Staff Council Candidates’ Photos and Bios

As a staff member within the JCCS (Job Classification & Compensation System), you are eligible to vote in the Staff Council election. This year, there are a total of seven open Staff Council seats within four categories. You may vote for up to:

  • 3 staff in Administrative and Professional (3 seats open)
  • 2 staff in Skilled Trades (2 seats open)
  • 1 staff in Scientific and Research (1 seat open)
  • 1 staff in Development (1 seat open)

The bios including optional photos provided by the candidates are listed alphabetically within each category, and can be sorted by last name, first name, or JCCS. Review all bios prior to submitting your votes for Staff Council election.

Submit your Votes

Administrative & Professional - 3 Seats Available
Candidate Responses
Melissa Arceneaux
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

My varied background in administration, finance, marketing, communications and event management allows me to be very versatile in accepting new tasks. Because diversity and inclusivity are extremely important to me, I believe I would be successful representing all staff (regardless of title) if elected to staff council. I strive to be an engaged listener with a unique ability to connect with others while working to facilitate change. I pride myself in having a great eye for the small details, as well as having a vision for the future clearly in mind. My career background has been in finance and administration but my educational background is in Communications and Public Relations, something that could benefit the staff council if elected.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

Working at Georgia Tech for the past 6 years has been an amazing experience. The opportunity to represent staff and work to improve the Tech experience for all staff members is very exciting to me. I am creative, energetic and always ready to accept a new challenge. I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to serve on this council and fully represent the staff at Tech in all areas.

Alex Becking
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I have been working at Georgia Tech since 2001 in three different roles with the Housing which have allowed to me serve the Institute in a variety of ways. I have lead departmental committees and served on a multitude of Institutional groups which have improved things on campus for staff and students. I have connections across many levels of campus from custodial, technical and facilities staff which will has given me insight on how things affect staff differently depending on where they work. I also posses a deep knowledge of the inner workings of the Institute which I feel will be helpful in trying to navigate through the bureaucracy which exists on campus. Each of these things will help me make a great representative on the Council

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I enjoy working at Georgia Tech and one of the main reasons are the other people on campus. Each person brings their special talents with them to work as we try and provide the best experience possible for the students here at Georgia Tech. I also think that there are areas which could be improved to make working here even more enjoyable. If improvements can be made which make Tech more enjoyable then the staff can contribute more to Tech. I believe in giving back and try to contribute in any way to make the communities I operate with in a better place. I feel the Staff Council is a good fit for my passion to operate and thrive

Lisa Berrien
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I have served the GT campus for 20+ years in the Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid. As Sr. Associate Director, I am responsible for promoting and providing organizational and professional development opportunities to the staff. We work daily to be the office the GT community needs and expects to avail resources to enable students to attend. I am active, and have served, in several leadership roles within my state and regional associations. This year, I represent the Institute and my profession by serving as the Chair of the Regents Advisory Council of Student Financial Aid. I understand how to promote and manage change and am constantly seeking to bring efficiency and effectiveness to the work of Enrollment Services and the GT campus.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

By serving on the Georgia Tech Staff Council, I will have an opportunity to highlight the work climate at GT as well as provide a channel of communication for staff with administration. I will contribute by bringing an understanding of issues impacting the work force, and recommending changes, enhancements, and improvements in services and programs currently provided or yet needed. Building a sense of community and connection among staff is essential, and results in positive morale and job satisfaction. By serving on the staff council I can help bridge such a platform, and help show the staff council is a voice which shouts GT staff is valuable in making the Institute run.

Ann Blasick
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I have worked at Georgia Tech for over 11 years in 3 different positions - first in the Division of Professional Practice as a career advisor to our undergraduate students, then as the Associate Director of the Women in Engineering Program, and currently as a Corporate Relations Manager and Career Coach in the MBA Career Center in the Scheller College of Business. I have been a GT1000 Instructor and an active member of GTAAN. Additionally, I'm a GT alumna. I've had the chance to work with students in all 6 of our Colleges as well as with faculty and staff from across campus. I believe that my breadth of experience on-campus and deep love of GT (go Jackets!) would make me a strong asset to the Staff Council.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I would like to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council as a way to give back to the Institute as well as to serve as a voice for the community of staff members here at GT. I know how big GT can feel, and I think one of the challenges of being a staff member at a large research university is for the staff to be heard and to feel connected to the university as a whole (vs the individual department they are in). I would be honored to have the opportunity to serve on the Staff Council and would do my best to represent you well.

