November 2019

Congratulations to the 2019 Outstanding Supervisors!

Congratulations to Diane Vermaaten, executive director, finance and administration, School of Business, and Elena Johnson, director, Washington Scholars Program and Partnerships, Admissions, for being selected as the 2019 Outstanding Supervisors.

Diane and Elena were selected from nearly 35 nominations of diverse candidates from varying departments and campuses. A six-person committee of Staff Senators evaluated the nomination forms submitted by classified staff and non-student wage employees.

These two candidates stood out among their peers and were recognized for their outstanding contributions to their departments and in the following areas:

  • Acknowledging exemplary performance
  • Supporting innovation and soliciting input from employees
  • Being fair and flexible
  • Encouraging and providing opportunities for professional growth
  • Promoting an environment of diversity and inclusion, well-being, civility and respect, and/or restraint
Interim President Anne Holton presents Diane Vermaaten receives with an Outstanding Supervisor Award during the 2019 Outstanding Achievement Awards. Photo by Ian Shiff/Creative Services/George Mason University

According to Diane’s nominators, “Diane is a wonderful mentor and leader to her team; she has guided her team and has created a strong unit using everyone’s strengths in the most efficient way.” Tara Hammond, one of Diane’s nominators, wrote, “She always takes the time to forward work product on to leadership with a note expressing her gratitude for the work or making sure it is clear who did the work. Oftentimes the project could not have been completed without Diane’s guidance and input, but she still directs the attention to her team member rather than seeking any credit. This is a sign of a true leader.”  Rosemary Brown also noted, “During one of our team meetings, we created a set of Team Values. These values are Integrity, Work Ethic, Customer Service, Stewardship, Happiness, Knowledge, Team Work Adaptation, Innovation and Creativity, and Accountability. Diane ensured that every team member has a copy of these values and it guides us as a daily reminder. Additionally, we also talk about at least one of these values during our meetings. These team values help in promoting an environment of well-being, civility and respect, and restraint.”



Interim President Anne Holton presents Elena Johnson with an Outstanding Supervisor Award at the 2019 Outstanding Achievement Awards. Photo by Ian Shiff/Creative Services/George Mason University

According to Elena’s nominators, “Elena Johnson does so much more than just talk about our Department’s mission and goals. She lives the principles in her daily work habits and supervisory style. Elena demonstrates her authentic respect for all individual staff members and values each person’s contribution to our team. She devotes much of her time and attention to each person, personally and professionally.” When asked for an example of how your supervisor encourages professional growth, Allison Dodson gave a practical example of how Elena “worked this past year to develop a department-wide mentorship program that paired mentees with senior-level staff to discuss professional growth and solicit advice and expertise. This enabled me to work with the vice president of enrollment, who I never would have had the opportunity to meet without this program. It was wildly successful and beneficial to both mentees and mentors, and she is currently working to develop the program’s second year, adjusting it based on participant feedback.”




Diane and Elena were recognized at the Outstanding Achievement Awards on October 31, 2019.

The Staff Senate will accept nominations for the 2020 Outstanding Supervisor Award during August 2020. Visit our website to learn more about the criteria and nomination process.

Congratulations to those Outstanding Supervisor Nominees who were nominated but not selected this year! It is a high honor to be nominated for this award. The Staff Senate is very encouraged by the number of supervisors who promote collegiality in their department, reward and acknowledge exemplary behavior, and promote well-being in the workplace. Supervisors like these make Mason such a great place to work!

Outstanding Supervisor Nominees included:

  • Amy Adams, executive director, Institute for Biohealth Innovation, Office of the Provost
  • Alonso Aguirre, chair, Environmental Science and Policy
  • Danny Anthes, director, technology services, Auxiliary Enterprises, University Life
  • Said Bouiftilen, maintenance manager, Housing and Residence Life
  • Josh Cantor, director, Parking and Transportation
  • Sharon Cullen, director of presidential administration, Office of the President
  • Bess Dieffenbach, human subjects program manager, Research Development, Integrity, and Assurance
  • Stefanie Kline, associate house manager, Center for the Arts
  • Cathy Kotila, associate director, fiscal management, School of Business
  • Elysia Lash, associate director of assessment, research and retention, University Life
  • Ann Ludwick, assistant dean, Schar School of Policy and Government
  • Christina Mattos, assistant director of transfer articulation, Admissions
  • Annamaria Nields, associate dean, administration and student affairs, Antonin Scalia Law School
  • Stephen Nodine, director, digital learning, Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Sharon O’Boyle, data analyst, Enrollment Management, Office of the Provost
  • Johanna Riemen, assistant registrar for degree compliance, Registrar
  • Jennifer Skorzawski-Ross, director, graduate academic affairs, Volgenau School of Engineering
  • Amy Springfloat, finance and administration manager, Safety, Emergency, and Enterprise Risk Management
  • Victoria Suarez, assistant director, employer development, University Career Services
  • Eric Woodall, associate vice president for marketing, Communications and Marketing
  • Cynthia Zema, special projects and contracts manager, Office of University Counsel