Kimberly Foli, a research coordinator in the department of clinical and health psychology, has been named the College of Public Health and Health Professions’ 2012 Employee of the Year. She was recognized at the college’s annual faculty and staff appreciation dinner Nov. 29.
Foli serves as the project coordinator for the Village Interactive Training and Learning study, or VITAL, a UF study being conducted at The Village retirement community in Gainesville. The VITAL study is designed to determine how cognitive training and physical exercise may interact to improve thinking and memory in healthy older adults. As the study coordinator, Foli has several responsibilities including participant recruitment and retention, data management, preparation of IRB documents, and training and supervision of 30 interns, research assistants and graduate students.
“At the outset, Ms. Foli was given responsibility for implementing a major research project from the ground up,” a nominator wrote. “She was able to effectively turn an initial ‘idea’ on paper into a thriving, successful project.”
Co-workers noted that Foli has become an excellent ambassador for the University of Florida at The Village and in the community.
“Kim is the ‘face’ of our study on the retirement community campus,” a nominator said. “She has quickly come to be a trusted member of that environment. When staff or residents have questions about the University of Florida health care environment, or are seeking particular faculty contacts, they go to Kim — knowing that she will research their needs and direct them appropriately.”
Colleagues praised Foli’s dedication to the study’s success, leadership, creativity, and the care and concern she shows for research participants and the people she supervises.
“I believe that what sets her apart from any other research coordinators or university employees is her very real and natural ability to make people feel comfortable around her, trust in her confidence and know that she really cares about what is best for them.”