Staff Member of the Month

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 Interim Dean Greg Daniel.

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 →

Interim Dean Daniel presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Kelvin Mitchell

December 2018

Teresa Williams

VTH Assistant Systems Analyst
Information Systems

Teresa has created and implemented a project plan to migrate the Central Sterile Supply department of the VTH into VISION. This project will help capture true surgery costs for the hospital and give the Business office a reliable auditing tool to make sure that charges passed on to the clients is accurate as well as make sure we are covering VTH overhead resulting in streamlined cost recovery.

Since becoming a business analyst, Teresa has identified and cleaned up bad data in our client and patient data fields. This makes for cleaner data for research, billing and advancement demographics. She has cleaned up literally thousands of duplicate accounts behind the scenes for the hospital which is no small feat because of the array of systems that data exist in.

Teresa’s institutional knowledge of the VTH make her a true asset to the VTH fee committee and as a liaison between the business office and the IT/Analyst teams in the implementation and creation of our Electronic Medical Records systems.

Interim Dean Daniel presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Kelvin Mitchell

November 2018

Kelvin Mitchell IT Support Center Analyst
Information Systems

Kelvin Mitchell is an asset to the college’s IT team. Described as “incredibly hard working” and doing everything “with a smile on his face,” he is someone that the college can always trust with their IT needs.

His great personality and demeanor can always help ease a user’s frustrations during an issue. He is very hard-working and will do whatever it takes to fix any computer problem.

Mitchell’s nominator stated that he is “always excited to learn new things and always willing to help,” and that is evident in his interactions across the college.

Interim Dean Daniel presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Stefanie Olsen

October 2018

Stefanie Olsen Oncology Technician
Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Stefanie Olsen has been an integral member of the hospital’s Oncology service since its inception six years ago. Her nominator describes her, in relation to the service, as “instrumental in its development and growth, and has maintained a consistent, dependable, enthusiastic, and positive presence. She is truly a cornerstone of the service.”

She consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty, from staying after her shift to check on patients to making a clay pawprint for a non-oncology patient. She consistently maintains a high level of productivity without complaint, while having a positive attitude.

Olsen’s nominator is “grateful that she is a member of the team.”

Interim Dean Daniel presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Ed Wilson

September 2018

Ed Wilson Facilities
Dean’s Office

Ed Wilson has earned a reputation around the college as someone who “magically tends to problems quickly, expertly, and with no fuss.” He is always willing to assist with any task, no matter how large or small, and does so with a smile. His nominator called him the “facilities equivalent of a ninja” due to his extreme efficiency and effectiveness.

Recently, an elevator was under repair and a faculty member had no way to move a mini-fridge into her office. Wilson organized a crew to ensure that the fridge would get upstairs in a timely fashion. This is just one example of his willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Interim Dean Daniel presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Karolee Furrow and Margaret Slusser

August 2018

Karolee Furrow and Margaret Slusser Hospital Stores
Veterinary Teaching Hospital

With over 50 years of combined experience working in the hospital stores, Karolee Furrow and Margaret Slusser make a formidable team. Described as “simultaneously the glue that keeps the hospital together and the wheels that keep the hospital moving,” these women have a real dedication and passion for their jobs.

By providing hospital clinicians and staff members with the supplies, food and linens required, they are able to make everyone’s roles within the hospital easier. Additionally, Furrow and Slusser “provide friendly faces and a warm, welcome atmosphere when soliciting their help and advice.”

Dr. Michael Erskine presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Monique Cross

July 2018

Monique Cross Veterinary Nurse
Equine Medical Center

In her role, Monique Cross works closely with student volunteers. She is instrumental at the EMC in this capacity. Her nominator described her as consistently providing an “exemplary ongoing job performance.”

Cross always ensures that the volunteers feel comfortable with their duties by providing a clear and detailed explanation, as well as answering any questions that they may have. She’s described as “thorough, concise and friendly.”

With her positive attitude and obvious care for her patients and students, Cross is someone that her peers always look forward to working with.

Interim Dean Daniel presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Heather Catanzaro

June 2018

Heather Catanzaro Anesthesia Technician
Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Employed as an anesthesia technician for just over a year, Heather Catanzaro has had a “remarkable performance.” As a member of the anesthesia service, she is responsible for the safety of the patient during the anesthetic episode and alerting the anesthesiologist in the event of complications.

As her nominator stated, “She is effective at managing routine anesthetic complications independently but also identifying situations when she needs the assistance of the anesthesiologist. When asked for assistance, she never shies away, even from the most menial task.”

Catanzaro also works with students as a clinical instructor. She’s known for her affable, pleasant personality that eases the student’s anxieties and improves their chance of success. Because of this positive demeanor, her student evaluations are always impeccable.

Interim Dean Daniel presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Stephanie Roach

May 2018

Stephanie Roach Ophthalmology Technician
Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Beginning as a technician, Stephanie Roach came to the college in 2007 after completing her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science at Virginia Tech. Her work in small animal and large animal operating rooms was complimented by surgeons, residents, interns, and staff.

