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 Administrative Support is Ms. Dawn Fleming.
Dawn is the “most excellent manager of everything” in the Center for Coastal Resources Management at VIMS. Her petite stature belies an outsized set of remarkable skills and prodigious productivity. Originally hired to provide basic administrative support, Dawn now manages a continuing advisory contract; designs, edits, and publishes the CCRM newsletter; handles all of the Center’s purchasing, including the legal acquisition of hybrid cars, cotton-candy machines, drones, shotguns, and off-brand phone apps; is the de facto business manager for CCRM, having taken on all the budgeting and accounting tasks previously handled by others; manages the CCRM website; and runs the CCRM vehicle pool.
When CCRM was recently relocated to make way for the new Consolidated Scientific Research Center, CCRM staff gave unanimous credit to Dawn for their surviving the experience. Her exceptional good humor, amazing empathy, and compulsion for organization saved the Facilities staff from CCRM, and vice versa. Dawn has the full respect of her colleagues who recognize the many valuable characteristics she brings to her job, including the stamina of a soccer player, the undying optimism of a mother, the tolerant bemusement of a dog owner, and the focus of a champion pistol markswoman.