Fordham honored more than 50 of its longtime faculty and staff at two virtual award ceremonies on March 7.

Though the events were virtual, the unique contributions, talents, and personal dedication of the honorees came through in the citations that were read aloud. Attendees also got to hear personal anecdotes about the award recipients, learn more about their families, and hear about the kindness they’ve shown to colleagues over the years.

Eva Badowska
Eva Badowska, dean of the faculty of arts and sciences, received the Bene Merenti medal

At the University Convocation ceremony, Fordham deans Maura Mast, Ph.D., of Fordham College at Rose Hill, and Laura Auricchio, Ph.D., of Fordham College at Lincoln Center, read the citations for faculty who received Bene Merenti medals in celebration of 20 and 40 years of teaching. Administrators celebrating those anniversaries were honored with the Archbishop Hughes medal, and their citations were read aloud by Vice Provost Jonathan Crystal, Ph.D.; Chief Financial Officer Martha Hirst; and Jeff Gray, senior vice president for student affairs.

In his invocation, Michael McCarthy, S.J., vice president for mission integration and planning, took note of the challenges and tragedies brought by the pandemic and asked God to “deepen our gratitude” for the honorees.

Man in suit wearing medal around neck
George Bodarky, news and public affairs director at WFUV, received the Archbishop Hughes medal for 20 years of service.

“Give us gratitude. For our lives, for our breath. For our common mission for each other. Deepen our gratitude for those we are honoring today,” he prayed. “Who have set down roots in this place for some 20 or 40 years. And give them the gift of personal satisfaction in the fruits of their labors.”

At the 1841 awards, which celebrate the University’s longtime support staff, the honoree’s citations were read by members of Fordham’s senior leadership, including John Buckley, vice president for admission and student financial services; Marco Valera, vice president of administration; and Gray. The ceremony was originally scheduled for fall 2020, but was rescheduled due to the pandemic.

In his closing remarks, Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, said that despite the remote format, “this gives us an opportunity to be welcomed into your homes.”

He told the honorees how grateful he was to them for being the University’s “frontline workers” in a difficult year.

“Every year you do great things. Every day you do great things. But this year, I have to say, you outdid yourselves.”

Antonio Gomez Jr. received the 1841 Award

The names of all the honorees are below.


Bene Merenti Medal | Forty Years
Mary E. Procidano • Robert Wharton

Bene Merenti Medal | Twenty Years
Eva D. Badowska • Jane Bolgatz • Dennis Cappello
Jeannine Hill Fletcher • Esther Lomas Sampedro
Elizabeth Maresca • Dana B. Marlowe • Dawn Akemi Saito
David Storey • Eileen van Buren • An Yan

Archbishop Hughes Medal | Forty Years 
Roberta B. Willim

Archbishop Hughes Medal | Twenty Years 
Javed Ahamad • Yevgeniya Alkayeva • George Bodarky
Russell Borris • Stephen G. Brown • Brendan H. Cahill
Alexander Del Rosario De La Cruz  • Jose A. Deleon
Charles D. Elwood • Scott J. Kwiatkowski • Richard Miranda
Mary Nolan • Kate O’Brien-Nicholson • Catherine A. O’Hara
Laura Gibney O’Shea • Edward Palermo • Midge Quinn
Janeen Shaitelman • Dawn M. Silvestri • Christian P. Steriti
Carolyn Velazquez-Atis

Sursum Corda Award
Anthony Fata • Maureen Keown • Gil Severiano

head and shoulders shot of a woman with black hair
Melissa Cintron of Corporate and Foundation Relations received the 1841 Award.

1841 Awards

Twenty Year Medalists
Roberto P. Acebo | Custodial Services, Rose Hill
Gilbert Arocho | Facilities Operations, Lincoln Center
William J. Bandiera | University Libraries
Carlos M. Beltre | Facilities Operations, Lincoln Center
Napoleon R. Canete | Facilities Operations, Lincoln Center
Melissa Cintron | Development and University Relations
Angela L. Flynn | Office for Student Involvement
Antonio Gomez Jr. | Facilities Operations, Lincoln Center
Thomas J. Iaccarino | Grounds & Transportation
Carmen Jimenez | Custodial Services, Rose Hill
William Milite | University Libraries
Karl M. Mitchell | Facilities Operations, Rose Hill
Carmen Ortiz | Custodial Services, Rose Hill
Kathleen K. Piekarski | Enrollment Services Operations
Gerard P. Rafferty | Facilities Operations, Rose Hill
Diane L. Roche | Academic Summer Session
Ramiz Rugovac | Custodial Services, Rose Hill

Forty Year Medalists
File Gazivoda | Custodial Services, Rose Hill
Nikolla Zadrima | Facilities Operations, Rose Hill

Photos were contributed by the award recipients.