Recognition Round-Up

May 11, 2020
A weekly report of Spiders at their best

Each week during the University's modified operating status, HR will collect stories about the amazing work that faculty and staff have done to transition to remote classes and work, to maintain the campus during a pandemic, and to contribute to our greater community. Submit your stories to

Michele Bedsaul Helps International Student Return Home

Like her colleagues at the Jepson School, administrative coordinator Michele Bedsaul has worked long and hard to ensure the School made a smooth transition to online learning. She went into the office after the official shutdown to assist faculty with their Zoom sessions until they were comfortable doing the sessions themselves. Most recently she has been working hard on fall registration. But what has really impressed me is the way Michele has supported the three international students she hosted outside of her work hours.

Earlier in the year, Michele drove “Pheebe,” one of her Chinese students, to the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., to renew her passport. When the coronavirus pandemic necessitated the closing of the UR residence halls, Pheebe moved to Virginia Beach to stay with friends until she could find a flight back to China. Finding a flight proved difficult. Finally, Pheebe confirmed reservations for a flight in early May, only to learn several weeks ago that the flight had been canceled. Michele and Pheebe’s mother both started researching other flight options. Finally, Pheebe’s mother got a reservation for Pheebe on a flight leaving from Newark on April 26. Michele picked up Pheebe in Virginia Beach and brought her back to her home in Richmond on April 24. Then, on April 25, Michele drove Pheebe from Richmond to Delaware to meet friends who took Pheebe to Newark to catch her flight. Pheebe is now back in China, due in part to the efforts of her host mother, Michele.

UR is the special place it is thanks to employees like Michele who demonstrate such care for students.

- Cassie Price, Manager, Communications and Academic Research, Jepson School of Leadership Studies

Custodial Staff Work to Keep Campus Safe and Sanitized

I would like to recognize all custodial staff for an exceptional job we are doing in keeping the residential halls and all academics buildings sanitized and clean during this pandemic. We are working a modified shift as well as other staff at the university. Kudos to all custodial staff members.

- Sandee Smith, Custodial Supervisor, University Facilities

Campus Partners Develop Virtual Alumni Programming

Alumni Relations would like to give a huge Spider shout out to our campus partners outside of Advancement who’ve gone above and beyond to help out with our virtual alumni programming! From leading presentations to arranging for hosts to making suggestions of talented alumni, and all the steps and logistics in between, we’d like to thank the following members of our community: Bob Black, Devan Martinez, Dr. Libby Gruner, Michele Cox, Dean Mickey Quiñones, Pam Harper and her team, Dr. Rachel Turk, and Roger Mancastroppa. To those leading upcoming programs, we can’t wait to hear from you and see you “on the web!” If you’d like to join oUR virtual alumni programming team by offering programming or support, please don’t hesitate to reach out at Read more here.

- Alumni Relations Team

Melissa Foster Assists Faculty in Building Online Courses

We may be working remotely, but amazing help is still available from Melissa Foster, Technology Learning Center Specialist. Via a zoom meeting, she assisted our Osher instructor and helped him with his online summer course, which included video clips, slide deck, and more. She offered great counsel and advice, and we think she is truly a ROCK STAR!

- Margaret (Peggy) Watson, Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Campus Operations

Read all recognition of the Campus Operations team here.

HR COVID-19 Resources

HR Interim Policies

HR COVID-19 Benefits Resources

Remote Work Resources

Supervisor COVID-19 Resources


Submit recognition of a colleague or team to