Two Virginia Tech employees, Rhonda Pennington, of Peterstown, W.Va., office manager in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and Elizabeth Waterman, of Blacksburg, academic adviser in the Department of Biology in the College of Science, were recently honored with the university’s Outstanding Leader of the Year Awards.

The two were honored recently at the university’s annual Academy for Leadership Excellence recognition program held each summer. The awards were presented by Linda Woodard, assistant vice president for personnel services.

The Outstanding Leader of the Year Award recognizes university employees who have exhibited outstanding leadership qualities through superior job performance; job-related extracurricular activities, such as participation in university governance or committee work; service to the university, or supplemental activities outside the university. Award recipients are nominated by their fellow employees and endorsed by their supervisors.

Pennington was nominated by Andrew S. Becker, chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. Waterman was nominated by Jack Cranford, associate professor and associate department head of the Department of Biology.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.