Archive for Thursday, April 22, 1999


April 22, 1999


A 35-year clinic nurse and a program assistant in the Life Span Institute were named Kansas University employees of the year Wednesday.

Raylene Gerken, a registered nurse at Watkins Health Center, was named classified employee of the year.

Patricia Woods, who fills many roles at the Life Span Institute, was named unclassified non-teaching staff employee of the year.

They each will receive $1,000, a trophy and parking privileges. Both women were monthly winners in January and received $500 then.

Gerken recently retired after 35 years at Watkins Health Center. Since her departure, it has been hard to let go, said Judy Pinegar, an administrative officer at Watkins.

"She's a loyal Jayhawk, a dedicated nurse, and she loves her family and friends," Pinegar said. "She's going to be missed."

Woods stays busy managing eight grants, serving as administrative assistant for the multidisciplinary Child Language Doctoral Program and working as secretary to Mabel L. Rice, professor of human development and family life.

When another of Rice's assistants unexpectedly resigned, Woods stepped in to take over while maintaining her other duties.

-- Kendrick Blackwood's phone message number is 832-7221. His e-mail address is

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