May 30-June 12, 2003
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Outstanding in their fields

Years of service

Davis is new Faculty Senate chairman, Childress next in line
Surgical system uses ‘bits and bytes’ to reduce trauma
Board of Visitors meetings
Reverie and reality: photographs by Rodney Smith
Career workshops for employees
Film society to show Kurosawa classics

Outstanding in their fields

Each year, U.Va. honors employees for their dedication, exemplary service and ambassadorship. This year’s Outstanding Contribution Award-winners are no exception. The 11 staff members profiled don’t just do their jobs well, they bring compassion and warmth to their work, creating networks that encompass the larger community as well as the U.Va. family. One of U.Va.’s winners this year, Mary Ferrate, was also selected to receive a Governor’s Award for Customer Service. She was recognized May 7 along with several other employees from across the state in Richmond.

Mary Ferrate

Helping BIS students achieve success

U.Va. award-winner Mary Ferrate also was one of six employees statewide to receive a Governor’s Award for Public Service.
Andrew Shurtleff
U.Va. award-winner Mary Ferrate also was one of six employees statewide to receive a Governor’s Award for Public Service.

Four years ago, the University established the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Program, a degree program for adult learners. In the years since, enrollment has grown sevenfold, with nearly 130 students signed up.

Behind that success is a staff of just four people. Fortunately, one of them is Mary Ferrate. In addition to receiving a University Outstanding Contribution Award, she received a Governor’s Award for Public Service earlier this month, one of six state employees chosen from more than 220 nominees.

Ferrate’s official title is student services coordinator, but her actual duties seemingly know no bounds.

“With a staff as small as ours, there is no room for someone to contribute less than 100 percent,” wrote Kathryn Buzzoni, the program’s director of admissions. “Mary consistently gives 150 percent and is willing to go beyond the strict definition of her job to support the overall mission of our program.” Thus, you might find her taking photos, stuffing newspaper boxes with notices or even answering students’ e-mails while vacationing out of the country.

Still, it is in her chief role — attending to the many varied needs of BIS enrollees, including managing their academic advising, tracking their progress and overseeing the marketing plan and budget — that the 15-year veteran of the University shines.

Having returned to school herself to earn a master’s degree in counselor education from the Curry School — as a single mother, no less — “Mary personally understands many of the challenges facing our adult students and is equipped with the patience, wisdom and empathy to assist them on this academic journey,” Buzzoni said.

BIS director Donna Plasket concurs. “Mary has become identified with the program’s reputation for excellence in student services. She sets the tone with her genuine warmth, sensitivity and unusual knack for connecting with people, and she sets the standards with her unalterable focus on each student’s success.”

– By Dan Heuchert

Leslie BaruchLeslie Baruch

Helps patients lead full lives

Leslie Baruch is not one to stand back and let someone else do the heavy lifting.

For the past 16 years a senior occupational therapist at the U.Va. Health System, Baruch works chiefly with burn patients to help them gain maximum independence in self-care, work, leisure and other daily activities. But her activities hardly end there.

She has coordinated the occupational therapy student program, training new generations of care-givers. For five years beginning in 1996, she was the Health System’s lead occupational therapy professional, representing all of her colleagues during a time of institutional change and transition. She still chairs the Occupational Therapy Professional Practice Committee and has been president of the Blue Ridge Occupational Therapy Association.

Her crowning achievement, however, has been as co-founder and volunteer director of the Central Virginia Burn Camp, a role for which she was recognized with Charlottesville’s 2003 Thomas Jefferson Award for Community Service. With support from the Virginia Professional Firefighters Association, the camp, held each summer at Camp Holiday Trails, offers burned children ages 7 to 17 the chance to have a normal summer camp experience without the attention that burn scars can attract. Occupational therapy students serve as camp staff.

“She and the volunteers provided a venue for the children to have great fun and also realize they are not alone,” noted James M. Darin, interim administrator of therapy and musculoskeletal services. “Many of these children and their families have developed a support network to sustain them.”

