The Very Inspiring Person (VIP) Employee Appreciation Campaign, facilitated by the SUNY Broome Foundation, is pleased to announce our very first VIPs. We are proud to recognize not only our colleagues’ work – but the heart, values, and kindness they bring with them to campus.

View the VIP photo album!

Our sincere congratulations to:

Susan Backo
Susan Backo, Personnel Assistant, Budget and Finance Office, Payroll

“Susan is a giant ball of sunshine with a great sense of humor. She really cares about how you’re doing and is ever grateful. Her positive attitude helps everyone around her to get through the day.” – Meigo Fitzpatrick

Maureen Kollar Breck ISAS ‘13 DSC_4602
Maureen Breck (ISAS’ 13), Academic Advisor, Academic Advising Department

“She volunteers to attend events that will support students, but are not directly related to her advising duties, stays late to meet with students, and has taken extra time to learn from program chairs. She is dedicated to making sure students feel supported and to me, that makes her a VIP!” – Erin Marulli

David Capodaglio
David Capodaglio, Courier, Mail Room

“David is always kind, welcoming and polite. Always greeting people by name with a smile on his face, and asking if he can help in any way.” – Anonymous

“David does way more than deliver the mail, although he does that very well. He also answers questions about mail delivery, postal deadlines, shipping methods and costs…He does all this and more with a smile and a sense of humor.” – Anonymous

Brian Croteau
Brian Croteau (ISAT’ 17), Technical Assistant IIA, Accessibility Resources Office

“Brian always goes above and beyond to help not only students, but faculty and staff. He was in the ASL Club performance at our annual giving of the toys at Christmas. He won a gift card to our campus bookstore for winning the ugliest sweater contest, and he turned around and gave it to a student to get supplies they needed.” – Frances Gill

Ryan Dempsey
Ryan Dempsey (CJPO ’09; CSF’ 15), Courier, Mail Room

“Ryan is genuinely a VIP. He greets me with a huge smile and his happy-go-lucky charismatic personality every day. Ryan does a fantastic job as a mail carrier, he goes above and beyond anytime you need help, and he does an even better job at keeping everyone he talks to smiling!” – Anonymous

Steve Fetterman
Steven Fetterman (BUBA ’08; ISAS’ 19), Student Records Specialist, Admissions

“Steve Fetterman is the heart of the Admissions Office. He never hesitates to stop what he is doing to help a colleague or student. Steve is often in the background due to the nature of his professional position, but it is unquestionable that the office would not function without him.” – Anonymous

Diana Lee Heron
Dr. Diana (Lee) Heron, Associate Professor/Coordinator of Business Programs, Business Department

“Dr. Heron regularly goes the extra mile for her students. She provides them with interesting and fun classroom exercises – sometimes, they include toilet paper or marshmallows. [She] mentors them not only when they are attending Broome but also after they graduate – they often reach out to her with exciting stories of their successes… I could go on and on, but you get the picture.” – Anonymous

Laura Hodel
Laura Hodel (ISAS ‘15), Director of Student Financial Services

“Laura Hodel is a VIP. She provides exemplary leadership. She leads her office by example in being able to execute all of the processes, procedures and tasks. She shows genuine compassion for students and everyone on campus. SUNY Broome is fortunate to have Laura Hodel on staff.” – Anonymous

Barbara Hughes
Barbara Hughes, Programmer/Analyst II, Information Technology Services Department

“[When a student needed help to get back to NYC], Barb without hesitation offered to drive her to the bus station downtown [and] the student was able to catch her bus home. Barb has a genuine kindness in everything she does.” – Meigo Fitzpatrick

“Barb has been an integral part of the ITS department for many years. She is a very dedicated employee who stays late often to keep up with the many projects she has. Barb is a wonderful person who truly cares.” – Tina Tomassetti (CSCT’ 89)

“Barb has the ability to solve complicated reporting and data issues with patience and with kindness. Barb is truly the most pleasant person to work with on any project and should be recognized as a Very Inspiring Person.” – Larry Allen (BUBC ‘01)

