The Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach held a fall appreciation event Oct. 26 and presented awards to Christina Allen-Wise, Scott Crabtree and Emily Newdow.
The Public Service and Outreach Staff Award for Excellence acknowledges individuals for their exceptional job performance, workplace creativity and innovation and commitment to service. The honoree receives a certificate, a cash award and an engraved crystal memento.
Allen-Wise is a program operations coordinator for the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development. In this role, she manages Fanning’s 35 to 45 community leadership programs throughout Georgia, three to five regional programs and the annual Community Leadership Conference. Allen-Wise manages every aspect of each program, including faculty assignments, designing and producing presentation materials, finding locations to meet and working with clients on logistical arrangements, finalizing contracts and balancing budgets.
One strong example of Allen-Wise’s commitment to excellence and exemplary service can be found in her support of the Middle Georgia Regional Leadership Champions program, which provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to build individual and regional leadership competencies around strategic goals. She has been involved with the program since its inception in 2015.
Her commitment to service while she coordinates community-based leadership programs led to her recent assignment to coordinate two sponsored programs implemented by the Fanning Institute—the Public Service and Outreach Facilitation Academy and the UGA New Faculty Tour. These programs require maintaining a high degree of service to a wide variety of constituents while managing complicated logistics, schedules and circumstances.
When the COVID-19 pandemic sent everyone home to work, there was increased demand for an online certificate leadership development program. Allen-Wise created, implemented and managed a registration process, oversaw the online software, communicated with participants, and held regular debriefing sessions with faculty to get input that helped refine the program. As a result of the positive evaluations Fanning received from participants, the Online Certificate in Leadership Development endured beyond the pandemic, and Allen-Wise is preparing for a third cohort.
Brittany Adams-Pope, a Fanning Institute public service associate, said that with Allen-Wise on her team, she knows the project will be flawless.
“Her ability to anticipate her faculty’s needs makes our work run so smoothly,” Adam-Pope said. “Her attention to detail in everything she does leaves no room for worry. Her commitment to exemplary service is consistently on display. Once a client has interacted with Christina, they always ask for her again because they know she will stop at nothing to make sure everything is as perfect as possible for everyone involved.”
Crabtree is the operations manager for the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. In this position, he manages the System Support Group and IT Infrastructure and provides technical leadership for the faculty, staff and student employees in Athens, Atlanta and various other locations throughout the state and U.S.
He manages system administration, networks and wireless networks, help desks, web services, desktop support and application development needed to support individual employees, projects and divisions. Crabtree plans, develops and implements information technology strategies for top level management. He also manages the facilities for the Lucy Cobb complex, the Seney-Stovall Chapel, and other building sites on campus and in Atlanta.
Crabtree demonstrates his commitment to excellence by effectively ensuring that the institute has the IT and facilities support necessary to achieve its mission and goals. The wide scope of his job duties in all things related to IT and facilities result in him essentially being consistently on call. He responds to UGA Police security concerns and IT or facilities issues at all hours of the night, on weekends and over holidays. After recent high intensity storms passed through Athens after work hours, Crabtree returned to the Lucy Cobb complex to assess any impact to IT operations or damage to facilities that might impact employees the next day. He was there before UGA Facilities Management Division or Georgia Power, and he communicated his damage assessment to Institute of Government employees that night.
Crabtree is dedicated not just to the institute, but also to all of PSO. He manages the Zoom accounts for all PSO units, which recently included working with EITS to add new functions that are uniquely required by PSO. He proactively looks for ways to collaborate, support or realize mutual costs savings with other units.
“Scott Crabtree always goes above and beyond what’s required of him,” said Lena Smith, executive assistant to the Institute of Government director. “He has consistently demonstrated exceptional dedication and professionalism. He is thorough, timely and thoughtful in everything he does. Scott displays a remarkable ability to effectively manage, exhibits a strong attention to detail and takes a proactive approach to problem-solving. His ability to quickly assess situations and make informed decisions contributes to the smooth functioning of our facilities on a daily basis.”
Newdow is the facilities management department head for the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel. In this position, Newdow works with the heads of engineering, groundskeeping and skilled crafts to resolve problems with facility usage, operations, equipment, and HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems. She manages all on-site construction and renovation projects, long-range planning, design and capital construction.
Newdow also hires outside contractors, managing the bid process when necessary, and prepares and maintains the annual budgets for the maintenance and grounds departments, capital projects and facility upkeep.
For more than 11 years, Newdow has been creating an environment that ensures each of the 200,000 annual visitors to the Georgia Center has the ideal experience. During that time, she has overseen major repair, redesign and renovation projects, including the complete demolition and renovation of the Georgia Center’s kitchen, a two-year renovation of more than 150 hotel rooms and public dining spaces, and significant improvements to HVAC, mechanical and electrical systems.
Her leadership skills were on display during the 2022 winter break when subfreezing temperatures in Athens caused pipes to burst, flooding the hotel lobby, concierge area and hotel rooms. Newdow immediately went into action, mobilizing her maintenance team and coordinating with the UGA Facilities Management Division and UGA Police to mitigate the damage and control the scene. She worked tirelessly to ensure that all aspects of the $1.3 million project to remediate and renovate the damaged property were managed efficiently and expediently.
Newdow, who has a background in interior design, looks at how a design change or new aesthetic will impact the center’s learning environment. She ensures that all customers have a positive interaction with the physical environment, by selecting conference chairs that are comfortable for long periods of time and arranging lobby furniture to encourage collaboration.
“There are few facilities managers who excel at interior design and understand large scale building systems, and lead complex logistics plans to upgrade aged infrastructure in a high-profile building that is almost always open,” said Gwynne Darden, UGA associate vice president and university architect. “She is customer service-centric both in working with others on a facilities project team and on upgrades for the Georgia Center clientele.”