2017 President’s Staff Recognition Awards
Congratulations to the 2017 Award Recipients! The Ramapo College of New Jersey President’s Staff Recognition Program recognizes excellence and extraordinary effort demonstrated by Ramapo College employees.
2017 STAFF EXCELLENCE IN SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENTS:
Rajesh Adhikari with President Mercer and Chair Ruotolo
Rajesh Adhikari, Associate Director of International Student and Scholar Services, was recognized for his expertise, professionalism, compassion, and contributions to fostering a safe and supportive environment for work and study. Adhikari was commended for going above and beyond his role to ensure international students at Ramapo find the campus to be comfortable and inclusive. One nominator wrote, “As an international student who has traveled 7857 miles from Bangladesh to Ramapo, one would be bound to feel some homesickness. However, I have never felt alone or without guidance at Ramapo. Raj has always been there for me, and every other international student at Ramapo.” Adhikari’s empathy and advocacy for international students and scholars at the College were also lauded.
Deirdre Lynch with President Mercer
Deirdre Lynch, Unit Secretary in the Anisfield School of Business, was recognized for her consistent professionalism and stability during a time of transition at the College. Lynch’s expertise and compassion when trouble shooting issues with students, and her steady sense of humor and good cheer were also commended. One nomination noted, “Deirdre frankly has more on her plate than most; but you’d never know it. Her organizational skills are exceptional, her institutional and task-related knowledge extraordinary, and her people skills seemingly so intuitive as to be empathetic. Deirdre sets a positive tone and teamwork norm that is contagious.” Lynch was further described as a “critical problem solver” and an “amazing student advocate.”
2017 STAFF LEADERSHIP AWARD RECIPIENTS:
Ray Fallon joined by Michael Bitz, President Mercer, and Chair Ruotolo
Ray Fallon, Microcomputer Applications Developer, was recognized for his leadership in overseeing a comprehensive upgrade of Moodle, the College’s learning management system. He was also noted for resolving a recurring system problem and developing training workshops for faculty. One nominator noted, “Ray’s proactive approach to the college’s Learning Management System has led to numerous improvements to Moodle and other resources that we use on campus. His self-direction in this area has led to changes and enhancements in our Moodle system, including new training workshops for Moodle gradebook, clarification of Moodle forum approaches, hands-on support for Moodle exams and test banks, and an enhanced student experience.” Fallon was further lauded for his poise, expertise, and team management.
Beth Foster with President Mercer and Chair Ruotolo
Beth Foster, Associate Registrar, was recognized for her expertise, can-do attitude, and her overwhelming commitment and dedication to the College as a supervisor, as a member of the Office of the Registrar, as an essential resource to the College’s five deans, and as co-chair of the Commencement Planning Committee. One nominator noted, “(She) reminds those that have the pleasure of working with her of the dedication she brings on a daily basis. As a supervisor, she provides an environment that “fosters” learning, technological growth, and innovation.” In addition, others praised Foster for her ceaseless professionalism, patience, and optimism, adding that “her job has many, many challenges and she just keeps pecking away until all the problems are solved.”
Paul Pittman with Chair Ruotolo
Paul Pittman, Contemporary Arts Facilities Manager, was recognized for his industry expertise and commitment to staying current in his field, to his reliability and professionalism, and to his role as a mentor to students from populations who are traditionally underrepresented in studio and production careers. One nominator wrote, “The explosion of Music enrollment (200+ students) alone probably doubled Paul’s workload as facilities, studios, and equipment needs expanded. Paul must consistently update his knowledge of equipment and technology changes for these fields. Beyond this necessary but hardly sufficient skill set, however, Paul’s job also requires him to be a masterful interpersonal communicator, interacting daily with faculty, conveners, and administrators.” Others commended Pittman for his commitment to mentoring students in the areas of studio and field production and ensuring that students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds have access to careers in the industry.
2017 TEAM PROJECT AWARD RECIPIENT:
Members of the Wellness Coalition (Peter Shalit, Hilary Westgate, Susan Auger, Ebony Jackson) joined by President Mercer and Chair Ruotolo.
The Wellness Coalition was praised for fostering a healthy, inclusive, and supportive environment on campus. Through collaboration and collegiality, it delivered innovative programs focused on mental, physical, emotional, and academic wellness. Two events, “Wellness Wednesdays” and the declaration of Ramapo College as a stigma free campus are examples of the Coalition’s significant outcomes. Coalition members included: Abbe Benowitz, Marianne Dunn, Francine Quintano, Rachel Marko, Megan Kearney, Melissa Lewis, Susan Auger, Peter Shalit, Sarah Dwyer, Ebony Jackson, Hilary Westgate, and Tara Sager.
Learn About Award Recipients Over the Years!
The program is reviewed annually based on the availability of funds and the merit of the nominations.
The President’s Staff Recognition Program recognizes excellence and extraordinary effort demonstrated by Ramapo College employees (non-faculty).
AWARD CATEGORIES AND CRITERIA
1. Staff Leadership Award (up to 3 recipients)
Awarded to a Ramapo College staff member who, in that year, assumed a leadership role and successfully effected positive change.
