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. Smith, who retired from her position in 2014, had served the university for 30 years.
“Gloria lived by the Virginia Tech motto, ‘Ut Prosim’ (That I May Serve), from the moment she became employed with the university,” said 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.”
Smith, of Blacksburg, Virginia, was acknowledged for her “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 Human Resources Service Center to serve as a first point of contact for employees to inquire about a variety 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. As a result, her colleagues said, “service center staff offered the highest level of service to customers.”
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.
While working at Virginia Tech, Smith earned her bachelor’s degree from Bluefield College in 2000 in organizational management and development. She 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.
“Gloria began her career immediately after graduating high school,” said Wilson, “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.”
Original story by Virginia Tech News. Photo provided by Virginia Tech.