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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)May 20, 2011

Recipients from Prospect Park, Bloomingdale, Dumont, West Orange, Harriman, NY

(MAHWAH, NJ) – President Peter P. Mercer recently announced the five recipients of the Ramapo College President’s Staff Recognition Awards.

The President’s Staff Recognition Program consists of two award categories.  The Staff Excellence in Service Award is presented to an individual or recognized group that, in that year, provided exemplary service by fostering cooperation, collaboration and open communication among college constituents.  The Staff Leadership Award is presented to Ramapo College staff members who assumed a leadership role and successfully effected positive change.

The 2011 recipient of the Staff Excellence in Service Award is Johnie Burton of Prospect Park. Burton, benefits specialist in the Human Resources department, joined Ramapo College in 1989.  She was recognized for providing excellent constituent service. Burton developed and customized comprehensive training and development programs for specific constituents at the College.  Her sincere cooperation, positive attitude and exceptional willingness to assist others enhanced the morale of others and fostered an environment of team work.  She is pursuing her associate’s degree.

The 2011 recipients of the Staff Leadership Award are Helen Grey of Dumont, Jennifer Tunnicliffe of West Orange, Carole Weingarten of Bloomingdale, and Kathleen Finnegan of Harriman, NY.  The recipients were lauded for assuming additional assignments to advance the goals of the College, for going above and beyond to ensure the health and safety of students, for successfully leading a team to complete a significant institutional project, for identifying a specific recurring issue on campus and implementing practices to resolve the issue, and for motivating others to perform at an exceptional level.

Grey, media services specialist, joined the College in 2004.  She was recognized for her leadership in launching and troubleshooting the College’s new campus information network.  Grey was also noted for consistently providing assistance with limitless cheer and patience.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from Ramapo College.

Tunnicliffe, manager of presidential facilities and coordinator of special projects, joined Ramapo College in 2008.  She was recognized for her project management skills, leadership of and improvements to the College’s commencement ceremony, thoughtful coordination of the College’s annual Remembrance Day, and her skill in motivating others and promoting collaboration across the campus.  Tunnicliffe holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Saint Elizabeth.

Weingarten, secretarial assistant in the School of Contemporary Arts, joined the College in 1995.  She was recognized for her consistent professionalism, attention to detail, and her integral role in repurposing an underused storage space on campus to serve as an academic lab.  Weingarten was also lauded for seamlessly coordinating the College’s Expanding Animation Exhibition and visiting lecturer program.

Finnegan, associate director of Athletics, joined Ramapo College in 1974.  Finnegan was recognized for her role in advising the Student Athlete Committee, organizing Athletic Study Hall, and promoting community service among Ramapo athletic teams.  Finnegan holds a master’s degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

“It brings many of us tremendous satisfaction and joy when we are recognized for doing excellent work, for going above and beyond the call of duty, for exceeding expectations, or for motivating a colleague,” said President Mercer. “Ramapo College is fortunate to be home to many talented and compassionate personnel whose extra efforts and exemplary service make the College a great place to work and study.”

Members of the media may contact Anna Farneski at 201-684-6844 or at


Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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