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Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Jaime Thomson

Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Jaime Thomson

Since 1999, Jaime has been bringing her expertise to UNT System. She's her department's HR liaison, handles special projects, works on our Gallup engagement initiative and provides administrative support to the Vice Chancellor for Strategic Infrastructure. Some things you might not know about Jaime, but definitely should, is that in 2006 she was a contestant one of -- if not the -- most popular game shows ever on television, she once stood between jugglers as their torches and machetes whizzed by, and she judges restaurants based on if they offer a certain tasty item on their dessert menu. Yes, there's more to Jaime Thomson than meets the eye. Click the button to find out. 

Q&A

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
I get to do so many different kinds of things, and I’m always learning something new. When everyone went remote last year, my department also permanently moved out of our building. One of my projects was getting us transitioned from an office-and-paper-based work environment to one where we could function digitally, from anywhere, so that we could consolidate our office spaces and still get our jobs done.

What is your proudest work moment? 
I started supporting UNT’s contact tracing team late last year, and I am in awe of everything they’re doing to keep the campus community safe. I’m so proud to be a part of that effort.

What is your proudest non-work moment?
Being a contestant on Jeopardy! (and not passing out on the set). It was a really special experience. All of the contestants stay at the same hotel, so we got to know each other and rooted for each other as we watched everyone’s tapings. They shoot a week’s worth of episodes in a day, and all of the contestants for that week get to sit with the audience while they wait for their turn. I’ve always been interested in film and television production, so I enjoyed watching the behind-the-scenes stuff. Actually playing the game, on the other hand, was nerve-wracking – buzz in fast, but not too fast or your buzzer gets locked out, don’t forget to answer in the form of a question, and so on. I was relieved when I came in second, because it meant I didn’t have to go through that again. It was heartbreaking when Alex Trebek passed. He was so kind, even when he was telling you that your answer – sorry, question – was wrong. As contestants, we weren’t really able to interact with Alex much other than when we were on stage (that would be unethical), but he was so warm and engaging with the audience. He would visit with them and answer their questions during breaks. Every time, someone would ask him how he felt about Will Ferrell’s impressions of him on Saturday Night Live, and every time he would answer honestly, like it was the first time he’d been asked.

What fact about you might surprise your colleagues?
I was once the audience, um, “volunteer” for a juggling act at a renaissance fair, which meant standing REALLY still while the jugglers passed torches and a machete around me.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE...

Place to visit?: Walt Disney World -- it's just so much fun.
Restaurant?: Pretty much anywhere I can get tiramisu is going to be my favorite restaurant.  
Charitable cause?: PanCAN -- the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network/ my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2018. He was diagnosed early and is currently cancer-free. But, for so many -- too many -- people, that's not the case. PanCAN is working to change that.