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. Four staff members received this tribute in 2002 for Excellence in Professional Service.

Shai L. BrownShai L. BrownResidential Life

As area coordinator in the Department of Residential Life, Shai L. Brownuses her impressive organizational skills to oversee the living spaces of 2,300 undergraduates. Brown graduated from UAlbany 10 years ago as an English major; she later received an M.S. degree in educational administration and policy, with a concentration in higher education. She used her background to earn a position as a residence hall director and as a career counselor in the Career Development Center before leaving the University to work in the private sector.

After returning to UAlbany, Brown became a quad coordinator in the University’s Office of Residential Life. In that position, she was responsible for the overall management of a quad, which houses approximately 900 students; the direct supervision of five professional staff; and the supervision of 35 student staff members. In her new position as area coordinator, she not only oversees the building, program, and judicial processes for two quads, but she also supervises 13 professional staff and 70 student staff.

“Her excellent organizational skills, exceptional ability to work with students, and her dedication to the University have led to increased job responsibility,” said one of her supervisors. “Ms. Brown is a very genuine, direct, and challenging person. She takes a very developmental approach and constantly challenges her staff to go above and beyond the everyday function of their positions. She is a wonderful role model in this respect. She continually challenges herself and others to look beyond the obvious to create ways to make our University community a just and conducive environment for students’ academic success.”

Among the unique programs she developed for the residents of Dutch Quad are the sign language class; panel discussions on prominent University women; program incentives supporting attendance at UAlbany athletic events; and study skills, time management, and talent showcases.

Brown, who also volunteers her time as a board member of the Arbor Hill Development Corp., the American Heart Association, and the American Red Cross, has been involved with two Council of Women subcommittees, Initiatives For Women and Take Our Daughters to Work, for four years. She is the co-chair of the UAlbany Black Faculty and Professional Staff Association, as well as a member of the National Association of Professionals in Student Affairs. “In the workplace, one must be able to effectively carry out his or her job duties, but the mark of professionals is determined by their ability to work with others,” said one of her constituents. “Shai Brown knows about teamwork. She has fostered a wonderful working environment on Dutch Quadrangle.”

Brown volunteers in the First Glance Inner City High School Bridge Program and the Phillip Livingston Middle School Mentoring Program. She also coaches in the midnight basketball league.

Excellence in Professional Service

Shai L. Brown Joanne T. Casabella Albina Y. Grignon Harriet V. Temps
Shai L.

Joanne T.

Albina Y.

Harriet V.


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