Employee Spotlight 2020

August

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Chris Shelton
Martinsville, VA
Landscape Superintendent
4 years of dedicated service

  • What is your favorite thing about working at Radford University? Working with the people within the Facilities Management organization: Facilities Management has a plethora of individuals striving to achieve the goal of supporting the physical development and growth of Radford University. Without these individuals and their willingness to work to meet the needs of the University, the success of Radford University would not be possible.
  • What is one thing on your bucket list? Hiking the Virginia Triple Crown. A 32 mile hike including Dragons Tooth, McAfee's Knob, and Tinkers Cliffs.
  • What do you do for fun? Golfing, hiking, sporting events, and socializing with friends on the weekends.
  • If given the chance, who would you like to be for a day? No one. The grass is not always greener. 
  • What would you describe as the most important personal  attributes or strength that you bring to your job? The ability to cope with failures and learn from mistakes.
  • What advice would you offer to other employees at Radford University?  Be fluid and receptive to changes throughout the day and be open to doing things that you have not done before.

July

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Danny Coalson
Pulaski, VA
Manager, Printing Services
34 years of dedicated service

  • What is your favorite thing about working at Radford University? The people. I have met so many good interesting individuals here, both employees and students. Every year ends in the common goal of commencement, which is one of the happiest days in the lives of students and parents.
  • What is one thing on your bucket list? To enjoy my grandchildren growing up.
  • What do you do for fun?  Spending time with my family. I love outdoor activities including kayaking, hiking, fishing, gardening and traveling to new places.
  • If given the chance, who would you like to be for a day? Santa
  • What would you describe as the most important personal  attributes or strength that you bring to your job? Over thirty years in supervision and management with over forty years in the printing industry. Adapting to many changes in technology and constantly looking to improve while always working in a team environment.
  • What advice would you offer to other employees at Radford University?  There are a lot of opportunities available at Radford University. If you apply yourself there are many chances to better who you are. Working in an educational institution environment in itself is a life enhancing experience.

June

John-DV

John DeVilbiss
Radford, VA
Patrol Officer
2.5 years of dedicated service

  • What is your favorite thing about working at Radford University? I feel like I work with family. There is a connection and kindness that I won’t find anywhere else in the world.
  • What is one thing on your bucket list? Compete an Ironman Triathlon
  • What do you do for fun?  Kayak on the river, hike, and walk. Burn some powder at the gun range and a shameful amount video games too. 
  • If given the chance, who would you like to be for a day? Jocko Willink – Navy Seal
  • What would you describe as the most important personal  attributes or strength that you bring to your job? I always try to have a genuine smile.
  • What advice would you offer to other employees at Radford University?  In the past few months, we have faced the unimaginable. We have all seen things we hoped to never see. Now we are being asked to carry out something that is more than we have ever been asked to do and with even less.  Despite these challenges, I am grateful that I haven’t seen one thing: us giving up. We have always accomplished the goals and tasks set before us. We need to be proud of our work and ability to achieve. I have faith that we will find the strength to not only survive but strive to make great things happen.  “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world… Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margret Mead.

May

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Rhonda London
Radford, VA
Senior Contract Officer
5 years of dedicated service

