October 30, 2018

Jeffrie Shipley Honored with Presidential Excellence Award for Service: Classified Staff

VALDOSTA — Jeffrie Shipley is the recipient of Valdosta State University’s 2018 Presidential Excellence Award for Service: Classified Staff.

The Presidential Excellence Award for Service: Classified Staff recognizes a staff member who exhibits high standards of service and an exemplary and innovative job performance. Shipley was chosen for his extensive service throughout many parts of the campus and community, especially within the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration (LCOBA), and for his longstanding record of going above and beyond in ways that often fall outside his required job duties.

Shipley, a two-time alumnus of VSU, began working at the university in 2002 as a student assistant in The Decision Center, a computer lab located in Pound Hall that operated from 1984 to 2014. He became LCOBA’s technology team leader, his current role, in 2003.

Shipley is responsible for serving all information technology needs at VSU’s Rea and Lillian Steele North Campus. This includes maintaining, upgrading, and repairing more than 700 machines throughout four buildings; ensuring all LCOBA administration, faculty, and staff have the technological equipment and resources necessary to complete their job effectively; managing and training a team of seven student assistants; reviewing potential new technologies to use in the classroom to increase student and faculty retention; and acting as a liaison between LCOBA and VSU’s Division of Information Technology.

“Jeff Shipley personifies unselfish service,” said Dr. Fred Ware, emeritus professor of management. “He continues building his already impressive job knowledge and technical skills while unselfishly applying this talent on a continuing basis. He never seeks the limelight and takes pleasure in seeing success in those whom he assists. I have observed him working tirelessly on solving complex IT problems without complaining. His patience with those of us who often lack current computer knowledge is commendable. Jeff has an inquiring mind and often develops innovative solutions to dysfunctional situations.

“He demonstrates professionalism and courtesy in his frequent dealings with faculty and administrators. This is a commendable attribute, especially when there are so many unanticipated consequences associated with the world of IT. Like the Lone Ranger, he gets on the scene quickly, fixes the issues, and quietly vanishes. I have always appreciated how he frequently foresees problems and implements procedures that prevent them from taking place.”

Shipley performs a wide range of additional duties, including managing all of LCOBA’s social media accounts and serving as a member of LCOBA’s Experiential Learning Committee. He is also an adjunct instructor, teaching BUSA 3200: Free Enterprise Education. 

“Mr. Shipley is and has been an invaluable resource to our entire college,” said Dr. Bill Buchanan, professor of finance. “His technical expertise and attention to detail is appreciated and utilized by faculty, staff, and students here at LCOBA, and frankly the growth of the college is, in no small measure, directly attributable to his management style, affable personality, and forward-looking approach to problem-solving.”

One of Shipley’s most well known roles on campus is as faculty advisor for the VSU chapter of Enactus, the largest student organization on campus with nearly 400 members. Enactus is an international organization that connects student, academic, and business leaders through entrepreneurial-based projects that empower people to transform opportunities into real, sustainable progress for themselves and their community.

Under Shipley’s guidance and mentorship, VSU Enactus has initiated numerous outreach projects and programs at the local, national, and international level.

Through revenue from Business Bites, a student-run food service on North Campus, VSU Enactus offers micro-loans to socially responsible small businesses. One recipient was Lowndes Associated Ministries to People Inc. (LAMP), a local homeless shelter that used the loan to create a cleaning service run by several of the residents. Shipley also worked with students to build LAMP a greenhouse from recycled two-liter bottles to provide fresh food to residents.

VSU Enactus regularly teaches technology and life skills to community members throughout Lowndes County who are homeless or disadvantaged. The organization also works with K-12 schools to teach children about important topics, such as recycling.

Shipley has traveled with students to Guatemala to restore an ecological hotel by exposing the staff to various social media and marketing channels. He has also helped to start two businesses in impoverished areas of Africa. One is a chicken business in Kenya that sells eggs, thereby providing jobs and improving the village’s economy. The other sells authentic African clothing to support educational opportunities for young girls in The Gambia.

“I love helping students to see that they can make a difference,” Shipley said.

VSU Enactus has won regional and national recognition for its work under Shipley’s leadership.

“Whether it’s representing VSU in the classroom, locally, regionally, nationally, or worldwide, Jeff always represents VSU with grace, dignity, and an expectation of excellence,” said Brian Anderson, computer services coordinator for VSU’s Division of Information Technology. “His focus on the needs of both students and other staff exemplifies what it means to be a member of the Valdosta State University team.”

Two of Shipley’s favorite quotes offer insight into his goals and underlying motivations. One is, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit,” by Aristotle. The other is, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit,” by Harry Truman.

Shipley holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and accounting and a Master of Business Administration from VSU.

Each year, VSU continues its tradition of honoring faculty and staff excellence with awards recognizing the diverse talents and contributions of its innovative and active employees. Awards are given for excellence in teaching, research, service, online teaching, and scholarship of teaching and learning. The 2018-2019 recipients were publicly recognized at the fall convocation and received a monetary prize of $1,000. 

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