Administrative and Professional Faculty Award winners announced
Three employees received the first Administrative and Professional (A/P) Faculty Award, which recognizes A/P faculty for their extraordinary contributions, accomplishments, and consistent performance for Virginia Tech.
The winners are: Ellen Douglas, associate controller in the Department of Insurance and Risk Management; Amy Rizzo, senior research veterinarian in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine; and Keri Swaby, director for undergraduate research.
In addition, the first team award went to the Diversity Education and Engagement team.
The winners were recognized during a ceremony on July 13.
The recognition program highlights the integral roles that A/P faculty hold as they lead and manage a variety of positions.
Historically, Virginia Tech offers multiple award programs to recognize faculty and staff for their commitment to the university and community, new ideas, and teamwork. The newly created A/P faculty award program focuses on approximately 2,100 of Virginia Tech’s employees.
“Our A/P faculty are an important and highly valued part of the Virginia Tech community and are critical to achieving the university’s strategic priorities,” said Executive Vice Provost Don Taylor. “I am pleased to see their contributions and service celebrated, and I congratulate each of the award winners and nominees for their accomplishments.”
“By adding this award to our recognition program, we can more fully recognize all of our faculty and staff for their contributions at Virginia Tech," said Bryan Garey, vice president for human resources. “We appreciate the service and contribution A/P Faculty make to the university.”
The individual award winners:
Ellen Douglas, associate controller, Department of Insurance and Risk Management, has worked at Virginia Tech since 1987.
Ken Miller, vice president for finance, wrote in a letter of endorsement: "Ellen is a trusted, credible, and respected partner who builds strong working relationships with colleagues at Virginia Tech, at other universities, and with her state government counterparts. When university property is damaged from natural disasters such as fires and floods, Ellen jumps into action, working with stakeholders to comprehensively document and submit insurance claims for damage. Ellen offers an exceptional level of customer service and finds creative solutions to the most challenging problems. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Ellen played an integral role in prioritizing the needs of our students who were abroad.”
Amy Rizzo, senior research veterinarian in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, joined Virginia Tech in 2016.
Jennifer A. Zambriski, assistant professor in the Department of Population Health, wrote in a letter of nomination: “Dr. Rizzo has consistently demonstrated excellence as she works to advocate for both researchers and research animals. In addition to consistently serving the Virginia Tech community, she often goes above and beyond the call of duty. Over the last year, there have been three occasions when I found myself facing dire emergencies impacting my research animals. On all three occasions, Dr. Rizzo was off duty and still showed up to help me and offer solutions. She has a true gift for finding common ground and compromise, is genuinely motivated to act with ethics and honor, and always strives to do the right thing.”
Keri Swaby, director for undergraduate research, joined Virginia Tech in 2017.
Jill Sible, associate vice provost for undergraduate education, wrote in a letter of nomination: “While the pandemic dramatically limited in-person undergraduate research opportunities in 2020 and 2021, Keri’s unwavering commitment to supporting students and her creative approach to problem-solving resulted in an overall increase in the engagement of the Office of Undergraduate Research with students and faculty. This year, Keri is strategically combining remote-learning opportunities that increase student access to and engagement with research while restoring invaluable in-person experiences. While Keri prefers to work in the background on behalf of students and faculty, she has emerged as a dedicated and effective leader among A/P faculty. She also contributes regularly to publications and conference presentations on undergraduate research.”
The team award winner: Diversity Education and Engagement team of
Michelle Carter, director of diversity engagement; Alicia Cohen, director of diversity education; Michele Deramo, assistant provost for diversity education; Victoria Ferguson, director of the Solitude Fraction site; and Sandy Martin, administrative assistant.
In a letter of nomination, Stacy Wilkerson, chief of staff for the Office for Inclusion and Diversity, wrote: “The work of the diversity education and engagement (DEE) team has made Virginia Tech a leader in the field of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. The DEE team, led by Michele Deramo, is a dynamic group of talented and dedicated individuals committed within the field of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. The team strives for excellence at every level. Their deep commitment to this work is invaluable to the growth and development of Virginia Tech as a leader in the work of racial truth-telling and racial consciousness. I am incredibly proud to serve alongside this group of extraordinary individuals.”
Fifty-nine employees with a collective 679 years of service were nominated for the award.
Individual award nominees:
- Amanda Covey, biomedical engineering graduate coordinator, Virginia Tech - Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, joined Virginia Tech in 2019.
