May 2014

Superior Accomplishment Awards ceremony honors UF staff and faculty

leadership programs

More than 400 employees gathered at the J. Wayne Reitz Union’s Grand Ballroom on April 17 for the 2014 Superior Accomplishment Awards ceremony. This annual program recognizes staff and faculty members who contribute outstanding and meritorious service, efficiency and/or economy, or to the quality of life for students and employees.

The six university category winners—along with the university winners from the Community Service and Diversity & Inclusion awards—each received $2,000, a commemorative trophy and tickets for themselves and a guest to enjoy a 2014 home football game in the President’s Box as guests of Dr. Machen. 

The following individuals received awards at the university-level, the Superior Accomplishment Awards’ highest honors:

  • Clerical/Office Support – Katye Avery, Department of Anesthesiology
  • Support Services – Hector Solis, IFAS - Indian River Research and Education Center
  • Scientific/Technical – Joyce Jones, IFAS - Gulf Coast Research and Education Center
  • Administrative/Supervisory – Donna Rowland, Department of Psychiatry
  • Administrative/Professional – Tanja Philhower, Division of Student Affairs - Care Area
  • Academic Personnel – Jeffrey Citty, Innovation Academy
  • Community Service – Stanley Beckerdite, Division of Student Affairs - Student Government
  • Diversity & Inclusion – Samantha Evans, Counseling and Wellness Center

group selfieFour individuals received the Jeffrey A. Gabor Employee Recognition Award, sponsored by the Gabor Agency. These employees were each presented with a $1,000 check and a commemorative award. The recipients were:

  • Patti Breedlove, UF Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator
  • Michael Frick, Department of Biology
  • Danielle Jonas, College of Veterinary Medicine - Small Animal Hospital
  • Steve Coates, IFAS - Dean for Research

Recipients of the Standard Insurance Employee Recognition Awards were presented with a $1,000 check and a commemorative award. Recipients were:

  • Alex Avelino, Baby Gator Child Development and Research Center
  • Bruce Floyd II, University Relations
  • Donald Epperson, Transportation and Parking Services
  • Tammi Gibson, Industrial & Systems Engineering

UF’s Superior Accomplishment Awards program was developed to recognize deserving university employees. The program is coordinated by the Office of Human Resource Services. For more information and to view ceremony photos, visit the Superior Accomplishment Awards section of the HRS website.


2014 Prudential Productivity Award winners announced

PPAThe Prudential Productivity Awards, an annual event honoring state government employees throughout Florida, has announced its winners for 2014.

This year’s competition attracted 568 nominations for innovation and productivity improvements worth an estimated $558 million in cost savings, cost avoidances and increased revenue for state government. Over the past 26 years, award winners have produced a total of $8.7 billion in cost savings or efficiency gains for Florida taxpayers and businesses.

The following  UF individuals and teams have been named 2014 winners:

Laura Robertson, Senior Associate in Graduate Studies, College of Fine Arts
Certificate of Commendation
Developed and Deployed Online Portals for Graduate Admissions Critical Communications and Review Procedures

myinvestigator — Grant & Sponsored Projects Reporting Team, Joint efforts by Sponsored Research, Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Information Technology
Developed myinvestiGator Financial Reporting Tool
Team Members: Stephanie Gray, Brad Staats, Jim Ferrer, Greg McEachern, Gerald Parham, Haiquan Dai, Mei-Li Cheng, Nigel Chong-You

DOCUTRAQ 3.1 Integration Team, Division of Student Affairs
Integrated Accounting & Request System - DOCUTRAQ 3.1
Team Members: Jeffrey Schmidt, Michele Williams

Online Promotion and Tenure Team, Joint efforts by Human Resource Services, Office of the Provost, Enterprise Systems, Information Technology and Institute of Food & Agricultural Science (IFAS) Office of Human Resources
Notable Cash Award of $800
Developed Online Promotion and Tenure
Team Members: Janet Malphurs, Angel Kwolek-Folland, Paula Varnes Fussell, Steve Wing,
Carol Cobb, Ronda Mitchell, Kris Kirmse, Susan Hudson

Custodial Scholarship Deposit Automation Team, Joint efforts by Office of Student Financial Affairs, Finance and Accounting, and Enterprise Systems
Certificate of Commendation
Developed and Implemented Scholarship Deposit Processes to Improve Efficiency, Service, and Data Integrity
Team Members: Donna Kolb, Christina Lamb, Mike Dugger, Susan Smith, Kara Mathe, Patti Perkins, Cheryl Bell, Karen Gillespie

