Approximately 200 staff employees work at and support the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.
Each month, a deserving staff member is recognized for their exemplary job performance. As part of the honor, the selected employee receives eight hours of annual leave, a personalized front-row parking spot at the college for the month, and a certificate of recognition from Dean Cyril Clarke.
Individuals are peer-nominated and may only receive the recognition once per academic year. Faculty, staff and students can nominate a staff member by sending a completed nomination form to Rebekah Woodyard.
To see winners from years prior to 2017, visit our archive of past winners →
Administrative and Office Specialist
Veterinary Teaching Hospital
Hope House, who is originally from Ohio, moved to Blacksburg from Virginia Beach in 2013, and later worked in the accounting department at the Inn at Virginia Tech. When she joined the veterinary college a little over a year ago, House made an instant impression on her coworkers with her constant cheery disposition. “Hope is extremely friendly and is always in a good mood,” one nominator said, and can always count on House to “brighten my mood” when it has been a long day.
Her caring, upbeat nature is also infectious and demonstrates genuine compassion for those around her. Because of this, another nominator said that House “should be recognized for her enthusiastic and positive attitude that makes our day better.” When she is not working at the veterinary college, she stays busy taking care of her two sons, ages 6 and 8, two dogs, and three cats.
Director of Human Resources
Lynett Cruise is an exemplary leader of the human resources team. Cruise, who has been with the veterinary college for nearly sixteen years, is always extremely helpful and friendly, and willing to assist others when they are in need. In addition, her nominator described how Cruise is “very educated in her field and always knows the right thing to say.”
Last fall, Cruise also earned an Ally certificate through the University Organizational and Professional Development’s Diversity Development Institute, demonstrating her commitment to diversity and inclusion practices at the veterinary college. Overall, Cruise is an “asset to the team here at the vet school,” her nominator explained.
Large Animal Clinical Sciences
Kayla Williams served as a surgery technician in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital's surgery section for three years before becoming a large animal veterinary technician last month. During that time, she has been a helping hand to students, house officers, faculty, and staff.
"She has led our section with excellent patient care and tremendous technical skills," her nominator wrote. "These skills have allowed tasks to get accomplished efficiently but have also allowed moments of teaching and clarity to students exceling in day one competencies."
Her nominator added that Williams has gone "above and beyond her daily routine" by adapting new technical skills, such as serum preparation for infection into canine patients, and helping to coordinate clinical trials within the surgery section. A multi-tasker, Williams has served both soft tissue and orthopedic patients. "Kayla practices hospital protocol with biosecurity measures and maintains professional manner in all of her duties," her nominator wrote. "She serves as a leader within the surgery ward and we appreciate her kindness through it all."
Large Animal Clinical Sciences
Since joining the veterinary college 18 years ago, Ruth Meade has demonstrated consistent excellence at the veterinary college. One nominator described how Ruth “is always willing to come in at a minute’s notice to help with whatever problem or project we may have. She demonstrates the true meaning of the word team player.” Another nominator described how Ruth also “goes above and beyond not only for her department but helping others.”
When the Department of Population Health Sciences hired several new staff members, Ruth worked well beyond her normal hours and workload to assist with training and share her knowledge. A third nominator described how Ruth “was extremely patient, always smiled, and was very effective in helping” the new hires. The nominator continued, “her help is appreciated by all of us in Population Health Sciences” and that she “exceeds all expectations.”