Award Nominees

Atkins Awards

Wage Nominees

Susan Beaver
Position: Fixed Asset Coordinator
Department:  Accounting

Susan goes out of her way to help in any way she can. She works with all the departments across campus to make sure that our inventory is correct. She brings a positive attitude to the office and carries it out into the campus in every building she is working in. When there is a need in the department, She goes out of her way to help out.

Ryan Hastings
Position: Veterans Liaison/Registration Assistant
Department: Registrar’s Office

Ryan Hastings is an exemplary employee of UMW. Since 2019, he has been serving as the Veteran’s Liaison for graduate students who use veterans benefits as well as for our students that participate in the Chapter 31 Veteran Readiness and Employment program. Serving active duty, veteran, and military-affiliated students at UMW is a critical responsibility of our mission as an institution. Ryan takes this responsibility extremely seriously and is always on top of the latest news, policy updates, and developments coming out of the VA to ensure that we are in compliance and serving our military population to the best of our ability. He is often our “go to person” for any military-related question. A veteran himself, Ryan has a deep understanding of the challenges facing student veterans, active duty students, and military dependents. We truly could not serve our military student population as well as we do without him. He has a true passion for serving this population and it is evident in his daily dedication and commitment. On top of this responsibility, he handles many other tasks in the Registrar’s Office with pride, a sense of purpose, and with a smile. He is certainly deserving to be recognized with the Larry Atkins award and I truly hope he is selected!

Classified Nominees

Jennifer Buist
Position: Office Manager
Department:  Department of Modern Languages and Literatures AND Department of Communication and Digital Studies

Jennifer has served our two departments for a number of years now and has shown an exceptional work ethic, attention to detail, and flexibility. She is self-motivated, keeps the “trains running on time,” and is a sheer endless fount of knowledge regarding financial regulations. Moreover, she administers our in-person foreign language placement test, which often falls outside her regular work hours requiring to shift her work day. Furthermore, she impresses us with her talent in graphic design when it comes to flyers, announcements, and invitations. Her upbeat demeanor sets the tone for our departments; she is always willing to lend an open ear to faculty problems even when she is unable to solve them. Due to the nature of the MDLL department, she deals with seven different cultures and accents and is always willing to help ordering an Arabic film, or a Japanese book or buying ingredients for Italian, German, or Chinese cooking demonstrations.

In short, Jennifer is an incredible asset for our departments. She goes above and beyond her routine duties to enable faculty to deliver quality instruction to the students.

Debra Cash
Position: Accounts Payable Assistant Manager
Department: Accounts Payable

Debra Cash is the Accounts Payable Assistant Manager and as the UMW Finance Card Administrator. Debra carries a great deal of responsibilities on her plate in both of those capacities, but always makes time to help out a fellow university employee who has a question or a problem. She does so with grace and a smile on her face.

I started one year ago as the Manager of Athletic Business Operations. We have 17 Athletic coaches who carry UMW Finance Cards for travel to competitions with their teams. Seventeen cards and 500 student athletes traveling means a great number of transactions on the finance cards. Debra has been an invaluable resource to me over the course of this last year, helping me to learn not only how to physically manage the cards and transactions, but in also teaching me, through practical examples, the state rules and regulations for the use of the cards. This enables me to help my coaches.
When an issue arises, or there is a question about a card transaction, Debra is courteous and helpful, while being honest and forthright about the situation and how it needs to be corrected. She is approachable and lifts people up, as opposed to tearing them down. I truly appreciate her mentorship and guidance, and highly value our working relationship. UMW is very lucky to have Debra Cash in Accounts Payable.

Adam Chewing
Position:  Police Officer
Department: University Police

Sometime during the late evening hours of September 11, 2022, several Middle School aged students entered the University Center’s Esports Lounge in Suite #306. While not approved to be in the space, they remained on site utilizing the gaming equipment. On September 12, 2022 Esports Director Mark Link contacted the UMW Police Department in reference to missing items in the lounge. After taking a report, Officer Chewning began his investigation of the incident. Officer Chewning was able to review video footage of the Esports space painstakingly and was able to develop possible suspects. The suspects were observed on the video secreting game controllers and other items during their time in the Esports Lounge. With help from Lieutenant Sullivan, Officer Chewning used his resources and contacted Sergeant Lynch of the Fredericksburg Police Department’s SRO Unit. The suspects were then able to be identified. On September 16, 2022, Officer Chewning and Lieutenant Sullivan visited the suspects’ homes and spoke with the Guardians of the suspects. During his investigation, some of the stolen items were recovered and the case has been forwarded to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for further review. The juveniles involved were also referred to the Juvenile Domestic Relations Court for possible early intervention programs.
Officer Chewning went far and above in his service to the UMW Community. Officer Chewning could have chosen to initiate a report and turn it over to investigations for further follow-up. However, Officer Chewning decided to work on this case and use his resources to develop and identify the perpetrators of the crime. Thank you for your hard work and for providing an example of what it means to be a part of the solution. Because of your efforts, the University of Mary Washington Police Department has played a vital role in keeping the community safe and secure.

Debbie Dunivan
Position: Office Manager
Department: Talley Center
Nomination #1

Being an office manager for a mental health clinic is a challenging and multi-faceted role. To be successful in this position, a person has to possess extensive organizational abilities, emotional resilience, and a sense of intrinsic empathy. Debbie Dunivan exceeds expectations in every one of these domains and is, in a non-hyperbolic way, the glue that allows the Talley Center to function on the UMW campus.

At an organizational level, the Talley Center is a congested intersection of student needs, appointments, and engagement. Debbie effortlessly balances answering the phone, checking in students, initiating paperwork, and scheduling future appointments, frequently simultaneously. Under these demands, she remains friendly and student-oriented, never allowing the intensity of her work to overwhelm her desire to serve students and connect them to much needed services. Behind the scenes, Debbie anticipates the needs of clinicians because of her institutional knowledge and familiarity with UMW procedures. Her work as an Office Manager is truly exceptional amongst her professional peers.
When it comes to emotional resilience, Debbie is our front line warrior, the first person students meet when they engage with the Talley Center. She experiences the most intense emotions without letting them overwhelm her sense of duty and commitment to UMW students. She is truly unflappable even in the presence of mental health crises that overwhelm faculty and staff outside the Talley Center. Despite not being a trained clinician, she possesses an inner strength that allows her to meet student challenges head-on, discern a path forward, and make the necessary arrangements to put students in places to improve.
In terms of empathy, Debbie is perfectly suited for her position as Talley Center Office Manager because she cares. She has the ability to discern students’ emotional needs even when the student themselves are not sure and connect them with the correct Talley Center program or service. This natural empathic ability positions students and staff to engage in meaningful counseling from the first interaction, with limited adjustment, procedural hurdles, or re-assignment necessary. Debbie’s work as our Office Manager demonstrates that she is not performing a job, but is answering a calling to support and empower students who lack champions in their own life. Debbie’s empathic nature allows her to change students’ lives simply by virtue of being present for them and helping them through the administrative processes of receiving care.
Having worked in a variety of mental health facilities, I can confidently say that Debbie Dunivan is the single best Office Manager I have worked with. As a clinician, I am able to focus solely on clinical work because of the extra effort Debbie puts forward to make sure the administrative side of the house is in order. When faculty, leadership, and staff speak positively of the Talley Center, they are speaking to how much work Debbie does unnoticed by the public to make sure this department can deliver its services. The clinical staff are typically the first face the UMW community thinks of when it comes to the Talley Center, but that relationship is built on an unseen foundation of excellence in administration that is quietly formed by Debbie.
UMW is committed to the idea that “You Matter” and across my outreach and inter-departmental interactions, I can think of nobody who works harder to make sure the students of UMW matter than Debbie Dunivan.

