I, Forest Smith, am honored to take a moment to write this letter of nomination for Ms. Vernica Anderson. I have known Ms. Anderson for the past 2 years as her supervisor in the College of Nursing. She has been employed at the College for the past 18 years. She has worked with thousands of students aspiring admission to the College of Nursing to ultimately become nurses. Since I have been her supervisor, she routinely goes beyond her comfort level to learn new skills and then uses her knowledge to make the new practices more efficient. She always is willing to work with other faculty and staff to provide them with information to aid in their interactions with our students. I have spoken with several hundred students concerning their interaction with Ms. Anderson and they have told me, and I have observed on a daily basis, that she is a very conscientious, competent, and caring professional.
As the director of the department, I hear the complaints and dissatisfied clients. Ms. Anderson goes beyond the call-of-duty to keep meticulous records. She strives to treat all of the students fairly and respectfully while remaining within the university and college guidelines. I rarely have overturned her decisions. Until the past few months, Ms. Anderson has served as the admissions counselor and secretary (as there was no secretary). That means she was responsible for corresponding with hundreds of potential students throughout the year by herself, while being available to speak to the on average 20 to 30 walk-ins every day. She loves the university and is a shining example of the type of person that should be working with students. Through her efforts, the College of Nursing successfully selects and admits over two hundred outstanding students each year from a group of more than twice as many applicants. Maintaining a good rapport with that many students (not to mention those who are not selected), is quite a talent.
As I have been worked with student services on six college campuses spanning over the past thirty-plus years, I can truthfully say that Ms. Anderson is one of the most dedicated employees that I have ever seen. I am particularly struck by her continuous contributions toward making the admissions process more client (student) friendly. She has initiated short cuts, guidelines, and other resources to aid the student in completing their application packets which makes their first endeavor with Prairie View a good one. Extending herself as a university representative, she also assists students with any needs they have by contacting the correct office for them, providing the student with information on services, or giving the student the contacts they need. Granted, we all should be doing this, but I have observed a “that’s not my job” attitude by many.
Ms. Anderson is tenacious in establishing first-time meetings, and opportunities with other colleges and university faculty and staff (particularly in admissions and financial aid) to enhance their relationships, and collaborative efforts to make operations between the College and other offices more efficient and effective, thus making it easier for students.
Again, it is with great pleasure that I nominate Ms. Vernica Anderson for the Staff Employee of the Year.
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