ARS Secretary Wins Agency AwardBy Jim Core
February 2, 2004
BELTSVILLE, Md., Feb. 2--Agricultural Research Service (ARS) executive assistant Diane K. Koch of Collingsdale, Pa., has been named the agency's "Secretary of the Year." ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.
Koch is executive assistant to the agency's North Atlantic Area associate director, based at the ARS Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor. The North Atlantic Area includes 13 research locations in Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Koch provides program and administrative support, coordination and office management, and other assistance to the area.
Koch was recognized for her impact on improving procedures and services, not only in the North Atlantic Area, but throughout the entire agency. For example, Koch acted on her own initiative to develop a searchable electronic database that will provide a permanent, thorough record of all foreign visitors to area locations in response to heightened security operations. The system is currently being pilot tested at the agency level.
As part of her additional duty of ethics assistant to the NAA ethics advisor this past year, Koch screened ethics questions, processed applications and responded to routine inquiries. In addition, an innovative system that she previously conceived and developed for electronic tracking of ethics activities has recently been adopted USDA-wide with only slight modification.
Koch has spent her entire career with ARS in Wyndmoor. She started her first job in 1971 as a clerk/stenographer. Over the years, she has worked at ERRC in different laboratories and offices in several different positions.