Nomination #2
I have not been with the Talley Center/UMW long, but Debbie has been an integral part of my acclimation to the position. She regularly goes well above what her duties are and often does these things quietly, without desire for recognition. She does them simply because she feels the effort is worth it to improve the lives of the students and her colleagues. Her passion for the center has even bled over to her daughter, who crochets our worry worms, which have become immensely popular on campus. It doesn’t take much to see that Debbie genuinely cares for every person who walks through our doors. Debbie is truly the heart of the Talley Center and while she would never seek it, deserves every bit of recognition for her contribution to the center.
Nomination #3
Debbie has a strong work ethic that is unparalleled. Despite her injuries and illnesses over the past year, Debbie continues to come back for work despite doctor recommendations and all of the Talley Center staff imploring her to take more time to recuperate. She never complains about working for the students, and she, in fact, goes above and beyond to make sure that all students who contact the Talley Center are heard, taken care of, and accounted for, whether they are simply calling in to inquire about services or whether they are coming in for an unexpected crisis. She constantly thinks about ideas for helping make Talley Center services better, be it the egg chair in the waiting room for students who need a calm space and less environmental stimuli, or be it decorating the self-care room with her own comfortable touches and implementing positive mental health materials (inspirational quotes, uplifting books, fidget devices, throw pillows, etc.). Even though I am only a trainee here, Debbie has gone out of her way to make me feel like I am an important part of the Talley Center team. She inspires me to work hard and always think about what extra things I can do to help make the experience better for students who come in for services. I highly recommended Debbie Dunivan for the Larry Atkins Award.
Nomination #4
Debbie is a dedicated and compassionate colleague, who makes student care and experience her top priority. She always greets staff and students with a smile, even when she is not feeling her best or experiencing her own personal stress. She makes sure it never shows to the students. Oftentimes, students stop by the Talley Center just to say hello to Debbie. She leaves a positive, lasting impression on every single person she meets, especially the students and her colleagues. “Going over and beyond” is simply an understatement when it comes to describing Debbie’s work ethic, devotion, and commitment to UMW, the Talley Center, and our students. Before you can ask it, she has already done it! Without her, we would certainly fall apart. She is more than the glue that keeps us together. She is also the Talley Center’s unofficial motivational speaker, problem solver, crisis solver, morale builder, and restorer of hope. She doesn’t just say that she cares, she actually shows it!
Nomination #5
Debbie is the kindest and most understanding person I have ever met and have had the pleasure to work with. She is a pleasant person to be around and makes our office one of the warmest and inviting places on campus. She works hard and I appreciate all that she does to make sure our office runs as smoothly as it does. Students genuinely enjoy her and care about her, evident by them coming in and just talking to her on days they don’t have appointments. She probably doesn’t know this but she has this calming presence to her and she often keeps staff and students grounded. Our trainees love her and is just simply a joy to be around. Debbie has been through a number of challenges with her health and one would never know because her demeanor is positive. She is devoted to UMW and she always puts students first. She is considerate, resilient, kind, caring and nurturing, and reliable. Thank you, Debbie, for all that you do!
Nomination #6
Debbie is a phenomenal coworker here at the Talley Center. She is always eager to do anything or find out how it could be done, to help the Talley team and our UMW students. She is passionate about our students mental health and well being. She displays it in the compassion she shows for each student that walks through the door. Debbie goes above and beyond to make sure we are doing all we can to serve and support the students that are seeking help. Debbie is all in when it comes to having special days to honor and show love to the students as well as the staff here. She is loaded with ideas on decorating to heighten the mood and bring about a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the office. The students enjoy coming in to see what she has done for each season or holiday. She enjoys planning days during the semester to spoil the students with yummy treats or to get them through exams at the end of the semester. One thing I know is that Debbie loves UMW; Upon my arrival she shared all the great things she embraced and experienced since she’s been here. On a personal note: I have never worked with a person that would take the time to pour so much into me like Debbie has done. She made sure, in the onboarding process, to give me the tools and share with me the resources I needed to be successful. She endeavors to keep me on top of things so I can excel in the mission of supporting our students. I can inquire any time I need assistance or have a question because she is so patient and eager to help me. There is so much I would love you to know about our Debbie. Last year Debbie had some health challenges. At that time, she pushed herself to be here for her team, even when she was in pain and really needed to be resting. She didn’t want us to struggle with coverage…we were so concerned about her health and knew she really needed time to mend. She was going through a rough time but she exemplified what it is to persevere no matter what life brings. She brings a smile to work every day and I appreciate her positive attitude and her kind spirit. She deserves without a doubt to be awarded the Larry Atkins Award.
Nomination #7
Debbie is our office manager in the Talley Center, and she is an integral part of running our office. Our clients love her and our staff would be lost without her. She consistently goes above and beyond in her role to support her Talley coworkers and to create a positive experience for our students. Whether it’s spending her own money to fill a waiting room candy bowl & buy office decorations, coming in on her off hours to clean and decorate the office, negotiating donations from community business for mental health outreach, updating our website, or creating a free book/game lending library for our students, Debbie goes far beyond the requirements of her job description to serve this university. Debbie is so incredibly selfless that she even recently put off her own surgery (against the recommendations of the other staff here) to try to arrange to be off at the time least disruptive to our clinical schedule. It is incredibly rare to find such a dedicated and competent employee to fill the office manager role, and we count our lucky stars that she’s willing to be part of our office family. We couldn’t run this office without her!

Kenny Horning
Position: Scene Shop Supervisor
Department: Theatre & Dance

Kenny has the enormous job of supervising the execution and build of scenic designs for UMW Theatre. In addition, he provides support for our lighting and sound shops and works to support faculty and guest artists, as well as to teach our students who work in the scene shop as the lab component of class. Finally, he is responsible for managing our inventory in four different buildings and works tirelessly to be certain that everyone has what they need, when they need it, even if it means transporting equipment and supplies from one building to another. Kenny juggles dozens of competing priorities every day with enormous success and commits himself to being the best colleague he can be to everyone in the department. There is no question that we owe much of our success to Kenny’s commitment and devotion to our work. He goes beyond the call of duty every single day.

Phyllis Johnson
Position: Government Documents Library Specialist
Department: Simpson Library

Phyllis Johnson has worked at Simpson Library for 27 years, beginning in our Access Services Department in 1996 and moving to our Collections Department as our Government Documents Specialist. Phyllis expertly manages the Library’s government documents collection, making sure public government information, at all levels – federal, state and local, is available to everyone. Whether it’s making sure a student has access to multiple years of needed Federal data for an assignment or updating our government information research guide, Phyllis works diligently behind the scenes to ensure everyone gets the information they need.

Phyllis is also a dedicated student supervisor. Our student aides are excited to have the opportunity to work in Phyllis’ area, as she puts energy and passion into their mentoring and training. Phyllis takes an active role in the success of her students. Last year her student assistant was awarded the Library’s top honor, the Ruby Weinbrecht Award, and successfully attained a library position with the prestigious Spokane Symphony right after graduation.

Phyllis’ is an awesome colleague –uplifting her co-workers with her positive approach and willing to help whenever needed. For her dedication to her work, students, and colleagues, I nominate Phyllis Johnson as an outstanding candidate for the 2023 Larry Atkins Award.

