2021 Staff Appreciation Videos
Words of Thanks from President Garimella to UVM Staff
Staff Celebrating Milestones in 2021!
2021 Staff Appreciation Information
Staff Celebrating a UVM Milestone Year!
Congratulations, and thank you for being a part of the UVM team! We are pleased to celebrate your dedication and hard work by presenting 10, 15, 20, and 25+ year staff members with gift cards to the local Farmhouse Group, a group of Vermont restaurants, and/or Visa gift cards (recipients of the gift cards should note - the amount of the gift card has been increased in 2021 to offset any tax implication for recipients). Staff who are celebrating 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40+ years will also be sent a gift catalogue from Awards Network, a vendor offering a large variety of quality gifts, so honorees can select a special gift in addition to the gift card. By offering a variety of choices, we hope to honor the individual preferences of staff who are being honored in 2021.
On behalf of Human Resource Services, Staff Council, the Deans, Vice Presidents, and the President, we sincerely thank you for all that you have done, and continue to do, for UVM!
UVM Staff Social on the Green - Monday, September 13 from 11:30am - 1:00pm
New Location! The Fleming Museum Green
Ways to Show Staff Appreciation!
Our staff is our most important resource! Now more than ever, it is important to rally together and honor staff in simple ways that demonstrate our appreciation for one another. Here are some simple ways you can help celebrate employee excellence any time of year:
- Say "thank you" in-person or send a nice thank you letter or note. It's an easy and meaningful gesture of appreciation that means a lot.
- Timely recognize achievements. Don't wait for annual recognition events - acknowledge employee achievements immediately.
- Utilize the Staff Spotlight Webform right on this web page! It's quick and easy and it lets everyone know how great UVM staff are.
- Set calendar reminders for upcoming birthdays, milestones, or anniversaries and acknowledge them on those days.
- Host a casual dress day or theme day (Ex: GO CATAMOUNTS! Wear green and gold days!).
- Encourage staff to go outside for a walk or stretch periodically (it does the body, and mind, good!).
- Host Staff Retreats (educational or social focus) in-person or via MS Teams.
- Allow staff to participate in Professional Development and Training classes.
- Keep your team connected! Disengagement and disconnection is a real downer! Get together with remote employees on MS Teams regularly to share projects, news, and just check in with one another.
- Encourage one another to attend the Social on the Green this September 13, 2021! We hope to see you there!
Staff Appreciation Information & History
For years, UVM has had a tradition of celebrating staff during Staff Appreciation Week. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the traditions but not the University's deep appreciation for the hardworking employees that keep operations running smoothly.
Members of the Staff Appreciation Committee continue to work hard to ensure all staff are acknowledged with an annual Social on the Green and that staff celebrating milestones are recognized for their years of service to UVM. Now, instead of holding recognition luncheons and dinners for staff celebrating 10, 15, 20, and 25+ milestones, these employees receive a choice of special gift cards either to the Farmhouse Group (supporting local) or VISA gift cards. This allows staff for greater flexibility in meeting their personal preferences. In addition, staff celebrating 20+ years of service to the university are able to select a special gift from a catalog featuring hundreds of quality items (via Awards Network).
Each year, a special Staff Appreciation Video featuring those staff members celebrating a 25+-year milestone anniversary with UVM is posted on this website. Make sure to check it out and congratulate your friends and colleagues who are celebrating milestones!
We continue to appreciate the ongoing commitment of UVM staff and thank all staff members for their patience as we make our way back to campus and continue to celebrate our staff traditions.
Staff Appreciation Spotlight!
Thank you for showing your appreciation for your co-workers and staff partners! Staff Appreciation comments for 2021 are open and run through October 15th. Please take a moment to share your appreciation by sending us your comments. Comments will be posted on this page!
