The Office of Institutional Advancement regularly features a Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso faculty or staff member who exemplifies the vision and mission of our institution. Their journeys to becoming TTUHSC El Paso employees are unique and work experiences vary, but all have a passion to improve the lives of the people in our community. They are dedicated to excellence and committed to care.
This month’s employee is Alberto Lopez, unit coordinator in Payment Services.
For over five years, employees at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso have worked with Alberto Lopez, unit coordinator with Payment Services, to book travel and assist with vouchers for work trips to conferences, speaking engagements and other university functions. With mandatory quarantines in El Paso and other regions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, events were cancelled, and many travel arrangements had to be rearranged.
While Lopez’s main job function is accounts payable – providing financial, administrative and clerical support to all offices on campus – his job duties related to travel have had to adapt in 2020.
“My position greatly changed during COVID-19. During quarantine, I assisted departments in managing their canceled trips,” Lopez said. “The whole university was affected when it came to scheduled travel. It was a great experience helping departments deal with this unprecedented situation.”
Not only did COVID-19 affect Lopez’s work related to travel, it also changed his personal travel plans. Music buffs, Potterheads and newlyweds, he and his wife planned their honeymoon to Europe for July 2020. With tickets to the Tomorrowland music festival in Boom, Belgium, and Warner Bros. Studios Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter in Leavesden, England, Lopez had to make a difficult choice whether to travel or scratch his trip.
“My planned honeymoon to Europe was cancelled due to the virus. We made a decision to see how the situation plays out before reconsidering to travel in 2021,” he said.
While they may not be able to enjoy live music at traditional concert venues in recent months, the Lopezes have taken advantage of online concert experiences.
“Luckily, through the use of technology, we’ve attended virtual festivals,” Lopez said. “There’s also YouTube. New music is posted every week!”
While travel may have dwindled during the past six months, Lopez thinks there will be an uptick next year with the opening of the new Hunt School of Dental Medicine.
“It’s time to plan, plan, plan,” he said.
TTUHSC El Paso employees are the institution’s most valuable resource. Click here to suggest candidates for future Faculty and Staff Highlights.