Liz Kuvinka
Position: Graphic Designer
Department: University Communications

Liz might be called the unsung hero of detailed design, skilled at swooping in to take an idea through implementation and in the process produce a beautiful publication. In the past year, she designed at least three major publications for the University, beginning with the reputational piece announcing the Carnegie re-classification to the liberal arts and sciences, followed by the stand-alone Class Notes, and ending with the brand-new Year in Review. All three had to be completely conceptualized, designed, and printed on tight timelines, meeting the needs of numerous internal stakeholders and reaching audiences from alumni to peer institutions. She also worked on hundreds of smaller pieces, from stationery and signs, to Reunion pieces and event fliers. Her work is frequently on full display on digital signs across campus or in admissions materials, and she works collaboratively with departments to bring events and programs into eye-catching designs. Her creativity is inspiring, and she is quick to assist colleagues in the smallest design requests for social media or a news release, while also scaling up to multipage publications that will carry the University’s message and legacy to mailboxes and homes.

Kelly Matuczinski, Anna Casana, Iris Garcia
Position:  Nurses
Department: SHC

The nurses at the SHC have been the true frontline workers during this pandemic. They worked most of the pandemic in-person directly with sick students daily. They bravely swabbed sick students’ noses and throat for COVIDS, Strep, and Flu. They are often on the receiving end of sneezing and coughing after swabbing. They had to work collaboratively when there was a nursing staff shortage and run between 2 different locations at Lee Hall and Marshall. They always had a smile and a friendly and sympathetic demeanor. They worked hard to process all the COVID required vaccination information for the entire UMW student population on top of the usual health/immunization information on every incoming student. They managed the majority of the health check-in’s for students in isolation and quarantine. They report all the positive COVID tests to the state as required. They field questions about all things COVID on the phone during this entire pandemic. All of this were additional work they did on top of their normal work at the SHC and they continue to do these today. The nurses at the SHC risk their own health every day to take care of the students here at UMW. They deserve recognition for all their hard work and dedication they have shown. They are the unsung heroes of UMW.

Angela Lynch
Position: Associate Registrar Admin & Enroll
Department: Registrar

Angie makes every day a great day at UMW. She’s detail oriented and uses grace and tact when helping department chairs correct all of their errors with submitted schedules. She’s friendly and professional when emailing students to help them adjust their schedules. She always makes all of us feel supported. She really went above and beyond for my department in 2022-23 when we had to relocate ALL of the courses on our schedule due to construction delays. Angie made the process so smooth! Beyond her pleasant communication style, Angie also stands out because she is lightening quick. When you email her, you feel confident that your question or issue is going to be addressed quickly! I really appreciate Angie’s professionalism and efficiency. She is truly deserving of special recognition for her outstanding service to the university.

Maie Makin
Position:  Parking Management Supervisor
Department:  Parking Management

Maie works tirelessly around the clock with the goal of making sure that both students and faculty and staff have what they need to be successful. Every morning Maie greets me with a smile no matter how crazy of a day lies a head of us. I have seen her compassion and kindness when dealing with individuals that come up to our window whether they are having the worst or best of days. The amount of hats that Maie wears is truly incredible and I admire her immensely as everything always seems to get done. Without her parking on this campus would be absolute madness and I will forever be touched by the incredible women that she is.

Doug Noble
Position: Executive Director of Dodd Auditorium
Department: Events and Conferencing

Doug Noble is an excellent candidate for the Atkins Award because he embodies the sentiment that “we couldn’t do it without you”. Doug is an encourager and a problem solver. He is an essential player in every major event on campus, from PAC shows, to the President’s Holiday Party, to Commencement. Doug shows everyone he works with that they are valued, he always volunteers a helping hand, and has great relationships with students and University Staff. Everyone on campus knows Doug and he greets everyone as a friend with a smile on his face. I believe that he is an excellent candidate for this award, we are lucky he is part of the UMW family.

Leigh Penn
Position: Accounts Payable Manager
Department: Finance

Leigh Penn is absolutely instrumental to the heart of UMW without many ever knowing her or her name. With over 20+ years of service, she continues to smile and graciously ensure financial compliance with taxes, gift logs, prompt payment of Sodexo meals, vendor registration, vendor payments, manages a team (of three), and oversees/manages platforms and the website. The most beautiful attribute is her grace, smile, and humbleness while always making herself available for buyers, staff or distressed employees in need of usually something immediate. Leigh works tirelessly above and beyond her hours and always with the heart of the department in mind. What amazes me is how she smiles through it all and does her job with humility, grace, and an abundance of compassion. She is bright like the sunshine whose warmth is often taken for granted. Please consider recognizing Leigh Penn as she makes our work environment brighter.

Maria Schultz
Position: Assistant Director of Design Services
Department: University Communications

Maria’s work in graphic design and video production frequently keeps her behind the scenes but is worthy of being in the spotlight and recognized for the impact on UMW and for its effectiveness in sharing the stories, spirit and success of so many departments across campus. She goes above and beyond to help teammates, whether it’s conceptualizing a video for Admissions, scheduling alumni and faculty to reconnect on camera, or storyboarding for Advancement initiatives. She led the development and implementation of the Lively Video Series, with nearly 100 minutes of edited video as a result. In that project, she worked directly with students to showcase what matters to them and to build their skills and confidence in video production. She has a keen eye for photo and video and strives to put the best face forward for individuals and the institution. She shows exceptional creativity and delivers work of impeccable quality, all while balancing demanding deadlines and keeping up to date with the latest technology. Her visual expertise has helped UMW establish and elevate our brand, while focusing on people and sharing their work.

Mark Simpkins
Position:  Executive Director of Dodd Auditorium
Department: Events and Conferencing

Mark continually brings efficiency and professionalism to each event that he has a hand in. He has demonstrated his commitment to each event, by ensuring that all AV requirement is ready to go before the start of each event. He leads his team by example and expects each team member to live up to the high quality service that he has established. Mark is a strong supporter of planning events early so clients understand what is expected to make each event successful. Mark is very reluctant to say “No” to last minute requests and has developed an understanding with his clients, that if he says he can not do something, then the Events AV Office can’t do it. He treats all events equally whether it is a student club or the President’s Office making the requests. He also enjoys training and teaching his staff in the best practices of the AV industry. Mark is very dedicated to UMW and will often be available to answer questions even when he is out of state on vacation. Mark is also instrumental in assisting with the the BOV meeting’s live streams and during COVID restrictions, he developed a setting up that allowed the BOV meetings to be held in person. He also can be very creative at the least minute when equipment fails or clients spring last minute requests on him to make sure the event continues without patrons noticing.

Rosemarie Staggs
Position: Office Manager
Department: Psychological Science

As the chair of the department of Psychological Science, I would be lost without Rosemarie. She is constantly reaching out to check in with what I need. She reminds me of deadlines and works collaboratively tasks. She is an absolute godsend when it comes to scheduling. She magically finds a way to accommodate everyone’s needs and fits them in the rooms where they need to go. This is often a huge balancing act as we need to negotiate 12 faculty schedules. She is an outstanding supervisor of our student aids and has really helped new social media student aid to find and promote all of the great things our department does. She is an absolute wiz when it comes to purchasing, keeping track of the budget and helping faculty with travel reimbursements. She has a fantastic can-do attitude when organizing travel and helping faculty do their requests for overnight travel and get reimbursed. Rosemarie has a can do attitude about anything. Whether it is investigating the source of the mysterious beeping noises, getting a work order done to have art work hung, or creating and putting fliers all around Mercer to advertise events, she takes on tasks and gets them done! Rosemarie brings her smiling face to work and shows a real interest in the life and well being of the members of the faculty. She makes our department feel like home.

