“Zheng Fan is a joy to work with and a real asset to Rice.” That was just one of several comments about the technical manager in Administrative and Enterprise Systems who is the most recent recipient of Rice’s Distinguished Employee Award. Rebecca Gould, director of Employee Relations, presented the award to Fan June 11.
The Distinguished Employee Award recognizes employees who have gone above and beyond the call of service, who share and support the mission of Rice and who bring a charm and quality to their job that is supportive, encouraging and beneficial to their departmental operations and to their co-workers’ daily lives.
Fan has been a member of the Rice staff since 2007.
“It isn’t enough to say that Zheng does his job well,” wrote colleagues in a letter nominating him for the award. “Zheng continually goes above and beyond in everything he does for us.”
They said he is constantly coming up with better ways for them to do their work via Banner, the key information database used for managing the broad scope of Rice’s financial, human resource, payroll, student, sponsored research and related activities; Esther, the database for student and personnel information; and Edgar, the database for electronic data gathering and reporting.
“When we face issues or roadblocks, he is an incredibly effective partner in figuring out ways to resolve the issue or move over, under or around the obstacles,” they wrote.
“Zheng has put in extra time and effort to make to the open-enrollment process in Esther much more user-friendly in terms of application and design,” nominators wrote. “He openly listened to our pain points and errors with the older system and enhanced the application. He most recently has also taken the initiative to format open enrollment so that the application is mobile-friendly. He has also added a feature to where we can have audio information available regarding the different plans. Zheng is always helpful and willing to work with us on our vendor files, various Banner forms and proactively reminds/informs us of upcoming issues. He is a true asset to the benefits group, is pleasant to work with and we appreciate his innovativeness.”
Fan was also credited with creating an automatic report for an “out-of-state” employee list, which allowed Human Resources to generate a report without having to request it through Admin Systems. He also streamlined the fiscal year-end/year beginning budget process, “a very time-intensive and often-frustrating process.”
“This has enabled all parties in HR and in Payroll to have access to the information they need,” nominators wrote. “He is continuing to improve the process for us this year to take a paper-based exception reporting process electronic. He makes sure he really understands the process, asks insightful questions and recommends improvements to ensure we are doing things as efficiently, effectively and easily as possible.”
Other nominators wrote, “Whenever there is a question of possible enhancements, he is available to listen and offer technical advice. He has implemented several creative ideas and is definitely an out-of-the-box thinker. He is very knowledgeable, professional and a pleasure to work with.”
To nominate an employee for the Distinguished Employee Award, contact Rebecca Gould in Human Resources at email@example.com.