Week of September 9, 2021
Martha Manning and Martha Seifert, county 4-H Educators, both stepped up to cover staffing voids this past year, without additional FTE, all the while continuing with their own work. They are passionate and dedicated to ensuring Vermont youth have experiences that allow for growth, exploration and skill building. Both are team players and go above and beyond to ensure the objectives of our 4-H team are met. Without their extra effort this past spring and summer, we would have seen fewer community based experiences for our young people, at a time when they were desperately needed. ~ Sarah Kleinman (August 28, 2021)
Week of October 23, 2020
Jamie Peterson (Human Resource Services)
"Jamie is always kind, thorough, and responsive to any HR-related inquiries! She always takes the time to explain things, provide forms and articles if needed, and is available for any follow-up questions and clarification." ~ Whitney Feininger (October 20, 2020)
Week of September 18, 2020
Melanie Rodjenski (Payroll and Tax Services)
"Melanie, you are a wonderful colleague! I feel really blessed to be working so close with you.You are so knowledgeable and have such a unique perspective on things! I learn from you every day!" ~ Julia Sukhanova (September 21, 2020)
Jennie Keenan (Treasury Services)
"Jennie, Thank you so much for all your help sending all the multiple ACH payments - quarterly, monthly and every payroll! And especially for reaching out for confirmation if there are any questions!" ~ Julia Sukhanova (September 21, 2020)
Jennifer Brittenham-Jones (UVM Bookstore)
"A special thank you to Jenny for being so accurate and timely with the tax reports! Having all the information organized in a way that Jenny does is extremely helpful! Thank you, Jenny!" ~ Julia Sukhanova (September 21, 2020)
Anne MacLeod (College of Nursing and Health Sciences)
"Anne's commitment and dedication to our department has been remarkable. She has worked tirelessly to ensure that our department runs smoothly and efficiently. She handles tremendous responsibilities with grace and professionalism and is always happy to help faculty, students and staff despite how busy she is with administrative work. Her hard work has enabled our department educational and research activities to continue to thrive in the midst of COVID. Thank you Anne!" ~ Paula Deming (September 18, 2020)
April Berteau (College of Arts and Sciences, Biology, QuEST PhD trianing Program)
" April is phenomenal. That our graduate training program, QuEST, is welcoming and organized, we owe to her. April works with such dedication, passion and commitment that she elevates the strength of our community and makes our ambitions possible. Thank you, April, for all that you do." ~ Melissa Pespeni (September 18, 2020)
Week of September 14, 2020:
Jay LaShombe (Undergraduate Admissions)
"For perennially positive attitude and fearlessly finding innovative solutions." ~ Aimee Frost (September 14, 2020)
Week of September 6, 2020:
Danielle Moore (Rubenstein School)
"Danielle Moore has been a tremendous resource to me as a new faculty member in the Rubenstein School. She has been so patient, kind, and knowledgeable as I bombard her with questions related to advising students. I could not do my job without her. I, and countless RSENR students, are so thankful for her!" ~ Brittany Mosher (September 11, 2020)
Darina Mernicky (Facilities)
"I so appreciate how Darina was able to manage the incredibly wide range of stakeholders in the 439 College Street renovation project to establish the Burack Hillel. Darina's kindness and firm direction were evident in every one of my interactions with her. She was the true glue that held the foundation together and kept us all focused on the ultimate goals of completion. Darina is an unsung hero of UVM and she absolutely deserves this recognition." ~ Matt Vogel (September 11, 2020)
Emira Smailagic, Communication Science and Disorders / CNHS
"Emira always has a smile on her face and is one of the most positive people I know. Thank you for your work in the billing aspect of the clinic. It is very enjoyable chatting in the mornings. I love hearing about your travels!" ~ Sharon Cote (September 11, 2020)
"Emira is a strong, compassionate advocate for the clients who come to the Eleanor M. Luse Center for Communication. At the same time, her upbeat, we-can-do-it attitude in the face of life's challenges makes her a role model for all of the faculty and staff in the department." ~ Shelley Velleman (September 10, 2020)
Nicholas Lawrence, Commuication Science and Disorders
"Nicholas is my go-to person for any assistance with technology. He has been such a wonderful help through COVID while I was working from home by sending me things from the shared drive and posting things back on the shared drive. Thank you for assisting me with the video system as well as the myriad other things with my own personal computer. It is wonderful to have you in our department." ~ Sharon Cote (September 11, 2020)
