Excellence Award Winner Loves Her Job
By Dave Moore, ECS
December 5, 2007
The N.H. Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, housed in the Department of Animal
and Nutritional Sciences, is the hub of veterinary disease surveillance and
pathology for the state of New Hampshire. Each year, hundreds of veterinarians
and veterinary hospital staff, thousands of animal owners and organizations,
and the N.H. Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Foods depend on the lab
for critical information and testing services for various diseases.
Sitting smack at the center of this great hub of engagement is Cynthia Lewis,
the lab's program support assistant, communicating with the public, managing
office staff, and keeping operations running smoothly at one of the University's
busiest outreach services.
Lewis has come far since she began working at UNH in 1979 as a part-time office
assistant for the Elderhostel Program. Over the years, she steadily improved
her technical and business management skills. She earned an associate's degree
in applied business management from the Thompson School in 1994, and is working
toward a bachelor's degree in psychology at UNH.
Today, she manages the business affairs of the bustling diagnostic lab, which
actually consists of three labs that handle approximately 25,000 cases each
year. Her professionalism, courtesy, and high-level of quality draw praise
from all who have the pleasure to meet her.
"Cynthia has set and achieved the highest standards for herself and those
who work with her," avers Joseph Moore, clinical professor of animal and
nutritional sciences and lab director. "Her friendly, considerate, and
concerned manner enables her to interact with people of all ages and levels
At the same time Lewis began working for the Diagnostic Lab, she began helping
the state's Veterinary Medical Association (NHVMA) by assisting with the organization's
semi-annual continuing education meetings and publishing its quarterly newsletter.
Impressed with her abilities, the executive director, JoAnn Poole, recruited
Lewis as an assistant. Today, Lewis continues to work fulltime at UNH and part-time
for the NH Veterinary Medical Association.
Lewis says the lab's main goal is to "serve our clients. That is what
really guides us all." To help her office accomplish this goal, Lewis
implemented a computer networking system that allows her colleagues to better
share information. The system keeps them on task, but, says Lewis, it's not
the software that keeps everybody together.
"I am one of those fortunate people who loves her job," says Lewis. "It's
mainly the people, though, and their loyalty and sense of mission. They have
become like an extended family for me. I think that is one of the reasons I
have been here this long, and that they have been here this long."