Sara Karlsson, the administrative financial director at UGA’s Marine Extension & Georgia Sea Grant, became the third winner of the Public Service and Outreach Employee Spotlight Award on January 30 with a surprise appearance by PSO Vice President Jennifer Frum.

Karlsson was in a staff professional development committee meeting in the Treanor House boardroom when Frum surprised her with the award along with red and black balloons and a gift basket.

“Sara is a joy to work with and is so beloved by all her coworkers,” said Frum. “I’m impressed with how you willingly and effectively took on additional responsibilities and helped continue the great work at Marine Extension & Georgia Sea Grant.”

Karlsson was hired by Marine Extension & Georgia Sea Grant in July 2018. Over the next year, she took on additional responsibilities beyond her external grants coordinator job, helping to carry the load of two other vacant positions.

She was eventually promoted to administrative financial director in September 2019.

Karlsson was nominated for the award by Marine Extension & Georgia Sea Grant Director Mark Risse.

“Essentially, Sara has been doing the work of three individuals for much of this year and has managed to not only keep us running but has done so with grace and competence while learning new systems and procedures,” Risse wrote in his nomination. “I feel that Sara deserves recognition for going above and beyond the call of duty.”

Karlsson is the third PSO employee to be honored with the award since it was established last fall. The Employee Spotlight Award was created as a way to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements and contributions of PSO employees throughout the year. The award highlights employees who go above and beyond their normal responsibilities, who produce outstanding work and who contribute significantly to the strategic mission of the division.

Any full or part time employee of the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, the eight PSO units, and the Atlanta economic development office are eligible for the award. Employees can nominate themselves or someone else.

For more information or to nominate someone for the award, go to outreach.uga.edu/awards/pso-employee-spotlight/.