Recognize a colleague – employee recognitions for 2020
Employees at VCU are encouraged to fill out the employee recognition form anytime a colleague has gone above and beyond. Review the latest recogntions here to see what employees across the university have been doing to help out their colleagues.
Amber Peranski, 05/04/2022 -- Nominated by Shana Ryman
Amanda reached out to me to ensure I am set up for BEST practices with records management as I continue to development our VCU Remote Workers Community of Practice. Furthermore, she organized a meeting for us, shared resources, and offered to present at a future meeting. I feel supported with a colleague like Amanda to do my best work within compliance and wanted to take a moment to recognize her
Mark Ryan, 05/04/2022 -- Dana Rajczewski
While this example is from today specifically, it is applicable to every day working with Dr. Ryan! He anticipates potential questions/issues that may arise when we set up complicated meetings, and he is extremely patient and helpful with the ever-present scheduling challenges. He makes it easier to find solutions to difficult problems, and he does that with grace, humor, and understanding. Believe me, it is appreciated by many people, and we are so glad to be his colleagues!
Katie McColgan, 05/04/2022 -- Jenna Lenhardt
Katie has helped our central School of Education HR team as we have been down a team member. She has been responsive, kind, has followed-up, and has gone above and beyond to support the hiring and HR needs of our large Enrollment Management student team. She brings a process and human focused lens to the work, and communicates incredibly well. She is detailed and also understanding and helps explain complex processes or needs of hiring someone. Where a hire used to take 6-8 weeks, Katie has shortened that process to two weeks. Katie has been helping out for a while, and this is well beyond the call of duty. I have been thankful for her support and responsiveness and cannot thank her and the RRTC team, who allowed us to borrow some of Katie's time for so long. She should get a million gold stars and a huge kudos for all she has done for our School.
Madrenna Horn, 05/10/2022 -- Elizabeth Seward
I have had several interactions with Madrenna Horn and each time I walk away feeling grateful for her assistance. Her response time is awesome and she always gives clear instructions on how to proceed. I feel confident knowing that if I have questions or need assistance she is here to help. A lot of times we only contact supervisors when there is a problem but I really wanted to let you know that she is doing a great job.
Dana Rajczewski, 05/13/2022 -- Jeny Beausoliel
I want to recognize Dana for a whole lot more than just initiative: yes to the other categories listed (integrity, respect, responsiveness) and also for myriad other ways that she goes above and beyond helpfulness as a colleague: she is creative, thoughtful, a wonderful problem-solver, always willing to help find workable solutions. She is an unflappable treasure and a true pleasure to work with. Working on graduation this year, without benefit of a graduate program coordinator in place, has been a real challenge. This is usually a three-plus person effort, and we have made due with two. Dana is nothing short of amazing, and I am here to sing her praises.
David Morefield, 05/12/2022 -- Jeny Beausoliel
I want to recognize David for a whole lot more than just initiative: yes to the other categories listed (initiative, integrity, respect) as well. David has helped me through troubleshooting the Zoom-with-Google slide coordination for graduation, with added music and video from our department head not able to attend the event. David is an unflappable treasure, helps calm me so I don't go screaming out of the building--this is just not my area of expertise, at all--and a true pleasure to work with. Working on graduation this year, without benefit of a graduate program coordinator in place, has been a real challenge. This is usually a three-plus person effort, and we have made due with two. David has certainly made an impact on our department, and I and we appreciate him.
Dana Rajczewski, 04/11/2022 -- Nominated by Jeanine Giles Larson
Dana helped me find information that was crucial to completing a faculty member's grant proposal. I would not have been able to complete this task and Dana helped me tremendously by pointing me in the right direction. Thanks, Dana!
Harris Middleton, 04/11/2022 -- Nominated by Jeanine Giles Larson
Harris assisted with the references section of a proposal due this week. He was very gracious in offering his time out of his busy schedule. Harris, thanks for using your expertise in Endnote to help Dr. Bradner finalize her proposal. It takes a team to ensure faculty success and I am glad you are part of ours!
Jennifer Tennison, 04/27/2022 -- Nominated by Jenna Lenhardt
Jennifer has been a wealth of knowledge, support, and thoughtful feedback as we continue to update and revise programs to meet the needs of a changing future student demographic. She is responsive, respectful, and is always willing to go the extra mile to support her colleagues. Jennifer excels at anything she is tasked with, and comes into each situation with a can-do and positive attitude that is refreshing. I am thankful to have her as my colleague.
Jennifer Cousinis, 03/22/2022 -- Nominated by Nora Alder
She is always efficient, willing, friendly and patient.
Sandra Mazzoli, 03/23/2022 -- Nominated by Jenna Lenhardt
I work with Sandra daily and she is always ready and willing to go above and beyond to help students. Her knowledge of VCU is expansive and her positive attitude is contagious. Sandra is a genuine and kind person who is responsive, supportive, and teamwork focused in everything she does. I feel lucky to work with her every day.
Caimdyn Stewart, 03/17/2022 -- Nominated by Jenna Lenhardt
Caimdyn is always thinking about ways to improve our processes in order to maximize our time with students. She is student focused and her students LOVE her. She is approachable and collaborative. Recently she saw a need to connect different resources to students going into their experiential education phase of their program. She reached out to me and my colleague Jasmine to create resources and a presentation because she knew we both had a passion for career development. Caimdyn sees the full person andcolleague and openly shares her enthusiasm for teamwork and collaboration across our teams. I am inspired by her passion and how much she cares for our students.
Joanna Bell, 03/28/2022 -- Nominated by Lisa Abrams
Joanna is a highly dedicated colleague and has worked tirelessly to develop budgets, budgets layouts, and reporting systems to support faculty, staff and administrators in the School of Education. Her attention to detail and commitment to providing timely fiscal information and in formats that are easily accessible has helped to make the work of many of her colleagues much easier and more efficient. We are so fortunate to have Joanna as part of our SOE team and appreciate her and her contributions!
Carolina Wilson, 02/01/2022 -- Nominated by Sandra Mazzoli
Carolina is a highly valued member of the VCU Ramily and has always been able to help me find solutions to the unique situations presented by our students and advisors. Most recently, a student registered for the incorrect courses for Spring 2022. It was disclosed that the student had suffered an unexpected loss and unable to correct the registration error on their own. Carolina ensured that the Special Action request was processed in a very timely fashion thus alleviating the student's anxiousness and worry.
Stacey Wahl, 02/09/2022 -- Nominated by Roy Brown
Stacey is a valued member of the research and education team at the Health Science Library, and I have always enjoyed working with her. She has always been willing to help me out when asked. Over the last couple of weeks, she has helped me with two issues on short notice. Each time she did so without complaint. First, she helped me figure out the best way to address a problem with a citation tracking project and then made sure a VCU School of Nursing faculty member could have her questions addressed by meeting with her. Her assistance in both instances was a huge help. I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you and let her know that I value her as a colleague. Thank You!
Deidre Henley, 02/16/2022 -- Nominated by Dana Rajczewski
Deidre has been working to get a check to an external organization for months, and it's been a very long back-and- forth process to get it where it needed to go. She was persistentwith the external group and worked with VCU Procurement to find a solution. She was very responsive to follow-up request from me and from the external org, and she followed through until we got a resolution today. I knew it would be solved since it was in her hands, and that reassurance is most appreciated. Thank you, Deidre!!
Andrew Kollmer, 02/23/2022 -- Nominated by Jeff Smith
Andy came to me with a question about something he was hearing from alternate sources about how well he (and his group) were helping me with my technology needs. I really appreciate the fact that he simply cut out the noise and just came to talk to me directly so we could be on the same page and not have any conflicting perspectives. I am so thankful to have such an ethical perspective as it makes things so much easier.
Tabatha Dunlap, 01/13/2022 -- Nominated by Koshie France
Tabatha goes above and beyond to take the initiative to assist her colleagues when needed. She is beyond knowledgeable; willing and able to devote time to developing others, sharing expertise and skills without being asked. Tabatha values the opinions and initiatives of others while providing guidance and constructive feedback in a respectful manner. Ms. Dunlap is respected among colleagues of all levels and demonstrates a positive attitude. She is truly an asset to the team.
Dana Rajczewski, 01/18/2022 -- Nominated by Lauren Jackson
Dana is the quickest, most responsive employee I have maybe ever met. She never hesitates to jump in for scheduling needs and countless interviews and meetings would be put on the back-burner if it weren't for her and how quickly she's able to coordinate. Thank you for all that you do, Dana! You're a rockstar.
Julie Norman, 01/18/2022 -- Nominated by Sandra Mazzoli
Julie is always helpful! Recently we've had several students in the School of Education with unique admissions/readmissions situations and Julie has always been able to provide guidance and solutions. She is a positive and professional member of the team and highly valued colleague.
Christopher Gorbutt, 01/19/2022 -- Nominated by Isac Crouch
Chris and I work on the same team here in Technology Services. The main reason that is prompting me to recognize him is that he is ALWAYS willing to assist me (and others) when something is needed. An example of this is yesterday we received a last minute request from a customer and I was already on the road headed home. I called Chris and he assisted me with working on the issue and got the work done promptly and accurately. It is nice to work with someone with responsiveness like Chris Gorbutt.
Justin Woods, 01/20/2022 -- Nominated by Chuck Alexander
I'm currently working a staggered schedule while I finish out my paternity leave, so effective and efficient coordination with people that are on campus is extraordinarily important. Justin Woods stepped into that role with vim and vigor today. Coordinating a caregiver panel with multiple parties (and their knowledge, or lack thereof of the tech involved) for the entire SOM Class of 2024 in Studios 7 & 8 - including the ability to field questions with the faculty providers in the room - could not have gone smoother thanks to Justin's immense talents. There were no tech issues, no echoes, no audio problems... nothing. Justin nailed it and deserves to be recognized.
Felicia Harris, 01/21/2022 -- Nominated by James Bjork
Diligent admin work enabling successful repackaging and resubmission of grant application. Felicia took on a larger-scale grant application with only an effective 10-day lead time before School of Medicine would want to see the application. She worked late and diligently to get the application (to a novel federal agency unfamiliar to her) routed and prepared in time.
Caimdyn Stewart, 01/21/2022 -- Nominated by Samantha Ray
Caimdyn always goes above and beyond to assist students and colleagues. She is a pleasure to work with. Thank you for all you do!
Rami Hatoum, 01/21/2022 -- Nominated by Pam Hendrix
My laptop unexpectedly stopped working. Rami was able to replace it the same day and I had minimal disruption. He's true professional and asset to our team.
Lauren Harris, 01/28/2022 -- Nominated by Antonio Abbate
I would like to recognize Lauren Harris, MS, MEd, for all the Initiative, Integrity, Respect and Responsiveness that she has shown during the past two years. I chose however Initiative as the primary reason because at time of need, Lauren has shown leadership and the ability to fill in multiple roles. Lauren also does that with kindness and respect. Thank you for being an inspiration during these times of darkness.
Earlene Charity, 01/31/2022 -- Nominated by Elizabeth Seward
Ms. Charity provided excellent customer service. When I contacted her for assistance and clarity on different contracts, she went above and beyond to provided accurate information. When I contacted her with follow-up questions she again delivered exceptional service.
Jennifer Cousins, 12/03/2021 -- Nominated by Jose Alcaine
I would like to recognize and thank Jennifer Cousins for the wonderful work at the School of Education (SOE) but also for her initiative and drive to always go above and beyond in her sense of service and engagement. As a valued member of the SOE in the Teaching and Learning Department, Jen has quickly worked her magic to help in the work of the department but also to unite colleagues in a worthwhile and admirable cause. Jen successfully led a school wide effort at the SOE to collect Coats for Kids. This effort included faculty, staff, students, and friends of the SOE. Through her efforts the SOE collected over 125 coats to benefit the city wide Coats for Kids program and
through her efforts has no doubt helped children in need in our community. This is not a new thing as her service work (previously as a school teacher) has been featured in local news and media. Her spirit of collaboration, service, and hard work is something to recognize and celebrate. Thank you Jen for your wonderful initiative, service efforts and dedicated work. We really appreciate it!
Lauren Jackson, 12/07/2021 -- Nominated by Jill Hellman
I want to recognize Lauren Jackson for her willingness to go above and beyond to help colleagues in our department. She is cheerful, kind, and a self-starter who has made a positive impact in the short time she has been in our department. She has helped manage leave and performance evaluation questions, a national job search, and gracefully juggled numerous demands from many faculty and staff across a large department that includes our center, despite the fact that she only joined VCU recently. She always responds quickly to any questions I have and has been a joy to work with.
Greg Eskridge, 12/15/2021 -- Nominated by Debroah Baines
Administrative Systems Student Applications Support has been involved in the implementation of the Partner Center student health insurance software application here at VCU, and Greg and the Infrastructure team have been instrumental in the VCU/Vendor file automation process. Greg has assisted with getting vital processes implemented to rename and transfer data files back and forth between VCU and the vendor. In addition, he has helped me with installing, copying, and updating scripts, Banner jobs, Automic process flows, notifications, etc., between multiple environments, often times at the very end of the day, and sometimes even after hours, almost immediately in some cases. I want to recognize and thank Greg for his excellent responsiveness to this project and helping us to meet project deadlines. Thank you, Greg & team!
Jessica Carey, 11/11/2021 -- Nominated by Amy English & Niles Eggleston
Jessica was assigned to the Medicine and Health Development Team's temporary HR specialist while Ann Marie Taranto was on medical leave. Jessica assisted us during a very busy time in our office with 15 open positions (all in some stage of recruitment) and also one staff member on medical leave. Jessica was amazingly responsive --she provided expert guidance, was consistently available for help and questions and showed a tremendous initiative in helping us to submit paperwork and complete processes in accordance with HR policy and procedure. When she too had to be away for a few days on professional travel while she was helping to cover our office, she even took the extra step to connect us with some of her other HR colleagues in other departments so we always had someone to go to. With her help, we didn't miss a beat! She helped make the process seamless and as smooth as possible and we are unbelievably grateful to her.
Talicia Tarver, 09/14/2021 --- Roy Brown
Talicia is a valued colleague of mine in the research and education department. She is always good about helping out when asked. This past week, I had an issue that prevented me from teaching a webinar that I had scheduled. Talicia on short notice agreed to fill in and taught the webinar in my place. I just wanted to publicly thank her for doing this and for all the other ways she helps me and others out regularly.
Anton Ostashko, 09/16/2021 --- Pearce Korb
Dr. Anton Ostashko, a resident physician with the Department of Neurology, demonstrated qualities of integrity, responsiveness and a dedication to patient care. There was a situation in which a child needed an uncommon but urgent service overnight. It would depend on someone cross-covering another service not associated with the night shift role in question. He recognized this situation and stepped up to do that. His outside the box thinking and willingness allowed for the extraordinary care we strive for, to be delivered. He shows the kind of qualities and values we want to recognize. On behalf of VCU and our patients, thank you Dr. Ostashko.