Ida Brown
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I am an employee of GTRI for the past 27 years, working as a Senior Manager in Research Security with a SECRET security clearance. I am graduate of Georgia State and currently working on my doctorate in Industrial & Organizational Psychology, which is concerned with behavior of people, particularly in the workplace. I/O Psychology has provided me significant training in working with a diverse group of individuals crossing various racial barriers. I have volunteered with multiple professional organizations to include church, work and professional organizations where I mentored and counseled staff, served/chaired committees and official boards.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I have a passion when it comes to uplifting and empowering people to help them strive to be their best. I am a strong advocate for striving to find other solutions that the individual in need may not be aware of. I am a strong believer in thinking that life is so much greater when you can reach and teach others how valuable their lives really are. I served on a similar board here at Georgia Tech in the early nineties. I feel that I have value to contribute to the overall mission/goal of the organization. It would be a pleasure to serve and be a part of an organization that value the staff/employees to a degree where there is an organization created for them to recognize their importance, value and overall well being.

Melanie DeMaeyer
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

This is the beginning of my seventh academic year at Georgia Tech and throughout my time here I have worked in the Women's Resource Center in the Division of Student Life. I have been extraordinarily lucky to have worked with many offices, programs, and colleagues across campus and have developed strong, ongoing relationships with my colleagues across the Institute. I am committed to working in an environment and with colleagues who value inclusivity, and I believe, in the power of listening to folks, building relationships, advocating for and finding ways to create change. Additionally, I have strong skills in collaboration, strategic planning, and relationship building and I would bring those skills to Staff Council.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I'm excited about the opportunity to serve on Staff Council because I believe that it's important for staff members to have an organization that supports and advocates for them. I know that members of Staff Council have an opportunity to actively engage in conversations and decisions that impact staff members across the Institute, and I believe it's important to have voices that value inclusion at the table. Additionally, I love Georgia Tech and I want to see it continue to meet the needs of our vibrant community of staff members. I'm excited about the opportunity to elevate the issues that staff members face, create opportunities for professional development, and advocate for policies and practices that support staff members at Tech.

Wansley Dennis
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I have been an employee of Georgia Tech for 22 years as a Training Coordinator. During that time I have had the opportunity to interact with employees at all levels throughout the university. I bring a wealth of knowledge about what employees need in order to be successful in their job. I am friendly, trustworthy, level- headed and I always take the time to actively listen to whatever is being discussed and give candid and honest feedback. I also served in the United States Military for 31 years, retiring at the rank of Sergeant First Class.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

Serving on the Staff Council will give me the opportunity to represent employees who might not otherwise have the chance to be heard. I consider it an honor and a pleasure to be considered for this position and hope I have the qualifications necessary to be chosen. My philosophy is as a servant leader I get the greatest satisfaction from serving others.

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Melissa Grawert
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

As a former educator, paralegal, business owner, human resources executive and the current HR Coordinator in the Georgia Tech Police Department, I work directly with students, employees, supervisors and executives to not only apply and provide insight regarding policies and procedures, but also enhance corporate culture and employee wellness fairly and consistently. I have broad experience in dealing with both simple and complex issues and am objective, approachable, sensitive to protocol and have the interpersonal skills to work at all levels of an organization.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I enjoy working with all levels of employees and would enjoy serving the community at large as part of a team advocating for GT employees and executive leadership.

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Michael Hagearty
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

16 years in Institute Communications, reporting on Georgia Tech and its people, while collaborating with staff on issues and concerns relevant to working at Tech.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

It is very flattering to be nominated to serve on the Staff Council. I hope to honor that endorsement by acting as an advocate for staff and their concerns.

April Heard
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I am a Marketing & Administrative Coordinator at GTRI. There I support the Director of Marketing and Communications in aligning GTRI's tactical and strategic messaging accross Georgia Tech. I began my career as a Legal Secretary at Barnes & Associates where I gained valuable legal experience that set the framework for my professional pursuits. Soon after, I joined Phillips Law Group, LLC where I remained for nearly 8 years as the managing attorney's Executive Assistant. I am active in my community and church. I currently reside in Douglasville, Georgia with my husband Kevin and our 3 children, Christian, Cameron, and Kevin III.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I want to serve on the Staff Council to work collaboratively with leadership to ensure that the voice of GA Tech employees are not muffled by the noise and politics that deter us from GT Tech's mission. I want to be an active participant in the GA Tech experience, which is not just for the students, but for each and every one of us. I don't want to sit on the sidelines and watch decisions be made, I want to be a part of the decision making process. I believe that through my diverse work experience I can provide a unique perspective to the Staff Council and it would be my privilege to serve my GT Tech family.

