December 7, 2022, saw the annual presentation of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Mary Roper Award, as the staff and faculty gathered to recognize the work of Julie Roberts, office manager in the Department of Economics.
The award is named for Mary Roper, whose long service to George Mason University is an exemplar of professionalism and dedication to Mason’s mission. Through her 17 years of work for the biology department, the Office of the Provost, and the dean’s office of the College of Arts and Sciences, followed by 13 years as the administrative assistant to the university’s chief of staff, Roper set high standards for service to her colleagues and to Mason’s students.
After two years, the event returned to the Center for the Arts, and the Dr. Linda Apple Monson Grand Tier hosted a celebratory crowd of faculty and staff. Dean Ann Ardis opened the ceremony by welcoming the attendees and noted the bright moment that the event brings to her work: “the opportunity to recognize individuals who provide outstanding support to our college and university.”
Roberts came to Mason in 2014 as a part time administrative assistant to economics professor Walter Williams and graduate studies assistant. In September 2015, she became the full-time office manager for the Department of Economics.
In its letter in support of her nomination, the department made clear its appreciation for her contributions:
“Julie embodies the very qualities represented by the Mary Roper Award: a deep and serious commitment and dedication to excellence, within the Department of Economics, the college, and the broader university.”
“As our office manager, Julie serves as the ‘face’ of our department. She has interactions with students, faculty, and staff throughout the university, and handles all of these in a professional and courteous manner. She has an amazing work ethic and dedication to our program and the university.”
“Julie is the glue that holds the department together. She is the central source of information to the department chair, the Graduate Studies Office, the Undergraduate Office, and the faculty and students of the economics department.”
“Julie is always proactive in anticipating issues before they arise and thinking through the solutions with the chair, as well as with other members of the department leadership. She is always efficient and upholds the values of our department.”
“Julie is the quintessential team player who is always willing to go above and beyond to help our students, faculty, and staff. In doing so, she acts with the utmost integrity.”
“We are so grateful and privileged to have a colleague like Julie working in our department. There is no doubt that our academic programs owe a good deal of their success to her efforts. Her skills in project management and administration, human resources, budgeting, and planning are major assets.”
“Julie is truly excited about the work that our department does, and her enthusiasm improves our office culture. She creates a positive and supportive energy in the office that compels us all to continue to make our programs the best they can be.“
Roberts, in turn, expressed appreciation for her team at Mason. “The best part of working with my colleagues in the department is the sense of teamwork,” she said. “I couldn’t work with a better bunch of people.”
Surprised at the “friendly ambush” when she learned about the award, she added, “I was very honored when I learned that I had been selected as this year’s recipient, especially after getting to meet Mary Roper. I was also quite humbled when I heard what my co-workers said about me in their nominations.”
As previous Mary Roper Award winners—and Mary Roper herself—joined the dean for a group photo, Dean Ardis thanked the college for its nominations and its support of the college’s outstanding staff members.
December 11, 2022