Yellow Jacket Awards Ceremony Recognizes Staff Excellence

News Story categories: RMC Up Close
The winners of the Fall 2023 Yellow Jacket Awards pose with their plaques and President Lindgren

On Tuesday, Oct. 17, Randolph-Macon recognized 12 dedicated staff members during the College’s semi-annual Yellow Jacket Awards ceremony in Birdsong Hall.

President Robert Lindgren expressed gratitude for the important roles played by staff members across the College that contribute to a meaningful educational experience for RMC students.

“I wanted to share with each of you here that you represent the very backbone of this wonderful college,” President Lindgren said. “All our achievements at RMC are accomplished largely thanks to the hard work and dedication of everyone in this room.”

Yellow Jacket Awards were given to staff members who were identified and nominated by their peers as exceptional employees. Each award recipient received a certificate and a cash award.

Remarks for each employee, shared by President Lindgren, are excerpted below.

The Excellence in Service award is given to an employee who provides excellent service to students, staff, faculty, parents, alumni, or visitors. Four staff members received this award.

Tammy Roe
Coordinator of Wellness

“Tammy has 40 plus years in the fitness industry, including 14 years with Randolph Macon. She began as a substitute Pilates instructor for our students in 2009 and then added faculty and staff exercise classes the following year.

Tammy is currently the Wellness Coordinator where she offers various free wellness services to faculty and staff members such as personal training, relaxation skills, nutrition, sleep, body fat composition, and more. Last spring, she taught 16 classes per week to students, faculty, and staff.

The College is very lucky to have someone as dedicated and passionate about her craft.”

William Hovey '21 poses with Paul Davies and President Lindgren at the Fall 2023 Yellow Jacket Awards

William Hovey ‘21
Systems Engineer – Technology Services

“As a student, he served with distinction as a member of the ITS Service Desk, which eased his transition back to his alma mater in 2022 as a Systems Engineer for Technology Services.

In his current role, William ensures that the computer equipment and applications we all depend upon work as they should.  He also updates and repairs audio-visual equipment which has become essential for instruction and special events, and teaches others how to use it.

William Hovey consistently exemplifies excellence with technology, excellence in his relationships with others, and excellence under pressure.”

Sonali Loboda poses with Provost Rosenthal and President Lindgren at the Fall 2023 Yellow Jacket Awards

Sonali Loboda
Program Administrative Coordinator – Nursing

“Sonali Loboda joined the RMC Department of Nursing on the first day of classes in September 2021 as the program administrative coordinator.  Since the department was working on the final draft of our accreditation self-study, Sonali hit the ground running.

Sonali has become central to the success of the BSN program as well as contributing to improved processes within RMC in general. She has a gift for analyzing workflow inefficiencies and independently implementing solutions to improve workflows. She is always willing to lend a hand where needed and does so with a smile and calm demeanor.”

Claudia Burcham poses with Paul Davies and President Lindgren at the Fall 2023 Yellow Jacket Awards

Claudia Burcham
Benefits Administrator

“Claudia Burcham was hired in June 2021 into our vitally important HR office and she hit the ground running.  

One of her major roles is in benefit administration, a critical and very detail-oriented area.  With almost 400 benefit eligible faculty and staff, Claudia’s commitment to quality work and the need for clear processes help ensure she is giving her best to all constituents during annual open enrollments and throughout the calendar year.

Her other major role involves student employment, where each year requires the entering of literally hundreds of Student Employment Authorization Forms coupled with critical outreach to all student workers and their supervisors.”

The Excellence as a Team Member award is given to an employee who exhibits outstanding teamwork and cooperation, both in their own department and with others. Two staff members were presented with this award.

Ashley Woody poses with Dean Azdell and President Lindgren at the Fall 2023 Yellow Jacket Awards

Ashley Woody
School Nurse/Operational Coordinator – Student Health Services

“Ashley Woody, our School Nurse and Operation Coordinator in our Student Health Center, is described as an amazing team member.  Ashley goes above and beyond to ensure that every student’s needs are heard and met.

Ashley’s dedication this past year was especially important, taking on additional responsibilities and essentially running the clinic while director Alyse Lewis was on maternity leave – and doing so both efficiently and with continuing genuine compassion to students and parents.

Ashley is indeed dedicated to the students of RMC, known for her patience and caring, and shines especially in the most challenging situations.”

