Denise Goska, program administrator with the Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, has been named December's Employee of the Month. Goska has been a UAB employee for more than 24 years.
"She is in contact with people all over the country and world and juggles many schedules and wears many hats," said coworker Marcia Green. "She's been with the division for more than 20 years, so there's not much she can't do."
Goska started with the division in 1991 as an office assistant for Richard Allman, M.D., who was recently appointed chief consultant for Geriatrics and Extended Care Services for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C.
"I’ve worked for Dr. Allman so long now that I can finish his sentences," Goska said. "He’s been a tremendous boss and leader for the Division. He is scheduled to retire on Dec. 20, but I look forward to working for Dr. Cynthia Brown who will assume his role."
Goska said she maintains her passion for her job because she feels honored to work at UAB and within the division.
"The geriatricians in the division are wonderful people," Goska said. "I always tell people that you don't become a geriatrician if you're not a nice person because you have to have lots of compassion to deal with the elderly."
Her coworkers say she is a dependable worker who doesn't waste time when dealing with a task.
"In fact, sometimes she gets jobs done too quickly," Allman said. "If you ask her to do something and change your mind, it may be too late — she probably has already completed the task."
Goska describes herself as "boring," but she takes pride in her home and is constantly decorating, rearranging and painting. If she didn't work for the university, she said, she would like to be a decorator or designer.
"I constantly have a home project I’m working on," Goska said. "Fortunately, my husband Mark is a good sport and goes along with my crazy projects."
Mark is an architect by trade and works in the university's facilities department. The two met in 1989 and have two children — Nick, a senior at Birmingham Southern, and Anna, a sophomore at UAB.
"I guess the greatest achievement is working in the division for 24 years, and I love what I do," Goska said. "I can’t imagine working in another division on campus. This just feels like home."