November 25, 2014:

May 18, 2010
10-096

Kate Elliot
Communications Specialist

Lesane Named Employee of Semester

VALDOSTA -- Pamela Lesane, senior secretary in the Department of Adult and Career Education, was named the Council on Staff Affairs (COSA) Employee of the Semester -- an award given twice each year to a full-time, classified staff employee who has made significant contributions beyond his or her assigned responsibilities.

Lesane is “the smile that brightens so many people’s day, the gentle-hand to wipe away tears, and the voice of reason even in unreasonable circumstances,” said Dr. Frederick Polkinghorne, who nominated Lesane for the award.

The dedicated office administrator fosters communication and collaboration among peers, management, staff and university constituents. She serves as a sounding board for professors, even providing ideas for course and program development. Her disposition and commitment to efficient, yet effective, office management is a model for “doing more with less.”

“Pam is the ‘crowning-jewel’ of our department and deserves recognition,” Polkinghorne said. “She never allows questions to go unanswered or fails to meet visitors, faculty, staff, or student needs. If she does not know the answer to a question, she always finds one.”

Vincent Spezzo, instructional technology specialist in Information Technology, was named the first runner-up. Nominator Dr. Nancy Redfern-Vance said Spezzo approaches technology presentations to faculty members with genuine skill and patience as they seek innovative computer solutions to teaching dilemmas. Spezzo is always eager to identify efficient and creative means to use technology in the classroom, she said.

"Vince and the entire Distance Learning staff are the backbone for our faculty. Without their support, we could not maximize the learning tools available to us at Valdosta State University," Redfern-Vance said. "He spent two hours personally helping me step-by-step to set up a special Wimba meeting classroom on my BlazeVIEW site, and I'm not the only one. He's assisted many of
my colleagues with similarly baffling projects."

Alicia Roberson, an academic services professional in the Student Success Center, came in second place. Roberson has been a part of the Valdosta State community since 1999, when she moved to the Azalea City to pursue a degree in speech communication. While at VSU, she was active with the Campus Activities Board, the Freshman Year Experience, orientation, and Wesley Foundation. A desire to help students realize their potential drove Roberson to earn a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2005.

Student Success Center Director Chere Peguesse, who nominated Roberson, said the action-oriented employee has had an indelible impact on the campus. Roberson created a VSU 1101 course targeting probation students, which has been extremely successful in increasing retention rates; she has also reorganized the advising training for graduate assistant advisors.

“Alicia is both a thinker and a doer. She is both humble and a leader; gracious and unafraid of challenge, inspiring and honest,” Peguesse said of Roberson, who previously worked as an admissions counselor. “She was born to collaborate -- empathizing with the challenges other departments face in adapting attitudes, processes, and programs to make the VSU college experience more enriching and efficient.”

Katrina Bloom, senior secretary in the Department of Chemistry came in third place for the prestigious award that recognizes outstanding employee achievements.

Dr. Tom Manning, professor of chemistry, nominated Bloom for her ability to work positively with students and her keen insights into running the office efficiently. The department counts on her to be a positive, encouraging presence.

“She is always willing to phone anyone, from physical plant to the business office, to solve a problem or find someone that is able to help us,” Manning said. “Even though our student assistants deal with a lot of the grunt work, Katrina has them convinced they have a great job, and therefore they are always positive and willing to help faculty members.”

Honorable mentions for the Employee of the Semester Award include: Lisa Hayes, custodial superintendent in the Physical Plant; David Pulliam, programmer analyst associate for Information Technology; Ramona Wing, custodial foreman II in the Physical Plant; and Lee Yarbrough, administrative secretary in Center for International Programs.

The Employee of the Semester recognition program began in 1994 as a method to recognize and celebrate the successes of classified staff employees who have gone above and beyond their assigned duties to make a significant contribution to the university. For more information, call Chairman Richard Hammond at 229-333-5898 or e-mail cosa@valdosta.edu.