UF Training & Organizational Development: Online New Employee Orientation Project Team, Human Resource Services
Certificate of Commendation
Saved Time & Resources via Online New Employee Orientation
Team Members: Scott Blades, Angie Brown, Jamie Cooke, Angela Gould, Ronda Mitchell, Courtney Moon, Steve Slater, Jessica Tubbs

Automatic Training Access Team, Joint efforts by Enterprise Systems and Human Resource Services
Certificate of Commendation
Automated Access to Training for Non-Employees
Team Members: Jamie Cooke, Nicole Garvey, Sid Sachs, Jane Thomas, Steve Wing

For more information about this awards program, please visit the Prudential Productivity Awards section of the HRS website or contact UF’s agency coordinator, Kenya Williams, via email or at (352) 273-1761.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!


Use your 2013-2014 personal days by July 3

leaveIf you have unused TEAMS or faculty personal leave days or a USPS personal holiday, now is the time to use those days. USPS personal holidays and TEAMS/faculty personal leave days will expire if they are not used by the end of the pay period in which June 30 (the end of the fiscal year) occurs.  The last day to use your personal days for 2013-2014 is July 3.

You can determine whether you have personal leave time to be used by following this navigation: My Self Service>Payroll and Compensation>UF Leave History. Select the most recent pay period end date by clicking on it in the drop-down box. USPS employees should look for an ending balance for USPS Hol to determine if they have the 2013-2014 personal holiday available to them. TEAMS and Faculty employees should look for TMSFacPer and check the ending balance. If there is a balance, it should be used by July 3.

What is a personal holiday?

  • A one-day holiday awarded to USPS employees each fiscal year. It must be taken in a full-day increment.

What are personal leave days?

  • TEAMS/faculty personal leave days are the four days awarded to TEAMS employees and faculty members during the UF holiday closing period that occurs annually from December 26-31. If you were off from work Dec. 26-31, 2013, you likely have received your personal leave benefit. If you were considered essential and required to work part or all of the holiday closing period from Dec. 26-31, 2013, your record should reflect a personal leave balance for use by the end of the pay period in which the fiscal year end occurs (July 3, 2014).

Personal days are provided in addition to any sick or vacation leave that is accrued. Sick and vacation leave does not expire at the end of the fiscal year.

If you have questions or concerns about your personal leave balances, please contact your departmental payroll or personnel office for assistance. You can also contact Leave Administration at or (352) 392-2477.


Employees must report 2013-2014 compensatory leave use by June 5 

All non-exempt TEAMS and USPS employees as well as exempt USPS employees may use overtime and/or special compensatory leave through the end of the fiscal year—June 30—but the leave must be entered into the Elapsed Timesheet in the myUFL system no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 5. If the leave is not entered for use by this deadline, it will be cashed out automatically during the pay period ending June 19 for the payday of Friday, June 27.

If you need to make changes or corrections to prior entries of overtime and special compensatory leave that will impact 2013-2014 balances, those entries must be entered by June 5 and approved by 9 a.m. on Friday, June 6. Changes made after that date will cause a negative balance/paid twice situation.

All compensatory leave used by June 30 must be entered no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 5. If you plan to use overtime or special compensatory leave by June 30, the leave must be entered accurately for the future date on which you plan to use the leave. To do so, enter a future “Week Beginning Date,” click “Refresh Date,” then enter the number of compensatory leave hours (along with the proper time-reporting code; see below) on the date of use.

After logging in to myUFL, navigate to My Self Service > Time Reporting > Report Time > Timesheet

Non-exempt employees:
  • Begin with a new blank line
  • Input the compensatory leave hours to be used, then select the appropriate leave type in the “Time Reporting Code” menu (“OCT” for overtime compensatory leave use and “SCU” for special compensatory leave use)
  • Click the “Submit” button
  • Review the confirmation screen and click “OK”

Exempt USPS employees:

  • At the default schedule, change the blank “Time Reporting Code” (TRC) field to the "regular" TRC
  • Adjust the hours on that line to reflect the actual hours worked
  • Click on “Add a New Line” to input your compensatory leave to be used (“SCU” for special compensatory leave use)
  • Click the “Submit” button
  • Review the confirmation screen and click “OK”

If you have any questions, please contact Leave Administration at (352) 392-2477 or Payroll & Tax Services at (352) 392-1231.


Human Subject Payments system go-live slated for July 14

hspA new Human Subject Payments (HSP) system will be introduced to campus this summer—providing a "one-stop shop" experience for departments, improving turnaround time and reducing the overall administrative burden of paying human subject participants in UF research studies. All new requests for human subject payments will use the new processes, which will affect how payments are coordinated, disbursed and tracked in the myUFL system.

