17 Binghamton University Employees Who Deserve Appreciation

Posted by by Sophia Cavalluzzi on March 4, 2020

In honor of National Employee Appreciation Day, we asked the Binghamton University community to nominate their favorite employees on campus. It could be a professor, a student employee, dining hall staff - anybody who stands out! We got an incredible number of responses, and it was hard to filter through them all. Here are a few of the nominees, with a little bit about what makes them so special. They all go above and beyond, and campus wouldn't be the same without them. Thanks to everyone who nominated someone!

Chantel Braxton - Appalachian Dining Hall Cashier

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“I met her on my first day at Binghamton, about three years ago. I was a scared, overwhelmed freshman and she was one of the first people that made Binghamton feel like home. After freaking out in my dorm about being alone for the first time, I went to the dining hall. She greeted me with her enthusiastic and happy-go-lucky attitude. She made me laugh and smile after a rocky introduction to college life. I’m thankful I met her that day and for every day I see her. She’s a treasure to this university.” - Gabrielle Nagle 

Lindsey Swierk - Assistant Research Professor of Biological Sciences

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“Lindsey is the most kind and helpful professor I have encountered at my four years at Binghamton. She is unbelievably intelligent and is a perfect mentor for those with an interest in research or lizards. Lindsey helped me find my passion for research and guided me to figure out my career path. I truly would not be where I am today without her mentorship." - Kelly Sisson

John Frazier - Professor of Geography

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“From the first time I met Professor Frazier, I knew he cared deeply for his students. One of the first times I interacted with John was the day of the 2011 flood. He came into the classroom as I was reading and informed me campus was closing and to make sure I got home safely… After completing undergrad, John also went out of his way to help me obtain funding for grad school… Aside from him helping me personally, if you've met John you know he works hard to make sure all of his students take advantage of their time at Binghamton and will help them achieve their goals, no matter what.” - Stephanie Brewer

Miriam Bartschi - Student Affairs Assessment & Solutions for Engagement

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“Miriam is one of the brightest bright spots in our office and has been for the 20-plus years she's worked at Binghamton University. Miriam consistently goes out of her way to assist with projects she's not directly involved in, just to offer a helping hand to her co-workers. She is always brightening people's days by stopping in their offices to say hi or ask how they are. Miriam makes every member of our team feel valued and recognized, complimenting them in person for any job well-done. Miriam appreciates everyone else and deserves to be appreciated/recognized herself!" - Giovanna Bernardo

Elizabeth Shin - Professor of Psychology

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“Dr. Shin is not only incredibly intelligent and well-versed in her field, but also down-to-earth, kind, caring and genuine. She encourages thoughtful conversation among her students and fosters a safe, fun environment for peers to learn and freely discuss topics with respect and integrity. I am confident that all of those, like me, who have had the pleasure of taking one of her classes has come out of it with a better understanding of underrepresented people and a desire to be a better, more positive person in a world where hate is all too prevalent. She is truly one of a kind and deserves endless recognition for her clear passion for teaching and creating enjoyable experiences for all of her students.” - Casey Schnoor

Arlene Becker - MarketPlace Cashier

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"Arlene, you are a STAR! Every time I go to the MarketPlace, I look forward to seeing Arlene. She makes everyone feel so genuinely cared for, and never doesn't have a smile on her face. She is constantly doing little things to make Hissho Sushi the best it can be, and I want everyone to notice her hard work! She is the absolute best, and we are lucky to have someone like her." - Sophia Cavalluzzi 

Alexandra Lee - Professor of Italian

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"Professoressa is easily the best teacher I have had. Each semester I have had a class with her, I have always felt extremely cared for. Additionally, she has adjusted her class to meet my learning needs. Professor Lee makes herself available for you and your inner Italian, and for that, she deserves to be recognized as 'la miglior insegnante.'" - Molly Schottmiller

Tyler Lenga - Assistant Director at the Speaking Center

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“Tyler has taught me so much about what it means to work professionally on this campus. He is respectful, patient, attentive and so incredibly helpful. I’ve worked closely with him ever since I was a freshman and his mentorship has profoundly impacted my Binghamton career. He has been a role model to me in so many ways and I could not imagine the Speaking Center, or Binghamton’s campus without him. The man is a legend! Show him some love!" - Ethan Feuer 

