By now most of you have read the inspirational story about Taryn Schaaf, the May graduate who lost all of her mobility from the waist down but was able to walk across the stage with the assistance of an exoskeleton. But have you heard about the UNO staff member who made Taryn’s dream a reality? Her name is Alyson Westby Roach. She is July’s Employee of the Month.
Chancellor John Christensen and the rest of the “Prize Patrol” team surprised Alyson with the news on Tuesday, July 5, 2016.
Alyson was nominated for going the extra mile to make sure Taryn had the Commencement experience she envisioned. In the month leading up to Commencement, Alyson collaborated with Taryn’s team at QLI, the stage vender, and others at UNO to simulate the stage surface so Taryn could practice her walk.
Alyson has an incredible way of communicating with anyone and everyone in a respectful and authentic manner. She really does care about the way people feel when they interact with her.
Her nominators said, “Alyson has an incredible way of communicating with anyone and everyone in a respectful and authentic manner. She really does care about the way people feel when they interact with her. She made that very clear when she took the care to make sure Taryn’s dream became a reality. Getting to know the team at QLI and Taryn herself were so important in making sure Taryn was comfortable with the plan, the walk itself, and the media coverage surrounding her inspirational walk.”
The team at QLI also raved about their interactions with Alyson. One employee said, “Every time I would ask if we could do something, she would respond with, ‘We can make that happen.’ The amount of problem solving, flexible thinking, and positive attitude that she brought to this was nothing short of amazing. It was true collaboration, and I would gladly plan something else with her!”
As Employee of the Month, Alyson will receive a certificate, lapel pin, hot/cold tumbler, commemorative coin, monetary award, two tickets to a UNO sporting event, and use of a designated parking space. Alyson will also have her photo taken with the “Prize Patrol” team and receive a letter of congratulations. Please contact the Office of University Communications (402.554.2358) for additional details.
About UNO's Employee of the Month Program
Human Resources announced the updated Employee of the Month – “Oh” Award for “Oh, what a difference you make!” – program for UNO staff members. HR administers the program in conjunction with the Office of the Chancellor and Staff Advisory Council. They welcome nominations from faculty, staff, students, vendors, and visitors. Nominate someone today!
THANK YOU, ALYSON!