Employees of 1982 were among the first to get computers

York’s latest group of 25-year employees – those who arrived in 1982, when computers were beginning to make an appearance – were honoured at a ceremony held Nov. 28 in the Schulich School of Business private dining room.

President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri congratulated this year’s honourees and thanked them for their dedication to the University. “While we are here to mark a quarter century of service, it is the quality of your service that we are celebrating,” Shoukri said. “Each of you is proof that one of York’s greatest strengths and greatest assets is the dedicated people who are working for York.”

Karen Swartz, director of York University's Office of Persons with DisabilitiesKaren Swartz (BA ’81, BSW ’87, MSW ’96), a York alumna and director of York’s Office for Persons with Disabilities (OPD), represented her fellow quarter-century colleagues and spoke about her career path at York, where she earned her degrees in disability studies and social work.

Right: Karen Swartz

“When I first came to York, I fell in love with the ramp,” Swartz said to a chorus of laughter about the old entrance to the Ross Building. “I loved learning and I loved the ramp, so I knew York was for me. I did get over the heartbreak when I heard the ramp was going to be demolished.”

Now half way through her PhD, Swartz noted she began her career at York as a course secretary in social sciences in 1982 and was among the first in her department to get a computer. Swartz joined the OPD in 1988 and has been there ever been since.

“Working in the OPD for the last 20 years has exceeded my career expectations,” Swartz said, “and I will be forever grateful for the opportunities I have been afforded during this time.”

“Each and every experience has helped me to build character and a strong sense of self. Working with persons with disabilities in an academic environment has made an indelible imprint on me.”

Swartz said the success of students she has met at York is a testimony to the University’s commitment to the values of social justice and equity.

Gary Brewer, York vice-president finance & administration, thanked Swartz for her remarks and noted that the themes she touched on confirmed what he has heard from all of York’s long-term staff members. “What keeps people here for 25 years and beyond are some of the things you talked about," said Brewer. “That is a love of learning and a love of York University and what we stand for – that’s actually what allows people to spend that much time here.”

Representatives of York’s administration and Faculties were on hand to present the awards to the 17 staff members present for the ceremony.

Above: York’s 25-year employees of 2007 gather in the Schulich private dining room for a group photo.

2007 25-year honourees

Marilyn Abram, Printing Services, Campus Services & Business Operation
Valerie Baddon, Office of the Vice-President Academic
Deborah L. Best, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts
Joseph Campbell, Grounds & Vehicles, Facilities Services
Karen Cochrane, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Heath
Cheryl Colman, Office of the Dean, Faculty of Science & Engineering
Cynthia A. Craft , Department of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts
Judith A. Davidson, Undergraduate Student Services B.Ed., Admissions & Registration, Faculty of Education
Edwin J. Griffin, Inter University Transit System, Facilities Services
Diane J. Habel, School of Arts & Letters, Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies
Paul F. Harrison, Library Facilities, Scott Library
Donna Hubbert , Parking Services, Campus Services & Business Operations
Donald Kellock, Utilities, Facilities Services
Incoronata Marolda, Caretaking, Facilities Services
Sally A. Marshall, Centre for Research on Earth & Space Science, Faculty of Science & Engineering
Suzanne Micallef, Office of the Executive Director, Computing and Network Services
Leonid Mitelman, UNIX Services, Computing and Network Services
Glenda L. Moffat, Office of Admissions & Recruitment
Paola Panaro, Department of Earth & Space Science & Engineering, Faculty of Science & Engineering
Janice M. D. Pearson, Department of English, Faculty of Arts
Kathy Richmond, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health
Luigina Scornaienchi, Custodial Services, Facilities Services
Edwina J. Scott, Office of the Assistant Vice-President, Facilities Services
George Seravalle, Office of the Comptroller Finance
Penny S. Spence, Financial Services, Osgoode Hall Law School
Karen Swartz, Office of Persons with Disabilities
Anita Valencia, Institute for Social Research
Carol V. Weldon, Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, Faculty of Science & Engineering

The reception was hosted by the Office of the President and the Office of the Vice-President Finance & Administration, and coordinated by the Office of University Events and Community Relations. This marked the 17th celebration of the 25-Year Service Program.