Published on 04/26/22

UGA Griffin campus honors 2022 Classified Employees of the Year

UGA-Griffin award nominees stand in front of the arch with their plaques
From left, the 2022 UGA-Griffin Classified Employee Award nominees include Clay Bennett of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Melissa Slaughter of the Center for Food Safety, Darrin Buice of Field Research Services, Ashley Biles of the Assistant Provost and Campus Director’s Office, Brett Byous of the Department of Entomology, Kimberly Allen of the Center for Urban Agriculture, Donna Kent of the Plant Genetics Resources Conservation Unit and Ree Rosser of the Facilities Management Division.

The University of Georgia Griffin campus recently named Ashley Biles and Clary “Ree” Rosser as the 2022 Classified Employees of the Year at the 33rd Annual Employee Recognition Ceremony.

David Buntin, interim assistant provost and campus director for UGA Griffin, congratulated all the honorees on their nominations, emphasizing the importance of the staff at UGA Griffin in the success of the campus.

“I think this is one of the most important events we do all year to recognize the classified staff for all of the great things that they do,” said Buntin. 

The award is presented to classified personnel who have made the most significant impact on the programs at UGA-Griffin through their superior job knowledge and performance, work attitude, initiative, dependability and time management. Nominees are selected by their units and must have been a full-time employee on campus for three consecutive years. Award recipients are determined by a committee of their peers.

This year, eight UGA-Griffin employees were nominated for the Classified Employee of the Year Award, including Kimberly Allen, Center for Urban Agriculture; Clay Bennett, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences; Ashley Biles, Office of the Assistant Provost and Campus Director; Darrin Buice, Field Research Services; Brett Byous, Department of Entomology; Donna Kent, Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit; Clary “Ree” Rosser, Facilities Management Division; and Mellissa Slaughter, Center for Food Safety.

Award winner Ashley Biles

Ashley Biles has been an administrative associate in the Office of the Assistant Provost and Campus Director for more than four years and is the frontline greeter for campus visitors. In addition to assisting with administrative tasks such as mass mailings, designing special publications, assisting campus visitors and conducting campus tours, Biles also provides oversight and planning for more than a dozen annual campus events. She attends to all details and takes the events from inception to completion without missing a beat. Her position also includes serving as a coordinator for the Young Scholars Program and handling communications for the campus through news articles and social media.

Biles is described as someone who wears multiple hats to ensure that the Campus Director’s Office runs smoothly. She is always eager and willing to help wherever needed while never failing to be friendly, genuine and professional, according to colleagues. Beth Horne, Evens Coordinator for the Center for Urban Agriculture said, “Ashley projects a warm, enthusiastic attitude to her coworkers, retirees, vendors, guests and others. I have seen her resolve conflicts and handle difficult situations with remarkable patience. Ashley is an asset to the UGA Griffin Campus and is a trustworthy, dependable, and hard-working employee.” 

Ashley Biles and Clary "Ree" Rosser, the award winners, stand with David Buntin, the head of the Griffin campus
Interim Assistant Provost and UGA-Griffin Campus Director David Buntin (center) presents plaques to the 2022 Classified Employee Award recipients, Ashley Biles (left) and Ree Rosser.

Award winner Clary “Ree” Rosser

Ree Rosser has been Custodial Supervisor for UGA Griffin for the past six years. Her job includes assigning work schedules, determining departmental needs, inspecting buildings for cleanliness and preparing work performance reports. A hands-on supervisor, Rosser goes above and beyond what is required rather than simply communicating daily tasks and instructions to her staff. She works side-by-side with them and fills in wherever needed. Rosser also responsible for sorting, delivering, picking up and assigning postage to campus mail on a daily basis.

Described as someone who sets the bar high, leads by example and is always willing to help, Rosser’s leadership skills and work ethic encourage her coworkers and colleagues on campus to a standard of excellence. Her positive attitude and can-do spirit make all the difference in day-to-day work.

“Ree has always shown the highest level of professionalism and attention to detail in her work. She has great personal integrity and shows respect and care for her coworkers,” said Sarah Moon, Biological Science Tech for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The awards ceremony featured a an annual program highlight, showcasing a different area of research or extension on campus. This year the horticulture department was featured. Sarah Sawyer, a Program Specialist II in horticulture, spoke about the Georgia Master Gardner Extension Volunteer Program, explaining the program and to become involved.

Ashley Frasca of WSB Radio served as this year’s keynote speaker. A graduate of UGA’s Grady School of Journalism, she currently hosts “Green and Growing with Ashley Frasca” on Saturday mornings on WSB radio. She spoke on the importance of being a team player and recognizing that no one gets to where they are without the support of others.

Service awards  

Meritorious Service Awards were also presented to faculty and staff who have served the campus for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years.

The following employees were recognized for their years of service:

10 years

Lisa Carlino, Northwest District Extension; Anthony Flint, Facilities Management Division; Candace Pollock-Moore, Southern SARE

15 years

Ellen Bauske, Department of Plant Pathology; Kisha Faulk, Northwest District Extension; Ken Manley, Plant Genetics Resources Conservation Unit; Chris Tatum, Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit; Lewayne White, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences; Samuel Wright, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

20 years

Sandra Blackwell, Southern SARE; Chris Boyle, Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit; Tami Boyle, Northwest District Extension; Mark Czarnota, Department of Horticulture; Donna Smith, Department of Entomology

25 years

Zhenbang Chen, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences; Marie Miller, Business Office

35 years

Yen-Con Hung, Department of Food Science and Technology; Steve Sutton, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences; Carol Robacker, Department of Horticulture 

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