Tamara Hicks
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I have a wealth of experience that can add tremendous value to the Georgia Tech Staff Council. I am a strong collaborator, advocator and connector with proven success in building relationships across diverse constituencies. My administrative support role, coupled with my past experience in customer service and sales has fostered my strong background in communications. I can use this experience to connect with people throughout the university and highlight various insight, thought and experience to the council so that we create policies that are well informed.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I have worked at Georgia Tech for nearly four years and just as my opportunities here have added to my professional development, I believe it is now time for me to use my skills to give back to the Georgia Tech community. I am interested in serving on the Georgia Tech Staff Council because I think it will provide a good opportunity for me to use the skills that I have garnered in my role to advocate for my colleagues. Issues regarding merit increases, transportation, staff recognition and employee support are all areas of interest to myself and many other GT employees. This role will allow me to connect with people outside of my office and discuss issues that impact us all, ultimately being a liaison of change in the greater GT community.

Brett Hulst
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I have worked in Housing at GT since 1998 starting with an entry level position and working my way up to the Associate Director of Residence Life. GT has been my entire professional work experience, and I love the opportunities to work with faculty, staff, and students here. I have had a number of opportunities to sit on committees and taskforces (event logistics, hiring, LGBTQIA Resource Center Advisory Board, GT1000 review, safe space, employee health and wellness, as examples) that have helped me understand the politics and day to day operations of GT. I think that my professional experience, personality, and commitment to Georgia Tech and its volunteer spirit are a great fit for being a representative for the GT staff on Staff Council.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

Being on Staff Council is a wonderful way to give back to Georgia Tech and the people that work here every day. I take the Georgia Tech motto of Progress and Service very personally. It is my responsibility to move our Institute forward through my involvement.

Cynthia Hutcherson
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I have been at Tech for 13 years. I bring a lot of campus knowledge and a view of how Georgia Tech has changed over the years. I also have planning, coordination, and project management skills that would be useful. I look at the total picture instead of one part and make decisions and recommendations that are best for all involved. I will be fully present and committed to this council. I have a large staff customer base and would be able to gather feedback from them if needed.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I would like to encourage and support Georgia Tech employees as well as learn more about the future goals of Georgia Tech. I would like to be a part of making a difference and offer all of the knowledge I have to the group.

Walter Kolis
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I am beginning my 8th year as a professional staff member. I was elected and honored to serve 3 years on The University of Alabama's Professional Staff Assembly until joining Georgia Tech in 2014. Now in my 3rd year at Georgia Tech, I am excited for the opportunity to serve our community as an advocate, conduit to senior leadership, and listener on behalf of all staff members. I recently took the StrengthsFinder assessment, and my top strengths were, in order, Ideation, Achiever, Adaptability, Relator and Strategic. I enjoy working with others to implement new ideas to improve the staff experience. I was humbled to be honored with the 2015-2016 Administrative Excellence award; elected for my collaborations with campus partners.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I plan to serve on the Staff Council to improve the overall staff experience We have a number of topics (FLSA changes, healthcare costs, merit/cost-of-living raises, maternity & paternity leave, staff recognition and awards, health & well-being, and so many others) that deserve our attention. I want to gather thoughts and ideas from throughout campus, across divisions, and act as your advocate and voice to senior administration. I want to work collaboratively with staff council, other advisory bodies at Georgia Tech, and senior leadership to effect positive change. I want to ensure that we are attracting and retaining the best and brightest staff members from across the country and around the world. I want to work on behalf of you.

Nicole Leonard
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

Establishing meaningful connections on campus has been key to my personal and professional development on campus. From those connections come the ability to collaborate effectively, interact honestly and work proactively. The ability to facilitate these connections will be paramount as the Staff Council continues to represent GT staff.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

Georgia Tech is a place where we encourage students and faculty to realize their full potential. As staff members, we must also utilize the available resources to do the same; or, if need be, create bridges to overcome the gaps that exist. As a member of the GT Staff Council I would like to serve as a connector to ensure every staff member has the time, support and opportunity to grow.