– Dan Heuchert

Doug DeMuth

Always there when needed

Doug DeMuthCo-workers in the University Housing Division characterize Doug DeMuth, 55, of Buckingham as a hard-working team player who tries to help U.Va. families feel at home.

Currently on active duty as a Command Sgt. Major with the Army Reserve, DeMuth works as a lead maintenance worker at Copeley I and II and University Garden apartments, providing service for 322 apartments housing 891 residents from 30 countries.

“I’m happy and humbled,” he said. DeMuth also was named the division’s employee of the year last year.

DeMuth joined the Housing Division in 1984 as a fill-in mechanic, and since then has become a licensed electrician and skilled plumber.

He was cited for his innovation of wiring both 220 volt and 110 volt electric sockets in one outlet box to accommodate air conditioners, thereby saving time and money replacing outlets.

DeMuth was also cited for his interest in the people he serves.

“He knows a lot of the residents and often from which country the family comes,” said James A. Williams, an office services specialist for the Housing Division. “He has even learned a lot of words and phrases in other languages from his dealings with the people.”

DeMuth converses with foreign visitors and tries to remember who is from where, so he can refer families from the same country to each other.

“It helps me with the military side, because I have to deal with people from different walks of life,” he said.

– Matt Kelly

Diana L. Dudley

Dedicated to her community and its care

Diana L. Dudley“Compassionate,” “caring,” “competent,” “role model” and “problem-solver” are some of the words that describe Diana L. Dudley, a licensed practical nurse at the Children’s Medical Center’s pediatric office in Orange.

“Diana is often the ‘glue’ that holds the clinic together some days,” wrote Rachael B. Holmes, who nominated Dudley for the award and is patient care services manager for pediatrics at the Children’s Medical Center.

Patient satisfaction motivates all that Dudley does, from improving office operations and investigating new medical techniques to linking patients and their families with resources, agencies and programs in the community.

“She cares about each and every individual patient and their families,” wrote Dr. Diane E. Pappas, head of the Orange clinic.

Dudley’s service to the community reaches beyond the office. A dedicated patient advocate, she spearheaded outreach education programs in the Orange community in addition to in-school and preschool programs to promote health care.

“Diana knows her community and they know her,” wrote Susan Boston, a registered nurse who works closely with Dudley.

“Diana voluntarily takes on the most complex patient situations often in need of multiple social and resource needs,” Holmes said.

“She is dedicated to improving the health of those in her community like a ‘calling.’ She turned down a job offer with better pay and less scheduled work hours stating she felt she ‘belonged’ in her community and her work was not yet done.”

– Jane Ford

Joyce Dunn

An important member of University family

Joyce Dunn“Joyce Dunn has been teased about being hired by Thomas Jefferson himself,” said Terry Butler, assistant director of accounts payable. Dunn has worked in Procurement Services, which includes accounting, for some 40 years. She is credited with mentoring scores of employees and for championing changes that improve the University’s customer service internally and with the outside community.

“Joyce has always been a driving force, but with the implementation of the new Oracle systems, she was able to lead the way for problem-solving techniques,” Butler said in endorsing Dunn, a customer service representative, for the Outstanding Contribution Award.

In fact, it was one of her customers who nominated Dunn for the award — Donna Hearn, assistant chairwoman of the psychology department.

“She has fostered a better understanding of procurement and procurement relations within the University community as well as the vendor community. ... She is a valued colleague whose often invisible hand provides support for departments and individuals on a daily basis,” Hearn wrote in her nomination letter.

Dunn has guided or helped most U.Va. employees who have to learn the process of buying supplies for their departments and paying the bills, said Eric Denby, director of procurement services.

“Her knowledge is unsurpassed, and the care provided to the vendor, faculty, staff and student community is extraordinary,” Denby said. She treats people at the University as her extended family, and they think of her “as a close friend, peer, mother or sister.”