Kathleen McKenna
Kathleen McKenna, J.D., Professor

“Kathleen teaches in three departments and gives 100% in all three departments! Any time we need help, Kathleen is the first to volunteer! She also is the COIL Coordinator and invited the international students and their professors to participate in the Russia-Ukraine presentations. Because she included our international partners, our conversations were richer and our students here on campus were provided a broader perspective that they would not have otherwise experienced. She is a VIP!” – Carla Michalak

Maria Montemagno
Maria Montemagno, Associate Professor & Chairperson of Hospitality Programs

“Maria has worked tirelessly during her first semester as department chair. She has focused on enrollment, with the development of multiple articulation agreements. She has hosted events which truly showcase the amazing work that her department’s students do. Kudos to the amazing work she is doing.” – Anonymous

Venessa Rodriguez
Venessa Rodriguez, Director of EOP, Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

“Venessa always has her door open for her EOP students, and does amazing work with the President’s Task Force and Men of Excellence. Long days are spent here supporting our students. She is always cheerful and encouraging to her students.” – Loreta Paniccia

Carol Ross-Scott
Dr. Carol Ross-Scott, Vice President for Student Development & Chief Diversity Officer/Executive Director

“Dr. Carol Ross-Scott is one of the most supportive people I have ever met. She reaches out with care and concern. I have been given tools, and advice, and freedom to learn and grow, and also challenged to do more and be more.” – Evan Bigam

Carine Surdey
Carine Surdey, Senior Instructional Designer and Adjunct Instructor

“Carine goes above and beyond to support faculty use of Blackboard in their courses. She possesses a vast wealth of knowledge and always helps with problems and provides suggestions for how to best use technology in every type of course. Her influence and help have improved and enriched my courses and my time at SUNY Broome. She is absolutely a SUNY Broome VIP and we are lucky to have her!” – Jen Musa

Justin Tabeek LAAA 05
Justin Tabeek (LAAA ‘05), Campus Peace Officer, Public Safety

“[During a heavy snowstorm,] I saw a campus public safety officer cleaning off all the cars in the lot. I doubt Justin was asked to do that, but it’s clear he was compelled by kindness to help out his fellow campus employees.I would like to recognize him as a VIP for his efforts to make sure we could leave campus quickly and safely during the heavy storm.” – Valerie Pitcher

Dr Harold Trimm
Dr. Harold H. Trimm (CH ‘02), Professor, Chemistry Department

“[While I was giving a family a tour of CAM], Dr. Trimm walked past us. He offered to take the family into a CAM Building class/lab to look around. He made them feel really comfortable. The family was very appreciative and spoke of the visit with the professor the rest of the tour.” – Susan Wellington

We also had two exceptional employees who were nominated as they were leaving SUNY Broome for other opportunities. We thank them for their efforts at our college and wish them all the best in their future.

Andrea Roma
Andrea Roma, Staff Associate for Fast Forward, Early College and P-Tech & Chairperson of Outreach

“Andrea Roma is such an asset here at SUNY Broome. She came here in July of 2009 and worked in Admissions until she joined the Foundation staff in 2013. In 2018, she followed her heart back to the student affairs side of the house where she excelled in her role of Director of Fast Forward and in Shared Governance. She is inspiring in many ways – and one of the most organized people we have ever worked with.” – The Foundation

Dr Michele Snyder
Dr. Michele Snyder, Associate Vice President and Dean of STEM and Health Sciences

“Michele started her job with SUNY Broome Community College with a smile on her face. She was never unable to accommodate your question or concern. She took on the many facets of her employment with professionalism and determination to make a difference. Michele is my VIP because she always inspired me with words that made me feel appreciated and empowered.” – Darlene Kanuk

Thank you to everyone who nominated a colleague and to our VIPs for their excellent work at our college. We hope you’ll join us in congratulating our first group of VIPs and consider submitting someone for recognition recognition for next month. Learn more about the VIP program.