PROPS Awards

Congratulations to the June 2021 PROPS Award Winner, Bob Beaven!


“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

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

PROPS = Peer Recognition of Outstanding Professional Service

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 exhibit a 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.

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

Image: Emily Sanderson
Emily Sanderson

 "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
Physical Facilities 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 Physical Facilities. 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.