In 2011, she became a member of the ophthalmology team. In an attempt to increase efficiency upon losing a third ophthalmologist 19 months ago, Roach and the other technicians developed an ophthalmology clinic coordinator system, thereby allowing faculty and residents to deal with more clinical cases in the hospital.

“Our referring practitioners and clients love working with her, and many times they would rather talk to her than to the faculty ophthalmologist concerning routine matters. In short, Stephanie Roach is a much appreciated, invaluable member of our hospital and of our ophthalmology service ‘team,’” said her nominator.

Interim Dean Daniel presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Brian Huddleston

April 2018

Brian Huddleston IT Support Center Technician
Information Systems

Brian Huddleston, IT Support Center Technician, has been employed at the college for 5 years. He is known across the departments for his wonderful customer service and ability to think outside the box to solve problems.

He always has a smile on his face and his calm demeanor can put anyone at ease during an IT issue.

His nominator described him as, “a good team player, a leader and valuable asset to IT and Vet Med. He is an example of integrity, a strong work ethic and a stellar co-worker.”

Interim Dean Daniel presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Tammy Stevers

March 2018

Tammy Stevers Program and Administrative Assistant
Department of Population Health Sciences

Tammy Stevers joined the college in July 2016 and is known for her positive “can-do” attitude. “She always greets her colleagues with a smile and is willing to go the extra mile to achieve departmental goals. She is always willing to teach others the tricks that she learns to make university systems behave!” said her nominator.

This year Stevers has taken on management of the administrative components of the International Exchange programs with India, Chile, and Ecuador. Additionally, she has worked closely with members of the Dean’s Office and Research and Graduate Studies to ensure that faculty effort is coded to grants and contracts in a timely fashion. She has also recently trained for, and received, the Administrative Professional Development certificate from Organizational and Professional Development.

Her nominators stated that, “Her smile, continual willingness to help, and energy for solving problems, have kept PHS running effectively during a time of rapidly expanding personnel and programs.”

Interim Dean Daniel presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Kara Clark

February 2018

Kara Clark Patient Coordinator
Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Kara Clark was recently reassigned to assist with Large Animal Services. She is known as a hard worker who exceeds expectations, and this new role is no different.

“She works diligently every day to accommodate the needs of clients and staff members by going above and beyond her job description,” said her nominator. “She confronts new obstacles without complaining, and handles problems in a diplomatic manner.”

Interim Dean Daniel presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Amanda Havens

January 2018

Amanda Havens Community Practice Veterinary Technician
Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Amanda Havens serves as a Community Practice Technician. She is known around the hospital for her upbeat attitude and great personality. These factors allow her to create a positive working environment for those around her, including students, staff, and patients.

Additionally, she has cultivated a strong reputation for training and teaching 4th year veterinary students. On the busiest days she is always willing to step up to the plate, while maintaining operational organization and logistical support.

Her nominator described her as willing to “take on new tasks with a smile,” as well as “always being willing to lend a helping hand.”

Interim Dean Daniel presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Maggie Jaronski

December 2017

Maggie Jaronski Development Associate
Office of Advancement

Since joining the college in March 2016 as a member of the Advancement team, Maggie Jaronski has developed a reputation for consistently doing more than her supervisor and colleagues would ever ask of her. Maggie is always taking on new challenges, stepping up when someone has needed a hand, and has specifically gone above and beyond while working with various alumni and donors.

Jaronski has improved content on the college's websites, collaborated on thank you notes for alumni and donors, and oversees a federal work-study student. She is known for always finishing her work in a timely, impressive manner.

In the upcoming issues of TRACKS, she has been working diligently on story content, as well as which donors to highlight. “She has been very quick to jump in and take on additional tasks while still completing all her original work,” one of her nominators said.

“She is so friendly, fun and hardworking. Working with her is truly a joy!” said a communications colleague.

Dean Clarke presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Hannah Menefee

November 2017

Hannah Menefee Program Coordinator
Department of Population Health Sciences

For the past two years, Hannah has been an incredible asset to the Department of Population Health Sciences and is consistently, and increasingly, valued. As practicum coordinator, she has many responsibilities and recently her direct supervisor fell ill. “Hannah has really stepped up to the plate and made sure everything continues to run smoothly by taking on extra responsibilities including standing in to teach practicum and grant writing classes when needed,” her nominators explained.

Menefee has organized multiple capstone events, has led the charge for the accreditation self-study, and traveled to Washington D.C. to represent the department at an accrediting body meeting. Her efforts in regards to motivating students and keeping them on track continue to help the re-accreditation process for the MPH program.

“She is able to multi-task and meet unexpected last-minute deadlines imposed by others extremely well, and it makes a difference in our department every day,” her nominators have stressed endlessly, “She always goes above and beyond in everything she does, and she does so with excellence and a smile.”

