Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Three longterm employees retire from Pitt-Bradford

From left, retiring employees Betsy Matz, associate professor of accounting; Sharie Radzavich, administrative assistant; and Laurel Phillips, director of human resources. (Photo by Alan Hancock)
BRADFORD, Pa. -- Three University of Pittsburgh at Bradford employees will retire this spring with a total of 86 years of service to the university.
Sharie Radzavich, administrative assistant for the Division of Communication and the Arts, will retire at the end of May with 30 years of service; Laurel Phillips, director of human resources, will retire with 29 years’ service; and Lizbeth Matz, associate professor of accounting, will retire after 27 years of teaching.
            All three women have been active in the campus community, particularly in women’s issues.
            Radzavich came to Pitt-Bradford 30 years ago after working as a secretary at DuBois Regional Medical Center. She took on similar duties in the university’s fledgling nursing program, which had seven students. She took on several other administrative assistant roles before settling in her current position.
            Radzavich received the Chancellor’s Award for Staff Excellence in 2015 and the Pitt-Bradford Staff Association Award in 2014, when she was also honored as the American Association of University Women’s Woman of the Year.
            On campus, she was instrumental in the creation and operation of Take Your Daughter to Work Day, Women’s History Month, Women of Promise recognition for high school students, Empty Bowls and Baskets and The Friendship Table.
            Following her retirement, she and her husband, Bob, who is retired from Schlumberger, will relocate from Bradford to northern Colorado, where her children live.
            Phillips came to Pitt-Bradford in 1989 from McCourt Label Co. Her first position at Pitt-Bradford was as secretary to William Seidensticker, dean of academic affairs, and his successor, Dr. Carol Baker.
            In 1993, she moved to the office of Business Affairs, where she worked as the human resources assistant, then manager, then director.
            She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources working with more than 500 employees. On campus, she was the first president of the Pitt-Bradford Staff Association and served on committees for Empty Bowls and Baskets and Women’s History Month. In 2010, she was chosen by her fellow staff members for the Staff Recognition Award.
            On April 30, she ended her term as president of the board of directors of the YWCA in Bradford, where she has overseen the transition to a new executive director. She first became involved in the YWCA, she said, after being recruited by a Pitt-Bradford co-worker, Sandra Green.
            Phillips and her husband, Gary, live in Ellicottville, N.Y., and have three grown sons.
            Matz came to Pitt-Bradford in 1990 after teaching accounting at Jamestown (N.Y.) Community College and Olean (N.Y.) Business Institute. Prior to teaching, she was an accountant for more than a decade at various businesses and agencies.
            During her time at Pitt-Bradford, she became immediately involved with the Women’s History Month committee. During her first years on campus, she also established the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, in which students complete tax forms for low-income individuals.
            Later, she became a member of the Friends of Hanley Library board of directors, the College in the High School liaison, the faculty chairperson for the faculty-staff internal fundraising campaign, the faculty athletic representative and the advisor for Lambda Xi sorority.
            She was promoted to associate professor and given tenure in 1996 and became the chairwoman of the Division of Management in Education in 2001, a position she held until 2013. While chairwoman, the division introduced majors in accounting, computer information systems and technology, and nine education programs.
            Also as chairwoman, she initiated the Executive Speaker Series, bringing to campus prominent business people such as Stan Sheetz, David Oreck and Lilly Ledbetter.
            In 2004, the Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association awarded her its Teaching Excellence Award, and this year she was chosen for the Chairs’ Faculty Teaching Award.
            In her retirement, she plans to spend time with her grandchildren and her favorite hobbies, weaving baskets, spinning and needlework. She lives in Olean.