|Professor Aletha Baumann accepts an Employee of the Year gift from President David Hall (left photo). Dr. Hall presents the Employee of the Year award to Henville Pole (right photo).|
Fifty-seven employees on the St. Thomas Campus and 34 employees on the Albert A. Sheen Campus, on St. Croix were recognized for their service and dedication to the University of the Virgin Islands at the 42nd Annual Service Awards ceremony. The event was held on April 12 and April 14, – on the Albert A. Sheen Campus and the St. Thomas Campus – respectively. The theme was “UVI Fulfilling Dreams, Service Awards 2016.”
As is customary, the UVI Employee of the Year recipients are kept secret until the service award ceremonies. Henville Pole, the director of budget and executive assistant to the provost, was awarded that honor on the St. Thomas Campus. On the Sheen Campus, Dr. Aletha Baumann, associate professor of psychology, was named Employee of the Year.
“I was stunned,” Dr. Baumann said. “So stunned, in fact, that when I made my way up to the podium I knew that I wanted to thank everyone. But I was speechless.”
Dr. Baumann came to UVI in 1998 as a part-time faculty member who became a full-time employee in 2001. “I have a deep and long-standing connection to UVI,” she said. “I was humbled and honored to be selected.”
Dr. Baumann is now excited to work with Fiona Alexander, last year’s St. Croix Employee of the Year, on the New Employee Orientation policy, which inspires new UVI employees who are learning the ropes. “I remember when I came here as a new employee,” she said. “It was tough to learn all of the processes of this organization.”
Both Dr. Baumann and Pole were initially caught off guard by the recognition. But after taking a moment to reflect, both felt that their successes could be attributed to their hard work and supportive relationships with colleagues.
“It’s definitely not a recognition that I expected,” said Pole, “but it’s something that I cherish because it says to me that my colleagues and the people I work with recognize the work that I do.” Pole often finds himself working late nights and weekends to catch up on things he can’t attend to during the week. “Given the nature of my job, it’s the only quiet time,” he said.
Dr. Baumann and Pole hope that their recognition will strike a chord with other UVI employees by promoting hard work and building positive relationships with co-workers. “What I loved most about this experience was hearing from my colleagues about how I have affected them,” said Dr. Baumann, “and how we worked together to accomplish tasks large and small.”
Gifts were awarded to the two employees of the year, and also to employees who had achieved five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, or 35 years of service. Retirees were honored as well. Senator Tregenza Roach was the honorable keynote speaker at both ceremonies, and President David Hall congratulated and recognized all of the employees. The event’s theme colors were orange, blue and white to celebrate UVI Pride.