Tres Smith a bright presence at Sorrell Center

by Kalani Simpson, strategic communications | June 07, 2022

Image with caption: UNMC's Tres Smith

UNMC's Tres Smith

In the middle of the Sorrell Center, in the middle of campus, in the middle of the day, in the middle of a rigorous and stressful academic health sciences program, in the middle of a pandemic, Tres Smith can be counted upon to light up when you walk through the door. You are probably one of her favorite people to see today. Just about everyone is.

"I love my job more than anybody else on this campus," she said. "I guarantee it."

Smith officially draws a paycheck for managing the Sorrell Center C-Store. But her real vocation is serving as a doting auntie to the hundreds of UNMC students -- and, sometimes employees and faculty, too -- who stop by to see her nearly every day.

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Tres Smith, at right, was honored at the UNMC College of Medicine's 2022 Match Day ceremony.

Smith recently was honored with a special award from the UNMC College of Medicine Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) at the Class of 2022’s Match Day. They checked to make sure she would be there for the ceremony. But of course, she always attends.

"There is one person at UNMC that goes above and beyond their role by creating a supportive and hospitable culture for medical students in our community," said Tiffany Truong, MD, as she presented the award.

Smith was being honored for "her personal qualities of kindness and optimism, and for her unwavering commitment to support the wellbeing of students and faculty at the UNMC College of Medicine," added Seif Nasir, MD.

They used the word wellbeing. Think about that. During this time when we are told to be mindful of our own and one another’s wellness and mental health, there are several ways we can practice self-care. You can exercise. You can meditate. And you can go down to the C-Store and buy a cup of coffee from Tres.

How often are we told to ask after one another? "I’m a nosy Nellie," she said.

If a student is dressed up, "I’ll say, ‘Did you send a picture of yourself to your mom?’ And they’ll do it!"

She loves these students. It’s a privilege, she said, to see them at this time in their lives. "To know someone," she said, "when they’re just starting out."

There was this one couple. "They sat right out here," she said, at that table just outside her c-store window. "I watched them go from dating," she said, "to having two kids."

People bring their kids in to meet her. Of course they do. They remember how this woman cared, how she asked about them, what those small moments of kindness meant, on otherwise tough days, when they were just starting out.

Tom O’Connor
June 09, 2022 at 10:07 PM

Wow - the long list of comments says it all. Tres is one of UNMC’s best. Great story on a great lady.

June 09, 2022 at 10:00 AM

my FAVORITE person

Grant Turner
June 09, 2022 at 8:51 AM

Couldn’t agree more! She was such a force of happiness always!

Pat O'Neil
June 08, 2022 at 3:50 PM

Every word in this article is true. I've never known anyone so consistently upbeat. Tres is a gem.

Heidi Kaschke
June 08, 2022 at 3:00 PM

Thank you, for all that you do, Tres! Well deserved.

Katina Winters
June 07, 2022 at 7:04 PM

Tres! You are most deserving of such a wonderful honoring. Thank you for all you do!

Sara Zachman
June 07, 2022 at 4:45 PM

Such a gem of a smile and spirit! Many years on, I still have such fond memories of Tres brightening up our breaks between lectures.

June 07, 2022 at 4:06 PM

Tres, This is awesome, well deserved.

Barb Brey
June 07, 2022 at 4:00 PM

So deserved! She always brings a smile to my face and makes you feel special every time you stop at the store!. Congrats Tres!

Rishad Ahmed
June 07, 2022 at 3:25 PM

I've always felt she deserved something like this! Every time I go to the store, she brightens my day.

Mona Bolton
June 07, 2022 at 3:14 PM

She truly is a gem. Always has a smile on her face and a joke to share!

Laura Bilek
June 07, 2022 at 2:59 PM

Tres, I am delighted you have been honored for caring for all of us!

Kelly McDonald
June 07, 2022 at 1:13 PM

A much deserved honor! You are truly sunlight in a human. You are a gift to all of us!!

Lori J. Cervantes
June 07, 2022 at 12:42 PM

I always like to see you bright and shining smile. Congrats!

Terri Vadovski
June 07, 2022 at 11:22 AM

Awesome! You bring smiles to us all everyday!

