Texas A&M AgriLife


2013 Director’s Excellence Awards

Each year, the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) remains steadfast in the top-notch work performed and expert group of professionals employed. This year was no different, and the agency Director’s Excellence Awards let those who have given so much of their time and energy to serving TVMDL and the clients stand in the spotlight.

Student Award
Daellenbach, MalerieMalerie Daellenbach

It is apparent the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) staff is not only top-notch, but comprises special individuals who care deeply for the work done in the diagnostic laboratory. Among those individuals is student Director’s Excellence Award winner Malerie Daellenbach, who assists in the toxicology section.

Since January 2012, Malerie has worked hard to provided assistance to the TVMDL staff while also juggling her schoolwork. Her enthusiasm for the work done, ability to multitask under pressure and appreciation for quality work made her instrumental to the toxicology section.

“Malerie has a very strong work ethic that demonstrates her service and loyalty to TVMDL and its clients; she is intelligent and dependable,” says nominator Travis Mays, veterinary toxicologist. “The quality of her work reveals her attention to detail and ability to produce accurate results. The toxicology section at TVMDL is one of the top five toxicology sections in the country. The success we’ve had and the ability to accomplish the goals and mission of TVMDL are because of employees like Malerie.”

Technical Award
Eide SarahSarah Eide

Sarah Eide, laboratory supervisor in clinical pathology, received the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory’s (TVMDL) Director’s Excellence Award in the technical category. One of the many professional, experienced workers at TVMDL in College Station, Eide brings more than 20 years of experience to her role as laboratory supervisor.

Eide is knowledgeable in the vast testing performed, puts in extra time and effort to ensure clients get the best results possible, and has worked tirelessly with the IT staff during the transition to the new laboratory information management system, USALIMS.

One of her nominators, Susan Fielder, DVM, wrote: “I have never worked with an individual who puts so much effort, thought and personal time into a job to ensure that everything works smoothly. When I first began here at TVMDL, I was blown away that one person took on so much responsibility and was able to accomplish so much on a day-to-day basis.”

The selfless giving of time and energy is a hallmark to Eide’s dedication to TVMDL. During the transition to USALIMS, Eide worked with the project leader to create the programs needed to transfer section material over, as the new program had little developed relating to clinical pathology.

Sandra Lovering, DVM, pathology branch chief, noted in her nomination letter: “From Day One in the position, Sarah implemented important changes to create a smoother and more efficient work flow. She has taken the initiative to participate in leadership development opportunities, and is also providing opportunities to her staff to enhance their leadership skills.”

Eide’s attention to detail ensures her section runs at maximum efficiency, creating a positive flow for the ever-busy laboratory.

Administrative Award
Hudson CrystalCrystal Hudson
In the administrative category, we recognize Crystal Hudson, business manager II in the finance office. Hudson has been with TVMDL in College Station since 2010, and this year moved from the director’s office staff to the finance section. The heart of the director’s office staff, Hudson has been an integral part of the inner workings of the laboratory, from making highly complicated travel arrangements and confidential transactions to daily customer service.

In her nomination letter, Stacy Morris, TVMDL chief of staff, expounded on Hudson’s ability to meet a challenge.

“When she was hired in 2010, she had the daunting task of centralizing, aligning and collating all HR-related documents and processes,” Morris says. “With patience, persistence and an eye for detail, Crystal completed this task in record time. We now have a well-organized, highly efficient, centralized HR effort for TVMDL.”

When necessary, Hudson flawlessly steps into whatever position or role is needed to complete the task at hand. The TVMDL staff respects her opinions and accepts her advice; her expertise, attitude and caring nature make her ideal for Director’s Excellence Award.

Vic Seidel, assistant agency director for finance, highly recommended Hudson for the award because of her ability to take “a tough situation and implement the process seamlessly.”

“Never one to sit idle, she continues to expand her roles in human resources, payroll andtravel for all four of our laboratory locations,” says Seidel.

Professional Award
Rodgers SandySandy Rodgers

The diagnostic laboratory could not run as smoothly, handling an average of 800,000 tests annually, without dedicated professionals like professional category recipient Sandy Rodgers. Rodgers, assistant section head in serology, joined TVMDL in 2009 and has more than 30 years experience in diagnostic serology and immunology.  Veterinary clients and other laboratories seek out Rogers for her expertise in the field and call upon her institutional knowledge. She assists clients and co-workers alike in a friendly and professional manner.

Amy Swinford, DVM, and microbiology branch chief nominated Rodgers for the award in part for her integral involvement in training a number of foreign scientists that have visited TVMDL as scholars sponsored by The Borlaug Institute or the National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense (FAZD Center).

“I have witnessed how these individuals from such diverse backgrounds are invariably transformed from shy visitors into confident, capable laboratory colleagues under Sandy’s tutelage,” says Dr. Swinford.

A leader within her section, Rodgers’ hard work is noted by scientists outside of TVMDL, too. Alfonso Clavijo, DVM, is the Pan American Foot-and-Mouth Disease Center advisor for surveillance and control of zoonotic diseases. Dr. Clavijo is a former colleague of Rodgers and has seen the impact of her work at his new role in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

“Her diagnostic expertise has been very helpful in the control of several diseases in the state of Texas,” he writes in his nomination letter. “Her results are always timely, accurate and reliable. For the past two years, Sandy has led and participated in several research projects including the development of an ELISA for the diagnosis of Rift Valley fever, foot-and-mouth disease and anaplasmosis.”

With Rodgers’ attention to detail, strong worth ethic and eagerness to learn, she leads the serology section by example. These qualities—and her extensive positive work record—made it difficult to find a candidate better suited to receive the 2013 TVMDL Director’s Excellence Award.

We congratulate the 2013 Director’s Excellence Award winners, and are thankful for the countless other employees working to provide the best in laboratory diagnostics to our customers.

For more information on the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, visit tvmdl.tamu.edu.

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