PROPS Awards

Congratulations to the November 2023 PROPS Award Winner, Ryan Roosa!


"Ryan and I have worked together since he was a new hire in Residential Life. Thrown right into the deep-end his first summer, he enthusiastically overcame all the challenges and demands the position threw his way. As he has continued to move up in his roles over the years, Ryan remains strongly committed to serving the mission of Residential Life and is passionate about providing residents with the best living-learning environment the University can offer. His calm and composed personality is inspiring; nothing seems to ever phase him!

Facilities Management and Residential Life work closely to determine, then prioritize, the various operational needs of the many residential communities. Ryan’s willingness to elaborate on student expectations, be an actively engaged partner in determining project scope, and remain open-minded through the process, has fostered an enjoyable and trusting, working relationship. His spirit of service is seen in his dependability, responsiveness, and willingness to assist whenever the need arises. Highly respected both in Facilities Management and Residential life, it is with great pleasure that I nominate Ryan for the PROPS award."

- Jennifer Bourassa, Project Designer-Coordinator, Facilities Management

The Peer Recognition of Outstanding Professional Service (PROPS) award empowers Binghamton University staff to recognize campus colleagues who do quietly great work. At its heart, this award honors people who make substantive and meaningful contributions to the university community as a whole, in their actions and their demeanor, without seeking recognition.

The PROPS Award has been all over campus! Check out these GIS maps to see where else the award has traveled.

PROPS = Peer Recognition of Outstanding Professional Service

The PROPS award empowers Binghamton University staff to recognize campus colleagues who do quietly great work. At its heart, this award honors people who make substantive and meaningful contributions to the university community as a whole, in their actions and their demeanor, without seeking recognition.

Recipients of this award demonstrate selflessness, attentiveness, and thoughtfulness. They are responsive listeners and dependable collaborators, eager to help others while excelling at their own work. They are engaged members of the campus community, and they exhibita spirit of service, resilience, and camaraderie that inspires everyone who interacts with them.

Responsibilities of the Awardee

Displaying the Award
For the remainder of this month, please proudly display the trophy in your office, workspace, or public area – and don't be shy about telling people what the award means and why you were selected!

Selecting Next Month's Recipient

As current award-holder, you have the honor – and responsibility – of choosing the next awardee. The recipient you choose can be ANY staff member at Binghamton University represented by the Professional Staff Senate, with a few restrictions:
• The recipient should work in a different division or area of the University

• The recipient cannot be in an office that has had another recipient in the last the six months
• The recipient shouldn't be a family member, spouse, or close friend (though you should know a bit about their work)
• Since this award is intended to highlight staff who have not received recognition, you are encouraged to select someone who has not recently won any other major campus award

By the 24th of this month, send the name of your nominee and a brief description of why you chose them to We will confirm their eligibility and work with you to find a time to present the award to them (but don't tell them yet, since we want it to be a surprise!). 

Giving the Award to the New Recipient

Your final duty will be to join a member of the PSS Executive Committee in presenting the award to the recipient you selected. We'll also ask you to pose for a photo with the new awardee, which we'll feature in our newsletter and on our website. 

October 2023, Jennifer Bourassa

                                                      Jennifer Bourassa with President Harvey Stenger

“As a member of the Telecommunications dept and part of the Operation and Infrastructure (O&I) group, which also includes Networking and SIS, we have a long-standing history of working with several of our colleagues in Facilities Mgmt on small and large-scale projects. A significant part of success with our projects and group collaboration comes down to communication and organization; being a good person we enjoy working with is a bonus.  

I happily nominate Jennifer for the PROPS award. Jennifer is always on top of her projects and is excellent to work with. I asked team members in O&I, and they all had good things to say about Jennifer. Many great people are in the FM group, and Jennifer represents them well.”

- Zachary Jones, Assistant Director, Telecommunications

September 2023, Zachary Jones

    September 2023 PROPS Award Winner Zachary Jones

"I've worked with Zach for the past 10+ years in his role with Telecommunications. Working in an office of 15 staff members, we are frequently reaching out to Zach for help with a phone or phone software issue. Zach is always beyond helpful, kind, and his patience is commendable. He has been especially supportive with staff who are working from home. He responds to questions or issues quickly (even during off-hours) and sees through any issues to make sure they are fully resolved. The Office of Student Accounts is beyond grateful for all that Zach does for our office."

