Outstanding Supervisor Award Winners

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Sarah Walz, 2015 Outstanding Supervisor Award Winner

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Liza Wilson Durant, 2015 Outstanding Supervisor Award Winner

The Staff Senate is pleased to announce the 2015 Outstanding Supervisor Award winners. Chosen from a competitive pool of over 20 nominees, the two winners exemplify outstanding leadership skills and embody the Mason spirit:

  • Liza Wilson Durant, Acting Chair, Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering
  • Sarah Walz, Program Manager, George Mason Learning Solutions

Liza Wilson Durant was appointed acting chair of the Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering. According to her nominator, Kristin Amaya, Liza “immediately owned the position, and did so with ease, grace, drive, and professionalism, and she quickly earned the respect and trust of staff, faculty, and students throughout our department community.” Liza encourages a positive work-life balance, recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of her faculty and staff, and promotes collegiality within her department by encouraging input and discussion on all decisions pertaining to her unit.

Sarah Walz has been an employee of Mason for over 10 years, and she brings substantial knowledge of Mason policies and guidelines to Learning Solutions (formerly called the Office of Continuing Professional Education). She also encourages new ideas. According to her nominator, Kerry Doran, Sarah “always gives consideration to any idea to improve processes or marketing— whether big or small. Although Sarah was my direct supervisor, working for her felt more like a collaborative team.” Kerry adds that Sarah’s “work ethic, organizational skills, fairness, policy awareness, and sense of humor have made working for her very easy. She’s instilled the practice that often gets lost in workplaces: the idea of working hard, but not forgetting to take care of yourself, as well.”

Liza Wilson Durant and Sarah Walz will be formally recognized at the Human Resources Outstanding Achievement Awards on November 3. Nicole Roth, Chair of the Staff Senate, will present these awards on behalf of the Staff Senate.


The Staff Senate would like to recognize all who were nominated for their outstanding contributions supervising Mason staff:

  • Steve Broaddus, ITS (nominated by Jed Frye)
  • Sharon Cullen, Office of the President (nominated by Leslie Barton, Kathy Cagle, Elizabeth Connors, and Scott Nichols)
  • Aurali Dade, Office of Research Integrity and Assurance (nominated by Shannon Stutler)
  • Rick Davis, College of Visual and Performing Arts (nominated by Eileen Kennedy)
  • Kathleen Diemer, Donor Relations and Advancement Communications (nominated by Elizabeth Klatt)
  • Emily Flores, Center for the Arts (nominated by Kathryn Lewis)
  • Cherie Galantis, Collaborative Video Technologies (nominated by Christina Sanders and Doug Hallock)
  • Elizabeth Kalinowski, College of Health and Human Services (nominated by Elizabeth Bartles)
  • Ralph Lewis, Facilities Management (nominated by Steve Vollmer, Kirk Hiles, Tim Weber, and Jacob Krauter)
  • Michael “Doc Nix” Nickens, Green Machine/College of Visual and Performing Arts/University Life (nominated by Julie Trkula)
  • Susan Ridley, Psychology (nominated by Kelsey Glomb, Emma Cruz, Kristofer Brown, and Khalid Jama)
  • Kelly Schrum, Center for History and New Media (nominated by Jennifer Rosenfeld)
  • Philip Stamper, University Information (nominated by Dennis Kisielewski)
  • Amy Takayama-Perez, Office of Admissions (nominated by Suzy Wiedemann and Jennifer Kasse-Wanzer)
  • Paige Wolf, School of Business (nominated by Rebecca Diemer)
  • Catherine Wright, Communication (nominated by Megan Tucker)
  • Renee Younes, Mason Enterprise Center-Fauquier (nominated by Alice Felts)

Posted: October 28, 2015