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Ramapo College Bestows Four Employees with Staff Leadership and Staff Excellence in Service Awards

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)May 24, 2012

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

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 2012 recipient of the Staff Excellence in Service Award is Susan Petro of New York. Petro, biology lab coordinator and instructor in the School of Theoretical and Applied Science, was primarily recognized for fostering a collegial and cooperative environment. Specifically, her solution-oriented skills were noted in her resolution of issues related to the logistical coordination of students, science laboratory staff, and faculty during the planning for a major renovation to the College’s science wing. Petro was also credited for her commitment to the spirit of diversity.

She actively teaches Upward Bound classes and was praised for her dynamic approach to addressing different backgrounds through her unique teaching style that includes visual aids, group activities, and study aids.  Colleagues also noted Susan’s admirable efforts in overseeing the daily maintenance of the College greenhouse and providing botany courses to colleagues. Petro was lauded as a team player, a self-starter, and a solution-oriented colleague, educator, and friend. Petro earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University.

The 2012 recipients of the Staff Leadership Award are Judy Green, Ben Levy and Cheryl Schwartz of New Jersey. The recipients were recognized for assuming additional assignments to advance the goals of the College, for going above and beyond to ensure the health and safety of students and colleagues, for successfully leading a team to complete a significant institutional project, and for motivating others to perform at an exceptional level.

Green, director of the College’s Center for Health and Counseling Services, joined Ramapo in 2007. Green’s efforts to go above and beyond to ensure the safety, security, and health of students under extraordinary circumstances were recognized. This included her efforts to raise awareness, foster greater self-reflection, and promote positive behavioral change with regard to alcohol and substance abuse on campus. Under her leadership, three programs (“AlcoholEdu,” “Choices and Consequences,” and “Lollanobooza”), were established and recognized as key points of engagement for the freshman class.  Green’s colleagues also acknowledged her innate ability to motivate others to perform at an exceptional level despite challenges associated with case loads, staffing, and resources. Green earned her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Loyola College.

Levy, director of the College’s Roukema Center for International Education, joined the College in 2009.  Levy’s commitment to the safety, security, and health of students and colleagues was noted through his work as risk assessor for the international educational program, and particularly for the College’s new programs in India.  Levy was also commended for his demonstrated commitment to motivating others through the development of the Global Roadrunners, a student mentoring group to which he personally provides professional development, resume review, and academic support. Levy was described by colleagues and students as a consummate professional and an inspiring and transformative leader, his sincerity and passion for study abroad, academic excellence, and student success were also lauded. Levy earned his M.A. in Sustainability Development from the School of International Training.

Schwartz, Academic Counselor in the Office of Specialized Services, joined Ramapo College in 1989 and will retire this year. Schwartz was recognized for successfully leading a team to complete a significant institutional project. This included her leadership and coordination of the College’s Disability Awareness Month activities. Schwartz solicited activity ideas from multiple sources, consulted with her collegial networks on and off campus, and identified sources of funding and potential co-sponsors for the signature presentation, conducted by attorney Ted Kennedy Jr.  Schwartz’ leadership was also further demonstrated by her assuming additional assignments and challenging projects to advance the goals of the College. Faculty and staff also commended Schwartz on her patience and willingness to consistently and expertly advise on student-related classroom and instructional matters. Schwartz earned her M.A. in Special Education from New York University.

“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


About Ramapo College

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 comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per 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, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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