2019 Recognitions

Edward Lichtenstein, 12/23/19 -- Nominated by Jamillah Martin 

Joe (Edward) spent countless hours over the entire winter holiday break working on Blackboard system issues and handling support tickets.  

Rebecca Lester Scholtes, 12/20/19 -- Nominated by Carolina Cobb (Amey)  

Rebecca and the rest of the P3 team worked very hard to enroll and complete active participants in the last weeks of the winter semester. I was very impressed with her efforts and initiative in this respect.     

Megan Underwood, 12/20/19 -- Nominated by Carolina Cobb (Amey)            

Megan and rest of the P3 team worked extremely hard during the last weeks of the winter semester to enroll and complete active participants in our study. I was very impressed by her efforts and initiative in this respect.  

Leetah Stanley, 12/19/19 -- Nominated by Dana Rajczewski

Leetah is an absolute pleasure to work with! She has worked tirelessly on a reporting project to make information accessible and understandable to people who are not experts in the topic at hand, and I know that took a lot of ingenuity, creativity, frustration, and time on her part to get it just right. She listened to a lot of input regarding what was needed for the reports, and I'm sure at times it must have seemed like she was asked to figure out things that didn't have a solution. But you would never have known that in talking with her, as she was always receptive to suggestions and feedback. Now that the reports are ready to go, she has answered questions and offered guidance with patience, humor, and grace. She really makes things easy! Simply put, she is a wonderful colleague and a tremendous resource to SOM - thank you, Leetah!   

Leetah Stanley, 12/18/19 -- Nominated by Michelle Holder

I have had the pleasure of working with Leetah on rolling out departmental reports for the School of Medicine and VCU Health. This was a massive project, requiring an inestimable amount of forethought, relationship building, and countless hours of hard work. I can’t say enough good things about working with Leetah and the degree of excellence she brings to our stewardship efforts. I feel that Leetah has gone above and beyond to set us up for success, and I’m very lucky to work with her!  

Colin Drake, 12/13/19 -- Nominated by Bob Burgess

I am always happy when Colin is assigned a work request because he is quick to respond, communicates well and does quality work. Thanks for doing an excellent job Colin!        

Jessica Lyon, 12/6/19 -- Nominated by Shana Ryman

Jessica Lyon is quick to respond and jump in to help. Jessica has helped to format and offer assistance with 2 small projects and includes me in each step of the editing process. Additionally, she makes working together productive and efficient with her expertise and online communication She is a professional colleague with which to collaborate and create.  

Luis Coral, 11/25/19 -- Nominated by Nicholas Shipman

Luis responded successfully with initiative and grace to last-minute modifications of a request pursuant to a relatively new duty. I was impressed and grateful.  

Nickie Brandenburger, 11/26/19 -- Nominated by Flip Grey

Nickie is a team player! I am ever thankful for her initiative to jump in and help in anyway that she can. While we work on separate projects we also co-direct a team. She senses when the stress is on and has jumped in to assist wherever she can to help her colleagues and the team as a whole. It's the simple things that mean a great deal. Thanks, Nickie, for your initiative and energy! I'm grateful for your willingness to tackle the tough stuff collaboratively while offering words of wisdom that sets my mind at ease.    

Jackie Robinson-Brock, 11/21/19 -- Nominated by Flip Grey

Jackie is an outstanding mentor! I wish I could check all of the recognition boxes and more. She is always responsive, reliable, supportive, encouraging, thoughtful and available. I have no idea how you do it, Jackie, but I am grateful to have you as a colleague and mentor. Thank you for always being there with thoughtful insight and guidance!

Patrice Beard, 11/1/19 -- Nominated by Dana Yarbrough

Patrice has taken on responsibility for a complex data system that 20 staff enter information into weekly. This requires that she constantly train staff, 'clean' data entry, run monthly reports to identify gaps in data collection, and more recently, correspond with the database contractor to problem solve customization of the database so it works better for reporting to our multitude of funders. Recently, Patrice has gone above and beyond her responsibilities to discuss and/or create workable solutions for a number of staff challenges with the database.

