UVA Today is highlighting the winners of the 2013 Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Awards, the highest U.Va. honor staff receive for their dedicated service to the University. Today: Jeannine Fields, educational support specialist in the McIntire School of Commerce. To see all of the stories, click here.
Anna “Jeannine” Fields comes across as such a professional leader that parents, students and visitors have referred to her as a dean when commending her to Rebecca Leonard, associate dean for student services at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce.
“She is truly exceptional, an educational support specialist who can represent the University as well as any of our deans,” Leonard wrote in nominating Fields for an outstanding contribution award. Her working title is assistant director of undergraduate admission – both monikers describe her roles in helping students interested in entering the Commerce School (and their parents), and then continuing to guide students after they’re enrolled.
U.Va. students typically apply for admission to the McIntire School in the spring of their second years, and those who are accepted enroll the following fall semester for a two-year degree program. Students from other institutions can also apply to transfer in.
Calling Fields “the face” of the McIntire School, Leonard wrote that she “is able to clearly communicate requirements and expectations.” Fields also started a “pre-comm” blog and a Facebook page to reach underclass students about Commerce School information. She also manages the technical side of the admission process for both internal and external applicants and provides administrative support to the admission committee.
As a member of the admission committee, she helps review approximately 500 transfer applications and recommends some 250 applicants to U.Va.’s Office of Undergraduate Admission. “She scours transcripts, reads essays and recommendations and examines the activities of our applicants with great attention to detail,” wrote Greg W. Roberts, dean of undergraduate admission. “Her approach is thoughtful and thorough, ensuring equity and fairness in the admission process.”
Student praise for her is thoughtful, as well as heartfelt. She created a guide program for current students to become “McIntire Ambassadors” for prospective students and a process whereby the latter can sign up to go to a class with their ambassadors.
“She masterfully and endearingly worked with current and prospective students on things big and small,” wrote Sean Jenkins, senior assistant to U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan, who interned at the Commerce School while studying in the Curry School of Education’s program for higher education administration. “She was equal parts adviser, mentor, admission coach and office manager.”
She frequently meets one-on-one with transfer students, which made Bernard Doe feel as though he “had just participated in an excellent career-planning seminar,” he wrote.
Third-year commerce student Hakeem S. Allen wrote, “She’s become another mother and adviser to me and many students at the University. ... From personal to professional help, Ms. Fields is always there for her students.”