Outstanding in their fields
Each year, U.Va. honors employees for their dedication, exemplary
service and ambassadorship. This years Outstanding Contribution
Award-winners are no exception. The 11 staff members profiled
dont 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 Governors
Award for Customer Service. She was recognized May 7 along with
several other employees from across the state in Richmond.
BIS students achieve success
award-winner Mary Ferrate also was one of six employees statewide
to receive a Governors Award for Public Service.
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
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 Governors
Award for Public Service earlier this month, one of six state
employees chosen from more than 220 nominees.
official title is student services coordinator, but her actual
duties seemingly know no bounds.
a staff as small as ours, there is no room for someone to contribute
less than 100 percent, wrote Kathryn Buzzoni, the programs
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.
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.
returned to school herself to earn a masters 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
director Donna Plasket concurs. Mary has become identified
with the programs 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 students success.
By Dan Heuchert
patients lead full lives
Baruch is not one to stand back and let someone else do the heavy
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.
has coordinated the occupational therapy student program, training
new generations of care-givers. For five years beginning in 1996,
she was the Health Systems 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.
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 Charlottesvilles 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
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.
there when needed
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.
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.
happy and humbled, he said. DeMuth also was named the divisions
employee of the year last year.
joined the Housing Division in 1984 as a fill-in mechanic, and
since then has become a licensed electrician and skilled plumber.
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.
was also cited for his interest in the people he serves.
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.
converses with foreign visitors and tries to remember who is from
where, so he can refer families from the same country to each
helps me with the military side, because I have to deal with people
from different walks of life, he said.
to her community and its care
caring, competent, role model
and problem-solver are some of the words that describe
Diana L. Dudley, a licensed practical nurse at the Childrens
Medical Centers pediatric office in Orange.
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 Childrens Medical Center.
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.
cares about each and every individual patient and their families,
wrote Dr. Diane E. Pappas, head of the Orange clinic.
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.
knows her community and they know her, wrote Susan Boston,
a registered nurse who works closely with Dudley.
voluntarily takes on the most complex patient situations often
in need of multiple social and resource needs, Holmes said.
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.
important member of University family
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 Universitys
customer service internally and with the outside community.
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.
fact, it was one of her customers who nominated Dunn for the award
Donna Hearn, assistant chairwoman of the psychology department.
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.
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.
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
others to follow in her footsteps
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.
shes 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.
communication and wise leadership inform her clinical practice
as a manager, said Marilu Dixon, an advance practice nurse
in the Childrens 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.
her position, which she has held for seven years, Lucas hires
staff, balances her units budget, carries out nursing duties
and serves on various committees. She also has been president
of the Professional Nursing Staff Organization.
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 Lucass leadership.
compassion part of every emergency
its saving lives or putting people at ease, William Billy
Massie makes an impression.
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.
a longtime member of the Nelson County Rescue Squad in addition
to being a patient care technician in the Health Systems
Department of Emergency Medicine, is sought out by patients and
physicians alike for his friendly, trustworthy manner and his
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.
A. Craighead, manager of the department, added, He handles
emergencies effectively and has that sixth sense of
predictability and preparedness.
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
try to treat my patients as if they are one of my family members,
hiring to retiring, she helps at Wise
Moore is the person new faculty at the Universitys College
at Wise turn to for help in navigating unfamiliar waters.
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.
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 Moores
nomination for the Outstanding Contribution Award.
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.
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.
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
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, its simple: We are a people
environment and I treat people as I would want to be treated,
shines at organizing conferences
Reeds job title project support technician
doesnt begin to describe the contribution she makes to the
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Department of
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 Reeds supervisor.
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.
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 Reeds nomination.
calmly and capably handles a stream of routine duties. But its
in conference organizing that she becomes a force of nature.
took the lead in organizing a major conference in processor architecture
and compilers, which was held in Charlottesville last September.
Peggys 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
Liebeherr, associate professor and faculty fellow, is likewise
grateful for Reeds help in organizing two conferences for
the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
success of these workshops has contributed to my professional
reputation among colleagues, Liebeherr said. In reality,
the credit that I receive is due to Peggys work.
regional hospitals, as well as U.Va.
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.
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 departments director of external affairs.
How she maintains her cool and composure under so much pressure
is beyond me.
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 didnt 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.
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 departments administrative director.
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.
to dying patients and their families
Westley comes to work with a mission.
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.
nominating her for an Outstanding Contribution Award, Westleys
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.
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
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
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