Lauren Jackson, 09/17/2021 --- Dana Rajczewski
Lauren is relatively new to our department, and she has hit the ground running! She is already a trusted resource to us, on both the university and health system sides for our department, and she has already shown a willingness to dig to find answers to the requestor's satisfaction. Thank you, Lauren - we are so glad you're here!
Jackie Kruszewski, 09/21/2021 --- Elizabeth Fortune
Jackie was recognized by VCU University Relations for her lead role in a great media relations success last year sharing the news about VCU's remdesivir clinical trials for COVID-19, which VCU submitted as their entry to the Public Relations Society of America. "Standing out as a research hub with one of the East Coast's first COVID-19 treatment clinical trials," it earned a Virginia PRSA Award of Merit! This award underscores how important it is to have a strong communications team (and great teamwork) across the university's research enterprise. VCU University Relations took the time to thank and acknowledge Jackie's thoughtfulness and dedication as a communicator and for all of her incredible hard work and consistently collaborative spirit, on this project and on many others!
Joe Lichtenstein, 08/04/2021 -- Nominated by Mike Forder
Every time I work with Joe, either through a ticket or a more pressing request, he is helpful, solutions-driven, and calm. He continually provides innovative solutions to complex challenges. Most importantly, he is willing to listen to the needs of the client, creating a custom solution rather than providing a canned response. This past Wednesday, I reached out to Joe with a pressing matter involving the Dean of the College of Health Professions. As is his style, he was flexible and able to help right away. The problem did not get resolved after the initial fix and he was open to connecting via Zoom a second time and working through the issue until it was solved. Dean Parish was impressed by the level of service, but I was not surprised. That is what I've come to expect from Joe.
Sam Yerkes, 08/05/2021 -- Nominated by Jen Elswick
Whenever I am in a jam, which is more often than I would like to admit, Sam is on-the-spot with creative solutions and support. Just this morning, after launching a new website, I found to my great dismay that I had failed to appropriately check the browser support for the image file format I'd chosen for 142 images on the site and it turns out Safari version pre-Big Sur do not support it. When I reached out to Sam, he was - as always - fast to respond and help me find a solution that greatly increased the efficiency of my remediation (by MANY hours potentially). Not only does he offer help and solutions, but most importantly - he gives me the instruction and resources I need to help me learn and grow. I deeply value the analytical skills, experience, and spirit of learning he brings to our community. Thank you, Sam!
Susan Kelley, 08/25/2021 -- Nominated by Bob Burgess
As the building manger for multiple buildings in the Psychology Department, I am steadily making IT Support Tickets related the the campus controlled access system. I am always pleased with how quickly Susan addresses these requests. She truly makes my job easier by providing consistent excellent customer service! Thanks Susan!
Tiffany Freitas, 07/23/2021 -- Nominated by Thea Pepperl
Tiffany has been an absolute joy to work with! But one thing that has stood out this summer has been her responsiveness when it came to planning the fall workshops for CTLE. She has also been on top of making sure that workshop participants had access to workshop materials, both prior to the workshop and emailing after the workshop with goodies and send-offs.
Warren Mays, 06/01/2021 -- Nominated by Brenda Mowen
Warren was especially helpful in troubleshooting and correcting issues that were an impediment to upgrading my laptop to Widows10 to Version 21H1. She was very knowledgeable, deliberate, tenacious, patient and determined to resolve the issues. My workgroup is fortunate to be a part of Warren's customer portfolio; in addition to her work today, she is very consistent, responsive and reliable on the whole.
Matt Martin, 06/03/2021 -- Nominated by Brenda Mowen
Matt Martin worked with our RealSource (Jaggaer) team to resolve an issue that was allowing new users to gain access to RealSource without providing their email information. Once access was gained, Jaggaer's software would allow the user or RealSource sys admin to "add" the missing email information after-the-fact. Users who gained access to RealSource without providing an email address, were not receiving important communications from RealSource when transactions required their attention. After several weeks of looking at various options to correct this, Matt agreed to join our conversation and in our first meeting was able to identify a possible solution and in less than a day, he was able to test and deploy it. We are very grateful for his ingenuity, responsiveness and overall help. Good job, Matt!
Lillie Lattimore, 06/09/2021 -- Nominated by Debbie DiazGranados
Lillie did an amazing job at creating material that is critical for informing the impact of the CTSA grant but also, for creating material that is informative and should be utilized by the VCU research community.
LaToya Dixon, 06/11/2021 -- Nominated by Robert Cadrain
I just wanted to give recognition where it is due. LaToya recently joined us here at IDAS/CARI and she has been an excellent addition to our team. Her responsiveness and attention to detail helps me keep my department running as smoothly as possible. She always has friendly demeanor and puts forth the effort to help whenever she can. Thanks Latoya, we appreciate you here.
Jackie Kruszewski, 05/20/2021 -- Nominated by Mary Harmon
Jackie led a very successful initiative around International Clinical Trials Day setting a timeframe for delivery of multiple communication products, assembling a working group to develop communication instruments around clinical research, and driving consensus to deliver a final product that communicated the importance of clinical research and the significant role it plays in development of new drugs, devices, and diagnostic techniques. She is a rock star and a vital element of our collaboration on building a robust clinical research program.
Tiffany Freitas, 04/01/2021 -- Nominated by Katie Elliott
Tiffany is an outstanding colleague who is always such a delight to work and interact with. She makes things GO! I'd say that she always offers exemplary customer service--which is also true, but not nearly enough: instead, she does so much more, making every interaction feel meaningful, useful, and like an important exchange. Thanks, Tiffany, for all you do!
Tiffany Freitas, 04/01/2021 -- Nominated by Susan Bodnar-dere
I have had the honor to interact with Tiffany on a number of occasions, she is always respectful, responsive and represents CTLE and VCU with integrity.
Joanne Biggs, 04/07/2021 -- Nominated by Bob Burgess
Joanne recently assisted me in making a purchase for a professional development item and she did a great job communicating during the process. She is always helpful when I need to order items and I thought this would be a good way to say thanks for all her help!
Tiffany Freitas , 04/12/2021 -- Nominated by Jose Alcaine
The CTLE is an amazing resource at VCU. A large part of the success of the CTLE is directly tied to Tiffany and her fantastic work. She is responsive, organized and on top of every detail. Because of Tiffany's efforts everything just seems so easy and it just works! She is the foundation of the CTLE and works really hard to support workshops, symposia, personnel searches, faulty orientations, fellows, etc. Faculty are amazed at the quality programming coming out of the CTLE. Tiffany has been there to champion all of this programming and frankly keeps the train rolling. I am thankful for Tiffany, her work, and the work of the CTLE. Thank you Tiffany. I really appreciate your efforts (as I know Kim and faculty at VCU do!). Thank you, thank you.
Tiffany Freitas , 04/12/2021 -- Nominated by Lisa Webb
Tiffany is consistently organized and prepared for any event through CTLE. She communicates exceptionally well, and every event is executed with a high level of excellence. If I could have checked all of these boxes I would have - she demonstrates integrity in her work, shows respect for every person, and is responsive to participants when they have questions or issues. VCU is fortunate to have her on board!
Jeanine Guidry , 04/13/2021 -- Nominated by Stacy West
Dr. Guidry has made difficult decisions to ensure that research continues to be conducted in the most ethical way, with particular consideration for showing utmost respect for research participants. Her work and ongoing efforts are integral to maintaining trust between researchers and the communities we work with. Thank you!
Marvin Reyes, 04/15/2021 -- Nominated by Isac Crouch
Marvin's responsiveness is an asset to our department. Each time I contact Marvin for assistance with our new Palo Alto firewall he is quick to respond and assist me with implementing a solution. I really value having Marvin on the Network Services team. Thank you Marvin!
Pam Hendrix, 04/16/2021 -- Nominated by Tiffany Freitas
I interact with Pam on more than just the above date. I wanted to make sure she knows how appreciated she is and how thankful I am to be on a team with her. She is always timely in her responses and ready to help and give information or resources whenever I'm in need. I appreciate her positive attitude and willingness to assist in any way she can. She is a valuable asset to VCU and I feel lucky to work with her!
Jenn Arce, 04/16/2021 -- Nominated by Tiffany Freitas
I interact with Jenn on more than just the above date. I want to recognize Jenn for being a great teammate and always being willing to assist everyone on our team. She goes above and beyond in her role and always is ready to give information or resources when I need help with something. Jenn makes Faculty Affairs run smoothly and without her, we would be lost. I am thankful to work with Jenn and VCU is lucky to have her!
Tiffany Freitas , 04/16/2021 -- Nominated by Andrew Arroyo
My interactions with Tiffany have spanned several months in a variety of business functions. She is highly responsive and a pleasure to work with. Thank you, Tiffany!
Tiffany Freitas, 04/17/2021 -- Nominated by Adria Hoffman
I wish I could recognize Tiffany for all of the above! She goes above and beyond to ensure that CTLE programming runs smoothly. Her positive and organized communication, responsiveness to questions, and incredible ongoing helpfulness is so greatly appreciated!
Tiffany Freitas, 04/17/2021 -- Nominated by Jan Altman
Tiffany’s work is often in the background and unseen. Her efforts make things at the CTLE go smoothly. Public events could not be seamless without her professionalism, guiding hand, taking initiative, and following through. We all benefit from the work she does.
Tiffany Freitas, 04/17/2021 -- Nominated by Oscar Keyes
I selected today as the date, but know that when I speak about the responsiveness of Tiffany Freitas, it's in the context of a full year of just being an incredible support for faculty. I've had the pleasure of being a regular collaborator/partner of the CTLE since going into the pandemic and Tiffany has always given me the information I needed to run my programs successfully and to keep track of everything going on for the various workshops. She's so clear and so quick with communication, that it's honestly a breath of fresh air in the highly bureaucratic system that is academia. I love working with the CTLE and a large part of that is thanks to Tiffany who keeps the gears moving and all of us on the same page. So grateful for her and Kim. <33333
Tiffany Freitas, 04/19/2021 -- Nominated by Ching-Yu Huang
I can't find anyone who is more organized than Tiffany! With so many workshops, meetings, and training programs going on at the same time in CTLE, Tiffany is always one step ahead of us. She always sent out the instructions and information sheets before we even ask for it. She is always there for us to ensure events and workshops would go smoothly. I recalled one time I reached out to see if I can get some help for my workshop, she then volunteered to stay in my workshop to help! Thank YOU, Tiffany! You are the best!
Tiffany Freitas, 04/19/2021 -- Nominated by Sharon Zumbrunn
Tiffany is the BEST! Always so helpful and quick to find answers and solutions to every bump along the way -- everything goes so smoothly when Tiffany is there! I'm so thankful for her! :)
Sandy Morgan, 04/20/2021 -- Nominated by Andrew Arroyo
Although Sandy's primary role is to support the senior vice provost for academic affairs, her initiative in that regard delivers positive benefits to me also. Sandy takes initiative to ensure the
entire SVPAA team is functioning at our best. Whether it's timely reminders about deliverables, coordinating meetings with multiple stakeholders whose calendars are conflicting, maintaining files so we have quick access to documents when needed or myriad other administrative functions, Sandy's initiative is a tangible asset to everyone who works with her. Thank you, Sandy!
Sandy Morgan, 04/19/2021 -- Nominated by Teri Dunnivant
Sandy has to be one of the busiest EAs at VCU, but she always has time for a gentle nudge when it's time to turn in the weekly plan. I've put a particular Monday's date on it, but it could be any Monday -- or any day after -- when I might forget. She may just be the glue that holds Academic Affairs together!
Sandy Morgan, 04/21/2021 -- Nominated by Erin Webster Garett
Sandy is an incredibly supportive colleague, and goes to great lengths to ensure our success. Her average response time to any email or call I've made has been within an hour: Given the incredible volume of communications for which she is responsible and must wade through, this is nothing short of superheroism! In addition, she is excellent at problem solving and seeing the shortest and most efficient path to a workable solution. I could not do my job without her support, and I am so very grateful!
Jessica Abernathy, 04/21/2021 -- Nominated by Sharon Jill Blondin
Jessica has done an excellent job coordinating the ICT International subcommittee, particularly on 4/20, when communications needed to be sent quickly in the wake of travel advisory changes issued by the US Department of State.
Earlene Charity, 04/21/2021 -- Nominated by Brenda Mowen
Following a training session about the impact of VCU eVA vendor registration (eVA metrics and fees), Earlene immediately applied her training to save both the university and the vendor from paying excessive eVA fees. While a single act, Earlene consistently shows an eagerness to learn, a strong will and determination, and a disposition that strongly values team play. The Ops/Sys support staff values Earlene's contributions appreciates her on-going support.
Brenda Mowen, 04/29/2021 -- Nominated by Jamie Simmons
The aftermath of a name change affects so many areas and systems and it can be quite frustrating when apps/programs that are taken for granted just don't work any longer especially now as we work remotely. Thomas worked with me throughout all the helpdesk tickets and endured my rantings. I wanted to make sure that he knows that I truly appreciate all he did and
continues to do that makes work-life run smoother.
Harrison Hayes, 03/18/2021 -- Nominated by Sheryl Garland
Harrison led his entire team through an uplifting and comprehensive overview of their quarterly accomplishments. Very well done and well received by the team!
Curtis Reisinger, 03/19/2021 -- Nominated by Jessica Lyon
Big shoutout to Curtis for his exemplary customer service! Last week, I found myself in a pinch with an uncooperative accordion panel and a quick turnaround for an upcoming virtual event. I submitted a ticket asking for help and explaining my timeline. In no time, Curtis was right there ready to save the day. Most people probably know Curtis by his regular name, but T4 folks at VCU know his true identity – Superman. Thank you for being a true superhero, Curtis!
Jasmine Anderson, 012/12/21 -- Nominated by Lucy Hudson
I would like to recognize Jasmine for the extraordinary effort to ensure that all of the psychology summer courses were edited and uploaded to the schedule. We submitted numerous edits in a short amount of time, and Jasmine effortlessly updated and submitted the changes. While I was nervous due to the massive amount of changes and a short window of time before registration, Jasmine's attention to detail and responsiveness to our request truly made the process easier. I am thankful that Jasmine is our course scheduling coordinator. Jasmine is definitely an asset to RAR! Thanks, Jasmine, for your hard work and dedication!
Danielle Hairston, 02/15/21 -- Nominated by Mark Wood
If the form would let me check all of the above qualities (initiative, integrity, respect, and responsiveness), I would. But I chose integrity because Danielle Hairston embodies integrity in all that she does. She models what it means to treat everyone with respect and concern. She has been consistently responsive and takes initiative to find answers to all of my questions. I have been consistently supported by her efforts and am thankful that she is a colleague. Thank you, Danielle. You're the best!
Jessica Lonnes, 02/15/21 -- Nominated by Mark Wood
I write to recognize Jessica Lones for her tremendous integrity, as well as the initiative, responsiveness, and respect she shows for everyone. Jessica is quick to help her colleagues complete tasks and solve problems. I know she does this above all because she is committed to the success of our students. She genuinely cares and she is committed to the success of our programs and the educational mission of the school. I count myself fortunate to have her as a colleague. Thanks for all you do to make our success real!
