Mount honors longtime employees: Longest serving professor, Cotter, celebrates 55 years

January 15, 2019

Dr. James Finn Cotter (right), a professor of English at Mount Saint Mary College, was honored recently for his 55 years of service. Next to him is Rosario Edic of Adult and Graduate Admissions, who was honored for 35 years of service to the college.

Nearly 50 longtime Mount Saint Mary College personnel were honored at the college’s recent service awards event.
Beloved English Professor James Finn Cotter celebrated an important milestone: his 55th year of teaching at the Mount.
Cotter started his career at the college in 1963. In addition to having enhanced the education of thousands of Mount students, he is a celebrated translator of Dante’s Commedia, a Fulbright-Hays lecturer, and a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities grant. Cotter is the author of Beginnings: the First Twenty-Five Years of Mount Saint Mary College; A New Life: Learning the Way of Omega; and the Mount’s alma mater. He is also one of only two individuals in the college’s history to have served as mace bearer at Commencement.
Currently the Mount’s longest-serving professor, Cotter has begun a phased retirement, though he has not yet selected when his final semester will be.
“I hope [students] leave my class with a love of the text,” said Cotter. “I very much enjoy reading what they wrote and helping them to improve.”
An interview with Cotter and three other “Pillars of the Mount” – Sr. Ann Sakac, OP, former Mount president; Sr. Peggy Murphy, OP, professor of Religious Studies; and Frances Spielhagen, professor of Education – appears in the latest Mount Saint Mary College Magazine, available online at
In addition to Cotter, the following employees were recognized for their service:
5 YEARS – 2013
Doreen Bischof, Health Services
Caitlin Kramer, Counseling Services
Jeanne Conboy, Catholic and Dominican Institute
Daniel Drury, Athletics Department
Regina Eisenbacher, Career Center
Samantha Howe, Athletics Department
Jeremy Girsch, Student Financial Services
Dina Leduc, Health Services
Leonora Liz, Finance Office
Antonio Mansilla, Facilities
Patrick Olivia, Facilities
Richard Rossi, Security and Safety
Kelly Vasilakos, Bishop Dunn Memorial School
Amy Weit, Residence Life
10 YEARS – 2008
Victor Azuaje, Division of Arts and Letters
Sherri Berardinelli, Finance Office
Monica Blackwell Merritt, Division of Education
Giuseppe Dibella, Facilities
Elizabeth Ebert, Registrar
Denise Garofalo, Library
Dean Goldberg, Division of Arts and Letters
Jenifer Lee-Gonyea, Division of Social Sciences
James Moran, Division of Natural Science
Stephen Sosler, Athletics Department
Orin Strauchler, Office of Student Success
Elaine Suderio-Tirone, School of Nursing
Jennifer L. Wutz, Division of Education
15 YEARS – 2003
Robbie Bertola, Division of Mathematics and IT
Lilian Cuadrado, Facilities
Sandra Fisher, Finance Office
Michelle Iacuessa, Alumni Affairs
Jeffrey Kahana, Division of Social Sciences
David MacLean, Information Technology
Daniel Shea, Division of Arts and Letters
Michael Strano, Athletics Department
Maria Vazquez, Facilities
20 YEARS – 1998
Faye Denisar, Division of Arts and Letters
Durward Entrekin, Division of Arts and Letters
Kathleen Harrington-Wright, Institutional Research
Lisa Johnson, Bishop Dunn Memorial School
Sharon Mankiewicz, Information Technology
Donna Perk, Bishop Dunn Memorial School
Eileen Rose, Bishop Dunn Memorial School
25 YEARS – 1993
Randy Prizzia, Facilities
Nancy Mazza, Finance Office
Lynn Maelia, Division of Natural Science
Susan Trieste, Bishop Dunn Memorial School
Rimma Vilshanetskaya, Library
30 YEARS – 1988
Margaret Bussigel, Division of Social Sciences
35 YEARS – 1983
Rosario Edic, Adult and Graduate Admissions