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UGA School of Law’s Tina Whitehair Named Employee of the Year

"Tina makes the lives of everyone she works with easier and their days brighter."

Tina M. Whitehair has been recognized for her job performance at the law school.
Tina M. Whitehair has been recognized for her job performance at the law school.
By Cindy Rice

The University of Georgia School of Law’s staff council presented Tina M. Whitehair, an administrative associate, with the 2013 Emma P. Terrell Distinguished Employee Award last month. The award is given each year to an employee who demonstrates outstanding dedication and service to the law school.

Whitehair joined Georgia Law in 2010, and she provides administrative support for 15 professors.

She was recognized for the “helpful and supportive relationships she cultivates” with everyone around her. “Many of the students know [Whitehair] by name because she has gone out of her way to help them during their years at the law school,” one nominator stated. 

Another said, “Tina makes the lives of everyone she works with easier and their days brighter. … She works for everyone and on every project as if it’s her top priority. … On top of that, she’s the smiling, welcoming face of the law school. It’s rare to walk by her office and not see someone—faculty, staff, a student, a visitor—in there talking to her. Her personality is magnetic and her smile (and laugh) brightens the law school community.”

Upon receiving the award, Whitehair shared that one of her favorite things about her position at the law school is being able to come up with new and efficient ways of doing things that makes the lives of the professors she works for easier. “[M]ost of the time it’s a well-oiled machine—just the way I like it.”

She also said she enjoys watching the students grow from their first year of law school to the time they graduate. “I see myself as a cheerleader. I love to provide a laugh in stressful times or theme music when a student is getting ready for a mock trial or is gearing up for an exam,” she said. “I also enjoy knowing that they see my office as a safe zone to come share a laugh or vent.”

In addition to her duties at the law school, Whitehair also volunteers as the executive assistant to the director for Random Acts, a global, nonprofit organization dedicated to funding and inspiring random acts of kindness around the world. 

Before coming to Georgia Law, Whitehair served as the office assistant for Providence Orthopedics for nearly two years, and she earned her bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from DeVry University.

The Terrell Distinguished Employee Award is presented annually to recognize staff members who demonstrate an outstanding work ethic, a commitment to service and exceptional job performance in addition to the cooperation necessary to increase the quality of education and service provided by the law school. Formerly known as the Employee Distinguished Service Award, this honor was renamed in February 2005 in memory of Emma P. Terrell, a longtime employee remembered for her dedication to and enthusiasm for the law school.

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