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

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)June 17, 2013

Residents of Wayne, Vernon, Pequannock, and Mahwah Recognized

(MAHWAH, NJ) – President Peter P. Mercer announced the four recipients of the Ramapo College President’s Staff Recognition Awards on May 23, 2013.

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 2013 recipient of the Staff Excellence in Service Award is Kamil Starczak of Wayne, New Jersey. Starczak, biology lab coordinator in the School of Theoretical and Applied Science, joined Ramapo in 2006. He was primarily recognized for fostering a collegial and cooperative environment and received the most nominations and the highest cumulative score of the nominees. The President noted Starczak’s outstanding efforts in biology lab preparation and lab operations continuity during the construction of a new instructional facility. Starczak was lauded as a self-starter and a solution-oriented colleague. Starczak earned an MS in Biomedical Science from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and a BS in Biology from Ramapo College.  He has performed tuberculosis research at The Public Health Research Institute of the International Center for Public Health and cancer research at The Cancer Center of the New Jersey Medical School. In addition to his lab responsibilities, Starczak also teaches genetics and immunology at the College.

The 2013 recipients of the Staff Leadership Award are Kat McGee of Vernon, Steven Sondey of Pequannock, and Gerald Tracey of Mahwah. 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.

McGee, assistant director of the Center for Student Involvement and coordinator of the Women’s Center, joined Ramapo in 2004. McGee was recognized for her efforts on a project designed to help sophomores realize their full leadership potential called Sophomores Advancing in Leadership (“SAIL”) and the positive impact that the program had on students. McGee was also praised for her leadership and delivery of conflict resolution workshops for student leaders. A Ramapo alumnus, McGee McGee earned her BA in Political Science from Ramapo. She went on to complete her JD at Pace University School of Law.

Steve Sondey, director of Purchasing, joined the College in 2006.  Sondey was noted for making significant contributions to the College in the areas of cost containment and improvements in administrative effectiveness and efficiencies.  Sondey successfully led the institution through the implementation of a Purchasing Card Program.  His efforts yielded efficiency cost avoidances of several hundred thousand dollars.  Sondey also implemented a strategic purchasing initiative that has transformed the Purchasing Department from a reactionary paper processing operation to one that is proactive and supportive of the institution’s strategic goals.  Sondey earned his BS in Business from William Paterson University and his MBA in Management from Fairleigh Dickenson University.

Gerry Tracey, senior clerk in Central Receiving, joined Ramapo College in 2004.  Tracey was recognized for assisting in everything around the facilities garage, without prompting, and always pleasantly. His colleagues noted that he consistently displays true Ramapo Pride by knowing and promoting what’s going on around campus concerning sports and other events. In addition, Tracey was also commended for his patience and willingness to consistently lend a hand and create a welcoming and safe environment for others. Schwartz holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers 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.”

The four award winners will be further recognized by the College’s Board of Trustees at its meeting on June 24, 2013.

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

Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.  

Ramapo College’s over 40,000 alumni are the confident, intellectually curious, self-aware, and humble people who are highly sought after and who make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels.  Ramapo College is distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by Every student at Ramapo is enrolled in its unique and award winning Pathways Program which equips and empowers students, across the continuum of their academic career, to secure internships, pursue graduate/professional school, and/or enter the job market. 

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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