Employee Assembly News 10/25/13

Pilar Thompson

My name is Pilar Thompson and I manage the visiting faculty and students’ program at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals (CUHA ). I have worked at the CUHA for the last three years; before that I lived in Venice, Italy. Moving a family, house and pets across continents is always an exciting adventure, and the welcome we received from the Cornell and Ithaca communities made it all the more so. CUHA has a wonderfully diverse group of faculty, students and staff who strive to provide clients and patients with the best medical and customer care. With over 20 specialty services in both small and large animal medicine, the hospital attracts a high number of visitors to its clinical rotations.

The experience of having lived in three states in the U.S. and in six countries with different laws and languages has shown me that the only way I can find out about my rights and benefits is to be pro-active. In this aspect, Cornell is no different. Joining an Employee Assembly (EA) subcommittee was a great help to me when I was new to the university. I became a member of the Communications Committee in the Fall of 2012 and I renewed my role again for this academic year. While working on the committee, I was able to positively interact with a variety of college departments and representatives. The more I got involved in the varying issues, the more I realized that being a member of the EA would allow for even greater hands-on work.

I became a nonexempt EA member in June of this year after attending a few EA meetings and seeing the group at work. The EA meetings are open to the Cornell community and provide a window on the matters that EA representatives address. At the start of my EA tenure, I was voted in as vice chair of internal operations. This position strives to promote our EA subcommittee activities and encourages employee participation by reaching out to new members. For a list and descriptions of this and other EA committees, please visit: http://assembly.cornell.edu/EA/Committees. I welcome anyone interested in getting involved to contact me with specific questions or concerns regarding joining a committee.

I have found that being part of the Communications Committee, as well as the EA, has allowed me to fully understand what it means to be an employee here at Cornell. It shows that participating can lead to improved services for staff. It has also allowed me to voice the issues and concerns of other colleagues who may not otherwise have the chance to be so involved. I hope to see more of you at the EA meetings and assist you in joining an EA Committee that meets your needs.