Sarah Knapp Named July 2011 Employee of the Month

Posted: June 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm, Last Updated: June 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm

By Lea Lubag

Sarah Knapp with her children and husband after she graduated from Mason with a law degree. Photo courtesy of Sarah Knapp

If there was an award for Supermom of the Year, Sarah Knapp would be a likely recipient. However, the next best thing is being named Mason’s July 2011 Employee of the Month.

Knapp, who has been part of the Mason community since August 2007, has had her hands full juggling what feels to her like three jobs.

During that time, Knapp has been an administrative assistant to the Staff Senate, a Mason law student and a mother of two young children. She graduated with her law degree in May.

Although she works part-time for the Staff Senate, her colleagues say she goes above and beyond what is required and takes on full-time responsibilities.

According to Denise Napoliello, Staff Senate treasurer, “Sarah is a person of numerous talents. What I find most impressive is her ability to master the art of multitasking.  She never misses a beat.”

Napoliello adds, “Nothing goes through the Staff Senate without Sarah’s involvement. She is the backbone of the organization.”

In 2010, the Staff Senate was faced with the challenge of remodeling its website. While that may seem like a straightforward task, facilitating productive discussion among a large group of people to reach consensus can be a difficult process.

“Sarah ‘took the bull by the horns’ and ran with the task of putting all our ideas together in a logical but functional layout,” says Laura Harrison, staff senator. “With eight people throwing ideas around, it was Sarah who was responsible for making the final decision, including sticking to our maximum ‘two-click rule’ to find information on our site.”

Both members agree that Knapp is an invaluable asset to the Staff Senate and will be leaving big shoes to fill as she pursues a legal career.

Kevin Stoy, former chair of the Staff Senate’s Policies and Elections Committee, sums up what he thinks is Knapp’s strongest attribute: “If I could use one word to describe Sarah it would be ‘unwavering.’ During the senate’s most intensive discussions I often found myself turning to Sarah to keep us on track because I could always count on her to provide the voice of reason.”

Knapp expects to take the bar exam in July. When asked if she felt prepared, Sarah replied, “No, I feel far from prepared, but I think that is normal, too. I keep telling myself that I made it through law school with two babies and two jobs so I should get through the bar exam too.”

Just five days after taking the exam she will begin working as a law clerk for Judge William Hamblen of the Prince William County Circuit Court.

Knapp’s last day at Mason will be June 30. After four years of working for Mason, she jokes, “I can say that I am a little jealous (OK, maybe a little bitter, too) that after three years working in a windowless closet of an office in SUB I and then one year in the beautiful North Chesapeake Module, I only get to enjoy the Staff Senate’s new space in University Hall for less than a month. But that’s life.”

President Alan Merten will present Knapp with the Employee of the Month award on Tuesday, June 21, at 4 p.m. Knapp’s family, co-workers and friends are encouraged to attend the ceremony in Merten’s office, 103 Mason Hall.


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