Gloria Smith, of Blacksburg, retired supervisor of the HR Service Center at Virginia Tech, has received the university’s 2015 Staff Career Achievement Award.

Smith retired from her position in in the Department of Human Resources in 2014 after 30 years of service to the university.

Created in 2011 to recognize retiring Virginia Tech staff members, the Staff Career Achievement Award is presented annually to as many as five individuals who have distinguished themselves through exemplary performance and service during their university career. Nominees must have served a minimum of 10 years at Virginia Tech. Each recipient is awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

“Gloria lived by the Virginia Tech motto 'Ut Prosim' (That I May Serve) from the moment she became employed with the university,” wrote Sherwood Wilson, vice president for administration in his nomination letter. “An individual who was always willing to go the extra mile, she treated people equally and made it her priority to resolve problems and answer questions for our employees.”

During her Virginia Tech career, Smith acquired a broad range of knowledge and experience within the Department of Human Resources, which allowed her to respond to any inquiry in a quick, accurate, and comprehensive manner.

In 2008, the university established the HR Service Center to serve as a first point of contact for employees to inquire about a wide range of topics, from the hiring process to benefits. Smith was instrumental in the creation of the center and was its first supervisor.

As the service center supervisor, Smith ensured that representatives were sufficiently trained and were kept up-to-date on policy and procedure changes that impacted university employees. This helped ensure that service center staff offered the highest level of service to customers.

“Even though she has been retired for more than six months, the service center still receives calls requesting assistance from Gloria, a true reflection of the trust that she established with the university community,” added Wilson.

Over time, the service center evolved and expanded its role to provide support for administrative services, including Human Resources Banner and PeopleAdmin for the broader university.

In addition to her role with the service center, Smith took on the additional responsibility of new employee orientation coordinator to help new employees with their first experience as a member of the Virginia Tech community.

Smith also served as the secretary for the Virginia Tech Retirees Association, which gave her an opportunity to interact with retirees from across the university. She coordinated meetings, luncheons, and events for the association and ensured membership information was always up-to-date.

During her employment at the university, Smith received her bachelor’s degree from Bluefield College and continued to expand her knowledge in the field of human resources to better serve her department and the university. An active member of the Society for Human Resource Management, she earned her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification in 2008. She encouraged her direct reports and peers to utilize professional development resources and opportunities by sharing her experiences.

“Gloria committed her career to Virginia Tech, never wavering in her service to the university,” wrote Wilson. “She began her career immediately after graduating high school and remained in the same department for almost her entire time with the university and shared knowledge with her colleagues and helped individuals grow and develop within their roles.”

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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