Counselor, friend, unofficial department historian, patient caretaker of staff, faculty and students—that’s how co-workers describe Roslyn Cress, financial/grant analyst for the Department of Environmental Science and Policy.
These are just some of the reasons she is George Mason University’s June 2016 Employee of the Month.
Cress was nominated for the award by Lisa Bair, human resources and administrative specialist for the department, who said Cress is an indispensable colleague who takes time to “explain what I need to do with a kind ease, and never makes me feel like I am taking her away from her tasks at hand.”
Those many tasks include analyzing data to prepare internal budget reports and reconciling them to university fiscal reports; developing budget projections; monitoring accounts for accuracy; preparing special reports requested by the department chair; assisting faculty with developing and effectively evaluating data to better use grant budgets and expenditures; establishing and monitoring foundation accounts for the department and faculty; purchasing and receiving all department requests and travel transactions; and maintaining department equipment inventory records.
Having worked at George Mason for nearly 20 years and in the department for 15, Cress retains a historical knowledge that few others can claim.
“The way she can remember what was purchased many years ago and can find the documentation required for those purchases in a matter of minutes is so valuable for the history of this department,” said Bair.
The demanding work conducted around the globe by the department’s researchers requires extremely organized and skillful planning. Cress makes this work possible by not only helping secure funding for the research, but by facilitating numerous aspects of the trips, including navigating the contracting process for the necessary equipment. In the case of assistant professor Leila Hamdan, a molecular microbial ecologist, Cress secures the equipment she needs to conduct field work on large, ocean sailing vessels.
“Not a single research sample or line of data would be possible for my work without her,” Hamdan said. “She makes Mason research happen, and she does it with class.”
Cress will be formally presented with this award by President Ángel Cabrera at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 27, in his office on the fifth floor of Merten Hall. Cress’s family, co-workers and friends are all encouraged to attend the ceremony.