Amanda Rucker, communications specialist for the College of Information, Science and Technology, has been named UNO's Employee of the Month for March 2021.
Rucker was surprised by the virtual prize patrol on Monday, March 15.
In their nomination letters, colleagues touted Rucker's ability to not only make people feel seen and heard, but also being strategic in how individual accomplishments fit into the wider strategic vision of both the College of Information Science & Technology, as well as UNO.
"Many people come to her for help with different outreach events of marketing needs," one nominator stated. "I have been able to come to her and describe the general idea of what I was thinking, and through great discussion and collaboration, she is able to help create something that far surpasses expectations."
Rucker was also credited for her creativity when the campus and Omaha communities moved to remote teaching and learning due to COVID-19. She developed a virtual iSTEM toolbox that served as a resource for community members to utilize with their home-schooled children. The program led to 1,400 page visits and 600 downloaded materials in the first three months.
The effort is just one of many engagement projects she's put together over the years, including CodeCrush, designed to develop a more diverse and inclusive tech workforce through connecting young students to tech role models and workshops.
"Under Amanda’s guidance, CodeCrush has grown to a three-times-a-year event with over 200 yearly attendees," one colleague remarked. "Amanda has been a speaker at SXSWEdu for the last two years to share what she’s learned through CodeCrush and connecting with students all over the Midwest."
In many ways, colleagues state, she has been a consistent force leading IS&T through a number of changes in the last eight years, including branding updates, website upgrades, marketing campaigns, news stories, and more. This also includes leading the college in areas like the IS&T Diversity and Inclusion Task Force as well as coordinating Implicit Bias training for faculty and staff.
Rucker, they say, is "able to disseminate complex information for broader audiences, as well as rally teams to achieve project milestones ... working with individuals across the university for a common goal."
For being nominated as Employee of the Month, Rucker will receive a certificate, hot/cold tumbler, monetary award, two tickets to a UNO sporting event and use of a designated parking space.
To nominate an employee, complete the nomination form and send it to Kristina Hoffmann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.