Campus Celebration Shows Staff Appreciation
During the 2017 Staff Celebration and Awards Ceremony, the campus community came together to recognize the positive impact staff make at St. John Fisher College.
Held on Tuesday, April 11, the event also featured an awards program, where staff members were honored for their significant contributions to the College. This year, the Staff Recognition Committee received nearly 40 nominations for the six awards.
Jeremy Luke, print services manager of the Print Center, was given the Freshman Award. Colleagues say that Luke has been a team player from the day he started at Fisher. Upon his arrival, he worked hard to streamline the work flow and update the layout for increased efficiency, resulting in the joining of the Print Center and Poster and Sign Shop as one cohesive unit. Never afraid to ask questions, Luke will do whatever it takes to make sure that something is done correctly and efficiently. He works well with any students or faculty he encounters, and his hard work and dedication have made him a valuable member of the Fisher community.
The Good Samaritan Award was given to Michael Valicenti, student accounts coordinator/analyst in Accounts Receivable. Valicenti stood out for his strong record of community service, which ranges from the Greece Central School District Board of Education to the Holy Cross Church choir. Suffice to say, he’s an active member of the Greece community, spending much of his personal time making an impact on his hometown. When he’s not trying to better the Greece School District, he lends his voice to his community, singing weekly at church functions and singing the National Anthem at the Saratoga Springs Race Track and Fisher football games. On campus, Valicenti is just as active, serving on the Staff Advisory Council and Holiday Party Committee.
The Cardinal Award, which is given to an individual who fosters a positive attitude on campus and exemplifies the Fisher spirit, was awarded to Renee Morano, assistant director of Health and Wellness, for her eight years of service to the Center. Colleagues say she brings a spirit of generosity, inclusion, and kindness to the workplace, carrying the Center’s staff members through highs and lows as she unflaggingly seeks out the best in people. She is always the first to volunteer to lend a helping hand for any wellness team effort and has consistently represented Fisher as an institution that provides a model of excellence in informed medical care.
The Students’ Choice Award invites nominations from Fisher students who see qualities in staff members that make a difference in their lives. This year’s awardee, Sara Shipley, wellness education programmer in the Office of Campus Life, quickly established herself as a capable and reliable professional colleague by joining in the planning and implementation of workshops, activities, and initiatives related to student wellness. And it didn’t take long for undergraduates to see her passion for their wellbeing. She embraced the Fisher family and demonstrates her commitment to promoting a culture of care in all that she does with students, who say that her door is always open and her support and advice serve them well on a daily basis.
The Life Long Learner Award is given to those who continually seek further education and professional development to enhance his/her growth at the College. This year’s recipient, Bruce Jesse, came to the Office of Safety and Security after a successful career with Monroe County Sheriff's Department. When he came to Fisher as a security guard, he possessed a two-year degree, and since then, he worked full-time while simultaneously obtaining bachelors and master’s degrees at the College. In his many interactions with students, he emphasizes that he was a part of the academic family at Fisher, just like them. His hard-earned degrees have given him strategies in dealing personally with the Fisher community, always willing to offer a lending hand or a listening ear.
This year, the Staff Recognition Committee elected to add a new award to the program. The Creativity and Innovation Award is given to those who have shown creativity in their work or launched a new initiative that has had a positive impact on the Fisher community.
Cecil Felton, media center coordinator in the Department of Media and Communication, was the inaugural recipient of the award. Colleagues say that Felton worked hard with students and faculty on funding opportunities to improve his department, including the creation of a new mac lab and new inventory system for the equipment he maintains. Additionally, as advisor for Cardinal Television, he has expanded their online presence so that the Fisher community can enjoy the student-produced programs. Not only is Felton a devoted member of his department, but a valuable asset to the students he serves.
All staff members nominated for the awards were recognized. The 2017 nominees included Cara Angie, Jenny Bigenwald, Jackie Bokor, Chenno Bowens, James R. Bowers, Ellen Brothers, Michele D’Agostino, Kate Danesh, Diana Driscoll, Cecil Felton, Mary Haley, Lori Hollenbeck, Larry Jacobson, Bruce Jesse, Beth LaVigne, Alex Liebowitz, Marie Longyear, Jeremy Luke, David McCaffrey, Jill McCabe, Brenda McDermott, Kristen Millerd, Renee Morano, Elizabeth Morris, Libby Pinti, Jennifer Pluretti, Michelle Price, Jill Rathbun, Russ Reynolds, Katie Sabourin, Sara Shipley, Gabe Simon, Britta Stackwick, Kelly Sudol, Maya Temperley, Kate Torok, Michael Valicenti, Sara Vinch, and Matthew Whitney.
The awards ceremony was organized by the Staff Recognition Committee, whose members include: Kourtney Blackburn, Andy Brolsma, Al Camp, Kelly Gionta, Crystal Gulian, Virginia Meredith, Maherly Schaeffer, Alison Sexton, Derick Wigle, and Kristina Abbey and Melissa Greco Lopes, who served as this year’s committee co-chairs.