Rob Downs, 11/1/19 -- Nominated by Leetah Stanley 

Rob and his team have been incredibly helpful in working with units to build the new acknowledgment reports in RADAR that were very much needed. They took the time to listen to every request, consider every possibility and made a system that works beautifully, filling the needs of both the units, in terms of functionality, and of Central, in terms of accurate record keeping etc. about the stewardship of gifts. Additionally, Rob dedicated even more time to us here at medicine to cooperate with our SOM IT group to give us what we needed to use a system developed to produce and archive our acknowledgement letters and to create our departmental gift reports so that our chairs can be engaged further in stewarding donors to their individual areas. This had long been the desire of Dean Buckley. The feedback from everyone over the initial report was beyond positive, and it simply would not have been possible without the cooperation of Rob and his team.    

Elizabeth Seward, 10/25/10 -- Nominated by Melanie Pilco

It was very hard for me to decide on which one I wanted to recognize Elizabeth for, on the time I have met her she has showed Initiative on every aspect and curve ball thrown to our department, her experience and wealth of knowledge always came handy when it was time to determine a new route to take when things were changing, her initiative was displayed in so many ways weather it was for a brand new project or an ongoing project in which we may later on see possible issues, she showed integrity in everything she did, it was 110%. Her responsiveness was always exactly as that word is defined "the quality of reacting quickly and positively" even when things got tough she was always finding ways around the problem the most efficient way. Now the reason I chose Respect is because that really is the best way to describe how she should be recognized, all the qualities she has displayed has really made her a person I enjoyed working with. Its a privilege ,honor and honestly so fun to work with someone with so much knowledge and such willingness to teach the way she has.

Sha-Kim Craft, 9/10/19 -- Nominated by Warran Dawson 

Sha-kim started with very little and built a graduate program tracking spreadsheet that is used school-wide. She consistently answers inquiries in a timely manner and has improved the overall graduate office by leaps and bounds. Thank you Sha-kim.

Josh Ambrose, 9/3/19 -- Nominated by Sue McGinnis

I put in an electrical ticket because our podium that controls all of our presentation equipment for presenters was getting no power. I initially thought it was an issue with electric coming from the wall. Josh came over and found that wasn't the issue. He stayed to help me troubleshoot the piece of equipment in the podium (the power conditioner) that needed to be reset. He very easily could have said that his job was over after finding the problem was inside of the podium, but it was his kindness and responsiveness that helped me resolve the issue quickly for our customers. He is a wonderful asset to the university!

Kelly Winn, 8/9/19 -- Nominated by Charol Shakeshaft

I needed information on our doctoral graduates, names of dissertations. We also asked for a list of capstone titles and EdD graduates since 2011. Kelly was very responsive in helping us to put this information together.

Keyetta Tate, 8/9/19 -- Nominated by Warran Dawson

Keyetta is always very proactive with her work and excels at responding to any question/problem/conflict we throw at her. She works for many different faculty members and somehow keeps it all straight. She should be commended for the outstanding work ethic and overall effectiveness and efficiency. She certainly makes my job easier. Thank you Keyetta.

Brenna Monk, 8/5/19 -- Nominated by Dana Rajczewski

Another member of our department and I have been working with Brenna to prepare for an event during the MCV Campus Reunion Weekend in April 2020. She is extremely responsive, very helpful and she offers guidance with patience and kindness. She has put our minds at ease on numerous occasions and simplified what at first seemed to be a somewhat overwhelming process. She is a pleasure to work with. We are grateful for her expertise and willingness to share it. Thank you, Brenna!

Paul Allmon, 7/19/19 -- Nominated by Matthew Wilkes

Our department was recently asked to teach the power tool portion of a quick start program VCU is involved with. We were given very short notice with not much time to prepare the shop or ourselves for an appropriate lesson. Pauls previous experience in work programs that utilize and train beginner level trades workers made him first to mind to assist me in giving the lessons. Paul was very quick to take on the task. He studied the module and took notes on his own time at home the evening before and had an overall lesson planned on the morning we were scheduled to give class. Pauls excitement and attitude about the task, that many would decline, was infectious and engaging. Paul applies these same principles in his everyday workload at VCU and he is a valuable asset to our department.

Jamie Holcomb, 7/17/19 -- Nominated by Danise Harmon

Jamie is always responsive and extremely timely to all of my requests. She is knowledgeable, helpful and takes the time to explain and route me to the correct information on the many VCU screens and portals. I truly appreciate when I call she often answers her telephone line and she also returns phone calls quickly. Jamie is an asset to the VCU Office of Procurement. It's my pleasure working with her.

