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Tobias Named Inaugural Staff Member of Year

Capping the first year of quarterly staff recognition awards, Vickie Tobias of Bath emerged as the 2013-14 Staff Member of the Year for Keuka College.

According to co-workers, Tobias has touched the lives of students and the careers of colleagues throughout Keuka College in a real and palpable way. As the database administrator in the Information Technology Services department, she helps keep the entire college plugged in, so to speak, and ensures day-to-day network demands continue functioning for optimal productivity.

Tobias was named the inaugural staffer of the year during Commencement May 25. The staff recognition award, given by the Staff Advisory Council (SAC), was set up to identify and celebrate staff members like Tobias who consistently go above and beyond the duties of their job and make outstanding contributions to Keuka College. The award recognizes four staff members each year, with one selected as the overall winner for the year. This year’s other quarterly winners included Brett Williams, digital media producer in the Office of Marketing and Communications, McKala Accetura, judicial coordinator and resident director of Strong Apartments, and Merrie Heins, assistant director of financial aid. Each quarterly winner receives a desk nameplate and reserved parking place for three months, following their award.

According to Casey Kendall, senior systems administrator in ITS, Tobias is “the most dedicated and professional employee with whom I have ever worked.” In a nomination letter, Kendall detailed how Tobias “puts in long hours and never asks for compensation, helping her peers succeed without ever asking for anything in return.”

Another nominator, Carol Grover, controller in the business office, said Tobias “will not leave the ball hanging, and if you, by chance, are dropping the ball a bit, you can count on her to call you and ask the status. Things tend to get back on track after this effort to stay informed.”

Tobias touches her co-workers in other ways, including decorating the office with her framed photography and sharing her homegrown vegetables, which Kendall cited as little touches that boost morale. Tobias’s photography was also featured in the 2013 art exhibition for College faculty and staff, “Beyond 9 to 5.”

At Commencement, Tobias thanked fellow staff members for the honor, and accepted the award on behalf of her co-workers, calling herself “just a behind-the-scenes IT person.” She also received a cash award of $1,000 from the College as part of the award.

“Vickie is most deserving of this honor,” said Doug Lippincott, executive director of grants, government relations and compliance, who also serves as president of the SAC. “She exemplifies what these awards are all about, as do the other recipients of the Staff Recognition Award.”

The new staff awards program was “one of our major initiatives in 2013-14 and I was delighted to see it come to fruition,” Lippincott said, adding special kudos to Brad Turner, a member of the SAC committee, for a “superb job” coordinating the selection process.

“It was thrilling for me to see a staff member honored in the same fashion at Commencement as a faculty member,” he said. “Like our faculty, our staff is second to none and I am pleased that we now have awards in place to honor their strong work ethic on behalf of the College.”

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