Alfred University News

Alfred University honors employees with awards, years of service recognition

Alfred University held its 7th Annual All Employee Recognition Reception on Tuesday, May 7. The event—which honored retirees and employees for years of service—was held in Ade Hall, with light refreshments and beverages.

The University also recognized the following recipients of three awards:

Cathy Johnson Service Award, which recognizes high standards of professionalism; proactive engagement with tasks; and attention to detail and the utmost care for quality in presentation while completing tasks. The award is named for the late Cathy Johnson, assistant to the Dean of the School of Art and Design, who passed away in November 2017 at the age of 53.

The 2024 winner is Tom George, network services manager, Information Technology Services.

One colleague who nominated George for the award cited his efficiency in meeting the high demands of his department. “Tom’s project planning and management is literally what keeps the University's digital infrastructure running. His hands are in almost all things Internet or technology related on campus,” the nominator wrote.

“Day after day Tom George professionally handles any requests that come through our department or by way of the ITS Help Desk with enthusiasm and intellect, and please know there are numerous requests with all sorts of oddities associated with them,” another nominator added. “Tom's power of reasoning, judgement, discernment, and observations surpasses any others that we have worked with in the past.”

Two other nominators cited George’s attention to detail in performing his duties.

“He is successful in completing detailed and quality work because of his experience with each kind of equipment and process,” one wrote. “He also has the desire to make everything the easiest it can be for everyone. He doesn't just care if things ‘work,’ he cares if they work seamlessly and to their full potential.”

Added another, “Tom is one of the most attention detailed people I've ever worked with. His ability to recall the complex processes and programs that run our campus infrastructure is beyond impressive and his ability to use technology as a tool while also being extremely pleasant and competent in his presentation and interactions is impressive and inspiring.”

Other nominees for the 2024 Cathy Johnson Service Award were: Amanda Criss, interlibrary loan coordinator, Scholes Library; Crystal Henshaw, executive assistant to the provost and chief operating officer, Provost’s Office; Debra MacCrea, clinical instructor of performing arts and costume shop supervisor, Performing Arts; Emma McDowell, coordinator facilities services, Facilities Services; Janet Lynch, executive assistant to the Vice President for Enrollment Management; John Hosford, art librarian, Scholes Library; Laura Grove, administrative assistant to the dean, Inamori School of Engineering; Shawn Forshee, assistant director, Facilities Services; Shelly Grant, administrative assistant for Undergraduate Art Programs, School of Art and Design; Val Ewald, senior buyer, Procurement; Zach Hamm, clinical associate professor of Theatre Design & Technical Director, Performing Arts.

The Saxon Service Award, which honors employees who foster a positive attitude, demonstrate initiative, stand out among the Alfred University community, and exemplify the purple and gold Saxon spirit. The 2024 winner is Shawn Forshee, assistant director, Facilities Services.

Nominators on Forshee’s behalf noted his cheerful and sunny disposition.

“Shawn is always smiling. He is always pleasant, ready to give a hand. Consistently has a positive attitude. I would say his disposition mirrors his colorful, sunny tie dye shirts,” wrote one.

Added another, “Shawn responds to requests with a smile, and ‘we can make that happen.’ The number of different tasks that the grounds crew is tasked with throughout the year is amazing and they are always out there making things pretty, keeping us safe, setting our spaces and moving our offices.”

Others pointed to his willingness to help others and find solutions to problems.

“Shawn is always ready to problem solve and to facilitate,” one nominator wrote. “He helps organize numbers of people across areas to bring an event together, to prepare a space, whatever is needed for a given situation.”

Another, noting the attention Forshee pays to detail, pointed to his work each year preparing for Commencement. “Shawn works closely with the Provost’s office but also with the grounds team to create a stunning, memorable setting for our graduates. The orchestration of the staging area is phenomenal. And it always feels like it goes off without a hitch; I am sure that's not true, but Shawn gets things smoothed out so that it all feels seamless.”