Sharon Williams
Position: Assistant Registrar for Degree Audit
Department: Office of the Registrar

Sharon joined the University in the Fall of 2016 and immediately became a valued member of the Office of the Registrar. She quickly absorbed our office procedures, starting as a Student Records Specialist at a time of “rebuilding” for my team, and filling the gaps as team members have come and gone ever since. She became involved in the University Staff Council, contributing to bigger conversations about the contributions of staff to our organization. Her integrity, honesty, sincerity, and personality have contributed to an office culture where we all work together and, even in our busiest weeks, Sharon’s positivity lifts our spirits to get us through.  Sharon progressed to her current role as Assistant Registrar for Degree Audit in 2018. She is a problem solver, who takes each student’s circumstances seriously. Though she has a very difficult task to inform students they are missing degree requirements (and thus will not graduate in their desired timeframe), she approaches that work with compassion and helps those students strategize their path to completing their degree. UMW’s graduation rate is higher as a result of Sharon’s guidance–and this is especially impactful for the first-generation students she takes a special interest to help cross the “finish line.”

Sharon is the ultimate team mate, offering assistance to colleagues, always being willing to discuss a challenging case, and going above and beyond to maintain relationships among our team (I think she’s even committed our birthdays to memory!). She embodies the term “extraordinary contributor.

Thank you, Sharon!

A/P Faculty Nominees

Kevin Caffrey
Position:  Senior Associate Registrar
Department: Registrar’s Office

Kevin is always courteous, professional, and helpful. I will email him questions at any time of day and there is always a prompt and helpful response. He makes UMW a better place.

Katie Carnaghi
Position: Assistant Athletic Trainer
Department: Athletics

Katie goes above and beyond for her coworkers and athletes. She is very selfless and always puts others needs in front of her own.

Bethany Druvenga
Position: Head Athletic Trainer
Department: Athletics

Beth Druvenga is a remarkable employee, colleague and leader; but more importantly she is an amazing person. She continues to go above and beyond to the benefit of those around her, specifically the student-athletes and the colleagues she works with. Providing care for 500+ students is not easy task. She is someone you can count on, not only to complete her job with a high level of execution and confidence, but also helps others in working towards the overall goals within UMW Athletics. I cannot think of anyone more deserving for this award then Beth Druvenga.
Nomination #2
Beth Druvenga is a remarkable employee, colleague and leader; but more importantly she is an amazing person. She continues to go above and beyond to the benefit of those around her, specifically the student-athletes and the colleagues she works with. Providing care for 500+ students is not easy task. She is someone you can count on, not only to complete her job with a high level of execution and confidence, but also helps others in working towards the overall goals within UMW Athletics. I cannot think of anyone more deserving for this award then Beth Druvenga.

Angie Kemp
Position: Interim Head of Special Collections & University Archives
Department: Simpson Library

If you have used the scanners in the Library’s Digital Archiving Lab, you most certainly have met Angie Kemp, the Library’s current Interim Head of Special Collections & University Archives. Hired in 2017 as Digital Resources Librarian, Angie’s knowledge and passion for working with students, faculty, and community members in creating digital projects is a core element of the success of the Digital Archiving Lab. Angie’s offered internships in the Lab to students, worked with students and faculty to scan everything from plant specimens for UMW’s online Herbarium to miniature works of art for larger display in the Convergence Gallery all with patience and expertise. Last fall Angie completed a complex migration from content systems, Eagle Explorer and Internet Archive, to the Library’s current digital preservation repository, Preservica. The migration included over 2,000 items as part of the Library’s long-term preservation strategy. It was an achievement to get all of the content and metadata cross-walked accurately, ingested, and ready for researchers to use. Also during the pandemic, Angie embraced the Library’s Call to Contribute initiative and worked diligently to ensure that materials reflecting the impact of COVID-19 on the campus community were collected and preserved. This year Angie has successfully juggled the responsibilities of Interim Head of Special Collections & University Archives while still balancing many of the duties of her former Digital Resources position. Angie has approached this transition with her usual grace and competence. In her 2021 EagleEye staff profile, when asked what her motto was, Angie replied, “Be kind. It’s simple but makes a big difference.” Angie brings kindness and positivity to her work every day and is a deserving nominee for the 2023 Larry Atkins Award for A/P faculty.

Michael Middleton
Position: Assistant Director of Student Activities
Department: SAE

Michael Middleton is the embodiment of everything that the Larry Atkins Award stands for. I had the privilege to work with him when he was a graduate assistant in our office seven years ago, and even as a para-professional, his work ethic, professionalism, and empathy blew me away. Fast forward several years later, and UMW was so lucky to have him return to our campus as the Assistant Director of SAE.

Over the last few years that Michael has worked at UMW as a professional staff member, he has supported countless students through event planning, club management, and their general concerns about school and life. He has been willing to take on additional tasks like becoming a SPCC card holder for our office, has served on many search committees for a number of different departments over the last year and a half, and does everything he can to support our office as well as many campus partners. Michael has a great way of finding the perfect balance of being positive and approachable, while still keeping it real and down-to-earth. I think he not only sets an aspirational example for all UMW employees as a staff member, but an all-around great human being.

Clint Often
Position: Assistant Sports Information Officer
Department: Athletics

 Year after year, Clint goes above and beyond working diligently to represent our student athletes and coaches. He spends countless evenings and weekends often understaffed and always finds a way to maintain a high standard. He is motivated to give our student athletes the best coverage possible when it comes to social media and the upkeep of our athletics home page. He stays involved in all aspects and puts his best foot forward in getting to know the student athletes as well. Clint works tirelessly to ensure that every sport is marketed on game days giving them the best representation when it comes to the sport of their choosing. Without Clint, our student athletes would not have the best Division III experience possible.

Nomination #2

Clint is one of the hardest workers I know. He has dedicated his time to the UMW student athlete experience. He works countless hours and continues to give 100%.


Nomination #3

Clint has served as the Asst. AD for Communications and Sports Information for coming up on 30 years. He has proved to be an integral part of the athletics department, finding and training personnel to do the scorers table for all our sports, providing access to live streaming of events, write ups after competitions, and photography, among so many other duties that go unseen. He is truly a one man band, responsible for the publicity of our 23 teams on his own, while overseeing many UMW students who help him out. The publicity he raises of our athletic teams continues to raise awareness of UMW to the region and nation, enticing students to learn more about what UMW has to offer. He has given UMW students avenues to pursue commentating on sporting events, leading to a better experience on the live stream; as well as giving them opportunities to learn the ins and outs of what it takes to work in a collegiate athletic department. As a behind the scenes member of the athletics department, much of what he does goes unnoticed, he is selfless and humble in what he does and I fully believe that he would be the most deserving person for this award. Thank you.


Nomination #4

I have had the pleasure to know Clint Often for the better part of the last 20 years as both a student-athlete at the University of Mary Washington and as one of his colleagues in the athletic department .

During my time as a student-athlete, I saw only the surface of what Clint did for me and my teammates and our coaches. Each year would start with headshots and biographies for me and the other 500+ student-athletes. He’d assemble nearly 1000 pages of print media guides highlighting the successes, stories, and upcoming seasons of each of the Eagles’ 20+ sports teams. But the real work you’d see was his presence at almost every home sporting event. Running scoreboards, timing systems, announcing and stating countless games, and then writing about each of those events to capture the excitement that has always existed within each of Mary Washington’s athletic programs.

Clint would often be the only other staff member in the building when the swim team would be practicing at the pre-dawn hours, and he’d also be the last person leaving the building after whichever team was finishing its night game. Both of those things are still true.

