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Staff Members Celebrate a Year of Success

April 25, 2018

On Thursday, April 12, staff members at St. John Fisher College gathered to celebrate the achievements of their peers during the 9th annual Staff Recognition Awards. The event also honored individual and team staff members for their significant contributions to the College. This year, the committee received more than 60 nominations for the six awards.

Matt Lake, Allison Digorgio, Alex Liebowitz, and Ellen Kocian were honored with Staff Recognition Awards.

Matt Lake was named the 2018 recipient of the Freshman Award. Colleagues say that Lake, who is an international student advisor and counselor in academic advising, has had a great impact in a short amount of time through collaborations with his co-workers. His projects are student-centered and often focus on student sub-populations.

When he joined Fisher, Lake quickly learned his roles and responsibilities by reaching out to colleagues in the area and connecting to experts online.  He not only learned quickly, but also looked for ways to increase the support he could offer to students.

As an alumnus of the College, nominators said that Lake pushes himself to give all that he can to the Fisher community, including students, staff, and faculty.

Britta Stackwick was selected as the 2018 recipient of the Good Samaritan Award. She was not only nominated for the award twice this year, but also received multiple nominations for this category last year.

Colleagues say that Stackwick, who serves as the acquisitions assistant for Lavery Library, lives and breathes caring about other people by supporting colleagues in her department as well as other areas on campus. She also makes an impact on the Greater Rochester community by discovering organizations and causes that need help, and bringing them to the attention of her co-workers to participate as a team in helping others.

Over the years, Stackwick has assisted with programs at the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge to support cancer and transplant patients undergoing treatment; House of Mercy to help the homeless in need of immediate assistance as well as a new start; her community food cupboard, and many other organizations.

Alex Leibowitz, technical support specialist for the Office of Information Technology (OIT), is the 2018 recipient of the Cardinal Award. Nominators described Leibowitz as always having a smile on his face and a can-do attitude. He is known among the Fisher family as always going above and beyond to help students, faculty, and staff on campus.

Colleagues also say Leibowitz embodies the characteristics of the Fisher spirit. Always taking the time to chat with others, he has a genuine interest in his co-workers. What’s more, when Leibowitz shows up, colleagues know their problems will always be addressed quickly and efficiently.

Andrea DiGiorgio, experiential education coordinator for the Wegmans School of Pharmacy, was the Students’ Choice Award recipient, earning five of the 14 nominations for the award.

Students described DiGiorgio as working extremely hard to collaborate with students, faculty, and the administration to ensure that students get the best education possible. Many nominators mentioned that her first priority has always been students and she works hard to meet the needs of every student at the College.

Currently enrolled in the MBA program at Fisher, Ellen Kocian was named the 2018 recipient of the Lifelong Learner Award, praising the hard work she has done to complete her degree over the last few years, all with the purpose of refining her business skills.

Nominators say that Kocian often discusses what she is learning in the program and how she is able to apply those skills to her current job or create new systems and processes in the office to manage work flow in a more productive way.

In addition, colleagues note that she is a great example of someone who gives back what she has learned and tries to “pay it forward” whenever she can.

Members of the Office of Marketing and Communications, Maherly Schaeffer, Kate Torok, Jody Benedict, Eryn Yates, and Melissa Greco Lopes, received the inaugural Great Group award.

This year, the Staff Recognition Committee developed the Great Group Award, a new honor for the program. The committee received numerous submissions for the award, which recognizes teams of people who achieved success for a project or initiative, impacted the College with their work, and serve as a model for collaborative group initiative.

The Office of Marketing and Communications—Kate Torok, Jody Benedict, Eryn Yates, Maherly Schaeffer, and Melissa Greco Lopes—were the inaugural recipients of the Great Group Award.

Nominators say that this team’s work benefits everyone from students to faculty to staff, praising the Office for their creativity, intelligence, and willingness to collaborate on projects.

Colleagues also say they are grateful for this group because without their dedicated work, many of the great things that happen at Fisher would not reach the community outside campus.

The awards ceremony was organized by the Staff Recognition Committee, whose members include: Kristin Anderson, Andy Brolsma, Al Camp, Karen Costantini, Sean Farnsworth, Virginia Meredith, Renee Morano, Jen Pluretti, Kate Ross, Maherly Schaeffer, Alison Sexton, and Crystal Sherman and Sara Vinch, who served as this year’s committee co-chairs.

The Staff Recognition Committee will continue to be active throughout the year, and is planning a summer celebration on Thursday, May 24.