Five dentistry employees win 2015-16 Superior Accomplishment Awards

On March 28, five University of Florida College of Dentistry employees received 2015-16 Superior Accomplishment Awards which recognizes faculty and staff who have shown efficiency or economy in their work, have contributed outstanding and meritorious service, or who have improved the quality of life provided to students and employees. Each winner was nominated by supervisors, peers or customers who wrote glowing letters of recommendation on their behalf. Dentistry had two winners in “Employee Category 1 for Clerical/Office Support,” Sarah K. Bowser and Martha E. Pennock Schaub who are both program assistants in the Office of Admissions. In “Employee Category 4 for Administrative/Supervisory,” the college had three winners: Tammy E. Lee, an office manager in the School of Advanced Dental Sciences; Mary F. Taylor, a financial assistance counselor in the department of oral and maxillofacial science; and Michelle Watson, an administrative assistant in the department of restorative dental sciences.

Each winner received cash awards of $200, a framed certificate and a commemorative coffee mug, and are entered into university-level awards, which offer eight $1,000 and six $2,000 cash prizes. The March 28 awards banquet at the Wyndham Garden Gainesville honored our winners and recognized their nominators, supervisors and our dean, A. Isabel Garcia, D.D.S., M.P.H.

Below are some excerpts from the multiple letters of recommendation that each winner received from faculty, staff and students in support of their nominations.

Employee Category 1 – Clerical/Office Support

Superior Accomplishment AwardsSarah K. Bowser

“Sarah is always there to provide the needed positive feedback along with information about our college. Sarah advises students how to improve their application for our dental school. She does this in a way that is upbeat, enthusiastic and encouraging!”

“A first year dental student advised eager students to call the admissions office of every dental school for which they were considering to attend, in order to determine if the person who answers the phone portrays the helpful, welcoming, family-oriented atmosphere that is so important when navigating the rigorous challenges of four years of dental school. After all, she said, if the admissions office is not friendly, then the dental school will probably not be that friendly. I was reminded just how important Sarah’s job is for our college and that she does not just provide information, she portrays a feeling of what it would be like to go to dental school at UFCD!”

“Sarah’s warmth and hospitality is unrivaled. Applicants, accepted students and current students all rave about how comfortable she makes them feel and about how quickly she puts them at ease. She has an uncanny ability to remain positive, bubbly and kind even when she is overwhelmed.”

“Sarah is a shining example of someone who is engaged in the workplace and is daily using her strengths to promote the mission and vision of our college. If Sarah can find a way to help, she will.”

“Sarah Bowser is a special human because she makes strangers feel like friends. The level of respect and friendliness that she gave me, as a stranger, made me feel like I had known her for years. The UF College of Dentistry made an undeniably excellent choice making Sarah the first point of contact between applicants at the school.”

“My application to dental school was slightly unconventional, and I felt very anxious about the process until I met Sarah at a pre­dental meeting in Gainesville late last year. I had many questions and was unsure whom to ask. I must have looked like a quivering newborn deer, because this wonderful woman came up and asked me how she could help. Sarah then spent the next hour and a half with me, answering my questions, reassuring me, and sharing everything she could about the process. She made me feel like a person worth her time, a person worth listening to.”

“The point of all this is to show that Sarah Bowser isn’t just a fantastic, positive and delightful person, but a hard-working and beyond-accomplished beautiful soul. I can say with every ounce of truth in my heart, I was prepared to enter UFCD because of Sarah’s help.”

Superior Accomplishment AwardsMartha E. Pennock Schaub

“Each program has its own deadline, unique list of requirements and, to the untrained eye, it might seem like one would only have to follow a checklist or a manual to process these applications. However, there are many layers of nuance that require the person in this position to have a laser­like focus on the minutiae. Fortunately for us, there is no one on campus who manages details the way Martha does.”

“She is not content to simply execute a task, she fully engages with the team and with the task and utilizes every work assignment as an opportunity to learn more – even if she’s learning about things outside her job description. She sees the value in learning everything she can about the big picture so that she can more effectively manage the small (and sometimes tedious) details of the admissions processes.”

“She knows the details and tasks of her job are important but she never lets that get in the way of being a warm and caring team member and I am honored to have the opportunity to work with her.”

