Center for Excellence Honoree: Heidi Erickson
As one of the first administrators many high school students meet upon visiting, Erickson plays a critical role in highlighting what makes the University special.
Erickson, senior associate director of admissions, has been recognized for her efforts with the University's most prestigious staff honor, the Excellence in Service to Students. She was honored at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Service to Students ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 24, in the Recreation Center on the Mount Carmel Campus.
"Heidi is someone who should be celebrated," said Elizabeth Ludovico, senior associate director of admissions. "I have worked with Heidi for 14 years and in that time, I have seen her welcome hundreds of prospective students and families with a beaming smile and a boisterous 'hello,' instantly putting them at ease."
In addition to one-on-one interviews, Erickson, who is celebrating her 20th year at Quinnipiac, organizes the University's four undergraduate open houses each year, two annual admitted student days, and counselor visit days for guidance, independent, transfer and international counselors.
Dominic Yoia, associate vice president and director of financial aid, called Erickson a Quinnipiac treasure. "While some may not know Heidi personally, her reach can be felt across our entire university community," he said. "Her level of professionalism, attention to detail and ability to organize large events is remarkable and simply unmatched."
In an industry known for high turnover, Erickson said she understands why Quinnipiac's undergraduate admissions office is a bastion for longevity. "I was hooked since day one," she said. "I work with amazing people."
Among the reasons why she believes so many of her colleagues often stay for many years, if not decades, is because of the way her office is managed. "Joan [Isaac Mohr] encourages her staff to gravitate toward their strengths and interests," Erickson said. "There is so much positive morale and inspiration here."
She also said the interdisciplinary cooperation is tremendous. "Admissions-sponsored events are a celebration of who we are and what we do as a University and as a community," Erickson said. "Faculty, staff, administrators and current students always ask: 'What do you need and how can I help?' Their willingness to support and participate in admissions-sponsored events is a testament to who we are."
However, the undergraduate admissions office would not be what it is without its work-study students, Erickson said. "It's nice to be in an office that works so closely with current undergraduates," she said. "It's really heart-warming to see them emerge as leaders."
Alyssa Dunn, a senior who has worked for Erickson for several years, said she has had a great experience. "Heidi has such a warm heart and really cares about the students she interacts with - both the prospective students that she interviews and the student workers in the office," she said. "Whenever I see her, she always has the biggest smile on her face and never misses an opportunity to ask how I am doing or to strike up a conversation."
Mikaela Wiegand, a senior who has worked at several open houses, said she first met Erickson during a visit to the University as a prospective student. "The second I walked into her office, I knew that she embodied everything Quinnipiac was: warm, welcoming and exciting," Wiegand said. "While I was in the interview, it was like I was talking to a friend, not a college admissions counselor - and that is how my relationship with Heidi has continued throughout my time at Quinnipiac. She has been a close friend and sometimes that mother figure I needed while being away from home."
Also being honored with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Service to Students Award are: Camille Bracale, a custodian; Leonard Engel, professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences; Angela Mattie, associate professor in the Healthcare Management and Organizational Leadership department in the School of Business and Engineering; Andri Smith, associate professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Marion Sparago, secretary in the School of Education.
Each recipient will receive a $3,000 cash award, a Center for Excellence sculpture and their names will be carved into the stone plaque in the Arnold Bernhard Library. They will also be featured in "Quinnipiac Magazine" and attend a luncheon with President John L. Lahey in April.
Members of the University community may nominate faculty and staff for next year's awards through April 15, 2014. Learn more.