Dean Clarke presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Terry Wnorowski

October 2017

Terry Wnorowski Ophthalmology Technician
Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Since joining the veterinary college more than 25 years ago, ophthalmology technician Terry Wnorowski has demonstrated consistent excellence in her work in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Her nominator described how Terry “has expanded her skill set to not only include outpatient case management, but she has collaborated with our other ophthalmology techs to develop an efficient system for triaging emergency case consultations from referring veterinarians and clients.”

Wnorowski is known for being calm, cool and collected. She is a calming force for those around her, whether they are students, clinicians, or house officers. She is known for getting things done when services are short handed, having expanded skill sets, and being a great hands-on helper for student teaching.

"Our faculty and staff have stated repeatedly how lucky we are to have such a dedicated, upbeat, and hardworking technician," her nominator noted. Wnorowski was called "the ultimate team player," and deemed "one that we can all aspire to be like in our day-to-day actions in our hospital."

Dean Clarke presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Jonathan Hinckley

September 2017

Jonathan Hinckley Laboratory Specialist
Laboratory for Neurotoxicity Studies

As a laboratory specialist in the laboratory for neurotoxicity studies, Jonathan Hinckley demonstrates diligence and efficiency in his work and attention to detail with data and experiment documentation. Jonathan ensures adherence to all associated IACUC protocols and maximizes efficiency without compromising the integrity of the study.

His nominator noted that the director of the lab “has complete trust and confidence in Jonathan's abilities and professionalism to carry out the breadth of work that is currently being performed.” Recognized as conscientious, courteous and dedicated, Hinckley's “ability to perform this work has been extremely important to the lab's success in becoming a Virginia Tech resource for drug safety studies in animals,” his nominator explained, and overall, “Jonathan's performance in the laboratory has always been outstanding.”

Dean Clarke presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Caley McCoy

August 2017

Caley McCoy Clinical Laboratory Scientist
Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Caley McCoy, clinical laboratory scientist, has worked in the clinical pathology laboratory at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital for the past year and was named the August Staff Member of the Month.

“The lab has undergone an enormous amount of change, both with protocols, new instrumentation, and staffing. Caley has consistently embraced taking on new responsibilities and has been an integral team player with the staffing changes,” wrote her nominator. “She is always willing to participate, help out her coworkers when in a bind, and we have been able to lean on her support and backup.”

McCoy’s nominator added that she wanted to recognize “her efforts and dependability in a time when we really need it.”

Dr. Mike Erskine presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Susan Egerton

July 2017

Susan Egerton Client Care and Patient Services Coordinator
Equine Medical Center

In her position as the client care and patient services coordinator at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, Susan Egerton serves as a leader and role model for all of her colleagues. During a recent renovation project, Egerton was a team player, flexible, and eager to learn new skills. Egerton “has exhibited all of these qualities and more as she has lead us through a challenging time,” her nominator explained.

These qualities are especially significant because Egerton was physically isolated from the rest of her coworkers while the construction was ongoing. Despite this challenge, Egerton still remained a positive leader for the admissions team. “Her grace and positive communication skills have been greatly appreciated by her coworkers,” said her nominator.

Dean Clarke presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Kathy Farley

June 2017

Kathy Farley Administrative Assistant
Academic Affairs

As an administrative assistant in the Office of Academic Affairs, Kathy Farley demonstrates exemplary performance in everyday tasks and impressive initiative with event-related projects. Most recently, Farley assisted with the Spring Awards Ceremony and the Commencement Ceremony and her dedication and ingenuity made each event run successfully. Consistently, “the quality of her work and the timeliness of her work is outstanding,” explained her nominator.

Her award certificate preparations for the Spring Awards Ceremony saved both time and money for the department and her carefully crafted seating chart and check-in system to adapt to the new format for the commencement ceremony was a tremendous support for the event. Farley is “a solid planner and has a vision of the perfect event,” her nominator explained, and overall, wants to applaud Farley for “her outstanding service, dedication, initiative, and professionalism.”

Dean Clarke presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Jeremy Ridenour

May 2017

Jeremy Ridenour Large Animal Clinical Supervisor
Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Jeremy Ridenour, large animal clinical supervisor in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, is the May Staff Member of the Month. Since joining the veterinary college in 2010, Ridenour has been consistently exceptional in all capacities. As a large animal overnight technician, Ridenour cared deeply for all of his patients and was a proactive problem solver, according to one nominator. Now as the large animal clinical supervisor, Ridenour has continued to be extremely helpful and has kept up “the excellent work,” including assisting with student labs and set-up.

In addition to his duties at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Ridenour was instrumental in assisting students facilitate an excellent Open House and in helping with the organization, set-up, and clean-up of various events for the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Another nominator explained how Ridenour “went so far above and beyond” in this area and deserves recognition for his hard work.

Dean Clarke presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Hope House

April 2017

Hope House 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.

Dean Clarke presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Lynette Cruise

March 2017

Lynett Cruise Director of Human Resources
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.

Dean Clarke presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Kayla Williams

February 2017

Kayla Williams Technician
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."

Dean Clarke presents the Staff Member of the Month award to Ruth Meade

January 2017

Ruth Meade Administrative Assistant
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.”

Archive of past winners →