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Excellence Awards

Excellence in Support Services— 2005

The excellence in Support Services Award recognizes staff members’ extraordinary achievements and contributions in support of the University’s academic and research aims, and its overall sense of community.

Aran MullAran Mull
Lieutenant Aran Mull began his career at the University at Albany in 1995, as a patrol officer for UPD. He quickly distinguished himself by becoming involved with major community outreach programs, such as developing and implementing the Rape Aggression Defense self-defense program and A Few Good Men, a date rape prevention program aimed at fraternity groups. In each case, Mull not only developed the training, but also delivered it. Mull also delivered various safety training sessions to wide segments of the University community— incoming freshmen, international students, members of student government, and University faculty and staff. His training expertise was also well used in his own department, as he developed and implemented firearms and self-defense spray training programs for University police officers.

Mull's expertise and initiative extend well beyond training and field work. He has been absolutely instrumental in developing UPD's Incident Tracking System — a proprietary database which allows police officers to enter reports electronically, and converts the initial report to meet reporting requirements for New York State. The Incident Tracking System has eliminated the necessity for data entry of police officers' handwritten reports into two separate reporting systems.

Mull is also responsible for security, special events, and all UPD expenditures associated with the New York Giants' Summer Training Camp, a large and difficult undertaking which Mull performs with his usual diligence.

Doug Kern, deputy chief of police for UPD, notes: "... Mr. Mull is a one-person revolution for positive and innovative change in the University Police Department and in the greater University community. He doesn't meet standards of excellence. He sets them."

Kathleen RoseKathleen Rose
Kathleen Rose is responsible for faculty support, supervising work-study students, managing department files, assisting with faculty searches, working with the graduate director and assistant to the chair in support of the graduate program, and acting as a liaison between the sociology department and the University.

Rose's supervisors and constituents noted her ability to interact effectively with students, faculty, other University departments, and representatives from outside professional organizations. Department Chair Russell Ward wrote: "The first thing I think of ... is how much assistance Cathy provides to others as they transition into new roles and responsibilities. In a large department with a great variety of issues, Cathy is a source of institutional memory, especially regarding various policies and procedures of office routine, as well as the relations between the office staff and faculty and students."

Professors Steven Messner and Glenna Spitze, previous chairs of the department, wrote: "The hiring of Cathy Rose has proven to be a godsend for the department." Faculty members and program directors note that Rose is able to work independently and with accuracy, thus easing their administrative workload.

Rose's nomination for this award is also supported by the graduate students of the sociology department, the assistant chair, and employees she supervises, all of whom concur that Rose is conscientious and understands their academic or professional needs. Her initiative to learn new tasks and take on new projects serves as an example of life-long learning.

Karen SilinkskyKaren Silinksky
Karen Silinksky has worked in the dean's office of the School of Criminal Justice since 1996. Several supervisors note that Silinsky takes major responsibility for contact with students, including orientation of new graduate students, management of student records, and generally serving as a liaison between students and the dean's office. She is also a primary contact with other external groups, such as alumni, and state and local agencies. Dean Julie Horney wrote about her: "She is our most consistent contact with alumni ... The warm relationships she has developed are a wonderful help in our efforts to foster a sense of connection to the school. She regularly interacts with our contacts in state and local agencies, and they know they can work with Karen to get our joint goals accomplished."

Silinsky's constituents and co-workers note that she is constantly balancing demands, sometimes under considerable pressure, yet always maintains an upbeat attitude. Silinsky excels at her duties as secretary to the dean, but also finds time to provide service to other faculty members and staff by assisting in preparing book manuscripts, maintaining the school calendar, serving as a contact with the assistant provost, scheduling classroom changes and dissertation defenses, and serving as a main point of contact for all renovation and maintenance issues in the school.

Silinsky also edits the school's monthly newsletter. Distinguished Professor David Bayley wrote, "Karen produces and edits the newsletter of the school. This is not a simple editorial task. She suggests features and sections, hounds people to get copy to her, gets the text to the printer ... and organizes distribution inside and outside the school."

Jayne SilverJayne Silver
Jayne Silver began her career at the University in 1998, as office manager in Undergraduate Admissions. Silver is very often the first person prospective parents and students speak with when applying to UAlbany. She handles hundreds of phone calls every week, greets walk-in visitors, answers a wide variety of questions, and coordinates responses and schedules to ensure prospective students and their families have the information they need in a timely fashion. Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Sheila Mahan wrote, "Ms. Silver is a true unsung hero of the University ... a person who plays a key staff role in providing an extraordinarily high degree of service to prospective students and their families. In performing her job with exceptional skill and commitment, Silver makes a major contribution to the University at Albany's goals to recruit and enroll high-achieving students."

Despite the demands of her position, Silver's supervisors and constituents note her ability to stay focused and responsive to the myriad of applicants she speaks with each day. Robert Andrea, director of Undergraduate Admissions, wrote, "Jayne has a very stressful position ... Under Jayne's care, I feel confident that any person calling our office will be received politely, effectively, and efficiently."

Rick Tastor, associate director of Financial Aid, writes, "She is absolutely terrific ... There is something about working with her that is reinvigorating. Jayne's positive interpersonal skills, her graciousness, and her willingness to help everybody are downright contagious. She even learned to access the financial aid system so that she can provide basic information to callers rather than requiring them to seek information from two different offices."