Name: Vicki Lynn Smola

Department: Chemistry

Job: Administrative assistant II

Length of employment at UCR: As a career employee, five-plus years
My work: I assist in most areas of the department including graduate and faculty recruitment when it is needed. I handle the payroll for over 200 people.

Things you should know: I really love my grandchildren, Zane, 12, and Sadie Grace, 5 (going on 21!). I have been married for 17 years to Darryl and am a mother to Becky and Steven. I lost my oldest son Danny 13 years ago. I could be called the rose diva of Redlands (I have 60ish) and have a pretty productive green thumb. I volunteered on the Staff Assembly board for more than three years. Those are some of my passions. However, my recent passion is getting the word out about strokes. I come by this passion quite naturally ó I had a stroke a year and a half ago. In spite of this, I feel I was meant to be here and I have a purpose in life! I have been a member of Toastmasters on campus six-plus years, and recently spoke to two local Toastmasters groups about strokes. One of the examples I used was that you cannot hear yourself slurring your words when you talk; you hear your talking as normal. Therefore, you donít realize that anything is wrong. If I can help one person become a survivor, I have accomplished something. I now have a zest for life and want to share with others. If you belong to a group that would benefit, I would welcome the opportunity to speak. I also want to thank Human Resources for assisting my husband and later myself so competently, with a caring spirit, during my disability.