About pep talk
Welcome to pep talk.
What is this?
The tagline pretty much says it: one person’s perspective on life, news and events at UTMB. pep talk is a semi-official blog to share news and information about things happening at UTMB.
This blog is an experiment. It’s hosted on a UTMB blog server. I floated the idea of creating this blog late in 2005 and was given the green light by our administration (by the folks in the President’s Office and what at the time was the Office of University Advancement) to give this a shot. That’s the “official” part. The “semi” part comes from some of the unorthodox, non-corporate stuff you may find here from time to time. It’s my intent to provide fun, interesting, useful, open and honest information. Some of it may not fit the model of conventional communication. Some of it may be more personal reflection or conjecture and not the official line. Not all of it will be about work. That’s the “semi” part.
Who am I?
My name is Pep Valdes. When I started this blog, I worked in the public affairs area of University Advancement at UTMB, where I worked with a small team of talented folks on Internet and internal communication projects. The communication venues I helped manage included our institutional home pages, the daily announcements, iUTMB, the campus TV monitors, Impact, and a few others. Some of you may remember me as “The Rumor Guy”…I spawned UTMB’s once popular “Rumors and Trumors” web page.
My hope was that pep talk would expand on and ultimately replace what we started with Rumors and Trumors. pep talk allows me to be proactive rather than reactive, addressing a wider range of topics. It also is something new. After seven years and many hundred rumors, I was very ready for something new.
Why me, why this, why now? My job put me at an interesting crossroads, in a place where many of UTMB’s mission areas, people and projects came together. Some of the many things that crossed my desk were of interest or importance to people on campus; with pep talk, I worked to provide an informal and timely outlet. I’ve also been very fortunate to have met and worked alongside some great people during my decade at UTMB. There’s mutual trust and respect in those relationships, and that made it easier for me “plug in” to many sources for information.
Why this format? I think it works. There’s a lot of buzz now about blogs, but if you look at what we did with Rumors and Trumors, it followed the blog format long before such a beast had been formally named or “invented.” I think it’s a good model for online communication. Why now? I wish I’d done it sooner. I feel UTMB is on the verge of some truly great things. We’ve had good leadership, had focus, overcome some major challenges (and more lie ahead), found an identity for ourselves, and have done (and do) some great things. But the bar is always moving higher, and the worlds of healthcare, education and science are extremely competitive. If you pick up a single thing thing from this blog that helps you better understand what UTMB is about, why something is a certain way, and how you fit in to the university’s big picture, my efforts will have been worthwhile.
So here I am today, in a new role at the university, and still doing pep talk several years from that first post in February 2006. As long as people want me to, I’ll work to continue eeking out a few minutes each week. Thank you for reading.
Disclaimer: While I always strive to do my best to pass along only the most current and correct information to you, I’m may not always be 100% on target. If I make a mistake, I’ll work to promptly correct it, and ask for your patience and understanding. I welcome your honest feedback and straight comments. I will always be open minded, and will do my best to give it to you quick and straight. If I inadvertently offend anyone, I apologize in advance.
It is my plan to make several posts each week. Like all of you, though, I have a real job and managers who expect me to do “real” work. pep talk is a side project, something that interests me and that I will be doing in between other things.