Every year, Adelphi honors four exceptional employees with a President's Award for Excellence and one employee with the President's Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. According to President Christine M. Riordan, the honorees “have won the admiration of their peers and colleagues by providing an extraordinary level of service to the University, and working to advance our shared values and goals."

Candidates are nominated by their colleagues, and these nominations are reviewed by committees that are representative of our community. After reviewing the nominations, the committee submits final nominees to the president.

We congratulate Adelphi’s 2021 President’s Award for Excellence honoree:

Nicole Gaudino, Executive Director of University Health and Wellness


As the director of health services over the past year, Nicole Gaudino ’12, MS ’17, has played an integral role in keeping the Adelphi University campus safe and open during these unprecedented times. She was a key member of the task force overseeing all aspects of the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and navigating the University community to safety. Gaudino, who proudly represents Adelphi and its mission of community outreach, is a master communicator able to address a wide array of constituents and their respective concerns. Her leadership, deep commitment and expert public health knowledge and skill served as a beacon as Adelphi grappled with myriad issues and crises brought about by COVID-19—and sought to maintain its financial strength and operational excellence.

Gaudino selflessly dedicated hundreds of hours to keeping this close-knit community safe. Her deep understanding of the healthcare system and its relationship with our local health department positioned her to be an authoritative resource as we grappled with the unknown territory before us. This required keeping herself constantly informed on the latest rapidly emerging science and recommendations from the public health authorities, as well as monitoring state and local mandates and consulting with other leading health experts—always with an eye on the larger national and global picture. She distilled this large volume of sometimes conflicting information into guidelines and operating procedures that facilitated the safe reopening of the Adelphi campus.

Upon learning that she was among the 2021 President’s Award for Excellence honorees, Gaudino said, “It is hard to put into words how much I value this community. I started my journey here at Adelphi as an undergraduate nursing student and my successes are truly a testament to the individuals and experiences, which I have encountered along the way.” She added, “It is my great honor to be able to collaborate with such incredible professionals to transform the lives of our students fostering their success. I look forward to continuing to grow and empower our extraordinary community much in the way it has done for me.”

During her three and a half years at Adelphi, Gaudino has helped our students excel in their nursing careers as a College of Nursing and Public Health adjunct faculty member (September 2017–December 2019), as well as being a provider of care at the student Health Services Center. In addition to implementing strategic changes to ensure student compliance with immunizations, she has enacted a new health insurance plan to provide our students with better health coverage and has ensured that all COVID-related expenses were covered.

Throughout this pandemic, Gaudino has not only served as an internal health expert but has voluntarily shared her knowledge across local, regional and national forums. She is not only professional but has dedication and resiliency, as well as compassion.

Newly named executive director of University health and wellness in April 2021, she continues to be innovative and hopeful that our Adelphi students’ will return to a new normal.

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