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Division of Administration Newsletter E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

November 2020

Eric Kopstain

Last month, I had the privilege of participating in Chancellor Diermeier’s inaugural Fall Staff Assembly. I hope that many of you had the opportunity to attend the virtual event, and if not, I highly encourage you to watch the recording. We heard from the Chancellor on the state of the university, and he thanked staff for their essential contributions to ensuring that students, faculty and staff could return to campus safely and that key operations and initiatives can continue amidst the pandemic. We heard from Caroline Johnston, President of the University Staff Advisory Council (USAC) on the role the council plays and key initiatives being addressed this year in collaboration with campus partners. The Chancellor also announced that starting in 2021, Vanderbilt will recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a paid staff holiday, which aligns with our commitment to and efforts to strengthen equity, diversity and inclusion. For more about Vanderbilt’s efforts around this topic, I encourage you to read the recently released 2019-20 Report for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. The Chancellor announced that the university will grant two administrative closure days at the beginning of this year’s winter break as well.

The part that I enjoyed by far, though, was the presentation of the Anchor Down, Step Up Excellence Awards. Division of Administration staff were among those honored with individual and team awards, and we had a strong presence among those awarded. Five out of the nine individual awards went to staff in our division, including Triketta Brooks, Jessamyn Davis, Andrea George, Shaneithia Lewis and Carmen Marks. Members of our staff in the following teams were honored as part of team awards: Campus Circulation and Daily Operations (Facilities) Team, Campus Dining Team, “Ghostbusters” Disinfecting Team (Custodial Services) and the Vanderbilt Public Health Central Command Center. Learn more about those recognized here.

The awards confirmed for me something that I already knew – our division has been an absolutely integral part of the COVID-19 response and efforts to ensure students could return to campus safely this semester. The efforts of those awarded at the assembly represent just some of the many contributions made by each and every one of you, and I am truly appreciative of your dedication, collaboration and innovation during these challenging times.

In the spirit of prior newsletters, I would like to highlight additional staff in our division who are going above and beyond, whether directly related to the pandemic or working on other important initiatives and efforts. Thank you again for your extraordinary efforts; I continue to be inspired by the work you do in direct support of our university’s mission.

IN FOCUS 

William “Todd” Anderson, CSO III, Vanderbilt University Public Safety

Todd Anderson

Todd Anderson coordinates the services and supplies for the entire Public Safety department vehicle fleet. During the pandemic, Todd has worked diligently to not only maintain a consistent supply of products to help ensure the cleanliness and disinfection of the entire vehicle fleet, but also the Public Health AmbassaDore (PHA) golf cart transportation program. Todd supplies gloves, disinfectant wipes, sprays and sanitizer needs for all forms of the police and security transportation needs to help officers and staff keep the shared vehicles clean and safe for guests and the team. Cleaning products have been difficult to obtain, and Todd has helped manage ordering, stocking and inventory control to ensure the team never runs out and that they have all they need to be successful.

Michael Briggs, Assistant Director, Transportation & Mobility

Michael Briggs

Michael Briggs has been with the university almost one year. In that time, he has made an instrumental impact, particularly with efforts related to MoveVU, the university’s strategic transportation and mobility plan. Michael is involved with a wide range of projects under MoveVU including the launch of daily parking and management of the MoveVU Commute Hub, VandyRide service improvements, Vision Zero webinars and efforts to adapt and better align transportation modes and programs to the university’s long-term goals and values. In addition, he has worked tirelessly since the onset of the pandemic on efforts to promote social distancing and enhance mobility, including implementing automatic pedestrian crosswalk signals on and near campus to eliminate the need to touch crosswalk buttons, develop a commuter survey to assess commuter’s attitudes and needs since the pandemic, offer more flexible parking options, modify campus streets to allow for more physical distancing and other modes beyond driving, and much more.

Michael is the primary manager of the MoveVU program email account and responds to questions and inquiries on a daily basis. He is a great listener and provides thoughtful, empathetic responses that show he truly cares about the people of Vanderbilt and seeing programs succeed. Michael takes challenges in stride and quickly works to find solutions to issues. He is a wonderful collaborator – working closely with staff from Parking Services, Facilities, VUIT, Procurement and external groups outside of the university regularly. He also leads the MoveVU Operational Hub, a group that includes representatives from areas closely tied to mobility and transportation efforts that meet to discuss and provide feedback on MoveVU programs. Michael is extremely dedicated and has a strong work ethic, and his impact has been immense.

Ricky Chandler, Zone Manager, Facilities

Ricky Chandler

Ricky Chandler, Zone Manager for Zone 2 (Historic District), and his team were instrumental in setting up circulation patterns in academic and administrative buildings as part of preparations to ensure buildings were prepared to support physical distancing for the fall semester. Ricky’s team installed circulation patterns in the public spaces of most of the campus (amounting to approx. five million square feet) in less than ten weeks. Working from the plans laid out by the circulation design team, they ensured people knew how to navigate our buildings in a safe and orderly manner. One observer noted the circulation patterns reassured them that the university had thought through every detail in our return to campus plan.

