April 24, 2017

SUNY Empire State College Excellence Support Services Award to Kathrine Lytle

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - April 24, 2017) Kathrine Lytle, a secretary at SUNY Empire State College’s Auburn location, was the recipient of the Empire State College Foundation Excellence Award for Support Services given at the All College Conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. She has been with the college for 13 years.

“Receiving this award is such an honor, as well as a wonderful surprise,” Lytle said. “I am overwhelmed and grateful by the support from our students, colleagues (especially at the Auburn location) and our partners at Cayuga Community College.  I am very fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful organization.”

“I congratulate Kathrine Lytle for winning the foundation Award for Excellence in Support Services,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. “The large number of candidates, the rigorous selection process and the high standards and accomplishments recipients must achieve, is very impressive. These are people who best represent the aspirations of the college community. They have contributed their talents, passions and often their entire careers, to their colleagues, to higher education and adult learning and, most importantly, to the overall success of the college and its students. Kathrine is an outstanding member of our staff and is an inspiration to all of us.”

Kathrine Lytle was described by colleagues as someone who always goes above and beyond her required duties. She serves as the de facto office manager of the college’s Auburn location, completing her work “with efficiency and excellence on a daily basis,” said faculty mentor Heidi Nightengale. Lytle makes sure that prospective students are welcomed and given all the information they need to enroll in the college, an especially important duty given that this Empire State College location is on the campus of Cayuga Community College, and many of the students are transferring to a four-year institution. She ensures that the transfers go smoothly, and keeps up with all of the current transfer requirements and procedures. Lytle also has consistently volunteered for service on collegewide committees, including the Senate Committee for Support Staff where she takes a strong leadership role.

On a personal level, Lytle sees to it that administrative tasks are accomplished so that faculty can concentrate on mentoring their students. One faculty member noted that Lytle often surprises faculty with a snack or lunch if they were having an especially busy day.

“Students truly know that Kathy is their ‘Empire expert’ and get can get them through barriers to success with full trust,” wrote Nightengale.

About the Excellence in Support Services Award

Criteria for the Excellence in Support Services include superb performance in fulfilling the duties in the job description, demonstrated flexibility and adaptability to institutional needs and excellence in the areas of leadership, decision making and problem solving. Additional criteria may include initiation of ideas or development of proposals for improving effectiveness in the position.

About SUNY Empire State College

  • Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system yearly, educates nearly 19,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 30  locations across the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels.
  • The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students’ average age is 40.
  • Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time.
  • In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.
  • Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and coursework on site, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn.
  • Students have the opportunity to enroll five times during the year.
  • The college’s 78,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.
  • The college was first established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977. Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

More information about the college is available at www.esc.edu



Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications, SUNY Empire State College


518-587-2100, ext. 2918

518-321-7038, cell