John Wilcko - Operations Assistant at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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“John has such an amazing energy. He is always there with a smile and a great big 'hello' when you come in the building. The best part is that it’s absolutely genuine and that he is just that happy of a person. He makes everyone that knows him smile. Everyone that I have spoken to thinks he’s amazing by how sincerely nice he is and that we think he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. John also goes above and beyond to be helpful and just a great person to everyone he meets.” - Timothy Hillis

Dawaine Johnson - C4 Chef

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"I met Dawaine during my sophomore year of college. I had just been diagnosed with celiac disease and was sick with mononucleosis at the same time. Dawaine was there for me every day to make sure that I had food to eat for every meal. He truly cares about making sure that I eat (as well as others with similar issues) and am taken care of, and has become a true friend and familiar face from my sophomore year and on. He gave me his phone number to make sure that I could contact him at any point if I needed anything. I appreciate his efforts and am very grateful to know he has my back." - Mark Caldropoli

Adam Palmatier - Assistant Director of Residential Life at Dickinson and CIW

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“Adam was my first RD upon being hired as an RA in Dickinson. Little did I know that year of working under him would change my life in so many ways… Adam went above and beyond strictly being a boss -- he was a teacher, a mentor, and a person to talk to when the RA role got tough… As I moved on from Binghamton, I look back fondly at the memories, and the people I've met there. Of all the great relationships I've formed, few are on the level of the bond I've formed with Adam. Binghamton University is lucky to have Adam as an employee, just as I was lucky our paths crossed in my time there." - Jack Dillman

Leslie Lander - Professor and Graduate Director of Computer Science

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"He has lot of passion for teaching. He not only guides the students but also accommodates their various request, from referring them to various courses based on merit to guiding them for their projects. He also helps international students with their coursework management, making sure they maintain their credits in line with visa rules." - Akshay Shah

Sharon Santobuono - Director of the Watson Advising Office

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"Being an international student is tough... in such a high-stress environment, it's tough to keep going strong, especially when you don't have your family in the same country. Sharon is one of those people who supports you like you are her own... she's like my American mom. When I do well in a class, she smiles with me. When I cry in her office, she cries with me. Sharon has shown me time and time again that she's there for me. I wish her nothing but the best and wish I could help her out in some way to repay her. To the best advisor of all time: thank you, Sharon." - Tavish Srivastava

Femi Popoola - Pharmacy Tutor

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“Femi teaches two weekly group sessions for pharmacy students, as well as tutoring individual students. He is a student in the inaugural Pharmacy School cohort who has maintained a spot at the top of his class since he began in 2017 while helping others, participating in school events and organizations and, in his free time, is a recording artist who's gone platinum in the Netherlands and will be releasing new music in the US soon. He is an inspiration to everyone with his dedicated work ethic, compassion for others and his creative spirit. He is the kind of student and employee that we all hope we get to work with.” - Amanda Padwa 

Linda Salomons - Parent, Family and Events Coordinator

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"Linda is so energetic and full of passion when it comes to helping our students and their families. She goes above and beyond in her duties! Parents call to confide in her with a concern they may have about campus or their student and she will patiently talk with them and offer her input, concern and advice to give them a better understanding of what may be going on currently... She is proactive, a great communicator and a team player! She deserves to be recognized for her part in making Binghamton University what it is today!" - Marsha Roe

Stephanie Thacher - Starbucks Truck

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"She is amazing because she always knows who I am, sees me coming and knows my order. I have seen her do this with others, so I know that means she takes the time to know her customers and remember them and their orders. She is such a joy and always has a smile on her face." - Betsy Staff 

Tom Petersen - Human Resources/Payroll

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“Tom is THE NICEST man on campus! He is so very helpful when it comes to any payroll questions or needs. He is always happy to see and help anyone on campus! Always a big, welcoming smile on his face when he sees you. This man can and will brighten anyone's day!” - Madeline Bay 

Sophia Cavalluzzi is a junior majoring in English Rhetoric and an intern in the Office of Media and Public Relations. She loves to write, watch YouTube and plan fancy vacations that she will not be taking anytime soon. 

Have questions, comments or concerns about the blog? Email us at social@binghamton.edu