[ skip to content ]


A tearful Marla Harvey, office services specialist in the Department of Biological Sciences, received the Customer Relations Employee of the Year award Thursday afternoon at the President's Fall Meeting for classified and hourly staff. President Roseann Runte presented a plaque to Harvey, who was overcome with emotion after hearing her name announced by September Sanderlin, associate director for human resources.

One of seven employees nominated for the award, which is sponsored by the Department of Human Resources, Harvey has worked at Old Dominion 17 years. A 16-year employee in the registrar's office before being laid off as a result of state budget cuts, she rejoined the university a year ago in the biology department.

Nominations for the award were based on the following criteria: cooperation with customers, department/university knowledge, initiative, communication skills and overall customer relations excellence.

"I think Marla is the university's customer relations role model," said co-worker Milissa Story, one of several employees who nominated Harvey for the award. "Her genuine love of her job, her attachment and commitment to the staff, faculty and students of the department is obvious to any one who visits the office even for the briefest of moments. I wish everyone on
campus had provided the level of service to their customers that Marla provides for us."

Frank Day Jr., professor of biological sciences, noted, "In the 29 years I have been at ODU, I have not worked with a more courteous, helpful, congenial individual in an office setting that deals with the public as well as students and faculty. I have never seen her get impatient with anyone and this includes many situations in which most of us would lose our temper."

Another faculty member, senior lecturer Kerry Kilburn, said, "This semester I have taken on our largest lecture/lab course. I knew next to nothing about many of the administrative aspects of dealing with such large numbers of students, lab sections, graduate TAs and the like. Marla has consistently either been able to answer my many questions or find the
answers she didn't know.

"She has taken time out of her busy schedule to perform special tasks (like printing out roll lists for all 16 laboratory sections and organizing them for my TAs). She routinely checks our communal laser printer and, rather than simply stacking printouts for faculty to go through, identifies and places printouts into our boxes. Her proactive attention to detail has made all our jobs much easier and much more pleasant!"

As Customer Relations Employee of the Year, Harvey receives three days of recognition leave and a $500 bonus.

Also nominated for the award were:
- Carrie Penn, Housing Services;
- Connie Merriman, Computing and Communications Services;
- Dianne Pieper, Residence Life;
- Donald Nash, Naval Science;
- Fumni Adesanya, Student Health Services; and
- Joe Blanchard, Virginia Beach Higher Education Center.

This article was posted on: October 31, 2003

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

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