Beaver faculty and staff members receive honors from Advisory Board and students

The Penn State Beaver Advisory Board and the campus student body recently honored seven faculty and staff members at the annual campus awards dinner.

The Advisory Board presented six $500 awards, which were underwritten by the following companies with employees serving on the Advisory Board: Andrews Industrial Controls, Day Capital Group, ESB Bank, Michael Baker Jr., Inc., NOVA Chemicals, and PNC Financial.

Advisory Board awards:

Kristen Olson, associate professor of English, received the Andrews Industrial Controls Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award and the Michael Baker Jr., Inc. Faculty Excellence in Service Award. Olson, who served as campus honors coordinator for seven years, holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in English and American literature and language from Case Western Reserve University; a master’s degree in English and American literature and language from Harvard University; and a bachelor’s degree in English from Colby College.

Jonathan Abel, lecturer in biology, received the ESB Bank Adjunct Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. A faculty member since 2012, Abel received his doctor of chiropractic from D’Youville College and holds a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in psychology from the State University of New York, Albany.

JoAnn Chirico, senior instructor in sociology, was honored with the NOVA Chemicals Faculty Excellence in Research Award. She is a past recipient of the Advisory Board’s Sky Bank Excellence in Service Award; the Penn State Commonwealth College Service Award; and the Penn State University Vice President for Student Affairs Award for Outstanding Program in the Diversity Speakers Series. Chirico holds a doctorate in sociology and education and a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree in English and biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

The Day Capital Group Staff Excellence Award was given to Jill Tress, learning center and disability services coordinator. Tress has worked at Beaver for three years. She received a master’s degree in creative writing (fiction) from Carlow University; a master’s degree in English (literature and writing) from Slippery Rock University; a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy from Mount Holyoke College; and a Pennsylvania teaching certificate in secondary English from Geneva College.

Linda Garlitz, faculty staff assistant since 1994, received the PNC Financial Staff Service Award. She graduated from Riverside High School and holds an associate degree in applied science as an executive secretary from the Community College of Beaver County.

Student awards:

Talha Harcar, professor of marketing, was named Outstanding Academic Adviser. He is a two-time past recipient of the Advisory Board Excellence in Research Award. He received a doctorate in business administration and a master’s degree and two bachelor’s degrees in marketing from Istanbul University. Harcar also holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Dan Pinchot, director of enrollment and co-adviser of The Roar student newspaper, received the Outstanding Club Adviser Award. Pinchot, who joined Beaver in 1998, is also a lecturer in communications at the campus. He holds a master’s degree in education and bachelor’s degrees in journalism and speech communication from Penn State. He received a teaching certificate in communications from Robert Morris University.

For information about these annual awards, contact the Office of Student Affairs at 724-773-3951 or

Last Updated May 27, 2014