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Grounds Department’s Allissa Bunner Named Employee of the Month

Photo of Allissa Bunner and ODU President John R. BroderickAllissa Bunner and ODU President John R. Broderick

It didn't take long for Old Dominion's May Employee of the Month to make an impact in the grounds department. Allissa Bunner, a biology major who joined the crew as an hourly garden and landscape technician a year ago, has impressed her supervisors and co-workers with her enthusiasm and work ethic.

"Allissa showed a penchant for learning the craft of garden and landscape maintenance and gave the full attention and energy necessary towards polishing certain skills. Her enthusiasm for the work showed through in the enjoyment her teammates have gotten from being alongside her in the field," said Chad Peevy, grounds department supervisor, who nominated her for the award.

Peevy noted that Bunner also took the initiative to obtain a pesticide technicians license through the Virginia Department of Agriculture, which is required of full-time staff in the ODU department, but not a requirement for hourly employees.

"When Allissa found out about the program she asked if she could learn," Peevy recalled. "On her own time, she studied the appropriate texts, sought knowledge from her peers, took the Virginia state exam and passed. In doing so she not only boosted our ability to increase service offerings to the university, but became the first hourly in the grounds department history to achieve such an accolade."

Peevy added that Bunner's interest in helping improve the ODU grounds is admirable.

"Allissa's creativity has benefitted the campus. In her free time she collects plant samples and raises them from seed or cuttings. With the campus grounds in mind, Allissa intentionally collected and raised a series of native plant material to install around the Oceanography and Physics Building ponds and the Virginia Garden," Peevy said.

"She was not asked to do this, but did so out of excitement for the process and a commitment to beautifying ODU."

Bunner currently serves as president of the ODU chapter of the Botanical Society of America and volunteers at the Norfolk Botanical Garden and ODU's Kaplan Orchid Conservatory. Recently, she took a leadership role in the university's Monarchs for Monarchs project, part of a larger collaborative effort to help reestablish Monarch butterfly migration habitats.

DETAILS ABOUT THE EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH PROCESS

The University Employee of the Month Selection Committee encourages employees to nominate their outstanding, "go the extra mile" colleagues and employees. This program is designed to acknowledge and reward employees whose accomplishments and/or demeanor exemplify excellence, quality service and commitment to ODU. Classified and AP faculty employees receive a framed certificate from the president, $175 and one day of leave. Hourly winners get $250, since they are not eligible to receive recognition leave.

Note: The selection committee needs specific examples that relate to each applicable criterion in order to select a nominee for the award. Nominations remain active for six months from date of submission and nominators may submit additional documentation to support a nominee during the active six months.

The criteria used to nominate an employee include the following:

  • An outstanding accomplishment that benefited the department/students.
  • Extraordinary service to internal and/or external customers.
  • Inspiring initiative/leadership.
  • Enthusiasm/energy given to assigned work.
  • Teamwork.
  • Exemplary efforts to nurture a climate of care, concern and civility.
  • Creative innovations to service, process or work tools.

For more information contact Tony Belk at jbelk@odu.edu or 683-3046, or go to http://www.odu.edu/ao/humanresources/employeeofthemonth.shtml.