Janice Smith, assistant to the dean at the Graduate School
of Biomedical Sciences at UT Health Science Center San Antonio, was recognized
on April 7, for 30 years of service.
“I’ve never thought I’d be here for 30 years but look at me
here I am 30 years later,” Smith said. “This is like a second home. The
university has become a family for me.”
Smith was recognized in 2012 for the Presidential Employee Excellence in
Service Awards given by the Office of the President to recognize staff
members who have contributed to the Health Science Center and our missions of
teaching, research, patient care, and public service.
During her time at UT Health Science Center, Smith has also been involved with the Special Events Council.
“I’ve helped plan the yearly employee picnic for 3000 people and help start the food truck fundraiser,” Smith said.
“The fundraiser has always been a highlight for me because proceeds go to charities that include Doctors Without Borders, San Antonio Food Bank, and the American Red Cross.”
During her time here, some of the most memorable moments
were when she coordinated the visits of Nobel Laureates and distinguished
Her most memorable visits included Drs. Arthur Kornberg,
Salvador Moncada, Thomas Cech, Luc Montagnier, Robert Langer, Louis Ignarro and
“Luc Montagnier stands out because of all the tv cameras and
publicity that surrounded his visit (it felt like walking the red carpet in
Hollywood) as it was at the height of the AIDS epidemic and he was a
co-discoverer of certain viruses associated with AIDS,” she said.
“Rod MacKinnon because he was so humble and down to
earth. He told me the hotel we booked
for him and his wife was too fancy for them as they led a simple lifestyle, and
also because he loved the pound cake I had made that day,” she said. “He asked
for the recipe, and I told him no (it’s a family thing), so he proceeded to eat
it and tell me all the ingredients, but I still wouldn’t tell him the amounts.”