Margaret Lessard, 02/15/21 -- Nominated by Elizabeth Olmsted
Margaret (Meg) is a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator in Pediatrics and juggles a full study load in addition to managing several CRCs. Our department is incredibly busy and the workday is often stressful; however, Meg is always professional and responsive and takes the initiative to discuss status and issues to ensure the best outcome for all involved.
McKenna Brown, 02/16/21 -- Nominated by Mark Wood
Dear McKenna. I write to recognize you for your tremendous initiative. You took the proverbial bull by the horns when it came to helping revise the SETI program, aiding the co-coordinators of the program in their efforts to create a more appealing and doable certificate. Meanwhile, at the same time, you invested your time and energy to get the paperwork done for the 4+1 FRLG BA and MS in International Marketing and Management. In these two things alone your contributions to advancing the foreign language program were substantial, and among the three most important changes made to the program this year, and in many years. You did not hesitate when I asked if you would be willing to turn your attention to working with International Studies to revise the Latin American studies program. Most recently, you put together a creative and compelling grant proposal to build a partnership with the
Universidad de Guadalajara to provide underrepresented students there and here at VCU with an opportunity to engage with and learn from each other through projects that involve the
arts and issues of social justice and improving our world. Not bad for six months of work. Not bad for a year's work! And last but by far and away not least, I cannot thank you enough for your guidance on all matters related to our success. Thanks for all you do on behalf of our students, our faculty, and international education. I look forward to continuing our partnership as the School continues on its path.
Vera Abbate, 02/16/21 -- Nominated by Mark Wood
Thank you for your dedication to the Italian Studies program, the success of our students, and the international educational mission of the School of World Studies. I am always impressed by your initiative, responsiveness, integrity, and the abiding respect you show for all. Your commitment to our success puts wind in our sails. I always learn so much from our conversations, not least about what it means to do the hard work of research and develop concrete actions we can take to improve our success in the classroom and beyond. Moreover, you always counsel kindness and collegiality and for that, I am deeply appreciative. In short, you model what it means to be an active and concerned citizen of our community. I know I speak on behalf of our colleagues when I say that we are inspired by you and fortunate to have you as our colleague. Best as we continue!
Fonda Neal, 01/15/21 -- Nominated by Carla Nye
Fonda Neal is filling in for a colleague who is out on medical leave. In addition to completing her own work, Fonda has added many of the duties of the Master's Program Coordinator to her already busy day. She has been gracious, kind, timely, accurate, thoughtful, positive, and available. I cannot say enough about her demeanor and her ready assistance. Her efforts have helped the Masters Program, and me personally, during a very busy and stressful time. Fonda deserves to be recognized and celebrated!!!
Lisa Ballance, 01/28/21 -- Nominated by Shar'Ron de Dreu
This is to recognize and acknowledge Lisa for her regular and sustained support of me in my role here at VCU Massey Cancer Center. From the day I met her 1 year ago today Lisa has been a shining light ever aiming to assist, responsive to matters at hand and always present to give advice, pave a way to remove barriers, and ever so collegial. She is indeed an asset to VCU and a dear friend to Massey and me. Thank you Lisa for all that you do. It is so appreciated and now word can express my deepest gratitude.
Elaine Reeder, 01/27/21 -- Nominated by Deborah DiazGranados
Jenae went above and beyond my expectations. She assisted in setting up my course on Canvas and provided me with help framing the course, formatting the course, and setting up the course in general. She additionally answers my questions when I was lost in using Canvas. Thank you, thank you!
Rachel Koenig, 12/01/20 -- Nominated by Roy Brown
Rachel is a member of the research and education department team that is always willing to step up to help. In the last couple of weeks, she has been a huge help as I attempted to get things together in order to gather data for some reports. I was not able to get access to the data I needed about the unique views for some library guides. When I asked Rachel about it, she immediately took time out to help me and I was able to eventually get what I needed. This is indicative of what she does often. I just wanted to recognize her responsiveness and say thank you.
Faith Cooper, 12/04/20 -- Nominated by Rachel Hill
Faith is determined, dependable, and creative. She has been integral to the continued distribution of the Bioadvising Newsletter. She works on it without prompting and with innovative additions. If she says she will have something done, she means it. She has been the foundation holding together the bimonthly communication, and I would have quit the initiative in the spring without her assistance (to the detriment of the students). Her presence has allowed the project to evolve and adapt as we've worked through different
communication platforms. When it comes to student and faculty communication she takes
initiative and reaches out to faculty members when she is concerned for a student; likewise, she is available to talk with faculty members when they need her regarding their students.
Her patience and understanding with students is incomparable.
Brandon Burneson, 12/15/20 -- Nominated by Roy Brown
Brandon is a valued member of the research and education department. As always, over the last couple of weeks, he has shown himself to be a key member of the team. Over the last
several weeks he has completed several projects. One noteworthy project was his work to turn around a report needed for a meeting with hospital leadership on a short timeline. I just wanted to recognize all the work that Brandon does in the department that allows the liaisons to do what they need to do. Thank you for all you do.
Patrick O'Hare, 12/16/20 -- Nominated by Elicia Preslan
Patrick was incredibly responsive to help the IRB make a few last-minute changes to the programming of our electronic submission system before the Winter Closing. He's really going above and beyond to help researchers and the IRB have smooth operations. Thank you so much for your help!
Talicia Tarver, 12/17/20 -- Nominated by Roy Brown
Talicia is a valued member of the research and education department of the Health Sciences Library. This semester she has done a great job leading the online learning objects workgroup. She has helped get a handle on the learning objects produced by the department and has helped create a plan to archive those that are out of date. Her willingness to step up and take on this responsibility and others has been a big help this semester. I just wanted to recognize her willingness to take on new responsibilities and say thank you.
Emily Hurst, 12/17/20 -- Nominated by Roy Brown
This past semester has been anything but typical. Over the course of this semester, Emily has helped me and a colleague transition into new interim leadership roles. She has done this while also moving into a new position. Regardless of what she has had going on, she has always been available and willing to help answer questions to ensure that we can do our jobs effectively. Her willingness to help and guidance has made the transition easier. I have appreciated her patience and thoughtful responses to the questions I have posed to her over the semester. She has been a great role model when it comes to being a good leader. I just wanted to thank her for all she has done this semester.
Kristi Foltz, 11/11/20 -- Nominated by Abigail Zaremba
I would like to recognize Kristi Foltz in Engineering for all of her hard work. I work in procurement and Engineering is a huge department with so many end-user and complex procurement. Kristi is a consummate professional and is always so helpful. She helps me bridge the gap between procurement and the end-user to get the answers needed to complete contracts, purchases, and other additional finance tasks. I would like to publicly thank her for all that she does. I know that Bill and Gini know how lucky they are to have her, but I want her to know that I appreciate her and all of her hard work is acknowledged and appreciated by procurement. I couldn't accomplish my part of the procurement process without her. Thank you Kristi for all that you do.
Sharon Shields, 11/11/20 -- Nominated by Abigail Zaremba
I would like to thank Sharon Shields from Engineering. She has recently joined Engineering during this crazy time in the world. She has jumped right in and has proved to be a pro with RealSource and with submitting procurement requests. I am in Central Procurement and have really appreciated her jumping right into the action and handling Engineering's complex procurements like a well-seasoned veteran. Her positivity and sense of humor is a breath of fresh air. I really appreciate everything that she does to help me get these procurements over the finish line.
Tiffany Freitas, 11/12/20 -- Nominated by Meriah Crawford
I have worked with Tiffany many times and have always been impressed by her. There is no drama. She knows the people and places and gets things done, solving problems and making smart choices. I have been grateful to be able to rely on her wisdom and skill. Thank you so much!
Curt Blakenship, 11/16/20 -- Nominated by Terry Austin
Curt has been at the forefront of our efforts towards keeping our students, staff, and faculty safe during this difficult time. His quick and effective response to every situation has been noted by many in our department.
Anita Yearwood, 11/23/20 -- Nominated by Kyra Molinaro
As the director of stewardship events for the Office of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR), Anita works tirelessly and meticulously to plan strategic, creative stewardship events to thank the university's most generous donors. Since beginning her role in fall 2018, Anita has successfully executed the 2018 and 2019 Trani Scholars luncheons, 2019 Endowed Scholarship Dinner, seasonal gatherings at the home of President Rao, and the 2019 Founders' Society dinner. Her greatest challenge to date was accomplished this month: Anita planned and coordinated an innovative virtual experience to mark the close of the Make It Real Campaign for VCU, which has been highly praised by VCU donors, university leadership, faculty, and staff. Throughout a nine-month planning process, Anita took the unparalleled initiative and utilized the talents and skills of her colleagues to create a thoughtfully designed, donor-centered experience (learn more about campaign.vcu.edu).
Anita often finds herself planning several large-scale events at once, but the impeccable quality of her events is never impacted due to her expert project management skills and innovative thinking. Even with her intense workload, she remains a positive and proactive member of her team, inspiring and uplifting everyone around her with her determination.
As a colleague, Anita is selflessly dedicated to the success of all members of her team, no matter their role. She goes above and beyond, professionally and personally, to assist her peers in any way she can, and she constantly advocates to ensure that everyone's voice is heard. Anita also serves as a champion for professional development opportunities and career growth, demonstrated by her role as chair of the VCU Development Career Community. In addition, she serves as an inspiration and reliable mentor to her colleagues, as she is always willing to have a conversation or a lunch meeting to counsel or advise a
friend in need. All in all, Anita is as much a loyal friend as she is a valued colleague, and she is deserving of top recognition.
Magdalena Marshall, 11/24/20 -- Nominated by Denny Henson
I would like to recognize Magdalena Marshall for her outstanding job performance throughout the past year and also recognize her professional development since she began her position with the Practice of Clinical Medicine course. Mags has worked diligently to ensure the PCM course operated efficiently this year despite the pandemic and being short a staff member during the hiring freeze. During this time, we have had to adjust our course for remote and physically distanced learning, learn new software, pick up new duties, and maintain our students’ and teachers’ confidence. Mags has navigated this challenging year gracefully. Since starting with the PCM course two years ago, Mags has learned and mastered the fine details of intricate systems. This has led to a proactive work ethic and a high level of efficiency in operations. Thank you, Mags – for all of your hard work!! It is
very much appreciated!
Lisa Yamin, 10/16/20 -- Nominated by Jewell Davis
At the unexpected resignation of the sole undergraduate adviser for the School of Education, Lisa did not hesitate to step in and offer her advising support to the undergraduate student population. Lisa took over the undergraduate caseload while maintaining a full-time position, teaching two sections of TEDU 101 and enrolled in a doctoral program. She agreed to remain as interim adviser until a permanent adviser was hired and continues to be a major resource as we transfer responsibilities to the new adviser.
Edward "Joe" Lichtenstein, 10/5/20 -- Nominated by Victoria Shivy
Though I'm pretty fluent with the Blackboard eLearning system, I've not had reason to jump into the intricacies of deploying tests -- until (pandemic) now. Last night I got stuck and lost almost two hours of work trying to figure out how to create random blocks of questions within the Bb test canvas. Ultimately I deleted -- aargh -- 15 to 17 'homemade test questions. So, my first task today was to try and recreate those from scratch. Of course, I was also doing all this under time pressure... I was trying to deploy a pre-scheduled exam for students! I called the Help IT desk this morning and found that questions regarding lost data and random blocks went well beyond the expertise of front line staff. I had already consulted Bb documentation and two tech support staffers, as did I, came up empty. Joe was kind enough to respond to the escalated request for support. It isn't his job to assist individual faculty in this way -- even though I tried to pass off my concern as related to data loss. My Bb 'issue' required Joe to stretch a bit, and try out some ideas, in order to safely park my work into an item pool, and to create several random blocks of exam questions from that pool. His work was focused and thoughtful. But, more than that, in working with me and allowing me to see the process, Joe taught me an important set of skills. Of course, he simply could have listened to my concerns, logged into my account, fixed things, and then let me know that the issue was solved. That probably would have been a quicker (and more pleasant) way to resolve the problem. But, with patience, kindness, and a sincere willingness to help -- I now can do this work for myself going forward! Joe's help not only gave me what I needed, but also went far above the call of duty. My Bb issue wasn't a real 'tech support' issue. But he helped out anyway, with respect and good humor. I hope you can give him a shout-out to echo the appreciation I expressed to him this afternoon!
Patrick O'Hare, 10/2/20 -- Nominated by Elicia Preslan
I want to recognize the outstanding customer service that Patrick has been providing to the HRPP/IRB this week with the RAMS-IRB system patch. I know that he put in extra time to make the patch happen on schedule, and his prompt email responses and willingness to work with us this week as we identified problems has been invaluable. We have been able to correct things quickly before they impact other users or office workflows. I truly appreciate the work he does!
Rebecca Lester Scholtes 9/30/20 -- Nominated by Caroline Cobb Amey
Rebecca has done a fantastic job over the past several weeks regarding planning and implementation for our return to in-person data collection and the close-out of previous studies. Her responsiveness to needs related to data quality, IRB protocol review, and the hiring of a new work-study student have been exemplary. I've been particularly impressed with her time-management skills during a very challenging time in the semester. Very very thankful for her contributions!
John Kostyniuk, 9/29/20 -- Nominated by Abigail Zaremba
I would like to recognize John Kostyniuk for always being available to be a mentor and a wonderful "cheerperson" even though he is not my direct supervisor. John never hesitates to stop what he is doing to help answer my questions and show me new things. In addition, John is always giving positive feedback. He never hesitates to tell you that you are doing a great job. John doesn't stop there. He makes a point of shouting out your accomplishments to the whole team / department. John knows how to bring a team together with his positivity and his ability to see your strengths and champion them. I've really appreciated all of his support during this time that we have been working remote. The extra positive feedback and shout outs have meant a lot to me. I would like to thank John for being a shining light in our department at this time.
Dana Burns, 9/25/20 -- Nominated by Carla Nye
Dana Burns volunteered to reinvigorate and revamp a nurse practitioner preceptor website that was partially completed, and languishing for attention. In the matter of a few weeks she cleaned up the website, organized the pages, improved and updated the content, and presented a live preceptor training for current preceptors. This creative effort took time and attention on top of her already busy schedule. The product she produced will be used by preceptors throughout the program. Her efforts dramatically improved our outward facing resources and support for our valued preceptors, and the impact of her work will have a long reach in improving the education offered at the VCU School of Nursing.
Catherine Connon, 9/21/20 -- Nominated by Jo Murphy
Dr. Connon has spent countless hours developing virtual labs that come as close as possible to an in-person experience. She explored best practices and created her own integrated use of them to provide a unique and real learning opportunity. While she has been able to continue to teach in-person, this lab provides students an additional opportunity to learn, can be used for students who are unable to attend class and/or for all students if we need to move to campus wide virtual learning.