During last fall’s pilot phase of the project, several enhancements were discovered to improve the user’s experience and the overall workflow.  A new go-live date has been set for July 14, with training available beginning in June.

In addition to the HSP Initiator, Payment Processor and Approver security roles originally announced in conjunction with the new system, two new “view-only” roles will grant access to the Study Fund Request and Payment Log modules.  Further information on roles and associated training requirements are available on the HSP section of Finance and Accounting’s website.

Prior to go-live, several hands-on sessions will be available to provide employees with additional assistance in navigating the new system. Watch for further details in the June issue of the InfoGator.

For more information about the Human Subject Payments project, including answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the Human Subject Payments section of Finance & Accounting's website or contact Suzanne Sindledecker or Piannys Rosarios at or (352) 392-9057.


Do you know how to use your myMRA card?

mymraIf you’ve activated your myMRA debit card to use money set aside in your medical reimbursement account, here are a few things you should know:

Documentation—Some card transactions require documentation to prove the expense is eligible under IRS guidelines. For example, with a dental visit, the card knows where you are, but not what you’re buying. So you may get an email requesting documentation. If the transaction was for an eligible expense, submit a statement, bill or receipt from your provider—or provide an explanation of benefits from your health insurance carrier along with a completed claim form to People First.  The documentation must include the patient’s name, type of service, date of service, provider name and the total amount. Remember to save your receipts!

You may submit documentation one of three ways:
•  Scan and submit it online via People First
•  Fax documentation and claim form toll-free to
    (888) 800-5217
•  Mail documentation to:
    People First Service Center
    P.O. Box 1800
    Tallahassee, FL 32302-1800

Expenses—Many healthcare expenses are eligible for reimbursement, but some are not. Let’s say you used your myMRA card for an ineligible expense, like teeth whitening or the warranty on your eyeglasses. After reviewing your documentation, People First will send you an email letting you know the expense is ineligible. You have a couple of options to fix the mistake:

•  Submit a paper claim and documentation to People First  for an eligible expense that you paid out of pocket. On the claim form, check box C, and People First can substitute the paper claim for the ineligible card transaction.

•  Send a personal check made out to the Division of State Group Insurance for the amount of the outstanding card transaction. Write your People First ID number on the check and mail it to:
   State of Florida - Division of State Group Insurance
   P.O. Box 864684
   Orlando, FL 32886-4684

In the future, you can avoid this inconvenience by learning which expenses are eligible for purchase with your myMRA card. You can view a list of eligible expenses on the People First website. 

Protecting pretax status—If you fail to submit requested documentation, People First may withhold payment for an eligible paper claim to offset an outstanding card transaction, suspend your card, deduct the outstanding card transaction amount from your salary (as permitted by law) and/or start collections.

Emails—All documentation requests and card notifications are sent via email. If your account status shows a request for documentation, but you did not receive an email, verify your email address under the FSA Information link on the People First home page. If it is correct, check your email settings and make sure the notifications are going to your inbox instead of your junk or spam folder.

Learn More—Log on to People First. Click FSA Information under the My Quick Links section on the left to see:

• Your account balance
myMRA card transactions
• Claims history
• A guide to eligible expenses
• Claim forms
• Documentation requirements
• How to upload scanned claimforms and documentation

For more information, please view the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the myMRA card and reimbursement accounts or call the People First Service Center at (866) 663-4735 or TTY (866) 221-0268, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time.


FRS Investment Plan fund lineup changes coming soon

The fund lineup available to FRS Investment Plan members is changing effective July 1.   This change will simplify and reduce the existing fund lineup from 20 to 12 investment options. Some current funds are being combined to create new funds, some fund names and IDs are changing, and a menu of retirement date funds is replacing the FRS Select Balanced Funds.

No action is required by participants.  All balances and future contribution allocations in affected funds will automatically be transferred into the new funds based on a mapping schedule developed by the State Board of Administration. However, participants who want to move existing balances out of the affected funds into a current fund that is not being changed may do so until 4 p.m. Eastern time on June 27. 

Notification letters will be mailed to all active members in May with follow-up letters in June, and an employee workshop will be broadcast live over the internet in early June. A detailed summary of the upcoming fund changes and mapping schedule is now available on the MyFRS web site.  Visit to view the most current publications and announcements related to this change.  You can also log in and review your investment plan account through the site.


