Staff Member of the Month: April 2021
Academic programs and event coordinator/office manager
Angela Webb is one of the most dedicated and deserving leaders of the Staff Member of the Month award at VA-MD Vet Med. Her knowledge of university operations, policies, and procedures is outstanding, and she can help point anyone in the right direction to find the information they are looking for. She is an invaluable asset to Virginia Tech, and our department would be lost without her leadership. She is the glue that keeps our team of 10, from administrative assistant to associate dean, performing at the level we do.
Angie always ensures every member of our team has the resources and training we need to be successful. She supports us to pursue any Virginia Tech training that would be beneficial to our role. She does not stifle our desire to grow within the university and encourages us to think about how our knowledge and training today can prepare us to be leaders of the university tomorrow. She actively listens and empathizes with each individual's needs and always goes above and beyond to make sure people feel heard and supported. Angie wears many hats to make sure each employee's needs are met in order to be the most successful in their position, while advancing the mission of VA-MD Vet Med and Virginia Tech. She is an outstanding leader.
Angie offers guidance through any situation and shines in her leadership of employees. She treats every employee with respect and support, and is very good to gently coax us in the right direction in a situation, while allowing us to problem-solve and arrive at a decision without giving us an authoritarian solution. She fosters a collaborative environment where creativity is encouraged for all. She is the best to make sure we understand what we are doing and the importance of why, and always allows room for our individual creativity and growth when tackling a difficult situation. She is the most empathetic leader and is in tune with how to encourage productivity for each individual amongst our team.
Angie leads by example. Not once has she asked our team to do something that she wouldn't do herself. She is always right beside us whether it is learning something new in Banner training, or cleaning up and taking out trash after a college-sponsored event. She will roll up her sleeves and work right beside her team, regardless of the task. Because of this, she has a gentle way of motivating team members to do even the most undesirable tasks with a smile on their face. If Angie can do it, so can I!
The lead-by-example motto Angie exhibits has only grown clearer due to the pandemic. Working tirelessly to ensure safety protocols were in place, Angie created a PPE distribution procedure where PPE was allocated and distributed to each staff member in our office, as well as all of our roughly 500 students and our teaching faculty. She was the first to go back to the office and ensure no employee would feel unsafe in their work environment and advocated for our team to continue working remotely as needed with a reduced number of staff rotating in the office. Thanks to her initiative and dedication, our schedules are fair, and she empathizes with each member's level of comfort about working in the office. She generated a solution that works for all members of our team while keeping the schedule and workload productive and fair.
Our Class of 2020 virtual graduation ceremony would not have happened without Angie's commitment and organizational skills. She devoted more than 40 hours a week to ensure our graduating students received their hard-earned recognition they deserved through a virtual, pre-recorded ceremony. Angie coordinated with numerous stakeholders across several departments on campus and organizations external to VA-MD Vet Med to ensure this virtual ceremony happened flawlessly. This is just one example of how selfless Angie is as a leader: She devotes herself to making sure others understand how appreciated they are, and they receive the recognition they deserve, even if it means working extra hours on her part to make it happen.
The pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone. Adjusting to telework would have been much more difficult without Angie leading the way for our team. She worked with each individual to make sure they had what they needed to be productive at home, and made sure she was available by both Zoom and cell phone for any questions we might have. She implemented twice weekly check-ins to make sure our mental health was okay, as well as we had the support to do our jobs remotely. In the summer months, Angie created “porch picnics” where each week she would safely and socially distantly visit a team member and bring them lunch, paid for by her own money. She cared so deeply to sacrifice her lunch hour to visit with each employee to assure them they were appreciated and cared for. It was her way of checking on each of us to make sure we were okay. Her willingness to go above and beyond for each employee boosted morale and I attribute to us having the most productive summer we've ever had.
Lastly and most importantly, Angie never lets a birthday, milestone, death, or major life event go without recognition. Even through a pandemic, she presented creative solutions to virtually route a birthday card to each member of the office to sign, and has made special trips to the office to hang a happy birthday picture on the birthday person's desk. We virtually celebrated with birthday Zooms, baby showers, and wedding showers throughout this pandemic. These have solely been due to Angie's dedication to celebrating each team member, and ensuring they are aware nine other people support them, celebrate, or mourn with them. The pandemic has truly brought out the most innovative and creative leadership qualities in Angie.
There are many, many more wonderful things I could say about Angela Webb and how deserving of a candidate she is of the Staff Member of the Month recognition. The examples above are barely a fraction of what an incredible and deserving leader she is. She is a dedicated employee, committed to working hard to advance the university and college's mission while engaging those around her to work with the same tenacity — and having fun to top it off. She is empathetic, caring, considerate, funny, and fair — the most desirable qualities in a leader. Without her leadership and guidance, I am certain I would not be where I am today, and I am thankful every day I have the opportunity to learn from her.