Pam Thomson Named July 2010 Employee of the Month

Posted: July 1, 2010 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: July 1, 2010 at 9:43 am

By Ethan Vaughan

Pam Thomson. Photo courtesy of Pam Thomson

Pam Thomson likes to remind her boss about how foolish she was.

“She laughs about it now,” says Myra Crosen, assistant director of human resources for ITU Administrative Services. “She likes to say, ‘See how lucky you are you hired me?’”

The ITU personnel specialist and July 2010 Employee of the Month was initially passed over for a wage job with ITU, but after a reassessment, the department offered Thomson the position she was seeking.

“I called her up, and I know I was stuttering,” Crosen remembers with a laugh. “Before I could even finish telling her what had happened, she said, ‘I’ll take the job.’ She was so good-natured about it because she wanted to work for us so badly.”

Thomson’s associates did not take long to realize their good fortune.

“Pam is always patient, kind and willing to go above and beyond for the STAR Lab,” says Garrett Claybrooks, the STAR Lab administrative student supervisor. “Without her, it would be almost impossible for me to do my job.”

Thomson’s own job is challenging by itself, but you would never know it from all the help she offers on a regular basis, her colleagues say.

“My main responsibility is for wage and student wage positions in ITU,” Thomson says. “I get paperwork from the supervisors, process the people through the system and do anything else that comes up with student wages. We act as the HR department for the ITU. We have to process the I9 forms to make sure that a person is eligible to work in the U.S. They all come to me, and then I set the people up in PatriotWeb.”

A lengthy list of responsibilities has not prevented Thomson from reaching out to assist others.

“Pam is an absolute gem,” says Jamie Coniglio, head of the Fenwick Library reference desk. “When we lost clerical support, she was assigned to us a few hours per week. Pam quickly learned the routine, filled the service slots and informed the staff. Her initiative and follow-through were exceptional. Pam is a rock of responsibility and, in my opinion, exemplifies the best of Mason service and spirit.”

Amidst the chorus of praise for Thomson, she says only, “I just think of it as doing my job.”

She adds, “Sometimes it’s almost embarrassing to hear the praise, because I’m just doing my job, and that’s what they pay me for. To think that the extra little thing I said or the kind moment I got to share with a person would touch someone enough that they’d put me up for an award is amazing. If I can’t help, I try to get to someone who can. That’s the way I would want someone to treat me.”

Thomson, who claims she was “shocked” when informed she had been selected as Employee of the Month, says that her favorite part of working for Mason is interacting with students.

“A lot of the supervisors I deal with are student wage supervisors,” says Thomson. “I make sure they’re set up so that all they have to worry about is doing their job and going to school instead of worrying about paperwork not going through and their not getting a paycheck.”

That does not surprise Crosen, who describes Thomson as a tireless and giving member of the Mason team.

“She is exceptional all the time,” Crosen notes. “And she can’t do enough to help people. I have never seen anyone so proud to say she works for George Mason University. She’s really that person. Pam is an employee anyone would be proud to have work for them.”

President Alan Merten will present Pam Thomson with the award in his office, Room 103 in Mason Hall, at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 1.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu