Q&A with Monica Gellene, Board of Regents staff award winner
In August 2020, the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents recognized Monica Gellene, associate director of administration at IMET, with an award for “Exceptional Contribution to the Institution and/or Unit to Which the Person Belongs.” Monica has been a great asset to the team at IMET and UMCES for the past eight years… all while pursuing her MBA, which she earned in May 2020!
What do you see as your biggest accomplishments since you started? I am very proud of the contributions I have made to sustainability, administrative efficiency, and development at IMET. I started the IMET Sustainability Committee and led their efforts along with Eric Schott to reduce single-use plastics in our building and also created new processes for my office to become paperless. This is just one of the new processes that helps streamline administrative processes and help PIs spend more time on their research. Over the past few years, I have also put more effort into pursuing private funding, which led to the creation of the James Albrecht Graduate Student Fellowship, which will fund one first-year graduate student for the next five years. I am very grateful to my team at IMET for helping in all of these efforts.
What are you most excited about building in the coming years? I am excited about increasing our efforts on diversity, equity, and inclusion. I am already very involved with the IMET summer internship, which aims to increase diversity in marine and environmental sciences. Recently, I joined an effort focused on creating a strategic plan to diversify our student and faculty bodies and I’m very excited about the progress we’re making.
How does your MBA help you in your position? The MBA gives you a complete overview of how an institution or company functions. I have applied a lot of the things I learned through the MBA to IMET. It helped me to integrate the elements that an institution needs to be successful, including administration, finance, communications and marketing. I’ve also learned a lot about how to give employees the resources they need to do their work and feel engaged.
What does it mean to you to be recognized by the Board of Regents for your work? This award means a lot to me. I am very grateful to my coworkers who have made this all possible, by helping me achieve my goals and by nominating me for this award. It means a lot that the Board of Regents recognizes staff beyond the scientific or academic teams, because there are always committed staff members supporting the day to day operations of an institution.