The annual award recognizes the extraordinary achievements of Adelphi employees who have repeatedly sought improvement of themselves, their units and ultimately Adelphi University.

At a reception on Thursday, December 10, 2015, Adelphi President Christine M. Riordan honored the four winners of Adelphi’s 2015 President’s Award for Excellence in Service: Andrea Caligiuri, M.A. ’87, a teacher at the Alice Brown Early Learning Center; Lori Ann Hoeffner, Ph.D., director of assessment; Erica Klein ’04, manager of Web communications; and Mitchell Nagler, M.A. ’06, assistant director of the Student Counseling Center and director of Bridges to Adelphi.

The annual award recognizes the extraordinary achievements of Adelphi employees who have repeatedly sought improvement of themselves, their units and ultimately Adelphi University, and, in so doing, have transcended normal definitions of excellence.

Excerpts of Dr. Riordan’s prepared remarks about each winner are captured here.

ANDREA Caligiuri, M.A. ’87

Employed for over 30 years at Adelphi University, Andrea has demonstrated loyalty, dedication and a strong work ethic to the University, its faculty, students and the children and families at the Early Learning Center. One of the outstanding characteristics of Andrea is her passion to pursue lifelong learning. She has taken certificate programs in parenting and early childhood social emotional learning.  She has also taken classes in graphic design production, photography and publishing to improve her skill set and offer high quality finished work that documents the children’s learning. From creating note cards that are used for marketing purposes when recruiting new families to helping develop an exhibition showcasing the work being done at the ELC, Andrea’s graphic design skills and technology expertise are an asset.

Every semester the ELC offers graduate students opportunities to practice their teaching skills through guided mentoring. Andrea willingly takes on the responsibility of guiding novice teachers in developing strategies and techniques aligned with best practices.  Additionally, over 350 AU students observe at the program annually. With her more than 30 years of early childhood knowledge and best practices, she supports the students through their assignments. 

Outside of the ELC, Andrea is invited by professors to be a guest speaker and to support their research in the field of literacy. She speaks on social emotional learning and shares information about child development as well as movement activities with the physical education department. She has even been called upon to give support to a hearing impaired student as a result of her ability to sign and lip read. 

One of her former students wrote a recommendation letter stating, “Andrea is a world changer.  She does not see the world as it is but as it should be. She believes in a world where children are not just seen but seen and heard….Andrea is the role model I did not know I needed.  I cannot imagine a person more deserving to be acknowledged and honored for her dedication to children, Adelphi students, faculty and staff and to the greater world around her.”

Lori Ann Hoeffner, Ph.D.    

Hired in 2007, Lori is involved in all facets of the Office of Research Assessment and Planning’s work—including all aspects of survey work from production to administration to disseminating results; data analyses; writing many of ORAP’s reports, bulletins, newsletters and infographics; supporting the AU 2015 strategic plan as well as the strategic plans of many offices at Adelphi; coordinating Adelphi’s assessment of the University’s learning goals; being the point person for the Compliance Assist, serving on committees and the list goes on. Most recently, Lori has been supporting efforts to formulate the forthcoming Adelphi strategic plan analyzing data and writing the report detailing the results of my 100-Day Listening Tour.

Lori has demonstrated excellence in the professional realm, serving as the chair of the Long Island Institutional Research Association for two consecutive years, promoting collaboration and professional networking among institutional researchers from various colleges and universities in Queens and Long Island. Lori has presented at two national conferences, and she presented her dissertation-related work on informatics at a professional organization related to that field.   

Lori’s commitment and enthusiasm are exhibited not only with work-related matters. Her nominator wrote, “I love the fact that Lori doesn’t ever get burned out or discouraged and never loses her passion and her drive to always do the right thing.”

Erica Klein ’04  

For almost 10 years, Erica Klein, a 2004 alumna of Adelphi University, has demonstrated an exceptional work ethic and dedication to our university’s success by overseeing the content, design and development of the University’s public-facing website, as well as supporting our internal ecampus portal and intranet sites.  

Carol Ann Boyle’s nomination letter and supporting recommendations are replete with examples of Erica’s dedication. When a significant challenge arises, Erica doubles down on her resolve. An example of this was the recent redesign with a quick due date of the admissions website. Erica worked nights and weekends to make sure the project got done without missing any details. Erica showed exceptional talent, tenacity and dedication to accomplish this task.

She has led the Web communications team and collaborated with colleagues and departments from other parts of the University to transition more than 112 Adelphi websites (and nearly 10,000 pages) to the WordPress content management platform over the past four years.

Erica championed the University’s transition to be mobile responsive for an optimized user experience on tablets and phones. Making the website mobile responsive required learning new skills on an aggressive timeline.  As Carol Ann states, “The significance of this project cannot be overstated. It represented a sea of change in the way Erica and her team approach and perform Web design and development.”

There has been no turnover in staff during Erica’s eight years as manager. Christine Reslmaier, Web content editor comments that, “Erica inspires high morale, commitment and teamwork among her staff, and challenges us by encouraging us to think creatively when meeting goals.” Her team members do their best not only for the sake of creating the best website possible, but also because they do not want to let Erica down. She clearly leads by example.

I conclude with the following comment by Lori Duggan Gold, “Erica has been called upon to support every unit on campus. She does so with grace and dedication and consistently encourages those around her to align to achieve the goals at hand.”

Mitchell Nagler, M.A. ’06 

 As director of the Bridges to Adelphi Program (BAP) for the past four years, Mitch has been working creatively, efficiently and cost-effectively to develop a groundbreaking program for supporting students with neuro-social disorders. As nominator Carol Lucas, Ph.D. ’13, states, “Mitch has an innate gift of being able to connect on an interpersonal level with a population  known for their difficulty in social relationships, as well as collaborate with academic departments, faculty, administration, student groups and his peers to help develop a community and culture of acceptance and tolerance for people with neuro-social diversity.”

As a recognized expert in the field of autism, Mitch collaborates with both internal and external partners to assure that our students are having a top flight educational experience and that our program is recognized in the external community at large.

Even with his full scope of administrative responsibilities for a rapidly growing program with multiple levels of staffing, Mitch has taken on the significant role of academic adviser—inclusive of course planning and registration—for all new Bridges students, working closely with individual faculty and with the Office of Academic Services and Retention. In addition, Mitch is often sought after to conduct training workshops and program presentations. From September through May 2015, Mitch delivered over 25 presentations and trainings to members of the Adelphi community. Never one to miss an opportunity to showcase our program to external constituents, Mitch has presented the BAP model at several conferences and established peer networking relationships with the OASIS Program at Pace University, New York Institute of Technology, Brooklyn College, Farmingdale State College, NASPA–Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, Long Island Council of Student Personnel Administrators (LICSPA ), and Asperger Syndrome and Higher Functioning Autism Association (AHA). His nomination of BAP to NASPA and LICSPA resulted in significant recognition for BAP.

For further information, please contact:

Todd Wilson
Strategic Communications Director 
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