Overwhelming Faculty Support Recognizes Outstanding Staff

School of Biological Sciences faculty nominated Mary Flores for attitude and aptitude
Mary Flores UMKC Staff Award winner

Mary Flores is a stable force amidst the swirl of activity in the administrative offices of the School of Biological Sciences. Flores’s nominations for the Chancellor’s Staff Award for Extraordinary Contributions included submissions from Dean Theodore White and Marilyn Yoder, head of the division of cell biology and biophysics.

But most notably, the school faculty wrote a letter to support her nomination. It stated: “The page restrictions for this letter prevent us from offering a complete expression of our gratitude for Mary’s contribution to our work efforts.”  An unsolicited letter from a student thanking her for her kindness was submitted with her application as well.

 “I was very surprised to get a call directly from Chancellor Agrawal informing me of the award,” says Flores, senior business support specialist in the Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics.  “I initially thought that perhaps he was looking for the dean or division head.”

 "I love that my job is so diverse." Mary Flores

In his call, Chancellor Agrawal mentioned that he had never seen so many signatures on a nomination letter. While Flores feels that she is not going over and beyond what is expected at SBS, her co-workers do not agree.

 “Of any faculty or staff we have met, Mary is the most positive and optimistic person,” says Dean White. “She is an extraordinarily unselfish employee. Her focus on students, education and the needs of the faculty is inspiring and motivational to those around her. She is a wonderful ambassador for our university.”

 It is Flores’s optimistic attitude that shines through each of the nominations. The words “best” and “helpful” appear again and again.


 “I love that my job is so diverse,” says Flores. “When there are questions, I try, to the best of my ability, to answer whether by phone, email or personally – my door is always open. If I don’t know something, I know who to call or email to get an answer as quickly as I can.”

 This is just the mindset that her colleagues admire. 

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Published: May 8, 2019