Becky Jones and VA-MD Vet Med Dean Dan Givens
Dean Dan Givens presents the January 2021 Staff Member of the Month award to Becky Jones.

Becky Jones

Graduate program coordinator

Department of Population Health Sciences

Becky is the hub around which the entire student body of the Master of Public Health (MPH) program runs. She keeps track of all of the students: their applications prior to entry into the program and their plans of study, progress reports, and their courses after their entry. She reminds them of due dates and helps them in every possible way to navigate their programs. In addition to helping the students, she also helps the academic advisors by handling all of this and helping us navigate the system. She is the go-to person for any questions, from students or faculty, on coursework, graduate system, and policies. Becky does much more than this, also. I know the faculty realize how much Becky does for the students and faculty, but I hope the students realize this also! She deserves to be recognized as staff member of the month.

It is with great pleasure that I support the nomination of Becky Jones. As a new faculty member, I was assisted by Becky on numerous occasions as I settled into my position last year. More recently, she assisted me with setting up research and PhD appointments that required coordination with another college, and helped shepherd me through the process of successfully creating a new cross-listed graduate course. Whether my questions or requests for assistance were simple or quite involved, she has always responded quickly, efficiently, and in a highly positive and supportive fashion.

Becky is a consummate professional. Her work has primarily been focused on graduate students, and to that end, she did an outstanding job of coordinating the MPH student orientation, class scheduling, and registration and processing both new course proposals and curriculum changes, and many more. She now works with both the MPH students and faculty, as well as the BSPH students and faculty. To work with the BSPH students, Becky needed to learn undergraduate policies and software platforms involved in all facets of undergraduate education from new student orientation to class schedules to processing myriad forms. She has done an outstanding job of working with the undergraduate students. Becky is always friendly and helpful to both faculty and students and takes the time to go the undemanded mile in helping students and faculty. She makes our academic lives a lot easier, and I recommend her for the Dean's Staff Member of the Month.

Becky is the glue that holds us all together.

Becky goes above and beyond her assigned duties, always being there to support students and faculty alike. During this pandemic, she has remained cheerful and engaged, not only getting her work done, but also participating in innovative ways to keep students engaged and feeling supported by the department. I don’t know what we’d do without her. Thank you, Becky!

Becky keeps our program running. We would be lost without her knowledge of the Virginia Tech Graduate School and university policies and procedures. She is friendly and funny — I enjoy her sense of humor to lighten the work day! Becky also has great ideas for building community in our program/department, as well as the entire college — and puts these ideas into action! She is always willing to help, whether it be a small or big task. This support goes a long way for a growing program.

Becky does a tremendous amount for our department, as evidenced by the nominations from Population Health Sciences (PHS) staff and faculty members. However, we would be remiss if we didn't also recognize the amount of effort she puts into supporting the entire college, meeting needs beyond our department. Becky is president of the Staff Association Executive Committee, which is (to my mind) practically a full-time job in itself. In this role, she supports staff throughout the college by presiding over monthly meetings of the committee, arranging elaborate and successful fundraisers, coordinating a staff greeting card campaign, and holding a wonderful staff appreciation picnic each year. Becky was also critical in the recent development of a food pantry, open to all members of the college during this time of need in our community. Triaging staff concerns on a wide variety of topics and then elevating issues to the appropriate person for resolution — while respecting the confidentiality and the dignity of all involved — is perhaps Becky's most important contribution to our college. She does this behind the scenes, and most of us aren't even aware that it's happening. There is no doubt that Becky is a major asset to PHS and to the college as a whole. I'm so glad that I have the opportunity to count her as a friend and colleague.