Clint has poured his blood, sweat, and tears into making the experiences of our student-athletes the best they could be for those students, and for the broader UMW community. Athletics is often on the front porch of an institution like Mary Washington. One of the few departments and areas of the campus that is traveling regionally and nationally on a constant basis to other universities and colleges and showcases what a special place we are with incredible student-athletes. Clint always made sure UMW’s front porch was shining and highlighting how special Mary Washington is.

Having returned to Mary Washington five years ago as the head coach of the swim team, I see even more of what Clint does to continue to provide that first-rate service and experience to our student-athletes, university, and the community. He works Monday-Sunday many weeks during the academic year and sometimes will go weeks at a time without a break in his schedule as fall overlaps with winter seasons, and winter seasons overlap with spring. He works this grueling schedule, but you’d never know it because he always does so with a smile, a positive attitude, and a joke.

Clint Often is synonymous with athletics at Mary Washington and is as much a staple of our department as any of the sports we sponsor. His work is often unnoticed, but never unappreciated by those who see it day in and day out. Anyone who has observed and witnessed the time, energy, effort, and sacrifice he gives to our campus community knows how lucky we are to have Clint Often on our team. If Clint Often isn’t Deserving of the Larry Atkins Staff Award, I don’t know who is. He truly is someone we couldn’t do without, and without him, it couldn’t be done.”


Nomination #5

Clint has served in his role as SID for decades. However, the demands of his role have expanded exponentially with the growth of social media, webcasting, and online marketing. This is in addition to his primary functions of being the single point of contact for external media, managing the website, writing press releases, statistician, PA announcer, archivist, and supervisor to part-time/volunteer/student workers. He must organize and execute these tasks being completed for multiple sports, many times occurring at the same time. His ability to do so is confounding

Clint embodies the attributes of a team player, never finding an excuse, but finding a way to pull off the seemingly impossible. We quite literally could not do it without him.


Nomination #6

Clint is truly an unsung hero for the UMW Athletics offices and does a lot of the behind the scene work for all of the student-athletes at UMW. Clint works countless hours outside of normal work hours without often getting the recognition he truly deserves. When the Fall sports teams made the NCAA tournament, Clint stepped up to offer a tremendous opportunity for these student-athletes to have a memorable experience. Clint goes above and beyond the call to help the department and is truly deserving of this award!


Nomination #7

I am grateful we have someone in the department that spends so much time making sure others have an amazing spotlight. He is incredible at putting into words remarkable stories and bylines about our awesome student-athletes. Many of these tasks are completed long after others are home with family and friends. He basically gives new meaning to “working beyond the call of duty”. No doubt, he deserves the Larry Atkins “We Couldn’t Do It Without You Award”. There’s no way this department could share the information about our student-athletes without Clint.


Nomination #8

Clint is a great coworker and always goes above and beyond for our department. As I am a new employee, Clint has been so helpful to me and I appreciate all he does. Working in sports information is very demanding and he definitely deserves recognition for all that he does for us.


Nomination #9

Clint is a great coworker and always goes above and beyond for our department. As I am a new employee, Clint has been so helpful to me and I appreciate all he does. Working in sports information is very demanding and he definitely deserves recognition for all that he does for us.

Kristina Peck
Position: Director of Clinical Experiences and Partnerships
Department: College of Education

In K12 education, we talk about how teachers wear many hats. Kristina Peck never left the hat-wearing behind when she moved from the high school classroom into higher education. She teaches the graduate seminar, Teaching of Math class, many continuing and professional development courses. She does all of the coordinating for field placements, including coordination with the local school districts for clearances, soliciting district teachers to provide supervision, and she uses expert level Tetris skills to place hundreds of students in practicum placements and internships each semester. Kristina supports and trains our University Supervisors so they can, in turn, coach and support interns and district mentor teachers. Her K12 outreach this year alone has included the organization of field trips for over 450 local school children providing them with STEM exposure and a positive, initial college campus experience. With respect to partnerships, she created and presented professional development for all of Stafford Public Schools Instructional Technology Resource Teachers and continues to provide professional development to our PDS elementary schools. Her work with local schools has helped her secure a Clinical Faculty grant through VDOE that is providing extensive support for teachers in the districts to learn mentoring and co-teaching skills. As an additional part of that grant, Kristina saw a need for and has created a Regional Collaboration for Mentoring group that is working with multiple districts to create common language around mentoring and a free resource bank. Kristina has also taken a heavy leadership role in the COE’s recently awarded VDOE Apprenticeship Planning Grant working closely with the Department of Labor and Industry.

Kristina’s heart is in helping people and in making the future for K12 education a brighter one. She goes above and beyond to help UMW develop well-rounded interns who will go out into the field with an attitude of hope and optimism. COE has a strong, positive presence in the community because of the work of Kristina Peck. She is valued, her work is important, and she should be recognized.

JoAnna Raucci
Position: Associate Director
Department: James Farmer Multicultural Center

When I think of someone who goes above and beyond, the first person that comes to mind is JoAnna Raucci. I think often times her level of commitment to UMW gets overlooked because she does so many things to improve events, initiatives, and the overall student experience. No matter if she is running, assisting with, or just attending events, she never hesitates to help out before needing to be asked. She is always willing to share her creativity and expertise in a multitude of areas to improve the outcome and product we are delivering.

While JoAnna’s work ethic is almost unmatched, she also has an impeccable way of connecting with and supporting students, but also having difficult conversations for the sake of social justice and diversity education. She is also a fantastic public speaker and group facilitator, demonstrating her ability to be in the spotlight and detail-oriented behind the scenes. Her level of dedication to students and the institution sets an example that we should all strive to follow.

Susan Worrell
Position: Executive Director of Events and Conferencing
Department : Events and Conferencing

Susan Worrell helps keep this University running. Susan is a planner, she see the big picture as well as the tiniest of details. Whether she is planning an event at Brompton or in the Dome room they all get her complete attention. Not only does she run the office of Events and Conferencing, you can see her walking around campus making lists of items that need attention. She loves to work with student groups and organization, assisting with the Lottery Dinners at Brompton or teaching our students etiquette at an “Etiquette Dinner”. I have never heard her say “No” to any item she was asked to work on. She can be seen everywhere, she serves on the Cabinet, sits on many search committee’s across campus, assist in finding contractors to repair shutters at Brompton, and can even be seen making sandwiches in the dining hall when power has gone out on campus due to snow storms. Her vast knowledge in the hospitality industry is vital in working with outside groups like SACS or the Governor’s office. Susan works tirelessly often working 10 – 12 hours a day, 50 – 60 hours a week or more. When Susan says she will do something, everyone knows that it will be done on time and with the highest quality that UMW can afford (and sometimes when they can’t). Thank you Susan for your dedication and constant professionalism.

 Coleman Award

Elizabeth Knappenberger
Visitor Services and Museum Shop Manager,
Gari Melchers Home and Studio

Elizabeth K. “Buffy” Knappenberger was initially employed by UMW beginning in 2013 as a guide at the James Monroe Museum and a docent and visitor services attendant at Gari Melchers Home and Studio. She became the GMHS Visitor Services and Museum Shop Manager in 2016. Buffy’s loyalty and dedication to UMW and its museums are evident from the high esteem in which she is held by her coworkers and the diligence with which she carries out myriad duties. Whether it is supervision of staff, management of retail operations, or interacting successfully with internal and external communities, Buffy meets high standards of performance. Buffy readily assists other GMHS staff members as needed, particularly during large-scale public programs. She supervises the Visitor Center assistant manager and attendants, and interacts with the public, in a manner that exemplifies the University’s ASPIRE values. Buffy also oversees the Stafford County Visitor Center, operated under contract by GMHS. In this capacity, she helps thousands of travelers annually discover the County’s historic and natural attractions. Throughout her work with University Museums, Buffy has been an exemplary employee who practices excellent customer service; prudently manages human and financial resources; and, indeed, demonstrates a can-do attitude toward every aspect of her job. She approaches all tasks with logical, detail-oriented plans that consistently result in success.

