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UHCOP Research Liaison Officer Nathaniel Mortel, CRA, left, received the UH President's Excellence Award from UH President & UH System Chancellor Renu Khator. Photo courtesy of Alexander's Fine Portrait Design.

Stellar Staff Member 

UH Alumnus, UHCOP Research Office Staffer Mortel Receives UH President's Excellence Award for Service

October 5 — In only four years at University of Houston College of Pharmacy, the positive attitude and work ethic of staff member Nathaniel "Nathan" Mortel, CRA, B.S. (’14), have earned him accolades at both the college and university level. In September, Mortel was recognized among the recipients of the 2023 UH President's Excellence Awards.

Each year the University of Houston recognizes employees for service longevity of 10 years or more to acknowledge and reward employees for their hard work and dedication to the university and its mission.

Mortel, a research liaison officer in the Office of Research, provides pre- and post-award support for faculty, including proposal preparation, budget verification and submission.

"Nathan has brought an efficient and effective operation to COP Office of Research in submitting well-prepared proposals," said Diana S-L Chow, Ph.D., FNAI, Paula & John J. Lovoi Endowed Professor in Drug Discovery and Development. "In fiscal year 2021, Nathan submitted 109 proposals for COP, the most proposals submitted by a single pre-award research administrator at UH."

With thorough and detailed knowledge of the proposal requirements of individual funding agencies, Mortel is known to go beyond his pre-award role to assist with data requests to key stakeholders.

"He is always happy to help and makes sure that all work is performed with the highest quality, especially with compliance on all sponsor requirements," said Professor Vincent H. Tam, Pharm.D., FIDSA, BCIDP. "Nathan is one of the busiest staff in the college; however, he still manages to keep a great level of professionalism and excellence in his work to support the college’s mission."

Excellence, dedication and sincerity are three words that Associate Professor Samina Salim, Ph.D., uses to describe Mortel.

"Nathan is one of the best staff members that I have come across in my 20-year career as a faculty member," Salim said. "He does his job with the utmost respect and humility. His attention to detail and his diligence deserves special mention."

Mortel’s personal traits have made an impact as well.

"We admire Nathan’s leadership, dedication and passion in serving UHCOP, but more importantly, we are grateful to have such an incredible and kind-hearted colleague," fellow Office of Research staff member Cindy Le said.

Mortel attributes winning the award to his family, UH leadership and faculty, and his colleagues.

"I am honored and truly grateful for the recognition as I know many colleagues in COP and across campus who are hard workers, have been with UH longer, and are very much deserving of the award as well," Mortel said.

Mortel’s occupational journey at UH began as a work-study student worker in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics where he majored in biology and health. After graduation, he worked as a research administrator in the Sponsored Research Office at the Cullen College of Engineering before transferring to COP in 2019.

Mortel is no stranger to awards. In 2022, he received the College of Pharmacy’s Staff Excellence Award after being nominated by multiple individuals in various departments across the college.

"I believe that through hard work and sincerity, good results will come," Mortel said.