RIITE winners exemplify College values

Congratulations to the recipients of the Fiscal Year ’17 Quarter 3 RIITE Role Model awards who exemplify Baylor College of Medicine’s values of Respect, Innovation, Integrity, Teamwork and Excellence!

The You FIRST RIITE Role Model program awards faculty and staff on a quarterly basis for high performance and exceptional contributions that directly advance the College’s values and overall mission. Read more online about the program, including nomination instructions. Winners for FY 17 Q3 are listed below, along with highlights from their nominations.


Dr. Sridevi Devaraj

Professor of pathololgy & immunology

Nominated by Dr. Sanjiv Harpavat

Dr. Devaraj embodies all of the qualities in a RIITE role model. Every day, she practices excellence. She runs the busy clinical laboratory at Texas Children’s Hospital, overseeing a large staff that functions 24 hours a day. She has created an ethos in the laboratory to serve clinicians and patients at the highest level possible. As a result, she is constantly available for inquiries from our staff, has often accelerated assay times when we need results immediately, and is always looking for new tests to add the clinical laboratory’s menu. She operates at an incredibly high level and has helped make the clinical laboratory at Texas Children’s Hospital one of the premier facilities in the world.

For the research team, Dr. Devaraj has been an invaluable member. We have had the fortune of working directly with her to develop novel newborn screening assays for serious liver diseases. Dr. Devaraj shares her expertise in a kind and nurturing way, so that everyone on the team benefits. She exercises a unique blend of patience and persistence that ensures that all members cohesively work together while we address challenges. She also combines a deep respect for colleagues with incisive critical thinking, which has helped the project emerge successfully from periods of strong dissenting opinions. Her example has been instructive on how teamwork helps the College’s research mission, and she has inspired all of us to work better together as we push the frontiers of medical knowledge.


Dr. Eric T. Warwick

Assistant professor of family and community medicine – residency education

Nominated by Fareed Khan

Dr. Warwick has been an effective residency program director since 2013 and has overseen numerous changes to the residency program. He has been instrumental in improving the educational quality and the stature of the Baylor Family Medicine Residency program. His work demonstrates a repertoire that is broad and confirms his tireless efforts and his dedication to the field of medical education. The volume of his endeavors is inspiring, especially considering his continued heavy clinical workload and his administrative responsibilities. He serves as mentor and role model to many. He is known for his happy demeanor and for being approachable and available. I knew him as a resident in our program many years ago. He was kind and gentle then. He has maintained all those desirable aspects of his personality and has now adorned himself with a mantle of serious education leadership at Baylor College of Medicine. He is driven by a desire to better his work environment and himself. I am sure that all the residency program faculty and the many residents past and present would unanimously agree with me that he is richly deserving of this award.


Ben Tuma

Infrastructure Architect

Office of Information Technology – Cloud Services

Nominated by Jason Childers

Ben Tuma has demonstrated exemplary worth ethic, innovation, teamwork, and expertise to the IT infrastructure group. Our recent Epic 2015 Upgrade was a monumental undertaking which took over a year to complete start to finish, and Ben was an integral part of making this all happen. He was tasked with creating an entirely new server infrastructure to support the new version of Epic, designing and documenting a new and efficient backup and restore process, seamlessly migrating data from the old Epic servers to the new, creating scripts to keep the “machine” running smoothly, not to mention many other improvements even I probably wouldn’t understand. As a result, we had not only an incredibly smooth upgrade, but overall system performance is significantly improved. He has streamlined all related processes and provided thorough documentation of our new infrastructure outlining how all of our systems (and particularly important to me how our Epic systems) work together.


International Services Office

Joy Dun, Team Lead

Amy Makiyama, Sr. Immigration Advisor

Kira Geslin, Immigration Advisor

Larysa Rangel Kruijs, Immigration Representative

Elisabeta Trail, Immigration Advisor

Stacey Cheung, Immigration Representative

Nominated by Sanah Haque

This year, we recruited two huge labs from Vanderbilt and Northwestern, and honestly, we couldn’t have done this without their help. These were very large groups, and the J-1 transfers were handled seamlessly! We had approximately nine J-1 transfers from each of these institutions that were due to start just two months apart. The investigators/researchers were McNair and CPRIT Scholars, thus transferring their lab members in due time was crucial to the success of this transition!

The International Services team is very quick to respond to emails and phone calls and has even volunteered to come to numerous meetings such as the Basic Science Administrators Council to explain and alleviate any and all concerns we all have regarding the various Visa categories. I honestly don’t know a time when I was unable to reach one of them! I am quite stunned as to how responsive they all are even on weekends and holidays! This team works extremely well with the various departments it supports. Before I came to BCM 9 years ago, I had no concept of the work and careful attention that must be paid in managing these various Visas. Each is so different, yet the education this team has given me over the years is admirable!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.