Employee recognition celebration highlights years of devotion, dedication and purpose

May 22, 2024

Employees attend the Employee Recognition Ceremony.

Faculty and staff filled the Mount Carmel Auditorium on Thursday to help honor years of devotion, dedication and purpose represented by 187 milestone employee anniversaries and 28 retirees at Quinnipiac’s Employee Recognition Celebration.

President Judy Olian thanked every member of the university family for embodying the mission and values of Quinnipiac in roles which combine to create a purposeful environment that continues to flourish.

“Today we’re celebrating what you stand for: the DNA of Quinnipiac,” Olian said. “I want to thank every one of who contributed to the experiences of our students over the last year. You make Quinnipiac what we are. Because of you, it isn’t just our students who are thriving. I think that Quinnipiac is thriving, and I hope you feel that every day.”

Quinnipiac boasts an average tenure of 11 years compared to 6.7 years in the public sector and 3.8 years among the private sector, Olian noted.

“For us, 11 years means that we care about Quinnipiac. We like each other, and we care about the purpose. That tells us a lot about the sense of family here,” said Olian.

Each of the 187 milestone anniversary employees and 28 retirees have provided years of service and passion for building Quinnipiac into the amazing place it is, Olian said. Employees with anniversaries marking 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years add up to a combined 3,015 years of service. Additionally, this year’s 28 retirees have devoted a combined 632 years of service to the university.

“These retirees had a big part in the DNA of who we are today and making Quinnipiac such a unique place in which our students learn,” said Olian. 

Professor of Occupational Therapy and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Healthcare Education retiree Kimberly Hartmann said the sense of Quinnipiac’s community sustained her and gave her a deep appreciation for the university during her 38 years of service.

“This community at Quinnipiac earned my loyalty and in turn provided me many pathways for innovation and growth,” said Hartmann.

Retiring clinical professor of physical therapy and Motion Analysis Laboratory Director Juan Garbalosa said his 19 years of service provided an opportunity to grow. He thanked his colleagues for their support and collaboration over the years.

“They’ve helped me in terms of my productivity as a scholar and also helped me in the various scholarly efforts that I’ve done,” said Garbalosa.

Garbalosa also thanked retired Physical Therapy Department Chairman Edward Tantorski and retired physical therapy professor Don Kowalsky for bringing him onto the university faculty.

“I cannot thank them enough, and truly everything I’ve accomplished would not have been possible without their support,” Garbalosa said.

In her 12 years as an associate teaching professor of biology, retiree Maura Stevenson said working with her fellow colleagues and seeing students’ growth as they applied knowledge and critical thinking to concepts are moments which brought her great joy.

“Enjoy what you’re doing,” Stevenson advised her fellow faculty. “I know you strive for the highest quality in the classroom; but from time to time, think about the impact that you’re having in the lives of young people you have reached. I can assure you that your impact has been significant, and it’s been quite an honor to be right there along with you.”

School of Education associate teaching professor of education and Director of Special Education Programs Judith Falaro was among those recognized for 20 years of service. She said the school’s faculty and staff are like family.

“It’s just awesome. The students have always been lots of fun, and we all help each other and each others’ students,” said Falaro.

Doug Schwartz, associate vice president and director of the Quinnipiac Poll, was among those celebrated for 30 years of service to the university. Schwartz said he has enjoyed every minute.

“I love working here. I have great colleagues, great support, and I’ve got a great team. As a political junkie, it’s a dream job,” said Schwartz.

Marking 35 years with Quinnipiac, Superintendent of Buildings John Castiline said he’s had the opportunity to watch the university grow and to be a part of a university family that’s very special.

“I started here when we were a college and I’ve seen this place grow to what you see now. It’s a great place to work, and the people are tremendous. My kids went here. You can’t ask for anything more,” said Castiline.

Speaking with the gathered faculty and staff, Olian said the extraordinary number of employees with children who have attended, are currently attending, or will attend Quinnipiac in the future is the ultimate vote of confidence in the institution.

“That makes me so proud to see how you feel about Quinnipiac in entrusting us with your most precious asset, and that the tradition goes on,” said Olian. “I am really proud of what you stand for and what you have built over the years. Everyone who is here really sets the tone with your values. You show us what it means to be dedicated to, and even love, our university.”

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