16th Annual Public Safety Awards Ceremony Honors 20 Percent Increase in Employee Perfect Attendance

March 02, 2020

Thirty-six members of Public Safety were recognized for having perfect attendance over the last year or more at the 16th annual Promotion, Awards, and Recognition ceremony held on Thursday, February 27 in Low Library. This number represents a 20 percent gain over last year in the number of employees with perfect attendance. 

After an invocation led by University Chaplain Jewelnel Davis, Vice President James McShane and Executive Director Al Becker commended employees on their unwavering commitment, culminating in special recognition of Security Officer Michael Layne, who has not taken a sick day in 19 years. Fourteen employees who earned promotions over the past year were also recognized, demonstrating the ability to forge a successful career path within Public Safety.

“They say 90 percent of life is just showing up, and we’ve got a lot of people who show up and happen to do much more,” said McShane of the perfect attendance honorees. Of those honored for their promotions, McShane offered his congratulations and said, “I also challenge you to achieve even more in the coming year.”

Exceptional Service Awards were presented to Honey Sue Fishman, Assistant Vice President for Housing and Student Center Operations; Rohan Kalapnauth, Superintendent for 500 West 122 Street among other buildings in Columbia’s residential portfolio; Diana Mejia, Assistant Vice President for Medical Center Campus Operations; David Windt, Adjunct Research Scientist, Astrophysics; and Mark Zambito, Manager at Joe Café. These awards were given in recognition of individuals who went above and beyond their day-to-day responsibilities to keep the Columbia community safe.

The Ricardo Morales Crime Prevention Award was given to Michael Granger and Angela Babin, faculty members who volunteer to lead the Shotokan Karate Club: self-defense classes for the Columbia community provided by Public Safety. 

“These instructors provide students, faculty, and staff with self-defense and basic situational awareness tactics,” Morales said of the honorees. “Without fail, both have stepped up in leading the classes. Whether at the Medical Center at 168th Street, at the Manhattanville campus, or at the Morningside campus, you can always count on them to be there. They’ve volunteered their time after work in the evenings, and even during their lunch breaks, to talk to students about staying safe at school and out in the community.”

The event, held in the Low Memorial Library Faculty Room, included a full house of spectators and guests from across the University. Special guests included Inspector Steven Ortiz, NYPD Manhattan North, and James Dooner, Public Safety Executive Board member of the Local Transit Workers Union 214, who also joined in recognition of their organizations’ partnership with Public Safety.