The other nominees for the Saxon Service Award were Cory Perkins, sculpture and dimensional studies technician, School of Art and Design, and Jamie Babcock, associate vice president, Facilities Services.

The Cathy Johnson Service Award and Saxon Service Award are supported by alumnus Wayne F. Holly ’78.

Bob Condrate Lifelong Learner Award, which recognizes employees who continually seek further education/professional development to enhance his/her growth; demonstrate a passion for gaining knowledge over a sustained period of time; and proactively share their knowledge and/or expertise with campus community. The award is named for Bob Condrate, retired professor of spectroscopy in the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Condrate exemplified lifelong learning by continuing his education, having taken more than 250 credit hours of coursework after his retirement from the University. The award is supported by alumnus Jay Yedvab ’56.

The 2024 winner is Kevin Adams, information librarian, Herrick Memorial Library. Nominators cited his dedication to Alfred University and willingness to go above and beyond to enhance the University experience for students and colleagues.

“Kevin teaches students himself and keeps up-to-date on the ever-shifting world of information literacy.  He continues to keep publishing articles, or working on them, with other professors, as well as by himself.  He also chairs search committees, is on several conference planning committees, and goes to those and other conferences,” one nominator wrote. “Finally, he participates in Alfred University events, and programs, that were created to further both these--and works to create opportunities (both ongoing, physical items, or events) for other people.  He's an active listener and takes what he hears to heart, implementing changes and redirections, as needed.”

“He is first off an information literacy librarian, who shares his knowledge both in class, as well as when students come to him with a question,” wrote another. “He has done more formal things, like participating in Bergren Forums, to more informal talks with fellow professors.  These can turn into talks or papers, as well.  He also teaches a proper formal class—aside from information literacy sessions) on the making of zines.  Finally, he works with AU welcoming events, alongside admissions.”

Wrote another, “Students across campus recognize him, and have high expectations, and high results, of him.  He elevates the student body as an educator, by allowing them to learn for themselves, which impacts literally everything else in their lives, both now and in the future.  He also brings good cheer with him, and creates intersections across silos, through his availability and passion.”

The other nominee for the Bob Condrate Lifelong Learner Award was Jim Mighells, technician/machinist, Mechanical Engineering.

The following employees were recognized for years of service:

One year: Gladys Abrahante, Rachel Ahart, Josiah Alexander ’22, Karissa Allen-Grant, Nikta Amiri, Will Ashbaugh, Sheren Attal MSED ‘11, ADVC ’12, Tony Augustine, Jamie Beer, Benny Bermudez-Garcia, Nicole Bernsen, Meg Bernstein, Kevin Bradley, Badru Brewer, Paul Briggs, Tristen Briggs, Aaron Burdin, Andrew Cain, Maureen Caschera, Amis Crawford ’10, Carolyn Crisanti, James Cummings, Leah Cummings, Mark Danes, Lynne Dewey, Bernard Dolecki ’14, Jessica Doner, Deb Drain, Baylee Durantini, Michaela Fendrock, Debbie Finamore-Flint, Ellie Gamble ’23, Nicki Green, Sha Green, Chloe Hansen, Madigan Howard, Jill Hubbard, Shawn Isaacs ’09, Rod Jeffers MSED ‘13, ADVC ’13, Mehdi Kabirnajafi, Arielle Kallier, Myungkoo Kang, Hakan Karaaytu, Matt Lake, Eben Levey, Jamall Lewis ’23, Carol Marcy, Isaac Matson, Rosemarie Mazzone, Lyndsey McCoy ’21, Scott McMichael, Miranda Metcalf, Hunter Miles MBA ’23, Jessica Miller, Scott Mills, Benjamin Moulton, Alexis Nguyen ’23, Tiffany Nolan ’23, Jeffrey Ormsby, Thomas Orrange, Lizsandra Oeralta, Robert Ranger, Tammy Raub, Monica Reginio, Scott Richardson, Michael Riina, Sari Rivera, Erin Schurr, Tausha Scott, Ayush Sengupta, Kathy Sherman, Mary Sherman, Audrea Sirianni, Rachael Smith-Vaughan, Jennifer Snow, Allissa Stephan, Deborah Steward, Erica Strong, Phil Sutton, Skip Sylvester, Samantha Taft, Emma Taggart, Joshua Thomas, Michelle Tichy, Kevin Trudell, Evan Tsai Angel Victorino, Carole Volpe, Bob Wandover, Xiaofeng Wang, Maggie Weiss ‘20, MBA ‘21’ Sierra Wilson ’22.

