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Innovative and compassionate, she aims to always keep UTSW plugged in

Smiling woman with short dark hair, wearing a striking red suit and pearls. On white banner with-Dian Polk, Executive Assistant, Information Resources, and blue Employee Recognition Program logo.

Information Resources (IR) works to keep UT Southwestern at the forefront of innovation. As Executive Assistant, Dian Polk enjoys her role in supporting IR leadership and staff to help accomplish departmental goals.

“Today we are in the era of artificial intelligence, and our leaders work tirelessly to ensure UTSW is aligned with new technological developments. I am fortunate to be a member of a department that continues to be an integral part of these advancements in achieving UTSW’s mission,” Ms. Polk says.

In the 40 years since beginning her career at UTSW as an Administrative Assistant in the Medical Service, Research and Development Plan (MSRDP), she has witnessed tremendous growth and transformation.

“When I transferred to IR, there were only 13 employees, and now the department has grown to over 700. Despite the size, we’re still like family. I have worked with phenomenal leaders and colleagues who encourage training, growth, and career development and always remind the staff of the importance of each role, regardless of title,” she says.

UTSW faced extraordinary challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic that put extra pressure on the IR team, Ms. Polk recalls. In March 2020, when it was announced that many employees would work from home, demand grew exponentially for computers and other equipment to work remotely. Team members worked long hours ordering and distributing laptops, docking stations, and other essential equipment to ensure daily operations of the University continued.

“Working through the pandemic was quite an experience, but I’m proud of our team’s tenacity, service, and stewardship. The entire IR team was outstanding, and we are grateful for its leadership, dedication, and patience,” Ms. Polk says.

She is proud to work at a top-ranked hospital where physicians and researchers offer hope and encouragement for people dealing with various diseases. One of her favorite memories was the IR department’s volunteer support of a family of eight during the holidays.

“Our team’s enthusiasm was amazing. You could see the joy they felt in helping families who were unable to fulfill their children’s wish lists. Two vehicles were needed to make the delivery because there were so many gifts. The smiles on the faces of the family were unforgettable,” she says.

Outside the office, Ms. Polk’s passions include spending time with family, traveling, reading, attending sporting events, Jazzercise, and participating in church ministries and community services.

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