Levison Award of Excellence


Dr. Kenneth Levison retired from SUNY Geneseo in June 2011 and was an integral part of the campus and to Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS). The core mission of the college is teaching, and with the support of all the staff, the college is able to achieve its high standing. It is through their work that students receive an outstanding and well-rounded education and an exemplary residential college experience. This award is intended to recognize an individual in a non-teaching position who has consistently demonstrated both outstanding achievement in one's professional position, as well as a high level of leadership skills and service contributions that extend well beyond, displaying leadership and involvement in many areas across the campus.

The Levison Award of Excellence was established by CAS to recognize members of the College or CAS's professional, non-teaching staff, employed at either organization 7 years or more, and who have: 

  1. Consistently exhibited exemplary leadership skills and service contributions
  2. Acted as a role model and mentor for others
  3. Been leaders on the campus not only in their professional position, but by actively participating widely in the campus community and the community beyond.

Nomination Criteria

We are seeking to recognize an individual that has made a lasting impact on the campus community and demonstrates the criteria below. This individual will have the honor of receiving the Levison Award of Excellence. The recipient will receive a medallion and a check in the amount of $250 from CAS. The established criteria for this award are:

  • Performance -- Consistent high level of performance that results in a recognizable and meaningful impact on the organization (CAS and/or College)
  • Commitment -- Continuous involvement in supporting the mission of the organization (CAS and/or College) and achieving results that serve as a role model to other members of the campus community
  • High Standards -- Exemplary and consistent demonstration of personal qualities such as integrity, dedication, professionalism, and leadership
  • Contributions -- Specific examples of achievements that further the mission of the organization (CAS and/or College)


Nominations for the 2024 academic year will be accepted in August, 2024. Submissions are now closed. 

Nominations can be submitted by faculty or staff of CAS or SUNY Geneseo. A committee comprised of a group of stakeholders will evaluate the nominations and recommend one candidate for the award.

Past Award Recipients

Sarah Frank, 2022
Sarah Frank Sarah Frank is our 2022 recipient of the Levison Award of Excellence. Sarah sets and enforces a standard of excellence for the college that makes SUNY Geneseo a better place to live, learn, and work. Among many examples, Sarah's work elevates the quality of the Diversity Summit, selecting and handling speakers, logistics, and managing student workers. Her impact is evident on the academic side of the college, where students and teaching faculty frequently speak of Sarah as a problem solver and regular contributor to our collective quality of life. People go to her for all kinds of requests, because she is known as a person who gets things done. She always knows the name of the student and staff at the various events. From the new resident assistant to the vendors at various events. Sarah is not only physically present, but also emotionally invested in treating everyone involved with respect and making them feel valued. Low morale is an issue we increasingly face on campus and Sarah improves our sense of community with her dedication. She consistently works after hours to fine tune and perfect events and I see it resonate with the students that she trains. The students who are working under Sarah as resident assistants or other team members improve in the classroom the longer she supervises them. They internalize her expectation for attention to detail and follow through. The most recent Diversity Summit was an amazing achievement that could not have been done without Sarah. It directly contributes to the college's mission of being an anti-racist institution and pursuing inclusivity across campus. Sarah also contributes to the living learning community initiatives (LLCs) that greatly enhanced learning for the residents. She attends regional conferences to speak on issues important to residence life, such as her 2016 presentation on Sexual Assault Reporting and Resilience at the CSPA-NYS conference in Buffalo.


Tom D'Angelo, 2021
Tom D'Angelo Tom was nominated for embodying our Campus Auxiliary Services mission to have a positive effect on the lives of all who engage our community, students, faculty, staff, and friends of the college. During his 40+ years with CAS, he worked closely with Restaurants and Cafés to procure specialty products, spices and meats for special events, cultural dinners, campus-wide catering events, and Presidential parties. He is noted for going above and beyond in service of others. He makes a significant impact in both big and small ways. You may have seen him behind a waffle maker at Accepted Knights, working at the concessions stand for graduation, bartending for galas and reunions, or driving delivery as needed, because no job is too big or small when it comes to supporting and having a positive impact on his colleagues and community. He’s coordinated with our food suppliers to develop internships for Geneseo students, allowing students to gain valuable work experience, explore a career path, and build and refine skills that will give them an edge in the job market. His efforts also play an integral role in supporting our local businesses and farmers; and he’s responsible for our annual Food Show and Pride of New York events that bring local companies and farmers to showcase their animals and products on campus. Tom’s generous nature extends to the community surrounding the college as well. He is the driving force behind years of donations to local organizations in need. From organizing donations to local food banks such as Foodlink, Geneseo Methodist Church, and Geneseo Groveland Food Pantry to donating equipment and furniture to the Arc of Livingston-Wyoming, you can always trust that Tom will get the job done, and that has left a lasting impression on our organization.


