It was a challenge to recognize the recreation center Thursday night as it was cleaned up, decked out, and set to distinguish the most outstanding Quinnipiac employees. The annual Center for Excellence Awards in Teaching and Service to Students dinner, first begun in 2003, was a grand affair.
More than 400 were nominated for the awards, but only six (three faculty members and three service staff members) received the Center for Excellence nod.
23 was the magic number for Perlroth custodian Lisa Jones; she received the highest number of nominations out of all those honored. Known for bringing in cookies and treats for her students and constantly wearing a smile, Jones, a Quinnipiac employee since 2003, was deemed by many nominees to be more of a friend than a facilities worker.
“Her wonderful personality brightens Perlroth and makes it a home instead of a residence hall,” junior Leslie Crichlow said on Quinnipiac’s website.
“Respect yourself and others,” Jones said in her acceptance speech, and then to her students: “Stay in school!”
Mark Hoffman earned his doctorate in computer science from Polytechnic University in 2001, and has been pushing the envelope for his computer science students ever since. His classes are filled with unique games and a “tag-team fishbowl” style of discussion. Students are placed in an inner and outer circle, and only those in the inner circle can speak. Students who want to speak have to “tag in” to the inner circle.
“Whether working with a computer science major or a student enrolled in QU 101, Mark is truly an inspirational teacher and wise mentor,” Interactive Digital Design professor Greg Garvey said.
Janice Dadio looks at Quinnipiac as both a mother and a secretary. She has two sons attending Quinnipiac, and she is also secretary of the Physician Assistant program.
“Janice gets the loudest and warmest ovation from the students during their certificate ceremony at their completion of the Physician Assistant program,” PA professor Bill Kohlhepp said. “She does all that she accomplishes behind the scenes and never seeks or desires credit for everything she does.”
“The students are about the same age as my kids,” Dadio said. “I feel like I mother them like my own kids.”
“You know, I could be the poster child for the ‘Life is Good’ shirts,” director of the Physician Assistant program Cynthia Lord said in her acceptance speech.
Quinnipiac’s PA program is ranked fourteenth out of 141 schools according to the U.S News and World Report. Lord, who received her PA education from Yale School of Medicine, stresses to her students the importance of the patient in her mantra: “Don’t treat the disease; treat the patient.”
“She’s one of the very best professors we have brought to Quinnipiac,” biology professor Ken Kaloustian said. “She is an outstanding example to our students for professionalism and integrity.”
He’s a member of the pep band, and, no, he is not a student. A professor of Information Systems Management, Bruce White can be found with his tuba playing along with the rest of the band. When not at playing his instrument at the hockey or basketball games, White can be found teaching information systems to his students. He was chosen as an honoree for bringing a relaxed and student-friendly atmosphere to the classroom
“He not only makes an effort to teach material, but he will also make the effort to start a friendship with his students,” junior Michael Alfaro said.
“I’ve said throughout my life that I can’t play my way out of a paper bag, but I love sports,” Tracey Flynn, Associate Director of Athletics for Student Service and Compliance, said.
But Flynn continues to make her mark on the playing fields, though, by certifying NCAA eligibility and understanding NCAA rules and regulations.
“Every time I need something, she is always trying to help,” junior soccer player Fabricio Silva said. “She does everything she is able to, and when she is not, she will give you directions to find solutions.”