Center for Excellence Honoree: James Moniello

James MonielloJames Moniello is the security officer the chief wants on his side when trouble strikes.

Moniello, who has patrolled the University for the past 13 years, has been recognized for his efforts with the university's most prestigious honor, the Excellence in Service to Students Award. He was honored at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Service to Students Awards Ceremony on Oct. 14 in the Recreation Center.

He has offered sound judgment when it was needed the most, said David Barger, chief of security and safety. "In the case where a student was killed in a car crash on New Road, Jim was one of the first responding officers and helped secure the scene for responding emergency personnel," Barger said. "From that, he went on to console students who rushed to the scene and were faced with the sight of the tragedy. Jim was detailed to go back to campus and met with even more students and consoled them - a tough job for anyone."

However, Barger said Moniello, a former New Haven police officer, does more than helping after tragedy strikes; he also helps students to avoid making poor decisions.

"Several years ago, during a May Weekend celebration, a fight was brewing in the Complex courtyard," said Barger. "Jim intervened and with his profound knowledge of the students involved, stopped the two groups from entering into confrontation."

Moniello, who works the midnight shift, has always been a go-to guy, Barger said.

"In this era of Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University, the job of any university security unit has become more and more complex," Barger said. "The daily tasks that are taken on by the officers are no longer mundane but take on a new importance. Security Officer Jim Moniello exemplifies that new paradigm."

Moniello said his first priority is the students. "It's all about listening, helping and caring about student concerns while creating a safe environment for them," he said. "It's about becoming another parent. You have to care."

Moniello said he never forgets that he was once young, too. In fact, he said the job helps him to stay young.

"Jimmy gets to know everyone," said John Twining, director of emergency management and deputy chief of security. "Over the course of a semester, he will meet every student, faculty and staff member he can."

Officers' jobs are not to sit in their cars and be solely authority figures, Twining said. They are there to interact with the people they are serving.

But Moniello's understanding of the University goes well beyond the people who live and work there. "If you ask him where the shut-off is for a valve somewhere, he could tell you," Twining said. "He has a profound understanding of how the campuses work."

Working the midnight shift for most of his career at Quinnipiac, Moniello has been responsible for performing the roles of many people in facilities after the department closes at 12:30 a.m. each day, Twining said.

"If something happens, who is on duty? Security," Twining said. "He knows what needs to be done and how to accomplish it. He is an asset to our team."

In addition to Moniello, the following individuals were recognized at the awards dinner: Rebecca Abbott, professor of communications; Cherie Finoia, custodian; Jeffrey Meyer, professor of law; Tami Reilly, assistant athletic director for fitness and wellness; and Robert Smart, professor of English.

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