Ed Beary,  2020


Ed Beary The mission of the Biology Department is to provide instruction, scholarship, and service in the biological sciences to the SUNY Geneseo academic community and society as a whole. Ed Beary certainly furthers the mission of the Biology Department through his daily tasks (including coordinating orders, maintaining sophisticated equipment) in support of instruction (especially in lab courses) and faculty-student research. Dr. Apple remarked, “Ed also contributes to departmental culture, and is known for his love and knowledge of plants, bugs, and reptiles.” Dr. Hannam says, “He maintains some invertebrate collections on the side that I have used on short notice in my teaching lab when availability of my planned organisms fell through. And I can always drop in to his office in the stockroom with a question about finding an item for research or a student project – often something as simple as a Tupperware container for collections, or zip ties and screening, or sand or birdseed (animal behavior projects are often built on the cheap by MacGyvering needed materials). Ed is my on-site MacGyver; he will brainstorm with me, and more often than not he has something on hand that will work, and if not, I have it in just days.” Several weeks ago, he ran home in the middle of the day to bring his pet snake in for a demonstration in Dr. McCartney’s Vertebrate Biology Lab. Dr. Bosch says Ed Beary often helps him collect animals for demonstration in his Invertebrate Biology Lab and with equipment for work on Conesus Lake for his research and courses. The campus depends on him to consult about various animal emergencies, like loose bats in the dorms, unwanted wasps nests, and honeybee hives and swarms. In the past, he led countless tours of our animal care facility for scouting groups and 4-H groups, but as the department’s animal collection dwindled, he focused on other areas to contribute. Not only is he eager to share his vast natural history knowledge with students and colleagues, as a Master Gardener he regularly leads programs for the public, particularly with 4-H participants. He is an irreplaceable part of our annual departmental BioOlympics, managing the Madagascar hissing cockroach races that ultimately decide the winning team.” Also, Dr. Apple mentioned, “Ed Beary has helped individual faculty on so many occasions: taking care of animals in the animal care room over holiday breaks, helping transport materials to and from the Arboretum using his truck, and offering advice and supplies for propagating plants for the Arboretum”
Paul Jackson,  2019


Paul Jackson

Paul Jackson was nominated for the Levison Award of Excellence for his strong drive to get things done. He is dedicated to working hard for students and employees to effectively utilize campus technology. Paul tenaciously addresses areas for improvement within CIT. Whether it is a bug, unexplained behavior by an application, or an ill-defined procedure, Paul is relentless in making sure that the matter is addressed. He has done much to assist other SUNY schools as they work to improve their technology platforms, and he is recognized as a SUNY leader for his contributions  to the SICAS organization. 

Paul is highly respected among the members of the Geneseo community. He navigates difficult work situations with confidence, seeking an outcome that will best serve the college. He treats everyone with respect and dignity. His contributions include providing training and support to Banner users as they transitioned through a difficult upgrade, elevating Geneseo's standing in the SUNY community through the SICAS program, and stepping up on the front-line support to help incoming students and faculty members. He has been a leader in adopting new technologies.


Teresa Sexton,  2018


Teresa Sexton

Teresa was the recipient of the 2018 Levison Award of Excellence. Who better to receive this prestigious award than Teresa? She worked with Dr. Levison for years and continued to perform her role as Assistant to the VP with amazing ease and a consistent high level of professionalism. Teresa had a major role in several campus events and organized each of them flawlessly. Reminders and behind the scenes coordination of luncheons—retiree recognition, no sick time used, Work Smart/Work Safely—just a few of the many events she organized are examples of her dedication and impact on CAS and the College. Teresa also had a large part in the presentation of the Gloria and Van Quaal Outstanding Quality Service Award, sending nomination reminders to the college and preparing for this presentation.

Teresa was continuously involved in supporting the mission of the organization through several different projects that include both on- and off-campus attendees. One example is the Sturges/Fraser project, where she coordinated events that included consultants, individuals and scheduling meetings that combined Geneseo staff and the town of Geneseo. She kept track of memberships of several committees (Disaster Task Force, Building and Grounds, etc.). She followed up on campus trainings, ordering name badges and apparel for Administration staff, and organized the Essential Services list while monitoring monthly attendance reports, preparing hiring forms, and finalizing evaluation processes for professional employees. Teresa was one of the main contributors of time and effort for various events on campus, and her integrity and dedication greatly contributed to the success of the college.


