Primate center staffers honored for longevity

March 25, 2014 11:00 AM

Alicia Duplessis Jasmin

Bernice Kaack and Cyndi Trygg took different routes to get to their destined careers at the Tulane National Primate Research Center. Kaack, a research scientist, is a former nun, and Trygg, a laboratory research specialist, worked as a substitute teacher before beginning the 40-year journey as employees at the primate center.

Bernice Kaack and Cyndi Trygg

For their years of service, Bernice Kaack, left, and Cyndi Trygg are among 445 Tulane University employees being honored during this year’s staff recognition events. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

“The primate center is such a beautiful place to work and Tulane is a wonderful institution to work for,” says Trygg. “It’s easy to stay in a place this long when you get to work with such a diverse group of people who feel more like your family than coworkers everyday.”

Kaack, who remembers attending the primate center’s grand opening and is assisting with preparation for the primate center’s 50th anniversary celebration, agrees.

“There were only 80 people working here when I started in 1973,” says Kaack. “We now have about 300 employees and new buildings, and the work is as rewarding as ever.”

Catherine DeMarr, customer relations representative for the Workforce Management Organization at Tulane University, says the goal of the annual celebration is to let employees know that their work is appreciated.

“We honor our employees who are celebrating milestone anniversaries during these events,” says DeMarr. “We have a few employees who have worked at Tulane as many as 45 years and others who are celebrating their first five years.”

Recognition events will be held on the downtown campus (Wednesday, March 26, at 11 a.m.), the primate center (Thursday, March 27, at 10 a.m.) and on the uptown campus (Friday, March 28, at 11 a.m.).  

While Kaack and Trygg are among the longest-working employees with 40 years of service, Mary Little, a database administrator with 45 years of service, will be honored for having the longest tenure of this year’s primate center honorees.

Also being honored for 45-year tenure is Diane Banfell, project assistant in the music department; Rogelio Perez, plumbing supervisor in the power plant; and Perla Saludes, a library associate in the law library.

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