2016 recognitions


  • Lauren Mortensen, 11/21/16– Nominated by LaRon Scott
    Lauren continues to receive glowing remarks from students and professionals associated with our certification and master's degree programs. First, Lauren participated in a business call with me that resulted in a possible partnership with a school district. Lauren was very active in the meeting, and our potential partner was impressed with her knowledge and expedience with answering questions and catering to their needs. I also received several phone calls over the past two weeks from students in our certification program about Lauren's courtesy and the level of professional support she provides. Each student called out Lauren specifically, and shared personal stories about how she's helped to make their experience at VCU valuable. Lauren is always professional and is one of the main reasons why my COVE project has a positive image across Virginia. I can say without reservation that without her support that the COVE program would not be experiencing the type of success it has gained over the past 2-3 years.
  • Georgia Kelly, 10/21/16– Nominated by Michelle Wise
    There has never been a time that I have reached out to Georgia for her professional expertise that she has not responded. Her genuine consideration to my telephone calls and emails in a timely and professional manner has been greatly appreciated. If she doesn't have an answer, she directs me to the correct source. I am so grateful for her responsiveness in our day to day work flow. She has been a great help to me in resolving issues that have to do with the job functions of her office as it pertains to the day to day operations that I encounter in my office. Thank you Georgia for your untiring investment into other people.
  • Marchelle Key, 10/21/16– Nominated by Miranda Pyne
    Marchelle knew that I was in the middle of transitioning to a new position and that it was an adjustment for me. I had some challenges in my former position. Marchelle has always been there as a colleague for me. Her level of respect for me, my job and the issues I encountered did not go unnoticed. I thank her for always showing in a professional manner and respecting my choices as a colleague and friend. VCU is lucky to have her. I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
  • David Plunkett, 8/31/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Delois Alexander
    I would like to recognize David Plunkett. David has always, always, always welcomed me with a smile in his office. He stops, clears a chair and says "come on in, have a seat." He never tells me to come back or suggests we make an appointment. When I have questions, he explains things and breaks things down so they can be easily understood. He never looks at me with that "you should know this by now" look. He has a great personality and a willingness to share his knowledge. He's a great leader. It takes a lot to keep learning and it takes a special person like him to make you feel good about it. His department is blessed to have him on staff. I would like to give David the kind of recognition he so well deserves. Thank You David!
  • Rodney Steppe, 8/18/2016 – Responsiveness – Nominated by Connie Jefferson
    Rodney helps me whenever I have a new hire. I have worked with a lot of people over my 29 years here at VCU and Rodney is one of the best. He always gets right back to me to let me know how to move forward. He is always there to help with whatever I need.
  • Wanda Williams, 8/10/2016 – Responsiveness – Nominated by Matt Yopp
    Wanda was instrumental in the expedient migration of DAR's entire telephone setup from our 5 former locations to our new home at 111 N. 4th St. She was a gem to work with, always quick to respond, and remained in contact through the worst of the VZN strike.
  • Josh Inocencio, 8/10/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Matt Yopp
    Josh has been an incredible engineer to work with for the migration of DAR's networking assets from our 5 separate locations to our new location at 111 N. 4th St. He has been instrumental in the establishment and integration of a new call center setup and has ensured that our tech works efficiently and effectively.
  • John Gayle, 8/8/2016 – Responsiveness – Nominated by Matt Yopp
    John (and by extension the Network Operations Center team) have been incredible at facilitating the installation of new Call Center equipment in the University Computer Center despite a very tight integration window. I can't thank him enough for working with us to establish this new configuration with limited notification.
  • Dave Spivey, 8/8/2016 – Responsiveness – Nominated by Matt Yopp
    Dave has been an incredible asset in the inception of our GOLDLINE call center, both in the technical setup of the original configuration, and management of the ongoing migration to a Computer Center based setup. He has always been willing, responsive, and communicative in his approach.
  • Katy Beisheim, 8/4/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Andrea Groat
    Katy has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to RADAR and is generous with sharing that knowledge. On August 4th, she sat with me and showed me how to find the information, set up reports and gave me a copy of her notes. She cheerfully answered all my questions. I greatly appreciate the excellent hands-on training I received from her. Thanks so much Katy!
  • Kayla Watts, 8/1/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Fonda Neal
    This recognition is long overdue. If I could put a date range on it, it would be January 2015 to present. Kayla is an exceptional colleague and team player and is awesome at her job. She has talents that I feel go unrecognized. Early last year, she offered to help me with organizing my student and program information in Redcap. She created a PhD database in Redcap to help me with course projections. She is always willing to help, answer questions, etc. and is very responsive. She is very organized and efficient. I have obtained several tips from her pertaining to Google, Redcap and working in Microsoft Office. She is a problem-solver. I enjoy working with her and just wanted to take this opportunity to formally recognize her.
