June 26, 2014

Susan McFadden Receives Excellence in Professional Service Award

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - June 20, 2014) Susan McFadden, of Greenwich, N.Y., the special events coordinator in the Office of Communications and Government Relations for SUNY Empire State College, was recognized with the Excellence in Professional Service Award from the college’s foundation. McFadden started her career with the college as a representative in the Student Information Center, then went on to being a recruitment specialist, before taking the newly created position of collegewide special events coordinator.

Susan McFadden poses with Merodie Hancock, excellence award

Susan McFadden, SUNY Empire State College Excellence Award winner, poses with President Merodie Hancock and last year's winner.  (Photo/Empire State College)

McFadden has had to develop creative solutions for college special events across the state. “Requests for Susan’s organizing skills and creative approaches to both simple and complex events multiply with each new year as word of her expertise travels throughout the college,” said Mary Caroline Powers, vice president of the Office of Communications and Government Relations. Another colleague describes McFadden as “positive, professional, problem-solver, leader, diplomat, dependable, team-builder, independent, creative, determined and dedicated.”

McFadden oversees the planning of special events from the publicity materials, banners, table skirts and refreshments. She often manages the websites for the events and their registration process.

Some of the major events she has overseen are SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher’s “Day in Saratoga,” the presidential inauguration and annual All College Conference. She also will assist partner and community  groups who choose to hold their events at Empire State College.

McFadden, who is known as “the tchotchke queen,” is responsible for the college giveaways, overseeing their procurement and distribution. A lesser known role McFadden has taken is working with the Office of Business Services to ensure that the college catches any errors in invoices. One such “catch” by McFadden saved the college thousands of dollars.

One colleague said, “Susan is constantly surpassing the duties outlined in her job description. Along with her own responsibilities, she is constantly assisting others, no matter how hectic her schedule.”

 Another noted her gracious attitude and good relationship with vendors. “Most importantly,” wrote Michael Mancini, chief of staff to President Merodie Hancock, “she is a caring and supportive person who always treats anyone who comes to her with dignity and respect."

About the Foundation Award for Excellence in Professional Service

The award for Excellence in Professional Service recognizes superb performance in fulfilling the duties in the job description, demonstrated flexibility and adaptability to institutional needs and excellence in the areas of innovative leadership, decision-making and problem-solving.

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.


Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications

518-587-2100, ext. 2918


518-321-7038 (after hours and on weekends)