Lindsay Welch poses with Diane Lowder and President Lindgren at the 2023 Fall Yellow Jacket Awards

Lindsay Welch
Associate Director of Annual Giving

“Lindsay Welch joined RMC in early 2022 as Assistant Director of Annual Giving and was soon to be promoted to her current role as Associate Director.  She has been a valued member of the RMC community since day one, quickly learning the Randolph-Macon culture and working hard to connect with as many of our alumni as possible. 

Last year, Lindsay focused on our senior class gift committee, educating them on the importance of philanthropy and giving back to RMC, and helping them successfully solicit gifts from their classmates.

She recently took over as the staff liaison to our Young Alumni Board, greatly helping to generate ongoing enthusiasm and support for Randolph-Macon College from this important constituency.”

The Excellence Behind the Scenes award is given to a staff member who provides excellent service behind the scenes, showing initiative and drive, and making Randolph-Macon a better place for work and study. Six staff members were presented with this award.

Steph Wolf poses with Beth Campbell and President Lindgren at the Fall 2023 Yellow Jacket Awards

Stephanie Wolf
Creative Director

While our new branding was certainly a group effort, much of the visual transformation traces back to the experience and work of a single individual who has approached this large and challenging project with vision, care, consistency, and lots of hard work.

Just over two years ago, Steph Wolf stepped into RMC’s newly created role of Creative Director on the Marketing and Communications team, and the work on transforming the College’s look began immediately.

All along the way, she attended to thousands of tiny details–balancing all of her regular design responsibilities with this enormous project.”

Chris Miller

“Chris is our painter extraordinaire at Randolph-Macon, and I expect nearly every building on campus features his handiwork in one way or another. 

Chris is especially busy in the summer with intensive painting projects in buildings throughout the campus. He no doubt has traversed the threshold of nearly every residence hall room at RMC.

While shiny new buildings often garner approval, it is the steady maintenance of our older and even historic buildings on campus that set the tone for a place who cares about the quality of the environment where faculty and staff work and where students learn and actually live.”

Lula Ann Thompson poses with Paul Davies and President Lindgren at the Fall 2023 Yellow Jacket Awards

Lula Ann Thompson

“Lula, who likes to be called Ann, started at RMC in January 2020, as a part-time weekend employee in Campus Safety, landing here not long before the pandemic hit. She then provided extraordinarily important service in deep cleaning residence halls and sanitizing community bathrooms and hallway for our students. 

In August 2020, Ann accepted a full-time housekeeping position, cleaning the Physical Plant, Old Chapel, and the main laundry room in the annex. No surprise, her laundry assignment brings her into contact with students from across the campus.

Ann takes pride in her work and is known for her great attitude.”

George Minor III poses with Paul Davies and President Lindgren at the Fall 2023 Yellow Jacket Awards

George Minor III

“George Minor III, part of the RMC Minor family legacy along with his father, joined the College in October 2019, first as a weekend worker deep cleaning residence halls across the campus.  He quickly became known for his attention to detail, frequently leaving his supervisor a note on issues that needed to be addressed during the week.

George soon assumed a full-time position working in the Brock Commons, cleaning the campus store, the game room, and the Common’s common areas. 

George’s work often finds him in the company of students, faculty, staff, and visitors alike in this most public and active of our campus buildings, and therefore one needing continuous upkeep.”

Debbie Napier poses with Brenda Poggendorf and President Lindgren at the 2023 Yellow Jacket Awards

Debbie Napier
Admissions Data Manager

“Debbie just celebrated 35 years with RMC. She cares deeply about the College and her work in admissions. She is responsible for keeping our potential student data clean and current. 

Indeed, Debbie’s hands-on and problem-solving approach supported the entire department through our recent time of transition. While she may not know the exact solution to a problem or question confronting her, she typically figures it out, enabling our admissions efforts to keep moving forward successfully. 

RMC is lucky to have Debbie Napier and we are so very grateful for her work behind the scenes for admissions, and thereby, the entire campus.” 

Suchen Lo poses with Provost Rosenthal and President Lindgren at the Fall 2023 Yellow Jacket Awards

Suchen Lo
Science Laboratory Manager

“Suchen helps define the word “excellence” on our campus, through her superb work as the laboratory manager for the Chemistry Department. She is admired for going above and beyond in all her duties. 

Suchen is paramount in keeping our laboratory courses and research laboratories running smoothly. She is known for her organization, and she makes sure that laboratories are not only prepped far in advance, but she also drops in to make sure the experiment is running smoothly during lab time. 

Student workers generously praise Suchen Lo’s ability as a student supervisor. Indeed, one student said, ‘She is the backbone of the chemistry department and I appreciate the opportunity to work with such an amazing individual.’”