More than a dozen employees were recently honored by Virginia Tech's Division of Administrative Services for their customer service to the university community.

“These employees really went above and beyond in helping their co-workers and other members of the Virginia Tech community,” said Sherwood Wilson, vice president for administration. “They provided outstanding customer service and truly embody the university motto Ut Prosim (That I may serve).” 

Award recipients, who were nominated by their peers, co-workers, or supervisors, include:

  • Renae Criner, accounts receivable/customer service supervisor, Facilities Services, was recognized for saving her customers money by identifying unused telephone and data ports and ensuring they were properly disconnected. She provides such excellent customer service that she has even been seen crawling around on the floor of an office, map in one hand, looking for a port number.
  • Catherine Kropff, director of Hokie Wellness, Human Resources, was recognized for her efforts to revitalize the employee wellness program. She and her team have developed new programs to meet employee needs and have significantly increased participation. She co-leads the Healthy Hokies task force, actively serves on campus committees related to childcare, and facilitates a number of other programs and services.
  • Michaela Liles, business services specialist, Facilities Services, was recognized for her consistent performance in processing business transactions and ensuring prompt payment during a period of change and increased activity.  She is known by internal and external customers alike for her pleasant demeanor and her ability to process a large number of transactions with a high rate of accuracy.
  • Heidi McCoy, deputy chief facilities officer, Facilities Services, was recognized for simultaneously serving in two demanding roles in the division. Her nominator noted that McCoy worked long hours as both interim deputy chief facilities officer and chief of staff for the vice president for administration all while hiring new staff, providing training and helping to resolve some significant issues.
  • Larue Ann Owens, equality and access program specialist, Human Resources, was recognized for her efforts to help the university meet its goal of providing Title IX training to all employees. To help ensure the success of this ambitious effort, she manually entered data for approximately 4,000 employees and responded to concerned phone calls and emails from faculty and staff. 
  • Sydney Price, accounts payable supervisor, Facilities Services, was recognized for going the extra mile to help her coworkers. In addition to her regular duties processing purchase orders, Price routinely assisted her coworkers with travel vouchers. Her nominator stated, “Sydney’s knowledge of the rules helps ensure travelers are reimbursed without delay. “
  • Kathy Sanders, project manager, Business Services, was recognized for voluntarily going above and beyond her normal duties by providing support to numerous position search efforts. She performed administrative tasks and was the primary contact for applicants. In addition, Sanders served as a member of both Business Services and Administrative Services award committees. 
  • Luke Watson, computer user support technician, Business Services, was recognized for providing excellent customer services while providing IT support. His nominator noted that Watson explains technology in a way a layperson can understand and finds creative solutions to complicated problems.
  • Janis Wilfore, administrative assistant, Emergency Management, was recognized for her willingness to help others whenever needed including taking on additional duties and assisting in areas that are not her normal responsibility. She has staffed information booths during Gobblerfest and other events and has often worked late to finish projects.
  • The Power Plant team – Timmy Allen, Richard Hale Jr., Brian Higginbotham, Kevin Martin, and Stanley Williams were recognized for their efforts to make emergency repairs to the power plant. The team was called in after hours on two different dates, in extreme temperatures with wind chills well below zero, to fix a critical part that allowed the plant to provide much needed heat to university buildings.

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.