The Outstanding Employee awards are chosen by nominations received by the Awards Committee from all faculty, staff, and students at VIMS. They are awarded in the categories of Facilities/Safety/Trades, Research and Advisory Service, Technical Support, and Administrative Support.
The winner of the 2016 Outstanding Employee for Technical Support is Ms. Barb Rutan.
Barb has worked for more than 20 years at VIMS as a laboratory technician in multiple labs, multiple departments, and with multiple researchers. A dedicated scientist, she goes above and beyond her duties by offering valuable training and tips to students and staff concerning equipment use, experimental methods, and general knowledge to cut through red tape and get work done in a timely manner.
Barb's friendly, no-nonsense nature and dogged determination ensure all tasks are done efficiently and correctly. She is always happy to provide assistance and information to others outside of her lab when help is needed. When time allows, Barb assists in projects outside her own research lab, often volunteering her time to ensure projects are completed when groups find themselves short-staffed.
Barb is also the author of many sets of “Barb Notes”—akin to the literary “Cliff Notes”—for protocols, equipment use, and maintenance of complex scientific instruments, to the benefit of many at VIMS. She has arranged many visits by vendor representative and negotiated equipment and supply quotes that have resulted in useful information and cost savings to researchers at VIMS. Barb is a true asset to the Institution and well deserving of this award for Outstanding Technical Support.