April 14, 2016

Excellence in Professional Service Award Goes to Laurie Seamans

Laurie Seamans, Empire State Foundation Excellence in Professional Service.
College President Merodie Hancock poses with Laurie Seamans, Empire State Foundation Excellence in Professional Service.

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – April 14, 2016)  Laurie Seamans, assessment specialist for the Central New York region, has received the Empire State College Foundation Award for Excellence in Professional Service. She received her award during the All College Conference at the end of March in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

President Merodie Hancock said, “Congratulations. I join the cabinet, the foundation board and the rest of your colleagues in extending my thanks and appreciation for your extraordinary efforts on behalf of our students. Thanks also to all those who support the foundation’s mission and programs. The ceremony itself, and many other programs, would not be possible without your support.”

Seamans said, “In all of my years and roles in the college, I have always felt that I am only as good as the support around me. I am honored and humbled to be joining such esteemed company of previous winners and will continue to do the work I have come to enjoy in the best way that I can.”

Seamans, who has been with the college for 16 years, began her career as a secretary with the Ithaca location. A committed lifelong learner always striving to move to the next level, Seamans later accepted the position of assessment specialist.

According to her colleagues, she consistently demonstrates superb performance, as well as flexibility and adaptability to institutional needs and excellence in leadership. Seamans is seen by colleagues as “a consummate professional, working tirelessly to serve students and mentors alike,” according to Interim Dean Nadine Fernandez. “She serves as a valuable resource to mentors and professional colleagues throughout the center and college.”

Seamans has served the college in multiple leadership positions, including convener for the assessment specialist working group, presenter, convener and center representative for the Professional Personnel Committee and on various search committees for college positions.

“Seaman’s ability to communicate with others in a productive and professional way is only surpassed by her passion for student advocacy,” Fernandez said. “She relishes a challenge and eagerly takes on more responsibilities, other job assignments, or volunteers her own time to assist the center.” Most recently, Seamans agreed to work one day a week in Ithaca to assist the location, which is without a secretary.

“Whether it’s working with a mentor on prior learning assessment, training a new prior learning assessment evaluator, staying late to proctor a competency-based test for students, assisting with graduation or the student art gallery, or supporting students and alumni at local events, Laurie Seamans always puts the interests of SUNY Empire State College and our students first,” added Fernandez.

About the Excellence Award in Professional Service Award

The criteria for selection for the Foundation Award for Excellence in Professional Service speaks to 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 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.

Contact: Hope Ferguson, senior writer
518 587-2100, ext. 2509