The annual SUNY New Paltz Faculty and Staff Appreciation Picnic was held May 20 in the Old Main Quad. As is tradition, college administrators joined Campus Auxiliary Services in serving a barbeque lunch to hundreds of employees who contributed to the success of the 2014-2015 academic year.
The ceremony also saw the presentation of the 2015 Classified Staff Presidential Recognition Awards by President Donald P. Christian. Awardees are nominated by coworkers in their offices, meaning their service is not only valued by the College but by the people they see and interact with on a day-to-day basis.
“This is such a great time for us to get together at the end of a busy year and reflect back on all that the College has accomplished together,” Christian said. “At this event I have the pleasure of recognizing employees from our Classified Staff who provide exception service to our campus community. Some of these employees are ‘behind-the-scenes’ folks; others regularly interact with students and other people very important to the College. But no matter what your work is, you are critical to our operations and I’m very grateful for all that you do.”
This year’s honorees were:
Tammy Gray – Gray has worked in the Office of Records and Registration since 2013, and currently holds the title of Office Assistant 1. According to her nominator, Gray “is an exemplary employee in every way: she’s intelligent, efficient and skilled at handling students and other constituents with tact and decorum. She shows kindness and patience in her dealings with faculty and staff and is extremely supportive of her coworkers in all their endeavors.”
Carmela Avitabile – Avitabile works in custodial services and has been with the College since 2001. Her nominator described her as “a loyal employee with a strong work ethic,” and someone with “a bright and friendly demeanor, who is an inspiration, guiding light and a role model among her colleagues.”
Fred DeStefano – DeStefano has worked in Facilities Operations since 1996, and currently serves as an electrician in the Utility Shop. His nominator indicated that “he provides excellent student support and overall customer service to the campus, and always makes himself available for special projects and staff shortages. Fred is instrumental in responding quickly to potential safety risks on campus.”
Alicia Estrada – Estrada has been at New Paltz since 1994, and currently works in custodial services. She “has demonstrated overall service to the campus and strong attention to detail,” her nominator said. “She’s always quick to assist with any task, and her conscientious and outgoing positive attitude is reflected in the job she does daily.”
Alan Mingen – As Senior Computer Operator in IT/Computer Services, Mingen is responsible for automating computer applications for undergraduate admissions, which led to significant increases in productivity. Mingen, who has been with the College since 1983, was nominated as “a dedicated, hard-working, innovative thinker.”
Barry Lawless – Lawless is plant utilities engineer 2 in Facilities Operations, and has worked at SUNY New Paltz since 1986. His nominator described him as “hard working and very knowledgeable,” and he has been noted by vendors and directors for his “untiring dedication and professionalism, as well as his willingness to go above and beyond to help the College community.”