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Employee Appreciation

Employee Appreciation Week 2021

April 19, 2021 - April 23, 2021


Thank You

Our annual Staff Appreciation Luncheon has been changed to Employee Appreciation Week where we will recognize UD employees for all of the hard work, perseverance and teamwork they have shown through this not-so-normal year. Due to our COVID-19 protocols, we will celebrate together virtually with different events throughout the week.  Although we cannot be all together in person this year, we hope that through these events, we can come together as a community and celebrate what makes the University of Dallas a great place to work - YOU!

All faculty and staff are invited to participate in any of the activities below so mark your calendars for the events you want to attend!  Your name will be entered into a drawing for a $25 Amazon gift certificate for each live activity or event that you attend.  The more events you attend, the more chances you have at winning!  The winner will be announced by Tuesday, April 27, 2021. 

Update: the raffle winners have been drawn.  Congratulations Elizabeth Cerda and Jennifer Howard!  They have each won a $25 Amazon gift certificate.  

*Please note the webinars will be recorded and made available on this website for future viewing if you are unable to attend at the designated time.

Virtual Fun Run 
Future Employee Appreciation Weeks will include a UD Employee 5K around campus.  However, in keeping with COVID-19 protocols, this year will be a Virtual Fun Run. During this year's Employee Appreciation Week, we are asking employees to complete a 5K (3.1 miles) during one of the Employee Appreciation Days. 
Simply choose your location to run, walk, jog, or even hop on a treadmill to complete the 5k (3.1 miles) at your own pace. You can complete this Fun Run by yourself, with a UD colleague, family member, or quality time with your pet!
Virtual Fun Run Photo Contest   
Congratulations Dawn Westergard, Susan Lopez and Fanny Martin!  They will each receive a $25 Amazon gift certificate for their submissions for this year's fun run.  See all of the fun below:
Fun Run 1
Fun Run 2

Employee Appreciation Week is a great opportunity to send a special thank you to a colleague, a team member who made your day, or a supervisor who continues to lead your department to success. 


What's planned for the week?

Monday, April 19, 2021

12pm webinar: "Unleashing the Power of Praise through the Language of  Appreciation"  presented by J. Lee Whittington, Ph.D.

We all want to be appreciated for the contributions we make to our organizations, yet we each have our own "language of appreciation" and may not feel appreciated. In this workshop, J. Lee Whittington, Ph.D. will walk us through the "Language of Appreciation assessment" and provide practical insights for learning to express our appreciation and unleashing the power of praise in ways that ensure that people feel appreciated.  

All day: Virtual Fun Run 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

8am - 1pm: Biometric Screenings

The E-Health Screening testing includes Total Cholesterol, BMI, Glucose, Blood Pressure and Waist Circumference. You will be required to fast for at least nine (9) hours prior to your testing.


2:30pm webinar: "Mindful Meditation" presented by Shanti Douglas (sponsored by  Mutual of Omaha)

In our busy, "automatic pilot" lives, we may find that we crave opportunities to be mindful. In this program, participants will examine the focus of mindful meditation, define it, explore what it is and isn't, identify its benefits, discuss data that supports mindful meditation, and have an opportunity to experience it. 

*This presentation has already occurred.  Please click below for the recording.

Mindful Meditation - Recording

All day: Virtual Fun Run

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

12pm webinar: "Priorities for Sustainable Financial Well Being" presented by Bryan Jackson, CFP with Vision Point

Do you ever feel like you are spinning your wheels in terms of finances? 

Bryan Jackson, CFP, will be hosting a presentation focused on the 4 most important things that everyone, regardless of income level, needs to focus on in terms of their money in order to ensure long term financial health. 

4-4:15pm: Announcement of Staff Award winners

Nominations were taken for the following: New Employee Excellence Award, Innovation Award, Spirit Award, Outstanding Leader Award, and Best Team Award. Winners of each award will be announced.  Please see the Staff Award Winners section of this page to view this year's winners!


All day: Virtual Fun Run

Thursday, April 22, 2021


Service Award Reunion

Employees with 5, 10, and 15 years of service will be recognized by Dr. John Plotts.  These employees will share congratulations with colleagues who started on their journey as a UD employee at the same time. 

10am webinar: "Lightening your Life with Laughter" presented by Beth Pollack (sponsored by Mutual of Omaha)

Look at life in a way that takes some of the stress out of it. This informative and enjoyable workshop shares proven techniques for using laughter to reduce stress in your life. The history, practices and beliefs of this therapy as well as how to become more positive will be explored. This seminar reminds participants about the wonderful energizer called laughter and its many therapeutic benefits. 

Lightening Your Life Through Laughter - Recording

All day: Virtual Fun Run

Friday, April 23, 2021


Service Award Reunion

Employees who have 20, 25, 30, 35 and 55 years of service will be recognized by President Sanford.   These employees will share congratulations with  colleagues who started on their journey as a UD employee at the same time.