“Martha’s attitude is amazing. She has a delightful personality and will gladly go out of her way to help anyone in the office. She has been so efficient and competent in everything that she does that she has been given more responsibilities necessary to the function of our admissions office.”

“A process, which to an untrained eye can be quite daunting. I was very impressed by her knowledge of the entire admission process; her ability to communicate efficiently with each of us at the meeting and perhaps most importantly her readiness and willingness to

help our department simplify this interview selection process for prospective residents. This helped us to quickly develop a deep trust in our professional partnership with the Office of Graduate Admissions.”

“We have become accustomed to Ms. Schaub’s high level of performance, which we greatly appreciate and hope that she remains in her position for many years to come.”

“It has been a joy working with Martha each year gathering applications for our residency programs. She is quick to answer any correspondence and is very meticulous in her work process.”

Employee Category 4 – Administrative/Supervisory

Lee_Tammy_webTammy E. Lee

“Her performance was well beyond excellence. She was amazing!!! Her dedication, integrity, work ethics and professionalism are of the highest caliber.”

“She has taken on a role far above her assignments and has done an exemplary job.”

“She always guides anyone at her door with a smile and handles the most difficult situations with poise and politeness.”

“I sincerely believe Tammy is very deserving of the Superior Accomplishment award and would urge the committee to reward her hard work and dedication toward the ultimate mission of our department, the college and the university.”

“Besides her friendly personality, Tammy has a remarkable integrity, respect, work ethic, honesty, wiliness to help others, and hardworking character.”

Superior Accomplishment AwardsMary F. Taylor, Financial Assistance Counselor, College of Dentistry

“She goes above and beyond on a daily basis, managing everything for our patients from an surgical administrative standpoint. We literally could not function without her.”

“Mary has been an outstanding leader, professional and mentor to her co-workers and a compassionate, friendly liaison for our patients. It is with great honor I submit this request on her behalf.”

“I have been consistently impressed by both Mary’s attitude towards her work and her performance on the job. Her interpersonal and communication skills have allowed her to develop productive working relationships with both our patients and our staff.”

“She is persistent and conscientious hard working and extremely pleasant. She alone deserves recognition for her consistent superior performance in the College of Dentistry Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.”

“She is persistent and conscientious hard working and extremely pleasant. She alone deserves recognition for her consistent Superior Performance in the College of Dentistry Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.”

“Ms. Taylor is dependable and deals with both difficult situations and difficult patients with calm and grace. When there is a question or concern, ‘ask Mary’ is a common statement around the clinic.”

Watson_Michelle_webMichelle R. Watson

“She is recognized by others in leadership positions in the college to be competent, dependable and as an individual who gets the job done. The help she provides to faculty who are preparing packets for promotion as well as yearly faculty tool kits is priceless. I am amazed at her ability to accomplish so many complicated tasks while still helping the many people who are constantly looking to her for an answer to a question. She always maintains a positive and upbeat attitude regardless of the challenge.”

“What sets her apart is her consistent energy and drive to be a contributing member of the college, regardless of what the project or issue is. She works each day as if it’s her first day in the college – she always works like she is trying to make a good first impression on her colleagues. Michelle exemplifies what is ‘best’ about herself, each and every day.”

“Michelle also has a positive, professional demeanor with everyone. She is very intelligent, has a great sense of humor and an ability to balance a multitude of challenges with grace and poise. We are extremely fortunate to count her among the College of Dentistry staff and it is truly an honor to be able to support her nomination for a 2015 Superior Accomplishment Award.”

“Michelle is a hard worker, always ready to help everyone with a beautiful smile in her face. I have always found her dependable, efficient and unfailingly punctual. In fact, I have never worked with a person who gives as much attention to detail as she does.”

“Michelle was instrumental in the assimilation and completion of my application for promotion. This was the most important project of my career and she was a calm and steady guide for me. She excels in detail and compassion and I attribute part of my success to her assistance.”

“It is a joy to work with her.”

“Overall, I am delighted to give Ms. Watson my highest recommendation for this award. She truly has achieved superior accomplishments in her position with the University of Florida College of Dentistry.”

Marie Taylor with Dr. Isabel Garcia
Tammy Lee with Dr. Isabel Garcia
Sarah Bowser with Dr. Isabel Garcia
Michelle Watson with Dr. Isabel Garcia
Martha Pennock Schaub with Dr. Isabel Garcia