Jewel Worthy, 9/21/20 -- Nominated by Adria Hoffman
Assigning teacher candidates' practicum placements is an incredibly challenging task that requires patience, organizational skills, and responsive relationship-building across schools and school divisions. In normal semesters, it is challenging. In a semester when school plans continue to change over the course of time and mentors' availability change as well, Jewel Worthy is incredible source of support for our School of Education students! She's confirmed new placements quickly, kept everyone in a communication loop, and ensured that all of our candidates have opportunities to learn from the experienced educators in the Richmond area. Thank you, Jewel!!!
Rachel Koenig, 9/18/20 -- Nominated by Roy Brown
Rachel is a valued member of the research and education department team. She is always willing to help out and step up fill in where she is needed. A prime example was this week when there was a need to figure out a workflow for updating the LibGuides for the department. When asked she immediately went about figuring out a workflow that would enable our new student worker to complete the task. Not only did she figure out a workflow, but she also went the extra mile of making a video demonstrating what went into the process. This was a huge help and allowed the student worker to start the process of getting these guides updated. I just wanted to recognize her responsiveness in addressing this issue and say thank you.
Dr. Inta Maggie Tolan, 9/17/20 -- Nominated by Gypsy Denzine
On behalf of the 30,000+ students--thank you for your leadership, expertise, and commitment to student success! You go above and beyond everyday, but during COVID, you have gone to the moon and back 10 times.
William Moran, 9/15/20 -- Nominated by Cabel Newton
William has been chosen as the certificate of merit recipient for the 2020 University Academic Advising Award for Outstanding Advising Advocate. On behalf of the Awards and Grants Committee we would like to highlight William's nomination and hard work. Statements from William's nomination include: "We are a department that serves over 2,000 students who represent a vast array of backgrounds, many of whom aspire to enter research or the medical professions—we have our work cut out for us. I can unequivocally say, and I believe I echo the sentiment of our entire department when I do so, that our important work would be much more challenging and stressful without the help and support provided day-in and day-out by Mr. Moran. His record of commitment, excellence, adaptability, and shear pluck speaks for itself. While maintaining a positive and helpful attitude, Will has consistently delivered more than has been asked or required and has performed his duties at a level which has even brought recognition to our department." " In addition to his responsibilities of managing the front office and acting as our customer service specialist (for which he received CHS’s 2019 Excellence in Customer Service Award), he is our website coordinator, IT specialist, informal assistant HR specialist, and a teaching assistant/support staff. He is also our encyclopedia for university policies at large (to include our internet presence, FERPA, Human Resources, etc.). As the front office manager, Will’s dependable presence sets the tone for the visible operations of our department."
Kerry Boland, 9/15/20 -- Nominated by Cabel Newton
Kerry has been chosen as the certificate of merit recipient for the 2020 University Academic Advising Award for Excellence in Advising- Outstanding New Advisor. On behalf of the Awards and Grants Committee we would like to highlight her nomination and hard work. Statements from her nomination include: "Two words that most come to mind when I consider Kerry’s work at UAA are enthusiasm and intentionality; characteristics that Kerry demonstrates on a daily basis." "Kerry possesses a drive toward student-informed, self-reflective growth. The extra step she takes to not only collect student feedback, but then use this feedback to grow her professional skill set is exemplary." "I do not know of an adviser in our office who does more work in helping create a more inclusive and identify-informed advising experience for their students. In this way, Kerry exemplifies VCU’s core competencies of diversity, innovation, collaboration and accountability."
Sarah Golding, 9/15/20 -- Nominated by Cabel Newton
Dr. Sarah Golding has been chosen as the certificate of merit recipient for the 2020 University Academic Advising Award for Excellence in Advising- Faculty Mentor. On behalf of the Awards and Grants Committee we would like to highlight her nomination and hard work. Statements from her nomination include: "Dr. Golding administers and facilitates the undergraduate research training component of the Bridges, MARC and IMSD grant programs. Under her leadership, the programs have been very successful. Over the last 5 years, the IMSD and MARC programs have trained 72 VCU undergraduates, from underrepresented backgrounds, that have successfully completed bachelor’s degrees in STEM majors. Including the scholars graduating in 2016, 12 have gone on to PhD programs (Northwestern, UVA, VCU, WVU, Vanderbilt, UMD, UCLA, Baylor), 5 to MS programs (Harvard, VCU, Johns Hopkins) and 6 to Professional programs (PharmD and MD)." "...It because of professionals like Dr. Golding that underserved and underrepresented groups are allowed access to the same opportunities as their majority counterparts. Her efforts have motivated me to not only pursue a career in biomedical research, but also in science outreach as well. I would love the chance to get to train and motivate young students interested in the biosciences just as Dr. Golding has done and is continuing to do.”
Ben Plache, 9/15/20 -- Nominated by Cabel Newton
Ben has been chosen as the certificate of merit recipient for the 2020 University Academic Advising Award for Excellence in Advising- Advising Administrator. On behalf of the Awards and Grants Committee we would like to highlight her nomination and hard work. Statements from her nomination include: "He is able to create a welcoming environment for honors students and understands the balance of challenge and support to help encourage our honors students to reach their full potential. His interpersonal skills are his primary strength. Ben is extremely perspicacious and insightful. Whenever he is discussing something, he is always very concise and comprehensive. " "Ben spent over a year working to bring to our honors students to keep them engaged in the honors community. With our new curriculum in Fall 2018, honors students must earn at least 25 engagement points a year. ..All of this is to help students remain connected to the Honors College and ensure our honors graduates leave VCU with certain characteristics and qualities we associate with a University Honors graduate."
Rachel Hill, 9/15/20 -- Nominated by Cabel Newton
Rachel has been chosen as the certificate of merit recipient for the 2020 University Academic Advising Award for Excellence in Advising- Primary Role. On behalf of the Awards and Grants Committee we would like to highlight her nomination and hard work. Statements from her nomination include: "Ms. Hill is a pillar of support to the Department of Biology. She provides timely support to her colleagues, outstanding advising to our undergraduates, and participates in numerous collaborations to showcase the accomplishments of VCU Advising at advising conferences. Ms. Hill is passionate about all aspects of her career, including networking with colleagues, advising and educating students, presenting her work to others, peer mentoring, and providing leadership. She is an amazing academic advisor, educator, and an exemplary member of the Department of Biology and of the college."
Kristin Smith, 9/15/20 -- Nominated by Cabel Newton
Kristin has been chosen as the winner for the 2020 University Academic Advising Award for Outstanding Advising Advocate. On behalf of the Awards and Grants Committee we would like to highlight her nomination and hard work. Statements from her nomination include: "Kristin has a really refreshing way of jumping into a problem that needs to be solved and saying, "Okay, what can I do to help?" She is action-oriented and manages to be easy and fun to work with while not wasting any time getting things done." "Kristin Smith has been an integral part of supporting advising efficacy and further innovation for years. From her work in Degree Audit to her position as Asst Director in Student Success, she has built processes, support resources and established a culture among the campus community to further advance and support our work and student progression. She has managed to cut red-tape, when possible, and shares her wealth of knowledge freely with others. We could not be where we are today without this strong, intelligent and passionate lady." "Greets each situation with a smile, always willing to assist, is an ear for advisors as well as advocates. She is patient and kind even during the most stressful situation. Always willing to help and share her knowledge."
Roy Roach, 9/15/20 -- Nominated by Cabel Newton
Roy has been chosen as the winner for the 2020 University Academic Advising Award for Excellence in Advising- Outstanding New Advisor. On behalf of the Awards and Grants Committee we would like to highlight his nomination and hard work. Statements from his nomination include: "Roy does an exceedingly good job at building relationships with his students, most of which are minority or first generation students who are at risk in regard to retention and graduation. His students speak incredibly highly of him and he has a near perfect advising satisfaction score (averaging 4.99). In fact, he has perfect scores in the categories that are most essential to effective advising: how well he listens to students, whether he is able to provide the information they need, and their desire to meet with him again." "Roy’s service to students has also extended beyond the campus. He recently served as a panel speaker at the 2019 Freedom Classic Festival Leadership Summit, a community event coordinated by two HBCUs -Virginia Union and Virginia State- that aims to inspire local high school students. He was recognized at that event as an educational influencer and spoke regarding his experiences in advising a diverse student population." "Roy is beloved by his advisees. There is always a student coming by to see him or sitting in his office... which speaks volumes of Roy’s dedication to students, his work ethic, and compassion."
Robert Taylor, 9/15/20 -- Nominated by Cabel Newton
Robert has been chosen as the winner for the 2020 University Academic Advising Award for Excellence in Advising- Faculty Mentor. On behalf of the Awards and Grants Committee we would like to highlight his nomination and hard work. Statements from his nomination include: "Robert Taylor is all about connectivity. He takes his role far beyond instructor and faculty member. Mr. Taylor makes every effort to connect students majoring, or minoring, in Real Estate to community partners, thereby making the Real Estate major, or minor, a pursuit where students get wrap around care and immediate results on graduation." "...Thanks to his efforts combined with the Kornblau Real Estate programs' Circle of Excellence, there are more internships and scholarship opportunities to offer to Real Estate students than ever before. Also recently agreeing to take over management of the Risk and Insurance Studies Center, Robert now offers a way for students to think across disciplines by encouraging mutual support of the Risk Management and Insurance curriculum." "Throughout the semester Robert will host weekend study sessions for his students prior to exams. He books conference rooms and comes in on either a Saturday or Sunday and always brings food (haha). He will spend as much time as necessary to ensure his students are successful in his course."
Lindsay Freeman, 9/15/20 -- Nominated by Cabel Newton
Lindsay has been chosen as the winner for the 2020 University Academic Advising Award for Excellence in Advising- Primary Role. On behalf of the Awards and Grants Committee we would like to highlight her nomination and hard work. Statements from her nomination include: , "I will often stop by her office to get her perspective on a student's situation or pre-requisite issue and she is always willing to stop what she is doing and chat. Lindsay's job is critical to the success of our program. She alone spends more one-on-one time with our students than any faculty member and therefore has a deeper understanding of their individual challenges. Her perspective is therefore different and complementary to the faculty perspective and I very much value her input when given the opportunity to work with her." "...(Lindsay's) excellent evaluations across years stand out at the university level. Environmental Studies advising was ranked third out of the 59 undergraduate academic programs at VCU by continuing/transfer students on the Ruffalo Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Survey from Fall 2018...Lindsay has been advising for 4.5 years and was the sole ENVS departmental advisor for all of the students who responded to the survey. That is to say - this elite ranking in the top %5 of all VCU programs is entirely due to Lindsay's excellent work."
Vinicio Merida, 9/15/20 -- Nominated by Cabel Newton
Vinnie has been chosen as the winner for the 2020 University Academic Advising Award for Excellence in Advising- Advising Administrator. On behalf of the Awards and Grants Committee we would like to highlight his nomination and hard work. Statements from his nomination include: "Vinnie Merida truly embodies the servant leader model. He’s patient, listening first and then speaking. Even when it's chaos around him and he needs to be somewhere, he always makes time for you and puts you first." "Vinnie builds/hires a team that works well together and is cohesive and works to maintain that. He acts as an advocate for our team daily. He makes sure we have the information and tools we need to do our jobs and clearly communicates his and university expectations. It is evident he cares equally about our office, our students, and each of us individually." "I believe Vinnie is the best academic advisor I have had in my college career. He’s attentive, very personable and seems to truly care about my success at VCU. He is a valuable asset.”
Catherine Connon, 9/14/20 -- Nominated by Jo Murphy
Dr. Connon has spent countless hours developing virtual labs that come as close as possible to an in-person experience. She explored best practices and created her own integrated use of them to provide a unique and real learning opportunity. While she has been able to continue to teach in-person, this lab provides students an additional opportunity to learn, can be used for students who are unable to attend class and/or for all students if we need to move to campus wide virtual learning.
Carolyn Lee, 9/1/20 -- Nominated by Dana Rajczewski
There's no way to easily choose just one of the reasons to recognize a colleague when it comes to Carolyn! She has been doing an amazing job keeping the many HR parts of our department and division moving right along during unprecedented times, and I know it must often be a challenge to keep everything moving along as it should. Not only does she serve as an excellent resource for all of our current employees (particularly in light of many changes like leave for working parents and various teleworking/return-to-campus policies), but she has made our new faculty members feel welcome even before they arrived. Her attention to onboarding details and availability to answer questions and anticipate potential issues goes a long way in making new people feel like a part of the team right from the start. Thank you for all you do for all of us, Carolyn!
Shauntee McKeever, 8/27/20 -- Nominated by Andrea Groat
I was introduced to Shauntee by email. She was quick to get a cleaning crew to Mike Hughes Hall when we needed some emergency cleaning. On 9/1/20 I notified her that we weren't seeing the cleaning crew during the day, she had someone over quickly. Whenever I have a question, I get an immediate response. Shauntee is the best! Thank you for reducing my level of stress.
Wanda Williams, 8/12/20 -- Nominated by Julie Coggsdale
Wanda has been amazing to work with on the transition of the HR Training room on the medical campus to the VCU/VCUHS COVID Hotline Center. She was responsive and innovative in her guidance to install the needed telephone services. Wanda is a true example of excellence in service.
Nathan Hellenbrand, 8/12/20 -- Nominated by Dana Rajczewski
I'm relatively new to using T4 for anything more substantial than editing existing content and Nathan has been a wonderful resource to make it happen! He explains things in a way that makes sense and he is patient and encouraging. He has helped give me the confidence to do more website work on my own and I can't thank him enough.
Sam Byrd, 8/10/20 -- Nominated by Roy Brown
Sam, anytime I call on him for help with VCU Scholars Compass issues is always responsive and helpful. This past week I had to rush to get a white paper placed into the institutional repository because it was going to be published in a book chapter. Sam quickly helped me to get it posted so I could share it. Then when I came to him with several adjustments he was quick to attend to them and help me out, enabling me to get the new publication to the publisher and to have the latest version of the document for a meeting at the hospital the following day. I just wanted to formally thank him for all of his help this past week and in the past. I appreciate having you as a colleague at VCU Libraries and thanks again for your assistance.
Brandon Burneson, 8/10/20 -- Nominated by Roy Brown
Brandon over the last couple of weeks has shown himself to be an integral part of the research and education department at Health Sciences Library for the Health Sciences (TML). He has been available to assist with various tasks that needed to be completed to get TML open. He helped to design the signs that have been used to inform patrons of the changes at TML and volunteered to work at the Health and Wellness Library when there was no one to open it during the first week of August. To top it off he headed up the library efforts when it comes to planning the TML Weeks of Welcome and has created a video to provide a virtual tour of the library for new students. Thanks for your hard work, myself and others in the department appreciate it.
I worked with Abigail on the procurement of COVID-19 VCU return to campus supplies. Abigail was a great resource and out of the box thinker that lead to the allocation of materials for VCU to begin its mission, of a safe return to campus. Abigail not only supported this effort but also supported the Research community in order to get the PPE needed for research to continue.
