University at Albany

Excellence in Professional Service

Shirley Downey

Shirley Downey

The Excellence in Professional Service Award recognizes individuals who have repeatedly sought improvement of themselves and their campus, and have transcended the normal definition of excellence.

Director of the Career Development Center since 1998, Shirley Downey is a talented career administrator who is responsible for all center activities. Her duties include supervision of the employer recruiting program, fostering employer and alumni relations, internship coordination, and educational programming and career counseling of students. One of the most important contributions to her department was to oversee a major reorganization of the Career Development Center. She also introduced state-of-the-art technology into day-to-day operations of her office.

Downey began her administrative career as the associate director of the Arts and Sciences Placement Office at Indiana University in 1991. She also worked in the Contract Assignment department at both Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond. Downey was also the assistant director for Counseling, Training, and Education at Richmond until joining UAlbany.

In her current position, Downey has identified new sources of revenue to increase the funding base for career activities, including a $75,000 grant from the State Farm Foundation to create a professional development program series. She is responsible for all hiring, training, evaluation, and supervision of four professional career counselors and three administrative staff members. Downey led the development of a post-graduation and placement report, and she oversees all accounting and purchasing procedures associated with maintaining three different office budgets.

A member and current treasurer for the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers, Downey co-chaired the Hudson Mohawk Association Career Development Committee from 1999-2001. She has been a member of both the National Association of Colleges and Employers and the State University of New York Career Development Organization since 1998. The well-rounded administrator is also a member of the Student Affairs Cabinet.

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