McCombs Employees Honored Among Best on Campus
McCombs employees took three of the 2012 UT Staff Awards this year. Trent Thurman and Caroline Walls won Outstanding Staff Awards, and Shelley Nix was one of only two Oustanding Supervisor Award winners. The trio collected their honors from President William Powers at a May 4 ceremony.
Hear what the colleagues who nominated each of them had to say about what make Shelley, Trent, and Caroline such top-notch staffers.
Director, Business Honors Program (BHP)
Outstanding Supervisor Award
Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Business, Government and Society
Faculty Director, BHP
"When I first became Faculty Director, I heard her employees refer to Shelley as the 'BBE.' I quickly learned that this was short for 'Best Boss Ever.' Shelley has worked for the BHP for approximately 13 years. She has been the Staff Director of the BHP program for approximately seven of those years. We believe that BHP delivers the best undergraduate business education in the nation and, indeed, its quality, scope, and profile have grown since Shelley was promoted to director. The bottom line is that Shelley acts as the ultimate arbiter of all things BHP."
"She is able to be the decision maker, yet still remains open-minded to the opinions and inputs of others. She is absolutely professional, yet relates to her staff on a personal level. She is, in conclusion, hands down the best leader and/or supervisor that I have ever worked with, but more importantly, is also the best role model and mentor, as well."
Assistant Director, Corporate Relationship Management
Former BHP Admissions Coordinator
"Shelley is the reason BHP has continued to be one of the most prestigious undergraduate programs in the country. She gives her staff the confidence and encouragement to have autonomy in their position, but she also is always willing to listen and give advice if you are struggling on a project. I can honestly say that Shelley Nix was the reason for my professional growth in higher education."
Assistant Director of Development
"I have been loosely involved with BHP for a decade and intimately involved with it for more than a year. I have literally never heard anyone—staffer or student—say anything about Shelley that was not positive. No one is neutral about Shelley. You either love her or you love her. Period. She definitely deserves this award. It is overdue."
Senior Admininstrative Associcate
Department of Information, Risk, and Operations Management
Outstanding Staff Award
"She has always be very helpful, friendly, and efficient. In addition, she is very bright and creative as a problem solver for us, coming up with new solutions to administrative issues and conflicts that save time and frustration for all concerned. Caroline is one of those wonderful staff personel who simply want to know the problem, so that she can solve it, rather than asking for specific directions and doing no more and no less than she might have been told."
John Clinton Tuttle
"I am a new professor at McCombs and thankfully my transition into the university and college of business has been extremely easy due to the hard work of Caroline Walls. Caroline has kept in touch with me to ensure I understand the policies, timelines, the procedures, etc...that are involved with being a quality professor. She has managed everything from Coop textbooks, exam prep, course packet creation and orders, course evaluations, and more. Without her support and direction I would have been lost."
"I have worked with her on organizing multiple, complex MIS BBA and IM MBA events, and Caroline displays considerable forethought and inegnuity in doing whatever it takes to get the job done. She has an outstanding ability to look at business processes and improve them, a mark of top quality in any employee. Additionally, Caroline creates a great culture in the IROM office. The office is covered, work is done smoothly and quickly, and the staff has fun along the way. This positive atmosphere contributes to a great department, and shows itself in service to student customers as well."
"Caroline is the absolute BEST staff person I have ever worked with. She is constantly going out of her way to help all of the faculty. She is always willing to stop what she is doing to help me, even if it is something as big as planning a major event or as silly as unjamming the copier. Her knowledge of how to get things done in the UT Bureaucracy is superb - she can always manage to get things pushed through the process, even when my poor planning has put me behind. She is a fantastic mentor for newer staff - she is patient, kind and always smiling."
Director, Working Professional MBA Programs
Outstanding Staff Award
"Trent Thurman's 'Open Door Policy' is the perfect example of the most valuable leadership tool that any supervisor could possibly extend to their colleagues, current students or prospective students. He is constantly making himself available to our students who may need counsel or may have concerns or questions. Trent communicates to students that 'the will to excel with integrity and the spirit that nothing is impossible' is the path that they should follow. Trent's ever present positive attitude motivates creativity and innovation within the department. He always approaches a problem with the idea that no matter what the situation there must be a way to facilitate success. He encourages members of his staff and others to set goals and find ways to achieve them especially in the area of professional development."
"Trent exhibits unwavering commitment to students with weekly 'office hours' at coffee shops in different areas of the city. He invites students on weekly runs on Town Lake to further his ability to get candid feedback on the state of the program and provide a networking opportunity for TEMBA students. Having completed my undergrad at UT, I have now had the privilege of 7 combined years of education with UT. No person has stood out more or made a greater impression on me than Trent."
"Trent is the face and heart of the TEMBA program. He makes it a home for all of us in more ways than can be described here. As a graduating MBA, Trent will be my link back to the program and to the University."
"He doesn't come across as someone who sees his job as work; you can tell right away he's doing this because he loves it. His dedication to the staff and faculty is very evident and one of the big reasons why this program is as successful as it is today."