Gallitz leads by serving

Laura Gallitz INSIDETo hear Laura Gallitz tell it, she brings an English degree to a math bowl.

But co-workers describe her as an outstanding employee who brings a high degree of energy, commitment, flexibility and professionalism to her role as administrative assistant for five statisticians.

Gallitz, an office associate in the Division of Preventive Medicine, provides support to faculty in UAB’s Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Facility and their work in the Comprehensive Cancer Center.

They say Gallitz can tackle many tasks simultaneously — from getting protocol reviews ready and providing grant application support to creative thinking for project development — and she steps up to any challenge that may arise. For these and other reasons she was nominated and selected UAB’s Employee of the Month for June.

“I do whatever they need me to do,” she says, ticking off a list of tasks she considers ordinary.

But faculty see it differently.

"Doing the extra things that it hasn't occurred to anyone to do seems to be Laura's specialty," said Professor Karan Singh, Ph.D. "She’s helping in her own way, dotting our Is and crossing our Ts."

"Laura has a knack for solving the frustrating issues that arise during the course of the day, such as issues with creating a slide in PowerPoint, problems with adding a reference in EndNote, or difficulties submitting a manuscript or grant application electronically,” said Professor James M. Shikany, DrPH. “She always seems to be able to figure things out, especially when I cannot.”

Gallitz works closely with other faculty support staff and benefits from their experience while sharing hers, co-workers say.

"She also does not hesitate to reach out to new employees and make them feel welcome,” said Associate Professor Maria Pisu, Ph.D. "She has a clear sense of the importance of the research we do and contributes actively to it with her job."

Each month, UAB recognizes an outstanding employee for their dedication, hard work and contributions to the university’s success. If you know of a great employee, you can learn how to nominate them for this recognition at uab.edu/humanresources.

“I have never worked with one so unselfish of her time and abilities,” Program Manager Aquila Brown-Galvan said. “Rather than keeping secrets of success to herself, she gladly shares her methods and provides encouragement.”

Loyalty to those around her, compassion for those she feels need a helping hand and dedication to her department and the community are traits that do not go unnoticed.

That commitment extends to UAB’s Benevolent Fund. She was asked to chair the division’s campaign in 2009 and did so well and enjoyed it so much, she ended up on the council for five years afterward.

“The Benevolent Fund is so important to what we do at UAB,” Gallitz said. “It is absolutely the best way for employees to make a contribution to the community. When we combine our efforts, we can make a huge difference in our community.”

Gallitz also helped organize the division’s Habitat House team, which helped reveal her personal limitations. “My talent is not hammering the nails, but getting everyone else there to do that,” she said.

In her more than 13 years here, she’s come to know “things are always changing,” including the faculty and their needs, and she likes that about her work.

“These are great and talented people,” Gallitz said of her co-workers. “I do what I do so they have time to do what they can do. We’re all on the same team.”