  • Diane Bowman, 8/1/2016 – Responsiveness – Nominated by Fonda Neal
    This recognition is long overdue. If I could put a date range on it, it would span from March 2012 to present. I began my present position in March 2012 and began working with Diane at that time. Diane provides extremely quick responses to communication and I appreciate it immensely. She sends a confirmation email each time she completes a request I send to her which is extremely helpful. It helps facilitate efficiency with VCU processes and procedures and lessens/eliminates anxeity or problems with our students. I enjoy working with her and just wanted to take the time to formally recognize her.
  • Rhonda Pearson, 7/26/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Sean Convoy
    As VCU SON's Director for First Impressions, Rhonda is always so pleasant and energizing when people enter the school. First and last impressions are usually the most impactful. Consequently, Rhonda's sustained efforts to shape our milieu are seismic in their influence and I hope this acknowledgement reinforces the same.
  • Larvell Davis, 7/8/2016 – Responsiveness – Nominated by Trae Harris
    Larvell went above and beyond to solve our copier quandary. We had lost scan functionality and Larvell came to our aid quickly. He took terrific care of the CCTR team, ensuring that our services were restored and remaining in contact until we were assured that all was well.
  • Federico Puma, 6/29/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Kristin Austin
    I would like to acknowledge Federico for facilitating the process of getting clinical data for the Office. He built relationships with key staff in the organization to set up a process to get access to key clinical data needed to support business operations. He has worked tirelessly on this project for months and achieved his goal. His ingenuity and ‘can-do’ attitude are admirable and valued. Thank you for not giving up and seeing this task to completion. Your hard work is appreciated.
  • Meredith Lane, 6/14/2016 – Responsiveness – Nominated by Austen Gouldman
    Meredith has quickly and clearly answered each question I have had regarding a mid-year health benefit enrollment for my family. Meredith made a process I was dreading quite easy and pleasant. Thank you!
  • Amy Barnes, 5/27/2016 – Responsiveness – Nominated by Takeya McLaurin
    I would like to take a moment to recognize Amy Barnes. Amy is always so extremely helpful. There is usually some type of emergency or last minute request whenever I need her help. Even still, she is ALWAYS pleasant, knowledgeable, and willing to help. She never makes me feel like I am bothering her and I know that if she can help, she will help. She is truly a ray of sunshine and is extremely service oriented. She is highly responsive and genuinely cares about the welfare of VCU employees. Amy is truly an asset to HR & Payroll Services. I enjoy working with her.
  • Predrag Stojanovic, 5/11/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Jamie Sturgill
    I am getting ready to travel for a meeting and I wasn't able to prepare my poster in time for the SON IT to print it. Predrag went above and beyond and printed my poster at the last minute saving me both time and money. I truly appreciate his help and his always exceptional customer service.
  • Jennifer Ohashi, 5/3/2016 – Responsiveness – Nominated by Kristin Austin
    Jennifer is a data analyst and evaluation coordinator on the OHI Data Team. She is responsible for providing data to clinical leadership and staff in the programs we support. She has repeatedly been recognized by her data users for her excellent customer service skills. She has been praised not only for her strong quantitative skills but also for her emotional intelligence and ability to translate complicated data into easy to understand information so that her data users can improve care for their patients. I truly appreciate her listening skills, the way she anticipates the needs of her data users, and responds quickly and effectively to any of their concerns or questions. Thank you, Jennifer, for all you do.
  • D'Won Walker, 5/10/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Kristin Austin
    D’won is always willing to assist with special projects sometimes beyond the scope of his responsibility. There are many instances where he could have simply said nothing and not taken ownership. However, he hears a need and stepped up to help with a positive attitude. Thank you are being our unofficially “IT” professional and helping to resolve issues with the Office iPads, projectors, and computers. Thank you, D’won, for seeking innovative solutions to data programming needs such as API in Redcap, data automation, SAS keyboard macros, and all the little things that make a big difference in our day-to-day operations.
  • Anne Massey, 5/5/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Kristin Austin
    It is always a pleasure to work with Anne. She is very organized and thoughtful in her communications with all Office staff during tight deadlines and fast turn-arounds. Grant writing can be a stressful process. However, when Anne is the lead, the process is eased and enjoyable. She took the initiative to follow up on items that weren’t even in her purview. She went above the scope of her responsibilities to help us post award, even though she supposed to help with pre-award only. She is responsive to everyone who seeks her assistance. Thanks for having a positive attitude and strong work ethic. It is greatly appreciated.
