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Lambert, Politelli Selected as Torchbearer Award Recipients

A Providence College committee has selected Matthew C. Lambert and Mary R. Politelli as the recipients of the 2013 Torchbearer Awards. 

Sponsored by the Department of Human Resources, the employee recognition program annually rewards an administrative and a staff member, nominated by their peers, for extraordinarily dedicated service to the College. College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. ’80 will present the awards to Lambert and Politelli at a reception on Monday, May 6, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Aquinas Hall Lounge.

Honorees are chosen based on living out the mission of the College, making extraordinary contributions to the success of their department, office, or program and the College, and working collaboratively across the College to advance its goals and initiatives.

Extreme weather

Lambert, manager of grounds and vehicles in the Physical  Plant Office, began working for a College contractor in 2002 and was hired by the College in 2006. Politelli, the administrative assistant in the undergraduate office of the dean of the School of Business, will mark her 20th anniversary of working at PC in September.

Lambert and his five-person grounds crew are responsible for maintaining the 106 acres of campus grounds. This includes mowing lawns, trimming trees, and responding to challenges presented during severe weather. He also supervises two people who set up for events and one who handles trash removal.

Snow is a frequent occurrence during Rhode Island winters, but this year was extraordinary. Lambert’s nominating letter praised him for staying on campus for three days during a February blizzard, working overnight with his crew to clear paths and parking lots. They also removed fallen trees, limbs, and debris after Hurricane Sandy, as well as cleared snow in preparation for Alumni and Family Weekend in February.

“Many of us take the beauty and safety of the campus for granted.  We assume the campus will be clear when we come to work after snowstorms, blizzards, and hurricanes.  We expect the campus to be well-tended and free of debris so that its beauty can be enjoyed. It is Matt and his crew that make this happen,” the letter stated.

Lambert said he was honored to be chosen.

“We’re behind the scenes a lot — people don’t really see what we do,” he said. “It takes a team. We have a good crew down at the Physical Plant. The guys really work really hard, and the management team all works together … to accomplish even day-to-day activities.”

Business school's 'backbone'

In a nomination for the Torchbearer Award, Politelli was described as both the “backbone of the School of Business” and the “person that students go to when they need a friendly face to help them with many issues.”

She “works tirelessly behind the scenes to help the School of Business and our faculty be the best we can be,” according to the nomination, which noted her accuracy and attention to detail. The school’s 45 faculty members rely on Politelli to provide advice to students declaring as business majors. She also runs pre-registration for business majors as well as regular registration.

Politelli said she was flattered to have been chosen as a Torchbearer and enjoys working with faculty, staff, and students.

According to one nominator, she “is always trying to assist students, explaining the procedures required with kindness.  Mary wants to make sure that students don’t fall through the cracks.”

Politelli described how she follows up with students who need to fulfill prerequisites after the summer to ensure they took the necessary classes.

 “PC is like a family,” Politelli said.

Liz F. Kay

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