EHD's Booren Named UVA Outstanding Contributor

This year's winners of the University of Virginia's Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Awards are not just team players, they're community builders. They treat others — whether coworkers, students, faculty, administrators, clients, patients or other UVA visitors — with respect and compassion. In response, others trust them for advice and problem-solving. They are a group of employees driven to excel and improve not only themselves, but also their departments and the University.

The Sandridge Awards are the highest honors the University bestows upon its employees. The winners — five employees from the Academic Division, five from the Medical Center and one from UVA's College at Wise — are being honored at one of two Service Award dinners. Those from the Academic Division were recognized Tuesday alongside employees who have 25-plus years of service. Health System awardees and employees with similarly long careers will be honored at a second dinner on Monday. Awardees also will attend a Board of Visitors luncheon on Friday.

Leslie Booren, managing director of the education policy research group EdPolicy Works in the School of Education and Human Development, has been called a master of efficiency and organization.

Veronica Katz, who nominated Booren for the Outstanding Contribution Award, said she does not know how Booren stays on top of so many things. "In the past week alone," she said, "Leslie promoted our conference presentations via social media, scheduled a dinner for nearly 40 people at a restaurant in D.C., coordinated visits for three job candidates, processed travel workbooks from our conference participation, sent us reminders about upcoming speakers and PolicyLab presentations, and more."

Katz, who just earned her Ph.D. from the EHD School, also credits Booren's work with attracting national recognition for the program.

Booren manages grants, coordinates travel and more for at least 10 faculty members. She also helps approximately 30 graduate students and a handful of post-doctoral staff members with everything from funding to room reservations. She's also the point person for visiting speakers and job candidates.

In addition, Booren's powers of organization and observation make her loved around the office. Not only did she plan an office baby shower for Katz, but she also makes smaller gestures, such as noting the food items her coworkers like or dislike so she can revise future orders. Actions like these make her a valuable employee and friend.

Read the entire article, including a list of the other winners, in UVAToday.