June 23, 2015

Patricia Ryan Receives Excellence in Professional Services Award

Excellence Professional Service Award, Patricia Ryan, Empire State College

Patricia Ryan is flanked by last year's recipient, Susan McFadden (left), and President Merodie Hancock (right)

Patricia Ryan, director of student and academic services in SUNY Empire State College’s School for Graduate Studies, has received the Empire State College Foundation Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

“I congratulate Patricia Ryan for winning the Empire State College Foundation Award in Professional Service,” 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 innovation and student 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. Pat is an outstanding member of the college staff and is an inspiration to all of us.”

“With so many talented professionals at the college, I truly was surprised and honored to receive this award,” Ryan said.

Ryan was one of two employees to receive the Excellence in Professional Service Award. She has been with the college for nearly two decades and is described by co-workers as a trusted and reliable professional. “Ryan is the kind of professional that we all dream of having on our team,” noted one colleague. Others said she always can be relied upon for advice and for a cool head, that she is a thoughtful and creative partner in the work of her colleagues.

Ryan oversees a wide range of services and operations. She serves as the liaison for students in the school and advocates on their behalf clearly, creatively and compassionately, according to colleagues. She has led a number of efforts to develop processes in the school further, to test new options and systems in order to support the work of the students and faculty and has served on numerous college committees.

Ryan received her award at the annual All College Conference held in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

About the Excellence Award in Professional Service Award

The criteria for selection for the Foundation Award for Excellence in Professional Service includes superbly fulfilling the responsibilities of the position, demonstrating initiative and strong leadership skills and providing excellence in decision making, as well as problem solving. This year’s recipients exemplify excellence in their service and commitment to the college.

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.