Danielle Nilson, 7/28/20 -- Nominated by Andrea Perkins
I wish I could've clicked on all aspects of recognition about Danielle Nilson. I've been meaning to submit this form sooner about how outstanding Danielle is every time I call her. She possesses all the qualities of an exemplary employee! (I am the building manager and the parking lot is limited with 20 spots; there are many outsiders who try to use our lot.) Danielle is always extremely helpful and submits the request and contacts people within her department to come to our parking lot and handle the issue. Kudos to Danielle Nilson!
Brittny Davis, 7/20/20 -- Nominated by Abigail Zaremba
Brittny and I work together in Procurement Services. I am a Buyer and she is a Contracts Analyst. I have to really thank her for helping me with my contracts over the last few months. I have been juggling a ton of projects and she is so responsive. She turns them right back around to me. If there is ever any real drawn out negotiation it is on the part of the vendor. Not only has she helped me get things done expeditiously, she has taught me a lot about contract law and the reasons behind what we are negotiating. In addition she always gives me a helping hand when I try to create a contract with one of our standard templates. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank her and tell her I appreciate all she has done. Thank you Brittny!
Christopher Melton, 7/20/20 -- Nominated by Abigail Zaremba
I would actually like to recognize Chris Melton for all of the reasons listed above. Initiative, Integrity, Respect, and Responsiveness. Shortly after we went to Mandatory Telework due to Covid19 I was contacted by someone else to help source supplies for Covid19. Turns out I was late to the party and I started stepping on toes when I started reaching out to vendors. That's how I found out Chris Melton was already working on procuring supplies. After talking we teamed up together to try to coordinate our efforts. I have to say in all of my years working in Procurement I had never been so impressed by another colleague and their knowledge of the supply chain and logistics. Chris has gone above and beyond to create a safe University for us to return to. He has been very ingenuitive finding alternate vendors, products, and supply chains. His creative ideas put VCU ahead of the other VA State Universities in preparedness and planning. While other Universities are still struggling to find supplies Chris utilized contracted vendors, SWaM vendors, and vendors I would have never thought to contact. I feel like he has been a step ahead of everyone these last 5 months. He has taught me so much. He also is probably the nicest person I have ever met. Chris is so responsive and down to earth. Nothing seems to shake him. He is the calm in the middle of a storm. VCU is very lucky to have him.
Sarah Carrier, 7/1/20 -- Nominated by Amy Leap Miller
Sarah - Thank you for leading our team fearlessly during these crazy few months! I admire the way you stepped right in to handle crisis after crisis in a very calm and proficient manner. Thanks for your encouragement, ideas, energy and teamwork as well!
Evan French, 6/20/20 -- Nominated by Travis Oakes
Evan has stepped up and helped me out in several ways over the past couple of months. Most recently, he took care of some database synchronization work that had been holding up progress for several other stakeholders. Before that, he built a utility to export RedCap data into a SQL database, making it much easier to use that RedCap data for reporting or provisioning. Additionally, he has been assisting with COVID related data requests. Evan's technical ingenuity and proficiency has been a tremendous help at a time when I have been overwhelmed with data requests and projects.
Scott Crenshaw, 6/16/20 -- Nominated by Laura Georgiadis
Scott Crenshaw is the building manager for the VCU School of Pharmacy. He has returned to the Smith Building as of June 15th to be sure everything having to do with PPE/Covid preparations was done so that the first phase of 'return to research' was a success. Scott Crenhsaw continues to handle a multitude of responsibilities that have been added to his position because of the Covid 19 emergency. He has handled all of these added responsibilities with purpose and a helpful attitude.
Amanda Silvester, 6/9/20 -- Nominated by Amy Adkins
Thank you for always being so supportive of our research training program, especially so as we navigate running the program remotely. Your quick attention to problems is greatly appreciated by me and the students find comfort in your kind, timely problem-solving emails.
Lily Cox-Richard, 6/3/20 -- Nominated by Katie Kehoe
My recognition for Lily goes beyond the single date listed above or the single characteristic I selected. (I tried to select them all in fact, though the form permitted only one selection). Lily is my area head for Space Research in Art Foundations, and the leadership and guidance she showed us this spring semester was exceptional. When faced with the unprecedented change and challenges COVID-19 heaved upon our School of Art, Lily unflinchingly led us forward. She was ever available to answer questions, supplied us with loads of resources to support us in adapting to teach online, started a shared resource of prompts and project ideas, and initiated weekly meetings. And we looked forward to the weekly meetings, in which Lily cultivated a relaxed and supportive atmosphere, kept us informed of updates and new resources that had become available, and inquired into our highs and lows of online teaching. Strangely - given we found ourselves teaching in the midst of a pandemic, and not so strangely - given Lily’s Leadership, our faculty grew stronger together and our relationships with each other deepened. Lily is a selfless leader who is deeply talented as a leader, professor and artist. I am learning so much from her and wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge that and thank her, for her incredibly skilled, committed and inspired work.
Jamie Cage, 6/1/20 -- Nominated by Quinn Mathlin
Dr. Cage could be recognized for each of these categories. Since her arrival to the school a couple years ago she has taken the initiative to speak out against social injustices around the world and on-campus. She purposefully creates space for her colleagues and her students to debrief, talk to, guide or encourage. She took on the role of adviser for ABSW and has transformed that student organization to do really meaningful work at VCU and in the city of Richmond. During these hard times faced with a pandemic and injustices towards Black people, Dr. Cage has been responsive even when not asked to do so. She reached out to her colleagues and school of social work students to let them know they are heard, valued, supported and respected. She does this in the most respectful and genuine fashion. She is an all-star among faculty and a true asset.
Tom Woodward, 5/29/20 -- Nominated by Amanda Hall
Tom Woodward has been a tremendous help to me (and therefore the entire Urban Educator Collaborative Team) through his expertise, professionalism, positivity, and consistent willingness to support, co-create, and educate! Our team was recently in a perplexing (and very time-sensitive) spot when trying to determine the best way to create (and ultimately build) a virtual Professional Learning series for K-12 educators and Tom was at the ready to help - via email, zoom, phone, or chat!! I know he and his team are extremely busy right now, yet he spent as much time as I needed to help me build an interactive Rampages site that was highly functional within our parameters, would keep adult participants engaged, and allow me and my team to track appropriate metrics. I have sought out Tom and his team on several occasions for various School of Education and Center for Community Engagement & Impact initiatives and I am always impressed (and appreciative) of their talent, innovation, responsiveness, and respect! Tom (nor his team) have ever made me feel like I had a "stupid question" and have always guided me to a place of solutions - teaching me along the way! I wanted to take this time to recognize Tom Woodward and team for their amazing work on behalf of our faculty and staff! Without their support (especially now) I truly believe VCU would not be able to uphold our mission - student success, National prominence, and community transformation only occur if we have the tools to make the magic happen! Tom and his team definitely help provide us with the tools. Thanks, Tom!!!
Jillian Carpenter, 5/29/20 -- Nominated by Cameron Carter
Jillian has been an extraordinary teacher and colleague throughout the pandemic. She is one of the most effective communicators I have met and has worked tirelessly to make sure our students and community partners are informed of each stage of the process for social work internships during the pandemic. I have counted on Jillian exceptional collaborative nature over the course of the last two months to develop two brand new courses to accommodate student needs during this time. Jillian always provides thorough feedback that comes from a lens of enhancing student learning and facilitating a curriculum that recognizes and affirms social justice. Jillian exemplifies our social work values and her initiative provides our school with tremendous support. Thank you!
Christopher Melton, 5/29/20 -- Nominated by Abigail Zaremba
I began working with Chris Melton in FMD back in the beginning of April to help procure PPE items for students and employees for when they return to campus. I super excited and ready to go since Medical and Research procurement has been my area of expertise since 2013. I was pleasantly surprised when I jumped into the mix and Chris Melton had already been able to find alternate vendors to supply VCU PPE that were not part of our regular supply chain. His knowledge of supply chain and logistics thoroughly impressed me and inspired me to be more creative and go all in to support him and the University's mission to make campus a safe place during this time. I really have to say he is a rockstar. He is able to find and secure items no one else can get. I have learned so much from him during this process. Not only is he knowledgeable he is responsive. Chris is always available to talk things through. He goes out of his way to help any of our people in immediate need. What's even more impressive is he is always happy and kind. I know he is working from sun up to sun down to make this happen for VCU. Chris never appears worn out or frustrated. I feel he needs to be recognized by the University for his hard work and for they way he handles the stress and continues to always stay patient and kind. He is a true example of what VCU is about. I am honored to be working with him and learning so much from him along the way. Thank you Chris for everything you are doing for us.
Danielle Hairston, 5/28/20 -- Nominated by Corey Martin
In truth, I am actually nominating Danielle Hairston for recognition in ALL listed areas- Initiative, Integrity, Respect, and Responsiveness. This is also not for just 5/28, but since March I have worked with Danielle on a nearly daily basis. Throughout the entire pandemic response from VCU thus far, Danielle has remained a positive force who has handled a mountain of new information, policy, and tasks remarkably well. Danielle has been an incredible LEADER throughout. Her guidance for HR coordinators (or anyone who deals with HR responsibilities) and the countless folks who reach out to her has truly been invaluable. I don't know how I would have made sense of my job over the past three months had it not been for her. Danielle has had to deliver bad news, or assisted others in doing so, constantly, and the grace and poise with which she handles each delicate situation is a sign of her talent, skill, and compassion as an HR Director. I haven't enough good words for Danielle, and am truly grateful to have the privilege of working with her.
Lisa Smith Wead, 5/28/20 -- Nominated by Kristen DiLorenzo
I wish I could have selected all four options for this recognition. Lisa is invaluable in her position and is the glue that binds the department together. She is always willing to not only help others when they need assistance but to teach them how to complete the task so they can do so in the future. She is busier than ever and still willing to help me with tasks.
Marisa Guida, 5/22/20 -- Nominated by Heather Falks
Marisa Guida is the heart and soul of the Winning Presentations course. She is dedicated to excellence and has worked tirelessly with her team to create the best online version of the course. I am grateful for her leadership during this strange time.
Jessica Carey, 5/22/20 -- Nominated by Amelia Grover
Jessica is an amazing staff member. During the Covid crisis she was instrumental in mobilizing the resources for teleworking for the staff. She was also incredibly innovative in creating and organizing daily activities for team health, well being and connection during this time. She manages to do this with a great attitude and is such a pleasure to work with.
Katherine Munson, 5/23/20 -- Nominated by Amelia Grover
Kit is an amazing nurse. She has pivoted in the time of Covid and gotten the clinics up and running smoothly in the transition to telehealth. She has also worked hard to transition the pre-op teaching necessary for our patients to a virtual platform and helped to educate and prepare the patients for their virtual visits.
Liz Canfield, 5/22/20 -- Nominated by Sonali Gulati
I just wanted to give a shout out to Liz Canfield for the incredible work she is doing with leading our iCubed cohort.
Kathryn Murphy-Judy, 5/22/20 -- Nominated by Laura Middlebrooks
Dr. Murphy-Judy freely shared her technological and pedagogical expertise with a number of School of World Studies instructors during the transition to teaching and testing online in March, April and May of 2020. She was incredibly generous with her time and support, and we are lucky to have her as a colleague.
Roberto Ventura, 5/22/20 -- Nominated by Sara Reed
Roberto has led the Department of Interior Design through this crisis with a great thoughtfulness for students and faculty - he led a graduation for our students that lifted them up and recognized their achievements, all while this was his first year as interim chair. I would like for him to be recognized for his leadership through such a challenging semester.
Valerie Robnolt, 5/22/20 -- Nominated by Lisa Cipolletti
On three separate occasions Valerie Robnolt has contacted me and offered to pick up materials from Oliver Hall that I might need to successfully teach my class. In addition to picking up the materials, she brought them to my house. I appreciate the care and concern that she has shown, and she has helped me not only with the conclusion of the spring semester but in my current summer course. She is a person who continually thinks about the needs of others, and I appreciate her as a colleague and friend.
Betsy Moscoso, 5/22/20 -- Nominated by Chris Broschart
Betsy has show remarkable strength and willpower in getting a job done in the face of the pandemic. She is working understaffed and still manages to stay a step a head of all of us. Great work ethic and amazing ability to finish tasks. She is amazing and her hard work deserves to be recognized.
Curtis Reisinger, 5/22/20 -- Nominated by Jen Elswick
Unfortunately, this form limits my choices to one date/interaction and one domain for which Curtis deserves recognition. The truth is Curtis has provided me and my unit excellent and consistent service since I've known him and in all the areas listed. His support and encouragement on a near weekly basis has been a key factor in helping me establish a web operations framework in CHS. He is generous in sharing his technical knowledge, but also perspectives from a university level that I need that help me make better decisions. On a more personal level, he has provided me encouragement, motivation, and validation during times when I have struggled with skill deficits and project snafus. This more than anything has meant the world to me and has kept me moving forward in positive directions through the toughest times in my job. Curtis, thank you for all your support!
Edna Renee Macbeth, 5/21/20 -- Nominated by Betsy Seymour
Edna Renee has been a communication asset to UAA during the last two months. She has attended important meetings and training (Staff Senate, UUCC, NACADA webinars) and read through lengthy updates (VCU's Covid-19 page, emails from the Provost and President) with intention. The office counts on her to quickly disseminate this material, recognize what's important for us to know, and provide team updates. Most recently, she attended the Staff Senate town hall and quickly summarized Dr. Hackett's updates regarding potential fall return. She did this in a way that prioritized information (rather than speculation) and demonstrated her leadership in the area communication and responsiveness.
Michael Rosenberg, 5/22/20 -- Nominated by Brian Verrelli
Dr. Rosenberg has not been part of the VCU leadership long but was tasked as co-chair of the Committee to reboot our General Education curriculum. This task required not only an exact knowledge of GenEd at a University level - how all the parts interact and move - but an ability to communicate these parts to all groups at VCU from upper admin down to each dept. Dr. Rosenberg's initiative in helping develop and launch the GenEd curriculum will be appreciated by our faculty, staff, and students across VCU.
Erin Van Vleet Jester, 5/21/20 -- Nominated by Steve Crossman, MD
Due to the COVID crisis, the School of Medicine asked for Family Medicine to develop and run a 2 week family medicine experience for the entire medical school class at the same time, utilizing the online cases that students typically have access to during their required family medicine rotation. Erin, who has been outstanding in her role for many years as student services coordinator in our Dept, went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that this course was planned and implemented flawlessly. In addition she had to arrange for all students to take the exam at the same time and arrange for locations, proctors, etc. She also had to manage last minute concerns about power and connectivity at one testing site. She did this all without hesitation and while ensuring the highest level of STAR values and customer support for all students. For this reason she is most worthy of this recognition.
Paul Babitts, 5/20/20 -- Nominated by Michele Webb
Dr. Paul Babitts is an exceptional leader in the VCU community. He not only organizes and leads VCU's Immigration Office, but he shares his knowledge and patience with VCU employees and students. Paul is a wonderful leader and helps us understand and work through the most complex issues facing our university and nation. Thank you Dr. Babitts for always advocating for your staff and sharing your knowledge with the wider VCU community. I appreciate you!
