The Ohio State University at Newark Dean/Director William L. MacDonald, PhD, and Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) President John M. Berry, PhD, presented two prestigious staff awards on Sept. 5. Laura Walsh, of Utica, received the 2023 Julius S. and Joette Greenstein Award, and Vorley Taylor, of Newark, received the 2023 President’s and Dean/Director’s Diversity Award.
Julius S. and Joette Greenstein Award
The Greenstein award is given annually to a staff member, administrator or faculty member of COTC and/or Ohio State Newark whose efforts, attitude, deeds and behavior made a major contribution toward the perpetuation of a genuine spirit of mutual respect and cooperation between COTC and Ohio State Newark.
As an office associate for the Office of Advancement, Walsh has been the joyful voice of the advancement office for more than 16 years. She not only greets friends, donors, alumni and campus employees when they call, but she also has additional responsibilities that include gift processing and receipting, purchase reconciliations, and budget expenditures.
“She is the glue that holds our office together,” said Kim Manno, director of advancement. “She has provided an extraordinary amount of support for cost-shared fundraising campaigns including the Next Generation Challenge, the John and Mary Alford Center for Science and Technology, and the renovation of Founders Hall. Whether it’s a groundbreaking or ribbon-cutting ceremony, she always ensures that COTC and Ohio State Newark are equally represented in every detail imaginable.”
Walsh plays a vital role in planning and executing the many advancement office events and is always willing to assist other offices to ensure the success of their events. For the past few years, she has assisted the Office of Student Life by making centerpieces for Ohio State Newark’s Convocation. She assisted the COTC Office of the President in planning and executing events related to the college’s year-long 50th anniversary celebration in 2021–22. For the first time this July, Walsh oversaw the Independence Day Concert and Fireworks, which brings approximately 20,000 people to campus.
“She is proud to be an employee of both Central Ohio Technical College and The Ohio State University at Newark, and she never ceases to give new campus employees a kind and gracious welcome. She is often not recognized for all she does because of the behind-the-scenes nature of her job responsibilities, but I truly believe there is not a person on this campus who is more deserving of this special recognition than Laura Walsh,” said Manno.
President’s and Dean/Director’s Diversity Award
The Diversity Award recognizes outstanding achievements that advance the campus’ overall awareness of and sensitivity to differences among people(s) including race, mixed races and heritages, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical abilities, mental abilities, cultural heritage, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and geographic location.
Taylor, a COTC alumna, has served at COTC and Ohio State Newark for over 25 years. Initially a financial aid advisor, she is now the program manager of multicultural affairs — an office she helped initiate — within the Office of Student Life. In her role, Taylor provides leadership and development for the campus’s multicultural programming, working to promote academic achievement and personal development with emphasis on racial/ethnic minorities, permanent resident students, LGBTQIA+, women and Muslim students. She also serves as the professional chaperone/liaison for the COTC Italian Immersion Program and has been a host to Italian students four times.
During her time at the campus, Taylor has spearheaded many initiatives, including the Community Intercultural Relations Conference, currently in its 14th year of raising cultural awareness and building an inclusive community; the Diversity through Artistry program, which was recognized as the Ohio Association of Community Colleges Innovative Program of the Year; the Black Heritage Gala, which is the longest-running student event; and the Fresh Image program that supports first-year students of color in reaching their college goals.
Taylor has also been awarded the 2021 League for Innovation Excellence Award, the 2013 COTC and Ohio State Newark Faculty/Staff Above & Beyond Award, and the 2012 Equity and Inclusion Award from the Ohio Colleges of Professional Administrators.
“Vorley is very passionate about her work and serves as a strong advocate for our students. She is willing to meet students where they are, helping them to realize their potential and mentoring them toward their personal growth and development,” wrote Holly Mason, associate dean of students/assistant director of student life.
COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.