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Katrina Davenport from the College of Business and Public Administration and Jennifer Ellis from the Darden College of Education were honored May 9 by the Hourly and Classified Employees Association as the HACE Staff Member and Rookie Staff Member of the Year, respectively.

An administrative and program specialist III in the dean's office of the business college, Davenport has worked at ODU for approximately three years. Her duties involve close interaction with the dean, associate dean and the Ph.D. in business administration program director, and she serves as a liaison to the Economics Club of Hampton Roads. In addition, Davenport serves on the University Calendar Committee and the Commencement Committee, and has volunteered for many university projects, including Community Care Day and Freshman Debut, and HACE activities.

"Mrs. Davenport is an amazingly creative, motivated, energetic and enthusiastic team player. She learns complex issues very quickly," said Associate Dean Ali Ardalan, who nominated her.

Nancy Bagranoff, dean of the college, was also one from a long list of administrators, faculty members and students who supported her nomination. Calling Davenport "dependable to a fault," Bagranoff added, "We are incredibly fortunate to have such an amazingly talented and capable person working in our office."
Others noted Davenport's positive attitude, dependability, productivity, professionalism, personality and volunteerism.

Regarding the role she plays in support of doctoral students, Carlisa Merritt, the college's budget manager, noted, "She is an efficient, hard-working person that nurtures her students from the moment they enter the program to the time they successfully defend their dissertations." As winner of the annual award, Davenport receives $200 from the Jill Nolte Endowment Fund, a reserved parking space for next year, a $100 bookstore gift certificate, two passes to a Global Spectrum event at the Constant Convocation Center, ODU athletic tickets and $25 worth of Monarch Dining Dollars.

Also nominated for the award were: Linda Baker, Kathie Clagett, Calisa Farmer, Robert Grandon, Alicia Herr, L'Tanya King, Deborah Long, Theresa Mathews, Susan Nagle, Dana Oblak, Sandra Phillips, Elizabeth Vazquez, Terry Watts, Dwight Williford and Kim Wint.

Jennifer Ellis, winner of the HACE Rookie Award, is acting administrative assistant and office specialist III for the educational curriculum and instruction department. She has worked at ODU for approximately eight months.

Department chair Jane Hager, who nominated her, recalled the time Ellis was hired, shortly after Hager had assumed her role as head of the department:
"Her immediate supervisor needed to be placed on disability leave due to a high-risk pregnancy. Jennifer immediately took on the responsibilities of
both positions. When her supervisor had to leave the university after the birth of her child, Jennifer was asked to assume those responsibilities in
an acting capacity. Without her good spirit, her willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty, and her excellent skills, I can only imagine the disarray within the department."

Dwight Allen, eminent scholar of educational reform, said, "In the 28 years I have been at ODU I have never seen an employee rise to meet the
impossible challenge of void after void in key administrative support positions ... the way Jennifer Ellis has done." Many other faculty wrote letters supporting the nomination, noting Ellis's attention to detail, reliability, motivation and cheerful personality. Ellis receives $100 from the Jill Nolte Endowment Fund, a $100 bookstore gift certificate, two passes to a Global Spectrum event, ODU athletic tickets and $25 worth of Monarch Dining Dollars.

Also nominated were: Idalia Aguirre, Edgar Gonzalez, Tonya McDuffie, Erin Mills and Cheryl Zobel.

This article was posted on: May 11, 2006

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