University honors faculty and staff at annual event

Staff of the Year awardees Colleen Keough and Brigette Marty. Center: President’s Exemplary Service Award winner Kevin Jones. Photos by Ashley de los Reyes '15.

Left and right: Staff of the Year awardees Colleen Keough and Brigette Marty. Center: President’s Exemplary Service Award winner Kevin Jones. Photos by Ashley de los Reyes '15.

Annual faculty and staff awards

The St. Catherine community came together Wednesday to recognize members of the faculty and staff with year of service awards and milestone recognition for those celebrating 25 or more years of service. In addition, three staff and two faculty members received awards for their outstanding achievements and contributions over the past academic year.

Staff-of-the-Year Awards annually honor employees for their exceptional work and outstanding contributions to the University. They are nominated by colleagues.

Colleen Keough, administrative assistant in the Office of Student Affairs, was honored with the Staff-of-the-Year Award in the Support/Service category. She was praised for her strong work ethic, a collaborative style and positive relationship building skills to the University in providing administrative support for six individuals.

“Her commitment to the mission is always present,” said President Andrea J. Lee, IHM, who presided over the ceremony.

In a letter of support from a colleague read by the president, Keough’s grace under fire was applauded, “Colleen is often the first person in Student Affairs to respond to an emotionally distraught student, or an upset parent calling the office. Colleen always responds with care, strong interpersonal skills and compassion. We are so lucky that she is the face of this office.”

Brigette Marty, associate director of Student Center and Activities, was named Staff-of-the-Year in the administrative category.

“She has consistently added new ideas and strategies to improve the student experience here at St. Kate’s,” said President Lee. “She sets the bar very high in program planning and execution. Events such as Dew Drop Bop, the Charity Ball, Family Fun Nights and the Graduate Student Leadership series have added so much to the vibrancy of our campus community.”

Marty was also praised for her passing these skills on to students, who are able to successfully implement programs for the campus community. She has built and developed the co-curriculum to enhance the University experience for all St. Kate's students.

Excellence in Teaching and Advising Awards

2016 Excellence in Teaching and Advising Award winners Rachel Neiwert, second from left, being congratulated by EVP/Provost Colleen Hegranes, and Anthony Molaro (right). Photos by Ashely de los Reyes '15.

Faculty members selected for the Excellence in Teaching and Advising Awards represent the highest quality of teaching and dedication to effective mentoring and academic advising.

“They are selected from an impressive faculty that exemplifies the highest echelon of academic excellence and student focus,” said President Lee.

Nominated by members of the campus community, the awards are made on the basis of:

  • maintaining high academic standards,
  • being an effective teacher, and
  • providing quality mentoring and advising.

The selection committee reviews nomination letters and letters of support, course syllabi and materials, and course evaluations.

This year’s winners were Anthony Molaro, assistant professor in the Master of Library and Information Science program and Rachel Neiwert, associate professor of History, Geography, & Political Science. 

Anthony Molaro was honored for the impressive breadth of expertise teaching many different courses, and developing new ones such as “Making and Maker Spaces” and “Design Thinking, Innovation and Creativity” These first-of-their kind courses give St. Catherine graduates a competitive advantage when seeking professional positions. His teaching philosophy centers on creating space for his students to reflect and grow and is driven by a deep love of learning and its role in creating human connection. Molaro also makes space for fun. Students describe classes where they put on puppet shows and turn shoe boxes into food trucks – all to stretch their minds and creative problem solving skills.

Rachel Neiwert was honored as a passionate teacher who brings the study of history to life for her students. She has taught 15 different courses in her five short years at St. Kate’s, including new courses that exemplify the mission of St. Kate’s and commitment to multicultural women’s education grounded in the liberal arts. She is also a talented advisor who listens to each student carefully and thoughtfully. In a letter of support, a student wrote, “she really makes me feel as though my work in class matters – both in content and in my growth as a student.”

President’s Exemplary Service Award

The final award of the day was the President's Exemplary Service Award, presented to an individual who consistently performs with a high level of excellence that might otherwise go unnoticed. This year President Lee honored O’Shaughnessy Production Manager Kevin Jones, who oversees all production needs for O'Shaughnessy performances and events, working with over 2,500 artists, guest speakers and visiting dignitaries in over 100 productions, performances and events per year.

To view more photos from the event, visit the St. Catherine University's Flickr site.

By Julie Michener