Robert Carney, project manager and designer in Campus Planning and Facilities Design, says that he was surprised and truly honored to be recognized as a Pillar of Rensselaer.
A Rensselaer employee for more than 25 years, Carney is the recipient of the 2014 Pillar of Rensselaer Award, the highest honor Rensselaer gives to a staff member. The award was presented to Carney at the 42nd annual Service Recognition and Retirement Dinner held Aug. 22 at the Hilton Garden Inn.
The Pillar Award is presented annually to a staff member who understands the Institute’s mission and history, has been a role model for other employees, has shown concern for students and their welfare, has added to the human dimension of the school, and who has played an active role in his or her home community.
Several days after the event, Carney said that now that he has had a chance to absorb the idea, he feels extraordinarily honored to have been nominated, especially given the “legacy of distinguished folks who have preceded him,” he said.
“I feel that this award really belongs to the extraordinary faculty and staff I’ve worked with over the last 25 years who have made my job easy and remarkably enjoyable,” Carney said. “It is a genuine privilege for me to be able to serve this amazing community of dedicated faculty, staff, and students, and I hope as a member of the Campus Planning and Facilities Design team that I’ve been able to enrich their Rensselaer experience in some small way as RPI continues to be a leader in changing the world.”
This person is recognized throughout campus as a Rensselaer cheerleader, and is frequently commended for his high level of performance and collaborative efforts to enable the work and success of others.”
Carney was cited for his demonstrated understanding of Rensselaer mission and history, and was praised as a role model and mentor for other employees and students, according to Secretary of the Institute and General Counsel Charles Carletta, who shared at the dinner some quotes from several of the nominations received for Carney.
One nominator said that Carney’s “strong belief in Rensselaer’s vision and mission is continuously on display, as a true ambassador for Rensselaer and The Rensselaer Plan.” Another nominator noted that “whatever the project may be, [Carney] commits wholeheartedly to the standard of excellence that is articulated in The Rensselaer Plan, including projects which present the greatest program, technical, financial, and scheduling challenges.”
“This person is recognized throughout campus as a Rensselaer cheerleader, and is frequently commended for his high level of performance and collaborative efforts to enable the work and success of others,” said one nominator. “[Carney] is focused on the needs of the customer, relentless at seeking and delivering cost-effective options, while at the same time remaining absolutely committed to the project schedule, frequently working many evening hours to get a research or academic program up and running.”
The Pillar of Rensselaer Award was established in 1993, through the support of Carl Westerdahl, former dean of students and director of alumni relations. The annual award consists of a gift of $1,000 and a sterling silver pin by Tiffany & Co. The winner’s name also is inscribed on the base of a Tiffany crystal award that is permanently displayed in the President’s Suite in the Troy Building.