Shane Conner, 6/28/19 -- Nominated by Shelley Jordan

I would like to recognize Shane for always lending his expertise to help me troubleshoot and resolve technical issues that are particularly puzzling. An issue occurred early in the day and went unresolved after attempts by multiple areas until I reached out to Shane for guidance. I was unsure if the issue was something that fell under his purview, but knew he could at least point me in the right direction. Shane waved his magic wand and all was fixed! Shane's responsiveness to my issue was greatly appreciated not only by myself, but by other staff who were impacted by the issue.

Harris Middleton, 6/21/19 -- Nominated by Dana Rajczewski

To say that Harris is a team player is an understatement! We have had a few staff members with unavoidably unpredictable schedules in the past few weeks, and Harris has put everyone's mind at ease by filling in whenever and wherever needed. It was so seamless that I'm not sure others even noticed that anything was different! He is efficient, hard-working, professional, and kind, and all of these things make a huge difference in our department and division on a daily basis. It does not go unnoticed every day, but it is especially evident during these sorts of weeks. Thank you, Harris!!

Sharon Kelly, 6/13/19 -- Nominated by Lauren Mortensen

Sharon has been amazingly helpful to me over the past few weeks as I have been navigating ordering various things for an upcoming student session. No matter how many times I stop by her office or email her, she is always quick to help and never makes me feel like I am bothering her - even though she has been extremely busy working towards the end of the fiscal year.

Morgan Huff, 6/12/19 -- Nominated by Corie Forest

I have submitted an increased number of web requests to update the VCU homepage to be in complete WCAG 2.0, AA compliance. Recently, time sensitive updates have been requested and Morgan continues to be responsive and diligent to achieve resolutions. We really appreciate his efforts.

Reginald Brown, 6/10/19 -- Nominated by Denise Harmon

I am recognizing Reggie Brown for his outstanding assistance and knowledge in keeping things going. Our School is going through transition again regarding fiscal processes and Reggie has and does take the initiative to help complete various tasks and assignments, ask questions when needed, and always available. He always makes sure that all bases are covered in terms of details and is a team player. We are extremely lucky to have him. Thank you Reggie for all that you do.

Orlante "Tanto" Duncan, 6/5/19 -- Nominated by Warran Dawson

Tonto is always welcoming and offers his assistance with anything I need. Tonto is always on the phone speaking to perspective students and he has an answer for everything. I can imagine being a student, wanting to get good information as I navigate my way through college life. I call the VCU School of Pharmacy and hear a bright and sunny “Hello” when Tonto answers the phone, then answers all my questions, and then tells me to “Have a nice day!” He goes above and beyond to make sure everyone has a nice day.

Melanie Pilco, 6/3/19 -- Nominated by Elizabeth Seward

I would like to recognize Melanie Pilco for her continued outstanding performance. Our department has been through a tough transition period and Melanie took a lot of initiative to find ways to help complete various tasks and assignments to help the department stay afloat. She is a creative thinker when it comes to problem solving. She always makes sure that all bases are covered in terms of details and she is a team player. I often look to her for opinions on how to complete certain tasks and the best way to approach situations. She has recently accepted a full time position within our department and we are extremely lucky to have her on board on a full time basis. Melanie truly represents what VCU is all about. She has a heart to help others and she is a true GEM!!! Thank you Melanie for all that you do. CSCC would not be the department it is without all of your contributions.

Jean Scott, 5/25/19 -- Nominated by Sue McGinnis

Jean went above and beyond getting a situation resolved for our post-doc so that she could check out a book at the library. Jean had to contact multiple folks in multiple departments and explain the situation in many ways, but she kept with it to achieve success. I'm not sure what we would have done without her! Jean displayed fantastic customer service and determination!

Rebecca Lester-Scholtes, 5/22/19 -- Nominated by Caroline Cobb

Rebecca did an incredible job getting our laboratory/office move organized and completed in an efficient manner. She responded to move requests/tasks quickly and completed them a high degree. She also put in additional effort/time to coordinate the delivery of sensitive data/equipment across several VCU locations! Couldn't have done it without her.

Bob Burgess, 5/20/19 -- Nominated by Caroline Cobb

Bob did an incredible job making sure our move from Thurston House to CSTP/VCU Health Sciences Research Building went perfectly. He was incredibly responsive to our needs/concerns and everything went super smoothly under his command. We are thankful for his presence at the Psychology Department.

