Jacob Waller, a laboratory instrument maker in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, received the university's 2010 President's Award for Excellence.

The President's Award for Excellence is presented annually to up to five Virginia Tech staff employees who have made extraordinary contributions by consistent excellence in the performance of their job or a single incident, contribution, or heroic act. Each recipient is awarded a $2,000 cash prize.

A member of the Department of Biological Sciences since 1985, Waller is responsible for servicing all the equipment, spread among seven buildings, in one of the largest departments at the university. He also serves as the liaison between his department and the Department of Environmental Health and Safety Services; chairs the department's safety committee; and teaches faculty, students, and staff about safety issues. His technical expertise saves the department thousands of dollars each year by repairing, rather than replacing, equipment.

In addition to his responsibilities in the College of Science, he is the advisor and instructor for the Virginia Tech SCUBA Club. He also volunteers with the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad and was among the first responders who provided support on April 16, 2007.

"Mr. Waller's work has been exceptional from the beginning and he has become irreplaceable," said Ignacio Moore, associate professor of biological sciences. "He performs beyond expectations at every facet of his job and is always willing to help people with a problem. There are too few people that are willing to drop everything to help others, and Mr. Waller is one of those people."

"Jake has been an excellent facilities manager, an effective leader in assuring safety and security, and a frequent volunteer for community service," added Robert H. Jones, professor and head of the Department of Biological Sciences. "He has developed a well-earned reputation for excellence in supporting all the research and teaching lab operations in the department."

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