Kat Denton: The Office Among Peers
Sunlight streams through the dozens of windows in the lobby of Dell Medical School. Chatter echoes through the hallways as medical students hurry to class, staff members walk to meetings and visitors grab coffee from the cafe down the hall. A large mural hangs above an imposing desk where Kat Denton, the face of Dell Medical School, greets visitors with a friendly smile.
Denton, a senior administrative associate of Facility Management and Operations at Dell Medical School, has many responsibilities. She manages the calendars for the Health Learning Building, the Health Discovery Building and the Health Transformation Building. She assists the executive director, and she delegates the tasks of five student workers to ensure that the building is running smoothly. If anyone needs anything, Denton is the one to call. And she does this all while sitting at the concierge desk, greeting every new visitor.
“When you come in, I’m your jack of all trades,” said Denton. “I wear many hats around here.”
Denton’s office space is unique. Her desk is open and accessible to all comers. Denton prefers it this way; it is much easier to perform her duties when everyone can easily find her to ask for help.
“This building is all windows, and I can see what’s going on,” said Denton. “Any kind of action that’s going on here, I’ll see it. If I was stuck on an eighth floor with no windows, I’d never know what’s going on out here.”
One of Denton’s favorite things about her office is the desk itself. The pecan wood finish on the surface tells a powerful story. It was built from one of trees that UT cleared four years ago in order to build Dell Medical School. Many of the trees were protected or relocated, so her desk is one of the only structures like it—a truly unique testament to the founding of the school.
“My desk is the only one that’s made this way,” said Denton. “I think I have the best desk around.”