March 29, 2019

Meet Janice Rhodes, Biomedical Research buildings I & II, manager

Janice Rhodes, research building managerHow long have you worked at UAMS?
I have been at UAMS for 27 ½ years and in my current position for 26 years. I started at UAMS in Media Services and networked with people across campus before moving to work in the research area.

What is your favorite part of the job?
I most enjoy being able to help researchers get issues resolved so they can continue with their research.

Are there any challenges?
An ongoing challenge is to make sure each request gets resolved quickly and correctly.

How does your position interact with others on campus?
Day in and day out, I interface with many groups around campus such as research faculty members, as well as the move, environmental services (electrical/mechanical/plumbing), housekeeping, security/police, and campus operations teams and divisions.

These various UAMS components handle everything from trash collection, -80°F freezer installation/monitoring, and HVAC issues to flooding caused by broken pipes and unauthorized building access and theft incidents.

How do you handle problematic issues?
The key to my position is networking and relationships. By knowing who to contact, I am usually able to facilitate building issues in a timely manner and direct building issues to the appropriate department for addressing.

You also facilitate research events both internally (e.g. coordinating building use) and externally (e.g., scheduling transport of research poster boards). How do those activities work?
I keep an extensive calendar of events with requests from all users. For example, if someone wants to use 25 poster boards for a research event, he/she would contact me to check whether that number of boards was available on the date/time needed. If they are free, the requester puts in a move team request to get the boards to/from the event location. I meet the move team to make sure the correct number of boards are transported out and back from their secure location in Biomed I.

How do Biomed I & II personnel go about getting badge access? On average, how many do you coordinate annually?
For a new employee to gain badge access the Biomedical research buildings, they must submit an online request with the UAMS police dept. Once the online request is made, it is forwarded to me for approval. I then check with the associated faculty member or department for confirmation that the submission can be approved. Or sometimes, a department will email me directly to request building access. I handle around 300 badge access requests yearly.

How about after hours? What do you do for fun?
I enjoy gardening and listening to good music (jazz, country, Christian, and classical) depending on the day. I also have fun with my pure breed, black and white, pie-bald, 2 ½ year old dachshund, named Sadie. She keeps things lively around home. Most of all, I enjoy spending time with my eight month old grandson.

How about time away from work? Any favorite vacation spots?
I enjoy traveling far and wide when I can get away. My favorite cruise destination (so far) was a trip to Alaska. I also love Florida’s beaches and Key Largo’s restful atmosphere.

Any last thoughts on your position as the Biomedical I & II buildings manager?
I enjoy making it possible for researchers to focus on their research rather than having to commit valuable investigator time chasing down building issues. I guess you can call me a research building and operations “liaison”.