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DeSales Recognizes Employees of the Year

by Janelle Hill M’23 Jun 5, 2024
Employee of the Year 2024

Longtime employees were honored for their hard work and dedication during a special Employee Recognition Ceremony.

The University hosted its annual celebration on May 13. But this year, the ceremony was held during the day so that all faculty and staff could attend and celebrate. 

“We come here today to humbly say thank you to our colleagues for advancing our Catholic, Salesian mission,” Father Kevin Nadolski, OSFS, chief of staff and vice president for mission, told the crowd. 

Joyce Farmer, director of financial aid, and Michael Sweetana, director of finance/treasurer, were honored as the Administrative/Professional Employees of the Year. Barbara Alier was honored as the Support Employee of the Year. 

Farmer, who has worked in the financial aid profession for more than 30 years, noted the unprecedented challenges facing financial aid this year. She recounted being told of the Employee of the Year recognition by Father James Greenfield, OSFS ’84, Ed.D., president, who walked into her office singing with balloons in hand. 

“I was shocked by the honor and equally shocked by the presentation. It was a wonderful moment in a very tough year.” 

 Joyce Farmer, director of financial aid 

Robert Snyder, vice president for finance and administration, introduced Sweetana, a 1989 graduate, as a fine colleague and great friend. Before coming to DeSales, the two previously worked together at Deloitte & Touche. And Snyder was the very first recipient of the Professional Employee of the Year award in 2000. 

“Every year, I’ve had the privilege of being reminded by Bob that he won this award,” Sweetana joked. “I’m grateful to have received it while he is still here.”  

Alier has worked in the facilities department for 23 years. While presenting her with the recognition, Marc Albanese, vice president for campus environment, noted her unparalleled work ethic, calling her the epitome of Salesian values. 

Alier thanked her family and her boss, Jose Menendez, housekeeping and custodial supervisor, for his compassion and support. 

“I am very grateful. Thank you to everyone who has shared this journey with me,” she said. 

The ceremony also honored employees with service anniversaries. Among them, Tahereh Alavi Hojjat, Ph.D., professor and chair of economics, and Dennis Varley, DMA, director of liturgical music, were recognized for 35 years of service. Robert Snyder and Annmarie Houck, chair of the department of mathematics/computer science, were recognized for 30 years of service.