Claudia Street, 5/20/19 -- Nominated by Reggie Brown

Ms. Street has repeatedly gone above and beyond in her responsiveness to getting big jobs completed in a timely manner. Her respect, courtesy and overall professionalism should be recognized as she has provided exemplary service to the VCU School of Education throughout the years. I'm certain other areas of the university that have been fortunate enough to work with Ms. Street have experienced her excellent brand of service.

Martha VanMeter, 5/17/19 -- Nominated by David Plunkett

Martha is always helpful when a request is sent her way. An expense hit an NIH grant and the expense needed to be moved to another Index. She researched the expense and keyed the journal voucher within 30 minutes. This timely response resolved the issue efficiently and quickly. Martha and Nancy Fogg are terrific to work with and are an asset to Virginia Commonwealth University!!

Shirley B.Farrar, 5/7/19 -- Nominated by Andrea Perkins

Since the onset of my start date at VCU, Shirley has taken the initiative to be a mentor. She has given me suggestions, advice and assistance. I value having such a terrific co-worker and am appreciative of what she does. It's purely because she elects to do so. I certainly hope Shirley receives the recognition she deserves!

Jacqueline Glover, 5/7/19 -- Nominated by Andrea Perkins

Each time I've reached out to Jackie, she's always been immediately responsive, helpful and wonderful! Today I spoke to her and once again her demeanor is refreshing and she perfectly assisted me with my concerns. I hope Jackie gets recognized for her outstanding services!

Jeanne Schroeder, 4/30/19 -- Nominated by Carrie Main

Jeanne played a critical role as a Graphic Designer and Website Manager in the development of an online training course for Child Development (zero to three). The Child Development training reaches professionals in our state, nationally, and internationally. Jeanne's continual dedication to innovation guarantees the excellence of our training products.

Rhonda Pearson, 4/25/19 -- Nominated by Jo Robins

Every day, Rhonda greets every person with a smile. She makes sure to make everyone feel acknowledged and welcomed. She is always kind and respectful. Several of us are nominating her together (Elizabeth Miles and Kyungeh An) because we are grateful to walk into our building and see her everyday and we value what a difference she makes for our school.

Amanda Hall, 4/25/19 -- Nominated by Jose Alcaine

I would like to acknowledge Dr. Amanda Hall for her tremendous drive, initiative, and support of the School of Education and related activities. Certainly her work and actions have wide raging impact at VCU, across many departments, and with the whole community, but she goes above and beyond in helping the many programs and initiatives at School of Education succeed. Most recently, she has been instrumental in welcoming a group of visiting foreign students to campus and the city. This is no easy feat given her other professional and personal demands. She is always willing to help and go the extra mile for programs, events, and activities. Throughout all this work she exhibits a positive, "can do" attitude that really makes a difference. For all her work and dedication to the School of Education and VCU, I would like to say thank you, thank you, thank you. Your efforts are commendable and much appreciated!

Shirley Helm, 4/25/19 -- Nominated by Lisa Ballance

Shirley Helm organized the details of the Inaugural Virginia Clinical Research Conference hosted by VCU on April 12, 2019 in addition to her other responsibilities. She had no prior 'event planning' experience but formulated a team, including the VCU Office of Continuing and Professional Education, which was lean, resourceful, and led to a highly successful event including attendees and speakers from across Virginia. Shirley had a vision and took the initiative to find the resources needed, early. She was realistic, optimistic, and clearly demonstrates a passion for VCU.

Jennifer Sisane, 4/25/19 -- Nominated by Lisa Ballance

Jennifer Sisane has been working with a planning team from across the research enterprise in order to pull off the Inaugural Virginia Clinical Research Conference right here in Richmond. We had presenters and attendees from across the state, many of whom took the time to remark that the Office of Continuing and Professional Education (and specifically Jennifer) hosted a very well-coordinated event. Even before the event, we knew that our conference was in great hands with Jennifer. She is calm, capable, and has an eye toward efficiency and resource conservation.

Jo Robins, 4/23/19 -- Nominated by Sue McGinnis

Jo is constantly looking for positive ways to influence faculty and staff in the School of Nursing. She is so kind, thoughtful, and considerate that I consider myself very fortunate to work with her.