Anita Jenious, Director, Equal Opportunity and Access Office

Anita Jenious

Anita’s calm, steady leadership has been invaluable as the EOA team coordinated with University partners – including HR – to address the needs of faculty, staff, postdocs, and trainees arising from the pandemic and adjustments to work conditions. Anita and the team rapidly developed new forms and processes to provide streamlined access to reasonable accommodations and turned the subsequent requests in record time. Many applicants had not previously navigated the request process, and the concentrated influx of requests created challenges for EOA and for supervisors. Anita guided the team through responding to each of these requests and communicated with University leadership to assure the process remained nimble in light of changing circumstances. As the University moves into its next phase of response to COVID-19, Anita and the EOA team are already at work tweaking the workflow to respond to current need.

Batia Karabel, Senior Administrative Officer, Equal Access

Batia Karabel

Though having recently moved into her new position as Administrative Officer for Equal Access, Batia has been part of the Title IX Office since 2018 as its Assistant Director. In this role, the duties of which she continues to perform as we transition, Batia has shined as she has taken on greater responsibility for operation of the Title IX Office through multiple staff transitions, while moving to a remote investigation format as a result of COVID-19. Batia has provided key leadership for the University as it has developed new policies and protocols following promulgation of the new rule addressing Title IX obligations for educational institutions. Batia has worked tirelessly to assure the Title IX Office continues to respond to the needs of the Vanderbilt community during a time of tremendous challenge, all while maintaining good humor and a vision for what is possible.

Angela King, Lieutenant, Vanderbilt University Public Safety

Angela King

Lieutenant Angela King has exemplified true leadership by going above and beyond her normal duties during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since students returned to campus, she has worked almost every Friday and Saturday beyond the normal end of her shift to assist on-coming shift supervisors with call volume dealing with COVID-19 related calls on and off campus. Lt. King assisted in the development of every weekend campus staffing plan, which included the zone assignments of law enforcement officers and CSOs to additional posts for the weekend. Lt. King voluntarily traveled to all off-campus locations where students were housed this semester to provide guidance about Vanderbilt’s return to campus policies. As a supervisor, she was the first officer who responded to all off campus COVID-19 calls because she wanted to be able to provide first-hand guidance to campus officers. Lt. King is an asset to the Public Safety team, and her dedication and willingness to go above and beyond directly contributes to the safety and wellbeing of our students.

Suzette Roberson, Cashier and Food Production, Campus Dining

Suzette Roberson

Suzette Roberson has worked for Campus Dining for 26 years.  She is the smiling face that students, faculty and staff who dine in Rand Dining Hall each day see. Suzette hasn’t missed a beat since returning to work for the fall semester. She has embraced the operational changes in Campus Dining and stepped up to take on an internal COVID ambassador role in her work unit. She encourages proper face mask usage and social distancing. She provides directions to ensure guests know where to find hand sanitizer stations and sinks for hand washing.

Brian Sorenson, Sequoias Lead Teacher, The Acorn School at 18th Avenue

Brian Sorenson

Brian Sorenson is the lead teacher at The Acorn School at 18th Avenue. His joyful musical approach to empowering children to “Be the Hero” by creating songs and videos to support families at home and at school to wear their mask in the time of COVID has an impact beyond his classroom. Brian’s work is freely shared and supports other classes and schools, including ECE programs in other states!

Ryan Storey, Sports Turf Manager; Justin Barker, Sports Lawn Specialist; Lee Langley, Arborist – Grounds team, Facilities 

Ryan Storey normally spends his days ensuring the university’s sports turf and lawns are ready for use by our student athletes, student body, faculty and staff. When called upon to help out during the pandemic, Ryan and his team began by installing outdoor signage and circulation patterns. After students arrived for the fall semester, Ryan was instrumental in setting up fences around dining tents and painting hundreds of circles every week on campus lawns, which are used to indicate social distancing spaces in open areas on campus. Ryan was joined by Lee Langley and Justin Barker, also in Facilities, who have painted thousands of circles to help keep students safe and physically distanced. Lee and Justin have painted circles on Alumni, Wilson, Peabody and Commons lawns. Their circles have been used for classes, yoga, rhumba, and socializing. Lee and Justin’s efforts to create the circles with Ryan are on top of their normal responsibilities and have been instrumental in allowing students on campus safe ways to socialize.

Facilities Housekeeping Supervisors Group

Lyn Eubanks, Beatrice Nolan, Katesha Roland, Lattica Mitchell, Chris Reddon, Mamand Taabur, Leo Sguera, Aaron Longhurst, Ricky Hughes, Hobert Woods, and Ericka Foster attend to campus needs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This group of housekeeping supervisors ensure we have a campus that is clean, safe, healthy and presentable for faculty, students and staff. During the pandemic, this team was on the front line from day one. Cleaning and disinfecting campus buildings and quarantine and isolation spaces, packing student belongings, preparing residential spaces, and setting up circulation patterns and socially distanced spaces are just a part of the daily workload of these stellar staff. They did so with a willing attitude and good spirit.

VUPS welcomes K-9 Corporal Levi 

Sgt. Cheryl Bradley and Corporal Levi

Upcoming Events & Activities 

Career and Compensation Framework Information Sessions

Disrupting Everyday Bias Training

Resources

Return to Campus website

Return to Campus video series

Past Division of Administration Newsletters

NOMINATIONS & STORIES

If you know of a staff member in our division you would like to nominate to be featured in an upcoming newsletter, please email Leigh Shoup (leigh.shoup@vanderbilt.edu).

Please also continue to share your stories, pictures and videos showing the spirit and work ethic of our division with Leigh Shoup (leigh.shoup@vanderbilt.edu) and we will continue to share those stories in future newsletters and other ways.

 

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration

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