honeybee on poppy
Honeybee foraging on a California poppy. Photo: Kathy Keatley Garvey / UC Davis

Worker bees

Every successful program includes magic administrative worker bees who do critical work to maintain the hive.  They're the ones who dot the i's and cross the t's on appointment paperwork, remind absent-minded faculty to approve timesheets so that everyone gets paid on time, and otherwise make make things go smoothly. And they often work in anonymity.

Katie Keehn is the administrative worker bee of PREP@UCD.

Katie Keehn
And she does all this with a big ol' smile

Katie, a staff member in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, plays a critical role in PREP@UCD. Each year, she helps new scholars transition into what likely is their first position after college. She walks them through the hiring process and critical human resource policies, works with faculty in other departments that may have differing administrative procedures, and acts as an intermediary between PREP PI Dan Starr and UC Davis' Human Resources offices. In some cases, mentors are able extend the appointment of their PREP scholar by a month or two before the scholar starts a PhD. Katie handles this paperwork too.

PREP@UCD also is more complex than many of our sibling programs at other universities. For example, because our program crosses departmental and college boundaries, Katie manages institutional matching funds from six different colleges. She was instrumental in putting together the budget for our successful renewal proposal and tracking its many pieces -- 341 pages in all.

Katie manages this all with aplomb, grace, and skill. She makes it look easy, too.

Because of Katie's work, 27 of our 28 PREP scholars or affiliates (who also have had positions funded by MCB faculty) have been accepted into biomedical PhD programs. This has had a huge positive impact on keeping emerging scientists from historically marginalized populations in the academy. It will have a lasting impact on science and society.

Katie is a shining example of how any one person at UC Davis can change the community. We are lucky to have her service.

Thank you, Katie!

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