ARL’s Betty Wells receives an OAR Employee of the Year Award – 2010

Congratulations to Betty Wells for receiving an OAR Employee of the Year Award for her exemplary Administrative and Technical Support service to ARL. Ms. Wells has the highest standards for quality, ensuring that correspondence, documents, and on-line materials are clear and grammatically correct. She is the “go-to” person for ARL and people outside of the Lab for many issues, always willing to help. She routinely goes the extra mile to ensure that tasks are completed–tracking down people and information and keeping up with email and documents during evenings and annual leave. She has encyclopedic knowledge of NOAA, OAR, and ARL procedures and past activities. She always treats people with the highest respect and integrity.

Betty Wells receiving her OAR Employee of the Year Award from Craig McLean

On top of providing outstanding support for routine requests and activities, Ms. Wells successfully completed two additional, substantial activities. For the first activity, she contributed significantly to the preparations for ARL’s upcoming Lab review in May, 2011. Most notably, she volunteered to organize and integrate citations for ARL’s publications for the last 20 years. Lists of publications had been maintained in word processor documents, but that information was not suitable for supporting bibliometrics nor for providing a searchable publication database on the Lab’s web site. To make the list of publications more useful, Ms. Wells learned a new, complex software system for organizing citation information. She worked with staff from the NOAA Central Library to learn about on-line citation databases that would support her work. She then integrated information from ARL’s records, online publication databases, and individual authors. Over a period of months she compiled a database of over 2000 publications with full citations in a standard format and in many cases with abstracts. Ms. Wells then worked with ARL IT staff to export the database to web-based citation search software.

Ms Wells’ second additional activity was support to a dozen new ARL employees who all arrived over a short time period. The influx of new people was largely due to the Lab’s reorganization associated with transferring much of the ARL division in North Carolina to EPA. Some of the work previously conducted in North Carolina was transferred to ARL headquarters. To support this work, a combination of new hires and transfers were added to the headquarters location staff. Overlapping with this, post-docs, summer students, and interns also arrived at ARL for multiple projects. Supporting one new person in an office requires a significant amount of work. Ms. Wells did that very successfully for a dozen people, ensuring that all of these people felt welcome and were able to quickly start their work.

In addition to her daily work and these new activities, Ms. Wells took on preparing the Lab for her retirement at the end of the year. As with everything else she does, she has approached this in a highly organized and effective manner. She has worked for the Lab since 1971, so there are many materials and activities with which others have only had limited experience. Ms. Wells reviewed office processes, identifying some activities that no longer had significantly value and that could be discontinued. She catalogued her other activities and started working early with her supervisor to arrange an orderly transfer. She also worked with the several people who will be taking over various of her responsibilities. In addition, she reviewed and organized materials to ensure a smooth transition to others. Some people approaching retirement start relaxing or easing back on work. Ms. Wells has done the opposite, finishing her career with contributions to ARL’s work that exceed her usual exemplary level of work.

For More Information, contact: Steven Fine