Jacque M Swirzinski
June 07, 2022 at 11:05 AM

Well done

Patricia Anderson
June 07, 2022 at 10:46 AM

Such a well-deserved honor and recognition. Tres always has such an upbeat and positive attitude...and a SMILE for everyone. She is truly the best...and a Hawkeye fan to boot! Added bonus.

Erin Cross
June 07, 2022 at 10:39 AM

Congratulations Tres! Thank you for going above and beyond for UNMC!

Samantha Chacon
June 07, 2022 at 10:25 AM

SO well deserved! Whenever I stop by the C-Store and see Tres, it's the best part of my day! She's such a genuinely kind woman.

Austin Brake
June 07, 2022 at 10:11 AM

Tres is amazing! She is a true UNMC treasure!

Tami Houdesheldt
June 07, 2022 at 9:58 AM

A much deserved honor! Great to see your smiling face Tres! :)

June 07, 2022 at 9:43 AM

Congratulations Tres! Even when you worked over in the Student Life Center, you had the same presence 12-15 years ago as you do today. And you also never age because of your bright spirit! Love our chats!

Maggie Milner
June 07, 2022 at 9:36 AM

Tres is fantastic! She is genuinely kind and makes one feel so incredibly special every time she sees you. She is a shining example of our ITEACH values and exemplifies them each and every day. Thank you, Tres, for making all of our days a little brighter!

Melissa Soester
June 07, 2022 at 9:32 AM

Congratulations Tres!

Margot Chima
June 07, 2022 at 9:13 AM

Well deserved recognition! Although I graduated a number of years ago, I still can remember how infectious her positivity is. She is so authentically kind. A true UNMC treasure! Congrats!

Bev Hamman
June 07, 2022 at 9:08 AM

Congratulations Tres! What a special recognition for a special person! You make my day when I come into the C-Store. I agree that you really are the best!

John Keenan
June 07, 2022 at 8:52 AM

Tres is a treasure, and classy move by the students to let her know how much they, and the rest of UNMC, appreciate her.

June 07, 2022 at 8:52 AM

You’re the best Tres!

Gracey Alexander
June 07, 2022 at 8:50 AM

She's beautiful presence on this campus and one of the reasons I love being an employee here!! You deserve this honor and more TRES!!!! Love you lady!

Mike Wadman
June 07, 2022 at 8:50 AM

Well deserved honor for Tres and proud that our students recognize her contributions to their experience here at UNMC.

Emily Brandt
June 07, 2022 at 8:28 AM

Spot on, Tres is such a ray of sunshine!!!! Congratulations and thank you for being you!

Anne Lawlor
June 07, 2022 at 8:18 AM

Tres, you are so deserving of this recognition! Thank you for being the bright spot in everyone's day (and for never judging when we need our mid-afternoon chocolate fix). You really are the best!

Sandy Goetzinger-Comer
June 07, 2022 at 8:12 AM

I enjoyed reading about the difference Tres is making and the people she has touched over her many years of service. Also kudos to Kalani Simpson who did an amazing job telling her story.

Cindy Skarda
June 07, 2022 at 8:07 AM

Congratulations Tres. Well deserved.

Peggy Moore
June 07, 2022 at 8:07 AM

Tres always offers a warm smile and a kind word of encouragement! Congratulations Tres on this well deserved recognition!

Carla L Snyder
June 07, 2022 at 7:47 AM

Congratulations Tres! You are an amazingly positive, caring person and great asset to UNMC!

Jeff Miller
June 07, 2022 at 7:47 AM

Congratulations Tres for doing a great job and being honored by the students!

Lindsey Rae Holmes
June 07, 2022 at 7:31 AM

Tres is the most kind and sweet spirited person to work for UNMC. Her friendly and caring demeanor makes a difference. Thank you for always being so welcoming and pure sunshine.

Kathryn Dybdall
June 07, 2022 at 7:31 AM

Congrats Tres!! well deserved. ~ Kitty

Jenny Mobley
June 07, 2022 at 7:31 AM

This is so great to hear Tres was honored! She makes my day every time I see her! Thank you, Tres, for being you!

Kim Harp
June 07, 2022 at 7:20 AM

Yay Tres- undeniably well-deserved!! I love every conversation I have with her. After a person interacts with Tres, even if its just a few minutes, they walk away a better person. Thank you, Tres for everything you give UNMC.

Tanya Custer
June 07, 2022 at 6:44 AM

Congratulations Tres! So well deserved. Your are a bright spot on campus!