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Tolentino Named STLCC-Forest Park Staff Member of the Year

April 15, 2015

Forest Park Staff Member of the Year Award presentation  
The 2015 Forest Park Staff Member of the Year Award recently was presented to Sue Tolentino, center. Others pictured are, from left, Franklyn Taylor, vice president of student affairs; Ame Mead-Roach, dean, Humanities and Social Sciences; Elizabeth Wilcoxson, interim dean, Business, Math and Technology; Sue Tolentino; Lisa Lee, chair of the Forest Park Institutional Affairs Council; Rod Nunn, interim president; and Joe Wilson, associate professor of chemistry.

The periodic table of elements is a model of organization; everything in its proper place. Chemistry in the classroom, however, can be a messy thing. Which is to say nothing of the chemicals themselves.

Organization does not just happen, as Sue Tolentino can tell you.

Tolentino, an engineering technician in the Chemistry department, has been named the 2015 St. Louis Community College-Forest Park Staff Member of the Year. The employee recognition program celebrates the important work performed by staff to support the core values and goals of the college.

When Tolentino began working in the Chemistry Prep storage area, it left something to be desired.

“(The storage area) was a mess,” said Joe Wilson, associate professor of chemistry, who nominated Tolentino for the award. “Sue took the initiative to straighten up these areas, and arrange everything in a logical manner.”

“I wish I’d taken a picture of what it looked like then,” said Tolentino. “It is quite different now.”

Tolentino’s talents extend far beyond organization. The entire set of experiments for the general chemistry sequence was redesigned and updated for this academic year, which required extensive preparation and testing to ensure that they worked properly in the classroom. Because of Tolentino’s extra effort, these experiments have worked smoothly and have enhanced the learning opportunities for students at Forest Park.

Tolentino also has made suggestions for substituting non-toxic substances in experiments that minimize the hazardous waste produced, which is very expensive to both collect and dispose of properly.

“The amount of hazardous waste produced by the chemistry area at Forest Park has been diminished greatly over the last several years,” Wilson said.

Tolentino has worked at STLCC-Forest Park for nearly 21 years. She earned her associate degree in chemical technology from STLCC-Florissant Valley.

“I am honored and delighted to get this award,” Tolentino said.