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. Five staff members received this tribute in 2014 for Excellence in Professional Service.

Cynthia RiggiCynthia RiggiStudent Success

Since her initial employment with the University at Albany in 1998, Ms. Riggi has demonstrated a strong commitment to the students of the University at Albany and to the programs and initiatives of the Division of Student Success. She began her career with the University in the Office of Community Relations (Advancement Events). Then Ms. Riggi moved to the Division of Student Success as Director of Operations. After six years in this position, she was promoted to Assistant to the Vice President and again in 2010 to Assistant Vice President. In her daily responsibilities, Ms. Riggi demonstrates all the characteristics and skills of an ideal University citizen. She is described by her peers as an individual that “consistently works above and beyond her job description” with “a goal of creating the best possible experience she can for the students at this University.”

Many of the programs and initiatives that are most recognized among our students were created under Ms. Riggi’s leadership. These successful and popular programs include “Spirit Friday,” “Great Dane Beginnings,” “Cookie Day,” and “Explore UAlbany.” On ‘Spirit Friday’ – or ‘Purple Friday,’ as students sometimes call it, faculty and staff, are encouraged to wear purple every Friday as a way to promote school pride. She has the staff in Student Success endorsing the ‘Spirit Friday’ and handing out ‘Spirit Coupons’ for a free coffee/drink to students wearing purple. Ms. Riggi began the spirit initiative several years ago, and has overseen the project as it was has continued to grow and progress. ‘Spirit Friday’ is only one of her many projects that shows  how she  continually strives beyond her role to positively impact students’ lives.

In sum, Ms. Riggi is an outstanding member of the University whose commitment to her professional obligations and to our students is witnessed and appreciated by many. She is well known for her willingness to go beyond her formal responsibilities to provide service to the University. The University at Albany and the State University of New York have good reason to be proud of the commitment and dedication this candidate has for the wellbeing of all who call the University at Albany home.

Excellence in Professional Service

Paul Berger Karen Chico Hurst Mary Ellen Mallia Cynthia Riggi
Paul Berger

Arts and
Karen Chico Hurst
Mary Ellen

Cynthia Riggi
Student Success

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