Penn College bestows year-end recognition upon faculty, staff

Published 05.09.2024

Photos by Alexandra Butler, photographer/photo editor

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Pennsylvania College of Technology presented faculty and staff with a variety of awards and recognized employees and retirees who have reached significant milestones as the 2023-24 academic year concludes.

President Michael J. Reed celebrated the honorees during a May 9 All-College meeting in the Klump Academic Center auditorium.

Distinguished Teaching
Distinguished Teaching Awards are presented to full-time faculty at Penn College who have been nominated by their students and colleagues for excellence in instruction. Including this year’s honorees, there have been 128 recipients since the program began in 1982: 34 Master Teacher Awards and 94 Excellence in Teaching Awards.

Three full-time faculty members received 2024 Excellence in Teaching Awards: Tammy S. Clossen, assistant professor of dental hygiene; Michael P. Covone, associate professor of applied health studies; and Naim N. Jabbour, associate professor of architecture.

Pennsylvania College of Technology presented Excellence in Teaching Awards to three full-time faculty members and two Part-Time Teaching Excellence Awards at its All-College meeting closing out the 2023-24 academic year. From left are Excellence in Teaching Award recipients Tammy S. Clossen, assistant professor of dental hygiene; Michael P. Covone, associate professor of applied health studies; and Naim N. Jabbour, associate professor of architecture; President Michael J. Reed; and Part-Time Excellence Award recipients Tara A. Schiele, surgical technology, and Sasha N. Williamson, dental hygiene.

Among the comments from Clossen’s student nominations were: “Dr. Clossen goes out of her way to help anyone and everyone. She helps in and out of the classroom. I always feel very knowledgeable after leaving her class.” Also: “Students feel comfortable talking to her. Instructors look up to her. She makes students feel confident.”

Covone’s nomination included: “Dr. Mike Covone is one of the most dedicated, hard-working faculty members I have had the privilege to work with. His passion for health care education and love of teaching is evident in every class he teaches and every student interaction. Student evaluations routinely speak about his enthusiasm for and knowledge of the material and how this makes them more eager to learn.”

Jabbour’s nomination featured comments from current students and alumni, most enrolled in architecture, but also First Year Experience students and others who have traveled with him on Study Abroad trips: “Dr. Jabbour was, by far, the most organized professor I had in my college career. He was always ready and prepared. Gives constructive criticism and informs you how to improve in a positive way.” Describing study abroad as “the experience of a lifetime,” a student wrote: “I have been on two of the travel abroad trips. … They were incredible, and I appreciate Dr. Jabbour for offering the opportunity in the first place.”

Part-Time Teaching Excellence
The college presented Part-Time Teaching Excellence Awards to Tara A. Schiele, surgical technology, and Sasha N. Williamson, dental hygiene.

Schiele’s nomination stated: “Her passion for the field of surgical technology is evident, as well as her singular focus on students’ learning. Because of her confident, yet relaxed manner, students find Tara approachable, and they also hold her in high regard for her knowledge. Tara is one of the most engaged, dedicated adjunct faculty members I have known. She brings real-world experience to the classroom in a way that students can connect with.”

Comments from Williamson’s nominating form included: “She is passionate about teaching and being the best teacher that she can be, and she helps us develop passion for our careers, too.” “She adapts to teach a range of students and gives feedback without putting students down.” “Amazing rapport with students (everyone loves her). Builds self-confidence. Sparks ideas.”

President Michael J. Reed celebrates Distinguished Staff Award recipients (from left) Audriana L. Empet, director of admissions; Rebecca A. Steer, office assistant to the dean of engineering technologies; Michelle L. Lose, dining services worker; and Kathryn Malone, a library circulation assistant.

Distinguished Staff
Distinguished Staff Awards were presented in the college’s Administrative, Professional and Technical classification and Service classification,  as well as to a part-time employee.

There were two recipients from among the Administrative, Professional & Technical category: Audriana L. Empet, director of admissions, and Rebecca A. Steer, retiring as office assistant to the dean of engineering technologies.