  • Towanda Vaughan, 4/26/2016 – Integrity – Nominated by Kristin Austin
    Towanda has helped me with the budget planning for data needs in the Office. She has helped me post positions and hire several analysts in the Office. She has always answered my questions promptly and with a smile. Initially, I was not aware of VCU’s policies for interviewing and hiring employees and asked a lot of questions. Towanda has taught me so much about these policies. She has demonstrated strong integrity and acts as the “glue” for the office. I could not have contributed to the goals we accomplished in the strategic plan if it had not been for her guidance. Thank you for all you do.
  • Ian Hines, 5/9/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Jamie Sturgill
    Ian has taken great initiative at work and keeps the lab up to date in terms of management of all the projects. He has taken it upon himself to organize files and samples and maintain logs for all processed data. He treats all the faculty and staff he works with excellent customer service as well.
  • Beth Hopkins, 4/26/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Sean Convoy
    Dr Hopkins volunteered her personal time and expertise to develop and deliver an excellent presentation that captured the unique challenges that exist between primary care and mental health services for my NURS637 course. Her presentation was strategically chosen for the last immersion of the last class of the program because of its potential impact. Student evaluations were exceptional! This kind of collaboration between concentrations is incredible and I appreciate her time and effort.
  • Teri Smith, 4/26/2016 – Responsiveness – Nominated by Sue McGinnis
    We were in quite a bind. We had 30 minutes to cover for an exam and didn't have anyone available. Knowing how Teri is such a team player and always willing to assist, I asked if she would be able to step in and fill the gap. Of course she did without hesitation. Teri is the kind of person that makes the School of Nursing a great place to work. She does a great job and can be counted on when you need a hand. Thank you, Teri!
  • Kayla Watts, 4/15/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Susan Johnson
    Kayla, Thank you for meeting with us today - Outstanding Job! Every year that the preceptor placements are completed, you have assured continued improvement. We are so appreciative of your efforts create an efficient process for the faculty, preceptors and students alike! thanks again,
  • Daniel Jason, 4/13/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by John Venuti
    After several attempts to reconcile an issue with my benefits, I contact Benefits Manager Daniel Jason on April 8, 2016. He immediately coordinated with VCU Health to resolve the issue, which technically had nothing to do with VCU Benefits. Within a few days, Daniel contacted me with a solution and a point person in VCU Health. I very much appreciate the time and effort Daniel invested, when clearly he could have pushed the issue elsewhere and not taken ownership of the matter. Daniel is a role model and example for all employees at VCU.
  • Greg Council, 3/31/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Kawana Pace-Harding
    I am writing to thank and recognize Greg for all the support he provides to the Human Resources team and for monitoring the department's voice mail and email account. He takes the initiative in checking our department's communications and he distributes this information to the appropriate person as needed. I truly appreciate Greg's initiative, responsiveness and team spirit. Thank you Greg.
  • Risham Qureshi, 3/22/2016 – Respect – Nominated by Jessica Carey
    We have had recruits coming for campus visits, not all of whom were the easiest to please, but Risham handled each and every one of the candidates with the utmost respect, courtesy, and responsiveness. Her professional demeanor and attention to detail led to a very successful event yesterday and many happy and very satisfied candidates. Her overall attitude and exemplary customer-oriented focus are great examples of VCU's Customer Compass.
  • Debra Robinson, 3/16/2016 – Responsiveness – Nominated by Jaime Petrasek
    It was truly a pleasure to work with Debra over the past week! I contacted a few different offices with a question, and Debra followed up and assisted me and got the problem solved very quickly and with a smile. She really took the initiative to help me with a challenge, and I truly appreciate her excellent customer service and winning attitude!
  • Marie Scott, 3/16/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Matt Yopp
    Just want to thank Marie for taking the initiative to help our team building vendor get an email domain [accepted in the system]. She went above an beyond as the Collaboration Services team is in no way held accountable for a 3rd party vendor's choice of email service. I can't thank her enough.
  • Carla Nye, 3/14/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Sean Convoy
    Carla and her team at the Clinical Learning Center have worked closely with the PMHNP program to develop a fledgling patient simulation experience. Carla worked meticulously to craft a great simulation experience only to have winter weather foil the plan on 25-26 January. Thereafter, Carla reworked her plan and stayed very late to compensate for the lost time and deliver a remarkable experience for the students. Carla and her team demonstrate a remarkable combination of competence and flexibility and I am very grateful for the same.
