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UVA EHD's Leslie Booren Pitches Winning Idea

Booren's was one of two ideas selected through the UVA Staff Senate's Hoos Making an Impact competition, which aims to boost efficiency and elevate staff success.

Bethanie Glover

This is an excerpt of a UVA Today article.

The UVA Staff Senate announced the winners of the second annual Hoos Making an Impact competition this week. Launched by the Staff Senate in late 2022, the contest gives University of Virginia academic staff the opportunity to share ideas on how to make the University better and foster staff success. Each winning idea receives $1,000, plus up to $100,000 of additional funding to support its implementation on Grounds.

Staff submitted 44 written proposals this year; a selection panel comprising representatives from across Grounds reviewed and advanced the top six to a second round of review, where proposals were presented in person. All ideas were evaluated based on feasibility, impact, longevity, and, most importantly, how well they aligned with the UVA 2030 Plan key initiative to cultivate staff success.

“I am extremely excited to see the quality of thought and innovation of staff submissions and thankful for the overwhelming support of President Ryan, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis, and Executive Vice President and Provost Ian Baucom in sustaining this significant competition that celebrates staff and their commitment to cultivating success in our mission to be good and great,” Staff Senate co-chair Patrick Wood said.

Leslie Booren
Leslie Booren

Leslie Booren, of the School of Education and Human Development, was selected as one of this year’s Hoos Making an Impact winners for her idea to expand professional learning opportunities for UVA research staff.

Booren, associate director of operations and communications for the Youth-Nex Center at the School of Education and Human Development, submitted an idea to create a multifaceted program to support the retention and professional development of UVA’s restricted research staff. Booren’s idea will open new pathways for research staff to move seamlessly from project to project, reduce costs associated with research staff turnover and build a consistent support infrastructure of staff institutional knowledge and skills.

“I’m incredibly grateful to President Ryan and the UVA Staff Senate for creating opportunities to uplift staff ideas on process improvement,” Booren said. “The Hoos Making an Impact initiative promotes a culture where every idea matters, and any staff member across Grounds can speak up to improve UVA. I would encourage all members of the staff community to start thinking about their own submission for fall 2024.”

A form is available for UVA research staff to provide input and get involved in the development and testing of professional development resources as Booren’s idea comes to life.

Melissa Goldman, a fabrication lab manager and lecturer at the School of Architecture, won the second award.

For more, read the full story at UVA Today.

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