"Nicholas is an excellent problem-solver - especially when it comes to technology - who is always ready to help and often comes up with new ways of doing old tasks. He gives his all to keep the department running smoothly in a myriad of different ways." ~ Shelley Velleman (September 10, 2020)
Dale Thibault, Communication Science and Disorders / CNHS
"Dale wears many hats in our department and in CNHS as our business manager. Thank you Dale for assisting with all information financial and helping me as a sounding board/giving me advice in all aspects of our clinic. You are the rock of the department and are much appreciated." ~ Sharon Cote (September 11, 2020)
"Dale has been wonderful at overseeing all aspects of our department's response to the shut-down and the re-opening of campus. This is not unusual; she is the foundation of our department! She is great at both seeing the big picture and taking care of every detail. At the same time, she truly cares about the welfare of every department member. We would have been - and would be - lost without her." ~ Shelley Velleman (September 10, 2020)
Stephanie Hollop, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Stephanie is a wonderful asset to our department as one of our audiologists. She stepped up and continued the important work in our audiology clinic to help serve the community when COVID hit. Stephanie, I am grateful for you and the work that you have done (in addition to being lead for creating information for the resumption plan)." ~ Sharon Cote (September 11, 2020)
Jen O'Donnell, Grossman School of Business
"I would like to express the words of gratitude and appreciation to my colleague Jen O'Donnell. Thank you for being reliable, efficient, and having my back during busy times. Knowing that I can always count on you is invaluable. Your professionalism and customer services to our students, faculty and staff shines through and appreciated. I feel incredibly fortunate to have you as my colleague! Thank you, Jen!" ~ Yuliya Cruz (September 11, 2020)
Joan Braddock, Medicine
"I've been Joan's colleague for 18 years. Her warm smile always shines in the lab. Joan is so helpful to everyone in the lab and she makes our day smooth and easy all the time. Thank you, Joan. Glad to be working with you!" ~ Yuan Wang (September 10, 2020)
Richard Pearl, Print and Mail Center
"Rich has been delivering our mail to the Fleming Museum for years. Rain, snow, sleet, extreme heat- he always has a smile on his face, and something interesting and positive to share with us. He always goes above and beyond the call of duty, and never complains about anything- even when we leave him a stack of heavy boxes to ship out!" ~ Stephanie Glock (September 10, 2020)
Robert Clarke, Physical Plant Grounds
"Bob Clarke has been the rock of the Grounds Department over the past 39 years. The combination of his horticultural experience, education, and work ethic sets him apart from his peers and makes him a treasured member of the Grounds team." ~ Adam Holmes (September 10 2020)
University Event Services
"I am not able to shout loud enough to fully express just how proud I am to be a part of this team!! Both our full-time staff and student staff working out of The Villa on Trinity Campus and from the Davis Center, set the bar for quality service and support. I THANK YOU ALL for bringing your A-Game every day for the benefit of our UVM community and clients!" ~ Allen Josey (September 10, 2020)
VT EPSCoR Staff
"I would like to recognize the entire VT EPSCoR Administrative Staff collectively (Charlie Brooks, Nick Bond, Nina Wu, Steve Exler, Veronica Sosa-Gonzalez, Patrick Clemins and Scott Turnbull) for the incredible team work and positive can-do attitude that this unit demonstrates on a regular basis. Never hesitating to go above and beyond to meet or exceed our goals and objectives in a collegial, timely and professional manner - shining even brighter, and adapting to new situations without missing a beat thus far through the COVID-19 pandemic!" ~ Lillian Gamache (September 10, 2020)
Gary Derr, Operations and Public Safety
"It might seem odd that I am putting forth this appreciation, as I don't know Gary personally, but I have been at UVM for over 20 years and have heard nothing but good things about him as a supervisor, a leader, and someone who puts UVM at the forefront of his life. These last few months have been full of uncertainty, stress, unease and fear and I have really appreciated his calm and engaging leadership as UVM managed the initial days of the pandemic and then created a new playbook to help UVM re-open. His dedication is really amazing. Thank you!" ~ Liz Hamlin-Volz (September 10, 2020)
Wanda Heading-Grant, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
