Brenda Husser and Nancy Nolen named 2021 President’s Award for Excellence winners
April 22, 2021
Each year since 1990, the President’s Award for Excellence has recognized full-time staff and administrative and professional faculty for their outstanding contributions and consistently excellent performance.
Thirty-three employees with a collective 415 years of service were nominated for the award this year. Those employees were recognized on April 22 during a virtual ceremony in which President Tim Sands announced this year’s seven winners. Each winner received a letter of commendation from the president, a certificate, and a $2,000 pre-tax award.
“The President’s Award for Excellence recognizes determination, creativity, and true dedication to the mission and spirit of Virginia Tech,” Sands said. “These individuals kept us moving forward over the past year, while protecting the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We deeply appreciate their service to the university.”
Among the seven President’s Award recipients are two members of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences community: Brenda Husser and Nancy Nolen.
Husser, office manager and academic advisor in the Department of Sociology, leads advising efforts for undergraduates. Along with advising and assisting students, she also assists faculty with developing as teachers, researchers, and community leaders.
“Brenda’s most visible success is as an academic advisor,” wrote Anthony Kwame Harrison, associate chair for sociology, in a letter of nomination. “The past six years, the number of department majors have tripled. Brenda both managed the department and advised the majority of the majors. During our department commencement ceremony, Brenda consistently receives a standing ovation from the graduating class, and numerous students include a special thanks to her in the two to three sentence statements that are read when their names are called.
“Such personal connections and debts of gratitude are vital to the positive feelings alumni have for Virginia Tech and the degrees they earn,” Harrison added.
Husser has worked for Virginia Tech since 1981.
Nolen, enrollment services assistant in the School of Education, manages documentation for approximately 150 master’s and doctoral students. Much of her responsibility involves ensuring student paperwork — such as applications, plans of study, change forms, withdrawal forms, exams, and degree applications — is completed correctly with the appropriate signatures.
“Nancy is the most pleasant person with whom I have had the pleasure of working,” wrote Nancy Bodenhorn, associate director of the School of Education, in a letter of nomination. “She greets every request with grace and composure, which exemplifies her commitment both to Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) and to the Principles of Community.”
Nolen has worked for Virginia Tech since 1997.