Lively voices rang out into the cold linoleum hall of the third floor of the Mines Building.
That”s where Whitney Floch sat in a bright room scattered with family photos and homey decor, chatting excitedly with her next-door colleague.
Floch, the program supervisor of the IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), said her program affects much more than many might think.
Loch received an Outstanding Employee award from the University of Idaho Wednesday.
“We do a lot of different activities,” Floch said, “Because it”s a grant, we have these really broad missions and goals with.”
Floch said the funding is spread not only throughout the biomedical fields at UI, but at 11 other Idaho schools as well.
“I actually really love working for this program, because of how creative we can be with the funding,” she said. “I”ve been working here for almost six years now, and I”m still learning about new things that the program entails.”
Floch said she started working at UI with the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) right out of high school. She needed a job for the summer, and that summer job turned into a five-year endeavor, she said.
“I went from working in the central office that deals with all the federal programs, to working with one federal program,” Floch said.
She said her career pathway has been led by different people she knew in the programs that she worked for – a director of OSP helped get her the job there, and later when a coworker at OSP left to work at INBRE, she followed. Floch said this love of the program, and desire to learn more about its specifics may have something to do with why she was nominated for the outstanding staff award.
Carolyn Bohach, administrator with the INBRE program, said she secretly nominated Floch, and then was happy when the committee chose Floch to receive the award.
“She does what she does with style and grace,” Bohach said. “She has a can-do attitude. Whatever I propose, as crazy and time-consuming as it might be, Whitney always says “We can do that.””
Bohach said Floch had recently organized a large event for biomedical professionals across the country at the Couer d”Alene Resort.
“Whitney was the key person to coordinate this activity. She carried out the vision of the Faculty Steering Committee for what this meeting should be,” Bohach said.
Floch”s ability to concentrate on the smallest things, such as scheduled coffee breaks, to organizing the main speakers at an event with more than 300 participants, are what Bohach said make her into an employee administrators appreciate.
“It was a very well received conference,” Bohach said. “People from the National Institute of Health said it was one of the best conferences they had attended.”
Though the conference is only one instance of how Floch is able to apply her passion and drive in the program, Bohach said that it demonstrates her talent and ardency for her job and the people she works with.
“She deals with a wide variety of people, not only at the University of Idaho, but also across the state,” Bohach said. “She does all of these things on top of her regular activities, and that”s why she is really deserving of this Staff Award.”
Will Meyer can be reached at email@example.com