After almost four decades with the Department of Biochemistry, senior contracts specialist Patricia Mings is set to retire June 30. Having worked closely with Hector DeLuca as his assistant, she departs with many memories of the department’s rich history.
“After working with Hector for almost 37 years and in every department building except the newest one, we’ve been through a lot together and have become close,” she says. “When I started here I was the same age as many of the lab members but as I leave I’m more like a grandma to them.”
Mings joined the department in 1977 and began working with DeLuca shortly after. In her position she managed scheduling, grants, manuscript editing and submitting, and travel for DeLuca, who was chair of the department for 30 years. She was also vital in working closely with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) as DeLuca filed for multiple patents, bringing in millions of dollars to the university over the decades.
“She was a magnificent employee in every way,” says DeLuca, whose patent portfolio is the largest in WARF’s history. “She was vital to my connections to industry and academia, as well as extremely cheerful, loyal, and honest. It’s a sheer pleasure to be associated with her.”
In retirement, Mings looks forward to getting involved in water aerobics with her twin sister, as well as traveling the world.
“With Hector known as ‘Mr. Vitamin D’ all across the globe, I am very proud to have been assisting him during these important times in science,” she says. “I’ve really enjoyed the countless faces that have come through the lab: grad students, visiting scholars, postdocs, and scientists.”