Kim McManus-Carini
Operations & Finance Coordinator
Ctr for Career and Professional Dev

Kim, a double alum (MWC as an undergrad Business major, and UMW as a MBA) who has worked at UMW for many, many years*, in at least three different offices: Bookstore, Financial Aid and currently in the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD). Her loyalty to UMW is immense–she has built her professional life here, using the foundation she received in her education here, earning not one, but two degrees and sharing her talents with several departments!

*I am not sure when she started, so this is an approximation, but she has absolutely been here far longer than five years.” “Kim joined the CCPD team a few short weeks before Covid 19 moved us online. During that brief time our team immediately got to know her well, thanks to a fortuitously scheduled off-campus retreat that lasted for three days. During those intense, but rewarding, sessions, we quickly realized that Kim was good listener, sensitive and attuned to others as well as a bright, cheerful person to have around.

When we went online, we continued to get to know her via Zoom and Teams, but it has really been in the past year that we’ve seen Kim go above and beyond in terms of her care and concern for her team as well as the student workers she supervises.

She always greets us with a smile, asks how we are doing, and takes the time to get to know the us and our student workers, not only as employees, but as individuals. She works closely with them until they are comfortable with their tasks, but also gives them the room and encouragement to grow. She is kind and caring to all, and takes the time to help or converse with the faculty who work part time in our office as well as with any visitors who come by.” “While Kim’s title is Operations & Finance Coordinator, she actually wears several hats. She does procurement for several departments outside the CCPD, which requires a great amount of time and attention to detail. She has also taken on additional duties within our department in the wake of several staff departures in the past year.

Kim never complains, never procrastinates, but works steadily until she gets her tasks done. She is the epitome of a team player, of a loyal and true UMW graduate/employee, and I hope UMW is lucky enough to have her in our “”family”” for many years to come!”

Brian Ogle
Associate Registrar
Brian serves as the lead data administrator responsible for providing access to and ensuring the integrity of student academic data. What a large task! In my years of experience working in Registrar’s Office functions, Brian’s knowledge of working with the student information systems is unparalleled. He works countless hours behind the scenes without much recognition making him, in my opinion, an unsung hero. Brian’s customer service skills are exemplary. He has become an encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to the student information systems, Degree Works as well as other third- party interface systems. He willingly shares this knowledge within the UMW community and externally with other institutions, particularly Virginia four-years.. Although Brian is responsible for his own daily tasks, he can often be found assisting other coworkers with their tasks. He has a keen ability to communicate effectively with his colleagues, from an administrator’s level to hourly student workers. For example, countless department chairs and program directors have relied on Brian to analyze department enrollment capacities as well as seek solutions to assist their majors with degree completion. In each instance, he has remain consistent, competent and willing to go the distance. Further, staff from other departments across campus has noted that Brian is thorough and provides excellent care and concern. Brian possess the ultimate ‘can do’ attitude while performing all tasks. He completes assignments with a positive energy and smile. His upbeat personality and engaging personal style enables him to interact with students, faculty and staff. Consistently, he’s willing to change directions and focus on what can be done instead of what can’t be done. for example, there has been a multiplicity of changes and upgrades with the student information system coupled with ever changing demands within the institution. Reflecting on these challenges, Brian stays the course and allow his ‘Can’do’ attitude to shine brightly. As his supervisor, I appreciate his quality of work and willingness to go above and beyond his normal responsibilities to bring further success to UMW.

Leigh Penn
Accounts Payable Manager
Accounts Payable

Leigh consistently performs her duties in an excellent manner and goes above and beyond as an effective member of UMW Finance and Accounts Payable. AP has faced a number of unique challenges over the past 2 years, and Leigh successfully led the team through them. While departments and employees around her transitioned to 100% telework, circumstances unique to AP didn’t allow that. Leigh made departmental changes and processing changes to at least allow hybrid telework arrangements while still processing vendor mail and invoices timely and maintaining the Commonwealth’s prompt pay standards and requirements. When Eagle Village was undergoing mold remediation on top of the pandemic issues, Leigh was forced to make additional changes to keep her staff safe and to keep UMW’s vendors paid on time. She temporarily relocated herself and her staff, along with necessary equipment, and continued getting checks in the mail and getting vendors paid on time. “Keeping her team and her co-workers safe and healthy during the pandemic and during the Eagle Village mold remediation project was top priority for Leigh. By alternating their time in-office and by vacating Eagle Village altogether and relocating elsewhere on campus, Leigh was able to mitigate risk.

In addition, Leigh is always helpful and supportive of department buyers. She’s always available to take their call and offers assistance. Leigh is also focused on our vendors, and she realizes the importance of getting them paid timely. She understands that cash flow is very important to the micro and small vendors UMW is required to use, and getting them paid on time is priority.

Leigh is kind, caring and conscientious. She leads with compassion and professionalism.” “In addition to the challenges presented by the pandemic and by the Eagle Village mold remediation project, staffing and budget cuts have been a challenge for Accounts Payable. Leigh collaborated quickly with her supervisor and other Finance staff to make adjustments to work loads and fill the gaps the best way possible. Leigh has also put in a tremendous amount of overtime hours to accomplish AP tasks and ensure important deadlines are met.

In the face of all of the challenges that came her way over the past 2 years, whether pandemic related, mold remediation related, or staffing and budget related, Leigh never gave up. She never said I can’t. She recognized the problems presented and made the adjustments necessary to solve them.


Betsy Southern
COVID care coordinator
Student Life

Betsy has gone above and beyond as the COVID care coordinator the past 2years. Her dedication to the university can be seen in the hours she put into her work as she had to be on call for any positive tests and self report and followed by contact tracing. During re-entry testing this semester, multiple positive results (>25) came back after 5 pm and she had to notify the positives in the evening and move them to isolation spaces. She has no hesitation in taking on more work and that shows her dedication to UMW. She may have started as the COVID care coordinator, she is also the contact tracer and coordinate testing of people exposed and surveillance testing. She has made this job her own. Not afraid to learn new things and juggle multiple hats at the same time. Betsy is one of the most caring person at the university. She is incredibly compassionate in her care of the student in isolation and quarantine. She took them to see the doctor when they are sick. She took them outside for walks any games and brought them Chick-fil-A. She brought them things to do in quarantine like yarns and knitting needles. She goes above and beyond what is expected ; it’s what Jeff McClurken said ‘concierge care’. As mentioned above. Betsy demonstrated a can do attitude. She never says no to anything requested of her. She always finds a way to do what is needed. She has a commonsense attitude that that help make things go more smoothly. She learns new concepts quickly.

