Staff Award recipients

McComas Staff Leadership Award

The McComas Staff Leadership Award honors the significant leadership contributions of a classified or university staff member who has been employed at Virginia Tech for at least one year.

Jeff Collins
Jeff Collins, maintenance supervisor for Virginia Tech Recreational Sports. During his almost 22 years of service to the university, Collins has demonstrated outstanding leadership and was nominated for the qualities he has displayed in the handling of conflict within his department.

President's Award for Excellence

The President’s Award for Excellence is presented annually to up to five Virginia Tech employees who have made extraordinary contributions by consistent excellence in the performance of their job or a single incident, contribution, or heroic act.

Vickie Martin
Vickie Martin, fiscal technician for the School of Education’s Office of Educational Research and Outreach. During her career at Virginia Tech, Martin has demonstrated exemplary skills in handling complex accounting procedures for international programs and research projects. She possesses a wealth of knowledge and information that extends beyond her assigned duties.
Carolyn Sink
Carolyn Sink, laboratory supervisor for Animal Laboratory Services of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Sink’s knowledge of laboratory operations and work ethic to maintain and continuously improve upon current operations are unparalleled within the laboratory, and she has an undying commitment to empowering the individuals in the laboratory to develop themselves personally and professionally.
Tamarah Smith
Tamarah Smith, business operations specialist for the Office of Summer and Winter sessions. During her career at Virginia Tech, Smith has demonstrated her commitment to making sure faculty and students are set up for success. She makes it a point to ensure that each exchange she has with faculty and students is a positive one. Smith currently serves as chair of the Commission on Staff Policies and Affairs and vice president for the Staff Senate.
Sharon Tickle
Sharon Tickle, senior housekeeper for The Grove. Tickle’s willingness to serve during her time at The Grove demonstrates talent, character, and commitment to Virginia Tech. She touches hundreds of key events and thousands of visitors, all expecting a signature Virginia Tech experience, and her work is exceptional.
Diane Walker-Green
Diane Walker-Green, director of undergraduate advising and enrollment management for the Department of Physics. During her time at Virginia Tech, Walker-Green has worked hard to ensure that all students are expertly advised, fairly treated by their peers and professors, and not held back due to extenuating circumstances.

Staff Career Achievement Award

Created in 2011 to recognize retiring staff members, the Staff Career Achievement Award is presented annually to individuals who retired the previous year and who distinguished themselves through exemplary performance and service during their university career. Nominees must have worked a minimum of 10 years at Virginia Tech.

Harley Ashe
Harley Ashe, retired preventative maintenance and air quality manager for the Office of Vice President for Operations. Ashe retired after 39 years of service to the university. During his career at Virginia Tech, he developed a reputation for working diligently to address all concerns and questions and played a major role in developing and implementing several key facilities operations that are still successfully operating today.
Dorothy Cupp
Dorothy Cupp, retired department head executive secretary for industrial and systems engineering. Cupp retired after 47 years of service to the university. During her time at Virginia Tech, Cupp served as the face of the department for not only faculty and staff, but also students, visitors, colleagues around the university, and faculty candidates. She always handled times of chaos with grace and seeming effortlessness.
Peggy Moles
Peggy Moles, retired graduate program coordinator for the School of Architecture + Design. Moles retired after 43 years of service to the university. During her time at Virginia Tech, she became a beloved figure at the school. Her willingness to be an advisor extended well beyond academics, and many students sought her out when they needed a kind ear of support or advice.
Rhonda Rogers
Rhonda Rogers, retired executive assistant at the Intercultural Engagement Center. Rogers retired after 45 years of service to the university. Since being hired as one of the first black secretaries at the university in 1973, she has been a steady and caring force in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Rogers was a cheerleader and mentor for students and has a heart for service.

Alfred Smith, retired trades and utilities senior worker for the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center. Smith retired after 32 years of service to the university. During his time at Virginia Tech, Smith was instrumental in maintaining major projects at the center that are viewed by thousands of individuals each year and used to teach horticultural practices to industry personnel, Extension agents, students, and homeowners.

Joyce Vest
Joyce Vest, retired academic and career advisor for industrial and systems engineering (ISE). Vest retired after 29 years of service to the university. During her time at Virginia Tech, she demonstrated outstanding commitment to serving her ISE students. Vest was dedicated to helping her students succeed and found the perfect balance between being supportive and caring while also enforcing academic policies and fostering student accountability.