Human resources associate Nancy Concadoro loves her job and her major role in the college's efforts to diversify job candidate pools for faculty and professional staff. She also loves Commencement, Laker hockey and her dog River, who visits campus to help students de-stress.

Where are you from originally?

I'm from eastern Long Island, the town of Shirley, South Shore, east end. I spent most of my adult life in East Moriches. It's a very small, one-light town. Quaint, one school K-8 -- beautiful little town. People tend to think Long Island is the City, but where I'm from, it's anything but. It's on the cusp of the Hamptons. I do miss it, but I don't miss my property taxes. (Laughs.) I love living in Oswego, so I have no complaints -- I live on the river, technically in Minetto.  

What can you tell us about your higher education?

I have an associate's degree from Suffolk Community College -- I'm a strong proponent of community college education -- but did go back later for my bachelor's at St. Joseph's College in Patchogue, Long Island. I was a nontraditional student and enjoyed every aspect of being a nontrad. I loved being a student, a lifelong learner. I've mentored other nontrads, I've done admissions recruiting for nontrads as a volunteer. I was a single mom with a young son. The program I was in at St. Joseph's was geared toward adults who were working full time. I loved it -- it was a life-changing experience. It's what inspired me to teach as an adjunct. I've been in human resources (as a profession) since 1998. At the time I did my master's (in human resource management), I was working in the school district I grew up in.

Why did you gravitate to human resource management?

Because I love working with people. My current position affords me a very unique opportunity to work with all members of our campus community. The nature of the search process at SUNY Oswego is quite impressive; I interact with our provost, deans, vice presidents, department chairs, faculty, professional staff and also classified support staff who provide significant contributions behind the scenes in many searches. With the volume of searches we conduct, my on-campus community is always changing; I’ve worked with most everyone and will eventually work with everyone. I feel I have one of the best positions on campus.

When did you start at SUNY Oswego?

I started at the college in May 2014. With the exception of my son, my entire family lives in Oswego now. I actually purchased my home on the (Oswego) river in 2006, just as a little vacation retreat. In 2008, a position opened up at Oswego Health. I moved here Christmas Day 2008 and worked there till 2014. 

What are your duties as human resources associate?

I oversee the faculty and professional staff search process, from inception to writing advertisements to working very closely with the hiring manager -- it could be a dean, a vice president, a department chair. I work very closely with the search chair and search committee members through the point where we have an accepted offer. I've been doing a lot of workshops lately with (Chief Diversity Officer) Rodmon King and also with (Chief Technology Officer) Sean Moriarty. A lot of my efforts are really working on expanding diversity in our candidate pools and sharing how great it is to work here. Working on a college campus, we have such opportunity. There's always something to do, there's always something to learn, we always have terrific speakers and events, and I'm a huge Laker hockey fan!

Can you tell us more about how the hiring process works?

The way we do searches here, I always call it a reverse funnel. Traditionally, HR screens candidates and has hiring managers review those resumes or CVs. Here we do it reverse (for faculty and professional staff). The search committee reviews the candidate pool, then they forward the short list of candidates to me and to Mary Toale (executive assistant to President Deborah F. Stanley), who's our affirmative action officer. We review the candidates on the list, but I always review the entire pool to make sure we haven't overlooked someone who may be qualified. It's a great system. The people doing the hiring are the experts in the field; I work as a partner. Working so closely with the search chairs has provided me with professionally enriched relationships with my colleagues.

Can you tell us more about your diversity efforts?

I spent many years working at Brookhaven National Laboratory, a huge research lab on Long Island with a very diverse population. They work in partnership with SUNY Stony Brook, and that was really good training for my position here. I'm fortunate I not only have the support of my own boss (Amy Plotner) and our VP (Nick Lyons), but also President Stanley supports me in our efforts to increase diversity in our candidate pools. For example, this morning I conducted another "Prior to the Search" workshop. I have been working with all the division directors, department chairs, faculty and professional sides of the campus to say, "Let's start thinking about our searches before we have a resignation or retirement. What can we do before we even get that position vacancy and really expand our efforts toward diversity?" I'm working closely with a team here on campus on ProdiG, which is a SUNY-wide initiative on increasing faculty diversity across the system. Diversity is a buzzword now. But President Stanley's emphasis on increasing diversity on campus predates a lot of these initiatives that are going on right now. 

