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Morrisville State College recognizes distinguished faculty and staff members

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.— Two Morrisville State College faculty/staff members have been recognized by their colleagues for their years of distinguished service.

Receiving the Morrisville State College Distinguished Faculty Award is Patricia Elko, of Clinton, formerly of Syracuse.
Receiving the Morrisville State College Distinguished Librarian Award is Colleen Stella, of Morrisville.

They will receive their awards during the college’s 101st commencement on May 19 at 1 p.m. in the recreation center.

The awards are presented to faculty/staff members who display professional growth, personal and professional achievement, and have provided outstanding service to the college.

Elko, associate professor of mathematics, has worked at the college for 27 years. Throughout that time, she has served in many capacities including as chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department, and interim dean of the School of Science and Technology.

A devoted member of the college and campus community, Elko has served on numerous committees including the judicial appellate board, the commencement committee, and various promotion, curriculum, and scholarship committees.

Whether she is in the classroom or advising students after hours, Elko’s commitment is reflected in all aspects of her teaching.

“She has a wonderful command of the material and teaches with a student-centered approach,” said colleague Kimberely Berge`, assistant professor in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department. “She cares about providing her students with the best educational opportunities possible.”

“Students truly seem to appreciate the effort she devotes to her lessons and the time she puts in to help them succeed,” said colleague Karin Kimber, chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department and assistant professor of mathematics.

Elko remains current in the mathematics field through her affiliations and memberships in multiple organizations. She is currently a member of New York State Mathematics Association of Two Year Colleges (NYSMATYC), and served as a judge at the state level for poster presentations for CSTEP and STEP. Additionally, she served as a member of the advisory council of the New York State Technology Education Association (NYSTEA).

On the Morrisville State College campus, Elko has been vital in the growth of college programs, participating in curriculum and course development.

“Patti’s analytical skills combined with her obvious affection for Morrisville make her a valued team participant, no matter the task,” said Dr. David Rogers, provost and chief operating officer. “She is a remarkable colleague and students at Morrisville are indeed fortunate to have her among our faculty.”

A dedicated member of society, Elko volunteers with various support groups and charity organizations, and has donated her time to the Ronald McDonald House and the Big Brother/Big Sister program.

Her career is decorated with awards including the National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1993. She was also inducted into Epsilon Pi Tau, the international honor society for professions in technology where she is an active member, and also serves as an Alumni Ambassador for the University at Albany.

The daughter of John and Zelma Elko, of Minoa, Elko holds a master’s degree in mathematics education from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from SUNY at Albany.

Stella began her career at Morrisville State College in 1978. She was appointed library director in 1986 and she served in that role until 1993 when she left Morrisville to become the Principal Law Librarian for the 5th Judicial District. She returned to Morrisville in 2001 as an associate librarian.

During Stella’s tenure, the library experienced considerable growth. She instituted an electronic reserve system and was also instrumental in obtaining grants.

In addition to her work in the library, Stella also teaches courses, presents at conferences, and has served on numerous campus and library committees. A member of the State University of New York Librarians Association (SUNYLA) since 2001, she has served as the Town of Eaton and Village of Morrisville judge for the past 12 years.

Stella has received many accolades throughout her career, including a Certification of Excellence from the NYS UCS Law Librarians Association in honor of outstanding performance and dedication, and the Liberty Bell Award from the Madison County Bar Association recognizing her contributions to the community and promotion of a better understanding of the law and courts. She also received the Certificate of Diversity Appreciation from the college in 2004.

“She is such a wonderful asset for the library,” said Morrisville State College student Katie Collins, who nominated Stella for the award.

Stella earned a master of library science degree from the University of Denver and a bachelor’s degree from SUNY at Plattsburgh.

Morrisville State College sets the world in motion for students. Curriculums are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs, the college was named to the 2012 President’s Higher Community Service Honor Roll. Visit to experience, Morrisville in motion.