Donna Bardeen,  2017


Donna Bardeen

Donna Bardeen, Director of Auditing and Accounting (CAS), was awarded the 2017 Levison Award of Excellence for being a true professional who held high standards for herself and staff with just the right amount of compassion. Her calm demeanor was such a great benefit to the entire corporation, not just her immediate staff. She was reliable and provided guidance and advice. As a leader on the CAS team, her experience and leadership was consistent amidst times of change. 

Donna held herself accountable with integrity, dedication, and professionalism. CAS for many years enjoyed a clean audit record. Donna supported all the departments within CAS recognizing that we're all in this together whether it's working at culinary events, graduation, or helping organize donations to local charities.


Chip Matthews,  2016


Chip Matthews

Charles (Chip) Matthews was nominated as the Levison Award of Excellence recipient in 2016 for his thoughtfully researched, student-focused approach to projects. Chip has a way of adding a personal touch to every program he works on and the perfectionism behind the coordination of his events is always evident. Examples of the programs Chip has hand crafted are: Weeks of Welcome for new student orientation (13+ years), Wellness Intern Initiative, Live the Green Dot (raising awareness of personal-based violence), Inaugural Installation, Grand Opening of Barnes & Noble College Bookstore, and the SUNY March Madness Mascot event, among others. 

It is evident to many that Chip embodies the SUNY Geneseo mission statement and participates in committees, programs and events that further this mission. For instance, Chip developed a rich, co-curricular late-night and off-campus travel program for students which allows them to integrate what they learn in the classroom with social experiences. He also initiated a Student Life Internship Program that supports 8 student interns as they utilize information learned in the classroom to do specific applications in the College Union. These internships include projects based in marketing, event planning, and communication. Chip is also involved in the Applied Integrated Learning Work Group run by David Parfitt to determine how SUNY Geneseo can improve upon our high-impact practices. 

In the Fall of 2016 Chip accompanied Admissions staff on a road trip to New York City to speak with potential students about what Geneseo has to offer both inside and outside of the classroom. This recruitment effort helps keep our enrollment numbers high and encourages diverse students to join our community. Also in the Fall, former Director of Orientation Kim Harvey and Chip went to Perry Middle School and spoke with 7th and 8th graders about bystander intervention. They had previously offered a similar workshop at York High School, and their workshop came highly recommended. Chip was nominated by Dr. Bonfigilio and the President's office to represent Geneseo at the most recent SUNY Leadership Training Institute. 

I think it is also important to note that it is very rare to see Chip not wearing some type of Geneseo attire. A Knight pin, Geneseo tie, participating in blue and white day, or decked out in something that exemplifies how proud he is to be a part of this community is almost a daily occurrence. It is with the highest regard that Chip Matthews was nominated for the Levison Award of Excellence. 



George Gagnier,  2015


George Gagnier

This year's 2015  recipient is George Gagnier, a college staff member who served in multiple capacities on campus in non-faculty positions as a member of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation and the Assistant Director of Athletics. His present position is Assistant Director of Athletics. Previously, he also served the college as a resident director, area coordinator, assistant director of residence life, assistant basketball coach, and sports information director. He served the students and college for over twenty-five years.

George consistently exhibited exemplary leadership skills and service contributions. He provided eighteen years of service as the advisor to the Student Athletic Advisory Committee in which he assisted student-athletes in raising approximately $15,000.00 for local charities. George chaired the Sports Hall of Fame committee for the past twenty years as well as the athletic awards ceremony for seventeen years. In both of these capacities, he provided leadership in developing the programs, providing the content, and served as the Master of Ceremonies. These are signature events for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and his attention to detail always resulted in a memorable experience for our alumni and student-athletes. In developing the candidates for the committee, he sources all information available to make sure all candidates’ data is correct for committee members to have accurate information to vote for qualified candidates. Members of the committee come from diverse areas of campus, which he cultivated in a collaborative function. 

He served as the volunteer public address announcer for the past twenty years for the men’s ice hockey team. He's known as the voice of the Ice Knights. His professional approach in this capacity added to the student-athlete experience as well as to the 1,500-2,000 spectators that regularly attend our ice hockey contests.

He's a role model and mentor to many students who've gone on to become sports information directors, assistants, professional sports team members, as well as ESPN network. Professionally, George served as the ECAC-SIDA workshop chair in 2011. He was responsible for all of the logistics for the 160-attendee workshop hosted in Rochester, N.Y. and served on the ECAC softball selection committee for three terms. He is involved with the community serving on the Board of Directors for Livingston Country Club, a youth soccer coach for Genesee Valley Bronze Bear Soccer Club, and a representative for Western New York Livingston Blues Hockey Organization. His work to promote SUNY Geneseo and the community contributes to the brand that is Geneseo.