Gratitude for Greatness

By Jennifer Sanchez

Gratitude for Greatness

By Jennifer Sanchez
Last week, University of Miami employees from Coral Gables, Miller School of Medicine, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science campuses celebrated their hard work in a variety of ways during faculty and staff appreciation and well-being week.

Faculty and staff were invited to enjoy various events across all three campuses including yoga classes offering free mats and other giveaways, free and discounted lunches with leaders, complimentary access to the on-campus wellness centers, and special offers from local retailers throughout Miami-Dade County. During the 'Canes appreciation lunch at the Rathskeller, UM President Julio Frenk addressed the crowd to express his deep appreciation to all of the employees who contribute to making the U a great place for students, faculty, and staff.

On Monday, March 5, the weeklong series of events started with yoga on the Quad at the Miller School of Medicine. Maureen Fitzpatrick, an employee in the Department of Anesthesiology, shared that the mid-day yoga session helped kick start her week. “I received the full benefits of my participation in yoga. The instructor was fabulous and I definitely felt appreciated as an employee,” said Fitzpatrick.

Throughout the week employees were also treated to an exclusive, two-day, complimentary pass to the UM wellness centers, and discounts at local participating retailers, including Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

On Wednesday, RSMAS employees were joined by Jeffrey Duerk, executive vice president for academic affairs and Provost, and treated to a discounted lunch at the picturesque SALT waterfront restaurant. Duerk encouraged employees to enjoy lunch and engage and collaborate with unfamiliar faces and new colleagues.

On Friday, after visiting employees at Key Biscayne earlier in the week, Duerk also joined President Frenk and Jacqueline Travisano, executive vice president for business and finance and chief operating officer, at the 'Canes appreciation lunch to meet with employees in attendance.

“I think the lunch is a great initiative. It’s great to see that UM appreciates our work and efforts. When we see that as employees, it is a great motivation and morale booster,” said Nate Crayton from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Community Outreach.

Carmen Presti, from the School of Nursing and Health Studies was also pleased with the gesture. “Something small like a lunch in our honor really means a lot. It feels wonderful to be appreciated,” said Presti.

Earlier in the week, employees on the Coral Gables campus also took a minute to unwind during yoga at the Shalala Student Center.

“I attended the yoga event this week while representing the wellness center and it was great to have it indoors and offer employees a way to relax,” said Claudia Martinez from the Herbert Wellness Center.

Although employees throughout the University may have enjoyed the week of faculty and staff appreciation and well-being in different ways, the celebration echoed the gratitude and dedication of UM leadership for all those who contribute to the greatness of the University. Throughout the remainder of the month, employees at satellite locations will also have opportunities to share in the fun of employee appreciation and well-being.