Roanoke College

Outstanding Student Services staff members recognized

  • Outstanding Student Services staff members recognized

  • 10/29/10
  • SALEM, Va. - During the 2009-10 academic year, the Division of Student Affairs created three new Outstanding Service staff awards designed to recognize individuals for exceptional accomplishments. Sandy McGhee, Director of Health Services, received the 2009-10 Outstanding Staff Member Award; Bryan Ryberg, Director of Intramurals/Recreation & Assistant Director of Student Activities, received the 2009-10 Outstanding New Staff Member Award; and Tess Blethyn, Director of Residence Life, received the 2009-10 Outstanding Collaboration with Academic Affairs Award.

    Last academic year, McGhee addressed the concerns that accompanied the H1N1 flu outbreak competently and professionally.  She held special vaccination clinics and coordinated an educational campaign for faculty, staff and students.  In addition, she oversaw the planning and implementation of a designated residential facility for those diagnosed with H1N1. 

    McGhee handled this unusual challenge while also providing the usual high quality service associated with the department.  In addition, she assumed responsibility for alcohol awareness programming, performing exceptionally well in this new role. Robin Strosnider, assistant director of health services, says, "Sandy is extremely dedicated to her job at Roanoke College.  She has a way of connecting with students that makes them feel accepted, respected, and understood.  Health Services has become much more visible under her direction."

    During the two years that Bryan Ryberg has been employed at Roanoke College, he has greatly revitalized and expanded our intramurals and recreation sports program.  During the 2009-10 academic year, over 800 students participated in the intramurals program, which is a 300% increase over participation levels from the academic year prior to Ryberg's arrival. In addition, Ryberg provides leadership for the club sports program at RC and was instrumental in establishing a women's soccer club team.

    Student Emily Rego states, "Anyone who knows Brian or what he has done to the Roanoke College Campus Recreation Department in the two years since he started here knows that he deserves this award. Working for Ryberg has always been a lot of fun because he is not only easy-going, approachable and helpful, but is also organized, dedicated to his job and he never settles for second best." 

    Tess Blethyn served as the Program Assistant to Dr. Chris Lassiter during his 2010 May Intensive Learning Term course entitled, "The National Park  System:  Explore Your America."  In this role, Blethyn helped select course participants, participated in pre-trip meetings, coordinated course meals and lodging, obtained students' medical and insurance information, and managed the course budget, all in addition to participating on the actual trip. 

    In the words of Dr. Lassiter; "Tess was the program assistant during my May Term course on National Parks in the desert southwest.  In fact, I should say 'our May Term course' because the course would not have been a success without her.  Tess was able to interact with both myself and the students in a way that differs from her day to day job.  She used her experience to its fullest." In addition to participating in the May term course, Ms. Blethyn has also led a successful initiative within residence life to link residence hall programming with academic course content.

    Roanoke College, a classic liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a beautiful undergraduate setting. Roanoke is one of just 280 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review names Roanoke as one of the "best in the Southeast" and U.S. News & World Report includes Roanoke on its "Up-and-coming National Liberal Arts Colleges" list.

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