Gabrielle Lolley
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

During my time at Georgia Tech, I have grown to be a voice and a source of information for staff members in my office that have questions regarding policy changes, new rules and procedures, changes in management and more. The qualities that I possess that will help me best represent Georgia Tech staff are that I am a proactive, engaging, outgoing, organized, influential, devoted, and passionate team player. I enjoy finding new ways to improve existing methods and helping others have a voice when they feel that it may be lost.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I am truly an advocate for work life balance, finding ways to increase employee retention, and having an enjoyable experience in the workplace as the majority of our time is spent here. As I work directly with multiple offices on campus to ensure excellent experiences for students at Georgia Tech, it is my goal to translate those skills to help the employee experience be just as pleasurable! I believe that the enthusiasm, ideas, and fresh perspective that I possess would be valuable to the Staff Council's vision and purpose to provide insight on decisions that directly affect the Staff community at Georgia Tech.

Tammie Long
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I have been a Client Relationship Manager for Georgia Tech's Scheller College of Business Executive Education department for two and a half years. In this role and throughout my professional career I have been successful in driving programs and initiatives, producing positive results and having a consistent history of advancing shared company goals. I currently serve as a member of the Scheller College of Business Staff Professional Development Team. I have contributed to some great ideas to enhance staff development at our college. My subject matter expertise in building strategic relationships and dedicated internal and external collaborative business partners make me an excellent match for the unique demands of Staff Council.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

It is with great excitement that I submit my candidacy for becoming a member of the Georgia Tech Staff Council. I'm interested in serving on the Staff Council to cultivate significant partnerships with various departments to effectively represent the needs and concerns of staff across campus. I have a passion for connecting with people while supporting objectives that are a win for them. My previous military service, academic excellence and work experience have provided me with an exceptional foundation and broad qualities that translate across audiences. As a relatively new employee at Georgia Tech, I hope I may be able to bring some fresh perspectives to the Staff Council.

Phyllis Means
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

Served as the treasure for the 1st Charted Chapter of IAAP on campus Member of Health and Wellness Committee Founding member of ESP (Empowered, Strategic, and Purposeful) Working with campus and GTRI colleagues to facilitate an organization for senior admin staff. Now in our second year. Ability to organize and motivate others. Service as a Family Readiness Group Leader for the US Army for six years.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I consider myself to be very fortunate as I've had to opportunity to work on campus and at GTRI, building lasting relationships to help facilitate, Strategic Goal #5; Relentlessly Pursue Institutional Effectiveness. My desire is for GTRI to be more aware of, and involved in campus activities, and to continue to network with my colleagues on campus to help facilitate 1GT.

Robbie Ouzts
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

Hello, everyone my name is Robbie Ouzts, candidate Staff Council. I want to represent YOU on the Staff Council. I bring five years prior experience as a Staff Council representative to this position and have held several professional leadership roles as Director, Assistant Dean, and Assistant Director. Additionally I have experience working in a leadership role with non-profits and professional organizations as Associate Director, President, Past President, Advisory Council and Board Member. Representing administrative staff members across campus requires dedication and willingness to go the extra mile, bringing all employee issues to the Staff Council in order to vet issues presented to the administration.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I want to provide a voice for staff members! I would continue to support and seek more/value-added recognition for dedicated staff members who go beyond their job description, support recognition of work anniversaries and additional award categories for excellent performance. As a career counselor, I will support and seek a long-term plan for professional, career, health and wellness opportunities for staff within Georgia Tech, Board of Regents and private offerings. As your Staff Council representative, I will have an open door policy and always listen to your suggestions and ideas. I believe any organization is only as strong as the weakest link and every link, every employee is important for Georgia Tech’s continued success.

Rudy Paratchek
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I have been on the campus for nearly twenty years in lots of different offices. I have worked in the schools and research institutes, and I’m currently in the College of Engineering Dean’s Office. These diverse experiences give me an advantage of understanding the inner workings of various office cultures at Georgia Tech. During my time here, I have cultivated plenty of contacts across the campus. Many of my fellow employees have become my friends too, and they trust me to listen to their concerns about work as well as their personal stories and ambitions. If elected, I plan to be an amplified voice, advocate and cheerleader for all the staff. We, the staff, are just as important as the students and faculty. (Without us, well…)

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

Throughout my career, I have been a doer. I have no problem rolling up my sleeves and getting my hands dirty. Once I recognize a problem, I like to start problem-solving as soon as possible, and I try to come up with at least three solutions. Even when a problem is fixed, it’s important to be transparent about it. To me, transparency isn’t just a catchphrase but a way of life, and I’ll bring that belief to Staff Council. Thank you for your consideration, Rudy Paratchek

