President Merodie Hancock (l) with Karen McCrea
(CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. - June 26, 2014) Karen McCrea, of Kenmore, N.Y., was recognized with the Empire State College Excellence Award for Support Services at an All College Conference this spring. McCrea, a front-desk receptionist, was enthusiastically endorsed by her colleagues at the college’s Cheektowaga office. Upon receiving the award, McCrea thanked her co-workers and said she considered them to be "family." Her colleagues responded with a standing ovation.
"Pleasant, helpful, good-humored and professional" were some of the terms used to describe McCrea.
Nan DiBello, dean of the college’s Niagara Frontier locations, said, “Karen truly exemplifies a student-centered approach. Regardless of the concern, Karen responds thoughtfully; she is a careful listener and her responses are always helpful and informed.”
Colleagues also noted her willingness to do tasks beyond her area of assignment.
Faculty Mentor Carole Southwood said McCrea, “anticipates a need and takes care of things before they become problems. She cheerfully will undertake a task not necessarily assigned to her, especially if it means helping a student meet a deadline, or simply putting a student, or a mentor, at ease.”
Graduate Vicki Haas ’12, said, “Karen is the first person that students and guests see when they enter the campus doors and she emanates a very welcoming and professional presence. She also has the confident ability and skill to handle numerous tasks at the same time. I was always impressed with Karen’s ability to juggle many students, professors, visitors and administrative issues while maintaining a friendly and composed demeanor.”
Outreach and Recruitment Specialist Eric Bridges added, “Karen is a team player who possesses excellent communication, organization and leadership skills. She is a wealth of knowledge and effective in building trust with students and colleagues.”
McCrea has been with the college for 14 years.
About SUNY Empire State College
Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system, educates more than 20,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 35 locations in the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels.
The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students average age 40.
Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time.
In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.
Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn.
Students have the opportunity to enroll five times during the year.
The college’s 70,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.
The college was first established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977.
`Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
More information about the college is available at www.esc.edu.