The director of Friedsam Memorial Library at St. Bonaventure University and two other faculty members were honored by their colleagues with awards of excellence at Sunday’s annual Commencement Exercises.
Library Director Ann M. Tenglund and Dr. Guy F. Imhoff, professor of French, were presented with Professional Excellence in University Service awards, while Evelyn Ann Bysiek, an adjunct mathematics instructor, received the Adjunct Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Tenglund is described by her colleagues as a tireless and devoted professional with a wide-ranging skill set whose can-do attitude is as infectious as her warm smile and engaging personality. More than 20 colleagues supported her nomination for the award, each effusive in their praise of her dedication to the entire campus community and her quiet, confident leadership style.
“Someone once said she’s a jewel in the university’s crown, and she is that and much more,” said Ann Lehman, associate vice president for Academic Affairs. “Her service to the university has been remarkable.”
Tenglund’s contributions to her profession and the university are “wide-ranging, impressive and consistent over many years,” reads the co-signed letter of recommendation. “We cannot think of a person on this campus more deserving of this award.”
Tenglund joined the library staff in 1982 and has since served in a number of roles, including associate library director, and coordinator of library computer services and information literacy instruction. She was instrumental in configuration and installation of the library’s first integrated library management system and digitalization of its card catalog system.
She is a member of some 17 national and regional library associations, including the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries and the Western New York Library Resources Council, serving the latter in a number of leadership roles including president of its Board of Trustees. She serves as secretary of the Olean Public Library Board of Trustees and has been a member of the Chautauqua-Allegany School Library System Board of Directors since 1999.
Tenglund has served on numerous university committees, including the Academic Computing Committee, the Administrative Affairs Committee, the Council on Discrimination and Harassment, and on search committees for key university positions, including university provost and the founding dean of the School of Health Professions.
“In my 18 years at St. Bonaventure I’ve learned that if you want a strong, effective committee, you ask Ann Tenglund to join it,” said Dr. Michael Hoffman, associate provost and chief information officer. “She chairs the Faculty Senate Technology Committee, serves on the Information Security Council, and is a valued member of the IT/Library leadership team. She also sits on the university’s permanent Middle States accreditation committee, has chaired a strategic planning task force, and, well, the list goes on and on.”
Tenglund has long been involved with new-student programming, serving on the First Year Experience Council and its All Bonaventure Reads subcommittee for almost 10 years. She was also instrumental in developing the framework for the university’s new General Education curriculum.
Off campus, she is active in her church, serving as webmaster and congregational secretary, and having formerly served as treasurer and a religious education teacher.
As broadly as she spreads herself, the library, its staff and patrons receive the lion’s share of her time and talents. Library staff describe her as “hardworking and intelligent,” “a fair and sensible leader who encourages teamwork and professional excellence,” and someone who is dedicated to the university’s Franciscan mission.
“Her energy level astounds me,” said Reference Librarian Mary Ellen Ash.
It’s a sentiment echoed by Dr. Barry Gan, professor of philosophy and director of the university’s Center for Nonviolence. “Her organizational abilities are remarkable,” said Gan, who has worked alongside Tenglund on the Faculty Senate for some 25 years. “I’ve often thought that were she ever to leave the university, we would be struggling for years to keep the things in place that she keeps in place.”
Tenglund earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure in 1982, graduating summa cum laude with majors in elementary education and business. She went on to earn a master’s in reading and literacy education from SBU, and her Master of Library Science from Syracuse University.
Dr. Guy Imhoffis also known for his indefatigable spirit, his warm and inviting demeanor and his unwavering dedication to the university. “Service, I believe, is built into his DNA,” said Dr. Leigh Simone, assistant professor of modern languages and Imhoff’s colleague and office mate for the past 15 years.
“He always says ‘yes,’” said Simone: “Yes to the dean who asks, yes to the program chair, yes to the students who need to get to a match or game at some God-forsaken hour on a Saturday morning, and yes to Saturday Admissions events … time after time, year after year.”
When the club lacrosse team lost its adviser and driver of the team van two years ago, Imhoff stepped up to fill the void, which was no surprise to Rob DeFazio, director of the Center for Activities, Recreation and Leadership. “Guy has served as an adviser for many of our club sports teams while also filling in last-minute for advisers who could not make trips with their squads,” said DeFazio. “He has given up many weekends for our students, without compensation, and he does it with a smile. He’s always there for the students.”
Imhoff has taught French at St. Bonaventure since 2003, earning full professor status in 2008. He chaired the Department of Modern Languages from 2009 to 2015. He’s regarded as an excellent professor and a caring, hands-on adviser whose door is always open, said George Swindoll, university registrar. “Guy truly wants to see students, faculty and administrators at St. Bonaventure excel,” he said.
