'Can Do' Attitude Leads to Top Award for USAMRIEM's Reynoso
Following a number of key contributions to the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, Marinaliz Reynoso with USAMRDC's U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine was honored as USAMRDC's Employee of the Quarter on December 20.
"I am honored," said Reynoso, a research biologist who's spent the past two years of her career at USARIEM. "Not only by being named the USAMRDC Employee of the Quarter, but also by the overwhelming reactions and support of my work family."
Reynoso's notable professional efforts across the third quarter of 2021 included, chiefly, the successful planning and execution of a large data collection effort for a complex field study at Fort Jackson, in South Carolina. Specifically, the study focused on investigating hormonal and oxidative stress changes and their relationship to musculoskeletal injury risk in trainees during the Army Basic Combat Training course. After a last-minute change in the study's research staff left a critical position vacant, Reynoso volunteered to serve as a research coordinator for the effort despite never having served in such a role before. As a result, she assumed sole responsibility for training, credentialing and supervising of more than twenty phlebotomists – including both military and civilian specialists – as well as contract staff, both onsite at USARIEM and at Ft. Jackson. Further. Perhaps most impressively, Reynoso devoted nearly 100 hours to identifying suppliers for biological sample collection materials and personal protective equipment – not to mention the ensuing complex shipping logistics – at a time of widespread inventory shortfalls resulting from the global novel coronavirus pandemic.
"I feel a great sense of accomplishment," said Reynoso of winning the award. "Most days I feel like what a do is so small compared to the big picture – however, the past year has been eye-opening to see not only what I am capable of, but my team as well."
"Ms. Reynoso's cheerful disposition and 'can do' attitude have inspired esprit-de-corps and strengthened connections between the study team and volunteers, training cadre and leadership at Fort Jackson," said Stefan M. Pasiakos, Chief of the Military Performance Division at USARIEM, about Reynoso's work.
Pasiakos, who nominated Reynoso for the award, also lauded her emphasis on precision and safety over the course of the study in his nomination submission. For Reynoso – who describes her position as a unique opportunity to study musculoskeletal injuries in an effort to improve larger Soldier resiliency – she was simply doing what was necessary to get the mission accomplished.
"It's been an absolute privilege to see just how much of a difference my team and I can make," said Reynoso. "The mission may not always be an easy one, but the fulfillment I get in seeing the impact we are making ultimately makes everything worth it."