Lorie Paulez
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I bring 14+ years of experience as a staff member at the Institute. In my various roles in the Office of International Education, I have collaborated with faculty, staff, and students across campus to contribute to GA Tech’s strategic goals. I have experience in public speaking, participating on panels, leading trainings, and serving on many committees. As a veteran staff member and manager, I am well acquainted with staff priorities and concerns, and I am dedicated to advocating for a positive GA Tech staff experience.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

As an active member of the GA Tech community, I would be very happy to serve on the GA Tech Staff Council. I would welcome the opportunity to meet new campus colleagues, learn about their areas of interest and concern, and collaborate with them on positive solutions. GA Tech is a great place to work with great people. I look forward to this opportunity to get more involved and to give my service to the Institute.

Shamecia Powers
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

Prior to my arrival at Georgia Tech, I spent ten years in administrative and leadership roles at two other major research universities. My responsibilities included serving on a number of teams with projects that had campus-wide reach. My favorite collaborative effort was serving for two years as a member of the Employee Forum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which gives me experience directly related to the work of Georgia Tech's Staff Council. This group had a mission like our Staff Council and I served on several committees in the group, representing my peers well in our decision-making and change-making efforts.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

During my career, I have found the greatest pleasure working on diverse teams charged with a common goal. I believe that serving on the Georgia Tech Staff Council will allow me to learn and grow as a member of the Georgia Tech community, while also allowing me to serve and work to make a difference in the work lives of our staff. I enjoy putting time and effort into projects that can effect a large number of people and look forward to the opportunity to connect with my fellow staff members. My energy, drive, and focus will be well-directed by working with the Staff Council and I would delight in the chance to be a voice for the staff family.

Recha Reid
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

As someone who has served as an administrative professional, mediator, program/project manager, event planner, researcher, and team player I believe I am able to interact with and serve the various members of our community. I have over 7 years of experience working with senior leadership, while working within administrative teams to strengthen and to enact policies and procedures. I enjoy serving, helping, and understanding the viewpoints of others and I believe in this role I will be able to do just that. I have a deep understanding of a number of policies and procedures that might be of use in this role.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I believe the GT Staff Council plays an important role within the Georgia Tech community by not only filtering information from leadership to staff, but also as a conduit for the viewpoints of staff to leadership. I strongly believe that the Council enables all units, and specifically all staff across campus to feel as if they are a part of the same team, all working towards the same goals. I therefore think it is essential that we all play our part to contribute to the cohesiveness of Georgia Tech. Serving on the GT Staff Council will enable me to serve Georgia Tech by not only listening to and voicing the concerns and praises of my colleagues, it will also allow me to explore procedures and policies that I may not otherwise explore.

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Gena Snead
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

As I reflect on my professional experiences, especially at Georgia Tech, I have sharpened my skill of self-awareness in the area of emotional intelligence. Because of this, I am able to communicate effectively in a diverse group. I am predisposed to being able to recognize areas that need improvement and successfully leverage my resources to implement and see these improvements through. These skills become extremely invaluable when operating uniquely diverse environments, such as the Georgia Institute of Technology. With this skill set, I know that I will represent our staff successfully.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I believe that when improving a process, it requires input from those most affected, and GT will benefit from its staff input. As the outside looks into Georgia Tech, the dominate conversation is related to our prestigious faculty and thriving students. However, the commonality between both is our staff. The Staff members at Georgia Tech facilitate campus learning; campus growth; and most certainly campus development. That development is our future. Therefore, what we nurture today with our staff, will determine Georgia Tech’s tomorrow.

Gail Spatt
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

After almost a decade at Georgia Tech, I’m well versed on how to make changes on campus. Because I work with multiple stakeholder groups in one capacity or another, I also understand the nuances of executing different approaches, depending on the audience, to achieve a desired result. Furthermore, because I interact with the brilliant people who contribute to our research enterprise, I’m accustomed to understanding those topics which sometimes seem out of reach, asking critical questions and then communicating information to others. All of these skills are essential to serving as a representative of others and initiating real progress.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I am privileged to work at Georgia Tech and proudly wear my white and gold. At the same time, I understand that there is significant room for improvement at the Institute, specifically within the staff experience. The founding and subsequent Staff Council members have accomplished a great deal and I intend to build on their progress. My goal is to serve my colleagues, as you have done for me in so many capacities. I am ready to listen, and am committed to dialogue rather than debate should our opinions differ.

