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COM employee of the month

Image with caption: Lisa Chudomelka, left, and Tony Chudomelka on their rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon in May.

Lisa Chudomelka, left, and Tony Chudomelka on their rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon in May.

College of Medicine employees of the month are nominated by college leaders. Lisa Chudomelka was nominated by Jill Poole, MD, chief of the UNMC Division of Allergy and Immunology, who said she has "been instrumental to (both the division of allergy and immunology and the division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep) for more than 15 years for supporting all the research administration including grant submissions, manuscript submissions, animal research protocols."

  • Name: Lisa Wacker Chudomelka
  • Title: Grants administration coordinator
  • Hometown: Battle Creek, Nebraska (but currently living in Bellevue)

Talk about your job and what you like best about it:

I support the UNMC Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep and the UNMC Division of Allergy & Immunology with their faculty members' research endeavors. I like to tell myself that I make sure they have what they need to do their work. It's a bit of a circular process -- you need to publish to get grants; to publish, you need money to do the work; to get the money, you need to publish . . .

Along the way, I help the researchers write and submit their required animal, human and safety regulatory compliance paperwork (IACUC, IRB and IBC). I ensure that their papers get edited, submitted to and eventually accepted by peer-reviewed journals. I work on grant budgets, write and edit sections of the grant applications and compile and submit the applications. I serve as a liaison between the researchers and SPA and the regulatory bodies.

Easily, the best part about the job is the people. I am lucky to work with scientists and staff, top to bottom, whose integrity and work ethic are unmatched. They are true scholars and strive to uphold the ideals of the academy. They understand that research is not a luxury or side gig; rather, it is the foundation of new knowledge creation and a huge part of what makes this place a university.

Beyond that, they are fantastic people. We've been through a lot together both personally and professionally and make an effort to support each other when things are good, bad, easy, difficult and everything in between.

List three things people may not know about you:
I have been around so long, the people I know at UNMC know pretty much everything about me. To complete this assignment, though, I could say that:

  • I proudly work for the University of Nebraska, and I like to make the distinction that I do not work for Nebraska Medicine, although many of my colleagues are dually appointed.
  • I am neither a scientist nor an accountant (the people I work with know this), although I could probably design a well-controlled experiment and craft a complex budget.
  • In May, I got to hike the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim (North Rim to South Rim with a stay at Phantom Ranch) before Memorial Day. My oldest, Tony, was among my travel partners.

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