Henry Clay Owen Employee of the Quarter

Each quarter University Financial Services selects an employee of the quarter from nominations received within the deparment and from campus.  The Henry Clay Owen "Nice" Award is named after the former Treasurer of the University.  The "NICE" award stands for noteworthy performance, innovation & improvement, customer service & communication and excellence.  If you would like to nominate a University Financial Services employee please fill out this form and e-mail to UFS@uky.edu.


Employee of the Quarter (April to June 2017) - Cara Nelson, EAG

Cara was nominated by Tony Day and Leslie Duty.  Read below to see what they had to say about Cara!

Noteworthy Performance

Despite Cara having many responsibilities in EAG, her dedication and attention to the many demands for finalizing and implementing Trip during the quarter was Noteworthy and exceptional. She spent countless hours of development and testing Trip functionality as well as preparing training materials and making town hall presentations. She was fully responsible for meeting implementation deadlines and did so by routinely putting in long hours on a daily basis as well as most weekends. But equally noteworthy is that she maintained an excellent attitude and her propensity for customer service did not waver. It is the norm for Cara to routinely handle demanding tasks but considering the complexity of the Trip project her contributions to the project were truly exceptional. In addition to assisting the newly formed Travel Services area to support the new process, Cara was called upon to support Accounts Payable Services in the first quarter of 2017 in order to allow for timely filing of necessary tax reporting secondary to the unplanned absence of Laura Payton. Cara did not miss a step in continuing to support the new trip process while meeting the tax reporting deadlines.

Innovation and Improvement

Cara is noted for her Innovative approach and her quest for process improvement. This became more evident as she developed her knowledge and understanding of Trip functionality. She was never satisfied with “good enough” but was constantly searching for the most efficient and effective approach. This enabled her to deliver a user friendly product that has been readily accepted by end users and is now being used by more than 95% of University travelers and Trip document processors. Cara continues to support the new Travel Services department as we move to the full-campus Trip implementation. Her assistance has allowed us to provide improved customer service to our clients by making sure that we all understand very clearly how a document will move through the system based on the action that has been performed. It is because of Cara’s previous improvement to the processes in tax data collection and reporting that she was able to return to APS after almost 2 years to complete the process that had been started by Laura Payton prior to her absence.

Customer Service and Communication

Cara’s role in EAG requires her to wear many hats, and is one that requires a master of multitasking. Cara routinely demonstrates an Exceptional ability to quickly switch from task to task on a moment’s notice without showing any sign of frustration. She can quickly and efficiently turn from a complex analysis of a technical issue to a simple request from a coworker, a UFS staff person or a campus SAP user for assistance with creating a transaction document. The value of this versatility cannot be overstated due to the dynamics of EAG and Cara’s responsibility for customer service. Also as a result of her dedication and effort, she has the respect of the entire University community and particularly those of use in University Financial Services.


Cara’s work ethic and dedication to the university is unmatched. Her attitude toward her work and her work product rise to a level of excellence that many of us would hope to achieve. She has always been a great source of knowledge and guidance to me personally and I have seen her share her wealth of knowledge with great patience to countless UK employees..

For a list of previous winners click here.