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Five Staff Members Presented Outstanding Staff Member Awards


Posted 08/29/2018
Submitted by Mildred McNeill
Category: Campus Announcements
(from left): Leonard Bretton, Shane Ciccarelli, Matthew Dercole, Shannon Mumley, and Christine Sanford.

(from left): Leonard Bretton, Shane Ciccarelli, Matthew Dercole, Shannon Mumley, and Christine Sanford.

Five University staff members were recognized at yesterday's faculty/staff kickoff. The Outstanding Staff Member awards recognize individuals who demonstrate exceptional dedication to the University and who play a critical role in the success of this institution and its students. The staff members honored have a record of outstanding job performance and often go beyond their job descriptions to help students, parents, faculty, colleagues, and the public.

Leonard Bretton M’03, Facilities Manager in The Hartt School dedicates his time and energy to caretaking all aspects of Hartt School buildings. This can be a tall order as University’s performing arts conservatory has grown and produces more than 400 performances a year. Throughout it all, Bretton is described as loyal, dedicated, hard-working, and truly committed to making and keeping Hartt great. It may not be widely known but Bretton also is a musician which helps him understand what it takes for Hartt students to become great musicians.


Shane Ciccarelli ’00, M’04, Associate Dean of Admission in the Division of Admission and Student Financial Aid often goes above and beyond the call of duty but this past year he stepped in after a couple of resignations and took on the bulk of admission communication responsibilities while still doing his own. He oversaw and executed all communications to prospective students during the pressure-filled spring decision-making cycle.

Enjoyable and productive campus visits are critical first impressions for prospective students and continued outreach and contact lets them know this is the caring and supportive campus where they want to spend the next four years.


Another example of his dedication is that when admission was short of tour guides one day and a family came in, Ciccarelli personally took them on a campus tour without being asked.

Director of Student Financial Assistance and Acting Dean of Enrollment Management Victoria Hampton says, “We would not have been successful in enrolling our freshman class without Shane’s support.”


Matthew Dercole, Ceramics Studio Technician in the Hartford Art School is described as an exemplary employee. “He’s always there,” an art school student said and that appears to be true as he is described as selflessly working to assist students with their work by troubleshooting issues they have with kilns or any other issue. 

He oversaw and helped disassemble two large gas kilns and supervised the installation of new gas kilns worth $50,000. In order to remain within budget but be responsive to student and faculty needs, he organizes materials, kiln firing schedules and maintenance schedules to keep the studio running smoothly... "all the time."


Shannon Mumley, M’17, Assistant Director of The Women’s Advancement Initiative conducts 50 leadership and professional development workshops for more than 100 female students annually. She connects them to a supportive network and teaches them to identify their strengths and overcome self-doubt.

Mumley is known for greeting each student, faculty, or staff member with a smile, hug, or even a high-five. She empowers students to get involved and say “yes” to opportunities not only through words but by example. If an event is happening on campus, she is there!


Christine Sanford, Administrative Assistant and Events Coordinator in Athletics, is the truest definition of a team player. She is committed to and invested in the success of our student athletes and staff. No task is too large or too small for her from organizing golf tournaments to end-of-year banquets to executing daily details. She proudly wears Hartford Hawks red and is an enthusiastic and supportive fan of Hartford athletics and the University.

Recently there was a resignation in the department and Sanford stepped up to serve in the role of Administrative Assistant to the Director of Athletics.  Anything for the team!

(from left): Leonard Bretton, Shane Ciccarelli, Matthew Dercole, Shannon Mumley, and Christine Sanford.

(from left): Leonard Bretton, Shane Ciccarelli, Matthew Dercole, Shannon Mumley, and Christine Sanford.