"For over 30 years, Wanda has been a member of the UVM community. During this time, she has worn many hats. In my opinion, there are few individuals who have done as much as Wanda for so many others both on and off campus. I believe she has worked tirelessly to get UVM to live up to its ideals and its values, and she deserves to be recognized for her persistence, dedication, and commitment to UVM." ~ Paul Suk-Hyun Yoon (September 10, 2020)
Phil Plourde, ET
"Philip P ... Always timely with his assistance, never abandons you without solving the issue, is extremely patient, and he includes a teaching moment in all interactions." ~ Anita Lavoie (September 10, 2020)
Erin Fitzgerald, Disbursement Center
"I would like to express my appreciation to the Disbursement Center Manager, Erin Fitzgerald, for her unwavering support throughout the spring and summer shutdown and for holding down the fort for all of us during that time, with the assistance of Team Supervisors Holly Leblanc and Lisa Keefe some of that time as well. She made sure that all of us had what we needed to be able to work remotely and kept us in touch with her humor through Teams. She is the backbone of the Disbursement Center and keeps things running smoothly. "There is not enough chocolate on this planet" to thank her for all that she does." ~ Susan Sobczak (September 10, 2020)
Amanda McIntire, Labor and Employee Relations, HRS
"I want to express my gratitude and appreciation for guidance and support that Amanda provided to me over the past two years since I started in my Business Manager role in the Grossman School of Business. No matter how complicated my questions or situations we face are, Amanda always stays calm, accommodating, supportive, knowledgeable, and reassuring during those moments. I've learned a ton from her and know that I can always rely on her guidance and support when it comes to HR related matters. Amanda, I am very grateful for having you as my Labor and Employee Relations liaison!" ~ Yuliya Cruz (September 10, 2020)
Stephanie Hollop, CNHS/CSD
"Stephanie has bent over backwards to find new ways to accommodate our audiology clients so that their hearing losses do not further compromise their ability to socialize in this very difficult time for our country. She is personable, knowledgeable, and highly skilled in her field." ~ Shelley Velleman (September 10, 2020)
"Margaret Gilman is wonderful! She really knows and cares deeply about the faculty, and the students, and she goes above and beyond to support the department. Thank you, Margaret!" ~ Jeanne Shea (September 10, 2020)
Print and Mail Center
"The mail delivery crew has never skipped a beat with the transition of covid - including notifying us of returned parcels and check payments for faculty, which we were able to pick up in Williston. The volume of additional packages due to covid shopping, as well as the fact that UPS, Fedex and DHL have stopped campus deliveries, has significantly impacted their workload and complaints from faculty, staff and students. They are always willing to help locate a package with a smile on their faces. Kudos to Lisa, Rich, Keith and Kyle!!!! It is a behind the scenes thankless job which most people have no idea what they deal with!!!" ~ Beth Wilbur (September 10, 2020)
Liz McElhinney, LCOM Admissions
"Liz is the best. She's hard-working, loyal and a fantastic team player. I couldn't do my job without her. She's always got a great perspective and is an amazing ambassador for UVM and the Larner College of Medicine. She serves with distinction. And she's a super nice person on top of it all." ~ Cary Jewkes (September 8, 2020)
Eva Wilton, LCOM Admissions
"Eva's been with us almost a year and it's a pleasure to work with her. She's got such a positive attitude and is willing to go above and beyond. She's a great team player and she's fun to work with. She brings a fresh outlook to our office." ~ Cary Jewkes (Septmeber 8, 2020)
Katarina Khosravi, LCOM Admissions
"Katarina joined our team right after the COVID pandemic hit, so she has had to jump in and work on a team remotely. She's done an amazing job. I'm so glad she's on our team. She's always smiling and wiling to help out any way she can." ~ Cary Jewkes (September 8, 2020)
Week of September 1, 2020:
Cary Jewkes, COM Admissions
"When Cary is around, I feel like our team can accomplish anything. She is our guiding light, especially during this difficult time. She has always encouraged me and taught me new things, been there to bounce ideas off of, and has been there for me through tough personal events in my life. It is easy to be on her team because she is so open and flexible." ~ Liz McElhinney (September 4, 2020)
Kiersten Hallquist, COM Student Services)
