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Andrea Battle-Coffer Honored as Employee of the Month

Old Dominion's Employee of the Month for January has worked at the university for only three years, but in that time Andrea Battle-Coffer has made quite an impression in the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts, where she serves as the secretary senior.

As department chair Gary Edgerton noted in his letter of nomination, the department consists of more than 750 majors across three programs (communication, dance and theatre), 24 full-time faculty members and 53 adjunct faculty members.

"She not only manages the main office, but serves as the intermediary between three programs situated in three different buildings on campus," Edgerton said. "Andrea is always positive and energetic in carrying out her many duties, frequently going the extra mile in providing information or working as a team player in her interactions with all kinds of internal ODU employees and external constituencies."

But it was her contributions to departmental morale that motivated Edgerton to nominate Battle-Coffer for the Department of Human Resources-sponsored award. He said that on many occasions, she has taken the initiative to organize special events "that aided greatly to the general tenor and positive spirit of the department" - everything from a holiday part for faculty and staff to an open house for the new M.A. program in lifespan and digital communication.

"Overall, her thoughtfulness and hard work in these large special events as well as in her everyday duties has added immensely to the cohesion and camaraderie of the faculty and staff, creating much good will among full- and part-time departmental employees. This positive effect is on top of her usual responsibilities as the main office supervisor, resource person and customer relations representative for the department," Edgerton wrote in his nomination letter.

Fran Hassencahl, assistant department chair, also wrote glowingly in support of Battle-Coffer's nomination.

"The front office is the window to the department and is the place where students, faculty, staff and vendors come for information and help. Andrea projects the necessary interpersonal skills of cheerfulness, a 'can do' attitude and an awareness that she is the visible person in the office and the 'go to' person," she said.

Hassencahl added: "Researchers in communication are beginning to look more closely at the power of positive communication. Not all situations require answers. Sometimes a sympathetic ear suffices. Listening in order to give helpful information matters, but listening to feelings is also important. Andrea knows when to listen rather than dispensing advice or judgments, particularly when a faculty member is just venting. She is quick with a compliment and has a good sense of humor."

Jennifer Barksdale, fiscal technician for the department, also wrote in support of the nomination, noting Battle-Coffer's positive attitude, enthusiasm, organizational skills and proactive approach to work, as well as her involvement in the Hourly and Classified Employees Association.

"Mrs. Battle-Coffer is a self-starter, she always takes the initiative in everyday tasks, and she is also an extremely dedicated and loyal person," Barksdale said. "She is an absolute pleasure to be around and to work with. She is always friendly and courteous and she inspires confidence and trust in the faculty and students in the Old Dominion University community."


The University Employee of the Month Selection Committee encourages employees to nominate their outstanding, "go the extra mile" colleagues and employees. This program is designed to acknowledge and reward employees whose accomplishments and/or demeanor exemplify excellence, quality service and commitment to ODU. Classified and AP faculty employees receive a framed certificate from the president, $175 and one day of leave. Hourly winners get $250, since they are not eligible to receive recognition leave.

Note: The selection committee needs specific examples that relate to each applicable criterion in order to select a nominee for the award. Nominations remain active for six months from date of submission and nominators may submit additional documentation to support a nominee during the active six months.

The criteria used to nominate an employee include the following:

• An outstanding accomplishment that benefited the department/students.

• Extraordinary service to internal and/or external customers.

• Inspiring initiative/leadership.

• Enthusiasm/energy given to assigned work.

• Teamwork.

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

• Creative innovations to service, process or work tools.

For more information contact Tony Belk at jbelk@odu.edu or 3-3046, or go to http://www.odu.edu/ao/humanresources/employeeofthemonth.shtml.

This article was posted on: January 30, 2012

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