Typically awarded at the start of each academic year during the annual picnic for faculty and staff, the awards were presented via Zoom in order to observe precautions put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Despite the virtual platform, efforts were made to maintain the element of surprise that normally accompanies the presentation of these awards.
“I was shocked and confused,” said Hovey. “They certainly pulled it off. It was not the Zoom call I was prepared for.”
A 21-year veteran of the college—and more if you count her undergraduate years—Hovey is known for “her intimate knowledge of the college, her humor and endless supply of energy,” said Senior Director of Integrated Marketing Nikki Cipolla, who presented the award. “Erin is an employee who likes to work hard to solve problems, no matter if those problems seem impossible. Her passion for the college is unrivaled, and even when her bandwidth is full, she finds a way to bounce back and finish the job.”
“I am so grateful for this award,” said Hovey, who recently led the redesign of the college’s website and routinely trains fellow employees to help maintain its 2,500 pages. “I love Ursinus dearly, and I am honored to work alongside people I admire deeply and can laugh with. It has given me great joy.”
Similarly high praise was extolled for fellow award recipient Mike Twarogowski, who was described as a true team player. “He helps EVERYONE – with a smile and that signature laugh,” said one colleague in a nomination form. “He makes things happen and is an unsung hero of every major event on this campus from homecoming to commencement and everything in between.”
“I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the Flora A. Tortorelli Staff Service Award than Mike,” said Director of Facilities Steve Gehringer, who presented the award. “He is always willing to step in and do whatever is asked of him. He is not afraid to learn new skills to become a more valuable asset to our department.”
“Everyone who works at Ursinus knows who ‘Mike T.’ is,” said another colleague. “He embodies the spirit of what the Tortorelli Award is all about: He takes pride in his job and cares very much about the college and its mission.”
The Laughlin Distinguished Administrator Award was established by Dr. Henry P. Laughlin ’38 and his wife, M. Page Laughlin, in 1979 as an endowed prize fund to support a series of awards presented to faculty, staff and students. The Distinguished Administrator Award is presented to a leading member of our salaried (exempt) staff with a minimum of 3 years of service and who has made significant contributions to the college above and beyond their regular responsibilities. An employee may receive this award only once.
The Flora A. Tortorelli Staff Service Award was established by Professor Victor Tortorelli and his wife, Kathryn, as an endowed prize fund in memory of Vic’s mother, who worked for many years with great pride, but not much compensation, as an hourly employee of a school in the Bronx, New York. The Flora A. Tortorelli Staff Service Award is limited to hourly (non-exempt) employees of Ursinus who have a minimum of 10 years of service. An employee may receive this award only once.