Tamara Zurakowski, 4/17/19 -- Nominated by Jo Robins

Tamara exemplifies what it means to be a team player. She openly shares information and is responsive and facilitatory when information or guidance is requested. She consistently places high priority on helping others succeed.

Kody Wyatt, 4/15/19 -- Nominated by Shana Ryman

Mr. Wyatt provided excellent customer service and expert assistance when our office was experiencing computer issues recently. My colleagues and I were very impressed with Mr. Wyatt's amicable demeanor as well as his quick and efficient ability to multitask and repair all of our computer issues. His skillfulness and professionalism put us all at ease and left a wonderful impression. Thank you!

Jeanine Giles Larson, 4/4/19 -- Nominated by Harris Middleton

We owe Jeanine a big thank you from Family Medicine! I had received a last-minute travel change/update request near the end of the day yesterday from one of our research associates that needed immediate assistance to ensure that she would be able to complete a site visit that next morning. Jeanine was quick to respond and worked to provide a solution to help review and approve the travel needed to facilitate the site visit in time. Jeanine went above and beyond to help us and continues to be polite, professional and courteous to all members of the department and our colleagues whenever we are in need of assistance. Thank you, Jeanine!

Hope Walker, 3/20/19 -- Nominated by Andrea Perkins

Hope Walker was my colleague at Putney House and now has a new position at Massey Cancer Center. I wish I had known about the "Employee Recognition Form" earlier since I would have submitted it last year. Hope really possesses all characteristics within the recognition list and it is difficult selecting just one. Instantly when I started at Putney, Hope befriended me and wasn't just a coworker, but became my mentor on her own volition. We worked on separate floors for different supervisors, yet she always assisted me with any questions. In the midst of her busy schedule, plus working for two supervisors and dealing with her own deadlines, she was responsive to my phone calls, computer glitches, emails, general office questions, etc. She never hesitated to help and consistently replied to my inquiries in an expedited manner. On 3/18/19, I called Hope and she immediately responded by offering guidance on an office question that I knew she was familiar with; once again she continues to be an incredible mentor. I certainly Hope Walker receives the recognition that she deserves!

Carol Ann Irby, 3/20/19 -- Nominated by Andrea Perkins

Carol Ann was my supervisor and has received a promotion at VCU. She should be acknowledged for all of the recognition subcategories: initiative, integrity, respect, responsiveness. She has illustrated these traits on a daily basis! After Carol Ann started her new position, she attended a meeting on the MCV campus and decided to check on her replacement while she was nearby. She traveled to our building so they could 'catch up.' From my time working for Carol Ann Irby, I've seen that she exemplifies such extraordinary qualities in every aspect. I sincerely hope that she gets the recognition she deserves!

Kayla Watts, 3/20/19 -- Nominated by Andrea Perkins

Kayla has high moral standards, exemplifies nobility, and is sincere and genuine. Kayla demonstrates these qualities each day.

Dana Rajczewski, 2/11/19 -- Nominated by Dr. Anton Kuzel

Dana is one of the most professional and efficient individuals with whom I have had the pleasure of working. She always seems to find the answer and is the go to person when it comes to planning an event or finding a solution (from the smallest to the biggest challenge). She maintains an amicable demeanor and treats everyone with respect and kindness. Recently, she helped me find two spaces on campus for different events, in a pinch. She is an extraordinary VCU employee who contributes so much to our department, division, university and city!

Carolyn Lee, 1/31/19 -- Nominated by Dana Rajczewski

Carolyn has been a tremendous resource during the VCU Staff Performance Evaluation cycle! She is very knowledgeable about the process and if there is something that she has been unsure of, she has worked with SOM and/or University HR to get an answer in a timely fashion. I think she's relieved quite a bit of anxiety that comes with a new way of doing things (including a new software system) and we are so lucky to have her in our department!

Carrie Main, 1/23/19 -- Nominated by Jeanne Schroeder

Carrie is awesome at project management and keeping our team informed of progress as an eLearning Specialist. She's always looking for new ways to improve the quality of the products we develop and is fantastic to work with!

Marcus Mickle, 1/1/19 -- Nominated by Lisa Dougherty

This recognition is long overdue as Marcus has always been responsive, thorough, pleasant and professional. His recent work on the Student Services Center and Admissions non-degree online application project is the latest example of Marcus' exemplary work. His willingness to collaborate, attention to detail and generosity with his time were instrumental in getting this project up and running on time. He is a tremendous asset to this university.