Innovation Awards

The Innovation Awards honor employees who exemplify our Innovation core value: We are creative and innovative in our service to the campus community.

Terry Batemon, Manager, Facilities Services

"Terry tirelessly looks for new and creative ways to engage with the 700-person facilities services team to keep safety at the center of all of our operations. When he identifies a problem or challenge, he doesn't use tired and worn-out methods to address them. He instead looks for new ideas, collaborating with others to ensure these ideas will be effective. He is not afraid to take a risk or do something out of the ordinary to enhance our safety culture."

Michele Bennett, Senior Administrative Associate, Human Resources

"This nominee was faced with planning the president's staff awards and the president's outstanding staff and supervisor awards throughout the pandemic and again this year as the pandemic was winding down. This required flexibility, agile thinking, lots of compromise, and quick work to ensure our employees who had waited years for their service awards received recognition from the university. With these events being held in person in the same fashion for many, many years, this was a great challenge. This nominee rose to that challenge and this year was instrumental in re-engineering the Outstanding Staff and Supervisor Awards. . . . This has set a new precedent for the OSSA awards that people will look forward to year over year. This was particularly innovative because it also did not increase costs."

Brianna Duran, SCL Coordinator, Sustainability

"She has demonstrated the FAS value of innovation with her work in the Office of Sustainability to bring the Trees to Treasures project to life. This project has been in the works for many years and brings together multiple FAS departments (Texas Exes, Landscape Services, and Office of Sustainability) to take trees cut down on campus to make room for new buildings that would typically go to waste and instead repurpose the trees by repurposing them and creating unique UT-branded products. This spring we saw the first fruits of the program with UT Diploma frames made from lumber from UT trees! Made from wood sourced on campus, each diploma frame is a unique piece of art made through sustainable practices."

Anthony Hackner, Senior Software Developer, ITS Campus Solutions

"In the last year alone, Anthony has gone deep on learning about Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD), Infrastructure as Code (IaC), and security on Kubernetes. He used this knowledge to configure and customize the Skaffold workflow tools for Kubernetes-native applications for a Jenkins CI/CD server project to build, push, and deploy the applications he maintains for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). He's also developed an Ansible playbook and a Jenkins pipeline for UTmail to rebuild the custom Docker images, pulling in security updates and code changes, and push them to Artifactory. I want to emphasize that no one has directed Anthony to learn and accomplish this much. He doesn’t wait for a manager to tell him what’s best. He goes out and discovers what can be better and he introduces it to his work."

Matt Jorgenson, Principal Software Engineer, Enterprise Business IT Solutions (eBITS)

"He is always pushing to keep our code cutting edge but maintainable, and has been a central piece in many of our more recent technical applications, including the new Container Management Platform (formerly Next Generation Platform) which will replace PyPE, our deployment interface for all code at UT. Not only did he help develop the workflows and expectations for the project, but, as with everything else he does, this person placed a heavy emphasis on innovating with the community in mind. He understands deeply that even the most innovative solutions must be teachable and scalable. Not only did he do a significant amount of coding and testing for the CMP project, he also led workshops introducing Docker and the new system to the developer community and created a written training curriculum for those interacting with the new system and workflow. He also pushes for us to always be updating our code and keeping up with the latest safety standards, reducing risk to the university."

Colton Ward, Data Architect, eBITS

"As a Data Architect, he regularly identifies new and improved ways to obtain, transform, blend, and deliver data from the HR and Payroll business domains. One of the things I most admire about his work style is that he is never satisfied with ‘good enough.’ Even when a system is working as designed, he continues to think about ways he can improve the quality and usefulness of the information delivered to our campus customers."

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