Kim Case, 5/20/20 -- Nominated by Ching-Yu Huang
If you have met Kim, you would know what I am talking about! She is one of a kind! She will bring sunshine to you, if she knows you can't go get it yourself. With a limited resource she has, Kim has fully committed 200% of herself to the success of our faculty since she began her position last August. She works on building a community for all our faculty (adjunct, tenure-track, and term faculty) through a wide array of programs and workshops. During this difficult time (COVID-19 pandemic), Kim hosted and coordinated numerous workshops and webinars to ensure our faculty a smooth transition to teaching remotely. The VCU Peer Support to Keep on Teaching Facebook page she initiated during the pandemic provides a platform for our faculty to share information, exchange ideas and expend network in our teaching community. Her positive attitude towards work and her trust and confidence in you make you feel “REAL”! Thank you, Kim! We are so thankful to having you in our Ram Family!
Shira Schieken, 5/19/20 -- Nominated by Michele Webb
Shira is an asset to the university with her knowledge, attentiveness, adaptability and initiative. Shira not only helps international students, scholars and university employees, but she has continued to teach her classes for the VCU School of Business. Shira has adapted creatively to VCU's new online model and is responsive to VCU student and staff. Shira is a wonderful team mate and is an asset to the VCU community. Thank you Shira for all of your hard work and knowledge. I appreciate you!!
Kelly Coldiron, 5/19/20 -- Nominated by Polly Griffin
Kelly came to my aid after hours when my step daughter was in crisis. I have a VCU student at home who was having a melt down over a class and it was the night before add/drop. I have called on Kelly in the past for help so I took a chance and called her at 7 pm. When I explained the situation and my step daughters problem, she went to work right then and there. Kelly pulled up her record and asked if my step daughter would be comfortable talking to her on the phone. Kelly made a telephone appointment for my step daughter the very next morning. Kelly had the whole situation worked out and my step daughter got her problem taken care all before noon! Because of Kelly's willingness to go the extra mile after hours, a student in need received stellar service. Thank you Kelly for caring about our students and always being a pleasure to work with.
Erin Van Vleet, 5/19/20 -- Nominated by Judy Gary
In the past several weeks, Erin has been called upon to determine how best to set up virtual exams for all of the VCU medical students using a national test. This has required her to arrange schedules, recruit and train proctors, provide necessary accommodations, respond to very anxious students, trouble shoot technical issues, juggle her young sons and other work responsibilities. To top it all off, she personally proctored 7+ hours of exams.
John (Alex) McWhorter, 5/15/20 -- Nominated by Molly Gross
Alex has worked tirelessly to hold our "office" together through COVID-19. He has created countless Docusign forms at a moments request to facility our ability to work from home. He is **always** available when anyone needs anything no matter how small or how complex. Being the office manager of Procurement Services is a tough job on a regular day (we are a high maintenance bunch!), but taking care of our needs when we are not all in one location is a herculean effort. Alex has handled it all with grace and humor. I am grateful for everything he has done and continues to do for us on a daily basis. I hope his contributions to the office before the pandemic, and especially during, are given the recognition they deserve. Thank you Alex for putting up with us and helping us through this!
Christopher (Dinkus) Deane, 5/15/20 -- Nominated by Linda Johnson
Christopher "Dinkus" Deane has been the point person for the VCU School of the Arts and has taken all requests for persons needing to come to the campus and enter any VCUarts facilities. He has made numerous trips to campus so that faculty and staff (also students, I believe) could access spaces to pick up items that were needed in order to do their jobs. In the case of the Department of Music, he met with our piano technician so that he could tune and monitor our very valuable concert grand pianos so that they did not deteriorate during the time of the buildings being closed. He has worked with other people's schedules and never made anyone feel like it was inconvenient for him. His integrity and willingness to take the initiative to make it easy for others is exemplary.
Mark Meier, 5/15/20 -- Nominated by Nadia Inserra
I'm nominating Mark Meier for his tireless work helping out students in need, particularly during this past month. I believe Mark did a great job of reaching out to students and working with them one on one, while also providing both academic and mental support in ways that go beyond his job requirements.
Laura Gariepy, 5/15/20 -- Nominated by Teresa Knott
Laura worked tirelessly to set the VCU Libraries up for success as we moved to a virtual environment and is leading the way for the VCU Libraries to reopen our physical spaces safely. She is highly collaborative and an excellent advocate.
Kristen Ramussen, 5/14/20 -- Nominated by Ciera Harris
Kristen has become an invaluable member of the Online@VCU/ALT Lab team. Her initiatives will help to make the program more productive and cost-efficient which is critical in the times ahead. WAY TO GO!
Derek Hottell, 5/14/20 -- Nominated by Abigail Zaremba
I would like to recognize Derek for his continued support through the COVID19 pandemic. I work in Central Procurement as a Senior Buyer. Derek has assisted by giving disinfectant wipes normally used at the Cary Street Gym to the VCU Police a few weeks ago. Most recently today, he was able to provide wipes for Student Health until their shipment arrives. PPE and disinfectant wipes are hard to come by. There is a raw materials shortage keeping manufactures from being able to produce wipes. His generosity in helping our first responders and Student Health department is amazing. I know his department has been hit hard by this crisis but he still finds the spirit to give. I am truly grateful for his assistance.
Christy Tyndall, 5/13/20 -- Nominated by Mary Boyes
Dr. Tyndall has been a consummate colleague during this time. Even though she has many demands on her time—children at home, a high course load, obligations to many committees— Christy has been extremely flexible, responsive, supportive and reliable. I am especially impressed by her cool-headed, problem-solving attitude with students and colleagues alike. And, I’m grateful for how Dr. Tyndall always steps up to help everyone in a supportive and useful way.
Aimee Walters, 5/13/20 -- Nominated by Andrew Arroyo
The Office of the Provost (academic affairs) frequently receives time-sensitive requests regarding existing, new and innovative academic programs. These requests often require market research. Aimee Walters goes above and beyond the call of duty in producing market research that academic units use to inform action. On a personal level, I appreciate Aimee's high level of responsiveness. She is a model teammate and a true asset to VCU. Thank you, Aimee!
Sterling Daniel, 5/12/20 -- Nominated by Michael Southam-Gerow
Mr. Daniel has been working countless hours to manage a budget crisis in CHS and he has done so with integrity and respect. We have some difficult choices to make as a college and a university and I am comforted to have someone like Sterling participating in our decision making.
Alexis Finc, 5/8/2020 -- Nominated by Tracey Dawson Cruz
Alexis and her team have done a remarkable job with the CHS virtual graduation celebration! In addition to the College page, they coordinated pages for all the units - this was a remarkable amount of work and she has done a stellar job keeping it all organized! They deserve a lot of credit for making the day special for our graduates. Additionally, Alexis has gone above and beyond in helping us reach out to prospective students, despite the limitations placed by SEM. Her help and responsiveness in setting up our virtual preview day was amazing and she even stepped in to check on us during the Zoom event. Our recruiting and outreach efforts have DEFINITELY stepped up since Alexis has been with the college. THANK YOU!
Jennifer Elswick, 5/8/2020 -- Nominated by Tracey Dawson Cruz
Jen has managed to do the work of an army for the College this semester, but she is just one person!! Her help through the year on the unit websites and her work on getting the graduation sites up has been truly remarkable! We are so grateful for all of her hard work.
Carolina Wilson, 5/8/2020 -- Nominated by Daryl King
Carolina has always worked tirelessly in making sure that all is complete and taken care of, in all that I've seen her involved in. No matter the situation, she's always professional, and quickly helps in resolving issues.
Donielda Tripp-Leino, 5/8/2020 -- Nominated by My Rigby Bendele
Donielda is always incredibly responsive when I need to request changes to a student's posted transfer credit! She's wonderful in every interaction that I have and is very good at doublechecking any unusual requests I may have.
Cameron Carter, 5/8/20 -- Nominated by Abbie Innebrew
Cameron has taken a leadership role in supporting faculty field liaisons in adjusting to the changes brought on by the pandemic. She advocated for the needs of liaisons, field instructors, and students when developing revised program policies and procedures and has made herself available in both regularly scheduled and immediate ways to process reactions, problem solve, and plan for the future. She also took a leadership role in creating revisions to the summer field courses necessitated by the stay at home order and through this process has both been collaborative and taken the initiative to develop two entirely new syllabi. As it always is, her work on this has been grounded in integrity to student learning while also keeping the capacity of instructors in mind. Cameron is an indispensable member and leader of our team and school.
Megan Rapchick, 5/8/20 -- Nominated by Jean Giddens
Megan has done a fabulous job pulling a team together to offer our graduating students a virtual recognition ceremony. She was very well organized and the end product is fabulous. This is an important event in the lives of our students and I am grateful that we had an opportunity to recognize their efforts. Thank you Megan!
Tyler Conrad, 5/8/20 -- Nominated by Jen Elswick
The last six weeks has been a whirlwind of hard deadlines for our team and Tyler has proven to be of critical importance to our success. I have appreciated his easygoing attitude when having to re-perform tasks that would have flustered the most patient among us. He produced great products on time and with attention to detail. He kept up with priorities that were sometimes shifting by the minute and demonstrated a great attitude throughout that I aspire to emulate myself! Thank you, Tyler!
Jennifer Elswick, 5/7/2020 -- Nominated by Andrea Wight
Jen Elswick is the gift that keeps on giving. She is talented, knowledgeable, hard-working, and through it all, always responsive and giving of her time. The work she and the other members of the CHS communications team have accomplished in quarantine during an extremely challenging time is inspiring. The work includes, but I'm sure it is not limited to setting up the "get to know a student" for each of the CHS departments, as well as the "graduation 2020" pages for each of the CHS departments. I am very happy to submit this form to recognize her work as well as the work of Tyler Conrad and Alexis Finc, and any other staff involved in these projects.
Mike Forder, 5/8/20 -- Nominated by Suzanne Wright
Mike is attentive and takes the initiative to get the job done. He is supportive and approachable. He brings the team together and is eager to help.
John Hendershot, 5/8/20 -- Nominated by Sara Midkiff
John continues to "Hold Fast" no matter what changes are occuring. I am so grateful to have a supervisor who is resilient, stead fast and continuing to excel.
Scott Oates, 5/7/20 -- Nominated by Andrew Arroyo
Scott has leveraged his expertise to make a significant contribution to the re-launch of academic program review. Whether providing critical operational support and training to myself and the academic units in Taskstream, or giving insightful, substantive feedback on program review content such as the handbook and self-study questions, Scott's responsiveness has been invaluable to this university initiative for degree program excellence. Thank you!
Sandy Morgan, 5/7/20 -- Nominated by Andrew Arroyo
Sandy displays utmost integrity in her vital work as executive assistant to the senior vice provost for academic affairs. As a member of the academic affairs team, I am able to go to Sandy with any professional issue, at any time, knowing that she will be honest and trustworthy in her response. Sandy is the cohesive factor in the academic affairs team, enabling us to function at a high performing level in an environment of trust. Thank you!
Rachel Gable, 5/7/20 -- Nominated by Andrew Arroyo
Rachel is one of the most competent, versatile and serviceoriented professionals I have worked with in higher education. Among her many other contributions to VCU, she is highlyresponsive to her academic affairs teammates. There is almost no successful project in my portfolio that Rachel has not contributed to either directly or indirectly. I know the same holds true for my colleagues. Thank you!
Veronica Shuford, 5/7/20 -- Nominated by Andrew Arroyo
Veronica has shown incredible initiative in her work as SCHEV liaison during this COVID-19 pandemic. Kudos to Veronica for maintaining poise and positivity while working remotely with VCU stakeholders and SCHEV staff to keep program development activities moving forward.
Jennifer Elswick, 5/6/20 -- Nominated by Jo Murphy
In a university in which faculty & staff often complain of being overworked, Jen could be near the top of the list. Her job as webmaster for the entire CHS could easily be a multi-person job, especially now as we're moving so many events online. However, Jen not only doesn't complain, she maintains a positive attitude while responding quickly, patiently & efficiently to help resolve all of our issues. We so much appreciate her overall ability to help without judgement.
David Morefield, 5/6/20 -- Nominated by Lydia Klinger
David Morefield, Zoom King, is literally keeping the business of the university going. Thank you, David, for keeping us all up to date, for making sure Zoom is accessible and running and as easy to use as possible for all of us who never imagined we'd be conducting almost all of our in-person jobs on this platform. You're the hero of this era of VCU!
Kenneth Warren, 5/1/20 -- Nominated by Katherine Henderson
During the past several months, Dr. Warren has gone above and beyond to help faculty respond to the challenges the move to online has created. From filming and editing last minute videos for graduation to responding quickly to blackboard question, he has enabled the success of the transition for many SOM faculty.
Talia Anderson, 5/1/20 -- Nominated by Sandra Mazzoli
Talia has been a great help throughout the year. She is always professional, courteous, and responds to my requests almost immediately. In the last few weeks, she has been instrumental in helping ensure the SOE's summer semester applications are complete and ready for review by the program coordinators, specifically those applications affiliated with the RTR group (formerly Richmond Teacher Residency).
Amy Andres, 5/1/20 -- Nominated by Jacqulyn Williams
I am truly grateful for Ms. Andres' collaborative leadership style, sense of calm, and grace in such an unprecedented time. Because of her unflagging leadership, the VCUarts Qatar Libraries team has continued to perform and deliver outstanding work to our campus community. She has maintained consistent, high energy as well as a proactive and positive attitude, strengthening and uplifting our team. In such uncertain times, Ms. Andres -- backed up by evidence of performance -continues to be an inspiring VCUarts Qatar campus leader
Danielle Pearles, 5/1/20 -- Nominated by Ash Taylor-Beierl
Thank you for being an amazing leader! We all appreciate the hard work you put into supporting us and keeping our EED team strong. You always hear us, you are always willing to hustle for us, and we can always rely on your wisdom and expertise to guide us to success, even as we navigate this difficult time. Thank you for your excellent guidance, support, and leadership.
Michelle Adcock, 5/1/20 -- Nominated by Patti Jackson
Michelle has gone above and beyond by compiling the work of the Events Task Force to present to the Massey Advisory Board; by coordinating the Massey Alliance Lunch and Advocacy event on May 19; by coordinating and sharing updates with the Massey Advisory Board, the Massey Alliance, and the Massey Development staff throughout the COVID-19 situation. Michelle has kept our spirits up and found ways to stay focused while finding the humor and bright side. She is juggling a lot and makes it look effortless.
Amy Miller, 5/1/20 -- Nominated by Sarah Carrier
Thank you Amy for all your hard work over the past few weeks! You have been responsive to students/faculty/staff and have gone above and beyond so many times. Thank you for your initiative in creating the returnee website and for always being positive and encouraging. Our team so appreciates you and I know your students do too!
Dana Regusters, 5/1/20 -- Nominated by Sarah Burton-Everette
As a supervisor, I am very lucky to say that I deeply admire Dana. Her thoughtfulness and care for her colleagues and students unrivaled. She has a natural gift for looking at problems from a macro perspective and developing a plan for ways to streamline processes to serve others more efficiently. Dana is an incredibly valued member of our team!
