University at Albany

Excellence in Support 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 2004 for Excellence in Support Service.

Kathleen GurneyKathleen GurneySchool of Information Science and Policy

For more than 20 years, Kathleen Gurney has served the University in supporting roles, including the last 18 as a secretary in the School of Information Science and Policy. All 11 full-time faculty of the department, as well as emeriti, adjunct faculty, students, alumni, and professional staff gave written support for Gurney’s nomination. She is generally considered by her supervisors, constituents, and peers to be the “core” of the department.

Gurney’s constituents remark that her work at the school often goes well beyond the normal work day. It is not unusual for Gurney to return to work after dinner, to catch up with work that was unable to be completed during the day, or to prepare for whatever might be scheduled for the following day. Faculty and students also cite the occasions when Gurney goes well beyond the call of duty to help them, such as referring new faculty to local realtors, meeting new graduate students at the airport, or contacting faculty at home or as they travel, with time-sensitive messages.

“What is truly remarkable is her attitude. She always works with a smile and makes each person feel an uplifting sense of her personal energy and zest for the job. We all feel a little better about our jobs or our schoolwork after an interaction with Gurney during the day,” wrote one constituent. Another was impressed with Gurney’s dedication to and knowledge of the department. “Time and time again, faculty new and old commented upon how Kathy knows where to send people when she does not know the answer. This is the essence of information science — to know the sources and how to find critical information when it is needed.”

Able to efficiently multi-task, Gurney also devotes much of her spare time to the University and to other charitable pursuits. She has voluntarily served as chair of the University’s Secretarial/Clerical Council Steering Committee since 1986, and she is also a member of the Council of Women’s Groups. Gurney plans an annual University-wide conference for secretarial/clerical staff, and she also works on fund raisers for the Initiatives For Women program. Gurney also finds time to serve as a relief home caregiver for Community Hospice of Albany.

Gurney’s overall excellence during a multitude of duties, her professionalism, good humor and positive attitude, as well as her volunteer work, caught the eye of the nominating committee.

Excellence in Support Service

Kimberly Comproski Kathleen Gurney Anna Robles


School of
Science and
Anna Robles
Office of
Withdrawal and

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