Amy Hill and Nancy Linkous, both of Christiansburg, Va., received the 2004 Employee Recognition Award from the Virginia Tech College Association for Staff in Engineering (CASE) for their outstanding contributions and service to the college. Hill and Linkous were honored at the annual CASE luncheon held on campus in June.

As business manager for the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) for the past 12 years, Hill is responsible for much of the department's budgeting. She works with faculty to prepare research budgets and manage the department's state and research contract funding. She also plays a major role in hiring students and personnel and purchasing equipment for the department and research projects.

"The faculty, staff and students rely heavily on her for problem solving, not just financial but with other issues related to getting the job done," said MSE Department Head David Clark in nominating Hill for the award.

In addition to managing fiscal affairs for faculty and administrators, Hill works with students on a number of projects. "In my four years in MSE, I have yet to encounter a problem that Amy cannot find an answer to, and it is always delivered with a smile," said MSE student Adam Maisano, an officer with the Virginia Tech Human-Powered Submarine Team.

As office manager for the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM), Linkous is "the nerve center of the department," said Norman Dowling, interim department head. She manages the department head's schedule and correspondence, maintains files and records, arranges meetings and events, schedules itineraries for visitors, and manages payroll and personnel matters.

Edmund Henneke, associate dean for research and graduate studies for the College of Engineering and a former ESM department head, said that Linkous also plays the role of human resource manager for the department's staff, from overseeing the filling of staff positions to making sure that personnel have career development opportunities.

"She is the ultimate Virginia Tech employee — loyal, self-motivated, dedicated, knowledgeable, kind, helpful, accurate, timely, always thoughtful of the needs and morale of others, enthusiastic, committed to fulfilling her obligations for the progress of the university's programs, and more," Henneke said.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 5,600 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a "hands-on, minds-on" approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 2,000 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology.