Kathy Tubbs has spent two decades at UAB, beginning in 1998 as a project coordinator and later moving to the School of Education as a financial assistant. During that time, Tubbs, now an administrative associate in the dean’s office, has developed a reputation for kindness, reliability and responsibility with colleagues throughout UAB that earned her the title of Employee of the Month for February.
Mary Norwood, coordinator of educational services in the dean’s office, said that when any of her co-workers have a random inquiry, they know exactly who will know ¾ or not hesitate to find out ¾ the answer, and always turn to Tubbs. DeDe Merk, program coordinator in the dean’s office, said there is always a line of people waiting to ask Tubbs a question.
“She has such a wealth of knowledge that a day doesn’t go by that I or one of us will say, ‘Let’s go ask Kathy, she will know who to ask or what to do,” Norwood said.
“We are not just co-workers; we are a family, and everyone contributes in making the School of Education a place where students feel welcome and that enables them to make a difference in the community.”
Tubbs said helping others is almost second nature to her; she calls it “something I do without question.” Her secret, she said, is taking everything one day at a time, and helping others complete their projects, not just focusing on her own.
“I truly believe everyone has time to stop and help one another,” she said. “There may be times that you do not achieve the goals you set for yourself that day, but you may make a difference in another person’s day because you stopped to lend a helping hand, ask how they’re doing with a smile or just have a kind word.”
But it’s not just about the institutional knowledge Tubbs possesses, colleagues say. It’s about how she interacts with those she shares it with. She is a source of positivity, support and enthusiasm, said Shannon McCarthy, Ph.D., assistant professor of counselor education in the Department of Human Studies. Tubbs once went out of her way to help McCarthy gather information and resources for a grant application, “even putting in extra effort to obtain information and resources for which I didn’t know that I needed to ask,” she said.
“As this was my first campus grant, Kathy took extra time to guide me through the process, often contacting resources for me, even though she wasn’t asked or expected to,” McCarthy continued.
The nature of Tubbs’ position in the dean’s office means she interacts with faculty, staff, students and people outside UAB, which she always does with an approachable and friendly attitude, said Boyd Rogan, Ed.D., director of the UAB Regional Inservice Center.
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.
“She sets the tone for the entire school,” he added. “She is a person who helps to create a positive, wholesome and productive environment.
”While Tubbs’ colleagues believe she influences the work environment for the better, Tubbs herself says being surrounded by positive, ambitious co-workers encourages her to be thoughtful of and generous to others.
“It’s easy to have a positive attitude and stay motivated when you work in an environment with a team of co-workers who you respect and who have shared goals,” Tubbs said. “We are not just co-workers; we are a family, and everyone contributes in making the School of Education a place where students feel welcome and that enables them to make a difference in the community.”