2005 Distinguished Service Award Recipients

2005 Individual Award

Elizabeth DiRita, Office of Facilities Management

Betty DiRita is more than the “kind, melodic voice” of the Facilities Department; she is the primary point of contact with the department for faculty, staff and students alike. She receives all telephonic and electronic requests for service, whether they be emergencies or routine requests, prioritizes them, and dispatches the proper members of the Facilities staff to do the work. In the six years since the web based work order system was introduced, Betty has processed more than 66,500 work requests, generated from 172 departments.

Betty is dedicated to continuous process improvement and is a thoughtful advocate for change within the department. She is constantly looking for ways to improve service. Her coordination role is particularly evident in the summer when so much work has to be done by so many different groups of tradesmen and contractors in such a short period of time —“and she gets it done correctly and on time.”

She represents her department on many committees supporting campus-wide events because of her reputation for getting things done. Betty volunteers for Alumni Weekend, Homecoming, St. Thomas of Villanova Day, and other events. At Orientation she welcomes the new students and fosters in them the feeling that Villanova is their home away from home and provides them with vital information which will aid them in making the most of the Villanova Experience.

Betty’s performance far exceeds expectations. As one nominator wrote, Betty “exemplifies the Villanova spirit of service.” Another noted that Betty “is a friend to all, a helper, a motivator and a recognized doer who commands the respect of everyone with whom she comes in contact.”

2005 Team Award

VQI Environmental Team - Erika Allen-Lynch, Environmental Health and Safety; Megan Armstrong, student; Miriam Blimm, OPTIR; April Boulton, Biology; Emily Brault, student; John Cacciola, Facilities Services; Jameson Chace, Biology; Donna Chadderton, Falvey Library; Robert Curry, Bology; Jessica Delisi, student; Ashish Desai, UNIT; Jonathan Doh, Management & Operations; Kelly Doyle, student; Christopher Driscoll, Arts and Sciences; Joseph Goessling, student; Keith Henderson, Political Science; Vikram Iyengar, Biology; William Kassel, Chemistry; John Kelley, OPTIR; Markus Kreuzer, Political Science; Richard Laudenslager, Recycling; Charles Lewis, MPA student; Paul Livingston, Philosophy; Christopher Meehan, student; Patricia Mynaugh, Nursing; Kevin O’Donnell, Ground Services; John Olson, Biology; Gerald Pierri, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Paul Rosier, History; Michael Russell, Biology; Rachel Schaller, UNIT; Rominder Suri, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Robert Traver, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Joyce Zavarich, Campus Ministry.

The VQI Environmental Team, is a unique mix of faculty, staff and students who represent many academic departments, offices and divisions of the University. In the words of one nominator, the Environmental Team “embodies the spirit of community that is so much a part of Villanova University.”

The members are divided into subteams, each of which works towards its own set of goals relating to Green Purchasing, Campus Sustainability, Recycling, Communications, Earth Day, and Environmental Scholarship and Research.

The team was nominated for the 2005 DSA specifically for its diligent efforts that led to the adoption of the “Villanova University Environmental Sustainability Policy” in November 2004. The Sustainability Subteam prepared a draft for the policy, presented it to the VQI Council and the Vice Presidents Council, which approved it after several revisions were made. The Team also promoted and publicized the policy by means of “an attractive and compelling exhibit” in Falvey Library during the Spring 2005 semester and a display in Connelly Center. One nominator wrote “The forward looking vision of the Environmental Sustainability Policy is completely consistent with the mission of Villanova University. Along with the Green Purchasing Policy… the Environmental Sustainability Policy places Villanova University as a leading institution of higher education in recognizing its obligation for environmental responsibility and stewardship.

Several of the nominators also cited the success of this year’s Earth Day celebration. The Earth Day Subteam brought Dr. Peter Raven, a world renowned environmentalist, to campus where he gave the keynote address, met with faculty, staff and students, and participated in a forum on sustainability. In addition, the team sponsored a number of activities including exhibits by students on class projects relating to the environment, displays relating to “green issues,” and raised money for environmental education.