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. One staff member received this tribute in 2012 for Excellence in Support Service.

Denise HeisermanDenise Heiserman, Human Resource

The hallmark of Denise Heiserman ‘s work is her particular attention to the human details that matter in every interaction.

Denise has been responsible for auditing time and attendance for all staff; administering FMLA and Workers Compensation applications; providing instruction on the online leave reporting system; and supervising the Time Records staff.   She focuses on the problems of each individual, never making distinctions between people according to ‘importance’, but treating everyone with respect and care, and going out of her way to seek out resources for them.

She has an extraordinary ability to inspire trust, becoming a sounding board, advocate and friend to those needing guidance.  She is the ‘go to’ person on questions of sick leave, occupational injuries, insurance claims, furloughs, and family leaves for staff around the campus. She is always the first person in her unit to take up a cause: she organized a fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Katrina; cares for the ailing parents of a colleague by shopping for them and visiting them regularly; started a fund drive for a custodian who had lost his house and belongings in Hurricane Irene, and spends countless hours planning the Summer Employee Picnic and the Holiday Gala, making handcrafted door prizes and centerpieces for them.

Human resources staff—by definition—regularly deal with angry or worried clients.  Denise is recognized by colleagues from around campus as extraordinary for her humor, style and dedication as she cares for others.


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