Chandra Thomas
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

As a training generalist I have had the opportunity to work with all GTRI employees to learn more about addressing the issue that really affect them, including training, development, career advancement, and other opportunities to enhance their personal brand. I facilitate all onboarding programs for GTRI, which gives me the opportunity to welcome all new employees to GT.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I would like the opportunity to serve on the GT Staff Council because I enjoy working on issues that are important to GT/GTRI employees. I have had the opportunity to work with many team members who are excited about moving Georgia Tech into a proactive state for our student, employees, as well as our customers. I am extremely interested in becoming more involved in the GT community as a whole in order to help foster better cooperation and communication throughout the university.

Ericka Thomas
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I am a team player, highly organized, able to multi-task and I have excellent communication and customer service skills.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I have been interested in joining Staff Council since I came aboard almost three years ago. I would love the opportunity to support staff and act as a liaison between staff and Georgia Tech’s Administration. I believe being a part of Staff Council will allow me to learn more about the Georgia Tech Community and give me the ability to share important updates and events with my department.

Whitney Waldron
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I have over 9 years of experience working for non-profit and government organizations, including 3 years on staff here, as well as an Industrial Engineering degree from Georgia Tech. I am skilled in developing budgets, managing resources and expenses, and I have current knowledge of University System of Georgia policies, directives, and accounting standards. I possess strong communication and problem solving skills, and have a passion for improving organizational processes and procedures. I have participated on and led several cross-functional business teams to develop strategies for recommendation to senior level leadership. I would be honored to represent the Georgia Tech staff. Thank you for your consideration!

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

Georgia Tech plays a major role in my life through earning a degree, participating in athletics as a varsity cheerleader, and now working full-time at the Institution. Being a part of the staff here is more than a job to me, and I plan on being here for a long time. I'm dedicated to ensuring all fellow staff members are valued and fulfilled as they are what makes Georgia Tech such a wonderful place.

Olivia Watkins
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

Having worked on campus for the past seven years in various capacities, I have formed strong ties with the amazing Georgia Tech community. I have firsthand knowledge of the long-standing traditions and key values that are a main focus for GT. As manager of external engagement in Government Relations, I have made valuable contacts with both internal campus colleagues as well as external partners and supporters that will be extremely beneficial when working to gain awareness of Staff Council priorities and initiatives. Additionally, I have strengthened my communication and interpersonal skills during my time here, which will be incredibly vital when working to bring together all employees on campus for a common goal and advocating for GT.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I have been so fortunate to serve on the Employee Engagement Committee this past year for Staff Council, and I have loved every minute of it! After my experiences on the committee, I would love the opportunity to serve on SC, and I would be incredibly honored to serve alongside other members as representatives of GT and voices for all of the staff members. Serving on SC is the perfect way for me to not only contribute my efforts to help GT remain a great place to work, live, and visit, but also to give back to this amazing institution and its employees that have provided me with so many opportunities and support. I would also love to continue to learn more about our institution as a whole and the great people who work here through SC.

Wendy Welker
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I have been part of the Tech community for 10 years and have had the privilege of working with many departments on campus in my role as a Facilities Operations Coordinator. I have served on numerous committees and know how to effectively work with all levels of staff to achieve a goal. In my primary job function I train and assist the largest group of staff and listen daily to their concerns and questions about the various changes at Tech. As a trainer, I am an experienced communicator and active listener. I am a founding member of the Facilities Sustainability committee an have spent the last 2 years actively working to make Georgia Tech a healthier, greener place to live, learn and work.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I want to honor the peers who nominated me for Staff Council and use my skills to make Georgia Tech a greater place to work. I believe my experience and knowledge of the campus and Tech community will be an asset to the council. I am willing to work to represent everyone who makes Tech a premier learning and research institution.

Tawanna Wilson
Administrative & Professional

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

As a dedicated professional, I bring 12 years of experience at GT working on teams while utilizing my problem-solving and critical thinking skills. I will use my strategic planning abilities to advocate for change on behalf of staff.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

Serving on Staff Council will allow me to be a voice for staff to the executive leadership team, while also being the conduit of communication from leadership to staff. Representing staff will also afford me the opportunity for meaningful involvement and the ability to give back to Tech.