Comments from Empet’s nominating form include: “Her work ethic is unparalleled, consistently exceeding expectations with meticulous attention to detail and unwavering commitment to high standards. Audriana’s strategic thinking and innovative approach to problem-solving breathe life into projects, resulting in successful outcomes time and again. She displays remarkable initiative, always eager to expand her skill set and embrace new ideas. Audriana’s contributions to our Admissions Office have been nothing short of remarkable, significantly advancing the mission of the college and elevating her own job performance in the process.”

Of Steer, a nominator wrote: “Becky is highly capable at her job. Any task she is asked to complete is done both quickly and accurately. She also is willing to help with new tasks. These tasks are disparate, change daily, and require an intense knowledge of the college’s policies and procedures. Becky moves nimbly from counseling a student who took the wrong class, to ordering supplies, or entering the master schedule for the college’s largest divisions. This shows an extreme knowledge of her position and how to best execute tasks.”

The Distinguished Staff honoree for the Service classification was Michelle L. Lose, dining services worker.

A colleague wrote: “I’ve worked with Michelle for 15 years, and she has been the employee I can always count on to be present every day, always with a smile. I can’t even recall a day she called in sick. Michelle has always gone the extra mile to help students and make their experience at the Keystone Dining Room feel like home. She knows their orders before they even order and will have breakfast started for them before they even arrive. She is beyond dedicated to serving our students and being the best team player for Dining Services.” From a student nominator: “I can always count on a smile and a good morning when she is in. I feel Michelle cares about us.”

The Distinguished Staff part-time employee honoree was Kathryn Malone, a library circulation assistant, who has been heralded for representing “the student-centered principles” of the Madigan Library and Penn College. “Kathie’s kind, nurturing personality creates a positive, cohesive work environment with her coworkers and library student assistants. She is a team player who shows compassion and cares deeply about students succeeding and reaching their personal and academic goals for their future. Her interpersonal skills, multi-tasking abilities, organizational skills, and her attention to detail are some of her greatest strengths.”

Jason W. Killinger (right), associate professor of HVAC technology, received the Excellence in Academic Advising Award from Penn College President Michael J. Reed at the All-College meeting closing out the 2023-24 academic year.

Excellence in Academic Advising
Jason W. Killinger, associate professor of HVAC technology, was the Excellence in Academic Advising award honoree. His nominating comments include: “This year, Jason has been especially busy advising students. When we won the Johnson Controls Scholars $100,000 grant, he took on the responsibility of advising the additional 25 students who won the scholarship. Pragmatically, this means that he’s meeting with those students monthly, organizing special events and job site tours, and interfacing with Johnson Controls leadership. He is proactive and highly communicative with the Johnson Controls Scholars, as well as his assigned advisees. Students regard him as an effective and approachable advisor. Often, when I stop by his office … he’ll be reviewing something with a team of seniors who’ve stopped by to work on their capstone project (outside classroom hours). Jason is open-minded and pragmatic. When a student has an issue, he will do his best to find a supportive solution.”

Penn College President Michael J. Reed (second from left) presented President’s Awards for Assessment to Melissa A. Webb (far left), technology and information literacy instructor/course coordinator; and to the college’s Mail Services department, represented by Jody L. Fausey (second from right), manager of document and mail services, and Tina M. Miller, director of public relations and marketing.

President’s Award for Assessment
The President’s Award for Assessment was bestowed upon two recipients: Melissa A. Webb, technology and information literacy instructor/course coordinator, and the Mail Services Department at the college.

Webb completed course assessment for CSC124 – the Information, Technology & Society course, which resulted in marked improvement in meeting required student outcomes. “Her goal of improving student learning was evident throughout the assessment process, including her detailed course assessment documentation,” her nomination cited. “Her streamlined approach in P.L.A.T.O. played a crucial role in making the assessment efficient and accessible to all instructors. The user-friendly interface and organized structure of the tools and rubrics she created greatly improved the overall assessment process. ... It is also evident how she values feedback and utilizes the data to inform improvements in student learning. Her dedication to continuous improvement is commendable, and it is reassuring to know that she actively incorporates new ways to enhance the course.”

With a twofold aim of improving services to students and increasing operational effectiveness, Mail Services studied a problem and offered a solution that addressed making delivered packages accessible to students after normal college office hours.

