Jessica Hodgson of EHSRM is UTSA's 2019 Rising Star

April 16, 2019


Wellness Assistant Jessica Hodgson earned the Rising Star Award, to be presented at the April 18 University Excellence Awards ceremony. Known as an innovator in the Environmental Health Safety Risk Management (EHSRM) department, Jessica is always looking for better ways to refine and up the ante for the next challenge.

Starting as a wellness intern in 2017, Jessica immediately stood out by showing dedication, extraordinary contribution and vision. This led her to a full-time position in the office after attaining her B.S. in Community Health that June.

Since last summer, Jessica has helped staff who are piloting UTSA’s telecommuting program by supporting the ergonomic correctness of their home workspaces. While the office had already supplied staff with an online self-evaluation form, Jessica implemented a step-by-step guide for workstation setup. This included detailed pictures and descriptions of correct and incorrect setups to provide answers to ergonomic questions.

By staying current with trends and new information in worker health, Jessica takes strides to maintain and improve programs, such as Rowdy New U. She created the Wellness Champion program, recruiting liaisons in several departments to inform employees about Rowdy New U. She armed the Wellness Champions with supporting materials, such as presentations, calendars, and marketing materials, to get employees pumped for the program. She hopes this new approach will encourage morale and well-being among faculty and staff around campus.

In addition to managing three month-long fitness challenges annually, including all online communication and marketing, she also analyzes the data and distributes prizes to the winners. She also spearheads the university’s participation in the San Antonio Sports Corporate Cup, a field day-like competition among more than 90 organizations.

Jessica taught herself to use Qualtrics survey software to track the 130 athletes and volunteers participating on behalf of UTSA. She makes all arrangements so athletes and volunteers have the equipment and food needed for the competition.

Because of the relentless energy she put toward this project, she achieved the university’s highest ever enrollment in our seven years of participating in the Corporate Cup.

Jessica leads several awareness efforts aimed at improving employee health, such as the American Diabetes Association’s National Get Fit, Don’t Sit Day, a disease management course. She organizes the annual American Heart Walk event in February. Her promotion of the annual on-site flu shot clinic in October 2018 raised participation by 12%.

Jessica Hodgson’s persistence, energy, and effectiveness have rightfully earned her the Rising Star Award for 2019. Her efforts make UTSA a better, more caring work place and help improve employee satisfaction. We applaud Jessica and thank her for her hard work leading to tremendous outcomes for staff and faculty. 

- Business Affairs