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 →
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.
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.”
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.
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.”