University at Albany

Excellence in Professional Service

Each year, the University at Albany honors special members of its community with Excellence Awards denoting exceptional contributions to the life of the campus. Three staff members received this tribute in 1999 for Excellence in Professional Service.

Laurie GarafolaLaurie GarafolaResidential Life

Laurie Garafola has been an employee of the University since 1985. Highly regarded across the campus for her problem-solving abilities and commitment to improving the quality of life for students, she has served the University in a variety of capacities, the most recent being director of Residential Life.

Garofola first joined the University as a residence director. Her skill with students was acknowledged by her winning the 1986 New Professionals' Award from the Division of Student Affairs. Since then she has enhanced the quality of the Residential Life program in many ways, including overseeing an increase in residency among junior and senior class students who are not required to live on campus. She has also introduced new freshman and sophomore programs designed to improve campus life experience and opportunity for academic success. One example is The Frosh Experience Program, a residence hall-based social and academic initiative that addresses freshmen needs at appropriate times.

Garafola plays an integral role on numerous committees, supports many campus programs, and attends recruitment events both at the University and throughout the state. She is also president of the University Auxiliary Service Board of Directors, where she has demonstrated the same leadership and problem- solving skills that have characterized her service at the University.

As well as performing tasks of increasing responsibility, throughout her career Garofola has repeatedly stepped into roles to cover a vacancy. Recently, she took on the task of working with the Albany University Parents Forum, where she was instrumental in implementing new projects and expanding the forum's role.

In addition, she is on campus on weekends and evenings and places herself on-call 24 hours a day for Residence Hall problems and crises. A motivator of great talent, she has empowered her staff to exercise their energies and creativity to the fullest. The result has been greater campus efficiency in servicing students, and higher morale among the Residential Life staff.

Excellence in Professional Service

Laurie Garafola Sheila Mahan Kanzellar (Kim) Sprague

Sheila Mahan
Kanzellar (Kim)

Student Accounts

Students participate in more than 200 student clubs and honor societies, and enjoy a busy calendar of campus events.