Engineering Staff Association Honors Snider And Williams For Outstanding Contributions

BLACKSBURG, Va., May 15, 2003 – Jeff Snider of Christiansburg and Beverly Williams of Pembroke have received 2003 Employee Recognition Awards from the College Association for Staff in Engineering (CASE) for their outstanding contributions and service to the college.

Snider, who joined the staff of the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) in December 1988, "is exactly the type of employee for whom the CASE awards were created," said Joel Nachlas of the ISE faculty.

In his roles as an instrument maker, lab technician and instructor, Snider has worked with faculty and students in all areas of the department. He has fabricated research equipment in the manufacturing processes lab, provided mechanical design support for the displays and controls lab, helped construct experimental test rigs in the locomotion research lab, and helped set up the assessment and cognitive ergonomics lab. Year after year, he has instructed ISE students in the safe use of lab equipment.

"He is the first to say 'Sure, I can help,' and the first to show up with the tools to complete the job," said Robert Beaton, ISE professor and director of the display and controls lab.

Somehow, Snider also finds the time to work on projects outside ISE. When Scott Poole, chair of the Foundation Program in Architecture, designed a stainless steel object that required precision machine work, Snider "took on the challenge and produced an exceptional object," Poole said. The object was later exhibited at the Royal Academy of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Snider has repaired equipment for the Virginia Tech Dairy Farm and taught a sand-casting lab to eighth and ninth graders during the College of Engineering's IMAGINATION summer camp.

Williams joined the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) in 1998 as an administrative assistant for the Materials Response Group. This group of faculty and graduate students conducts an active research program, and Williams makes their travel arrangements and sees to it that their research proposals are prepared and submitted in order and on time.

Williams has contributed to the success of a number of awarded proposals, noted ESM faculty Jack Lesko and Scott Case. "Specifically, as an extraordinary contribution to the NSF IGERT proposal (a five-year grant awarded at $2.7 million), Beverly led the collection, organization and analysis of statistics that formed a critical section to the proposal," Lesko and Case wrote in their nomination of Williams for the CASE award. "We could not turn out the number and quality of proposals if it were not for her additional time, thoughtful initiatives and careful attention to details."

Having trained herself in the National Science Foundation Fastlane proposal submission process, Williams helps ESM faculty navigate this process. "She often stays late or comes in on her day off to ensure that deadlines are met," said Sheila Collins, executive assistant for the Materials Response Group.

"In addition to being a superb employee, Beverly is a friendly, positive person who always makes time for students," wrote Ph.D. students Michael Hayes and John Bausano in support of Williams' nomination for the CASE award. "She demonstrates unremitting patience and perseverance in dealing with an ever-changing set of responsibilities and a continual turnover in students."