Every year, the Director’s Excellence Award is given to four Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) employees who exemplify selfless service to the agency. The TVMDL staff nominates peers they believe to be outstanding individuals, striving to support the laboratory through testing services, quality assurance and technological advances. Carlos Rodriguez is this year’s recipient in the Technical Category.
Carlos began his career as a Technician I in the Serology Section at College Station, then was promoted to Technician II and later to Lab Supervisor. This section is responsible for over 75,500 test results a year, equivocating to about 300 tests a day. He manages technicians and students, holding a dual role as a bench scientist and a supervisor. While he is quite skilled in performing bench work, he brings so much more to our agency: he excels in supervising staff, working in teams, proposing and implementing process improvements, and serving our clients.
Recently, Carlos was selected to become a subject matter expert for our laboratory information management system (LIMS), assisting agency-wide with LIMS updates and resolutions. He was instrumental in updating TVMDL’s 700+ test offerings in LIMS during recent fee schedule update and has become an expert for LIMS issues both large and small. He has the ability to see the big picture while also understanding the many individual steps in a particular process. This was proven when Carlos led an effort to streamline how the agency handles equine infectious anemia testing, eliminating several steps to make our protocol more efficient. Carlos was also essential to TVMDL’s success in testing 176 head of cattle that were being imported to Ecuador. With no notice, and within three days, Carlos and the Serology Section performed 762 tests to complete the requirements for exportation and all while completing the routing daily testing in the section.
As TVMDL prepares to relocate their College Station lab to a new facility, Carlos has been essential in rethinking processes to accommodate the new laboratory. His open-minded approach and collaborative spirit are vital to the success of Serology and TVMDL as whole.
TVMDL employs more than 150 professionals that work diligently to uphold the agency’s mission to protect animal and human health through diagnostics. We congratulate all of the 2016 Director’s Excellence Award winners.
For more information on the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, visit tvmdl.tamu.edu.