- Eric Day, insect identification manager, Department of Etymology, joined Virginia Tech in 1986. He transitioned to the rank of A/P faculty in 2014.
- Sarah Dreier, talent development specialist in Human Resources, joined Virginia Tech in 2019.
- Paul Ely, associate director, capital construction renovations, joined Virginia Tech in 2018.
- Kirk Felton, director of operations at the Fralin Life Sciences Institute (FLSI), joined Virginia Tech in 2013.
- Vianne Greek, web manager, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM), joined Virginia Tech in 2015.
- Stephanie Hart, director of the Advising Center in the College of Natural Resources and Environment (CNRE), joined Virginia Tech in 2013.
- Rodney Irvin, director of employee relations for Human Resources, joined Virginia Tech in 2011.
- Dawn Jefferies, director of visual strategy, University Relations, has worked at Virginia Tech since 2018.
- Michelle Kovac, program manager of the Calhoun Honors Discovery Program (CHDP), has worked at Virginia Tech since 2015.
- Kacy Lawrence, director of assessment and strategic data initiatives for the Graduate School, joined Virginia Tech in 2015.
- Laura Lehmann, environmental/agricultural research manager, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, has worked at Virginia Tech since 2004.
- Robert Marcum, business and facilities manage for the Department of Computer Science, has worked for Virginia Tech since 2012.
- Jordan Metzgar, curator, Massey Herbarium, joined Virginia Tech in 2017. In 2019 he was transitioned to the position of A/P faculty.
- Christa Miller, associate director for Services for Students with Disabilities, joined Virginia Tech in 2015.
- Robbie Morrison, associate extension agent, 4-H Youth Development, Campbell County Cooperative Extension, has worked for Virginia Tech since 2011.
- Karen Munden, Family and Consumer Sciences extension agent, Virginia Beach Cooperative Extension, joined Virginia Tech in 2001.
- Lauren Oliver, associate director of Living-Learning Programs, joined Virginia Tech in 2019.
- Alexandra Poetter, associate director for program execution for the Program Management Office at the Virginia Tech National Security Institute (NSI), has worked for Virginia Tech since 2012.
- Swathi Prabhu, assistant director, mental health and bystander initiatives for Hokie Wellness, joined Virginia Tech in 2018.
- John Provo, director, Center for Economic and Community Engagement, joined Virginia Tech in 2004.
- Robert Ritchey, coordinator of emergency services and case manager for Cook Counseling Center, joined Virginia Tech in 2009.
- Christine Smith, services co-director, Women’s Center at Virginia Tech, joined Virginia Tech in 2001.
- Natasha Smith, director of enrollment management, College of Engineering, joined Virginia Tech in 2008.
- Catherine Strickland, applied research contracts manager, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), joined Virginia Tech in 2012.
- Ellie Sturgis, director of Cook Counseling Center, joined Virginia Tech in 1998.
- Joalenn Tabor, health systems science and interprofessional practice domain director, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM), joined Virginia Tech in 2017.
- Craig Tollin, lab coordinator, Academy of Integrated Science, joined Virginia Tech in 2013.
- Mallory Tuttle, associate director for Hampton Roads Centers, joined Virginia Tech in 2019.
- Holly Williams, assistant director of administrative operations for the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, joined Virginia Tech in 2005.
- Melissa Williams, operations manager, Department of Mechanical Engineering, joined Virginia Tech in 2004.
Team award nominees:
- Team: Annie Lawrence, business and operations manager, Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering (MME); and Amy Hill, business manager, Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE).
- Team: Rachel Parson, co-chair, Emerging Pests and Pest Management Program Team, Virginia Cooperative Extension; and Stephanie Blevins Wycoff, extension associate, pesticide safety education.
- Donor Growth Group: Ann Bolton, director of annual giving; Grant Duncan, assistant athletic director, marketing and promotions; Ciji Good, director of special events; Shaun Grahe, senior director of young alumni programs and reunion programs; Brianna Kauhane, senior director of donor relations and prospect development; Evan Massengill, associate director, annual giving, VTAF, and assistant athletic director for fundraising strategy; Annie McCallum, director of advancement communications; and Stephen Milleson, director of integrated and digital marketing.
- Event Services and Production Services Team: Joshua Hall, production specialist; Clayton Kennedy, production services manager; Kendall Keyser, reservations manager; West Livingston, assistant director of production and event services; Amanda McDermott, production services coordinator; and Spencer Stidd, assistant director of event services.
For more information about the Administrative and Professional (A/P) Faculty Award nominees, visit this page.