For the past four years, Imhoff served as dean of Clare College, which administered the university core curriculum, and was instrumental in the transition from Clare College to a General Education curriculum this academic year. He’s also the longtime chair of the Major Adventures Program for undeclared Arts & Sciences students, and director of the university’s Dual Enrollment Program with the Warren County (Pa.) School District, which enables students from four Pennsylvania high schools to earn college and high school credits while attending the Pine Grove Educational Center in Warren.
His devotion to the Warren County program is “incredible, and very much appreciated by both SBU and our Warren community,” said Robert Crowley, a 1971 SBU alumnus, longtime university volunteer, and chair of the Warren County Advisory Committee. “For the last eight years he has been an amazing collaborator and strong advocate for our students, as well as the best recruiter for St. Bonaventure.”
That “best recruiter” tag is endorsed by Monica Emery, director of Volunteer Relations and Events for the Office of Admissions. “Guy consistently assists with every form of recruitment activity hosted by our office. He is a steady presence at our open house and Discover the Power of a Bonnie events, in which he converses with prospective students and parents at the beginning of their college search process,” she said. He even joins the Admissions team on the road for “Bona’s Comes to You” events in New Jersey.
“It’s not only his willingness to assist that makes Guy stand out, but also his sincere interest in prospective students and his desire to help them understand that St. Bonaventure is a strong option for their future,” said Emery.
Imhoff has served on numerous university committees and task forces, including the International Studies Committee, the Academic Honesty Board, the Student Success and Retention Committee, and the Search Committee for Vice President of University Advancement. He is also an active member of the Faculty Senate, having served as chair of a number of Senate committees.
A native of Thionville, France, Imhoff earned a bachelor’s degree in French from Brigham Young University, a master’s in French literature from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in French Literature from the University of Kansas.
Evelyn Bysiekjoined the Department of Mathematics as an adjunct instructor in 2015, and in just three years she’s become a “valued colleague,” said Dr. Maureen Cox, associate professor of math and department chair. She loves teaching, and students love her, said Cox, who offered this sampling of “superlative” student reviews of her classes: “Best math teacher in the school;” “Best professor on campus;” “Best teacher I ever had;” “Every math teacher should teach like her.”
Math is a challenging subject for many students, said Karalyn Anastasia of Olean, who earned a bachelor’s degree in management in 2015 and is presently pursuing her MBA at St. Bonaventure. Bysiek, she said, using a combination of “poise, patience” and innovative study guides that include comprehensive note packets to accompany each class, turns the feared subject into a favorite one.
“Not only did she teach in such a way that I was able to understand math, but I came to enjoy the subject so much that I wrote my Commencement speech based on my love of numbers and chose a career path that allows me to use math every day,” said Anastasia.
Riley Chester, a sophomore from LeRoy, N.Y., said she was a below-average math student who “struggled greatly and had very little confidence in the subject.” When she enrolled as a freshman in Bysiek’s finite mathematics class, a required course for business majors, “I felt like I was setting myself up for failure,” she said.
“Professor Bysiek presents the material in a way that helps students understand it and feel confident in it, and she does it with a smile on her face and enthusiasm in her voice. I came away with a new-found confidence in mathematics,” said Chester. Her success in the class also resulted in the decision to change her major from marketing to finance.
Bysiek is known not only as an excellent teacher and engaging lecturer, but as an instructor whose office door is always open, who’ll respond to email at virtually any hour, and who schedules evening review sessions to accommodate busy student schedules, never complaining about her own hectic schedule as a wife and mother of three young children.
“Seldom do you come across an instructor who truly cares about their students as much as Mrs. Bysiek does,” said Thomas “TJ” Baker, a senior accounting major from Acton, Ontario, Canada. “Not only is she a wonderful instructor, but she’s a very caring and understanding individual who leaves a positive impact on all of her students.”
For Yongjing Ye, a senior finance major from China, that meant being invited to the Bysiek home during breaks in semesters, when it wasn’t feasible for her to travel back to China. “She would ask me what my plans were before every single break, and if I didn’t have any she would invite me to her home,” said Ye. “She treated me not just as a student, but like a family member.”
Bysiek’s interest in her students’ lives is genuine, said Dr. David Hilmey, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. “She participates in events all across campus, and can often be found at concerts, academic talks and other activities throughout the year,” said Hilmey. “Her enthusiasm, knowledge and rapport with students makes her an excellent addition to the SBU faculty and an important part of our students’ experience.”
Bysiek, a former math teacher at Olean High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in math from Alfred University in 2006 and a master’s in advanced inclusive processes, with a concentration in gifted education, from St. Bonaventure in 2009. Her husband, Edward Bysiek, principal owner of the Bysiek CPA accounting firm in Olean, is an adjunct accounting instructor at St. Bonaventure.
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