Brookhaven College staff and faculty came together last Thursday for the annual Emerald Awards and to celebrate Brookhaven’s 35th anniversary. The all-employee event marked the longevity of service of employees, welcomed new employees and recognized the deserving nominees and winners of this year’s awards.
After weeks of hectic registration activity and preparation for the spring semester, the event gave employees an opportunity to step away from workstations to enjoy some camaraderie and offer congratulations to this year’s award winners.
Dr. Thom Chesney, college president, welcomed attendees and directed attention to a nostalgic journey down memory lane to celebrate 35 years of service to the community with tour guides Marilyn Lynch and Suzette Vaquera-Constantine, one charter employee and one charter student. Clad in green feather boas and ever-changing creative and crafty head pieces, our guides followed the trail from the beginning, “Pioneering the Final Frontier,” through the milestones marked by employee service and commitment revealing that indeed “The Best is Yet to Come.”
Tommy Gallegos, Nancy Barlow, Ricky Reeves and Lisa Ehrich announced nominees and introduced award winners as they stepped into the spotlight and crossed the stage for Thom’s individual presentation and congratulations.
Employee of the Year, PSS – Linda Reyna, academic advisor, Disability Support Services
Part-time Employee of the Year, PSS – Nikitia Ferguson, coordinator, Workforce and Continuing Education Division
Administrator of the Year – Kendra Vaglienti, executive dean, Communications Division
Excellence in Teaching for Adjunct Faculty – Lisa Devine, adjunct professor of Theater, School of the Arts
Workforce and Continuing Education Instructor of the Year – Melinda Franklin, instructor, English for Speakers of Other Languages
Jean Sharon Griffith Student Development Leadership Award – Brad Thomas, assistant director of academic advising, Advising Office
Minnie Stevens Piper Award Nominee – Kathleen Long, professor of mathematics, Mathematics and Science Division
Innovation of the Year – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service – Team Leader, Andrew Deibert, coordinator, Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement
Recognition from outside Brookhaven College included the 2013 Higher Education Star Award commending the Counseling Center team for the SkillsShop program and The Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus USA designation for Brookhaven College.
Attendees were treated to a light breakfast in the Performance Hall before the event and lunch was served in Building H at noon.