9am webinar: "Embracing Happiness" presented by Patricia Raskin (sponsored by Mutual of Omaha)

We have so many "things" at our disposal, but are we really happy? This seminar focuses on what it means to be happy and provides insight into what we need personally to live a happy, more satisfying life. 

Embracing Happiness - Recording

All day: Virtual Fun Run


 Service Year Awards

The employees in the categories below have reached an important work anniversary with the University of Dallas and will be recognized and thanked for their service by members of Administration in an invite only Zoom anniversary reunion. You can click on the years to see if any of your friends and/or colleagues will be recognized this year.

*Please note the Office of Human Resources used faculty and staff initial hire dates and calculated service years accrued for those who would have been recognized in 2020 and 2021.

5 years

Kathey Allen - Administrative Assistant

Rebecca Almanza - Director, Corporate & Community Partners

Laura Belyeu - Coordinator, Access Services

Zulma Benitez - Custodian

Renee Blackburn - Manager, Purchasing Systems

Shannon Blatt - Director, Office of Personal Career Development (OPCD)

Mark Boblitz - Custodian, Lead

Dr. Levente Borvak - Affiliate Assistant Professor of Physics

Joshua Briones - Adjunct Instructor, COB

Sheri Collier - Academic Advisor

Sr. Yolanda Cruz - Affiliate Instructor of Hispanic Ministry

Elizabeth Danielski - General Maintenance/Carpenter

Pete Eldridge - Custodian

Shelley Gayler-Smith - University Archivist

Benjamin Gibbs - Director, Student Activities (Rome)

William Kinney - General Maintenance Technician

Linda Landrum - Accountant II

Karen Molina - Custodian

Claudio Mora - Adjunct Instructor, SOM

Tasheena Mullins - Assistant Registrar, COB

Dr. Carmen Newstreet - Assistant Professor of Education

Christina Nguyen - Senior Career Advisor

Dr. Catherine Nolan - Affiliate Assistant Professor of Philosophy

J.D. Peavler- Specialist, AV Technology

Dr. Mark Peterson - Assistant Professor of History

Dr. Elizabeth Robinson - Assistant Professor of Classics

Dr. Lora Rodriguez - Physician/Director

Dr. Jonathan Sanford - President and Provost

Garrett Smith - Coach, Golf

LaCoya Williams - Associate Director of Human Resources

Nathan Yacovissi - Manager, Sports Information

10 years

Eugene Curtsinger - Safety Officer

Fr. Donald Dvorak - Chaplain Emeritus

Elizabeth Griffin - Assistant Vice President, Enrollment and Financial Aid

Dr. Sarka Malkova - Adjunct Instructor, Constantin

Jim McGovern - Director, Facilities

Dr. Jim Price - Adjunct Instructor, COB

Herbert Remidez - Associate Professor of Business Analytics

Dr. Irina Rodriguez - Affiliate Assistant Professor of Modern Languages

Elaine Sanford - Manager, Facilities Services

Ruchi Sheth - Chief Information Officer

Dr. Ellen Steinmiller - Associate Professor of Chemistry

Rachel Vaughan - Financial Aid Counselor, Lead

15 years

Dr. Sandra Blanke - Associate Professor of Cybersecurity

Oscar Carranza - Director, SOM Conference

Susan Cox - Associate Professor of Drama

Deborah Hathaway - Librarian, Acquisitions

20 years

Dr. Fernando Arellano - Adjunct Instructor, COB

Dr. Debra Baldwin - Associate Professor of English

Gary Barnes - Mechanic

Dr. Sri Beldona - Associate Dean, COB

Dr. Scott Boegeman - Assistant Professor of Chemistry 

Trang Crider - Lead Coordinator, Circulation

Karen Gempel - Administrative Assistant

Dr. Peter Hatlie - Vice President, Dean, and Director of the Rome Program

Kelly O'Neal - Manager, Conference & Event Services

Dr. Greg Roper - Associate Professor of English

Dr. Bernadette Waterman Ward - Associate Professor of English

Dr. J. Lee Whittington - Professor of Management

25 years

James Baird - Business Analyst

Patricia Chowdhury - Adjunct Instructor, COB

Jerry Haba - Director, Facilities

Rick Hayter - Director, IT

Dr. Theresa Kenney - Associate Professor of English

Agnello Mendes - Coordinator, COB

Betty Perretta - Director, Housing Operations

Tony Sanchez - Coordinator, Mail Services

Dick Strockbine - Athletic Director

Carlos Tijerina - Police Officer

30 years

Sheila Howard - Assistant Dean, COB Undergrad Programs

Sandra Morgan - Specialist, VA & Scheduling

Dr. John Norris - Associate Provost

35 years

Dr. David Davies - Associate Professor of English and Classics

55 years

Dr. Robert Dupree - Professor of English