Melissa Arduini, administrative aide for MBA programs in the School of Business, has earned the 2018 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Classified Service from the State University system, an honor emblematic of "superior performance and extraordinary achievement" in a state Civil Service position.

Arduini's nominator and supervisor, Director of MBA Programs Irene Scruton, wrote, "Ms. Arduini is an ideal candidate for this award by exemplifying Oswego's commitment to students. She is devoted, creative, positive and has a 'can-do' attitude. She balances a hard work ethic with good humor and passion."

Scruton detailed some of the many ways Arduini, nearly a 25-year employee of SUNY Oswego with about eight years in the MBA office, demonstrates excellence:

* Providing an "extraordinary" personal connection for all of the working professionals enrolled in the college's highly ranked all-online master of business administration program option. "Melissa's skills translate a telephone conversation into feeling like a face-to-face connection with the program, department and campus, which develops long-term alumni relationships with the program," Scruton wrote.

* Significant responsibilities for special projects. In 2016-17, several big events coalesced for Arduini and her colleagues: the first Business Incubator Symposium, a custom graduation ceremony for MBA degree recipients from SRC Inc., and data gathering for such important purposes as ranking surveys and re-accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. "Melissa conducted all her responsibilities, routine and extra, without complaint, with friendliness, professionalism and attention to detail," Scruton said. "We never would have accomplished what we did without her efforts."

* Maintaining relationships with international students, who often need unique assistance in on-campus programs. "It is often her extra friendly manner and assistance that makes the difference for an international student to have a meaningful, enjoyable experience in Oswego in the MBA program," Scruton said.

* Arduini's student-centered willingness to go above and beyond to respond to questions and concerns -- a penchant that often comes to her supervisor's attention when students stop into the office to say "thank you" for having Melissa on the team.

* Charitable work. Arduini has ardently supported the college's annual Passionately Pink for the Cure, which she co-founded more than a decade and a half ago with her sister-in-law, Debbie Arduini, to raise awareness of breast cancer and research funds, as well as the Totally Teal campaign for ovarian cancer awareness, the State Employees Federated Appeal and the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign.

* Flexibility. "She is not only flexible in managing the unexpected calls, unexpected visits and unexpected projects, she does it with a cheerful attitude and commitment to excellence which makes her invaluable. Melissa’s 'can-do' attitude sets the bar for the entire team," Scruton said.

* Deadline paperwork. "When deadlines are close, Melissa will frequently 'walk' paperwork to ensure a student is taken care of. Most recently, with our 5-year accounting program, two students required revisions in paperwork close to the deadline and Melissa took the time to personally take care of the issue. "

Scruton concluded, "It is ordinary to have one good customer service interaction, but it is extraordinary to maintain that high level of customer service, day in and day out, year-round and Melissa should be recognized for that effort."