– Anne Bromley

Terry LucasTerry Lucas

Inspires others to follow in her footsteps

During a winter snowstorm this year, registered nurse Terry Lucas stayed on duty from a Friday evening until the following Tuesday morning. This is one of many reasons Lucas, the patient care services manager for a 37-bed general pediatric unit, is known for her extraordinary dedication to patients and their families.

But she’s also known to her staff as a leader, a mentor and an inspiration, as someone who readily offers her experience to both new nurses, as well as to other managers.

“Astute communication and wise leadership inform her clinical practice as a manager,” said Marilu Dixon, an advance practice nurse in the Children’s Medical Center who nominated Lucas for the Outstanding Contribution Award. “She combines a down-to-earth sensibility with intellectual curiosity that is infectious and has created an environment of well-being and healing for employees, patients and families alike.”

In her position, which she has held for seven years, Lucas hires staff, balances her unit’s budget, carries out nursing duties and serves on various committees. She also has been president of the Professional Nursing Staff Organization.

She creates a learning environment that has inspired 14 of her nurses to complete their graduate nursing studies, Dixon said. She helped a patient care assistant obtain a nursing scholarship at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Several other patient care assistants and health unit coordinators have decided to pursue careers as nurses because of Lucas’s leadership.

– Fariss Samarrai

William MassieWilliam “Billy” Massie

Makes compassion part of every emergency

Whether it’s saving lives or putting people at ease, William “Billy” Massie makes an impression.

“Billy made a wonderful and lifelong impression on me while doing an [emergency department] rotation for my shock trauma class,” wrote one area rescue squad member. “Billy was more than helpful offering not only to assist us with new skills but in making us feel part of the whole ED scene.”

Massie, a longtime member of the Nelson County Rescue Squad in addition to being a patient care technician in the Health System’s Department of Emergency Medicine, is sought out by patients and physicians alike for his friendly, trustworthy manner and his skills.

“Patients remember his intravenous skills and request him after others have been unsuccessful. A surgical resident expressed his gratitude to Billy for the only IV that sustained a patient during an emergency surgery despite their efforts to establish additional support,” wrote Trauma Center Manager Kathy Butler in recommending Massie for an Outstanding Contribution Award.

Barbara A. Craighead, manager of the department, added, “He handles emergencies effectively and has that ‘sixth’ sense of predictability and preparedness.”

Since coming to the department seven years ago, Massie has dealt effectively with the most trying situations, such as when the son of some friends lost a leg in a motorcycle accident. Through it all, he has built a reputation as a consummate professional with a knack for niceness.

“I try to treat my patients as if they are one of my family members,” he wrote.

– Lee Graves

Darlene MooreDarlene Moore

From hiring to retiring, she helps at Wise

Darlene Moore is the person new faculty at the University’s College at Wise turn to for help in navigating unfamiliar waters.

As the office manager for the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor, she is also a constant source of advice and information for veteran faculty.

“We tell new candidates that Darlene is one of the most important people at the College,” Amelia Harris, dean of the faculty and associate provost, wrote in a letter supporting Moore’s nomination for the Outstanding Contribution Award.

“She is the person who facilitates their hiring, their retiring and all the business in between concerning their employ at the College, and she does everything with a smile,” Harris wrote.

Moore was nominated for the Outstanding Contribution Award by her supervisor, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor J. David Smith, who noted her kindness and caring as well as her outstanding service.

Moore’s former supervisor, George E. Culbertson, who retired from the provost post last spring, said, “Darlene has been an excellent employee from the time she first joined the College family [in 1982] and her performance has never been limited by her position description. She assumes new challenges and responsibilities and contributes significantly to the success of her office and her College.”

Moore served as his executive assistant for 15 years. She said she was “very honored and very touched” to be recognized. As for her job philosophy, it’s simple: “We are a people environment and I treat people as I would want to be treated,” Moore said.

– Jane Meade-Dean

Peggy Reed

She shines at organizing conferences

Peggy ReedPeggy Reed’s job title — project support technician — doesn’t begin to describe the contribution she makes to the School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Department of Computer Science.

