The College of Public Health and Health Professions recognized Aubrey Bonsal, Zoe Martusewicz and Garret Pogue as the college’s 2021 Employees of the Year at the college’s annual holiday luncheon December 2.
Bonsal is an administrative specialist II in the dean’s office, where she provides support for the director of the Master of Public Health program and the associate dean for educational affairs.
Over the past year, the M.P.H. program has undergone several leadership, staff and organizational changes. As a result, her responsibilities have changed multiple times, with Bonsal filling roles such as internship coordinator and admissions coordinator, to support the program during staff transitions.
“With each change she cheerfully learned new systems, university and college policies, and academic processes,” a nominator wrote. “She developed her skills in these areas so quickly that she was able to make improvements almost immediately in each area.”
Another significant responsibility over the past year has been Bonsal’s work coordinating the college’s re-accreditation self-study and site visit for the Council on Education for Public Health. This included ensuring the 300-page self-study document and the electronic resource file, which contained 648 files, were complete. She also organized participants for the two-day virtual site visit.
“Aubrey approaches all of her tasks, from the most mundane to the most stressful, with enthusiasm and grace,” a co-worker wrote. “We recently received full seven-year college accreditation, and I cannot underscore enough how critical Aubrey’s role was in ensuring the site team had everything they needed and that the documents were formatted in such a way that contents were easy to follow, easily located, and well proofread.”
Martusewicz is an administrative support assistant III in the department of epidemiology. She supports Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H., FACE, in her faculty and senior associate dean for research roles.
During the past year, Martusewicz took on coordination responsibilities for the NIH-funded KL2 Career Development Program when a key staff member passed away. She also instituted changes to improve efficiency within the college’s Research Committee, including an online evaluation form for Research Day submissions and fillable and auto-scored PDF forms for internal review of grant applications. One of her biggest successes was converting the college’s 2021 Research Day to a virtual event.
“Ms. Martusewicz executed a new virtual process, from beginning to end, that produced an event so effective we are hosting the 2022 event virtually, regardless of COVID-19,” a colleague wrote.
Nominators also said Martusewicz is skilled at connecting people and bringing humor into the workplace, including organizing a weekly Zoom happy hour and posting a weekly pun or funny quip on the billboard outside her cubicle.
“Zoe is a tremendously positive person to work with,” a colleague wrote. “She comes in each morning with a smile and leaves at the end of the day with a smile. She has a calm demeanor, a ‘can do’ attitude, gets along with everyone, never misses a deadline and rarely complains about anything, except of course, the pandemic and how we cannot do things as we used to!”
Pogue is a fiscal assistant II in the department of physical therapy, but in the past year she has taken on executive assistant, business manager and human resources duties during staff vacancies. This has added several tasks outside of her original job description, such as managing the chair’s calendar and onboarding her new assistant, processing payroll, coordinating new hires for the fall teaching load, serving as department security administrator, and purchasing department supplies.
Pogue’s added pandemic duties also included distributing personal protective equipment and ensuring department spaces were cleaned and sanitized. Nominators say she handled the extra load with grace and a ready smile.
“She took her duties home after hours and even during the weekend to ensure that deadlines and expectations were met, all with a positive attitude,” a co-worker wrote. “Garret’s initiative and eagerness to learn shines brightly. She is such an asset to the department, and her recent ability to take on extra HR and fiscal duties has been impressive and highly valued.”
Co-workers described Pogue as the “face of the department” who is welcoming, upbeat, flexible and dependable.
“Despite the many added tasks, Garret came in every day with a smile and the determination to get the job done,” a colleague wrote. “She faced each new challenge head-on and did not succumb to intimidation, stress or frustration.”