For Your health

Employees from throughout UF, UF Health Shands participate in first joint wellness event

More than 800 UF employees and nearly 3,000 UF Health Shands employees turned out to complete biometric screenings, fill out personal health assessments and participate in workshops offered as part of a month-long Wellness Event in March and April.

Can you spot the signs of a stroke?

Did you know that nearly 795,000 Americans suffer from a stroke every year? That’s approximately one person every 40 seconds. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Smoking cessation support offered year-round

The EAP continues to offer Smoking Cessation Groups throughout the year and individual coaching sessions for those who cannot attend group. New this year is a two-hour seminar designed to enable participants to get all the essential information they need in order to quit tobacco successfully, including free nicotine patches, gum, lozenges and/or medications. UF faculty and staff may also attend free UF Health Tools to Quit Classes. Visit theAHEC website for more information and to register.




Presidential Search Committee announced


On May 1, UF Board of Trustees Chairman C. David Brown II introduced the members of the search committee for the University of Florida's 12th president. Comprising members of UF Board of Trustees, student body, faculty, administration, alumni and supporters, the 18-member panel will recommend a small number of highly qualified candidates for the Board of Trustees' consideration.

To learn more about UF's Presidential Search, visit


Leadership Development Toolkit provides resources to UF leaders
Comptetency Wheel

Launched in December, the UF Leadership Development Toolkit was created specifically with UF’s academic and professional leaders in mind with the aim of providing tools needed to cultivate new strengths and enhance the leadership qualities you already possess. Find “just-in-time” resources in the forms of job aids, audio and video podcasts, and reading lists to develop your leadership skills. The resources provided will assist your efforts to be a better manager and leader and are available whenever you need them.

UF Training and Organizational Development is adding resources on a regular basis and invites you to explore this toolkit and check back regularly to see what’s new. Your feedback regarding topics for future podcasts or job aids is also welcome. For additional information, please contact Training and Organizational Development at (352) 392-4626 or


A reminder about UF-sponsored insurance deductions

Academic personnel and staff participating in UF-sponsored insurance plans are reminded that a temporary increase in take-home pay will occur during the summer because insurance deductions will not be taken during this period. For details, contact University Benefits at (352) 392-2477 or


Employee Education Program accepting applications for summer semesters

The Employee Education Program (EEP) provides tuition assistance for up to six credit hours of eligible college-level courses per semester. In the summer, a combined total of six credits taken during semesters A, B, and C may be covered by the EEP. For details and deadlines, please see the April issue of the InfoGator.


Harn offering free year-long memberships to faculty and staff

Albert and Alberta

The Harn Museum of Art is sharing the love as a thank you to UF faculty and staff. Free year-long memberships are available to the first 1,000 employees to sign up via Gator1 Central at

Members will enjoy discounts on children’s art camps and in the Harn Store. Harn members also receive reciprocal memberships and admission discounts at designated museums nationwide as part of the College and University Museum Reciprocal Program (CUAM) and the North American Reciprocal Membership Program (NARM).


Bob Graham Center honors two citizens from Children’s Movement of Florida on June 3

Graham Center Gathering

The Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida will honor David Lawrence Jr., its 2014 Citizen of the Year award winner, and Vance Aloupis, the 2014 Young Floridian award recipient, on June 3 at the Annual Graham Gathering at Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando.  The awards were established to recognize Florida residents who have made a substantial contribution to enhancing the quality of life for state residents. Both recipients work for The Children’s Movement of Florida.

For more information, contact Sherry Feagle at (352) 846-1575. The RSVP deadline is May 19.


Nepalese Human rights activist Radha Paudel speaks May 19

Radha Paudel

One of Nepal’s most respected human rights activists, Radha Paudel, will give a public talk on Monday, May 19, at 6 p.m. in the MacKay Auditorium in Pugh Hall.

Paudel survived a brutal 2002 Maoist terrorist attack in Jumla that killed 247 residents, and she has since dedicated her life to promoting initiatives in women’s empowerment, social and economic justice, health care and education for the poor. She currently operates the Action Works of Nepal (AWoN), a registered NGO that helps communities to educate their children, provide medical care, and find economic stability.

This program is sponsored by Project Nepal, the Dial Center for Written and Oral Communication and the Bob Graham Center for Public Service.


Sustainable tip

©2014 University of Florida Office of Human Resource Services. The InfoGator is a monthly e-publication produced by HRS Communications. It is distributed electronically to UF faculty and staff and is available online. Please direct questions or comments to HRS Communications; Human Resource Services; P.O. Box 115006; (352) 392-4626; TDD 800-955-8771. The InfoGator is available in an alternative format upon request. This page uses Google Analytics (Google Privacy Policy).