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HACE Presents Annual Staff Member and Rookie Staff Member Awards

Two staff members from Old Dominion University's College of Business and Public Administration walked away with the Hourly and Classified Employees Association's employee awards at the HACE annual luncheon on May 13.

Carlisa Merritt, budget manager for the college (pictured left), and Saysha Malbon, office services assistant for undergraduate advising, won the HACE Staff Member and Rookie Staff Member of the Year awards, respectively.

Merritt, an ODU employee for the past 18 years, was nominated for the honor by her supervisor, Associate Dean Ali Ardalan.

"Mrs. Merritt is a smart and creative innovator who takes the initiative to improve complex processes and make them simpler," Ardalan said. "She applies her knowledge and expertise well in doing so. For example, Carlisa has developed an Excel program for the college staff to capture the important budget elements and summarize them in an easy to read and follow report for unit directors. In addition, the program summarizes all of the unit reports to generate a college report that the dean and I use regularly to follow the status of the college budget."

Ardalan, who also lauded Merritt for her "diligence, reliability, responsiveness, courteousness, helpfulness and calmness," added, "She has gained respect from everyone inside and outside of the college for her knowledge and character."

Merritt's nomination received letters of support from many faculty and staff colleagues from the college. They cited her mentoring of new employees, her willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty, her enthusiasm, initiative and efficiency, her sense of humor and her professionalism.

Merritt regularly volunteers to represent the college in the Campus Community Campaign and Combined Virginia Campaign, and has been its liaison for many years for HACE's Thanksgiving food drive.

Her volunteerism extends to the community as well. She collects and donates cell phones for a women's shelter, organizes and collects used sports equipment to redistribute to underprivileged children, and provides free tax preparation help to those who need it.

Along with her plaque, Merritt receives $200, a free parking space for one year and two tickets to the event of her choice at the Ted Constant Convocation Center, among other gifts.

Malbon, winner of the Rookie award, has worked at ODU for a little over a year. In her nomination letter, Jennifer Usis, director of undergraduate advising for the business college, called her "a role model for those around here" as well as "a quick learner and thinker."

"Saysha has used great creativity in managing what little resources our office has," Usis also noted. "She recently spearheaded a podcasting project to provide access to the college's portion of Preview to students who are unable to physically reach the campus. ...."

Many of the colleagues who wrote in support of Malbon's nomination cited her enthusiasm, commitment and positive attitude. Tomasz Napiorkowski, a program adviser in the undergraduate advising office, called Malbon "a great team player," saying that her cooperative attitude shown through "especially during highly stressful times around graduation and enrollment dates [with their] last-minute changes and tight deadlines."

Malbon also was lauded for her willingness to come in early and stay late when needed, and to volunteer to help out with student functions on weekends.

As winner of the Rookie award, Malbon will receive a plaque, $100 and two tickets to the event of her choice at the Constant Center, among other gifts.

This article was posted on: May 21, 2009

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Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.