Monica Mercado awarded CIE’s 2011 TOP Award
Monica Mercado of the Thompson Conference Center was presented with a 2011 Truly Outstanding Performance (TOP) Award by Dean Judy Ashcroft at the CIE Fall 2011 Professional Development Day on August 15. The TOP Award recognizes staff members who have significantly improved customer service either within or outside the university, and significantly improved a business process or increased the efficiency of an operation or unit. In recognition of this award, Monica received a check for $500, two-days off that won’t count as vacation or sick days, and a lunch at the UT Club with her supervisor Pat Watson, director of the TCC, and Dean Ashcroft.
Among her many responsibilities, Monica’s important contributions to the launch and success of CIE’s Informal Classes program confirmed her selection for the TOP Award. Previously, the Informal Classes program was managed by the Texas Student Union. The program was closed by the university in February 2010 as being financially unsound. Due to remaining community interest in the program, CIE launched a new, streamlined version of the Informal Classes program in the fall 2010 semester. The new program was designed to offer some of the same courses, employ some of the same instructors, and introduce new, original programming. Monica’s duties at TCC expanded to include acting as Informal Classes Coordinator.
“Monica has been instrumental in assisting me with redesigning the operation of the Informal Classes program to provide an economically viable model to ensure the longevity of the program. She has been instrumental in coordinating programs necessary for the TCC to meet revenue objectives,” stated Pat Watson. “From course idea proposal submission, registration, rosters and reminders, instructor contracts, every component of the program operates in a different and, I believe, more efficient way.”
According to Pat, multiple instructors and students of the Informal Classes program have complimented Monica’s enthusiasm and have expressed appreciation that Monica is genuinely interested in their needs and feedback for improving the program. “Barbara Puett, who has taught for Informal Classes for over 20 years, routinely calls the office ecstatic at the success we’re having, and is so appreciative of how in such a short time CIE has revolutionized the operation of the program” remarked Pat.
Pat continued, “We are in a business environment where employee flexibility and ingenuity are at a premium and had Monica not stepped up in such a substantial way, not only would the program have not been launched or salvaged, TCC would not be expanding programming to meet revenue demands. The impact of the success of Informal Classes will be the introduction of new programs to buttress the financial health of the unit with the additional revenue streams. More importantly, it sets a great standard and example for other employees in the unit who will need to continue to evolve their roles in order to meet expectations of the unit and the university.”