William & Mary has selected Sallie Marchello and Jeremy Martin to receive the Shirley Aceto Award.
Marchello is associate provost and university registrar, and Martin is chief of staff to President Katherine A. Rowe and has spent the past nine months serving as interim athletics director.
The Aceto Award is presented annually to a member of the instructional or professional faculty who demonstrates an exceptional commitment to excellence in service to the campus community. It is given in honor of Aceto's years of dedicated service as a member of the professional faculty working in the Office of the Provost.
The recipients will be recognized during a ceremony at Convocation for faculty and staff on July 16 at 9 a.m. in the Wren Yard.
Nominators described how Marchello and Martin, both already considered exemplary and invaluable colleagues, shone particularly during the past year of pandemic response and its accompanying challenges.
“This recognition is a tremendous honor for me, both because Shirley taught me a great deal over the years and because of the high regard in which I hold the previous winners — some of whom I nominated,” Marchello said.
“When I arrived at William & Mary in 2005, Shirley helped me understand the culture and processes in place here, and she helped me set priorities for my work. I saw first-hand her ‘indefatigable effort, constant good spirits and unstinting dedication to the good of the college,’ which were noted in the resolution forming the award. She inspired me to serve in that same way.”
Marchello led or supported multiple portions of the university’s pandemic response including coordination of remote learning schemes, provision of in-person learning spaces, conferral of degrees and delivery of diplomas entirely remotely, rapid provision of remote services across the registration system domain and maintaining an in-office presence once students and faculty returned to campus last fall.
“I hope that in my work — both pandemic-related and on-going — I embodied Shirley’s indefatigability and dedication to the good of the institution. I’d like to claim constant good spirits, but if I can do so, it’s because I am fortunate to work with an incredible array of colleagues who also kept their chins up as we weathered the storm of the pandemic.”
A letter from leadership at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business described two examples illustrating Marchello’s qualification for the award — her integration of its new online graduate degree programs into the registration process despite numerous obstacles about six years ago and her commitment during the pandemic. The letter was signed by Dean Larry Pulley, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs Kim Smith, Associate Dean for Finance and Administration Jackie Ferree and Associate Dean for Online Programs Pam Suzadail.
“From the get-go she worked with our online team and simply made it happen,” the letter stated regarding the online programs. “She was graciously supportive and worked hard and very creatively to accommodate our new students, new modalities and new (registration) needs and requirements.”
Nominators described Marchello’s role this past year.
“She has helped our faculty define and record course modalities; she has articulated and responded to program team questions and concerns about schedules and deadlines; and she has been sensitive to and willing to accommodate the needs (especially) of our graduate students and programs,” the letter stated.
“We have called on her often. She always understood, and she always did what she could to tell us exactly what we needed to know and, if necessary, overcome obstacles.”
A nomination letter from Virginia Institute of Marine Science Dean and Director John Wells and Associate Dean of Academic Studies Linda Schaffner outlined how Marchello assisted VIMS as part of her university-wide outreach to address individual needs.
“We have benefitted from her knowledge, experience, patience, problem-solving, attentiveness to key details and willingness to convene groups or otherwise facilitate information sharing and communication that allowed for quick pivots and wise decision-making during difficult times,” the letter stated.
“… Sallie has been a key node in a broad network of individuals across campus that had to develop and operationalize the plans that allowed the School of Marine Science academic program to stay on track during the pandemic.”
“I was taken totally by surprise to be honored this way,” Martin said. “When I think about the work of this past year, there were so many folks whose efforts enabled our student-athletes and coaches to learn, train and compete.
“Still more folks, including alumni, friends and campus partners, made possible the success we enjoyed in building support for W&M Athletics. I’m grateful to everyone who shouldered the load together.”
Michael Fox, senior assistant to the president, described how Aceto hired Martin 10 years ago when he was a graduate student in the higher education Ph.D. program to assist with compiling results of a faculty survey.
“It became very clear in a short time that Jeremy did not only compile the results, he also analyzed them and shared them broadly in a way the faculty had not been used to receiving,” Fox wrote.
Martin soon caught the attention of the president’s office and was hired as a writer there, moving on to become assistant to the president and provost, and then Rowe’s chief of staff.
Fox wrote that Martin “exemplifies all that is great about William & Mary. He is committed to the core values of the university, is an effective leader that goes above and beyond when called upon and serves William & Mary with his whole heart.”
Aceto’s influence is imprinted on Martin’s daily work.
“Shirley gave me my start at William & Mary,” Martin said. “During my time here, it’s amazing how many people have shared that she played a vital role in their experience as well. She’s been part of so many William & Mary stories because Shirley fully invested herself in the success of others. Receiving an award bearing her name has great meaning to me personally.”
Martin served as interim athletics director amid pandemic conditions and strains on the department’s relationships.
“His capacity to work brutally hard and to lead in difficult times has been strikingly visible,” during that stretch, wrote President Emeritus Taylor Reveley in a nomination letter, which continued on back into Martin’s time in the president’s office working with him.
“… When great ability is mated with abiding good humor and concern for others, the result is marvelous. Indeed, Jeremy reminds me in many ways of Shirley Aceto. Shirley in her time did great good for William & Mary in countless ways, always gracefully juggling many balls and always with a smile and empathy for those around her. Jeremy in his time is doing the same.”