RaeMona Crump, an administrative services assistant in the Department of Dental Hygiene at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, stood up in front of a roomful of colleagues this morning and proudly said that her 3 1/2 years at UTHSC have been wonderful.
“When I pull up at work, I don’t feel like I don’t want to be here,” she said. “It has been a great place to be.”
Crump was among UTHSC’s administrative professionals, who were honored at a breakfast in the Mooney Building to celebrate Administrative Professionals Day. The tribute was sponsored by the Office of Human Resources to show appreciation for the dedication and support that administrative professionals provide the university’s faculty, staff, and students.
It was the first time since the pandemic that UTHSC was able to honor its administrative professionals with an in-person event. “We’re back together again,” said Chandra Alston, EdD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, vice chancellor for Human Resources at UTHSC. “I am so honored to be here today. I want to thank you for the great job you do every day.”
Dr. Alston spoke of the many administrative professionals who have influenced her journey at UTHSC for the better. “It’s important to recognize those people who help support us,” she said.
Sharon Couch, PhD, senior learning consultant and business partner for the UT System Human Resources Office of Employment and Organizational Development, gave an inspirational keynote address via Zoom. Dr. Couch, a former Olympian, spoke about her life and career path to encourage the audience on their own journeys toward their goals and purpose in life. “Our life’s journey began somewhere,” Dr. Couch said. “It began with a first, and today is the first day of the rest of your life.”
She invited the participants to decide what they want to achieve and write it down. Then, make a commitment or plan, achieve competence through practice, develop a mindset of confidence, and compete or strive toward the goal collaboratively with others. “Now, everyone wins,” she said.
Dr. Couch cautioned to not let fear of the unknown derail dreams. “On the other side of fear is knowledge and wisdom, and it is already inside you,” she said. “I want to release you from the things you don’t know. It doesn’t mean you can’t know them. You just have not met them yet.”
Her closing remarks generated applause across the room. “Go forth, be great, and more importantly, be renewed,” she said.
Samantha Marion, a senior administrative services assistant for Pediatric Cardiology, was thankful for the morning’s event. “It does display a level of appreciation,” she said. “It lets you know they are actually watching and paying attention and wanting to reward employees.”
Tanya Hendricks, executive administrative assistant in the College of Medicine, was happy that the event this year was held in person.
“I think it is a celebration of everything we’ve gone through together and it is a communication of UTHSC professionals supporting each other and appreciating each other.”