"I think Kiersten may have invented the term "above and beyond" - she is always working her hardest to support students and make sure that the complexities of getting through medical school are well explained! From developing helpful tools to sending funny (and helpful!) emails, she is always striving to help our community. She contributes to the wellness of our staff community as well, hosting after work socials, book club, and clothing swaps (among other activities!)." ~ Liz McElhinney (September 4, 2020)
Leigh Ann Holterman, COM Teaching Academy
"Leigh Ann works extremely hard with complex data but is always willing to try and help folks understand what she is presenting and she never comes from a place of being condescending. When working with her, you can tell that she is extremely earnest in her desire to help others understand in order to move the mission forward. Outside of her job, she serves the institution on many committees and even when I know she is being crushed with work she will show up to meetings and be completely present to contribute! I don't know how she does it!" ~ Liz McElhinney (September 4, 2020)
Heidi Fryzell, Continuing and Distance Education
"Heidi is always punctual with her responses and efficient with her problem solving skills. Her thoughtful approach to work also extends to thoughtfulness in the form of sharing thanks and appreciation to her many wonderful coworkers." ~ Jes Akey (September 2, 2020)
Michael Niemann(Payroll and Tax Services)
"Michael and his team process all the payroll actions for the University, with stellar accuracy, timelines and professionalism. My department of Chemistry alone was responsible for over 50 payroll hire/pay transactions this spring and summer, and the patience and professionalism of Michael's work on each one of them is very appreciated! Thank you, Michael!" ~ Renee A. Berteau (September 2, 2020)
Lani Isabelle (Payroll and Tax Services)
"Lani and her team process all the payroll actions for the University, with stellar accuracy, timelines and professionalism. My department of Chemistry alone was responsible for over 50 payroll hire/pay transactions this spring and summer, and the patience and professionalism of Lani's work on each one of them is very appreciated! Thank you, Lani!" ~ Renee A. Berteau (September 2, 2020)
Julia Vafias (Payroll and Tax Services)
"Julia and her team process all the payroll actions for the University, with stellar accuracy, timelines and professionalism. My department of Chemistry alone was responsible for over 50 payroll hire/pay transactions this spring and summer, and the patience and professionalism of Julia's work on each one of them is very appreciated! Thank you, Julia!" ~ Renee A. Berteau (September 2, 2020)
Cara Dunn (Payroll and Tax Services)
"Cara and her team process hundred of payroll actions for all UVM departments with stellar accuracy, timeliness and professionalism. My department, Chemistry, submitted or was responsible for over 50 actions this summer and fall, and the Payroll and Tax Services team has come through on them all. Thank you, Cara! ~ Renee A. Berteau (September 2, 2020)
Week of August 24, 2020:
Student Accessibility Services (SAS A170) Staff Members
"To Akilah Ho-Young, Christian Berry, Emily Carlos, Susan I. Farrell and our newest team member Seth Taylor for their continued dedication to those students we support, as well as their unrelenting commitment to providing exceptional services, care and thoughtfulness without waiver. They are incredible individuals and team members to our office, and UVM is fortunate to have them as outstanding contributing members of our larger (UVM) community." ~ Laura Clemmons (August 30, 2020)
Rafael Rodriguez (Residential Life)
"Thank you for working so hard to support students coming back to campus!! You've had a heavy lift with no break for over 6 months, in charge of making really difficult decisions and being a leader on campus. THANK YOU for caring so much about the students and doing your best to help them through the move-out and move-in process, and always advocating for their safety as a number one priority." ~ Jenna Emerson (August 28, 2020)
Nancy Carney (Center for Health and Wellbeing)
"Nancy has been a "behind the scenes" hero keeping our campus safe and helping guide our employees who become symptomatic or have questions about close contact since mid-March. She has called many employees, guided them on testing resources and processes, asked contact tracing questions to help us alert if an area needs to be cleaned on campus or if any other staff need to be notified. Her dedication has helped keep campus safe and she has been a huge resource to our employees. She has worked endless hours and given up her time and expertise to go above and beyond and to help our campus. Thank you Nancy!" ~ Vikki Gauvin (August 28, 2020)
Paul Murphy (Telecommunications)