  • Lisa Pond, 3/2/2016 – Responsiveness – Nominated by Ananda Newmark
    I wanted to recognize Ms. Lisa Pond for all of the contributions and support she provided the search committee that I co-chaired. Her knowledge and guidance at every step in the hiring process was extremely helpful to the committee and the work the committee was charged to do.
  • Lauren Mortensen, 2/24/2016 – Responsiveness – Nominated by LaRon Scott
    Lauren has received several notes from students about her responsiveness to their needs. Lauren has also been very responsive to the needs of our special education/COVE program. She shows initiative and has led the program to great success.
  • Jamie Holcomb, 1/25/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Adria Dunn
    I could have chosen any of the core points Responsiveness, respect and integrity to describe working with Jamie. Jamie Holcomb is a true asset to the University. Her hard work, patience and drive are second to none. Thank you for all you do !
  • Debra Fitzgerald, 2/12/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Kawana Pace-Harding
    Debbie is great!
  • Joe Lichtenstein, 2/6/2016 – Responsiveness – Nominated by Veronica Shuford
    Joe Lichtenstein and the VCU LMS team consistently provide the School of Pharmacy with exceptional service and support. In November the School of Pharmacy experienced synchronization issues with the ExamSoft Blackboard building. Joe worked diligently with ExamSoft and Blackboard to identify the issue and to test solutions offered. His responsiveness, tenacity, and commitment to working with the vendors to find a solution is appreciated. I am truly grateful for the support Joe provided with this issue. The ExamSoft Blackboard building block has become an essential part of the computer-based testing process in the School of Pharmacy. The ExamSoft Bb building block allows us to be efficient in creating courses, adding student users, and with syncing student grades to Bb; literally saving us days of work.
  • Anita Williams, 1/20/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Daynon Smith
    Recently, I moved offices and there were a lot of moving pieces happening throughout the transition. Throughout the entire process, Anita kept me informed on everything that had already happen, what was currently happening, and what I could expect to happen in the near future. The entire transition was well organized, by Anita, and it made me so happy that I could count on her for anything I needed.
  • Amy Nugent, 1/29/2016 – Responsiveness – Nominated by Harris Middleton
    Amy has continually gone above and beyond when assisting our department with travel and procurement concerns. She has consistently demonstrated a great deal of courteousness, professionalism, and patience whenever we have presented her with a challenge where we needed an extra amount of help. Amy is an invaluable asset to VCU, and continues to provide us with timely and outstanding support.
  • Allison Gregory, 1/27/2016 – Initiative – Nominated by Sean Convoy
    Allison took time out of her extraordinarily busy schedule to offer a substantive and value added presentation to the PMHNP cohort on basic laboratory interpretation. The cohort derived great value from this 90-minute lecture! This kind of effort represents a future blueprint for an integrated FNP-PMHNP program!
  • Audrey Horner, 1/20/2016 – Responsiveness – Nominated by Jose Alcaine
    I would like to recognize Audrey Horner in the Office of Sponsored Programs, Office of Research, for her tireless support and help with our sponsored project activities at the School of Education. Audrey and her colleagues provide a tremendous service within a high stress, deadline-driven environment. I am thankful to Audrey for always being so responsive, thoughtful and helpful with her work. The latest example was on January 20 when we had a fairly large and complicated project due to an important federal sponsor. Audrey was responsive in her proposal review, comments, and in resolving any issues with our proposal. Thank you Audrey for all you do for VCU and the School of Education. We appreciate it.
  • Daniel Jason, 12/15/2015 – Responsiveness – Nominated by David Harless
    Mr. Jason recognized and solved an unusual problem, allowing me to (finally) transfer funds from one ORP vendor to another. I attempted this transfer a number of years ago, but was told only that it wasn't possible. Upon trying once again last summer, Mr. Jason recognized that the problem was that funds with the ORP vendor were inadvertently left in the previous Commonwealth of VA ORP when they should have been automatically transferred to the new VCU ORP. Having recognized the problem, Mr. Jason made arrangements so that I could finally undertake the transfer I desired. I want to mention that Mr. Jason answered my email queries while on his vacation and further that he had to contact and follow-up several times with VRS officials in order to get the funds properly reclassified as part of the VCU ORP.
  • Steve Davidson, 1/6/2016 – Respect – Nominated by Andrea Groat
    Steve's job is to solve problems. Whenever I ask a question or report a problem he is prompt, courteous and makes you feel like your issue is the most important thing in the world and there is nothing he'd rather do than help you. After I get off the phone with Steve, I feel like I'm his favorite customer....I bet a lot of other folks feel the same way when working with Steve. (Though we can't all be his favorite...so I'm going to stick with the story that I'm his favorite!!) Thank you Steve for solving our building problems and explaining the fixes in terms we can understand!