President's Awards for Professional and Administrative Distinction

Each year, the Office of the President honors exceptional members of the VCU and VCU Health System community with university-level awards. In 2013, VCU established the President's Awards for Professional and Administrative Distinction. These awards recognize outstanding performance, achievement and service excellence. 

  • President's Award of Excellence
    • The President’s Award of Excellence:  This award is the highest honor we can bestow upon an employee and it recognizes one exceptional person for their contributions to VCU or the VCU Health System throughout their career. The recipient will receive $4,000 and a beautiful crystal award. 

  • President's Outstanding Achievement Award
    • The President’s Outstanding Achievement Award:  This award recognizes up to two people who have exceeded their peers in accomplishing exceptional achievements, leadership and contributions that have resulted in significant benefits to the university or health system within the realm of the employees' job. Each recipient will receive $3,000 and a beautiful crystal award. 

  • President's Service Excellence Award
    • The Danny Woodward President's Service Excellence Award:  Awardees exceed expectations by demonstrating outstanding service to students, patients, colleagues and other customers of VCU and VCU Health and display a positive attitude even under the most difficult of circumstances. They build strong relationships and resolve concerns in a positive and sensitive manner. This award is named in memory of Danny Woodward, former executive director of executive communications, who died of brain cancer in 2021. Danny embodied the spirit of this award, always positive in his work with faculty, staff and students across the university and health system to advance the institution and its people. Danny was especially committed to supporting the professional development of staff and building an equitable and inclusive environment for everyone. This award recognizes up to two people and each recipient will receive $2,000 and a beautiful crystal award.

The 2021-22 nomination site is now closed. The site will open for 2022-23 nominations early next year. 

Who may be nominated for these awards? Any full-time University and Academic Professional, classified employee of VCU, or staff member of the VCU Health System may be nominated subject to specific criteria for each award. University faculty are not eligible, and are recognized separately through the President's Distinguished Faculty Awards ( Since these awards are for individual achievement, groups are not eligible. An employee who was nominated in a previous year, but was not chosen as the award winner, may be nominated again. However, a new nomination letter and new supporting documentation must be submitted.

Who can make the nomination? Any employee of VCU or VCU Health who has a thorough knowledge of the candidate's strengths and accomplishments, however, individuals may not nominate themselves. It is not appropriate to nominate a family member, spouse, or partner. It is also not appropriate for a direct report to nominate their supervisor. In these cases, it is recommended to suggest that a colleague, team member, or other VCU employee write the nomination instead.

Prepare the text of your nomination in advance. We highly recommend that you write the body of your nomination in a document ahead of time and then copy and paste it into the fields in the google form. Please be sure to address all award criteria including specific statements to substantiate your nomination. We are looking for candidates who provide a higher level of excellence through interactions with patients, faculty, students, or colleagues. Keep a copy of the document to share with your nominee. If you need assistance with the form, please contact 

Get support. Nominations should be limited to the nomination form and include at least two recommendations or testimonials received from others based on the award criteria. These can include, but are not limited to: a letter of support, a quick video, an email, a pdf, or completion of the optional generic testimonial form included in the Google nomination form.

All nominees and nominators will be invited to attend the Service Recognition Celebration and the winners will be announced there.



2021 Award Winners


 President's Award of Excellence


Joseph Kuttenkuler, University Marketing



President's Outstanding Achievement Awards

Tina Cunningham, J.D., CRA, Associate Vice President for Research Administration, Office of Research


Jane Emerson, RN, MSN, Assistant Director, Clinical Operations, Student Health




The Danny Woodward President's Service Excellence Award

Caitilin Golob, Surgery Administration


Ann-marie Taranto, School of Medicine



2020 Award Winners

President's Award of Excellence
Carolyn Conlon
Director of Communications, VCU Administration

Saher Randhawa
President, VCU Staff Senate & Social Media Content Strategist, University Relations

President's Outstanding Achievement Awards
Lisa Ballance
Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation

Tom Briggs
Assistant Vice President, Safety and Risk Management

Erin Lucero
Director of Development Communications, School of Medicine Alumni and Development

Beverly Walker
Program Manager for Career Development, VCU Human Resources

President's Service Excellence Awards
Rebecca Collen
Project Manager for Hepatology Research, Department of Internal Medicine

Barry Lanneau, Jr.
University Records Officer and Special Applications Director, VCU Technology Services

Faith Mason-Bettis
Health Diagnostic Practitioner, Employee Health

Jo Murphy
Communications and Program Coordinator and Administrator, Forensic Science


2019 Award Winners

President's Award of Excellence
Jason Chan
Technology Services

President's Outstanding Achievement Awards
Jeffrey Eastman
Facilities Management Division, Office of Planning and Design

Heidi Jack
Office of the Provost

President's Service Excellence Awards
Claire Harding
University Marketing

Daniel Jason
Human Resources

2018 Award Winners

President's Award of Excellence
Kit Mulloy
Internal Medicine

President's Outstanding Achievement Awards
Nathan Bickett
Political Science

Valerie Harris
Internal Medicine

President's Service Excellence Awards
Diana Burkett
School of Education

Harold Greenwald
School of Medicine

2017 Award Winners

President's Award of Excellence
Catherine Howard
Division of Community Engagement

President's Outstanding Achievement Awards
Jennifer Carmean
University Relations

Gregory Felton
VCU Police

President's Service Excellence Awards
Konjit Chitty
Human Resources

Ann Compton
Internal Medicine

2016 Award Winners

President's Award of Excellence
Polly Cole
Community Health and Resources Administrator, Massey Cancer Center

President's Outstanding Achievement Awards
Angela Flagg
Director of Communications, School of Nursing

Lisa Yamin
Liberal Studies for Early and Elementary Education

President's Service Excellence Awards
Jacqueline Kniska
University Compliance Officer, VCU Audit and Compliance Services

Denise Lynch
Program Coordinator, Medicine Administration, VCU Health

2015 Award Winners

President's Award of Excellence
Napoleon Peoples, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Student Affairs

President's Outstanding Achievement Awards
Amy Taloma
Director of Programs, Division for Health Sciences Diversity

Terrence Walker
Administrative Assistant, University Counseling Services

President's Service Excellence Awards
Thom Didato
Graduate Programs Advisor, English Department

Donald Howe
Senior Contract and Grant Administrator, Office of Research and Innovation

2014 Award Winners

President's Award of Excellence
Brian J. Ohlinger
Associate Vice President
Facilities Management (retired)

President's Outstanding Achievement Award
Nakeina Douglas-Glenn, Ph.D.
Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute

Daphne Long Rankin, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Provost
Strategic Enrollment Management

President's Service Excellence Award
Carmen H. Bell
Coordinator, Personnel and Administration
Division of Student Affairs (retired)

Katherine L. Poarch
VCUHS Strategy and Marketing
Past President, VCU Staff Senate

2013 Award Winners

President's Award of Excellence
Joseph A. Marolla, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Instruction and Student Success

President's Outstanding Achievement Award
Mary Lee C. Magee
Educational Director
Medicine and Population Health

Ingrid A. Mercer
Immigration Advising Coordinator
Global Education Office

President's Service Excellence Award
Ruth M. Trivelpiece
Program Coordinator
Center for Craniofacial Care

India D. Urbach
Administrative Coordinator
College of Humanities and Sciences