Katelynn Jarrells, 5/1/20 -- Nominated by Sarah Burton-Everette
As a double alumna of the VCU School of Social Work, Katelynn is constantly seeking ways to better support her students and to aid the SSW in meeting student needs in an ever-changing landscape. In spite of the challenges Covid-19 has thrown our way, Katelynn continues to show up for her students and connect them to the resources they need to persevere through the crisis.
Joanna Pinto-Coelho, 5/1/20 -- Nominated by Sarah Burton-Everette
Joanna joined our team in October and hit the ground running! She has a wealth of knowledge and creative ideas for ways to connect with students that will make developing their writing skills seem like a less daunting challenge. She is warm, approachable, and passionate about empowering students to succeed. We are so lucky to have her on the team!
Madison Woodroof, 5/1/20 -- Nominated by Sarah Burton-Everette
Madison is still in her first year of working with the School of Social Work, and she has navigated our constantly changing landscape with professionalism and an excellent sense of humor! She asks excellent questions that help us to form new ideas on the best ways to meet the needs of our students both in times of crisis and pre-crisis. She is a valued member of our team!
Jake Branigan, 5/1/20 -- Nominated by Sarah Burton-Everette
During this time of crisis, Jake has expertly navigated meeting the needs of current students as well as his incoming freshman and transfer students. Jake has a gift for strategy and organization, and his feedback on ways we can streamline processes has been invaluable to the BSW program. We are so happy to have him as a part of the team!
Sarah Carrier, 4/30/20 -- Nominated by Jill Blondin
Sarah has stepped in as acting director of Education Abroad during an unprecedented and ever-changing time. This has required quick action, responsiveness to students in need, and effectively leading a team of study abroad advisors. Sarah has been efficient and extraordinarily helpful, and always has a “can do” spirit, even under the most challenging circumstances. She deserves recognition—not for a single act—but for nearly 7
weeks of leadership during the COVID disruption.
Lindsay Freeman, 4/30/20 -- Nominated by Brianne Morrison
Lindsay has always been quick to respond and thorough in her response. For one of my teaching candidates, she did a deep dive into what she was enrolled in for Summer and sought after an override in a course the student needed. It was not her student, but the way she handled the situation showed her care and concern for student progression & success. This is typical for Lindsay- typical, amazing care for VCU students and clear, quick support for colleagues.
Levi Walter, 4/30/20 -- Nominated by Liz Canfield
I wish I could check all four for Levi. Levi is the most amazing person to work with. I always look forward to when I get to see them. They do their job with such heart, and it's obvious that they really care about the faculty, students and other staff that they interact with. Levi is VCU's hidden gem!
Mia Williams, 4/30/20 -- Nominated by Barbara Kidd
Mia and her team have done an exceptional job with the student refunds. They have worked so hard and accomplished so much. Great Job
Tom Woodward, 4/30/20 -- Nominated by Kaprea Johnson
I had an idea for a website and Tom made it come to life! The university is in a time of flux and I can imagine that everyone who supports technology services would be swamped. Even with Toms work, im sure doubling, he took the time out to support me and my website project. I know that it is apart of the ALT Labs mission to support faculty but Tom went above and beyond; His kindness is what touched me the most. I asked a tremendous amount of questions, some times back to back over email, and he was patient, kind, and never made me feel like I had asked a dumb question. His responsiveness to the needs of faculty is remarkable but on top of that his ability to break down complex syntax to make it meaningful was amazing. Today we met virtually for the first time as he walked me through the website, again being patient and kind as he answered my questions and thought through problems with me. I just want him to know that his collaborative spirit and overall kindness and generosity means so much to me as a faculty member. Thank you, you are appreciated!
Amanda Hall, 4/30/20 -- Nominated by Kaprea Johnson
Amanda is a champion for the SOE and community engaged research. As a newer faculty member at VCU, I wasn't aware of all of the great resources available to faculty and students interested in community engaged research. With all that is going on and everyone's work load doubling, Amanda took the time this morning to provide a thorough review of all of the great opportunities that The Center for Community Engagement and Impact, offers faculty, students, and the community. Being at such a large university, like VCU, I have felt a bit isolated at times when trying to find collaborators and my "research community". This meeting with Amanda, which she probably doesn't know, WAS EXACTLY what I needed at the moment. She explained all of the programming, ways to get connected, and she noted that I had found my "research community". It was probably 1 meeting im sure on her packed schedule, but it was more than that for me. I am truly appreciative of the time spent and the welcome into the community engaged research community. It's amazing how one conversation can make you feel connected and inspired. I just wanted to say Thank you Amanda for taking the time out to introduce me to everything the SOE and the center for community engagement and impact, has to offer! You are appreciated!
Jessica Abernathy, 4/30/20 -- Nominated by Jill Blondin
Jessica is a responsive, proactive colleague who is also very student-centered. This is evidenced in the work that she has done to process more than 450 reimbursements for study abroad and international students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 disruption (residence hall reimbursement as well as reimbursements for spring study abroad students who had to return to the United States, etc.). Jessica has done this work efficiently and always with the student in mind. Additionally, Jessica was instrumental in the transition of GEO to telework. She quickly assisted all of her GEO colleagues in making sure that they had the appropriate equipment and software to complete their tasks and projects remotely. For all of these reasons, I want to recognize Jessica.
Sarah Burton-Everette, 4/29/20 -- Nominated by Casey Jensen
Sarah is an amazing colleague who is always so thoughtful, conscientious, and on top of everything. Despite the many challenges of COVID, including working with her active toddler next to each day, she is always present and responsive to the ever-changing landscape. I truly admire her unflagging spirit and warmth that she gives to each and every person.
Levi Walter, 4/29/20 -- Nominated by Bee Coston
Truly, if this form were better, I could recognize you for every interaction we've ever had, on the basis of initiative, integrity, respect, and responsiveness. But also on modes of operating that go beyond those that VCU has deemed (in making this form) as "good work" for your job. You go above and beyond for us and you are definitely not taken for granted. We appreciate you! Thank you!
Tim Davey, 4/29/20 -- Nominated by Kaprea Johnson
Tim Davey, has been my mentor and supervisor during my role as a provost's faculty fellow over this last year. My recognition is for responsiveness because we can only choose one category but Tim should be recognized for integrity, initiative, and respect. He is amazing! In his role, he has many task related to the transition that VCU is currently in, which takes a lot of time. Even though he has many prior responsibilities, and lots of new task, he still makes time to meet with me weekly for our mentorship meetings and I am truly thankful. At a time like this, he could have easily cancelled all of our early morning meetings, to give himself a break or time to manage other more important business, but he prioritized our relationship and the work that we do to support VCU and to that I am forever grateful. He truly is an amazing human being and I feel blessed that I was paired with him for the faculty fellow opportunity. He deserves this recognition and so much more. Thank you Tim for all that you do, you are appreciated.
Katherine Falls, 4/28/20 -- Nominated by Carla Nye
Kathie continually finds ways to help our NP students at RHWP! She is always ready to help, always positive, and always creative and student-focused.
Ramont Reed, 4/28/20 -- Nominated by Karen Rader
I am teleworking and a computer virus acquired when I was logged into my VCU Chrome browser almost shut me down --Ramont spent an hour on the phone with me cleaning the computer up, then finding a workaround for me in the meantime. Wow -- that is dedication, skill, and customer service. Thank you, Ramont -- you and the team at HASTech are a VCU treasure.
Erin McClinton, 4/28/20 -- Nominated by Kaprea Johnson
I am recognizing Erin for being responsive, respectful, and kind. Throughout this transition she has been amazing in meeting the needs of everyone in the SOE. Even when emailing after hours or on the weekend to ask a clarifying question Erin answers. Most recently she suggested an initiative that is so simple but so meaningful - the idea was that we all identify people to "check-in" on during this time of social distancing. I was so moved by how selfless she is, because I know she is swamped there is always a lot going on in the SOE and she is impacted just as much as anyone else, but on her mind was making others feel better. I just appreciate her for always being there, being so kind and thoughtful.... Thanks Erin for being you, it is appreciated!
Kevin Bailey, 4/28/20 -- Nominated by Carla Nye
Kevin operates as an admissions specialist with the highest standards of integrity. I cannot thank him enough for being a beacon of "doing the right thing"! He upholds the high standards in admissions, and makes VCU proud!
Dana Regusters, 4/27/20 -- Nominated by Casey Jensen
Dana has gone above and beyond so much throughout this year. Watching her interact with our incoming students at a Getting Ready Live Session highlighted what I see her do every day. Her kind and thoughtful approach with students keeps our students engaged and looking forward to graduate school. In a time where her student load is increasing and student anxiety is at an all-time high, she stays calm, collected, and compassionate to all those around her.
Tiffany Freitas, 4/27/20 -- Nominated by Kim Case
Since this pandemic crisis began, Tiffany has really stepped up with positive, responsive, and helpfulness. As a member of the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, her commitment to faculty support and ability to stay flexible has made a huge difference for people. Kudos!
Cinzia Corubolo, 4/26/20 -- Nominated by Mark Wood
I want to recognize Cinzia Corubolo for all the hard work she does to support her students. She does an amazing job and is always ready and able to step in to cover a course. She is passionate about teaching and does all she can to make sure our students do their best.
Akiliah McKelvey, 4/22/20 -- Nominated by Ashley Brown
Akiliah always goes above and beyond any time I have asked for any help on something. Sometimes I like to just get her professional opinion on a project or problem that needs to be solved. She always tries to find ways to make things more efficient and she offers ideas that I would not have thought about. Her approach is thorough and I truly appreciate everything she does for our office. She helped me with a task recently and took it a step further to allow me to build a query to pull data on a regular basis related to the task I was working on. She is a great asset to the office and university!
Crystal Wade, 4/22/20 -- Nominated by Sandra Mazzoli
Ms. Wade is one of my primary contacts in the graduate admissions office. She has worked closely with me to ensure a recent influx of applications for one of the School of Education's programs were processed in less than a week! This allowed these new students to register for their Summer 2020 classes. She truly went above and beyond! Thank you Crystal!
Lauren Jackson, 4/21/20 -- Nominated by Betsy Seymour
In March, Lauren was quick to approach the challenge of working from home and the online setting. Within 3 days, she had set up a creative approach to advising programming, "Advising After Dark." This group model provided students a sense of belonging during a time of crisis and confusion. Following her successful program, she shared this idea with our team of first-year academic advisors. Lauren set the standard and the rest of the team followed, sharing new opportunities for connection with their collective population of nearly 1700 students. Since that time and with Lauren's model in mind, members of our team have provided for their students video tutorials, group advising, registration workshops, tours of their home offices, check-in forms, and other experimental methods that cut down on email messaging and help students feel a sense of connection to "their person" at VCU.
Rochelle Upshur, 4/21/20 -- Nominated by Kelly Kitchen
Rochelle has taken on the task of heading up the committee to move our Rammy's award ceremony online. She has researched different ways to highlight our students accomplishments throughout the year while also celebrating our graduates. She has been very timely and organized throughout the whole process. Everyone has been heard and all ideas have been shared equally. Her true care for these students shines through not only in the office but virtually as well. She wants these students to genuinely feel that we appreciate their hard work, and celebrate their successes.
Adam Pearcy, 4/21/20 -- Nominated by Matt Halquist
Dr. Pearcy has been a great team member in the BAL as a first- year post-doctoral fellow. He has faced many challenging projects in the lab and approaches all of them with a great attitude, work ethic, and critical thinker. Happy to have him in the BAL at VCU SoP!
Joan Rhodes, 4/21/20 -- Nominated by Lisa Cipolletti
Joan Rhodes is an encourager and each day shares words of appreciation and support to the department. I look forward to the daily cartoon, video, or song in my inbox which makes me smile. Earlier this week there were conversations regarding scheduling, and Joan quickly organized a meeting so that each person's voice could be heard and to allow for collaboration. This meeting was at the end of her already busy day. I am so appreciative of her leadership during this uncertain time. I know that I have her full support, and I am very thankful for that.
Pam Stephenson, 4/21/20 -- Nominated by Melissa Jamerson
Pam is one of the most important people in our department. She works tirelessly to make sure that things stay in order, especially when it comes to admissions. She has always done this, but recently her hard work has become even more evident. She has made sure that the transition to interviewing students after mandatory telecommuting has occurred seamlessly. Faculty always have everything that is needed due to her diligence. Without her and her hard work this would not be possible.
Terry L. Austin, 4/20/20 -- Nominated by Philip Duane Coston
Terry Austin has done an outstanding job keeping faculty informed through this unprecedented time. Dr. Austin makes himself available to all and is very responsive to questions, comments, and concerns. He is to be commended for his outstanding leadership.
Tim Aro, 4/20/20 -- Nominated by Shirley Helm
Tim has provided the institutional clinical research program(s) invaluable informatics assistance in development and responsiveness to institutional requests regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Tim has worked tirelessly, off-hours, and weekends to fulfill these requests, and repeated requests for database modifications following initial development.
Laure Ray, 4/20/20 -- Nominated by Matt Halquist
Laure has taken great initiative during this time to manage revisions of our procedures, report writing, ordering, and setting up for future projects when our lab opens soon! Thankful to have her a part of a great team at VCU in the BAL!
Elise Kepus, 4/17/20 -- Nominated by Carolina Wilson
Elise has maintained clear and transparent communication, promoted collaborative work, and has ensured that her staff feel safe, respected, and apart of something larger than ourselves.
Jingmei Song, 4/17/20 -- Nominated by Sarah Reves
I've worked with Emily (Jingmei) over the last couple of weeks on an urgent need of my team but for which I had no knowledge of how to obtain what I needed. Emily was kind, patient, super responsive, and beyond helpful during a time when I know her department is stretched to the limit.
Malorie Burkett, 4/17/20 -- Nominated by Trevor Worden
Malorie has done an incredible job, starting in a pandemic, and has been a wonderful colleague!
Greg Prince, 4/17/20 -- Nominated by Trevor Worden
Greg has navigated these trying times in philanthropy expertly. He is still closing major gifts, reaching out to our top donors, and maintaining relationships. Greg has been a real model for the rest of the university to follow and appreciate.
Beth Ayers, 4/17/20 -- Nominated by Trevor Worden
Beth has done an incredible job responding to the College’s changing needs. Working in this difficult time is a challenge, and Beth has continued her work effortlessly. She is a wonderful colleague.
Martha Harper, 4/16/20 -- Nominated by Maggie Tolan
Martha is an academic advisor in University College. During her outreach to a case referral that came in on one of her students who was struggling with remote learning and personal finance,she learned that the individual was eligible for social security benefits (due to age) - but the student was not aware of their eligibility. For the past 10 days she has been working with him to apply for social security benefits - which has included helping him secure a credit report, completing online applications during weekend hours, and she holds video meetings with him weekly to also help him complete homework assignments in one of his courses that he potentially could fail - just to ensure he finishes this semester and graduates. She has gone above and beyond and continues to do so!