- Sandra McCulskey, Senior Associate Director, Office of Student Accounts

July 2023, Sandra McCulskey

July 2023 Props Award Winner Sandra McCulskey

"I have worked with Sandra in my several roles on campus and she has always been very helpful and always pleasant. Sandra is consistently patient and thorough and was a big help to me when I made the switch to CCPA. I appreciate this even more because I know that her department is extremely busy all of the time. She goes above and beyond and is very knowledgeable in all that she does. The campus is lucky to have her and it is a pleasure to work with her, the CCPA Dean's Office appreciate everything she does very much!"

- Jonathan Roma, Finance and Operations Associate, CCPA Dean's Office

June 2023, Jonathan Roma

June 2023 PROPS Winner Jon Roma

“I have had the distinct pleasure of getting to work with Jonathan for many years now, both in his current role in CCPA and in his former role in HR. He is known to greet you with a cheerful hello and a genuine smile. He makes it a point to be helpful and is known to go above and beyond to seek answers to complex problems. I am grateful for his diligence in responding to any questions that I have and I’m appreciative of his willingness to collaborate with my office as it relates to application fees, enrollment deposits and student funding initiatives. Jon is an exemplary employee who is an asset to Binghamton University and I am delighted to nominate him for this award in recognition for all that he does. ”

- April St. John, Director, Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions

May 2023, April St. John

May 2023 Winner April St. John


“April has been working in the Graduate Recruitment and Admissions office for almost a year now.  In that short time, she has created an atmosphere of cooperation and collaboration with IT and other offices.  She quickly came up to speed and then surpassed

expectations.  April is always kind and clear in her communications.  As complex as some of the projects between our teams can become, she always has good insight and helps to guide them in an improved direction.  April makes Binghamton University a higher quality university for students and for staff.”

- Lauri Arnold, Software Development Analyst, Information Technology Services

March 2023, Lauri Arnold

March PROPS Winner Lauri Arnold

“Lauri is our go-to for many of our student system integrations.  She takes the time to understand the business needs of a functional area, and translate that into a seamless technological solution.  She is thorough, consistently accurate, and has a foresight for potential issues or enhancements and developing solutions in advance.  Selflessly, she will help us with a time-sensitive issue and always thinks in terms of what will benefit students and those that serve them.  In my years of working with Lauri, she has been friendly, patient, and just an overall pleasure to work with.  I appreciate her sprinkling our lively discussions with a dose of wit!  We owe many of our successes to Lauri’s work and I am proud to share this gratitude with the Binghamton University community.”

- Michael Trapani, Senior Associate Director, Student Records

February 2023, Michael Trapani

PROPS Feb 23

“Michael has been a go-to colleague for me since my arrival at BU. Regardless of when or how often I reach out to him, he is always happy to help or explain the myriad details of the Student Records office and processing. Even when it seems like I am asking the same question for the 14th time, he is always friendly and patient. His knowledge of Student Records, SAS, and the campus as a whole make him an asset to the University. Michael is diligent, efficient, knowledgeable, professional, and above all, friendly. It is a pleasure to work with him. His consistent excellence in his role is the reason I would like to nominate him for the PROPS award.”

- Karen Hill, Data Analyst, Office of Institutional Research

January 2023, Karen Hill

Karen Hill February PROPS Winner

“As a data analyst for the Office of InstitutionalResearch much of what Karen does is not well known by the campus at large. However, I would not be able to perform my job duties effectively without her. Karenand I work closely together onthe creation of the newacademic programs across ourcampus systems. As a colleague she is someone I can always rely on and also makes herself available whenever I have any questions or need to work through a problem. I also appreciate that Karen takes the time to understand not only how a process is done but why it is done that way. Her attention to detail and institutional knowledge is an asset to our campus community. I am happy that I am able to nominate her for this award in recognition of all that she does.“

-Dakota May, Assistant Director, Student Records

November 2022, Dakota May

“Dakota has been kind enough to help with Degree Works especially now with the Graduate Students being in there. She is always helpful with SAS and checking to make sure that the students have submitted everything in order to get their degree (diploma). She is always friendly and willing to help with any questions that are asked. It is always great working with her.”

-Kathy Horton, Administrative Assistant, Department of Comparative Literature

October 2022, Kathy Horton

"Kathy works tirelessly, both to support her own department and to lend a hand whenever called upon. Kind, smart, and always cheerful. Kathy played a pivotal role in helping the entire Economics department transition to the new BU domain and worked alongside Technical Support to help make the process as smooth as possible. Myself, and other staff in my department, have repeatedly expressed praise for Kathy and always look forward to working with her."

