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, PhD, 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 2022 President’s Award for Excellence honoree:

Sarah Avery, Administrative Assistant, Department of Sociology (Local 153)

Sarah Avery, the administrative assistant in the Department of Sociology, has been known to describe herself with one word: sagacious. “I learn from everything I do and apply it to my work. Every experience is an opportunity to gain insight and grow.”

During her seven years at Adelphi, Avery—who taught business professionals in Madrid, Spain, before joining the department—has taken advantage of a multitude of opportunities to flourish.

According to her nominator, she provides administrative support for one department chair and three program directors, numerous full- and part-time faculty members and many students. “Sarah has also provided diplomacy, clarity and empathy to everyone in the department,” she said. “Her professional and interpersonal skills are essential to the daily functioning of our department as a pleasant, efficient, professional work environment.”

For Avery, “The most enjoyable thing about working in the department is that the role continuously changes, and the tasks vary,” she reported. “Even for tasks that remain the same, I have the freedom to analyze and improve on our past methods. From a nonwork perspective, I value my department’s faculty. My discussions with them teach me about their respective disciplines and help me fulfill my goal for continuous growth.”

She has advanced professionally by completing many training and certificate programs—including the University’s Diversity Certificate Program. Avery has also been an enthusiastic team member on everything from the professional program’s diversity, equity and inclusion newsletter to the interdisciplinary, public-facing, and cross-campus and cross-university Artivism initiative.

“Diversity and inclusion is a significant part of the series,” explained her nominator. “Sarah’s voice and experience in this regard helped us select presenters and student ambassadors to highlight and support.”

As a representative for Local 153 and member of its executive committee, Avery has provided guidance on workplace issues such as policy changes and grievances.

Her nominator praised her ability to “seamlessly synthesize the thoughts and opinions of others in a way that makes everyone feel heard.”

She added, “Sarah is compassionate, understanding and has a way of both helping people and empowering them to help themselves.”

Avery takes special pride in her work with Local 153. “My greatest accomplishment will be helping to negotiate a contract for Adelphi’s Local 153 union,” she explained.

A self-described “proud Panther,” Avery said she is honored to have been nominated by her supervisor, Jacqueline Johnson, PhD, associate professor and chair of the Department of Sociology. “But I am even more touched that the committee chose me as one of the award recipients,” Avery said. “I’m glad that my individual contributions have been recognized. In many ways, it’s the cherry on top.”

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