Penn State Fayette faculty and staff receive Excellence Awards

UNIONTOWN, Pa. – The Advisory Board of Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, recently recognized outstanding achievement and service among its faculty and staff at a special awards banquet. Arlene Hall, interim chancellor, noted, “It is always important to recognize colleagues for their accomplishments and to acknowledge the contributions of those who have served the University well.”

The following recipients of the 2013 Excellence Awards were recognized at the “Celebrate the Season” Retirement/Recognition dinner held on Friday, Dec. 13, at Caporella’s Ristorante in Uniontown:

-- The Scholarly Excellence Award — presented to Lindsey Simon-Jones, assistant professor of English, for her scholarly work covering a range of topics from medieval literature and linguistics to contemporary fantasy literature and online role-playing, her recent publications, as well as edited collection of essays both here and abroad.

-- Teaching Excellence Award — presented to Gina Jones, instructor in human development and family studies (HDFS), for her excellent teaching and professionalism, for her success in the 100 percent placement rate for HDFS graduating seniors working in the field after graduation, and for the professional skills she helps students hone and practice.

-- CE (Continuing Education) Teaching Excellence Award — presented to Lynne Roy, SAT Prep instructor and summer youth coordinator, for an outstanding job of both teaching and coordinating noncredit classes for a variety of youth programs.

-- Administrative Excellence Award — presented to Lori Omatick, director of development, who received this award due to her dedication to service, commitment to excellence, her leadership throughout the community and her professional manner which presents the University in the most positive light.

-- Support Services Excellence — presented to Chancellor’s Team: Joyce Barnhart and Billie Jo Yuhaniak, administrative support assistants, for an extraordinary year during a leadership transition. This honor reflects their outstanding efforts in the coordination of the University Board of Trustees visit to the campus and three major campus administration searches while providing excellent service and professionalism to the campus community.

-- Adjunct Teaching Excellence — Joseph Kalasky, lecturer in engineering, for his outstanding teaching capabilities, putting his whole heart and soul into ensuring his students were understanding the material and fully prepared for the test.

The next awards were established to honor the memory of special members of the Fayette Campus Family, Ellen M. Laun, Rose Ann Williams and Barbara B. Solesky:

-- Rose Ann Williams Staff Mentoring Award — Tina Reed, administrative support assistant, for her intrinsic ability to allay problems and see that student issues are addressed by the proper person. Having organized Women’s Day on campus over the years, her influence extends into the community as well.

-- Barbara B. Solesky Staff Assistant Service Excellence Award — Collette Ridgeway, administrative support assistant, for consistently working beyond the requirements of her position and offering a kind smile and helping hand to students, staff, faculty and the local community. Her ability to do this with grace and good humor made her the perfect choice for this award.

-- Ellen M. Laun Advising Excellence Award — Gina Jones, instructor in human development and family studies, for being a conscientious adviser, overseeing HDFS internships and exhibiting professionalism, leading her to be named director of Career Services. Jones participates in group advising sessions and coordinates the HDFS orientation session held each year.

For their sustained dedication to Penn State Fayette, the following individuals received certificates measuring milestones in their service to the campus:

Five years:
Wendy Barrett
Vincent Capozzi
Scott Nemeth
Lori A. Omatick
Michael Ridenour

Ten years:
Peter Eberle
Janet Kowalczyk
Donald Liddick
Amy Mihalko
Danielle Mitchell
Joseph Shostell

Fifteen years:
William Gardner

Twenty years:
Joseph Segilia

Twenty-five years:
C. Michael Comiskey
Earla Knoyer

Thirty years:
James Crawford

Thirty-five years:
Evelyn Pluhar-Adams

Also honored at the awards banquet was 2013 retiree Bobby Salitrik, instructional materials designer. Salitrik, a graduate of Penn State, began her career in 1976 as a library clerk, transitioning to the instructional services area in 1978. In 2001, she became the instructional materials designer, a position she held until her retirement in April. Bobby’s 35 years of contributions to the learning environment, and her initial and continued leadership during the establishment of computer-based teaching/presentation classrooms, provided the infrastructure to support enhanced teaching and learning at the campus. Her knowledge, loyal years of service and singular historical knowledge of the campus are unmatched today. Bobby’s tireless efforts toward the enormous task of planning the campus’ 40th anniversary celebration in October 2005 were instrumental in its success.

Last Updated December 18, 2013