June 18, 2015

Excellence in Professional Service Award, Alec Meiklejohn

Alec Meiklejohn, Excellence in Professional Service Award, Empire State College

Alec Meikeljohn (center) and President Merodie Hancock (right) with last year's winner Mindy Boening (left).

Alec Meiklejohn, a program development coordinator at the college’s Harry Van Arsdale Jr. School for Labor Studies, located in New York City, received one of two Empire State College Foundation Awards for Excellence in Professional Service at the All College Conference held in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

“I was completely surprised, as anyone who was at the table can vouch for!" said Meikeljohn. “After the dinner, someone from another center came up to me and said how it always seemed to her that Van Arsdale is a special place to work.  I couldn't agree more, and it's good to know that other people around the college understand this too.”

“I congratulate Alec Meikeljohn for winning the Empire State College Foundation Excellence in Professional Service Award,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. “The large number of candidates, the rigorous selection process and the high standards and accomplishments – in terms of teaching, mentoring, scholarship, innovation and community service recipients must achieve– is very impressive. These are people who best represent the aspirations of the college community. They have contributed their talents, passions and, often, their entire careers, to their colleagues, to higher education and adult learning, the communities where they live and work and, most importantly, to the overall success of the college and its students. Alec is an outstanding member of the faculty and an inspiration to all of us.”

For the past 10 years, Meiklejohn distinguished himself for having created sophisticated communication, planning, scheduling, tracking and assessment tools that are used daily by all the other members of the staff at their location.

It was these systems that allowed the faculty to contact students directly in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, providing a crucial point of contact between students and the college.

In addition to developing the technology needed to run the program smoothly, Meikeljohn also works directly with students to ensure their success. A “full-service professional,” his colleagues say he has always made himself available to students, working with them one-to-one or in large or small groups. He has been involved with the expansion of the school’s programs and served for many years as the primary contact with external groups that have relationships with the college. A good listener, a cheerful colleague and a tireless professional, Meikeljohn is described by his colleagues as “an invaluable member of the center’s staff.”

About the Foundation Award for Excellence in Professional Service

The foundation gives two awards for Excellence in Professional Service. The criteria for selection for the Foundation Award for Excellence in Professional Service include superbly fulfilling the responsibilities of the position, demonstrating initiative and strong leadership skills and providing excellence in decision making, as well as problem solving.

About 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 degree levels.

The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35, and graduate students’ average age is 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 73,000 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.