Candy Martel, director of stu­dent ser­vices in the Col­lege of Engi­neering, has called North­eastern “home” for more than 25 years.

I’ve been blessed with the good for­tune to work with a staff that’s absolutely amazing,” said Martel, who joined the North­eastern com­mu­nity in October 1986. “It’s like a family.”

Martel was one of more than 20 fac­ulty and staff mem­bers hon­ored for com­pleting 25 years of ser­vice to the uni­ver­sity at a recep­tion held on March 12 in the Curry Stu­dent Center Ball­room. Hon­orees received a cer­tifi­cate and a watch embla­zoned with Northeastern’s logo.

Philomena Man­tella, senior vice pres­i­dent for enroll­ment man­age­ment and stu­dent affairs, thanked hon­orees for their con­tri­bu­tions to the university.

This is an impor­tant mile­stone in your career at North­eastern,” said Man­tella, who joined the uni­ver­sity in 2001. “Your long­standing achieve­ments are the foun­da­tion of our success.”

Many of the hon­orees started working at North­eastern in 1987, the year in which the uni­ver­sity estab­lished the honors pro­gram and began building Snell Library.

Carey Rap­pa­port — Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Elec­trical and Com­puter Engi­neering and deputy director of the university’s Aware­ness and Local­iza­tion of Explosives-​​Related Threats (ALERT) Center — joined the North­eastern com­mu­nity as an assis­tant pro­fessor that year.

He has enjoyed guiding stu­dents through their “aha” moments. “Stu­dents in my classes or doing research with me will sud­denly reach an epiphany where they will under­stand why their work is impor­tant,” Rap­pa­port explained. “To see the look of sat­is­fac­tion on their faces and to be that vehicle for pro­ducing that joy is prac­ti­cally a spir­i­tual experience.”

Martel draws inspi­ra­tion from stu­dents, who, she said, “ask me for answers to every­thing.” She formed a close bond with former stu­dent Greg Mon­tal­bano, a star base­ball player who lost his coura­geous battle with cancer in August 2009.

He ended up being a good friend, and I got to know his family,” she said. “He was an inspi­ra­tion to me in terms of how I lived my life.”

Martel’s son, Cullen, is a North­eastern freshman. “Ever since he’s been 3 years old, he has wanted to go here,” Martel said. “He’s wearing a North­eastern sweat­shirt in every photo I have of him.”

For his part, Rap­pa­port feels like an entre­pre­neur run­ning a small busi­ness. “You sell prod­ucts of intel­lec­tual labor and build your rep­u­ta­tion based on your research,” he explained. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s also rewarding when you succeed.”

Does he want to be part of the North­eastern com­mu­nity for another 25 years? “Another 50 years,” he quipped. “You’re going to have to pry my hands off the keyboard.”