Wanda Foushee of Dublin, Va., retired business manager in the Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has received the university’s 2014 Staff Career Achievement award.

Foushee retired from the university in 2013 after 17 years of service.

Created in 2011 to recognize retiring staff members, the Staff Career Achievement Award is presented annually to as many as five individuals who have distinguished themselves through exemplary performance and service during their university career. Nominees must have served a minimum of 10 years at Virginia Tech. Each recipient is awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

Foushee, who joined the Virginia Tech community in 1995, was highly respected by her colleagues for her willingness to go beyond the scope of her assigned duties.She began working for the department as a fiscal technician and was later promoted to business manager. 

Colleagues speak often of her outstanding problem solving skills, and her many contributions improved the department as a whole. 

For example, when department reconfigured a teaching lab in 2000, the space needed a custom partition to effectively divide the large space. Short on time and money, the partition could not be fully  installed before the fall term began. Foushee, who wanted to ensure the success of faculty and students, took control of the project and purchased and sewed a heavy metal curtain together to divide the lab space on her own time, completing the task before classes began.

Foushee was also involved in several university-wide activities. She served as a member of the Society of Research Administrators International Virginia Chapter, attended business practices seminars, and served on search committees for the department head, operations manager, and manager of fiscal affairs. She also worked closely with job candidates, seminar speakers, and took a personal interest in the well-being of “her” students.

Colleagues say Foushee possesses a natural ability to work with a diverse population of individuals.

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.