The Outstanding Staff 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, Technical Support, and Administrative Support.

Justin Paul, winner of the 2021 Outstanding Employee in Facilities/Safety/Trades, with Dean & Director Dr. Derek Aday.

This year, we are pleased to present the Outstanding Employee in Facilities/Safety/Trades to Justin Paul.

Justin is the Facilities and Grounds Supervisor for the Eastern Shore Lab, which is in the middle of an all-encompassing construction project to replace 4 buildings and add 2 new ones. Justin has provided insight and expertise in all aspects of this project including planning, design review, value engineering, relocating people and gear, aiding construction and utility crews, and heading off issues before they become major problems. He has done all this while maintaining and improving the ESL’s vessels, vehicles, and shore-based operations and systems.

One example of Justin’s dedication occurred when the VIMS Multispecies Research Group suffered a broken axle spring while attempting to trailer their 25-ft vessel after a long day on the juvenile shark longline survey. Justin fixed the trailer that day and got the boat back into the water for the next day’s work.

Justin also volunteers with the Wachapreague Volunteer Fire Company, where he now serves as Deputy Chief. He joined the company in 2001, worked his way through the ranks, and is now a leader who continually sets the standard for others to follow. Between his devotion to his work and to the community, Justin is never truly “off duty."

Because Justin routinely goes above and beyond his duties and responsibilities with pride and dedication, and because of his commitment and leadership in the community, he is highly deserving of this Award.

Congratulations, Justin!