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2016 RCNJ President’s Staff Recognition
Award Recipients

The Ramapo College of New Jersey President’s Staff Recognition Program recognizes excellence and extraordinary effort demonstrated by Ramapo College employees. The 2016 Staff Recognition Award Recipients include:

President Mercer presented the 2016 Staff Recognition Award recipients with their awards at the annual Ramapo Picnic.

President Mercer presented the 2016 Staff Recognition Award recipients with their awards at the annual Ramapo Picnic.

Staff Leadership Award

  • Suzanne Badawi, Director of Field Education, Social Work; School of Social Science and Human Services
  • Ellie Esposito, Program Assistant, Masters of Business Administration Program 
  • Janelle Ferraro, Program Assistant/Graphic Artist, Communications and Publications

Staff Excellence in Service Award

  • Linda Kavan, Coordinator, Department of Events & Conferences
  • Joan Richards, Director of Nursing Simulation; School of Theoretical and Applied Science
  • Vincent Tomaselli, Officer, Department of Public Safety

Pushing Boundaries Team Project Award

  • Business Outreach Team, Marketing and Web Administration, and Communications and Publications: Mary Cicitta, Sandra Diaz, Rosa Diaz-Mulryan, Danielle Graziani, Jose Hernandez, Melissa Horvath-Plyman, Robert Josic, Timothy Landers, Patricia Laprey, Alexandra Simone, Debra Stark, Lori Walker, Charless Willett, and Rayna Wendell

Click here to read about the 20 Award recipients!

Previous Year Award Recipients (PDF)

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).


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:

  • Manager
  • 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:

  1. be permanent, full-time staff (non-faculty)
  2. 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.


Nomination Process

  • 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 April 22, 2016. 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 Committee co-chairs David Vernon (ext.7506, D108, or Stephanie Scheeler (ext.7850, M-202A, David and Stephanie would be pleased to connect you to any needed assistance!

Selection Committee

  • All nominations will be reviewed by the President’s Staff Recognition Program Committee.
  • This committee will be appointed by the President and co-chaired by the Director of Human Resources and the Chief of Staff.
  • Nominations will be confirmed with unit supervisors/division heads to ensure validity.
  • The committee will make final recommendations to the President, who will then make 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.
  • Winning recipients will 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 in May/June, with formal presentation at the June 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.