Two Career Services professionals in Virginia Tech’s Division of Student Affairs have been recognized for their outstanding professional achievements. 

The Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers has presented the Distinguished Service Award to Donna Ratcliffe, who has served as director of Career Services for eight years. The organization presented Interim Director of Career Services Amy McPherson with an Outstanding Member Award.

The Distinguished Service Award honors outstanding and lasting contributions to the organization and the higher education career services field. This award is not given every year, as it is considered the association’s highest honor and is reserved for special demonstrations of leadership, literary, or scholarly efforts.

Cassell Ratcliffe has served Virginia Tech’s Career Services office for 27 years, and was named director of Career Services in 2003. The department has grown under her leadership and has brought many successful resources, programs, and services to students seeking career guidance and opportunities at Virginia Tech. She is currently serving as interim director for Dining Services, another department within the Division of Student Affairs. Cassell Ratcliffe received a bachelor's degree in early childhood education from the University of Maryland and completed master of education and doctor of education degrees in counselor education and college student personnel at Virginia Tech.

McPherson received the Outstanding Member Award for her exceptional contributions to the field, as well as involvement in the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers for four to nine years. She has worked with Virginia Tech’s Career Services since 1993, serving as associate director for student and alumni services since 2003. She is liaison to the Virginia Tech Graduate School and the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, helping facilitate career opportunities for students beyond their undergraduate years at the university. McPherson currently serves as interim director of Career Services. She received a bachelor’s degree in business and economics and a master of education degree in counselor education from North Carolina State University.

The Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers develops educational programs and services for its members. The organization facilitates interaction between employers, college students and alumni, and career services personnel through workshops, conferences, mentoring, and career exploration programs.