Skilled Trades - 2 Seats Available
Candidate Responses
Ivan Chatman
Skilled Trades

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

Leadership teaching and learning how to better situations

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

To help the school all around the campus with different projects

Bidur Dangal
Skilled Trades

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

Experience in 1) Health care 2) Agriculture 3) Housekeeping/ Hospitality 4) IT 5) Construction etc.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

To utilize my experience, skill and known to every GT staff members.

Laurence Farquharson
Skilled Trades

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I have the ability lead and not follow. The personality to communicate and listen to all ideas and work with others. I've worked in law firms for over 12 years and that has given me the experience as far as to gather information and mediate.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

To be more involved and gain the knowledge of what goes on around campus. And improve quality work life.

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Jonathan Graham
Skilled Trades

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

Health care, Agriculture IT Building services etc

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

To show up my abilities and experience

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Mark Lambros
Skilled Trades

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

Through prior experience both in "management" and the "hands on" sides of operations, I feel I have a unique perspective that others would not have. Working together is usually the best way to accomplish set goals, and I think I would be a good addition to the current team.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I think Georgia Tech is a great place to work and the staff council itself has a chance to improve the way we operate. Being a part of a team that has the opportunity to make changes in a positive way, for all staff positions, is something I would like to be a part of.

John McElreath
Skilled Trades

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

Worked on local school councils for Barrow County Middle and High Schools. Worked on the SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) accreditation for Barrow County schools in 2004 Elected to Northeast Georgia Council of Boy Scouts of American District Advancement Chairman. Worked as Charter Organization Chairman for a Troop 774 of the BSA. Worked at council and District level of the Boy Scouts of American

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I have worked for 12 years at Georgia Tech and would like to help make the Tech community a better place to work.

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Darleighter Miller
Skilled Trades

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I have owned my own business,worked with people from all walks of life.Believe in helping others.Works on varies committee at church and other groups. Always trying to help better things at work between workers and upper mangerment.Believe everyone should be heard and has something to say.Can talk to anyone think change is a good thing.Great listener,work hard, honest .

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

Believe every one should have a voice, I would be that voice for housing.We need to offer our co-woker a better work enviorment.Working together we can make Ga Tech one of the best places to work at.Think change is a great things putting all our ideas together would be good .

Kyle Richardson
Skilled Trades

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I'm that jack of all trades that can fix anything, which is why I serve my department so well. Being capable of performing so many different technical tasks for GT Parking has meant less dependence on vendors and other GT departments, which in turn saves my department a lot of money. My ability comes from working in many different technical areas for many years, having an intuitive ability to understand anything technical, having an in depth understanding of basic electrical theory, and a compulsion to make everything around me better.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I am a compassionate person. By making the lives of those around me better, I in turn make my life better. It's not always easy, but it's worth it.

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Will Roddy
Skilled Trades

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I've worked in the facilities management environment for around 20 years and bring many years of leadership and experience to the table. I have experiences in the healthcare, life safety, IT, security and multiple areas of facility management. I'm a people person and care about my fellow employees, our environment and want to see Ga Tech to continue to thrive as a prominent university in developing our future leaders.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I oversee many staff employees and want to ensure that they have a reasonable voice that will represent their views. I believe in making Ga Tech the greatest place for us all to work for and ensuring that staff personnel's needs are addressed is vital to elevating our university to the preeminent status that it should be.

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Johnny Stewart
Skilled Trades

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I am a proud blue shirt skilled worker that has 9 years of service and experience here at the Institute. I would like to be a part of the Council to help aid and guide our great campus in a direction that we all will be proud of. I am a great listener and is always seek new ways in solving problems with a solution of many enstead of a single persons view........with this skill set I believe I will be a great asset with and to the Staff Council.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I believe change is a great beginning to something greater and better.....as we can all see , change is here, and I want all of us to be a part of the positive changes that we are going to be a part of.....to make sure we fully understand what they are. That's why I want to serve.

Scientific & Research - 1 Seat Available
Candidate Responses
Richard Bedell
Scientific & Research

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I have worked at Georgia Tech for twenty-seven years. During that time I earned a BS degree in Electrical Engineering, EE '05. The work I perform requires analytical and technically creative thinking. I feel that the changes seen at Georgia Tech over time would provide an historical perspective to current proposed ideas. The experience of working and going to school at Georgia Tech provides both a staff and working student perspective. The analytically creative thinking would benefit the Staff Council and staff at large by providing unique and different ways of viewing items the Council would address.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

It is hoped that my presence will be beneficial to the staff, Staff Council and Georgia Tech. Serving of the Council would also provide me the opportunity to expand on my career experiences.

