The first week in December saw faculty and staff members of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences come together to recognize the outstanding contributions of Sara Duval, office manager in the Department of History and Art History, as she received the college’s Mary Roper Award.
The Mary Roper Award has been presented annually since 2001 to a classified staff member who has shown strong support for the college’s core aspirations: improving the quality of the liberal arts experience for all students, furthering noteworthy and innovative scholarship, and building and supporting relationships external to the college.
The award is named for Mary Roper, who worked for the college and in other positions at George Mason University for nearly 30 years, and who was greatly respected for her professionalism and dedication to her work.
Duval’s recognition was based upon the enthusiastic nomination and letters in support received from the Department of History. Dean Deborah Boehm-Davis presented the award and quoted some highlights of the recommendations:
Sara has an amazing work ethic and dedication to the History and Art History Department and the University.
After joining the department 3 years ago, Sara quickly made herself indispensable – first because of the volume and quality of the work she does, but also because of the person she is.
While Sara models hard work, competence and responsibility, she also makes time to build relationships and bring smiles and fun to the work environment.
Sara is the best kind of manager – someone you can depend on to be fair, kind, results oriented and who you know will do whatever she can to make you better at your job.
Despite the literally dozens of tasks she is performing at any given time, Sara never lets anything slide through the cracks. No matter how challenging a problem you bring to her, she sets out to tackle it with a smile and a sense of self-assurance that she can solve it. And she always does!
My admiration for Sara’s intelligence, professionalism, work ethic, and resourcefulness continues to grow. The word “excellent” gets overused, but it captures the quality of Sara’s work. We’re exceedingly lucky to have her.
Duval expressed great appreciation and fondness for her colleagues: “You each serve as an inspiration to me in the ways you bring your knowledge, kindness, and sense of humor to your work.” She thanked the college’s dean’s office – particularly its finance and human resources team, “for being a constant source of patience and help with any questions I’ve had no matter how big or small.”
And she concluded with a message to her family, who joined the college faculty and staff to offer their congratulations. “It is not often that one gets a chance to publicly recognize her family,” she said. “So I want to take this opportunity to tell them how much I love and appreciate them. And I especially want to say thank you to my mom and dad, for everything.”
Previous and current award winners, with Mary Roper herself.
December 16, 2015