Employee excellence recognized at Service Recognition and Retirement Celebration

May 9, 2023
By: Rebecca Cross

Faculty and staff of Worcester State gathered in the Wellness Center’s Multipurpose Gymnasium on May 2 for the university’s annual Employee Service Recognition and Retirement Celebration.

President Barry M. Maloney started his comments by welcoming one of the university’s newest employees, Sathi Mitra, assistant vice president / chief human resources officer for Employee Services, and expressing his hopes for the institution. “I am happy that you joined us,” he said, “not only to lead the HR area, but also to offer us your guidance as we seek to become one of the best places to work.”

Seventy-three employees celebrated milestone anniversaries of five, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30  years. “You are all our seasoned veterans at this point,” President Maloney said. “We need your expertise and value your continued commitment to Worcester State.”

To the nine employees who retired, President Maloney said, “You are, and will remain, part of the Worcester State community. There is a tradition here of commitment to place, of being a lifelong Lancer. You are part of that tradition, as much as any alumnus is. Each and every one of you has been part of our continued success, and I thank you for playing a role.”

Twelve faculty were awarded tenure: Alex Briesacher (Sociology), Alexandra Burgess (Psychology), William Chadbourne (Nursing), Aleel Grennan (Biology), Angela Latter (Nursing), Nabin Malakar (Earth, Environment, and Physics), Alison Okuda (History and Political Science), Andrew Piazza (Health Science), Jaquelyn Raftery-Helmer (Psychology), Jamie Remillard (English), Tanya Trudell (Occupational Therapy), and Jaime Vallejos (Health Science).

Two retiring faculty were awarded emeriti status: Alta Carroll (Communication) and Christie Nigro (Visual and Performing Arts).

Two faculty received excellence awards. Christina Foley (Business Administration and Economics) received the Adjunct Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, and Catherin Bue-Hepner (Biology) received the Visiting Assistant Professor Excellence in Teaching Award.

Jennifer Quinn, assistant dean of Title IX compliance and education in Student Affairs, received the Campus Collaboration Award for her work with colleagues in every department and with students.

The Diversity and Inclusion Award was presented to Frances Manocchio, assistant dean of Student Accessibility Services, for her work with disabled students; Riley McGuire, assistant professor in English, for his work with LGBTQIA+ students; and Edgar Moros, director of the Intensive English Language Institute, for his work with non-native English speakers.

The Extraordinary Dedication Award was presented to Sonela Demirazi, administrative assistant in Continuing Education and Graduate Studies; John Mejia, maintainer and custodial associate in Facilities; Sarah Potrikus, assistant director of Student Engagement; Sarah Strout, assistant vice president for Assessment and Planning; Donald Vescio, professor of English; and Adam Zahler, professor of visual and performing arts.

Jason Grant, clerk in the Sociology Department, received the Mark W. Cusson Award, which recognizes an AFSCME employee who, like Cusson, embodies a strong work ethic, dedication to their coworkers, and commitment to the success of the University.


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