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President’s Award for Excellence given at SUNY Fredonia
Thursday, April 24, 2014

President’s Award for Excellence given at SUNY Fredonia

SUNY Fredonia President Virginia Horvath (second from left) gathers with recipients of the President’s Award for Excellence: Brent Kawski, Jeffrey Meredith, Dr. Andrea Zevenbergen, Tracy Collingwood and Dr. W. Theodore (Ted) Lee.

Five employees with 100 years of collective service at SUNY Fredonia were among those honored at the annual President’s Awards for Excellence and Service Recognition Luncheon. More than 250 people filled the Williams Center Multipurpose Room for the April 23 gathering that also recognized recent and soon-to-be retirees and awarded service pins and certificates to employees reaching milestone anniversaries.

Recipients of the President’s Awards were: Tracy Collingwood, director, Career Development; Brent Kawski, senior grounds worker, Facilities Services; W. Theodore (Ted) Lee, professor, Biology; Jeffrey Meredith, head men’s ice hockey coach, Athletics and Recreation; and Andrea Zevenbergen, professor, Psychology.

Collingwood has 17 years of experience in higher education administration, including 12 in career services and five in website coordination and technical applications. Her leadership duties at the Career Development Office encompass goal setting, short- and long-range planning, staff supervision and evaluation and career services for students and alumni.

An enthusiastic leader with a “can do” spirit, Collingwood has either initiated or expanded the Graduate School Fair and Job and Internship Expo and has utilized technology to increase office efficiency.

Positions that Collingwood has held at SUNY Fredonia since 1996 include: career counselor intern, senior career counselor, university website coordinator and internship coordinator. Collingwood has a master of education degree in College Student Services and Development from SUNY Buffalo, a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from SUNY Fredonia; and an associate of arts degree in Social Sciences from Jamestown Community College.

Kawski has 28 years of combined service in Custodial Services and Grounds Department. He was named the 2007 Outstanding Trades Employee by the Division of Finance and Administration.

A highly dedicated worker, Kawski plays a key role in the maintenance of the university’s athletic fields and takes pride in their appearance.

Other positions that Kawski has held include: cleaner and janitor in Custodial Services and highway equipment operator in the Grounds Department. A graduate of Fredonia High School, Kawski attended Glendale Community College and Clinton Community College.

Dr. Lee, now in his 15th year at SUNY Fredonia, devotes his research to molecular analysis and identification of microorganisms from aquatic systems and the teaching of molecular biology and biochemistry. Results of his research have appeared in more than a dozen publications. Lee has received 14 research grants.

Students admire Lee for his enthusiasm, knowledge and innovative teaching techniques; colleagues praise him for his confident command of the material and the classroom and high degree of student engagement.

Lee is chair of the Health Professions Advising Committee and former chair of the Biology Department. He earned his doctorate in Biological Sciences from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He has also performed postdoctoral research at The Ohio State University and Duke University Medical Center.

Meredith, who has supervised the hockey program and taught physical education for 26 years, has led the Blue Devils to three SUNY championships and second and third place finishes in NCAA Division III championships. With 355 career wins, Meredith is ranked 10th among active coaches in Division III. His teams have achieved the highest GPA of all men’s teams on campus in 13 of the last 15 semesters.

The American Cancer Society recently named Meredith as the Western New York 2013 Coach of the Year, an honor that recognizes coaches who make a difference in the fight against cancer. Since 2008, the team’s Pink the Rink games have raised more than $51,000 for cancer research.

Meredith has won praise for setting high expectations for his players, both on and off the ice. He has a master’s degree in Sport Management from The Ohio State University, a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from SUNY Brockport and an associate of applied science in Criminal Justice from Monroe Community College.

Dr. Zevenbergen, who joined SUNY Fredonia in 2001, teaches courses in child psychology, theories of psychotherapy and counseling and conducts research in the broad area of parent-child interactions. She also serves as the Faculty Athletics Representative, providing guidance to student-athletes.

Students have given her high ratings for enthusiasm, knowledge of material, organization, stimulation of thinking and availability, and the Psychology Club named her “Teacher of the Year” seven times.

Zevenbergen earned a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and a master’s in Psychology, both from SUNY Stony Brook, and a bachelor’s in Psychology from Northwestern University.

Other finalists for the President’s Award for Excellence included: Laura Dornbergen, Linda Hall, Markus Kessler, Denise Maze, Peter McCord, Carmen Rivera, Loretta Slaton Torain, Katie Thies, Ivonni Vassoler-Froehlich and Wildy Zumwalt.

Among recent or soon-to-be retirees honored were: Dr. James Hurtgen, Gerda Morrissey, Frances Polito, Janet Reid, Sally Turner, Lois Valentine, Jon Washburn, Dr. Michael Wilson and Marilyn Zlotchew.

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