At Denison we embrace diversity. We are dedicated to fostering an environment where we support and involve each member of our community regardless of their cultural, racial, sexual, religious or economic status. Monica Graffeo, academic administrative assistant for the Global Commerce program, illustrates this value.

In her nomination for this recognition, Graffeo’s colleagues noted:

“Monica simply doesn’t hesitate to step up and contribute whenever she sees an opportunity. She is entirely committed to serving our students and helping to ensure that our entire campus is flourishing.”

“Embracing diversity is a core requirement to working successfully in the program, and Monica stepped into this without any hesitation. [Our department is comprised of] a wide range of backgrounds, and Monica moves seamlessly among our different personalities, backgrounds, and needs. Our newest team member is from Vietnam and had to start his first semester during a pandemic.

Monica [was] as hospitable as humanly possible given Covid circumstances. Given our efforts to “de-densify” the suite, there were quite a few days during the semester when she was one of the new team member’s only in-person contact, and her interactions and assistance were crucial in helping him settle in. Monica brings her strengths in caring for the community and inspiring trust to bear in working with colleagues and students from a broad variety of backgrounds—she never makes snap judgements, is always open to a variety of perspectives, and is always finding ways to learn about other people and make connections.”

“Monica is an open and straightforward communicator. It’s a pleasure to work with her because I never have to wonder what is on her mind or what is bothering her. As a result of her communication skills, Monica inspires trust throughout the department. Not only does our staff trust that she will complete her work, but they trust her decision-making and her opinions. Monica demonstrates her trust in other people’s best intentions every day—she never jumps to conclusions but always takes the time to figure out what is going on with other people so that she can sort out the best solution.”

“Monica demonstrates all 8 commitments so strongly that it is hard to pick just one as her best. Every part of how she does her job is about caring for the community—within our suite, across the area, and across campus. She exhibits this in her attention to detail, close tracking of our records, the way that she stays on top of deadlines and budgeting requirements, and her gentle reminders that keep us on track with deadlines but always recognize the context of our own responsibilities and stresses.

“Monica stepped up this fall to get trained as a contact tracer and has been a great resource for our department with her knowledge about that system. She has been generous with her time in volunteering to help onboard a new employee. Monica went above and beyond when she stepped in to help cover a parent leave. Beyond all of this, she is always prepared to address student needs and to share with the rest of the department if she has concerns about any of our students. Everyone who interacts with Monica experiences her commitment to caring for the Denison community.”

Denison employees articulate our shared values:

  • Inspire Trust
  • Express Gratitude
  • Pursue Growth & Learning
  • Care for the Community
  • Invest in Relationships
  • Be Respectful
  • Act with Integrity
  • Embrace Diversity
January 14, 2022