RIT Staff Recognition Awards Honor Exemplary Service, Dedication

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RIT’s annual Staff Recognition Awards ceremony was held Oct. 6 in Ingle Auditorium, Student Alumni Union, and honored RIT employees for outstanding service and dedication to the university. Awards were presented based upon RIT’s core values: student centeredness; professional development and learning; integrity and ethics; respect, diversity and pluralism; innovation and flexibility; and teamwork and collaboration.

Staff Excellence Award winners were:

Anna Fiorucci, staff assistant, School of Mathematical Sciences, College of Science
Comments on the nomination ballot included: “Anna is driven by a strong desire to improve the world around her by making it a happier, less stressful, more cooperative, friendlier place. She values and cherishes students and people of all race, color and ethnicities and is a true model for diversity and pluralism.”

Debbie Kingsbury, assistant dean, College of Imaging Arts and Sciences
Nomination comments included: “Debbie is authentic, empathetic, and thorough and goes above and beyond with each new challenge in front of her. She continues to put forth tremendous effort towards new initiatives within the College of Imaging Arts and Sciencs to assist in meeting RIT’s strategic goals because she is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and learn new ways to meet challenges.”

Verna Hazen, assistant vice president, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship
Nomination comments included: “Verna is student centered in everything she does. Her positive and caring attitude along with her high energy have provided direction and guidance to the students and the families she serves. She has devoted countless hours to assisting others find the means to fulfill their lifelong dream of attending college. Verna is first and foremost concerned about individual students and their success.”

Willie Barkley, bartender, RITz Sports Zone
Comments from the nomination ballot included: “Willie Barkley was nominated because he has a real passion for the students here as far as seeing them succeed. He is a middleman for students to connect with other students and faculty, thereby enhancing everyone’s social network. His fluency in sign language helps to make hearing-impaired customers feel connected. Willie has taken the bartender role to a level that one might consider closer to being a cross between an academic counselor, a career advisor and a close family friend.”

The Rising Star Award is presented to a staff member with three years or less of service. This year’s winner is Jason Amore, director of development for the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. Comments on the nomination ballot included: “What makes Jason deserving of this recognition is what makes him so successful in his professional everyday life—excellence in building relationships and focus on the bottom line. Jason is the consummate team player; chipping in to assist others and lending his support to campus-wide initiatives.”

The Dancy Duffus Outstanding Citizenship Award recognizes staff members who demonstrate a high degree of excellence, professionalism and integrity. This year’s honoree is Randy Vercauteren, director of parking, transportation and building services. Comments from the nomination ballot include: “Randy exemplifies what it means to be a committed leader in the RIT family. He is sought out by employees and management for his honesty and openness. He goes above and beyond for faculty, staff and students, whether it is a need directly related to his position or a broader Institute need. Randy is strongly community minded; he exemplifies the core values of this university.”