How many faculty and professional staff searches are there?

We generally have over 100 searches each academic year. I think the busiest year was 132. But that means we're growing, we're hiring. We start with faculty searches here a year ahead. That means I start this July for 2020. Professional searches are ongoing. We have a standard set of online publications where we place all faculty and professional ads. I recently have developed a database of diverse advertising resources. When we have a position, I look at its qualifications and try to find some different, out-of the box resources where we could place ads to attract a more diverse candidate pool. Race and ethnicity are crucial in diversity, but diversity is more to me than affirmative action guidelines -- it's also differences in thoughts and beliefs and experiences. I'm very passionate when it comes to diversity and giving our students the opportunity to be exposed to not only diverse faculty, but diverse professional staff the students come in contact with in their time here. It's important that both our faculty and our professional staff reflect our student body and our world.

When and why did you start teaching here as an adjunct?

I happened to mention to Dean (Richard) Skolnik in the School of Business that I was going to adjunct when I was on Long Island. An opportunity opened up one semester, and I started teaching "Organizational Behavior" at the undergrad level. I love teaching "Organizational Behavior" -- regardless of what your career or profession is, you have to interact with people. The course addresses many topics that impact our workplace and culture, and our students will be working in a much smaller, global community than in the past. I have been teaching that since spring 2016. I also teach in the MBA program, "Human Resource Management" online. Unfortunately, I am not teaching this summer and I do miss it; I have a lot of travel this summer with our ProdiG initiative and our own diversity initiative and professional education for me.  

What else do you do on campus?

I try to participate in as many events as possible. Sometimes I'm the only person in the room that's not a member of the particular department or division. As I said, I'm a huge Laker hockey fan and I've been lucky to have dropped the puck a few times at Laker hockey games, representing SEFA (State Employees Federated Appeal). I am a SEFA Committee member and I'm passionate about supporting SEFA. I was a United Way campaign co-chair at Oswego Health -- I have seen when I was a benefits manager how our United Way member organizations locally step in to help people in their most dire times of need. I'm also on the campus Health and Well-Being Committee. I have a worksite wellness background and have developed employee wellness programs for past employers. I'm on the New Faculty Orientation Committee. I may or not be thanked for insisting that we bring a trolley on campus to conduct the tour. (Laughs.) It can be very hot, so Tim (Nekritz, director of news and media) and I work together as a team doing the campus tour. I also volunteer to work all Commencement ceremonies, December and May. I work the special-needs seating section and I really, really enjoy doing that. Yes, I'm there for all three ceremonies in May. For the second and third ceremonies, that's our students' and families' first ceremony. Having been a mother and traveling and the weather and dealing with emotions, I understand and can truly relate to our guests.  

What do you think of the SUNY Oswego students you've encountered? 

Oh, they're fabulous! I'm always impressed, but I'm never surprised. They are well spoken and articulate and thoughtful and dedicated and passionate. When I go to events where they emcee, like the Martin Luther King Jr. event or a breakfast for donors, and they're at the podium and speaking and guiding, they're so impressive. But I'm never surprised (by their excellence).

What do you like to do in your off hours?

I have my dog River. She is a pet therapy dog. She excels at giving love. We visit a nursing home in the area once a month, and we have residents there who have become friends. She jumps into bed with some of them and she gives love. It's very rewarding going there -- emotional for me, difficult at times -- but very rewarding. We come to campus for as many de-stressing events as possible. Students are missing their pets, so they just love to have dogs -- and a cat, Hector -- who come on campus through PAWS of Oswego County. I also like to kayak.

What else can you tell us about your son?

My son, Andrew Houck, is in graduate school right now. He has his BSN (bachelor science in nursing degree) from Villanova. He's now back in school to get his CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist). He's working with Drexel University and with a hospital in the area.