Staff Leadership is awarded to one employee within each employee category:
- Professional Unionized Staff (AFT or CWA) – non-faculty
- Other Unionized Staff (CWA or IFPTE)
The Staff Leadership category recognizes individuals who have demonstrated leadership while contributing to building an effective and positive work environment that strengthens teamwork, improves efficiencies, and achieves a service-oriented approach to the work of the College. Individuals nominated should demonstrate at least three of the following qualities:
- Successfully leading a team to complete a significant institutional project
- Motivating others to perform at an exceptional level through morale building exercises or exemplary work
- Identifying a specific recurring issue on campus and implementing practices to resolve the issue or leading the effort to develop a response
- Assuming additional assignments and challenging projects to advance the goals of the unit/division/College
- Going above and beyond to ensure the health, safety and security of faculty, staff and/or students under extraordinary circumstances
- Others as appropriate
* Please describe three specific examples that illustrate how the nominee demonstrates the qualities listed above *
2. Staff Service Excellence Award (one individual/group recipient)
Awarded to an individual or recognized group that, in that year, provided exemplary service to college constituents.
The Staff Service Excellence category recognizes individuals, units/departments or other recognized groups who foster cooperation, collaboration and open communication. Individuals or recognized groups nominated should demonstrate at least three of the following qualities:
- Excellent constituent service which met a special need of a student, visitor, colleague or faculty member evidenced by feedback from the community
- Sincere cooperation, positive attitude and exceptional willingness to assist others
- Action or behavior which enhanced the morale of others
- Willingness to go beyond the limits of a job description to further the goals of the College
- A commitment to the spirit of diversity and behavior which demonstrates inclusion of persons who are members of traditionally underrepresented groups
- Outstanding acts of public service above and beyond the duties and responsibilities of the employee’s position which reflect credit upon Ramapo College of New Jersey
- Others as appropriate
*Please describe three specific examples that illustrate how the nominee demonstrates the qualities listed above *
3. Staff Team Project Award (one cross- division group recipient)
Awarded to a group of three or more staff members from at least two college divisions who achieved a significant outcome or completed a significant project.
The Team Project Award is focused on recognizing collaboration across units/departments. In that spirit, staff members from at least two divisions must contribute to the team project. The Divisions of the College are: Academic Affairs, Administration & Finance, Enrollment Management & Student Affairs, and Institutional Advancement.
Nominated teams must demonstrate the following:
- Completion of a significant outcome or project in support of one of the four strategic plan goals: (a) Advance Academic Excellence & Engagement, (b) Enhance Financial Strength & Institutional Sustainability, (c) Improve Internal & External Relations and Communications, and (d) Cultivate & Support Diversity & Inclusiveness.
- Collaboration: The team will have demonstrated strong collaboration skills and balanced ownership across all the team members to achieve the outcome or project
- Breaking down explicit or implicit barriers: The team will have modeled open-minded thinking in building their team and identifying the best available talent across the college to meet their objective(s)
- Creative Thinking: The team will have adopted a “blank piece of paper approach” and embraced ambiguity as they pursued their project
- Team Composition: The team will have reflected the diversity of the college.
Project Award Example: A project completed by staff from Human Resources, ITS, and Events & Conferences would qualify because the units represent three divisions. A project completed by Admissions, Residence Life, and Student Conduct would not qualify because all of the units are within the Enrollment Management & Student Affairs division.
The President’s Staff Recognition Program Committee will review the eligibility of nominees in accord with the following criteria. Nominees must:
- be permanent, full-time staff (non-faculty)
- be employed in current position for at least one full year at the time of nomination
** Once an employee is recognized for a President’s award, he/she is ineligible to be nominated for five years.
Within the five years, individual award recipients shall not be excluded from being recognized as a member of a group or team (Staff Excellence in Service and the Staff Team Award). Also, members of the Staff Team Award are eligible for individuals awards within the five-year time period.
- Nominations may be made by students, staff or faculty members. Employees may nominate themselves. Nominations may be submitted electronically via the Employee Recognition Website form or turned into the Office of Human Resources.
- Applications must be submitted by Friday, April 21, 2017. The review period is the previous twelve months. Applications are available online and in hard copy in the Department of Human Resources.
- Would you like to nominate someone for an award but would like some support in authoring or submitting the nomination form? No problem, contact any Committee member (see below) and we will provide you with assistance!
- All nominations are reviewed by the President’s Staff Recognition Program Committee.
- The 2017 Selection Committee includes:
2016 Award Winners: Trish LaPrey, Linda Kavan, Joan Richards, Suzanne Badawi, Vinnie Tomaselli. Janelle Ferraro; and
College Representatives: David Vernon, Nicole Morgan Agard, Brittany Goldstein, John Atti, Doreen Janes, Eddie Seavers, TBD
- The Committee is appointed by the President.
- Nominations are confirmed confidentially and as needed with unit supervisors/division heads.
- The committee makes final recommendations to the President, who then makes the final selection.
- Committee members are not permitted to submit nominations for awards.
- Committee members shall maintain the confidentiality of all nominations.
- Committee members nominated for awards shall have the option to decline the nomination or shall recuse themselves from committee service.
- Award recipients serve on the selection committee the following year.
Recognition and Presentation
- Individual and group/team recipients will be recognized with a personalized inscribed plaque in addition to having their name inscribed on a college-wide plaque that will be displayed in the Trustees Pavilion.
- Recipients will be announced at the Annual Picnic on June 2, 2017, with formal presentation at the June 26, 2017 Board of Trustees meeting.
- Individual and group recipients shall receive a summary of their nominations/noted contributions in the form of a letter from the President copied to their personnel file.
- Recipient names and photos will be included on the Web.
- Individual and group nominees shall be notified of their nomination after the award recipients are announced.