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.

Sheila MahanSheila MahanAcademic Affiars

Sheila Mahan has served the University since 1983. She has been given a number of critical assignments in that time, during which she has shown exceptional leadership skills. She is recognized for her ability to solve problems and respond to unusual situations and circumstances quickly and effectively.

Beginning as associate director of University Relations, she was responsible for identifying and presenting University activities and faculty accomplishments to local and national media. She also edited and managed the President's Report and was a founding editor of an alumni-oriented magazine.

She then joined the President's Office as an Assistant to the President, serving three different University presidents over an eight-year period. In this role, she managed the annual Commencement ceremony, two presidential inaugurations, established the campus day-care center, and was part of the team that brought a President of the United States to campus. She was also the President's office manager, responsible for communications with higher education and public officials, students, and their families.

In 1996, with the University in need of an individual to lead all enrollment activities, she was appointed as an assistant vice president for Academic Affairs, charged with enrollment management and student retention duties and direct supervision of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Her impact on this important operation was immediate and profound. Under her supervision, the University has been bringing in freshman classes with greatly improved quality indicators. Co-workers attribute a more secure economic well-being of the University to her initiative and success.

Her supervisors commend her leadership skills, her abundance of creative energy, and her willingness to make difficult decisions in challenging conditions. Peers applaud her generous levels of cooperation and her infectious enthusiasm, and say she demonstrates a level of selfless commitment that inspires subordinates.

Excellence in Professional Service

Laurie Garafola Sheila Mahan Kanzellar (Kim) Sprague
Laurie Garafola
Sheila Mahan
Kanzellar (Kim)


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