Five years: Melissa Badeau ‘98, Master ’04, Nicolas Crosby, Ronald Demchak, Jean Ellefson, Angeline Felber, Tim Ferdinands, Shelly Freyn, Gabrielle Gaustad ’04, J. Lee Halsey, James Hansen, Michael Holly, Yavuz Keceli; Doris Möncke, Jason Morrison, Matthew Phillips ’10, Sarah Pratt, Kimberly Sherman, John Simmins ’84, PhD ’90, Desmond Wallace, Kun Wang, Lisa Weaver ‘97

Ten years: Chelsea Ames ‘19, MBA ’21, Dave Bailey, Sarah Blood, Amy Button-Ervin MA ‘11, ADVC ‘14, PSYD ’17, Sarah Cote, Trina Freberg, Ehsan Ghotbi, Kathleen Hillman ‘20, MBA ’22, Meghen Jones, Seong-Jin Lee, Amanda Lipnicki, Cory Perkins, Luis Rodriguez, Peggy Shank ’22, Likin Simon Romero, Hannah Thompsett MFA ’16, Sue Wood

Fifteen years: Bridgit Buono, Jessica Faughnan, Gayle Gebhard, Susan Hendee, Sara Love ’06, Dawn Pedersen-Hunt, William Stewart.

Twenty years: William Contino, Anne Cornell, Danielle Gagne, Jen Guarasci, Sangjoon Lee, Deborah Rollins, Jim Rumfelt, Melissa Ryan, Robert Stein.

Twenty-five years: Jalal Baghdadchi, Cheryld Emmons, Jeffrey Hurlburt, Hyojin Lee MS ‘98, PhD ’22, Jeffrey Mulhollen, Carol Sliski, Mark Whitehouse, James Whitney.

Thirty years: Jamie Babcock, Andrew Deutsch, Sandra Singer.

Thirty-five years: Alix Clare, Karen Grice, Janet Lynch, Cynthia Mullen MBA ’00, Donald Weinhart.

Fifty years: D. Wayne Higby.

The following 14 retirees, with a combined 367 years of service—an average of just over 26 years—were recognized: David De Graff, professor of astronomy, 31 years; Sheila Decker, accounts payable clerk, 20 years; Cheryld Emmons, professor of biology, 24 years; Karen Fry, office/barn assistant, 16 years; Kathy Harkenrider, financial aid counselor, 43 years; Brenda Joyce, administrative assistant to the vice president for Advancement, five years; Judy Linza, webmaster, 40 years; Mary McAllister, secretary, President’s Office, 24 years; Walter McConnell, professor of ceramic art,- 27 years; Kimberly O’Rourke, Wellness Center office manager, 33 years; Karen Porter, professor of sociology, 37 years; Joseph Scheer, professor of printmaking, 34 years; Nadine Shardlow, dean of Student Experience, 22 years; Dale Watson, multi-trades, 11 years.

Yedvab wrapped up the event by thanking employees for all they do for the University and its students.

“The devotion you show to the University is what makes it succeed,” Yedvab commented. “You are the guts and the heart and the soul of this place. Alfred University could not function if you didn’t pitch in and get things done.”