June 24, 2014

Mindy Boenning Receives Excellence in Professional Service Award

Mindy Boenning (c) was awarded the Foundation Award in Excellence in Professional Service. She is shown with college President Merodie Hancock. Last year's winner is at right. Photo/Empire State College

(Watertown, N.Y. - June 27, 2014) Mindy Boenning, of Watertown, N.Y. was selected as a recipient of the Empire State College Foundatioin Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Boenning, coordinator for military and veteran services, works from the college’s Fort Drum location. Boenning is described by Dean Nikki Shrimpton as a “consummate professional [who] works tirelessly to serve our students and mentors alike.” Boenning’s professional duties include student services, recruitment and retention, academic support and community outreach. One colleague noted, “Mindy is consistently outstanding at performing the broad range of duties associated with this unique and multifacted position.”

Boenning is described by colleagues as a leader and a problem-solver. Working with military and veteran students, Boenning must navigate complex military systems to ensure that students move smoothly from their first contact with the college through graduation. She advocates for students, but also is willing to be forthcoming when a student’s case cannot be supported. In addition, she supplies creative advice and assistance to mentors who might be dealing with complex student issues, serving as a valuable resource to students and faculty.

In her job, Boenning needs to be adaptable and flexible.One of her duties has been to ensure success of a number of eight-week, classroom-based courses and study groups offered at the Army’s request. These include Arabic classes for soliders preparing to deploy to Iraq and developmental math and English courses for soldiers preparing to take eligibility tests for certain military occupations. She also has played an important role in arranging classes for soldiers in the Warrior in Transition (wounded warrior) unit.

Boenning also has offered service to the college as the Central New York alternate on the Student Affairs Committee and her regular work organizing the Student Academic Conference. A number of students wrote letters of support for her nomination for the award.

About the Foundation Award for Excellence in Professional Service

The award for Excellence in Professional Service recognizes superb performance in fulfilling the duties in the job description, demonstrated flexibility and adaptability to institutional needs and excellence in the areas of innovative leadership, decision-making and problem-solving.

About SUNY Empire State College

Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system, educates more than 20,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 35 locations in the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels.

The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students average age 40.

Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.

Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn.

Students have the opportunity to enroll five times during the year.

The college’s 70,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

The college was first established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY System from 1970 to 1977.

Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

More information about the college is available at www.esc.edu.




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