-Kim Smey, Senior Windows System Administrator, ITS

March 2022, Kim Smey

"While I haven't had many opportunities to interact with Kim, those I've had have been great. Earlier this year, the Print Solutions department was having problems transitioning computers to the new BU platform and Kim answered the call. She was friendly, helpful, and most importantly, knowledgeable and responsive. She handled our requests professionally and timely, either in person or with detailed instructions via email when that wasn't possible. She was also willing to take on an extra task to correct a network issue we had been dealing with for some time. All of us a Print Solutions appreciate Kim's help and feel she is a great asset to ITS."

-Jeff Gehret, Print Production Manager, Binghamton University Print Solutions

January 2022, Jeff Gehret


“Jeff has been beyond accommodating to the theatre department in the 10 years I've worked here. He and his fellow staff have made jobs materialize under tight deadlines and in hectic times of the semester. I've often needed his help in stressful times and he's always been honest and has done everything he can to fulfill requests in a very humble manner.”

-Kari Bayait, Marketing and Promotions Manager, Department of Theatre

December 2021, Kari Bayait

kari“As long as I’ve known Kari, she has been thinking in innovative ways to promote her department and their students. She goes above and beyond in her job role and constantly takes on new initiatives. It shows that Kari’s leadership promotes progress and a creative atmosphere which in turn benefits those who work with her.”

- Marcus Newton, Photography Studio Specialist, Department of Art and Design

October 2021, Marcus Newton

marcus_newton“I am nominating Marc because I have seen over the years his commitment to students and his program. He has gone out of his way to help students with projects, pushing them to think about what they are doing. I have seen how he completely reorganized and made the printing and photos studio useful and welcoming. Marc always seems to be looking for ways to collaborate between departments and promote a greater experience for all those that are involved.”

- Joshua DeMarree, Plant Curator, Biological Sciences

September 2021, Joshua DeMarree

josh_demaree“Josh is the Plant Curator of the University Greenhouse.  I know he takes his duties very seriously in putting in many hours of care, watering, and feeding for the many varieties of plants. Even during the pandemic, while the facility was not open, his schedule had to be maintained so as to not lose the greenhouse inventory. He has also taken to instructing on how to tap the sugar maple trees on campus (over by the Rec Center). I also note that the greenhouse has an Amorphophallus Titanum (corpse flower) getting ready to bloom.”

- Bob Beavan, Information Technology Services Software Development Analyst

June 2021, Bob Beaven

bobbeaven“Receiving the PSS PROPS award was such an honor! Getting to select the next month’s awardee is a great privilege and way to “pay it forward”. I’d like to recognize Bob Beavan from ITS for all the work he does for the University. He is one of those people who works diligently, behind the scenes, to keep vital University systems functioning. One of Bob’s many responsibilities is supporting our classroom and event scheduling system. He is constantly monitoring the system and taking action to fix issues. Any time there is a problem, he quickly works to resolve it. 

During COVID, numerous changes to the schedule of classes were made and none of that could have been possible without the meticulous and resourceful work done by Bob. He was able to automate processes that would have required multiple people working many hours to complete. His work was critical in effecting the various scheduling scenarios that allowed the University to maximize the number of in person classes available to students.

I, and the staff in the Course Building and Academic Space Management Office, know of the stellar job that Bob Beavan does every day. He is vital to our success. I am thrilled to sing his praises to the University community for all to hear.”

- Michelle Ponczek, Course Building and Academic Space Management

May 2021, Michelle Ponczek

Michelle Ponczek"Over this past year, every aspect of the University has needed to pivot to help students succeed. Some areas have needed to pivot more than others, and none more so than Michelle Ponczek’s. She has needed to envision space on campus in ways no one anticipated. Throughout the pandemic, Michelle has helped every department succeed by working collaboratively to determine solutions.

She has changed rooms, only to change them again, and sometimes again; making the bingo board work. When asked in meetings why certain decisions were made, Michelle can explain administrative directives in a way that is understandable and practical. Helping to bring folks on board and move in a positive direction. "

- Patti Reuther, Director of Innovative Simulation and Practice

April 2021, Patti Reuther

Patti Reuther

"Despite a very full plate in her role as Director of Innovative Simulation and Practice within the Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences (including a move to a new building across town!), Patti has been available when needed to support the University’s COVID response plan.  

