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Pioneer Award Recipients
Several Alfred State College faculty and staff members were honored recently at the College's annual recognition luncheon, as recipients of the Pioneer Award which recognizes those members of the organization who demonstrate the following characteristics: commitment to the mission and goals of the college, meaningful and measurable positive impact on the college, role modeling, and a high level of performance. The award carries with it prize money of $225 for each recipient. This year's winners included Cyril ("Skip") Merrick, associate professor and chair, Automotive Trades Department; Linda Panter, professor, Nursing Department; Mary Fagan, secretary to the dean of the School of Applied Technology; Kathy Bayus, secretary, Communications Office; Elaine Antonioli, director, Career Development; and Wil Mlott, II, Facilities Services.
Merrick, who has been at the college since 1980, earned the award, according to the nomination, because "The growth of the automotive program over the past few years is due in large part to Skip's commitment to the department and to the college as a whole. As chair of the Automotive Trades Department, Skip created a new parts technology program, the first associate of applied science program in the School of Applied Technology.
"Skip is also very active in support of enrollment. He recently received a grant for the Skills competition and he has been very active in setting up the annual Car Care event. Skip also worked with Tenneco to set up the Drive and Ride event for the Wellsville Campus. He has recruited at numerous trade shows with the help of funding from the UniSelect Group. Skip worked with his very competent faculty and staff to ensure that the automotive department continues to stay NATEF-certified."
Panter has been a member of the Alfred State faculty since 1993.
Her nomination read, in part: "Over the years, she has consistently worked to enhance the visibility of the Alfred State College nursing program, its students, and nurses throughout our community.
"Linda created the nationally recognized ‘Adopt a Nurse' Program in which male nurses in the community serve as mentors for male student nurses. Linda is also the creator of the ‘Pay It Forward' Program in which students learn first-hand the benefits of giving to and caring for others. Linda and this program have been recognized nationally by several entities including the National Pay It Forward Foundation which mentions our program on its Web site. Linda also created the Pay It Forward Scholarship, funded by current and former nursing students, and given to the students who show the greatest selfless caring through a project done in the nursing department.
"Linda serves the broader college community in many ways. She has served on the Student Life Committee and is a member of the SART team where she works with students in crisis. She also chairs the Orvis committee for the School of Arts and Sciences which recognizes outstanding students annually. Linda is a tireless supporter of students and nurses."
Fagan, an employee of the college since 1971, has "been instrumental in making the Wellsville campus the best postsecondary vocational school in the region and the nation," notes her nomination.
"One of her significant contributions to the Wellsville campus is that she is the driving force behind the annual Taste of Wellsville. This campus-wide and community event hosts more 900 visitors on the Wellsville campus. Mary is also the engine behind the annual New York State SkillsUSA competition. This postsecondary skills competition involves 150 visitors each year. Mary has done a phenomenal job making sure these activities are a success each and every year. The relationships she has developed with her colleagues and within the community help to ensure that each event is well coordinated and organized.
"In addition to these extraordinary accomplishments, Mary serves as the operations manager for the Educational Foundation and is an active member of the College Commencement Committee.
"All this is in addition to Mary's outstanding performance in her ‘day job' as secretary to the dean, a role she has filled with distinction for more than 10 years.
"Mary's wonderful and one-of-a-kind contributions really make a difference to our students, faculty and the community. She epitomizes what Alfred State College is all about."
Mlott has long had a strong commitment to Alfred State, its students, and its employees since joining the college in 1988, notes his nomination. He serves as "president of the Local CSEA Chapter, where he is a strong and vocal advocate for his constituents. He continually looks for ways to improve the work environment and the morale of those he represents, and for the campus as a whole. Most recently, working with CSEA Partnership and the Administrative Affairs Office, he applied for and received a grant to replace some appliances in the staff break rooms, which have not seen significant improvement in over 12 years.
"A prime example of the work Wil does to help our students happened this past winter. Wil was working the night shift and was asked to work on a problem with outside door locks at the townhouses. He worked several hours on a freezing cold night to get the job done."
Bayus has served the College for nearly 27 years, the last nine in Communications and is a true Alfred State ‘Pioneer.' Her dedication and service to the College is always beyond the expected; she often participates in evening events and goes out of her way to help colleagues. Kathy's commitment to students is legendary as evidenced by her volunteer activities. Most notably she (together with Andy) has co-chaired the outdoor recreation club for more than 20 years and has a devoted cadre of alumni to show for it!
"Her colleagues in the Communications Office call it a ‘lucky day' when Kathy joined their team. She is willing to take on any task that is assigned and many that aren't. When a valued colleague left, Kathy took on the responsibility of reviewing newspaper clips and editing and proofing every publication and press release that leaves campus.
"Kathy is cheerful and positive. Everyone who knows her considers her a friend. Kathy is a positive role model for others and truly exemplifies the Pioneer spirit."
Antonioli, serving five years in career development, has had a definite impact on the College.
Her nomination read, in part: "She possesses a high level of commitment and her performance is recognized as a role model to others. As director, Elaine has focused diligently in marketing Career Fairs to employers over the past two years. Her efforts have resulted in doubling the number of Career Fairs held both on the Alfred and Wellsville campuses and quadrupled the number of employers present. More importantly, Elaine has accomplished all of this with her staff through collaboration with faculty departments and with solid communication with Alfred State College students.
"In addition, Elaine has conducted extensive research into the technological resources and software packages that help to facilitate career planning and development for our students. In less than two years she has implemented three significant and highly advanced technology resource programs on the department Web page that provide cutting-edge services to her clientele. One of these systems provides an online 24-hours-a-day/seven-days-a week Career Center for students where they can research employers, develop a career portfolio, and complete personalized online assessments toward making educated career choices. Another new system uses a customized software program to link career development professionals, students, and alumni to nationwide career resources and offers an exceptional database of employers for job seekers. The third system uses the popular social networking concept and leverages that technology for ‘professional social networking.'
"Elaine personifies an open-door, open-dialogue policy and in her work is the embodiment of true consensus building. She treats faculty, staff, students, and employers with kindness, dignity, and respect. Her colleagues state that Elaine is always encouraging, creative, and innovative - characteristics that are instrumental in building bonds and is incredibly inspiring to all those who are lucky enough to work with her."
This year's luncheon theme was Eat Fresh, Buy Local, Think Green, which hosted a variety of local vendors promoting their products and increasing awareness of the benefits of buying locally.