazine subscriptions and a small, circulating collection of fiction and nonfiction material. The Leisure Reading Collection is located on the first floor of the library across from the Information Services Desk. The collection was generously donated by Dr. and Mrs. William J. Kinnard Jr.

If you have a suggestion for what you’d like to see in the Leisure Reading Collection, you can recommend a resource here.

  
Everly Brown Education, People, University LifeJanuary 8, 20180 comments
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Be Prepared Before Winter Weather

Are you prepared for a winter weather emergency? Did you know that all University of Maryland, Baltimore parking garages provide winter weather supplies?

Winter brings all sorts of driving headaches — snow, freezing rain, below-freezing temperatures, and slush, which all make the roads more hazardous. Bins are located in each UMB garage to make sure your vehicle is ready for the road. Supplies include ice scrapers, brake fluid, windshield wiper fluid, snow brushes, etc.

There are other things to keep in mind to keep safe during the winter. When the weather is bad, stay inside if possible. If you must go out, be sure to wear warm clothing and go slowly while walking or driving. To handle the hassle of winter driving and make your commute as safe as possible:

  • Always wear your seat belt and be sure children are using the proper restraint system for their age and size.
  • Use extra caution in areas that ice up quickly, especially bridges and overpasses. Other areas of primary concern include intersections and shaded areas.
  • Get in the habit of regularly checking weather reports on TV or online so you can prepare for bad weather.
  • Remember that on severe weather days, schools and workplaces might close or delay opening.

Keep an emergency kit in the trunk of your car and, at a minimum, include the following:

  • Blankets
  • First aid kit
  • Water
  • Portable phone charger
  • Jumper cables

When you leave the house each morning, make sure your cellphone is fully charged and that your car always has at least a half tank of gas.

Tips and data courtesy of Nationwide.

  
Dana RampollaPeople, University LifeJanuary 3, 20180 comments
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Free Workshops Offered This Spring at HS/HSL

The Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) offers a variety of free workshops to faculty, students, and staff.

The spring semester’s topics include:

  • Communicating with patients
  • Citation management (RefWorks or EndNote)
  • Introduction to conducting systematic reviews
  • Creating effective presentations using PowerPoint
  • Finding research literature using PubMed
  • Imaging informatics

For the full schedule and registration information, click here.

  
Emily Gorman Bulletin Board, Education, People, Research, TechnologyJanuary 2, 20180 comments
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HS/HSL Announces Spring Hours

Here are the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) hours for the spring semester:

Early Spring: Jan. 2 to Jan. 15

Monday to Thursday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Exception to regular hours:
Closed Monday, Jan. 15, for Martin Luther King Jr. holiday

Regular Spring: Jan. 16 to April 30

Monday to Thursday, 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.*
Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday, 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Exception to regular hours:
Closed Sunday, April 1, for Easter holiday

Early morning hours for UMB students:

Between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., Monday through Friday, enter through the SMC Campus Center with your UMB ID or UMMC ID. Library services and access to classrooms begin at 8 a.m.

*Floors 3, 4, and 5 and library services close at 10 p.m. From 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., Floors 1 and 2 are for those with a current UMB ID, UMMC ID, or USM campus ID. Visitors and those with library memberships may not enter the building after 8 p.m. and must leave the building by 10 p.m.

  
Everly BrownEducation, People, University LifeJanuary 2, 20180 comments
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Lamy Center Names Inaugural Group of Champions

The Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy has named five renowned practitioners in the field of geriatric health care to its inaugural Lamy Champions coalition. Through their work as Lamy Champions, these individuals will help the center advance its mission to improve drug therapy for aging adults, disseminating best practices for the care of older adults, developing innovative educational offerings to empower older adults and caregivers in the community, and providing high-quality continuing education offerings to health care professionals in the field.

“Faculty and staff at the Lamy Center are excited to embark on this new initiative to make a special, significant, and influential impact on the care of geriatric patients across the state of Maryland,” says Nicole Brandt, PharmD, MBA, BCPP, BCGP, FASCP, professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) and executive director of the Peter Lamy Center. “Our Lamy Champions have been celebrated for their expertise and passion for advancing the pharmacy profession in caring for older adults, and we are eager to learn from their leadership and experience as we work together to improve drug therapy for aging adults.”

Introducing the Champions

The Lamy Champions coalition features a diverse group of interprofessional health care practitioners who provide specialized geriatric care in various practice settings. These individuals have demonstrated sustained service to a geriatric-focused clinical practice, displayed leadership in the area of geriatrics, and currently serve as preceptors for the Experiential Learning Program (ELP) or Lamy Center postgraduate training programs at the School of Pharmacy. Their activism on the practice and advocacy levels has been critical to advancing the role of the pharmacist and interprofessional teams across Maryland and beyond.

Appointed by the center’s executive team, the inaugural members of this year’s Lamy Champions coalition are:

  • Michelle A. Fritsch, PharmD, BCGP, BCACP, founder and president, Meds MASH, LLC
  • Joshana K. Goga, PharmD, BCPP, clinical pharmacy program manager, Sheppard Pratt Health System
  • Jessica W. Merrey, PharmD, MBA, BCPS, BCACP, BCGP, clinical pharmacy specialist, Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Stephanie M. Ozalas, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, long-term care clinical pharmacy specialist, VA Maryland Health Care System
  • Avra Thomas, PharmD, FASCP, division director of pharmacy services, Sava Senior Care Consulting, LLC

Moving the Mission Forward

Lamy Champions will collaborate with the center’s faculty and staff on a wide range of research, education, and clinical initiatives; participate in interprofessional networking events; and pursue professional portfolio development through new consulting, leadership, and advocacy opportunities. Practitioners will participate in a minimum of two activities sponsored by the Lamy Center, collaborate with providers in other professions to help advance the center’s mission, and attend Champion meetings.