During fall move-in testing at the Events Center, Patti was instrumental in training and supervising student and staff volunteers; an important component to the operation’s success. Web-based training modules were developed and in-person training and supervision provided.  

This semester, with the significant increase in testing demand, Patti has assisted in staffing recruitment of senior nursing students and additional staff training as the site pivoted to a new testing approach. Her work is consistently of exceptional quality; she is always willing to assist and continually serves with a smile.

Thank you, Patti, we appreciate you, your time, and your service.  It is a pleasure and privilege to call you a colleague! "

- Johann Fiore-Conte, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Health and Wellness Officer

March 2021, Johann Fiore-Conte

Johann Fiore-Conte

"Johann has been one of the greatest allies for athletics and I know many other department leaders feel the same. Whether it is a department she oversees or not she provides a platform for collaboration and helps develop a plan for conflict resolution. She has been one of the university's greatest leaders throughout the COVID-19 pandemic."

- Chris Downey, Associate Director of Athletics for Sports Medicine and Performance 

February 2021, Chris Downey

 chris downey

"Chris is the epitome of "responsive listener and dependable collaborator, eager to help others while excelling at his own work". He and I have been working together with COVID testing to ensure that student athletes can practice and compete. 

Planning, tracking, and testing athletes is an ever-changing job. Chris has been working tirelessly at all hours of the day and night to plan the complex testing schedule, communicate with offices around the campus, and perform contract tracing. It's a huge job that he added to his plate. He always approaches it with a positive attitude and helpful spirit. I especially appreciate his graciousness as we continue to work out kinks in the process and adapt as we go along. He has been a fantastic colleague to work with and very much deserves this award."

- Kim Yousey-Elsener, Director of Student Affairs Assessment

December 2020, Kim Yousey-Elsener 

 Kim Yousey Elsener

"Kim has been a COVID rockstar! From day 1 she has taken and run with the responsibility of at first the data entry at the events center, to now scheduling every student, faculty and staff member to get texted. We have our healthy campus because of Kim Yousey-Elsener!" 

- Emily Sanderson, Continuity Planner

November 2020, Emily Sanderson

emilysanderson"Emily has stepped up to supervise and manage the surveillance test site on campus. She continually goes above and beyond to ensure that the site runs smoothly, all student questions are answered, and staff members are well taken care of. In honesty, I'm not sure where we (or the University) would be without her. "

- Caitlin Crisman, Emergency Management Assistant

March 2020, John Wilcko

johnwilcko"I met John while working on finishing up the School of Pharmacy building as well as the basement renovation project at the School of Pharmacy. John was a great help in aiding in the scheduling access to classrooms and office areas throughout the building during the warranty period of the pharmacy project and class schedules while working on the basement project. He was always very professional and courteous in dealing with everyday issues as they arose. 

It was observed that John wears many hats for his job and was always willing to aide in any way he can to help and to keep things going smooth. It was a pleasure to work with John on the two projects I worked on at the School of Pharmacy, and I look forward to working with him again in the future.

I feel that John Is everything that the PROPS stands for."

- Richard Jaycox, Facilities Management Site Representative 

January/February 2020, Rick Jaycox

Rick JaycoxAfter giving it some thought, I would like to nominate Rick Jaycox. He is a Site Representative for Facilities Management. Rick is a great contact to have on all of the construction projects which he works on. He is extremely knowledgeable in all things construction, and works hard to make sure every job runs as smooth as possible. I look forward to working on jobs that Rick is involved with because I know that if there is something I need he will go out of his way to make it happen. He is more than just a face on a job, he makes it a point to have genuine conversations with every person working on a project and is even known to crack a few jokes. If you are not meeting the safety guidelines, or in the case of the Pharmacy Basement project, making too much noise at inappropriate times of the day, believe me, he WILL let you know. I feel that Rick demonstrates everything the PROPS Award stands for, selflessness, attentiveness, and thoughtfulness. .

- Christopher Kelly, October 2019 PROPS Award Winner

October 2019, Christopher Kelly

Christopher KellyI very much appreciated being the Professional Staff Senate PROPS award recipient for the Month of September 2019. The trophy has been proudly displayed during my tenure and I have been able to educate many co-workers on the Professional Staff Senate and the PROPS award. With that said, I have given serious consideration to the next recipient, which for me was actually a pretty easy decision to make. I am nominating Christopher Kelly, who is a Security Infrastructure and Support Technician with the Physical Security Office in Information Technology Services. "Scoop" as he is affectionately known by his friends and colleagues is a dedicated employee who works tirelessly to constantly improve, and educate end users on the infrastructure our department uses on a daily basis, nights and weekends included. He shows a true concern for how the products he installs and services help to maintain a safe environment on Campus.

