Staff members in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) recently won two of the three annual Georgia Tech College of Engineering (COE) staff awards.
Rose Brito, faculty support coordinator in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, received the Rising Star Award. This award is for individuals who began their career at Georgia Tech within the past three years. It recognizes a staff member who has created or utilized an opportunity to grow and develop in their role and as a result, has made important contributions to their unit.
Rose was hired to provide faculty support to the very busy neuroengineering group and her duties quickly increased due to her efficiency and work ethic. It is important to note that Rose came to the position with no prior experience in academia, so in addition to learning a new job, she had to learn how the system works here. Undaunted, Rose brings energy and enthusiasm to everything she does.
Rose also brings out of the box ideas of how to improve processes—as an example, she streamlined internal processes for preparing nominations for internal and external awards. As a result, the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering received the most awards this year when faculty and staff were recognized across Georgia Tech. In addition, she helped streamline the recruitment and on boarding processes for faculty in the neuro group.
One of her nomination letters states: “Rose has been an asset to the faculty she served with on many tasks large and small, and as a result we keep on conceiving of more things she can help us with!”
Kristen Laquidara, academic advisor in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, received the Team Builder Award. This award is for an individual that fosters a work environment that supports others, passes on knowledge and experience, demonstrates flexibility, and helps the group achieve productive results.
Kristen is a fantastic team builder in the BME advising group, not only because of the close relationships she has formed with her colleagues and more than 300 students per year, but also for the tasks she performs well beyond her job description. As an example, Kristen worked with an undergraduate student to create a recruitment group called FUTURES (Future Undergraduate Tours for Understanding Research and Education Strategies). She recruited students to serve as tour guides and prospective student contacts. Tours are offered every Friday during Fall and Spring—with most at capacity of 30 visitors each week.
In order to help her team deal with number of interested potential students and their families that drop in for more information, Kristen worked to create a self-guided walking tour video of the department. This has helped allow advising staff to devote more time working with current students, while keeping prospective students and families happy at the same time.
One of her nomination letters states: “Kristen is the ultimate team builder. I can only say that the BME Academic Office as a whole would not be nearly as cohesive and well run if Kristen had not joined our team. She has been the glue in our office, being the only person to work simultaneously with undergraduate, graduate and career advisors.”
The third staff award from Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering went to Sarah Collins, a graphics specialist in the Dean’s office in the College of Engineering. This award recognizes an individual who is a role model, is committed to the delivery of excellent service and results always, and is the person the everyone turns to for support or solutions.
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology