“Can Do” Attitude Earns SOP Staff Member Employee of Month Award

ELP’s academic coordinator receives university-wide honor

By Katherine Frankel
May 28, 2015

As academic coordinator in the School of Pharmacy’s Experiential Learning Program (ELP), Nathaniel Thomas is used to last-minute changes. Still, he was hardly prepared for what transpired at a scheduled “meeting” on May 20 that turned into a celebration of Thomas being named the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) May Employee of the Month.

The first hint came when UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, walked into the Saratoga Building conference room. Noting that Thomas appeared a bit perplexed, Perman got to the point.

“This meeting is all about you and in a very good way, because you’re the University’s Employee of the Month,” Perman told Thomas. “People say that you exemplify superb customer service, that you’re dedicated to excellence, that you always have a ‘can do’ attitude, and that you’re a team player, which I especially appreciate.”

Recently, during a major course revision and heavy student rotation allocations, Thomas devoted long hours to making course adjustments and changes on short notice. His perseverance, positive attitude, and ability to work effectively with course managers, student leaders, learning management system technicians, and community pharmacist preceptors drew raves from his supervisor.

When it comes to customer service for students, Thomas continuously strives to find solutions for them. “His humble, ‘can do’ attitude assisted us in making the progress we made with this course,” said Toyin Tofade, PharmD, MS, assistant dean of ELP, which serves more than 600 students and nearly 900 preceptors per year. “He is always willing to meet with students who have problems, and he has the ability to interact with them quite effectively and make them satisfied customers,” said Tofade.

“I have had the privilege of seeing Nate work on different projects that required resolve, strong problem-solving skills, communication, and the ability to deal with customer challenges gracefully,” added Tofade, who nominated Thomas for the award.

As Employee of the Month, Thomas received a letter and framed certificate, and he also will receive $250.

“I feel very humbled to receive this award,” said Thomas, a UMB employee since November 2013. “I really did not anticipate this, but I am very thankful. It means a lot to me to be appreciated and acknowledged for the work I do. I want to thank my colleagues in the Experiential Learning Program for all their hard work and support.”

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