Fortis, Friedman and Torres-Irizarry Receive TC's Brantley Award
Published in TC Community
Emily Fortis, the College’s “Queen of Purchasing,” posthumously received the 2010-2011 Elaine Brantley Memorial Award for Community and Civility at a ceremony October 20 in Cowin Auditorium. Also receiving the award were Edward Friedman, Office Assistant with the Business Services Center; and Iraida Torres-Irizarry, Executive Administrative Associate in the Office of the Vice Provost.
The Elaine Brantley Award is given annually to members of the TC community—faculty, professional staff, union staff, part-time or administrative staff—who regularly go beyond the expectations of their positions to promote a sense of community and a culture of civility at the College. The awards were presented by Janice Robinson, Vice President for Community and Diversity.
Fortis worked at the Purchasing Office from 1985 until the time of her death last June. Stationed at the office’s threshold, she greeted visitors by name and inquired about their work, classes taught or taken, birthdays and family members. “Offering everyone, from union staff to senior staff, the same respect, she had a special story with everyone and believed everybody at TC was family,” Robinson said. “She would treat them with respect, and they would pay it forward.”
Fortis’s daughter Franschezca received the award on her mother’s behalf.
Friedman, who has worked at TC since 1996, provides the College with a valuable commodity—paper—“in a friendly, dependable, and positive manner,” Robinson said. Always ready and willing to help, Friedman has been known to provide directions or even a personal escort for someone who has lost his way in Teachers College’s labyrinthine hallways. “He responds in such a positive way that you cannot help responding in kind,” Robinson said. “Eddie adds to the spirit of what TC is supposed to be.”
Torres-Irizarry joined TC family in 2004. “She makes everyone welcome,” Robinson said. Employing a “disarming” personality, active listening and a helpful attitude to assist students and faculty alike, Torres-Irizzary “has made a drastic difference in how people interact with the Vice Provost’s office,” Robinson added. “Even in the most stressful situations and important projects involving the most senior faculty, her composure is unflappable.”
Elaine Webster Brantley, who died in 2003 after working as a cashier in the TC cafeteria for 24 years, was a favorite among students, faculty and staff for her kindly dispensation of therapy and advice. Brantley is honored each year by the recognition of others who continue her legacy of warmth, kinship and collaboration.
The Elaine Brantley Memorial Award selection committee this year was chaired by Jolene Lane, and included Yvonne Destin, Isaac Freeman, Samantha Lu, Janice Robinson, George Schuessler, Rocky Schwarz and Patricia Walker.