“Serving on the coalition not only provides practitioners with direct access to the expertise and resources of the Lamy Center, but also offers many opportunities for them to pursue professional growth, including access to continuing education programs, mentorship for promotion, and leadership opportunities,” says Chanel Whittaker, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, FASCP, associate professor in PPS and director of education and training for the Lamy Center. “We look forward to collaborating with these individuals on the development of new, innovative clinical and educational initiatives that will improve geriatric care for patients and further support the need for provider status for pharmacists in Maryland.”

The Lamy Center hosted its first Champions Meeting on Aug. 24, during which the seven practitioners were officially recognized and installed as members of the new Lamy Champions coalition.

If you would like to nominate a health care professional you know to serve as a Lamy Center Champion, contact Chanel Whittaker, PharmD, BCPS, CGP, FASCP, at 410-706-5535 or cwhittaker@rx.umaryland.edu.

  
Malissa CarrollClinical Care, People, UMB NewsDecember 18, 20170 comments
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Ward Given Five-Year, $2.6 Million Grant by National Institutes of Health

Chris Ward, PhD, associate professor, University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), has been awarded a five-year, $2,589,060 grant from the National Institutes of Health for the research project “Microtubule Regulated Mechanotransduction in Skeletal Muscle.” This research project builds upon Ward and his team’s previous work investigating Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

DMD is a devastating, degenerative muscle disease caused by a mutation in the dystrophin gene, resulting in the absence or reduction of the dystrophin protein. Through this disease, muscle becomes fragile and easily damaged, which predisposes the patient to muscle loss and respiratory and cardiac dysfunction, leading to premature death.

“Currently there is no genetic cure for DMD. Until effective genetic therapies become available, we are focusing on identifying dysregulated pathways responsible for disease progression,” Ward said. “Our ultimate goal is to design pharmacological interventions to halt or slow the progression of DMD.”

Through examining DMD heart and skeletal muscle, Ward and his team have discovered that alterations in microtubules lead to an excess of calcium and reactive oxygen signals that are responsible for disease pathology. The NIH grant will enable the team to define the mechanisms that alter the microtubules in DMD muscle and determine if pharmacological strategies targeting microtubules are effective in treating this devastating disease.

  
Kevin NashBulletin Board, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University LifeDecember 15, 20170 comments
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Dream Employee Gets Second Chance and Award

Eric Cooper, an accounting clerk III in the Office of Operations and Maintenance, thought he was attending a team-building meeting recently when UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, walked in the room to present him the Employee of the Month award for December.

“This is not about team-building, this is about you,” Perman said. “You know what it says here about you? It says you are the type of employee whom every supervisor dreams of — hard-working, attentive, friendly, ambitious, kind, a valuable teammate. … Accountability is one of our core values and you are showing it.”

Cooper said he was surprised when Perman walked in the room after the Dec. 12 ceremony. “I’ve seen Dr. Perman in The Elm and on the website, but to actually meet him and have a conversation with him, that’s cool.”

Cooper was nominated for the award by his supervisors, Scott Versteegh, manager of Supply Services, and Nicole Miskimon, associate director of Facilities Management.

Cooper began working for the University in 2013 but left in 2015 to pursue another opportunity. Just days into his new position, he regretted the decision to leave UMB. When his contract ended sooner than expected and he emailed Miskimon asking to use her as a reference, she immediately texted him and asked him to call — there was an opening. He came back in a different position but soon moved back to his old desk after someone else left, he explained.

“When I got back here, I told [Miskimon], ‘I’m not going away,’ ” he said. He enjoys his job and said he feels like he has even more to offer.

As an accounting clerk, Cooper is responsible for purchasing needed maintenance supplies and following through with those orders. According to the nomination, Cooper consistently goes the extra mile to meet his goals and goes above and beyond what is expected of him. He offers to help technicians carry their materials across campus and helps his co-workers in the office when they get behind. He even picks up trash off the street before and after work and helps direct lost students, patients, and confused truck drivers.

“Eric has the ability to talk with everyone and make them laugh — his demeanor keeps the workplace pleasant even when the days can be monotonous at times,” his supervisors wrote in their recommendation.

Cooper says he gets his people skills from his side job — on the weekends, he’s a barber at Mel’s Clip Joint in Essex. He’s been a licensed barber for six years and has been cutting hair since he was 16. At one point, he was a full-time barber but needed steadier work and better health insurance, he said. He’s working on getting his master barber license and hopes to own his own shop one day.

In the meantime, he’s glad to be at UMB.

“Getting that second chance really made a big difference in the way I come to work,” he said. “I set my goals pretty high coming back. … I want to learn as much as I can.”

Getting this award made his month, Cooper said. His mother died last year and it’s hard around the holidays, he admitted. But the award, and the $250 that comes with it, helped.

“My mom was my hardest critic. I did everything I could under the sun to make her proud,” he said. “She’s looking down now with a smile on her face, probably tearing up. This made me feel good.”

— Betsy Stein

  
Betsy SteinPeople, UMB News, University LifeDecember 15, 20170 comments
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