Cathy Di Lena, human resources specialist for the College of Public Health and Health Professions, passed away December 11.
She provided human resources support for hundreds of PHHP faculty, staff and postdoctoral associates during her 16 years at the college.
“Throughout her time with us, Cathy touched the lives of many faculty, staff, and students in the college,” said Michael G. Perri, Ph.D., dean of the college. “She was a dedicated employee and a kind and caring person. She will be greatly missed by her friends and co-workers.”
Cathy was named the college’s Employee of the Year in 2006. She received nominations from individuals in half the college’s departments with comments such as “she always makes the person coming through her door feel important” and “her positive attitude is contagious.” She was recognized for her accuracy, attention to detail, patience, helpfulness and ability to go above and beyond to resolve issues.
“Cathy and I worked side-by-side for 15 years,” said Lorie Martin, the college’s director of human resources. “While I viewed her as a trusted colleague and friend who made me laugh untold number of times over the years, I learned after her passing how others saw her. Some of the comments sent to me as people expressed their sympathies included ‘she was such a wonderful positive person,’ ‘I could hear her singing through the wall and it made me smile,’ ‘Cathy’s presence — and smile — was a staple of this college,’ ‘such an energetic and positive person,’ ‘she was such an amazing lady,’ ‘she was always trying to spread compliments,’ ‘such a lovely, kind person.’ What a great reminder that the legacy we leave is less about the work we do and more about the impact we make on people. Cathy’s impact was tremendously positive and I am grateful to have known her.”
Cathy’s family is planning a celebration of her life sometime in the spring.