For the first time, two recipients were recognized with the annual Hokie Wellness Supervisor Spotlight Award, which was awarded by President Tim Sands at a recent ceremony.

Servant leadership was the recurring theme in the nominations for 2018 award winners Stephanie Hart, director of The Advising Center of the College of Natural Resources and Environment, and Linzy Martinelli, assistant director for residence life, Ambler Johnston (West).

The phrase “servant leadership” was conceived by Robert K. Greenleaf in “The Servant as Leader,” an essay first published in 1970. The principles of servant leadership include listening, empathy, awareness, building community, and nurturing the spirit, according to Larry Spears, chief executive officer of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.

“Stephanie has a reputation for being friendly, gentle, approachable, and calm,” said her team of nominators – John Gray Williams, director of recruitment; Cathy Barker, student services coordinator; and Lauren Varboncoeur, academic advisor for fish and wildlife conservation, who are all members of her staff. “It is very easy to talk to her about anything, and you know that she will take you seriously and work hard to address concerns.”

Hart was honored to be selected for the award. “I believe strongly in servant leadership and that a large part of my role as a supervisor is to serve those I work with,” she said. “It was nice to see that comments in the nomination packet reflected my desire to serve others.”

Amanda Eagan, student life coordinator, and Erin Coiley, residential learning coordinator, nominators for Linzy Martinelli and members of her staff, spoke highly of Martinelli. “In addition to being present in the work we do, Linzy also takes time to recognize and celebrate the identities that her staff and members of the larger Virginia Tech community bring to the table,” Eagan and Coiley said.

Martinelli also showed gratitude for being chosen as a recipient of the award. “Being selected is less about the recognition and more about knowing that the staff members who nominated me are feeling that, as their supervisor, I am providing the support they need to be successful in their roles,” she said. “In order for our teams to support our students and meet the demands of the job, they need to be healthy, whole beings themselves.”

The annual Supervisor Spotlight Award is given to a supervisor at Virginia Tech who epitomizes and promotes work-life balance through the consistent recognition of and responsiveness to his or her employees’ professional and personal lives.

Written by Ana Agud, wellness program coordinator, Hokie Wellness.

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