  • What is your favorite thing about working at Radford University? My co-workers and the people that I support at the University. Everyone I work with supports and encourages each other.  I love being a part of a team that works well together and jumps in to help their teammates when needed.  
  • What is one thing on your bucket list? When I retire, I want to visit all the states in the USA.  I have been to many of them but still have some I have not yet been to and explored in depth.  The one I want to spend the most time in is Alaska.  I would like to spend the entire summer exploring that beautiful part of our country.  There is so much outdoors there to explore and animals to see.  Although some of them I only want to view from a distance!
  • What do you do for fun?  Camping in an RV (which my husband calls Glam Camping!), hiking with my family, kayaking, mountain biking, just being outdoors!  The outdoors soothes me with the fresh air, birds chirping and getting away from the craziness of our daily lives and spending time with family with no distractions.
  • If given the chance, who would you like to be for a day? I really cannot think of any one person.  I would like to be with the person/team on the day that they finally discover the cure for cancer.  I personally have experienced cancer and had many family members, friends and co-workers who have suffered through cancer and some who lost the fight.  It would be wonderful to have a cure so people will not have to go through chemotherapy/radiation treatments and suffering.  I see the children at UVA when I have to go. They are sick, bald and so sad and scared yet such fighters!  What a wonderful day it will be when there is a cure!  
  • What would you describe as the most important personal  attributes or strength that you bring to your job?  I am a team player and enjoy being around people and the camaraderie that is shared.  I want to help people and am also a good listener.  I actually listen to them and try to understand their issues or problems they are going through at that moment in time.  I am told this trait is becoming a dying art!  I also have a strong work ethic which was instilled in me by my father.  I always try to do a days’ worth of honest work and show my value to the organization that I support.      
  • What advice would you offer to other employees at Radford University? With COVID-19 as the primary focus today, I have realized that counting my blessings and not focusing on all the negativity going on in the world helps to keep you in a better frame of mind.  Focus on the good not the bad.  Come to work each day (virtually or in the office) with a positive can-do attitude.  If we all came in ready to face obstacles/challenges and willing to work to solve/conquer them as a team, it is amazing how this would affect our attitude in a very positive way. 

April

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Elsie Kiernan
Christiansburg, VA
Housekeeper
15 years of dedicated service

  • What is your favorite thing about working at Radford University? To fulfill my job every day and finish my work to the satisfaction of myself and of my bosses.  I also enjoy communicating with the students.
  • What is one thing on your bucket list? Visiting the Grand Canyon
  • What do you do for fun?  Go shopping and watch football
  • If given the chance, who would you like to be for a day?  Bill Gates
  • What would you describe as the most important personal  attributes or strength that you bring to your job?  Love for the school, the students; and also, being part of facilities gives me joy and strength.
  • What advice would you offer to other employees at Radford University? Do and give your best to perform your duties to the best of your ability!

March

Jesse Perfater

Jesse Perfater
Blacksburg, VA
Painter
17 years of dedicated service

  • What is your favorite thing about working at Radford University? The people
  • What is one thing on your bucket list?  To interact with people who I consider heroes.
  • What do you do for fun?  I enjoy riding horses and taking wagon rides.
  • If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day? I always want to just be myself.
  • What would you describe as your most important personal attributes or strengths that you bring to your job? Having an upbeat and crazy attitude.  I am a people person who enjoys artistic projects.
  • What advice would you offer to other employees at Radford University? Maintain a positive attitude and be mindful that bad situations are only temporary.

February

Jenene Lewis

Jenene Lewis
Radford, VA
Employee Relations Specialist
16 years of dedicated service

  • What is your favorite thing about working at Radford University?  Working closely with the faculty, staff and students in employee relations to provide advisement, guidance, and support.
  • What is one thing on your bucket list?  To travel around Europe.
  • What do you do for fun?  I love to go on long walks and great adventures with my husband and “furbaby”, Bella.  I love to sing and enjoy directing the choir.
  • If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day? I would like to be a person who provides a forever home for all dogs and cats in shelters.
  • What would you describe as your most important personal attributes or strengths that you bring to your job? Through the years, my peers and clients have described me as having a calming demeanor, great listening skills, and as someone who uses a strengths-based approach to resolve conflict and other issues in the workplace.

January

Robert-Duncan

Robert Duncan
Newport, VA
Postal Manager
24 years and five months of dedicated service

  • What is your favorite thing about working at Radford University? The people and students
  • What is one thing on your bucket list? Finishing up all the projects I’ve started and not completed
  • What do you do for fun?  Listening to music, playing games or sitting on the deck early in the mornings
  • If given the chance, who would you like to be for a day? One of the people on the international space station
  • What would you describe as the most important personal  attributes or strength that you bring to your job?  Being able to solve problems that arise and finding ways to make our work more efficient