Chuck’s last ride

So tomorrow is my last day as a UNMC employee. And as you may have seen on Monday, I am one of the four riders in Saturday’s Ice Tricycle Races at the Skate-a-thon for Parkinson’s.

Just to catch you up in case you missed Monday’s story, the four of us are in search of pledges ahead of this weekend’s races. The top earners will get the inside lane for the races, which start at noon.

“Chuck,” you say, “you wouldn’t possibly try to parlay your leaving the med center into pledges for your cause at the Skate-a-thon would you?”

Um, yes. Yes I would.

“But Chuck,” you ask, “isn’t that unfair to your competitors who don’t have access to daily campuswide publications with which to advance their campaigns?”


And so to be fair, I’ll list me and the other competitors here. Just click on the email address of the competitor you wish to sponsor, tell him or her how much you will pledge and then donate online or bring your donation to the Skate-a-thon on Saturday.

Honestly, I don’t really care who you support. As always, I’d be glad to take your money. But the fact is it all goes to the same great cause – the Skate-a-thon and Parkinson’s research at UNMC.

I’ve worked extensively with this event each of its three years and it’s been a blast. The Skate-a-thon seems like a perfect fit for UNMC.

What other medical center has our combination of a driven patient – Colleen Wuebben — a burgeoning Parkinson’s program and an ice rink? Heck, what other medical center has an ice rink?

Anyway, I’ve had a great time here at UNMC for six years. I’ve been in a job that allowed me to connect with an inordinate number of you. I’ve made friends that I plan to have for the rest of my life and I’ve been given the opportunity to do things I’d never imagined.

I mean, if you told me six years ago, “Chuck, you’ll ride out of here on a tricycle on an ice rink right next to the new medical school building,” I’d have told you to go visit the folks in the psychiatry department.

But so it is. As I said, I’d be glad to accept your donations this week and put them toward a good cause. My co-competitors would be glad to do the same.

And if you want to come out on Saturday to watch us slide around the ice on tricycles – well, we’d like that, too.


Top 5 Memories

Yesterday was my 5-year anniversary at UNMC. I knew it was coming up, but when I received the congratulatory email, it sunk in. I’ve been here FIVE YEARS…doesn’t seem like that long at all.

To celebrate, I thought it might be fun to share five of my favorite UNMC memories with you all. So, come, take a walk down memory lane with me.

2008 – My first day.

My first day on the job was the same day as a press conference to announce the naming of the Home Instead Center for Successful Aging. It was exciting to see firsthand how much work (and stress) goes into events like this. I knew instantly I was in the right place for me. Tom O’Connor introduced me to the Chancellor Maurer after the press conference. It was only 11 o’clock in the morning and already it was the best first day of work I could’ve asked for.

Runner Up – My second day. This was the day Tom O’Connor took me with him on a media escort. I quickly learned two things: 1) This campus is massive. 2) Flats are your friends. High heels are not.

2009 – The day we launched the brand.

Some people think of this as “the day we changed the logo.” It was and is so much more than that. When I think back to the day we unveiled not only our new look, but who we are and what we’re all about, I remember all the people who gathered on the Swanson Hall lawn to take pride in UNMC. It was special.

Runner Up – The first time I attended Santa’s visit to the Munroe-Meyer Institute.

This annual event holds a special place in my heart. It’s so moving to see the children and adults with disabilities embrace the holiday spirit in such a pure way. The things they say will definitely make you laugh and sometimes always make me cry.

2010 – Push-Ups for Haiti

For those of you who were there, this is probably one of your all-time favorite UNMC memories, too. The event, organized by my friend Chuck Brown, didn’t involve any brainstorming sessions or weeks of planning. It was an idea that came from the heart and brought faculty, students, researchers, employees and everyone in between together in a time of tragedy. Not to mention it raised almost $9,000.

Runner Up – Coming back to work after my daughter was born.

It’s downright difficult to return to any job after maternity leave, but because I knew I was coming back to a job I love and co-workers who are like family, it was much easier. Plus, I needed somebody to show off all those baby pictures to.

2011 – My first Match Day

It was St. Patrick’s Day and everyone was dressed in green. I got to sit in the front row and record the reactions of fourth year med students as they found out where they’d do their residencies. I felt like the mother of 109 children.

Runner Up – Joining LiveGreen

Sustainability is one of my passions and I really value the fact that I get to use my skill set as a PR person to help us improve upon it as a campus.

2012 – My day with Dr. Luckey

My day spent following a family practice doctor around in David City was the most exhausting, yet exhilarating day in my career here. It provided me with a newfound respect for those in medicine as well as the inventor of tennis shoes.

Runner Up – Student Orientation

Seeing our first-year students so full of hope and promise left me remembering what it was like to be their age. I’m so glad all of them chose UNMC. The McKayla Maroney impressions contest made for some good laughs too.


That’s it from me. Now I want to know YOUR favorite UNMC memories. Send me an e-mail at with a short description and a photo if you have it. If I get enough submissions, I’ll do a follow-up blog post. Happy remembering!