The director of UVI’s Center for Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning (UVICELL) was recently presented with a Patriot Award by the office of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), which recognizes extraordinary support of employees serving in the Virgin Islands’ Guard and Reserve. ESGR is a Department of Defense office that seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States.
PHOTO: UVICELL Director Ilene Garner receives the Patriot Award from ESGR State Chair Beresford Edwards. Shown, from left, are UVI President Dr. David Hall, Garner, Edwards, and UVICELL employee Dr. Valicia France-Burke.
The award was presented to CELL’s Ilene Garner by Retired Colonel Beresford F. Edwards, who currently serves as the ESGR State Chair. Col. Edwards said “the Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who, like the citizen warriors before them, answered their nation’s call to serve.”
Garner, in her role as director, was nominated by UVICELL employee Dr. Valicia Burke-France, who is also an officer in the Virgin Islands National Guard. “Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units,” Col. Edwards said.
University of the Virgin Islands President Dr. David Hall was also on hand for the brief presentation. “The entire University community is extremely appreciative of the tireless efforts of all the members of the Guard and Reserve who so proudly serve to protect our great nation,” Dr. Hall said. “We recognize that it takes a Herculean effort for these individuals to maintain their careers, take care of their families and still serve our country. We appreciate the value of their service and stand in full support of our men and women in uniform.”