University of Vermont


And She Sits at a Desk Where Walk-In Questions Abound

Anne Marie Resnik looking dapper, holds plaque.
Anne Marie Resnik, who might well be called the “first responder” of the UVM plant and soil science department, received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Outstanding Staff Award on April 20 in front of a full auditorium during the College’s Honors Day event.

“Where is the Master Gardener office?”

“Does Professor Pellett still work here?”

“What room is my class in?”

“Is this a perceived deadline or a drop-dead deadline?”

“Why would I need a performance evaluation when I’ve already gone through the promotion process?”

“Help, I’ve locked myself out of my office!”

“Can you tell me what kind is tick this is?”

“I’m looking for the hospital!”

Questions like these are all in a day’s work for Anne Marie Resnik.

Job Requirement

Humor and More Humor

But her real job is called “office program support generalist” for plant and soil science. “Generalist” might be the operative word here. Her list of duties serving faculty, staff and students is endless. No one knows better than department chair Deb Neher who said that Resnik’s job “obviously requires a friendly nudge, another prod, a firm resolve, last-minute document exchanges, judgment over confidential information, humor and more humor.”

The superlatives used to commend Resnik have been used to describe many CALS front-line administrative staff: “the glue that holds the department together,” “the go-to person,” “the person who works through lunch and stays late,” the one who “goes beyond her job requirements,” the person who “makes others look good whether they deserve to or not.” Resnik continues to challenge herself:  She plans workshops and events of all sizes. She initiated a plant and soil science newsletter and Facebook page. She learned Adobe Acrobat and Dreamweaver and puts them to good use for plant and soil science communications. She initiated a College-wide plan of annual activities that led to holding CALS staff meetings.

Beyond her job she has served on the UVM staff council, UVM campus master planning committee and UVM Continuing Education’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute advisory board. She is active as a mentor for troubled youth and fundraiser for Home Share Vermont. Meanwhile, she is co-owner of a medical imaging business. She was honored this year by UVM for completing a decade with the same job and title.

MVP on the Move

But it was during the building of Jeffords Hall from 2008-2010 that Anne Marie Resnik was particularly invaluable. Planning and moving from Hills Building to Jeffords involved complex strategy and a massive purge of stuff. Organizing and executing a complex move of 20 faculty, 11 staff, and  23 graduate students into the department’s offices, two labs and five conference rooms was no small feat. She choreographed the move of every box, piece of furniture, laboratory equipment and person so gracefully that faculty held a reception for her afterwards. It is impossible to overstate her contribution.

So it’s ironic that her office, is in one of the two reception areas just beyond the main entrances. Resnik is many people’s introduction not only to plant and soil science, but to Jeffords Hall. And somehow, she is still the point person for any issues concerning the building.

Her value to Plant & Soil Science and CALS has been even more evident this year while the department chair is on sabbatical leave. Interim chair Ernesto Mendez says, “I don’t think I could have done it without her. Anne Marie helps develop a tighter plant and soil science community. She takes the initiative to organize events with faculty, students and staff – essential for an academic department.”

As colleague Colleen Armstrong, UVM Greenhouses manager remarked, “Since 2003, plant and soil science has made some significant changes. The faculty is younger, and the mission of the department has embraced a sustainable future in agriculture, horticulture and soil restoration. As the department evolves, Anne Marie evolves. Can a science department ask for anything more?” 

Sixteen colleagues nominated Anne Marie Resnik for the University of Vermont College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Outstanding Staff Award this year. CALS Dean Tom Vogelmann presented her with the College’s top (and only) staff award during Honors Day ceremonies on April 20.