Tabitha M. Hartman, office manager and human resources representative in the Department of Horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has received the university’s 2018 President’s Award for Excellence.

The President’s Award for Excellence is presented annually to up to five Virginia Tech 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.

In 2016, in the midst of several staff changes and shortages, Hartman began working with the Department of Horticulture. While she was hired to primarily oversee all of the human resource details of the department, she took on additional roles willingly and without compensation. Within a year of starting her position, she was the department’s anchor.

Hartman learned about activity codes and budget numbers and worked to keep the budget under control at the end of the fiscal year and at the beginning of a new one. She was attending to graduate and undergraduate programs and “emergencies” that came up. Additionally, she taught part-time help so that the gardens and greenhouses could continue operating.

“She looked upon her new and expanded responsibilities as a worthy challenge and became fully engaged in the process. Tabitha’s professionalism and approachable nature are critical to her success and her effectiveness for our faculty, staff, and students. Our department, in particular, and the university as a whole is a better place to study and work because of Ms. Hartman,” wrote David D. Close, Extension specialist and state program leader for agriculture, in a letter of nomination.

Hartman is a team player who is committed to ensuring that departmental administrative work is completed.

Written by Lindsey Grooms, Class of 2019

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