- Joseph Gallagher, September 2019 PROPS Award Winner

September 2019,  Joseph T. Gallagher

September PROPS Award winnet Joseph T. Gallagher

 I have known Joe Gallagher for about 15 years. Joe and I worked together in the Facilities department at Universal Instruments Corporation prior to coming to Binghamton University. If it wasn't for Joe, I would not have my position here at Environmental Health & Safety. Joe held my position, but decided to move on to become a police officer with University Police, therefore allowing me to apply for his old position in EH&S. Joe has been with University Police for about 12 years and has now moved on to become an Investigator. This indicates Joe's hard work and dedication to further and excel in his career.

- Mark Gialanella, August 2019 PROPS Award Winner

August 2019,  Mark Gialanella

Mark Gialanella

 Environmental Health and Safety provide guidance to promote a safe campus environment for faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Mark Gialanella has been part of the EH&S Fire Safety Group since January 2008. In his community, Mark has been a volunteer firefighter for 28 years with the Five Mile Point Fire Department. In his spare time he enjoys riding his 2018 Harley-Davidson low rider motorcycle and caring for his two dogs. EAP would like to nominate Mark Gialanella, Fire Safety Systems Coordinator, for the August 2019 PROPS Award. Mark and his team play an integral role on this campus to keep everyone safe. Mark’s warm friendliness and eagerness to be of assistance to EAP staff when needed exudes the university’s values of Unity, Identity, and Excellence. We are appreciative of his dedication to the Binghamton community.

- Ada Robinson-Perez, June - July 2019 PROPS Award Winner

June/July 2019, Ada Robinson-Perez

June-July PROPS Award Winner Ada Robinson-PerezAda Robinson-Perez is the Associate Director of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Her commitment to improving access to mental health for children and families at Binghamton University and the community is exemplary and extensive. She has provided mental health disaster relief, crisis intervention, and community mental health safety training as part of the NYS Office of Mental Health. She is also a social worker and a counselor who provides ways to improve interpersonal workplace dynamics and expand cultural awareness. Ada is committed to ensuring that we have a campus and community whose well-being is healthy and supported. In addition to her volunteer activities on and off campus, she is currently pursuing her PhD in Binghamton University's Community Research and Action program. Ada is a tremendous support and resource for our campus and community.

- Lea Webb, May 2019 PROPS Award Winner

May 2019, Lea Webb

Lea WebbLea Webb works in DDEI very quietly and intently. Lea works tirelessly to bring awareness both on and off campus. Here at the University, Lea is the University Institute Coordinator. She develops and trains many staff and faculty on cultural competency, recruitment, retention, race relations, and overall development. This is often a thankless job that does not receive the recognition it deserves. Lea is tasked with providing learning opportunities and all the topics that make many uncomfortable. Outside of the University, she is a former councilwoman, community organizer and activist, leading her community for over 15 years. She is also on the steering committee for Black Millennial Political Convention (BMC), which is a group focused on increasing equity, power and civic engagement for the Black community. Lea gives tirelessly of herself to help others advance. She has done so in her career and personal life. Lea Webb is the perfect candidate for the PROPS Award.

- Qiana Watson, April 2019 PROPS Award Winner

April 2019,  Qiana Watson

qiana watsonQiana was chosen as the first recipient of the PROPS award due to her tremendous contribution to the campus community. She is deeply committed to ensuring that students have the resources and support they need to thrive at Binghamton. She is a supportive and collaborative colleague, whose compassion, dedication, and hard work are evident in all that she does. She has aided the campus in responding to and healing after difficult and heartbreaking events, was a founding staff member (and continuing supporter) of the Bear Necessities Food Pantry, and is an exceptional member of the Dean of Student's Office CARE Team. Binghamton is a better and brighter place because of Qiana.

pss logo long

About the Professional Staff Senate

The Professional Staff Senate (PSS) is the officially recognized organization for professional staff at Binghamton University. Our group of twenty-seven elected Senators seek to support the welfare, development, and working environment for professional employees, while also providing oversight and advocating for staff interests in all parts of our campus.