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Sherika Henderson
Scientific & Research

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I'm a RMA here at Stamps Health Services and working along side my co-workers. I understand and feel I could represent my gatech family well.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

Because I feel that Health Services is disconnected from the rest of the Georgia Tech Community and I feel with my knowledge and experience I will help bridge the gap by being on GT Staff Council.

Thomas Johnson-Averette
Scientific & Research

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I am a computer engineer graduated from Georgia Tech in 2010. Since then I have placed my self as an integral part of the Institute for Electronics and Nanotechology. I handle hardware tie-in for the SUMS initiative (sums.gatech.edu), facilities monitoring and annunciation, camera and PA, equipment development, and safety. I perceive the Georgia Tech employee experience through a problem-solver's point of view, as my primary job function is to solve systemic issues in our facility and engage with users/researchers in our department to bring them new processes and solutions.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

Georgia Tech has given me my education and livelihood. I was able to complete my education through various grants from Georgia Tech and the University System of Georgia. I fought hard to have a position opened for me in what was then the Microelectronics Research Center. I have been trained by experts at this department, and I want to give back to Georgia Tech through my time and service.

Ryan Lisk
Scientific & Research

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I have served on the Physical Environment Committee of Staff Council for over a year. In my job-dealings around campus, I get the pleasure of interacting with a wide variety of staff, faculty, and students and feel as though this experience will help best direct efforts of making sure Staff gets proper recognition and a seat at the table when it is needed or deserved.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I feel like this would be a great opportunity to serve the Georgia Tech staff and the Institute as a whole. I believe I have the experience and leadership necessary to carry out this role very well.

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Miriam Tallman
Scientific & Research

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

The experience, skills and abilities that I will bring to the Staff Council to best represent the Georgia Tech staff are related to Safety. I am the Safety Specialist for GTRI, and I have many years in the safety field. I have a Masters Certificate in Emergency Management, am a certified CPR/AED and Defensive Driving instructor and a Fire Protection/Prevention, Exit Routes and Emergency Plans Specialist (FES). I am also a member of the National Association of Safety. Georgia Tech is a safe campus and I would like to be able to assist in the continuation of that and perhaps even be able to improve upon it.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I would like to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council so that I can better serve the faculty, staff and visitors who come to our facilities in terms of safety. I believe I have a lot to offer to the staff council and look forward to meeting more faculty and staff if given the opportunity.

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Paul Wiley
Scientific & Research

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

My entire working experience has been as an engineer and a project manager. The key ability I have learned during this period is to bring people together to achieve a common goal. In order to do this I have learned to work with all kinds of people from different backgrounds. You also have to learn how to put the good of the team ahead of yourself. These are the qualities that I will try to bring to the Staff Council if I am selected

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I think it is important to give of your time and ability for the good of your fellow man. Basically, I want to make a positive difference. My desire is that at the end of my term, staff conditions and relations with management will be improved.

Information Technology - 1 Seat Available
Candidate Responses
Katherine Konecny
Information Technology

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

I have extensive experience working effectively with a wide range of constituencies in diverse communities. At Wake Forest I served two years as Resident Advisor, and currently I serve on the Columbia Alumni Association Alumnae Leadership Committee. My B.A. in Communication enabled me to develop excellent oral and written abilities for interpersonal communications. I also served as a fundraiser for Indian Springs and Wake Forest reunion programs.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

I appreciate that Georgia Tech offers me a first-class professional career path. I want to use my experience and skills to serve staff members on their career paths at Georgia Tech.

Virginia Sheppard
Information Technology

What experience, skills, or abilities will you bring to the Staff Council to best represent Georgia Tech staff?

For more than 16 years, I have been a full-time staff member at Georgia Tech. In my current role as Development associate for Foundation Relations in the Office of Development, I have a proven track record of working effectively with donors, alumni, faculty, staff, and students on various projects and initiatives across campus. With each experience, I have enjoyed learning about the outstanding work that we do at Georgia Tech. But more importantly, I enjoy learning about the phenomenal people who make it all happen. As a member of the staff council, I will be a committed advocate for and representative of the Georgia Tech staff.

Why do you want to serve on the Georgia Tech Staff Council?

It would be an honor to serve on the Georgia Tech staff council. I intend to continue the good work of staff council predecessors and to represent my fellow staff members, listening to their concerns and suggestions and serving as their voice to the leadership of Georgia Tech.