Chancellor honors two VUSN staff members at fall staff assembly

Two School of Nursing staff members received prestigious university awards at the fall staff assembly September 29. 

Chancellor stands at podium. VUSN staff Tim Groves stands under a slide that reads "Student Impact Award--Tim Groves"Manager of FNIC Support Tim Groves received the Student Impact Award, presented by Chancellor Daniel Diermeier, who said, “With care, expertise and innovation, Tim has contributed to the success of more than 800 nursing students each year over the last six years and enabled them to take full advantage of the learning experiences that the Vanderbilt School of Nursing offers.” 

Grove’s nominator wrote, “His ability to develop relationships with students, fellow staff and faculty has resulted in an employee that is well-respected and trusted as a leader here at VUSN. He is never satisfied with the status quo and when he sees something that could be done in a better way, he makes it happen—leading to a better experience for our students.” Each new school year, Groves helps students align their personal technology with what is needed for VUSN’s distance/remote learning and he is on call if they have issues.

He receives kudos on his work on a regular basis, the nominator said. “One student went all the way to send a handwritten note to him recently stating: ‘I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for your true compassion’ and ‘I appreciated the kindness, patience sincerity and time you gave me.’ During exam times, Groves responds immediately to student calls for help 24/7, not wanting the technology to add to their anxiety. He has received calls from students at all hours crying, angry, upset, distraught and nervous, and always ensures that he not only solves their issue, but follows up with them to ensure they are okay and provides any needed guidance or resources available to help them.” 

Two men in suits, Chanceller Diermeier and Eric Kopstain , flank three women award winnersAdministrative Officer Allison Varble, as one of three core leadership members of NORA—Network of Research Administrators, received the Innovation Excellence Award from the Chancellor. 

The award honors excellence in innovation, demonstrated by implementing or attempting a new system or approach that has had a meaningful and significant impact on a process, program or initiative at Vanderbilt. The NORA team, made up of Varble, Beth Rivas and Emma Pacilli (both from the School of Medicine, Basic Sciences), was recognized for creating a long-needed resource for Vanderbilt’s research community. During the first year of working from home due to pandemic restrictions, the three developed, tested, launched and managed a new staff network for research administrators across the university.  

The NORA team’s nominator wrote, “Vanderbilt has experienced numerous changes and a quick growth in its research enterprise over approximately the past five years. Pressing new challenges have arisen in addressing the need for accurate and organized data that resulted from the sudden growth and the ever-changing digital landscape at Vanderbilt. In response to the challenging aspects of accessing and utilizing available data and the need to find better ways to serve our faculty and the Vanderbilt research community as a whole, NORA’s founders Allison, Beth, and Emma have successfully created a forum for collegial training and exchange of information amongst those individuals with direct responsibility for grant management in a manner that not only improves morale but also and (not incidentally) helps to mitigate audit and compliance risk for the university.” 

Watch the Fall Staff Assembly

Read about the event and other honorees

First photo:
Chancellor Daniel Diermeier highlights Tim Groves’ service to students, resulting in the university’s Student Impact Award. 

Second photo: 
Innovation Excellence Award winners Allison Varble, Emma Pacilli and Beth Rivas with Chancellor Daniel Diermeier (far left) and Vice Chancellor for Administration Eric Kopstain (far right)

Photos: Harrison McClary/Vanderbilt University