Institutional Support Candidates


Matt White

IMG_1566Matt White has been an RN for well over 20 years and an EMT for 15 years prior to becoming an RN. Matt served 10 years in the US Army (Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom) and 10 more years in the US Air Force Reserve. Matt joined UTMB in 2006 as a clinical educator working in the CMC division and also worked in TDCJ hospital. When UTMB got the US Antarctic Program contract, Matt was privileged to work here at the headquarters in Galveston as well as travel with the US National Science Foundation for a site visit to Antarctica which included the South Pole Ice Station.

In Matt’s spare time he volunteers at Texas Stranded Marine Mammal Network taking care of dolphins, we currently have a one year male bottle-noose dolphin that washed up near Corpus Christi named Zip. Matt also volunteers for our Crystal Beach Mardi Gras Krewe raising money for the various Children Charities.

Matt currently works as the Nurse Manager of Employee Health and finds taking care of the UTMB employees to be a very rewarding task and would like to also represent them as a member of the EAC.




Kathy Tiernan, MS

TiernanKathy Tiernan was recruited to UTMB by the Department of Pediatrics to create a school-based program to teach self-management skills to elementary age youth with asthma. This very successful research led to publications and a faculty position. Kathy continues to be involved primarily in community-based research and program development. Being one of the first health promotion professionals at UTMB, Kathy has taught undergraduate and graduate health professions students how to communicate, teach, plan, and evaluate programs and interventions that reduce risk and potentially avoid disease.  Kathy also directs a summer program “UTMB High School Biomedical Research Program” supervising high school students in UTMB research labs. Kathy’s role for the Office of Health Policy and Legislative Affairs has been, and continues to be, discovering wonderful opportunities to build community–campus partnerships resulting in improved access to care and improved health outcomes. Kathy embraces the UTMB vision that promotes people, value, strategic management and growth, and resources. When Kathy reviewed the EAC website, she realized this group can really support and cultivate the UTMB values, which include: we demonstrate compassion, we always act with integrity, we show respect to all, we embrace diversity, and we promote lifelong learning. Kathy respects a team-based approach.

Life has taught Kathy to value the contributions of all to a solution; not just the ones who talk the most, the loudest, or with the most perceived power. The EAC is a valuable resource to promote people and growth.  Kathy can help to plan, do, and evaluate anything. Kathy is looking forward to getting her 40- year pin soon and can think of no better way to work some wonders.



Imelda Wicks

WicksImelda Wicks works at the Department of Human Resources in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.  Imelda provides strategic assistance on duties associated with the coordination of key diversity and inclusion activities across the institution.  Imelda assists leadership of the Diversity Council in projects related to Academic Enterprise, CMC, Institutional Support, infrastructure, Health System, and recognition and engagement at UTMB.  Imelda coordinated efforts in launching the first Employee Resource Group for Veterans at UTMB and continues to look for opportunities to serve the diverse employee populations of this institution. Prior work experience includes over 12 years of experience providing assistance in projects related to intercultural and cross-cultural affairs, higher education, and serving as director at a non-profit organization.  Imelda was sponsored at the Bike Around the Bay by UTMB, making it one of the top five fundraiser institutions (along with the other UTMB Cycling Team members). Imelda also represented UTMB as a volunteer at Grand Kids Festival and TEDTalks Houston.

Imelda would love the opportunity to serve on the Employee Advisory Council.  She offers knowledge and experience to a greater cause so that we may continue to make UTMB better every day.  Imelda believes that her experience in working with people from different cultures and backgrounds will be an asset in representing all employees and continuing to promote an environment of inclusion at UTMB.  As part of the EAC, Imelda would like to be a role model by exercising compassion, integrity, respect, diversity and lifelong learning, as these are the values she practices every day and shares with all of her fellow UTMB employees.


Neal F. Cooper

CooperNeal Cooper joined UTMB in December of 2005 as Contract Administrator for off-site procurement services through Central Purchasing.  Neal has over fifteen years of experience with the State, and over twenty-three years in Purchasing/Contract Administration experience.  Most recently, in 2010 he was promoted to Program Director for Sustainability.  In this role, he oversees a team whose responsibilities include:

  • Fleet Services and Operations
  • Recycling and Waste Stream Management Services for the campus
  • Transportation Initiatives which include representing UTMB:
    • at Galveston County Transit District Board meetings
    • for Houston-Galveston Area Council activities
    • for transportation initiatives with Island Transit, and the Gulf Coast Center regarding League City and MoM Park-n-Ride services
    • Courier Services to/from off-site campuses and clinic locations

Neal’s responsibilities require him to constantly communicate with all levels of the UTMB community regarding issues that are of interest to everyone.   As a member of the Employee Advisory Council, Neal would bring the knowledge gleaned from that level of communication to the Council.  As part of the Business Operations and Facilities Branch of the institution, he would be able to speak for, or relay information/requests to and from Facilities leadership.

Neal was elected to the EAC in 2012 as a representative for Institutional Support employees and is running for re-election to a second three-year term.


Leslie Blacketer

BlacketerLeslie Blacketer graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Human Performance in 1991 from the University of Houston – Clear Lake. Before beginning her 18-year career at UTMB, she worked at St. Mary’s Hospital in Galveston as a Fitness Specialist in the Physical Therapy Department. She came to UTMB in January of 1998 as the Assistant Manager of the Alumni Field House and became the Manager in 2000.

Leslie has had the pleasure of developing associations and friendships across the institution with a very diverse population, including the members of the Field House. These interactions have allowed her to stay in touch with the concerns and issues that are important to UTMB employees. Leslie has worked closely with the Office of Student Life and the Student Government Association as well as the Retiree’s Association to retain memberships and to hear concerns and suggestions from their specific groups for the Alumni Field House.  She has a gained a wide array of knowledge concerning all areas of UTMB through her associations with the groups that the Field House serves.

Leslie currently lives in Galveston with her 16-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son and participates in various parent groups for the GISD school district.

Leslie would like the opportunity to serve on the Employee Advisory Council as she feels that her experience with a very diverse group of associations within the UTMB community keeps her in tune with the mindset of the remarkable employees that work here.


Marlon Sukal, PhD, MSIOP, MBA

SukalAs director, Marlon Sukal leads HR’s Talent and Organizational Development Programs and Services (TOD) through effective planning, personnel, operational, and financial management while ensuring optimal quality, cost, and service outcomes.

TOD is one of several organizations on campus that provides training to leaders, managers and employees. In addition, TOD provides team and organizational development and employee recognition services. Marlon oversees the team’s FY16 focus areas that include:

  • The Leadership Challenge Program
  • Foundational Manager Training Program
  • Physician Leadership Academy
  • New Employee Orientation
  • CPR Customer Service Training
  • You Count Employee Engagement Pulse Survey
  • Employee Service Day
  • Nicholas and Katherine Leone Award for Administrative Excellence

Marlon brings over two decades of management experience, 10 years as an organizational development consultant, and 5 years as an academic director. Since joining UTMB in April 2014, he has focused on supporting TOD’s people services with science.  One of his major contributions is to implement a Values-based Learning Evaluation program to measure the effectiveness and impact of TOD’s training and development initiatives.

Marlon will represent Institutional Support, specifically Human Resources, with regards to needed duties based on the directives from UTMB leadership; ongoing support of system-wide institutional programs and processes, such as the Leone Award; and give input in focus groups and meetings representing his HR colleagues.