"Murph works to get things done! He arrives at UVM in what is the middle of the night for the rest of us, tirelessly ensuring that we all remain connected - either by phone or ethernet. He works quickly and efficiently and always ensures he communicates with his customers. He's an asset to this university, even if you never see him. Thank you for all you do to keep us running!" ~ Elayna Mellas-Hulett (August 28, 2020)
Jennifer Baldwin (CAS, Department of Geography)
"Jenny's dedication to sustaining our department's operations and supporting our faculty and students is absolutely critical to our success. We are immensely grateful for her willingness to jump on and resolve any issue, stay on top of practices and policies, and use creative thinking to generate solutions to challenges. She has also emerged as a critically-important staff person in our College, stepping up to provide support to other departments and contributing to college-level initiatives on staff support. She is simply extraordinary, and we appreciate her every day! ~ Beverley Wemple (August 28, 2020)
Samantha Williams (Grossman School of Business)
"Sam has been a beacon of strength for our office, managing a new team and a new role in a manner and demeanor only few managers are able to achieve. The support she provides is consistently and constantly amazing." ~ Travis Perry (August 28, 2020)
Patricia Boldwin (CNHS/RMS/Business Manager)
"Tish is holding the dept together. She is responsive and reliable. She stays on top of all the changing guidelines and is a great communicator." ~ Cara Feldman-Hunt (August 31, 2020)
"I would like to start this by stating my position very clearly. Mrs. Boldwin is one of the best individuals I have worked with since joining the UVM in August of 2018. Of particular importance her performance during challenging times has exceeded all my expectations. Students, faculty and staff are the ultimate beneficiaries of her dedication and hard work." ~ Theodore Angelopoulos (August 28, 2020)
"Tish Boldwin has worked tirelessly all spring and summer to hold the RMS department together and keep business running smoothly in the midst of the pandemic. Her efforts have been nothing less than heroic! Thank you Tish!" ~ Karen Westervelt (August 28, 2020)
"I appreciate how responsive Tish has been throughout the past several months. She really takes the time to help us out and find the answers during these challenging and quickly changing times. Great work Tish! You are appreciated." ~ Victoria Priganc (August 28, 2020)
"The department would not function without our business manager, Tish. She gracefully and patiently manages so many things for so many people and programs in our department. We are so lucky to have her knowledge and expertise. Tish is an exceptional colleague and I am so appreciative of all that she does." ~ Connie Tompkins (August 28, 2020)
Daphne R. Wells (DOSA - Student Life)
"Shout out & appreciation to Daphne for her continued support and care - making sure folx are fed, doing okay, and being available to troubleshoot any problems. Her humor has also provided many laughs in what feels can be a stressful time." ~ The team at Student Life (August 28, 2020)
Scott Miller (University Libraries)
"Scott is a valued member of the University Libraries who always goes above and beyond. He was the driving force behind the Libraries re-opening plans, making sure all aspects were thought of to ensure the Libraries could provide a safe environment for our faculty, staff and students. His endless dedication and care he has for his work, the Libraries' mission, and his colleagues is unmatched. We are so grateful to have Scott as a member of the Libraries' team." ~ Sarah Gordon (August 28, 2020)
Kevin Hytten (COVID-19 Information & Service Center, Manager)
"Amazing job organizing the testing center!" ~ Janis Audet-Krans (August 28, 2020)
Elisabeth Blair (Staff Council)
"It has been my privilege to work with Elisabeth for the past year and a half. As a small two person office, we frequently have to share and allocate diverse tasks to get the job done. Elisabeth is always ready for the challenge. She is creative, mindful, engaged with a quirky sense of humor I can appreciate and ready to work on what ever task needs to get completed. I truly appreciate her diverse skill sets in writing/editing, communication, creativity, willingness to learn new skills like Drupal and the personal touch she gives to her work." ~ Alan Shashok (August 25, 2020)
Staff Spotlight is updated bi-weekly. If you have any questions about postings, please contact us. If you have nominated someone, please let them know!
Photos & Video of Past Staff Appreciation Celebrations at UVM
Show your appreciation for a staff member and colleague by nominating them for the UVM Staff Spotlight. Your kind words go a long way in building comaraderie and letting someone know their work is valued.
Staff Spotlight is open for 2021! Please send your comments via the link below no later than October 15, 2021.