Rosemarie Staggs
Office Manager

Rosemarie has shown wonderful dedication to our department, and before that to Economics. She has been exceptionally supportive and helpful to me during my time as chair of this department. She was moved from Economics to our department and we were very lucky to get her. She is always available to answer questions and help out – even on weekends. She will text or email right away if I have a question or need something. She is always willing to go above and beyond and help out and has been such a valuable help as I have transitioned into my role as chair. Rosemarie brings her smiling (masked) face to work and shows a real interest in the life and well being of the members of the faculty. She makes our department feel like home. She is a caring supervisor to our students and student aids and makes them feel as though they are part of the psychology family. She is often checking in on how people are doing and creates a loving and welcoming atmosphere in our department. “She is constantly reaching out to check in with what I need. She reminds me of deadlines and works collaboratively tasks. She is an absolute godsend when it comes to scheduling. She magically finds a way to accommodate everyone’s needs and fits them in the rooms where they need to go. This is often a huge balancing act as we need to negotiate 14 faculty schedules.

She is an absolute wiz when it comes to purchasing, keeping track of the budget and helping faculty with travel reimbursements. She has a fantastic can-do attitude when organizing travel and helping faculty do their requests for overnight travel and get reimbursed.

Rosemarie has a can do attitude about anything. Whether it is investigating the source of the mysterious beeping noises, getting a work order done to have art work hung, or creating and putting fliers all around Mercer to advertise events, she takes on tasks and gets them done!”

Hurley Award

Paul Boger
Head of Reference & Scholarly Communication
Simpson Library

I would like to nominate Paul Boger for the Hurley Commendation Award. 2022 marks Paul’s 15th year of employment at UMW, he has served as the Library Manager at the Stafford Campus Library and now as Head of Reference and Scholarly Communications at Simpson Library. Paul is a dedicated employee, always willing to adapt and lend assistance as needed. He has championed open access and open educational resources through his work at the Library and across the state of Virginia with UMW’s institutional repository, Eagle Scholar, and through the Library’s partnership with VIVA’s Open and Affordable Course Content program. This year Paul’s work with this program contributed to UMW students saving $80,705 on e-textbooks.

Paul has been incredibly flexible and reliable this year, stepping up to support information literacy instruction across various disciplines as the Library stretched to cover areas hit by numerous staff retirements. Paul was a role model for this department and led his staff through the many changes brought by the pandemic year with grace and initiative.

Paul has long been a supporter of the educational mission of UMW and through the years has provided a strong voice and support to his campus colleagues, serving during his tenure on the former Staff Advisory Council (SAC).

Sarah Dewees
Associate Director Center of Community Engagement
Center for Community Engagement

Sarah was hired as the Associate Director of the office of Community Engagement as that office was being built. She infused the office with kindness, energy, enthusiasm and a can-do attitude that has allowed the center to become one of the most vibrant and important centers on campus. Sarah started by helping the center articulate a mission statement and goals. She then worked with student groups, faculty, and community partners to strengthen COAR programming, create opportunities like Alternative Service breaks, and reach out to community partners to assess and meet needs. Sarah built the Community Engagement website and is constantly updating it as she makes connections with community partners that want to work with UMW. She has organized service events on campus such as MLK day of service, Into the Streets, and Good Neighbors Day.
Sarah has gone above and beyond what was expected in this position by working to increase our civic and voter engagement on campus. Sarah has received numerous grants to support interns working as voting ambassadors. This internship program has given students the opportunity to take leadership roles in organizing events such as rides to the polls and voter registration events.

Additionally, Sarah has worked to organizing the Impact Program – a living learning community that will focus on service. She has created the curriculum for a class that students will take, has worked on marketing the impact program to prospective students and is thinking carefully about how to create a meaningful and connected experience for these students when they arrive at UMW.

Sarah does so much more to support the CE office and connect it with other groups on campus (e.g., the James Farmer Center, the honors program, student activities) that it would be impossible to list all of her accomplishments.

Sarah’s has providing a warm and mentoring environment to the students involved in COAR and the CE program in general. She creates events and activities that bring them together and share community. She is always there to listen to their concerns and provides an invaluable form of support for these students. She is enthusiastic and passionate about fostering community connections and creating supportive spaces for our students.

Her strength of character can also be seen in her response to COVID. Many programs and opportunities were disrupted by COVID but Sarah quickly pivoted and worked tirelessly to find alternative opportunities for students. She worked with community partners to find ways students could stay involved while still following health guidelines. This included online activities as well as outdoor and socially distant ones. Her ability to keep the center vibrant throughout the pandemic is a testament to her flexibility and positive attitude.

Sarah’s job is central to the UMW mission. Enhancing service and community engagement is one of the four pillars of UMW. The work she does in the Office of Community engagement is of central importance to UMW. Her dedication to the mission of UMW is evident in the fact that she very much tried to be placed on the strategic planning committee. Unfortunately, she was not placed on the committee and (as a member of the committee) her absence is unfortunate. However, I know she will do what she can to help make this committee a success. As we re-evaluate our strategic plan, it is becoming abundantly clearly that the Office of Community Engagement is absolutely central to the mission of UMW.

Paola Garcia
Staff Therapist
Talley Center

Dr. Garcia is an exceptional advocate for mental health and wellbeing on the UMW campus. While every member of the Talley Center shows dedicated service to the students in our care, Dr. Garcia goes out of her way to broaden the impact of the Talley Center. For instance, in her first year on campus she organized a cookie giveaway for finals week where students could get home baked goods from the Talley Center along with an encouraging note. At the start of the 2021 school year, she created 12 ft displays of post it notes with motivating quotes for student to take as they returned to campus. For finals in Fall 2021, she went to local businesses and got donuts and cookies donated for students to receive as a pick-me-up. She also spearheaded custom printed lapel ribbons for Suicide Prevention day. Dr. Garcia is wholly dedicated to normalizing mental health care at UMW and her outreach efforts are worthy of commendation. As if these professional accomplishments aren’t enough to receive recognition, she is accomplishing all of these collateral achievements as a new mother with a baby at home. I am proud to work with Dr. Garcia and consider her to be an exemplar of the UMW mission.

I consider strength of character to be defined as how people make the welfare of others a key concern, doing what is necessary to improve the lives of others. Dr. Garcia has demonstrated her character through creative and engaging outreach activities across the UMW campus. She has shouldered the burden or normalizing mental health care at UMW and excels in her outreach programs. Complementing this unrelenting drive to make mental health care accessible and destigmatized, she does so as a native Spanish speaker and a new mother. Dr. Garcia is a model of how strong character is a steadfast agent for positive change in a community.

With UMW’s focus on mattering through the You Matter campaign, Dr. Garcia has made it a mission to center the Talley Center’s outreach on this theme. Her outreach activities are focused on mental health engagement at any level. The bar for receiving a donut, cookie, or post it is simply to come to the Talley Center and say hi. Her programs have helped students know where we are located, made it unremarkable to come through our door, and given the staff a chance to connect with students who might not otherwise come to Lee Hall. Dr. Garcia promotes the message of You Matter by giving students a reason to come to the Talley Center so that they can get a sense of the resources that are available to help them succeed. In a world where mental health is a focus of development and progress, Dr. Garcia is committed to making sure that students have every resource available to understand the extent to which they Matter.

Angie Kemp
Interim Head of Special Collections and University Archives
Simpson Library

Angie continuously steps up to every task placed before her. She has lent her vast expertise and thoughtful professionalism to countless committees, and has performed as a critical collaborator for many faculty and community members in their digital assignments and projects. Angie is a compassionate leader as well, and has transitioned into the role of Interim Head of Special Collections and University Archives seamlessly. She manages staff and students with equal respect and can be counted on to always exceed expectations in any role.

Angie is exceptionally kind, thoughtful, and respectful. She treats every member of our campus community with equal dignity and sets a wonderful example for the students she works with. Angie always acts with the utmost integrity, always seeking answers to questions that foreground the best interests of everyone involved.

