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CEE Office Manager Sue Smith Honored as Employee of the Month

Sue Smith, office manager in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) for nearly 27 years, was honored Tuesday, Dec. 14, as Old Dominion University Employee of the Month for December. This marked the second presentation by the university in the new awards program.

Smith, who has been at ODU for more than 31 years in all, has worked for five CEE department chairs, including current chair Gary Schafran, who nominated her for the award.

In his letter of nomination, Schafran cited a recent article about Smith and the endowed scholarship she established, which was published on the ODU news website and in InsideODU, the faculty/staff e-newsletter. Smith donated the equivalent of a year's salary to the CEE department, endowing a scholarship and providing the first donation to the ODU/Hampton University Solar Decathlon 2011 team.

Schafran said the story includes information that he believes supports his nomination of her, but he provided additional observations in a nomination letter.

"She brings to her position great energy, enthusiasm, good humor (when appropriate), a can-do determination, professionalism and a dedication to serving students that would be hard to surpass," he wrote.

"She provides great assistance to me as chair and to other faculty of the department, and is quick to address whatever needs to be done and does it in a timely manner. As the number of students in our program has doubled in recent years, she has stepped up and taken on more responsibilities that rested in part with the chair, and this has allowed me to focus on other issues of importance to the department."

The story also cited Smith's work with the department's advisory board and the help she has given to engineering students over the years - help that has gone far beyond the duties found in her job description.

"She has worked since its inception with the department advisory board and has supported the various activities that they have developed over the past 22 years, often resulting in her working outside of normal working hours and occasionally on the weekend," Schafran further noted in his letter of nomination.

"She does this always with a smile and a 'glad to be of help' attitude. As I believe the attached article conveys, she considers the university family, and treats co-workers, students, faculty and administrators as such and is always there to serve as needed."

The new ODU awards program, which accepts nominations of classified and hourly employees, and administrative and professional faculty, was announced Nov. 4 by President John Broderick and Glenda Humphreys, vice president for human resources.

Each Employee of the Month Award winner receives a framed certificate. Winners also receive a recognition bonus - $175 for classified employee and AP faculty winners, and $250 for hourly employee winners. Classified and AP faculty winners also receive one day of recognition leave. (The cash bonus is higher for hourly employees since they are not eligible to receive recognition leave.)

Any employee may submit a nomination for the monthly award (self-nominations are not accepted). Nominees must be employed at the university for a minimum of 12 months and must be in good standing. (Classified nominees must have a "contributor" or better rating on the most recent performance evaluation; administrative and professional faculty nominees must have a "satisfactory" or better rating on the most recent evaluation; hourly nominees must be performing at a satisfactory level as determined by the supervisor.)

Nominations should be forwarded to the immediate supervisor of the nominee. The immediate supervisor must support the nomination by signing the nomination form. To obtain a form,got to http://www.odu.edu/ao/humanresources/employeeofthemonth.shtml and click on "Nomination Form & Instructions" at the bottom of the page.

Nominations will remain active for six months from date of receipt in the Department of Human Resources.

A selection committee composed of members of various university departments, the Hourly and Classified Employees Association and the Association of University Administrators reviews the nominations and selects the winners each month. Members of the selection committee are appointed by a vice president and serve two-year terms.

The following criteria should be considered in making a nomination:

• An outstanding accomplishment that benefited the department/students.

• Extraordinary service to internal and external customers.

• Inspiring leadership.

• Enthusiasm/energy given to assigned work.

• Teamwork (especially when challenging circumstances present).

• Exemplary efforts to nurture a climate of care, concern and civility.

• Creative innovations to service, process or work tools.

This article was posted on: December 15, 2010

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