Tamarah Smith, administrative assistant/office coordinator for Distance Learning and Summer Sessions at Virginia Tech, 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.

A member of the Virginia Tech community for more than 22 years, Smith has worked in Distance Learning and Summer Sessions the past eight years.

“It has been an honor for me to work with Tamarah as a colleague, and now most recently as her director, said Peter Macedo, director of distance learning and summer sessions. “She is a dedicated employee to the organization, and the university, and daily lives by the university’s motto of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).”

For the past eight years, Smith has led her department’s participation in the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign.

“Her compassion extends into the community as she volunteers for several civic organizations,” Macedo said. “Tamarah has long supported initiatives to feed hungry families both in her home and work communities.”

While working in the Department of Teaching and Learning for 14 years, Smith’s leadership and outstanding customer service were recognized, including being awarded outstanding staff member in her college. She also served as president of the staff association, where she encouraged her colleagues to give of themselves and to help others. 

“Her genuine care for the success of others is evident in all of her actions,” said John Burton, professor of learning sciences and technology in the School of Education and one of Smith’s nominators for the President’s Award. “Tamarah is a firm believer in the concept that if we help each other succeed, we will all succeed.”

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.