BLACKSBURG, Va., May 3, 2012 – Patricia Baker, retired fiscal technician in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics in the College of Engineering, has received the 2012 Staff Career Achievement Award. Baker retired in 2011 after 22 years of service to the university.
Created in 2011 to recognize retiring staff members, the Staff Career Achievement Award is presented annually to up to five individuals who have distinguished themselves through exemplary performance and service during their university career. Nominees must have served a minimum of 10 years at Virginia Tech. Each recipient is awarded a $1,000 cash prize.
During her tenure, Baker was known for her deep commitment to self-improvement and professional development. She began in the department as a receptionist and retired as fiscal technician, an illustration of her dedication to lifelong learning.
In 1994, Baker was the only staff member of the department who was familiar with Microsoft Word. She increased her professional skills with training from the controller’s office, the Office of Sponsored Programs, and an Office Software Skills training program. When the department was a volunteer pilot group for the implementation of HokieMart, Baker served as a trainer, teaching 50 faculty and staff in its use.
“Pat was a gem to have on our team," said one of her nominators. "She consistently performed her duties and exceeded what was expected. She often helped other staff members with unexpected deadlines and did not hesitate to help out during the absence of other staff. She served as a dedicated employee who worked extra hours to get the job completed, not because she was asked to but because she was concerned that a deadline might not be met.”
Baker served on the department’s strategic planning committee in 2004 and brought a unique staff-oriented perspective to the vision and planning of the task. She was a member of the department’s disaster preparedness committee and participated in numerous activities to enhance the department’s image.
“During my 33 years of academic life at two land-grant universities, I have not seen a fiscal technician more capable than Pat Baker,” said Romesh Batra, Clifton C. Garvin Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics. “Even though her workload increased, as my colleagues were very fortunate to attract considerable funding from a variety of sources, she pleasantly and efficiently took over the additional work.”
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 215 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 30,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $450 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.