With the assistance of the Assessment, Research & Planning and Residence Life staffs, Mail Services developed and distributed a survey to students. After careful analysis of the survey data, staff workloads, and potential remedies, the most proactive, efficient and economical solution was made: installing self-service package lockers in the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center hallway.

Stacey C. Hampton, assistant dean of industrial and computer technologies at Pennsylvania College of Technology, received the “Why Not Women” award from President Michael J. Reed at the All-College meeting closing out the 2023-24 academic year.

‘Why Not Women’
Stacey C. Hampton, assistant dean of industrial & computer technologies, is the recipient of the “Why Not Women” award. Her supporters addressed her role as a mentor to many, including colleagues and students: “She wants the best for students and strives to show awareness for women in male-dominated career paths. She definitely showed me that I need to be the voice for women like myself.” “Her ability to excel as a supervisor of a male-dominated division should be preeminent as a true example of ‘Why Not Women.’ She commands the respect of all her colleagues, male and female.” Also: “She understands that the lack of female representation in many STEM roles is due to the absence of support and encouragement for young girls. She uses her skills to excite young girls for a career in the technological fields.”

Following a breakfast honoring employees in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, Reed poses with some of the college employees reaching 30 or 35 years of service.

Personnel Milestones
Honored for reaching 35 years of service this year were: Valerie A. Baier, Karen I. Rishcoff, David P. Showan, Carol T. Sims and Jennifer L. Whitmoyer. This year’s 30-year employees were Gerald “Chip” Baumgardner, Holly M. Campbell, William J. Miller, Myra K. Shaffer, Mark E. Sones and Kate M. Wetzel.

The newest members of the Quarter Century Club pose with the college president. The club honors 25 years of service.

Quarter Century Club honors went to 15 employees: Christine E. Atkins, Kelly B. Butzler, Daniel K. Christopher, Susan B. Deuel, Brian A. Flynn, Amy S. Lingg, Barry L. Loner Jr., Carrie A. Mayer, Debra S. Morris, Scott D. Neuhard, Joseph M. Rieck, John G. Upcraft, Christopher H. Van Stavoren, Curt E. Vander Vere and Joseph A. Worth.

Retirees gather for a memory-making moment with the college president.

The college said farewell to 36 employees retiring with approximately 750 years of experience in total: Valerie A. Baier, Ronald Beck, Kent B. Bunting, Geoffrey Campbell, Holly M. Campbell, Dulcey Frantz, Jane E. Grages, Barbara Helminiak, Sandra L. Karnes, Christine B. Kavanagh, Steven P. Keen, Jeanie Krape, Joe Loehr, John D. Maize, Susan Manzitti, Shane Miller, William J. Miller, JoAnn Otto, Sarah K. Patterson, Drew Potts, Joni J. Pyle, Michael Rae, Gary Reynolds, Carol T. Sims, Rebecca A. Steer, Mary Stout, Mary G. Trometter, Christopher H. Van Stavoren, Thomas J. Venditti, Kimberly A. Venti, Katherine A. Walker, Darlene Warner, Thomas W. Wilson, Todd S. Woodling, Rob A. Wozniak and Theresa Wyland.

Faculty who have earned promotion in academic rank in advance of the 2024-25 academic year were also honored.

Promotion in Academic Rank
Fifteen faculty members earned promotion in academic rank in advance of the 2024-25 academic year. They are: from instructor to assistant professor: Eric L. Anstadt, electrical technology/occupations; Luke J. Davies, CNC machining & automation; Jill M. Hicks, dental hygiene; Steven J. Kopera, welding; Eric W. Nagy, English composition & technical communication; Charles F. Probst, automotive, Honda PACT; Vii J. Rice, polymer technology; Elizabeth P. Waugh, virtual and distance learning initiatives librarian; Melissa A. Webb, technology and information literacy instructor/course coordinator; and Kimberly A. Yoder, mathematics. From assistant professor to associate professor: Tammy S. Clossen, dental hygiene; Christopher J. Holley, automotive; Donnamarie Lovestrand, nursing; and Jessica U. Oberlin, information technology initiatives librarian. From associate professor to professor: Rob Cooley, anthropology/environmental science.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.