Naya Sou, program manager for the Academy of Integrated Sciences in the College of Science at Virginia Tech has received the university's 2015 McComas Staff Leadership Award.

She was selected for outstanding contributions to the academy in terms of leadership provided to staff, students, and faculty.

Sou received the award from President Timothy D. Sands at the annual James D. McComas Staff Leadership Seminar on April 27. She will receive a $500 prize as well.

The McComas Staff Leadership Award honors the significant leadership contribution of a classified or university staff member who has been employed at Virginia Tech for at least one year. The specific criteria focuses on using an appropriate leadership style, providing feedback and guidance, listening to and respecting the opinions of others, setting clear goals and objectives, and leading by example. This year more than 50 nominations were submitted, representing 40 areas across the university.

Sou came to Virginia Tech in 2011. Within just two years, her leadership skills and abilities were apparent to those around her. In 2013, when the Academy of Integrated Science was created, it was clear she was the ideal person to serve as the program manager according to her supervisor, J.P. Morgan, associate dean and director of the Academy of Integrated Science. 

"With the level of dedication she brings to her job, her superior attention to detail, and her unfailing willingness to put others before herself, she has become the go-to person for administrative issue in the academy. All of these traits, in combination with her cheerful, self-effacing demeanor, have established her as a true leader," said Morgan.

Sou is credited with supporting students and faculty in the program by better alignment of lab modules with lecture material, improved assessment strategies, and better sequencing of course material.

“In no small part due to Naya, students come to feel intimately connected as active participants in an exciting educational experience,” said Morgan.

Sou received a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University and a master of science for teachers degree from Pace University. Before coming to Virginia Tech, she taught high school earth science in the Bronx for two years.

The McComas Staff Leadership Award is co-sponsored by the Department of Human Resources, University Leadership Development, and the Commission for Staff Policies and Affairs.

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.