Nov 22, 2023
Dmitriy Ivanov

President Greg Weiner Announces 2023 Presidential Award Winners

For the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Presidential Awards and Employee Appreciation Ceremony was held in the Tsotsis Family Academic Center Ballroom on November 16th. During the ceremony, four faculty and staff members were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the Assumption community.

President Greg Weiner opened the ceremony with a speech recognizing not only the hard work of those four individuals who received awards, but also the efforts of all faculty and staff that help to make Assumption thrive.

“We acknowledge today and express our appreciation for those who have dedicated their careers to advancing our university’s mission and to providing an excellent education to our students,” he said. “Each honoree recognized this afternoon has not only contributed their time, but has also invested passion, expertise, and energy for the betterment of our community.”

The winners of the Presidential Awards for 2023 are as follows:

Dr. Samantha Goldman, Associate Professor of Special Education, has received the Paul Ziegler Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship.

“Receiving this award is a huge honor, and it means so much to have my scholarly work recognized by the Assumption community,” said Goldman. “My research is focused on access to services for students with disabilities and their families, as well as teacher preparation/training. It is a great feeling to know that others also recognize and value the importance of this area of scholarship.  I am extremely grateful to my colleagues in the Education department who nominated me, but also to all the students, families, and educators who have participated directly in my research.”

Ms. Melanie Demarais, Associate Vice President of University Advancement, has received the Kathleen M. Murphy Presidential Award for Excellence in Contribution to the Mission.

“I was very humbled when I got word that I was going to receive this award,” said Demarais. “I want to congratulate my fellow awardees, because I feel like I am in a very special class of individuals. I’d like to thank my nominators, and of course our University Advancement team. They are great. We are mighty, and we try to support this university as best we can. I want to thank the Assumptionist fathers, brothers, and religious sisters, and they are great friends of mine, and I do try to sparkle whenever I am with them.”

Dr. Christian Williams, Assistant Professor of Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies, has received the Michael O’Shea Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching.

“I am filled with gratitude and reflection as I think about my time at Assumption. My journey within the Assumption community began many years ago, not as an educator, but as a student. Today as I share this space with my former professors, my esteemed colleagues, and my students, the future of this great institution, I am filled with gratitude,” Williams said. “This award is not just a recognition of my work. It symbolizes the collective effort of our community, in nurturing minds and in shaping futures. I thank Assumption University for shaping me as a student, for inspiring me as an educator, and for allowing me to honor and contribute to the journeys of our students. The shared mission of fostering a lifelong journey of learning, passion and purpose is what makes this institution extraordinary.”

Mr. Thomas Burke, Media Services Supervisor and Lecturer in Television Arts, has received the Presidential Award for Service.

“It is an honor to be recognized with the 2023 Presidential Award for Excellence in Service,” said Burke. “I sincerely appreciate the nomination along with endorsements received from colleagues, students, alumni, and the Assumption University community.  I am truly humbled by the outpouring of support.”

Along with these four honorees, faculty and staff were also honored with years of service awards, ranging in five-year increments from five to 50 years of service. One faculty member, Kevin Hickey, Chair of the Global Studies minor, was recognized for 50 years of service and employment at Assumption University.