Ann Clohessy and Janice Melino
Distinguished Lasallian Staff Members 2006-07
Assistant to the President, Manhattan College is a very impressive job title. However, not as impressive as the lady who holds it - Ann Clohessy. Always with a smile, always with the most gracious way, never forgetting a detail or a name, never ruffled, Ann has served three very different presidents since she joined the Manhattan College family as a secretary on June 15, 1970.
Over the past 36 years, Ann has worked first for Br. Gregory Nugent, then for Br. Stephen Sullivan and now Br. Thomas Scanlan. Throughout these 35 years, the office has run as smoothly and efficiently as it did when Ann started. Ann’s patient, kind and generous manner laid the foundation for the atmosphere in that office and it has carried through until today.
New technology, more faculty and staff to deal with and most of all, the major restorations and renovations at the college have not flustered Ann or her ability to juggle it all in a day’s work. Her rapport with the staff at outside offices is exemplary. She knows the right person to speak to at the Mayor’s office; she is in regular contact with some of the top executives and CEOs around the country; she knows how to multi-task. Whatever it takes to get the job done, Ann will do it. Perhaps it was her studies in Psychology that gives her this talent to deal with people so well. Ann graduated from the General Studies Program on May 18, 1980 Summa Cum Laude with a greater concentration in Psychology.
Br. Thomas says “it would take two people to replace Ann.”
Ann’s dedication and care for her husband Johnny is another major factor in her daily life. Over the past several years when Johnny has been hospitalized, Ann would first go visit him in the morning, bright and early before coming to work, then work a full day, and return to the hospital at night. Most of us never had any hint of all that she was dealing with because she never showed the least sign of fatigue. When Johnny is able, he and Ann leave their home in Yonkers to enjoy time together at the Jersey shore or in Florida.
Despite the fact that most of Ann’s time is consumed between her job and home, she doesn’t neglect her longtime friends from the College who have retired. She is very dedicated in keeping in touch with many of the retirees and looks forward to visiting with them at the yearly Christmas party and barbeque.
A colleague sums it up very nicely; she says, “Ann is always consulted to seek out advice due to her depth of knowledge of Manhattan College, the place and the spirit. Her broad based wisdom of all things Lasallian and Manhattan, allows her to serve well this institution, her home away from home for the past 36 years.”
The Lasallian Committee agrees that Ann’s spirit of community, spirit of faith and spirit of zeal is what makes her the outstanding choice for the Lasallian Staff Member Award for the year 2006-2007.
For over 30 years, Janice Melino has been helping the Manhattan College community and supporting the College’s mission and Lasallian tradition. When asked to describe her, colleagues used words like “dedicated,” “loyal,” “caring,” “leader” and “role-model.” Many people who have worked closely with her over the past 30+ years have echoed the word “mentor.” They also described her as a “true Jasper,” for embodying all of these qualities.
Janice started her career at Manhattan College working in the computer center, then housed in Leo, as a keypunch operator. Students would hand Janice a rubber banded stack of keypunch cards containing Fortran programs or lab data for processing and await the results. Invariably there were errors, and instead of the desired output on pages of greenbar paper, only a one-page error listing would be displayed. Anxious to meet a submission deadline, some students would panic. Calmly, Janice would walk these students through what they needed to change. She wouldn’t guarantee their results, but she would tell them that she would get their program working for them. Janice worked ceaselessly to help these students.
Janice’s caring and dedication are presently shown on the first day of school each year. Janice is usually the first person in the office each day – arriving sometime before 8:00 a.m. If someone happens to get there before her, she immediately asks, “What’s wrong? Is the network down?” Given that Janice’s office is the first one that people pass when entering the computer center, she and her secretary are the first to field questions from wandering and confused freshmen looking for their 8 o’clock class, which has sometimes had a last minute room change. Here, Janice’s motherly instinct springs into action. Everyone around Janice takes notice of her genuine concern for the freshman’s plight as she makes phone calls to find out where the student needs to go and makes sure that he or she gets there safely.
Some students have begun working in the computer center during college, later become full-time Manhattan employees under Janice, and since gone on to very successful computer careers. This has been a continuing trend over the past 30+ years and can be attributed in part to Janice’s exceptional mentoring of these students. This sentiment has not only been echoed by the employees to pass through her tutelage, but Human Resources and Brother Scanlan himself.
Please acknowledge Janice’s commitment to Manhattan College and its Lasallian tradition and as she is presented with the award for Lasallian staff member of the year.