Athens, Ga. – The U.S. Department of Defense has honored Marie Scoggins, administrative financial director of University of Georgia Marine Extension, with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award. The award recognizes extraordinary efforts to provide a supportive work environment to National Guard or Reserve members through measures such as flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence.

 Scoggins was nominated for the Patriot Award by Clayton Holloway, a maintenance foreman at the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium on Skidaway Island. Holloway, who is also a master sergeant in the Georgia Air National Guard, is currently serving a six-month deployment oversees.

“You have done so much for me, as far as getting my paperwork squared away, which allows me to focus on these deployments,” wrote Holloway in a letter of congratulations from his post abroad. “You have also always let me know what I need to do about benefits and pay while I’m away on these deployments.”

On Aug. 11, Scoggins will mark her 30th year at UGA—25 of which have been with UGA Marine Extension. Holloway has been deployed several times while working at UGA, and Scoggins has handled his paperwork for all of them.

The award was hand-delivered to her office by Brig. Gen. Joel Seymour, who presented her with a framed Patriot Award certificate and accompanying lapel pin.

“This is definitely a surprise and shock,” said Scoggins upon receiving the award. “I am truly honored and very humbled that Clay nominated me. He deserves the award for his service to our wonderful country.”

Scoggins, a Georgia native, also received the 2009 Public Service and Outreach Staff Award for Excellence from the University of Georgia. UGA Marine Extension is a unit in the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach.