State Sen. Spilka honored with RAM award

(President F. Javier Cevallos and Peter Chisholm, director of community relations, present the RAM award to State Sen. Karen Spilka. Framingham State)

State Sen. Karen Spilka, 2nd Middlesex, received the RAM (recognition of achievement and merit) award for her assisting the University in acquiring the Warren Conference Center, said University President F. Javier Cevallos.

Cevallos presented the award to Spilka at the bi-annual legislative breakfast on Feb. 10.

According to Dale Hamel, executive vice president, the award is typically given to faculty or staff members at FSU. The executive staff made an exception and decided to honor Spilka for her help in acquiring the Warren Conference Center.

Cevallos said, “We thought we would make her an honorary community member by giving her the award. Yes, it is typically given to somebody on campus, but in this case, we decided to make an exception because of the amazing work that Senator Spilka does.”

Hamel added she was “instrumental” in obtaining the funds from the state to purchase the Center and negotiating a deal with the town of Ashland, where she lives.

Hamel said the award is given to “really focus on … recognizing staff achievements for essentially going above and beyond their staff duties.”

He said, “I was very pleased for her to get this award, and it really took someone like Karen to get [the center purchased].”

Director of Community Relations Peter Chisholm recommended Spilka for the award. He presented the RAM award to her alongside Cevallos.

He said, “I know the University is very important to her, and she’s done what she can to help us out, which is why I was so pleased that we gave her the award, and that the president and Dale Hamel went along with my suggestion that we give her some kind of recognition.”

Chisholm helped select the award – a bronze statue of a ram.

He added, “I think the RAM award is a good thing that we’ve started. It’s an attention getter. it’s not just some plaque that goes on the wall.”

Spilka said, “Throughout my career in the legislature, I have worked to secure state funding and support for the Hemenway Labs science center, facility improvements at the McAuliffe Center and planetarium, programming at the MetroWest College and Career Planning Center, the Warren Conference Center and Inn and many other University projects and initiatives.

“I am proud to be recognized by Framingham State for my service to the University, and I look forward to continuing our work together to advance high-quality public education for MetroWest students,” Spilka added.

“It is my honor to represent FSU at the State House – a jewel in the state university system and a major partner for the MetroWest community and economy,” she said.

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