March 24, 2023

University Staff Council Presents Larry Atkins Awards

On April 21, the USC celebrated this year’s three exceptional winners of the Larry Atkins Award. Nominees for the award are typically the unsung heroes of their departments who always go above and beyond to help and to set a positive example for the community.

The pool of nominees was competitive. Each nomination featured so many glowing anecdotes and proud stories of deserving colleagues that it was difficult to choose the winners. Ultimately, three UMW staff members were selected for recognition, one from each employment category, and were presented with their award at the USC’s April meeting in the HCC Auditorium. President Paino was on hand to congratulate the winners in person.

We’re pleased to announce the following three Atkins Award winners:

Sarah Dewees, Associate Director of the Center for Community Engagement

Sarah’s colleagues in the CCE nominated her for her kindness, energy, enthusiasm, and can-do attitude, crediting her for helping establish the center as one of the most vibrant on campus. Her commitment to the service mission of the center and of UMW at large is evident in all her hard work, from her collaboration with community partners to creating curricula and programs on campus. Sarah’s dedication and thoughtfulness are commendable.

Brian Ogle, Associate Registrar for Student Systems

Brian was recognized by his colleagues in the Registrar’s Office for being a diligent, knowledgeable employee with outstanding communication skills and a positive, helpful nature. His nomination letter pointed to his impeccable work managing all his responsibilities and his willingness to always lend a hand no matter who might need it. His care and concern for his work and for his colleagues is evident and greatly appreciated.

Gilbert (Danny) Carter, Grounds Worker

Danny was an integral part of the restoration of the Run-In Shed and Cow Barn at the Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont, making significant contributions to the design and implementation of the project. Danny and his colleagues worked carefully on this important project while still maintaining the buildings and grounds at Belmont to the highest standard. His colleagues admire his consistent attention to detail, strong work ethic, and ability to collaborate with the team. The staff at Belmont and across the UMW community are grateful for Danny’s excellent work.

A superb tribute video to all the winners, created by Shanita Mitchell, can be viewed on YouTube.

Please join the USC in congratulating these outstanding award recipients!

Mitchell wins 2022 Outstanding Visual Project IAANI Award

RSP Program Counselor and UMW 2012 alumna Shanita Mitchell

RSP Program Counselor and UMW 2012 alumna Shanita Mitchell

Rappahannock Scholars Program Counselor Shanita Mitchell was just recently recognized with an award by the International Association of Autoethnography and Narrative Inquiry for multimedia project “A Seat at the Table: A Dance Performance.” This project is a multimedia video that was danced, filmed, and edited by Shanita. The project received recognition in the category of Outstanding Audio/Visual Project. The award was presented at the 2022  International Symposium on Autoethnography and Narrative (ISAN) Conference, which was held between January 3rd through the 5th. While attending the conference, Shanita also co-presented “Disrupting the MA English Thesis: Using Autoethnography to Explore Culture and Identity in Advanced Literary Studies” where she discussed her research and experience writing her Master’s thesis.

Shanita has also been invited to be the featured performer and speaker at the CUNY New York City College of Technology upcoming Black History Month Program program themed “A Visual Celebration of Black Womanhood.” The program will feature an interview moderated by author and Chair of Department of African American Studies, Renata Ferdinand, and a press release to the campus and wider CUNY community. Shanita’s award winning work can be viewed in the online literary and arts magazine The AutoEthnographer. Currently, Shanita serves as a member of the editorial board and columnist at the magazine.