The College of Staten Island athletic program celebrated its sixth annual Faculty/Staff Appreciation Night on Monday evening, spotlighting seven deserving winners in a ceremony pioneered by the CSI Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) in-between the Dolphins’ basketball doubleheader against York College. Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. William Fritz congratulated the winners at the ceremony, which featured a full dinner-reception post-event.
Coordinated by Assistant Athletic Director for Student- Athlete Services Katie Arcuri, who oversees the SAAC, the ceremony is designed to honor faculty and staff who receive multiple nominations from CSI’s student-athlete body of over 200 athletes spanning 13 intercollegiate sports and cheerleading program. Nominees are collected and screened before the SAAC, who ultimately decide on final winners. All honorees receive a commemorative plaque presented to them by a nominating athlete, usually a member of the SAAC.
“This night is a great way to honor and recognize those faculty and staff members on the CSI campus that make a difference for students on a daily basis,” said Arcuri. “This year the SAAC took over the event and I couldn’t be prouder of the job that they did. I look forward to this event growing in the future and becoming a great way to make relationships with departments and staff members on campus grow.”
The seven honorees spanned across a diverse range of platforms in 2011, combining for over 100 years of service in higher education.
Alan Hoffner from College Testing became a two-time winner of an award, often aiding in the speedy testing procedures for out-of-state applicants and personally offering independent tutoring for all students who wish, often outside of work or office hours. Barbara Clark of International Services was presented her award by three-time NCAA national finalist in swimming Vladislav Romanov, for her outstanding work with guiding international students and their acclimation to the United States Educational system.
Faculty members John Edwards (Science, Letters & Society) was honored by Caitlin McKeever (Cheerleading), as was Christine Quinlon (American Sign Language), who was not available to receive her award. CSI Athletics’ own Eddie Buttle was honored by SAAC President Danielle McLaughlin (Women’s Soccer). The Building Supervisor and game day operations specialist has spent nearly three decades in athletics, and was cited for his dedicated service towards facility upkeep. Auxiliary Services Executive Director Ira Persky, a driving force behind CSI’s annual Barnes & Nobles Golf Outing as well as esteemed supporter, was also honored by baseball hurler James Mardikos.
In a special and surprise cap to the evening, Campus Bursar Michael Baybusky, who doubles as the lead voice for CSI SportsNet, a streaming webcasting audio service covering nearly 100 athletic events per year, was honored as CSI’s only three-time winner. Baybusky was given a lettered jacket for the accomplishment, presented to him by women’s hoops star Olivia Tierno.
“It’s been such a pleasure to work with the student-athletes and the staff in Athletics,” said Baybusky post-event. “Win or lose our athletes conduct themselves with class and dignity and I’m honored to be associated with them and the department. It’s means so much to me to win this award once again.”
In all, the rousing event added another five members to its total of 55 all-time recipients. It’s a total Arcuri is confident will expand considerably in future years.
“Our student-athletes are a major part of the engaging and dynamic student profile on this campus, and they’re cognizant that without the aid of many and the life lessons they are taught in the classroom they wouldn’t come so far,” she said. “This effort by the SAAC is a great initiative and we’re happy to keep it going each year.”