Daniela Doninelli, managing director of Virginia Tech’s Center for European Studies and Architecture in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland, received the university's 2011 President's Award for Excellence.

The President's Award for Excellence is presented annually to up to five Virginia Tech staff employees who have made extraordinary contributions by consistent excellence in the performance of their job or a single incident, contribution, or heroic act. Each recipient is awarded a $2,000 cash prize.

Since 1994, Doninelli has provided strong leadership and service to Virginia Tech faculty and students participating in education programs at the Center for European Studies and Architecture in Switzerland.

“Her contributions to the learning experiences to the nearly 2,000 students who have studied at the center are significant and wide ranging,” said Paul Knox, University Distinguished Professor and Senior Fellow for International Advancement, “including serving as an effective and efficient administrator of facilities and services, facilitating travel ventures across the continent, and, most important, being their friend and confidant.”

In addition, Knox said, Doninelli is diligent in her attention and support to the instructional needs of the faculty.

“She is greatly valued as a critical and dependable resource in planning and delivery of classes and field trips,” he said. “Her knowledge of the region and her network provide faculty access to learning resources that bring much added value to their expertise and leadership.

“Daniela is a great representative of Virginia Tech,” Knox said. “She is both a gracious host to visitors to the center and a tenacious negotiator looking out for the best interests of our students and faculty. Virginia Tech is very fortunate to have her as the managing director of the Center for European Studies and Architecture.”

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.