The McComas Staff Leadership Award recognizes non-student wage and staff (classified and university) employees who regularly demonstrate the behaviors of a strong leader in support of the goals of the university, college or Vice President area, or department.

The award is sponsored by the Division of Human Resources and the Commission for Staff Policies and Affairs.


All employees in classified or university staff and non-student hourly wage positions that work in any Virginia Tech location are eligible. Employees must have worked for the university for at least one year.

Nominees do not need to be in a management or supervisory position – they can serve in any role. Their strength as a leader can be demonstrated through their participation in governance, providing leadership through their membership on steering committees and project teams, in their capacity as a supervisor, or in other capacities related to the university. 


Using examples, nominations should specifically describe how the staff member demonstrates leadership qualities and behaviors and how these contribute to the university, college or Vice President area, or department. Leadership examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • Providing appropriate feedback and guidance.
  • Encouraging participation and involving others.
  • Listening to and respecting the opinions of others.
  • Using a leadership style appropriate to the person, task, and situation.
  • Setting clear goals and objectives, and clearly communicating the link between individual efforts and the organization’s mission.
  • Involving others in opportunities for development and training.
  • Leading by example.


Nominations must be submitted online. Nominations are accepted each year in March/April. Self-nominations are accepted; a self-nomination will be sent to the department head to confirm the nomination. 

A working group from the Commission for Staff Policies and Affairs and the Division of Human Resources reviews the nominations. 


Award recipient(s) will be recognized at the annual McComas Staff Leadership Seminar. Each recipient will receive a framed certificate and a $500 award. Past winners are not eligible for five years.

For more information contact Heather Parrish.