Angie is so dedicated to the students. She is generous with her time and expertise, almost to a fault, to make sure that others succeed. Her work with digital scholarship helps advance students’ knowledge of new ways they can participate in scholarly discourse in their field. And as mentioned above, she respects all the members of our campus community equally and always acts with honor and integrity.

Kristina Peck
Associate Dean of Clinical Experiences and Partnerships
College of Education

Nomination #1

Kristina Peck’s official title is the Associate Dean of Clinical Experiences and Partnerships. However, I like to think of her job title as “ask Kristina.” Whenever a question comes up during any work conversation between faculty, students, community partners, the answer is always “ask Kristina.” When are internship applications due? Ask Kristina. How do we turn off the door alarm? Ask Kristina. When is Stafford’s spring break? Ask Kristina. How do I turn on the docucam in the classroom? Ask Kristina. All joking aside, Kristina deserves honor and high esteem for the work she does above and beyond her job description. For example, I do not think that Kristina’s job title included “Seacobeck Moving Coordinator” or “Construction Manager”, but in addition to her actual job title, Kristina has orchestrated a seamless move of the college of education. She is on first name basis with all the construction managers and workers. She goes above and beyond directing clinical experiences. She serves on committees, organizes meetings, supports faculty, students, the dean, and the associate dean. I truly wish that I could list all the service that Mrs. Peck is involved in, but I’m sure I don’t even know a third of it and she isn’t one to ask for accolades.

Kristina’s character can best be described as strong. She provides service to the COE, the university, and the community, but she does so without hesitation. I have never seen Kristina cut any corners or plan based on what would be easiest. She is always thinking about what is in the best interest of our students, faculty, and community partners. Her strong work ethic makes her trustworthy. She has built this trust by being honest, fair, and compassionate.

“I cannot think of anyone that exemplifies the University’s Mission more than Kristina. She not only is rigorous in al that she does, but she provides the support and encouragement that students and faculty need to also maintain rigorous standards. For example, in addition to her administrative roles, Kristina also teaches courses. In her technology course, she provides up to date instruction, but also motivates students to set rigorous goals for themselves. She also set’s rigorous goals for herself. In addition to helping students navigate their own research, Kristina is currently involved in several ongoing research projects and publications with faculty.

It is no secret that Mrs. Peck is passionate, and her opinion is often shared. The difference in her opinion and others is that is based on knowledge and motivated by what is in the best interest of all stakeholders. She is the voice of students, faculty, schools, and the community.

Mrs. Peck also is dedicated to a community-oriented mission. As the clinical director, she is always the community point of contact, but she also serves other roles. Kristina has consistently worked with the soccer team to provide coaching on and off the field. She also has organized programs for high school students in the Teacher’s for Tomorrow program to come and visit UMW.

Nomination #2

Kristina has went above and beyond over the last year in facilitating clinical experiences in a constantly shifting school climate environment due to the global pandemic. She has also went above and beyond in taking on additional tasks within the COE as new developments have occurred within the college, which has included coordinating the move of COE from Farmer Hall to Seacobeck Hall. Additionally, she is also active with faculty members in developing programming and experiences that are key to fulfilling the mission of the University within the local school systems.

Kristina demonstrates strength of character in each encounter she makes. As the outreach face of COE, Kristina has facilitated meaningful school partnerships and connected members of COE to needs in the community. In this role she has demonstrated compassion, care, meaningful partnerships, and a focus on equity within programs and local schools.

Kristina consistently demonstrates a strong commitment to the three pillars of UMW’s mission statement. Most notably her commitment to both passion and community orientation are shining components of her repertoires. This has been demonstrated in her work to facilitate school partnerships in the face of the global pandemic. In this work she has worked tirelessly to develop protocols and procedures to facilitate both virtual and in-person field experiences for our students, which has in turn furthered the COE’s community orientation efforts. I personally can not commend Kristina enough for her exemplary display of the University mission in action.

Nomination #3

Kristina successfully navigated Covid and clinical partnerships, keeping our students in their practicum and internship placements. In addition, she strengthened relationships with local school districts by meeting the teacher shortage through paid internships. It should be noted that Kristina was a key leader in organizing our move to Seacobeck.

Kristina is hardworking and dedicated to our College of Education success. She is resourceful and innovative when thinking about how to meet the needs of our students. She successfully navigates relationships with local school districts because she is well respected and knowledgeable.

Kristina fosters students’ independence by creating opportunities for student success through paid partnerships and mentorship. She not only facilitates immersion in local, regional, and national educational communities, but she creates these opportunities and insists upon integrity from our future teachers.

Justin Wilkes
Director of Student Transition Program
Student Transition Program (STP)

Justin Wilkes performs his job at an exemplary level making him an excellent nominee for the Richard V and Rosemary A. Hurley Commendation. In his role as Director of the Student Transition Program, he demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to the UMW community. Frequently, he takes it upon himself to provide exceptional support and service to faculty, student and staff. Mr. Wilkes has proven to be an excellent ambassador for the Student Transition Program and well respected advisor for the students who participates. He is exceedingly adept at what is perhaps the most challenging aspect of his role – knowing the right moments to step in and provide students guidance and direction. He discerns quickly the individual needs of students and moves efficiently to provide key information, insights, recommendations and/or direction. He continues to reach students in academic jeopardy with simple, yet profound instincts and empathy coupled with professionalism. Further, his rapport with faculty is to be acknowledged. Mr. Wilkes has worked countless hours enlisting allies for the program. He doesn’t work or serve for awards or accolades, but simply to inspire and impact all those he encounters.

Though Mr. Wilkes serves as the Director of the Student Transition Program, he somehow finds time to provide leadership to the University Staff Council. During his tenure as President of USC, I have observed his commitment to support the goals, objectives and mission of the university. He hears issues of concerns from staff and ensures those issues and concerns are known and addressed. Though no one likes to hear complaints, Justin has created an environment that has built trust and loyalty with staff. As an emotionally intelligent leader, he places a higher value on listening rather than talking. He gives the most to USC in return he has receive the most from those he works alongside.

As the impact of COVID-19 intensified, Justin helped managed staff concerns and communicated effectively what appeared to be a challenging and uncertain times. He continuously checked the emotional landscape of University employees, remained transparent and navigated many uncomfortable conversations with the administrations. As a result, many practices and policies has changed in favored of employees. I applaud his efforts in leading USC during the COVID-19 pandemic – What an asset to the UMW Community.

Susan Worrell
Special Assistant to the President/Interim VP for Advancement
Office of the President

Susan Worrell works tirelessly to serve UMW. Leading both the Advancement and Events and Conferencing Departments she is truly committed to the mission of the University, its employees, and its students.

Susan leads by example she encourages her employees to see their full potential and shows them how to become leaders in their own right. Susan cares deeply for her employees, and is committed to them at work and outside of work. Throughout the pandemic she has worked to stay connected with each of her employees and strengthened her team at a time where many became more disconnected.

Susan’s dedication to the University’s mission is unparalleled, she has served in several roles over the past 16 years and in each one she has viewed her work as supporting the mission and vision of the University. Leading the Events and Conferencing Department, Susan puts together events that serve the students and the staff. Time and care are put into each event, from dinners at Brompton to Commencement because each of those events serves and advances the mission of the University. Leading the Advancement Department, Susan has fostered a spirit of teamwork and a renewal of commitment to funding the mission of the University. While working to advance the mission of the University for students, it is easy to see that she treats her role as a leader of staff the same way. As we work to foster students’ intellectual and creative independence, Susan works to foster her staff’s intellectual and creative independence, knowing that this is the mark of a true leader.