After a 20-year career in the Navy that featured plenty of worldwide traveling, Cullman native Michael Maner was happy to return to Alabama four years ago. And he’s just as happy to have discovered a new home at UAB.

Mike Maner, an instructional designer in HRM Organizational Development, is May’s Employee of the Month. To nominate someone for this recognition, visit .

Maner brought his computing and training expertise to UAB’s Training and Development office after his hiring in 2004, and his impact in the department – and across campus – has been noticeable.

He develops and teaches a variety of computer technology courses, is the Webmaster for the Human Resources Management Organizational Department, administers the Training & Development Self Service (TADSS) registration system and develops materials for BlazerNet and online orientation. In addition, Maner receives and responds to support questions from employees who have taken computer classes in Training & Development.

Maner’s high level of work performance, upbeat attitude and sense of humor impress his colleagues. So it’s no surprise that Maner has been selected May’s Employee of the Month.

“I’m just very, very humbled that my colleagues thought enough of me to nominate me,” Maner says.

“But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that it’s not one person that makes this department go. We really have a unique and special team over here. We have a group of people who truly care what they are training and teaching UAB employees.”

Maner works in HRM Organizational Development as an instructional designer. He began his UAB career as a training instructor shortly after his retirement from the Navy. But Maner quickly expanded his role to Web design and instructional design work. He has been involved in many of the Web changes in the HRM department for more than a year.

“There have been extensive and frequent changes to some of the HRM Web pages in the past 12 months, and Mike took it upon himself to learn what he needed to be able to do this work,” says Pamela Gray Burks, Ed.D., director of Organizational Development. “Mike seems to enjoy new challenges and has never turned me down when I have requested he take on additional duties.”

Maner’s colleagues have been impressed with his desire to learn, his interest in teaching the new skills he learns and his enthusiasm for assisting on departmental projects.

“I frequently receive e-mails from employees who compliment Mike’s responsiveness and knowledge,” says Kay McCabe, manager of the computer-technology program in Training and Development. “Mike consistently demonstrates a positive attitude and willingness to assist with projects whenever possible.”

Maner says he enjoys learning new skills to enhance his abilities, but he really enjoys developing and teaching courses for Training and Development. It’s work he says the Navy prepared him to do.

“My last tour of duty really made me aware that I wanted to be involved in training education,” Maner says. “My job was helping develop, refine and update courses we were teaching in the Navy, and I really liked it. It prepared me very well for this.”

Bonnie Powell, instructor in Professional Development Programs, says Maner has modeled exemplary customer service in his teaching role, and he isn’t satisfied with the status quo – whether he’s developing classes that help UAB employees, maintaining a Web site or any other project he believes can make a difference.

“He is willing to help any of us within the department with our computer woes and offers that same easy-going spirit of helpfulness to our students also,” Powell says. “To me, Mike embodies everything that a UAB employee should be. He is respectful of other people’s needs, he provides service to anyone who requests it, and he is unfailingly kind.”

Maner’s willingness to help others is something that comes up often among those who interact with him.
“When he tells you that he will take care of something, he really does,” says Marie F. Baisden, director of The Resource Center Employee Assistance Program. “When I hear his name mentioned in conversations about work, people always say ‘He makes things so easy. I like to work with him.’”

Maner is appreciative his co-workers think so much of him. But he wants them to know he is equally appreciative of the work environment they have created for him.

“I love my job and working with this group. Our mission is to help employees in their job. My colleagues always create a positive atmosphere where we can do just that.”