Staff Senate Honors Outstanding Supervisors

Posted: May 8, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryann Doyle

Faced with a pool of many outstanding supervisors, the Staff Senate couldn’t choose just one for the spring award presentation. So for the second time ever, the senate chose two: Susan Ridley, office manager in the Psychology Department, and Richard Wood, general manager and executive producer of GMU-TV.

Dr. Merten, Susan Ridley, Richard Wood
Mason President Alan Merten presented awards to Susan Ridley and Richard Wood on May 7.
Creative Services photo

Ridley says she is honored to be selected as one of the recipients. As office manager, Ridley manages all facets of department activities from general administrative and fiscal support to undergraduate and graduate program support, grants and budget administration and various lab areas.

“My favorite thing about my job is the people that I get to work with, not only my staff, although they are terrific, but the whole Psychology Department, including the wonderful faculty and students,” says Ridley. “The other departments that we interface with make it easy to do my job.”

Ridley’s colleagues appreciate her “exceptional knowledge, open office, open mind, and friendliness to all of her employees, professors and all those who enter into the department.”

“Not only does Susan possess the natural ability to make people feel warm and welcome in her presence, but she also encourages her employees to be open and comfortable with her,” says one staffer. “Susan is always open to suggestions and new ideas, and encourages us as employees to take on any task that makes us a more valuable and productive employee.”

“Susan is constantly looking out for what is in the best interest of not only the department but her employees — and will not hesitate to put her employees first. She has taken a keen interest in learning just what makes for a productive work environment for each one of her staff members and has done what she can to provide it,” says one co-worker.

Wood is described by his colleagues as “the head of the GMU-TV family.”

He is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the production process. Some of these responsibilities include approving and prioritizing production requests, developing detailed production plans for all GMU-TV productions, lighting design and implementation of studio productions, supervising production crews and hiring part-time employees.

During his 12 years with GMU-TV, Wood has earned more than 30 awards for his productions, including 11 Communicator Awards, nine Telly Awards and three Davey Silver Awards.

“Richard encourages collaboration across the board. He is amazingly creative and innovative in his problem-solving capabilities. Though he remains the ‘go-to’ person for how to approach any aspect of a project, he relies on his staff in decision-making processes and encourages and implements new ideas. Best of all, he knows our strengths and limitations, when to reel us in and cast us out into the deep water,” comments one of his staff members.

“Part of what makes GMU-TV such a wonderful place to work is Richard’s willingness to answer our questions. However, he is not only here for us when we have questions. He’s here to listen to our suggestions, ideas, concerns, or just what we thought of the latest episode of ‘The Office,’ and I’ve always been impressed by that openness,” says another staff member.

Wood and Ridley were honored on May 7 at the university’s spring awards ceremony.

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