Thursday, September 9, 2010
When Dr. Frank N. Elliott retired from Rider after 21 years as president, a decision was made by the University’s Board of Trustees that best way to honor his legacy would be to recognize Rider employees who exemplify the same spirit of dedication embodied by Elliott from 1969 to 1990. Thus established, the Frank N. Elliott Award was first presented in 1991, and today is bestowed annually to a recipient from faculty, administrative staff and support staff in recognition of their extraordinary service to the University.
Maureen Kyle, administrative specialist in the Dean of Students’ office on the Lawrenceville campus; head wrestling coach Gary Taylor; and Drew Aromando, executive director of One Stop Services, were presented with the 2010 Frank N. Elliott Award for Distinguished Service during the Opening Fall Convocation on September 2 in the Yvonne Theater.
A committee of prior award recipients reviews the nominations submitted by the campus community and selects the honorees. Each recipient receives a framed certificate and an award of $500, and is recognized with a plaque displayed in the Bart Luedeke Center lobby.
An indispensable member of the Rider community for the past 10 years, Maureen Kyle earned the Frank N. Elliott Award for support staff. Working in the Dean of Students’ office, she is renowned for always making herself available to offer compassion and support to a troubled student. In his presentation, President Mordechai Rozanski quoted from a nomination penned by Ira Mayo, dean of Freshmen, who wrote that Kyle “takes the time to assess the situation, calm the student down and get the proper help to resolve the problem.”
Rozanski also lauded Kyle for her role in sewing together panels for the AIDS Awareness quilt, on display each year at Rider on Worlds AIDS Day. An accomplished singer, Kyle will perform in October as a back-up singer to the legendary Todd Rundgren at the Mayo Center for the Performing Arts in Morristown, N.J.
“At Rider, I’m surrounded by colleagues who go above and beyond to help our students, as well as each other, so I’m honored to be singled out this way,” Kyle said upon being presented the Elliott Award.
Gary Taylor, a member of the Rider coaching staff since 1978, was the faculty recipient. Since he began, Taylor’s wrestling squads have compiled 361 Division I victories, putting him second in the nation among active NCAA Division I coaches. Thirteen of his wrestlers have earned All-America honors, including two in the last four years, and he been named conference coach of the year on several occasions.
Taylor has also worked, along with his team, to build a commendable record of community service. He and the wrestling team helped build a home for the Trenton branch of Habitat for Humanity. Each year, he and assisting coach John Hangey lead Rider’s student-athletes in delivering the Thanksgiving baskets collected on campus for needy families in Trenton.
“We have a tremendous team within the Athletics department,” said Taylor, who also expressed his gratitude to a long list of former colleagues across various divisions at Rider. “I’m inspired by the other coaches and administrators who do such a great job here.”
Drew Aromando received the Frank N. Elliott Award for administration. Twice a graduate of Rider, Aromando is the executive director of One Stop Services, which oversees Student Financial Services and works closely with the Bursar and Registrar. He began his full-time employment in Student Financial Services in 2001 after earning a Master of Business Administration. Since then, Aromando has been instrumental in making One Stop a more personal, student-centered experience, helping to develop a Web site platform for students to pay their bills electronically. This has streamlined workflow processes to reduce student processing hassles and strategic reduction of student debt.
“Drew’s vision was instrumental in creating this model,” wrote Dr. Ron Cook, professor of Entrepreneurial Studies, in his nomination of Aromando for the award. “He’s one of those rare people who not only believes that Rider’s commitment to being a student-centered university is a worthy and important goal, but works very hard to make it a reality for every student. ”
Aromando compared his latest honor at Rider to a swimming title he won as a younger competitive swimmer, thankful for the support he received in both instances. “My success was a result of good coaches who mentored me and teammates who supported me,” he said. “This reinforces my belief in the Rider community and its values.”