Shelly (Michelle) Nail, business support specialist at the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Discovery Ridge facility, is this year’s recipient of the University of Missouri’s Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award in the clerical/office category.
Nail, who graduated MU in 2000, began her career with the university in 2006 with the School of Medicine. She joined the staff at Discovery Ridge in 2009 as a grants specialist.
In nominating her for the award, Craig Franklin, a professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, recounted Nail’s assistance in helping to advance the Comparative Medicine and Veterinary Research Scholars programs.
“While Shelly’s work ethic had been second to none, the addition of working with students brought out perhaps her greatest strength ─ the care she has for students,” Franklin wrote. “In fact, Shelly has now become one of our front-line recruiting tools for prospective candidates as one of the initial contacts with prospective candidates. Somehow, while coordinating the schedules and activities of two dozen faculty members and visiting candidates over the course of three days, Shelly makes every visitor feel completely welcome and appreciated. I cannot overstate the value she brings to the CMP, and MU in general, as an ambassador.
“Concurrently, we had established the Veterinary Research Scholars Program (VRSP), a summer program to expose veterinary students to research through a mentored project and a variety of research related activities,” Franklin continued. “We had also created an externship program and an elective rotation in laboratory animal medicine for students from MU and other colleges of veterinary medicine. With these programs growing quickly, we were in desperate need of an administrative associate to oversee these programs. Shelly was the perfect fit and we were thrilled when she agreed to transition to this position.”
In addition to providing support for the CMP and VRSP, Nail assists graduate students from the Molecular Pathogenesis and Therapeutics and Genetics Area programs. Her responsibilities for all of these programs include graduate coursework management, development and upkeep of program manuals and guidelines, assisting visiting students with travel and housing accommodations, and assisting students with meeting travel arrangements.
Franklin contacted former students from throughout the world who provided testimonials in support of Nail’s nomination.
“Shelly was incredible when I was a brand new clinical student on lab animal,” wrote Ally Opalewski, a fourth-year student in the College of Veterinary Medicine. “I remember her making time during my orientation to answer every question I had and finding out answers quickly when she didn’t know the answer. It was so refreshing to walk into a new environment and feeling like I 100 percent belonged there.”
“Shelly was a tremendous help to me as a resident,” noted Dan Montonye, DVM, a Comparative Medicine Program resident. “She was never too busy to help with a problem, and there was never a problem I don’t think she could help with. Not only that, but after I finished the residency, Shelly continued to help with anything I needed and anything I asked about.”
Nail will be recognized for her award during Staff Recognition Week in May.