Sterling Hundley, 4/16/20 -- Nominated by Jason Bennett
Sterling has started an online server to connect artists / creators with medical faculty / professionals, allowing cross-talk and alignment of resources between disciplines on such topics as gowns, masks, and other PPE.
Jon Philip Sheridan, 4/15/20 -- Nominated by Michael Lease
I am humbled by Jon's marshalling of artists across the city in mask-making efforts. He has set a perfect example for all of us at VCU and the following quote (from the VCU News article posted 4/15) should be required reading for all: “Artists are fundamentally makers and flexible creative problem-solvers. Learning to make art is learning to create solutions with limited resources. We are exceptional at teaching ourselves new skills, and learning to use new materials. [We also know how to] activate social economies: If I don’t know how to do something, I have a network of artist friends who can teach me how, or who will do it for me.”
Terrence Walker, 4/15/20 -- Nominated by Tanya White
Terrence has been instrumental in making sure that the department (UCS) clinicians and administrative staff are supplied with the necessary tools to be efficient in our new work environment. He never hesitates to be the point person going the extra mile for the team to care for the needs by going above and beyond, respectfully and deliberately without hesitation. I confidently speak on behalf of the team, to recognize Terrence Walker for all of his efforts during VCU-UCS Work from Home, "new normal". He has been flexible, accommodating, and considerate of our needs through the storm, as we travel through this journey. Just a note of thanks to my fellow
Claire Pickering, 4/15/20 -- Nominated by Lillian Facka
Claire represents what it means to be a good nurse. She practices based on evidence and safety. Claire also regularly precepts new nurses, teaching them bone marrow skills, hallmarking how important it is to protect our patients.
Laura Foy, 4/13/20 -- Nominated by Ashley Harrison
Laura truly stepped up to lead the Wilder School's first Staff Awards committee. She kept our meetings focused and organized while maintaining a positive and motivating attitude! Her leadership was crucial in the awarding of our school's first Staff Awards.
Kathy Naneyshvili, 4/13/20 -- Nominated by Heather Davison
Kathy went above and beyond in each of the categories listed above. She has been helpful, responsive, and taken on a great deal of responsibility. She has taken initiative and worked with the IT department to help coordinate aspects of the "virtual" graduation ceremony for the School of Medicine. She always has a friendly face and is quick to help. She is a true joy to work with.
Jessica Carey, 4/10/20 -- Nominated by Meredith Lane
Jessica went out of her way to help on-board two new employees when the HR Manager from another department was out of the office unexpectedly. She contact both new employees, guided them through the on-boarding process, completed the required paperwork and ensured both employees had everything they needed to get started on the right foot. Her willingness to help was so appreciated! Thank you for the extra effort, Jessica!
Peter Jordan, 4/9/20 -- Nominated by Bernard Adam
Peter Jordan, although he is working remotely, has been extremely responsive to his team. Most of his staff are considered essential, and as a result, he cannot always have face to face contact with them. Peter goes above and beyond to ensure his team has what they need to get their jobs done. He provides support by making sure the have enough protective equipment so they remain safe during the crisis. Peter is well respected by his team, because he leads by example.
Barry Lanneau, 4/8/20 -- Nominated by Carol Ann Lawson
HR had to create a process very quickly to help capture information for the hiring freeze exception process. Barry worked with us (literally day and night) to make it happen. He was incredibly responsive, patient to the constant changes, intuitive about what help might be needed - overall, he could not have been better to work with. This was such a time sensitive and stressful project, and Barry was there for all the rapid turnarounds and changes that I continued to arise. We are appreciative of all his time, efforts, and patience. I know he was also balancing this on top of other very time sensitive priorities.
Jesse MacLelland, 4/8/20 -- Nominated by Bernard Adam
As a result of having to work from home, our department was unprepared to meet that challenge. We did not have the equipment or technology in place to get started. Jesse spent many hours working with telecommunications and his team to ensure we were prepared. As a result of his willingness to go above and beyond, our team is working effectively remotely. His desire to see a cohesive team has made our lives so much easier during this crisis.
Joan Rhodes, 4/8/20 -- Nominated by Misti Mueller
Joan is the Chair for the Department of Teaching and Learning. She is sending daily positive messages. Her dedication and support forher department has been unwaivering. We are so fortunate to have Joan as our leader.
Melanie Wiggins, 4/4/20 -- Nominated by Lisa Ballance
Melanie Wiggins has personally reviewed and shepherded through every industry contract for COVID19 clinical trial therapies that have been in the new therapeutics pipeline at VCU. She has worked on weekends, after hours, and before hours and participated in daily 'huddles' to monitor the activation status of these trials where priorities can change daily based upon population needs. Thank you, Melanie, for being a great team leader, lending your experience and talents so generously, and for being a trusted collaborator across the enterprise.
Cait Burns, 3/23/20 -- Nominated by Britni Purcell
Cait did a fantastic job taking initiative in creating virtual workshops to continue engaging the School of Business students and VCU community. It was a quick turn-around, and the end products were informative, relevant, and encouraging. Cait remains calm under pressure, and extends so much grace to her colleagues. She is truly admirable.
Karen Gau, 4/3/20 -- Nominated by Roy Brown
In my role as the library liaison to the VCU School of Nursing and the nurses of VCU Health, I receive questions on an array of topics. Many of these questions are based on the use of library resources and what is in the library collection. In the last several weeks, Karen has been instrumental in ensuring that those I assist have been able to get access to what they need. She has done this by purchasing an unlimited license for an e-book and adding a resource to the library collection. Her attention to detail and willingness to problem-solve is appreciated. I truly value her as a library colleague. She makes my job easier and I just wanted to let her know that I appreciate her continued assistance with collections issues. Thank you for all of your help!
Sam Ray, 3/23/20 -- Nominated by Brianne Morrison
Sam responded to my request to move the appeals process for teacher preparation online to meet student needs and current circumstances (with COVID 19). Although she was very busy, she still made time to do it. It went above expectations of her position and I thank her so much for doing so. This has helped my work with my students and my student's experience so much better. THANK YOU!
Vicki Humphreys, 3/23/20 -- Nominated by Deidre Henley
Vicki has been a consistently reliable leader of our Family Medicine and Population Health's Administrative Team during the university's transition to teleworking. Under her guidance we have been able to continue our department's operations without missing a beat. She has ensured that we have all of the hardware and software required and her continuously calming online presence has kept our team unified and uplifted.
Kat Wilson, 3/23/20 -- Nominated by Brooke Inman
Kat has done a wonderful job keeping us all in the PAPR department informed and afloat during the transition to remote working and teaching. Thank you Kat!
Jennifer Johnson, 3/20/20 -- Nominated by Diana Gay Cutchin
Throughout VCU's response to the Covid 19 crisis, Jennifer has been available, responsive and a wonderful leader for our department. As an adjunct, the level of support that has been provided to me has been absolutely essential in enabling me to continue to teach my classes. In the beginning of this crisis, she seemed to be "always there". She continues to communicate with us regularly and does her best to ensure that we are able to do our jobs in an unprecedented situation. I have always felt supported, appreciated and through her leadership, I have learned new ways to connect with and teach my students. As an instructor for 30 years, I must say that this has been the most difficult thing I have experienced in my teaching career; but Jennifer has been my champion, advisor and role model.
Lauren Bailey, 3/20/20 -- Nominated by Keith Van Inwegen
Lauren assisted VCU Health and Physical Plant in converting the Honors Dorm to I-2 Occupancy for use as a hospital. She worked long hours including weekends to assist in this emergency project. She also had to deal with a health emergency in her family during this time. In this time of crisis, Lauren rose to the occasion and embodied the "Make it Amazing" spirit of VCU Administration.
Joe Bower, 3/19/20 -- Nominated by Todd Kitten
I put in a work order for an HVAC problem that occurred in the dental school. Joe Bower and another repairman (I'm sorry that I didn't get his name) came out and fixed the problem a short time later. I'm not commenting because there was anything special that happened this time. In fact, it's the opposite--I'm commenting because this work order was handled just like every other HVAC work order I submit in that it was fixed without any further effort on my part. It made me realize how lucky we are to have service that we can count on every time, and I wanted to say how much I appreciate Joe and his co-workers for their responsiveness, reliability, and expertise.
Rico Jones, 3/19/20 -- Nominated by Robert Wilson
I just wanted to acknowledge the assistance of Rico Jones. I was informed on Sunday evening 03/15/2020 that my department would be working remotely. Even though we were made aware of the possibility on Friday 03/13/2020 I did not complete the VPN download because of unsuccessful attempts. I contacted Technology Services around 9 pm on Sunday night and Rico Jones was very patient with me and helpful while trying to work through the process even while I was dealing with phone calls and emails from my department. VCU has some great employees and Rico Jones is definitely one of them.
Barry Lanneau, 3/18/20 -- Nominated by Sheila Baker
I submitted a ticket to Tech Services for assistance with ImageNow. Barry called and remote into my computer. He took me step by step through the process and explained everything he was doing and why. I really appreciated the time he took to make me feel as if I knew what he was talking about. He was so nice about it. Without going into a lot of details, Barry also helped me Avaya and Google Hangout videos. He was so patient throughout the entire call. Before this call, I was a little stressed about technically doing my job. After the call, I felt confident. Barry not only helped me with my request but went over and beyond by helping me with other options so that I can successfully complete my tasks remotely. Thank you so much Barry for your outstanding customer service!
Jamey Lovin, 3/18/20 -- Nominated by Rani Satyam
From the beginning, Jamey gave so much of her time and effort to help others in the department move to online teaching. She was part of the Blackboard session - but moreover held one-on-one hours with faculty (tenure-track, instructors, adjuncts) to personally help them move their course online and showed patience while doing so. All while she had four classes moving online herself. I'm sure there are a multitude of other things she has done to help people in the dept with this shift that I'm not even aware of. She's an MVP of the pandemic.
Tim Aro, 3/07/20 -- Nominated by Lisa Ballance
Tim Aro applied his knowledge of REDCap over a weekend to create a system for developing a classification system and ensuring justification and approval of human research activities that would continue in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic. This classification and approval system quickly became a model shared with other academic institutions and will facilitate the process for ramping up clinical research at VCU and VCU Health when the time comes.
Tim Siegel, 3/3/20 -- Nominated by Roy Brown
This note of thank you and recognition is something I have been meaning to write over the last several months. In late October/ early November of 2019, a problem arose concerning library access for staff and participants in the VCU Health Dietetic Intern Program. This problem was particularly problematic because the program was preparing for an upcoming accreditation visit. When I brought this issue to Tim, he looked to find a solution right away. The solution was not an easy one and had him reaching out to members of VCU Health IT to determine the cause of the issue. This effort took several days and he was good about providing regular updates. Access to library resources for the program was restored before the accreditation visit and helped it to go smoothly. I just wanted to formally thank Tim for his assistance with solving this issue. His time and attention to finding a solution were appreciated.
Tim Hurley, 3/3/20 -- Nominated by Roy Brown
Over the last several weeks I have had to call on Tim several times to answer questions about poster printing by those who work at VCU Health. In every instance, he has always been willing to help figure out how to best answer the questions or address the challenges members of the health system were having. This was especially true yesterday were he not only talked with me but also assisted a nurse who had additional questions when she called him. I appreciate his continued help and just wanted to formally thank him for all he has done to help me in fielding these various poster printing questions.
Heather Brickley, 3/3/20 -- Nominated by Dana Rajczewski
Heather has been managing a chair search for our department, and she's getting it all done with patience, hard work, and a positive outlook! There are a lot of moving parts, many of which are confidential, and she is balancing them all with ease. A lot of work has to go on in the background for it to be so seamless for everyone involved in the process (and there are a lot of people involved!), and I know she has put my mind at ease many times during what is surely a stressful process. She is an awesome representative of SOM and VCU, and I feel so fortunate to work with her!
Jessica Kirschner, 2/27/20 -- Nominated by Roy Brown
In my role as the library liaison to the VCU School of Nursing, I am tasked with having to assist people with many different types of questions. Over the last several months the school has had an increased focus on affordable course content. Without Jessica's past help and continued assistance with fielding these questions, I would not have been to help the faculty and staff with their affordable course content questions. I wanted to thank her for her responsiveness and thoughtfulness as she helped me to address some of the challenges that come with the issues around affordable course content. I appreciate her continued assistance and value her as a library colleague. Thank you for all your help!
Patricia Murdock, 2/27/20 -- Nominated by Isac Crouch
While in the field I came across a network closet that wasn't opening after a successful card swipe. I sent an email to Patti and she responded within 5 minutes letting me know that she had someone headed my way to repair the door. The door access issue was repaired efficiently and a clear explanation was in my inbox by the time I returned to my desk. Patti's responsiveness to my reported issue was faster than anything I've ever experienced. Thank you Patti!
Alvin (Joe) Bower, 2/19/20 -- Nominated by Buddy Weston
Joe is always quick to respond to any hot/cold issues and displays extreme professionalism when responding to such calls. He is an important asset to Zone 300.
Jerred Daniels, 2/19/20 -- Nominated by David Gressett
Jerred has always responded quickly and with excessive professionalism to any issue that may arise at the School of Dentistry. He is an excellent asset to Zone 300.
Shane Conner, 1/16/20 -- Nominated by Deborah Baines
I had an issue with the Banner 9 Admin Pages development environment for almost two weeks and had been working with the vendor for multiple days. When I noticed that the application error mentioned CAS, I sent an email to Shane on the off chance that it would shake up a new lead for me to chase to resolve the issue. While Shane didn't have the answer, he mentioned he'd heard about a time sync issue that was similar to my application error statement and he forwarded my email on to the person who could provide the details. Jim Rosen quickly replied to my email and advised that there was one remaining server with a time issue. It was rebooted the next day and I'm back in Banner 9 Admin Pages development business! Thanks to the responsiveness of our VCU team, I hope to meet an important deadline for developing an extension necessary for the Ad Astra pilot group project. Thanks to both of you for your help!
Jim Rosen, 1/16/20 -- Nominated by Deborah Baines
I had an issue with the Banner 9 Admin Pages development environment for almost two weeks and had been working with the vendor for multiple days. When I noticed that the application error mentioned CAS, I sent an email to Shane on the off chance that it would shake up a new lead for me to chase to resolve the issue. While Shane didn't have the answer, he mentioned he'd heard about a time sync issue that was similar to my application error statement and he forwarded my email on to the person who could provide the details. Jim Rosen quickly replied to my email and advised that there was one remaining server with a time issue. It was rebooted the next day and I'm back in Banner 9 Admin Pages development business! Thanks to the responsiveness of our VCU team, I hope to meet an important deadline for developing an extension necessary for the Ad Astra pilot group project. Thanks to both of you for your help!
Michael Forder, 1/9/20 -- Nominated by Lauretta Cathers
One of our PhD courses was at a standstill due to the technical difficulties related to Blackboard update. Mr. Forder not only took the initiative to assist our faculty in moving their courses over into the new template, but also dropped everything he was working on when the instructor and students of this particular class were unable to access the blackboard during their on-campus session. His responsiveness to the situation minimized frustration and we were able to keep the in-person class going in a timely manner.