“Since Peggy Reed started service in the Computer Science Department in 1998, she has consistently handled functions above and beyond her job description and responsibility,” said Anita K. Jones, an engineer professor and Reed’s supervisor.

n nominating Reed for an Outstanding Contribution Award, Jones noted that Reed takes the initiative to do what needs to be done, rather than waiting to be asked.

eed has made the Department of Computer Science a more efficient and more pleasant place, said Kevin Skadron, assistant professor, and Jack W. Davidson, professor of computer science, writing in support of Reed’s nomination.

Reed calmly and capably handles a stream of routine duties. But it’s in conference organizing that she becomes a force of nature.

Reed took the lead in organizing a major conference in processor architecture and compilers, which was held in Charlottesville last September. “Peggy’s contributions were extraordinary,” Skadron and Davidson wrote. “In fact, a number of conference attendees told us that the arrangements were among the best they have ever experienced.”

Jorg Liebeherr, associate professor and faculty fellow, is likewise grateful for Reed’s help in organizing two conferences for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

“The success of these workshops has contributed to my professional reputation among colleagues,” Liebeherr said. “In reality, the credit that I receive is due to Peggy’s work.”

– Charlotte Crystal

Nicole Vaughan

Helps regional hospitals, as well as U.Va.

Nicole VaughanAs the main staff member who coordinates X-ray interpretations by U.Va. radiologists, Nicole Vaughan deals with some 74,000 studies a year. Most of it is sensitive medical information that must be transmitted accurately and quickly, sometimes to faraway places. And many of the requests she gets are urgent.

She works daily with clients from 24 different hospitals around the region as well as U.Va. “She has a BIG job,” said Karen Barden, the radiology department’s director of external affairs. “How she maintains her cool and composure under so much pressure is beyond me.”

Not only does she keep her cool, she also goes out of her way to help people. An administrator at Bath County Community Hospital said his staff told him “they didn’t know how they would get along without Nicole to help answer their questions, solve problems and make sure things go smoothly and efficiently. She is always pleasant and gets the job done.”

Vaughan began work in the radiology department as a transcriptionist. “Within six months, most physicians knew her phone number, because they knew she was the one who could fix any problem with transcriptions any time, no matter how big or small,” said Greg Stricklan, the department’s administrative director.

When the department expanded its work to include radiology services to regional hospitals, he said, “Our first and only choice to manage this endeavor was Nicole Vaughan.”

– Robert Brickhouse

Cindy Westley

Devoted to dying patients and their families

Cindy WestleyCindy Westley comes to work with a mission.

“Cindy’s mission in life is to ensure that dying patients are respected and treated with dignity, regardless of their plan of action,” said Abraham Segres, director of risk management for the Health System. Westley, a nurse practitioner, “comes to work for the cause of supporting dying patients,” Segres said.

In nominating her for an Outstanding Contribution Award, Westley’s supervisor, Leah Wacksman, wrote: “Cindy is simply amazing in her daily level of energy and enthusiasm. She is always upbeat, and although the work is often frustrating and incredibly time-consuming, she never demonstrates impatience or a lack of respect for others and their opinions.”

Westley was hired in 1998 to establish the management care program for seniors enrolled in the U.Va. Medicare managed-care program, MediChoice. Although services ended shortly thereafter, Westley continued to communicate with seniors to ensure smooth transitions to other programs. She is now community care manager in the Medicine Service Center.

Demonstrating what many believe is the epitome of dignified treatment for dying patients, Westley “almost single-handedly” tackled the completion of a process to detail individuals’ wishes for end-of-life care.

Dr. Mohan Nadkarni, director of University Medical Associates, wrote: “Cindy is an excellent clinical nurse practitioner. ... She serves as an exemplary role model for trainees in multiple medical disciplines. She goes above and beyond the call of duty, to create, initiate and implement multidisciplinary programs.”

– Katherine Thompson Jackson



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