A host of Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Health faculty and staff were honored Tuesday at the 51st annual Service Recognition Celebration.
The event was held in the Stuart C. Siegel Center and highlighted the significant tenure of more than 2,700 VCU and VCU Health employees. Among those who reached milestones in 2022, nearly 1,100 were cited for completing five years of service. And for a smaller but equally notable number, nine honorees completed their 50th year of service in 2022.
VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., said employees in every service span are critical to the university’s success—not only as a workplace, but as an example for higher education and the community.
“People at VCU have empathy and care deeply about other people and transforming their lives,” said Rao, who highlighted the legacy of longtime colleagues. “Everything that I represent is because of this great foundation that you built as a team at this institution. You are moving many people’s lives forward. You are moving this institution forward. You have actually helped create what the rest of the nation needs to see [which] is a true public research university.”
Among those celebrating 50 years at VCU was Yvonne Jones, assistant director of dining operations in VCU Business Services. She began working at the Cobblestone Sandwich shop on campus. When the owner wanted to leave VCU and take the staff with him, Jones didn’t want to. To keep her on campus, several professors and deans signed a petition to keep her here.
“I’ve been happy here — I really have,” Jones said. “That’s why I’m still here.”
Anil Chatterji, director of IT for the College of Engineering, has completed 45 years at VCU. In the summer of 1976, he was an international graduate student studying at Virginia Tech, and he worked at VCU in data collection. Chatterji impressed his colleagues and he was told that there would be a job waiting for him after graduation.
“Then a year later I came back and I’ve been full time ever since,” he said.
The celebration also included special recognition of several VCU employees.
This annual awards ceremony recognizes members of the Ram family who are celebrating years of service to an unstoppable institution.
The President’s Award of Excellence
Trescinda “Cindy” Cull, Director of Budgets and Financial Reporting for the Office of the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences. The award recognizes extraordinary contributions to VCU or VCU Health over a career.
President’s Outstanding Achievement Award
Corey Byers, senior public relations specialist with the VCU Police Department, and Molly Wright, communications director for strategic initiatives in the Office of the Provost’s Institutional Research and Decision Support. The award recognizes achievements, leadership and contributions that have resulted in significant benefits to VCU or VCU Health within the employee’s job.
Dorris Douglas Budd Award
Jillian Rountree, Program Manager, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Palliative Care. The award recognizes the excellence of a VCU or VCU Health administrative office support worker.
Danny Woodward President’s Service Excellence Award
Judy Gary, Assistant Director of Medical Education and Co-Director of the fmSTAT Scholars Track in the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health. The award recognizes outstanding service to students, patients, colleagues and other customers of VCU and VCU Health and the display of a positive attitude even under the most difficult circumstances.
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