Celebration Breakfast Honors SEIU Summer Transfer Program Participants

Oct. 5, 2023

On August 11, the University’s Office of Human Resources hosted its annual Celebration Breakfast for 29 staff members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) who completed the Summer Transfer Program (STP).

The program has been active at Princeton for 30 years and offers developmental opportunities for eligible SEIU members outside of their home departments for 10 weeks over the summer. Participants aim to acquire new skills, grow personally and professionally, and build new networks for future growth.

The event, emceed by Kamara Blackman, senior career specialist in the Office of Human Resources and co-lead of the program, featured guest speakers Jeffrey M. Coley, SEIU president/worker, Roofer/Tinner Shop; John Milnes, senior director of organizational effectiveness, Office of Information Technology; and Donna Pilenza, director of residential dining, Campus Dining. Each participant was awarded a certificate and pin.

“The celebration breakfast is the culmination of everyone’s hard work and there is a real sense of pride in the room,” says Blackman, who helps usher participants through the whole process, from the first information session to the interview day. “The STP is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my job… nothing is more rewarding than knowing you are supporting a person that wants to better themselves. And when they tell you how the program has changed their lives, well, that’s just the best!”

Congratulations to program participants, host departments, and host managers for a successful completion of this important Princeton labor-management initiative:

Program Participant Home Department Summer Transfer Position Host Supervisor
Ruby Alonzo Campus Dining OIT Data Center Facilities Specialist Kevin Gift/Matt Petty
Vidalia Ariza Campus Dining Painter's Helper Larry Brickhouse
Dhammika Arumaduar Campus Dining Custodian John Argento
Brandon Bates Campus Dining Customer Service Associate Charlotte Browning
Barry Bloom Campus Dining Grounds Helper Ellsworth May
Alex Coronado  Campus Dining Roofers Helper  Fred Knott
Brian Deissinger Campus Dining Grounds Helper Ellsworth May
Juan Deleon Campus Dining Roofers Helper  Fred Knott
Miosotis Gonzalez Guerrero Campus Dining The Service Point Customer Service Associate Julie Raymond
Fredy Guzman Campus Dining Mechanical Helper E-Quad/Special Facilities  Kevin Shennard
Tyree Heath Campus Dining HVAC Helper  Todd Maslowski
Nery Davila Herrera Campus Dining Plumber Helper  Nick Sferra
Stephen Hwaga Campus Dining Custodian John Argento
Andrew Immordino Campus Dining Carpenter's Helper Sterling Tantum
Thomas Mahoney Bldg Srvcs Electric/Elevator Shop Helper  Keith Esposito
Elton Mathis Campus Dining Floor Cleaning Night Crew  Gary Immordino
Dennis Orantes Bldg Srvcs HVAC Helper  Ted Lewis/Larry Brickhouse
Elijah Robinson Campus Dining Custodian John Argento
Samantha Riday Campus Dining Custodian John Argento
Berny Say Bldg Srvcs HVAC Helper  Robert Macfarlan
Donald Snook (storekeeper) Campus Dining OIT-IT Support Associate Joe DeLucia
Reetika Sood Campus Dining Housing Operations Assistant  Mike Stillwagon
Emmanuel Soto Grounds Electric/Elevator Shop Helper  Sam Proccacini
Valeria Sykes Campus Dining Site Protection Craig Mallet
Dashawn Tye Movers Custodian John Argento
Michael Valencia Campus Dining Carpenter's Helper Sterling Tantum
Imani Vareen Campus Dining OIT Dept. Support Specialist  Linda Dereka
Ryan Rick-Wagner Grounds Cogeneration Plant Helper Eric Wachman
Thomas Wear Grounds Painter's Helper Ted Lewis

STP Success

Over the years, the selection process for the program has become more competitive, so everyone who participates is a success story. However, this year there were three employees whose involvement and hard work resulted in career advancement:

  • Andrew Immordino
    • Previous position: Kosher cook, Campus Dining
    • 2023 SEIU STP position: carpenter helper, Facilities
    • New position: HVAC apprentice, effective August 7
  • Samantha Riday
    • Previous position: residential food service worker, Campus Dining
    • 2023 SEIU STP position: custodian, Building Services
    • New position: custodian, Building Services, effective August 7
  • Berny Say
    • Previous position: custodian, Building Services
    • 2023 SEIU STP position: HVAC helper, Facilities
    • New position: HVAC apprentice, effective August 7

[Read more about Immordino and Say: “Building and Dining Services Staff Hired as HVAC Apprentices”]

Bridget Walsh, co-lead of the program/director of client services, labor relations and HR communications, praises the effort as an example of the longstanding positive labor-management relationship at Princeton. “It’s a privilege to be part of this program and I’m always impressed with how enthusiastically partners from across campus come together to make it happen. Our model is something that Ivy peers have inquired about, which is another great testament to the importance and impact of the STP.”

Both Blackman and Walsh cannot stress enough the huge team effort the program takes. The SEIU STP committee members responsible for planning and coordination were:

Diana S. Amaya – senior HR manager, Human Resources
Tanya Anderson – senior HR generalist, Human Resources
Kamara Blackman – co-lead STP / senior career specialist, Human Resources
Erik Breza – SEIU executive board / mover, Building Services
LeeAnn Coleman – co-lead STP / HR associate, Human Resources
Jeffrey M. Coley – SEIU president / worker, Roofer/Tinner Shop
Denise Cox – payroll coordinator, Campus Dining
Daron F. Groce– SEIU treasurer / surplus coordinator, Building Services
Benjamin B. McDonald Sr. – senior human resources business partner, PPPL
Kathleen M. Mikos – retail food service worker, Campus Dining
Verita L. Murrill – director of talent and organizational development, Office of the Vice President for University Services
Robin Perkins – business operations manager, Building Services
Ashanté Pickett – DEI specialist, Human Resources
Donna Pilenza – director of residential dining, Campus Dining
Barbara J. Rice – SEIU vice president / short order cook, Campus Dining
Kristen Sobolewski – administration coordinator, Facilities Operations
Kay Sylla – senior HR manager, Human Resources
Eileen Tarity – assistant director, Facilities Operations
Bridget Walsh – co-lead STP / director, client services, labor relations, and communications, Human Resources

The SEIU STP for 2024 launched on October 2, 2023. Full details, including dates and mandatory sessions, can be found on the SEIU web page.

Looking ahead, the SEIU STP Committee would like to recruit additional host departments who have the potential to offer new positions. Interested departments are encouraged to email Kamara Blackman.