Penn State World Campus former academic leader to be recognized at awards dinner

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Outreach and Online Education will honor three outstanding leaders in education who have dedicated their time, funds and mentorship to enhance the Penn State experience for students. The awards will be presented at the Transforming Education Transforming Lives OOE Appreciation Dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, at The Nittany Lion Inn.

Craig Weidemann, vice president for Penn State Outreach and vice provost for Online Education, said he looks forward to celebrating the programs and people who make such enormous contributions to the success of Penn State students and the University as a whole.

“Each year at our awards dinner, we celebrate the incredible outreach and online programs that provide access to the University’s incredible academic expertise,” Weidemann said. “A special part of the evening is recognizing important individuals who played a key role in advancing our work.”

Pete Rubba is a professor emeritus of education at Penn State and will be honored with the 2016 Dubin Pioneer Award for his work with Penn State World Campus. During his 11 years as World Campus director of academic affairs, Rubba played a key leadership role in working with academic units to grow the number of programs offered via the World Campus. The approach he implemented generated a curriculum expansion that contributed to the 2011 Award for Excellence in Institution-wide Online Education from the Sloan Consortium.

“Leading the program selection and development process for Penn State World Campus was the most challenging, and yet the most rewarding, aspect of my 42-year career in education,” Rubba said. “I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to help Penn State Outreach and the University’s academic units meet the educational needs of learners, who otherwise did not have access to Penn State, through the online delivery of degree programs.”

Paul Umbach, founder and president of Tripp Umbach consulting firm, will receive the 2016 Fischer Award of Distinction for his work as part of the advisory council for the Penn State Center Pittsburgh and as a former member of the OOE Advisory Board.

“Creating a solid paw print for Penn State at the new Energy Innovation Center in downtown Pittsburgh was a game changing moment for both Penn State and the Pittsburgh region,” Umbach said. “Urban extension programs not only benefit hundreds of Pittsburgh partner organizations, but provide engaged learning opportunities for students. Our company provided staff resources to complete an economic impact study for this project that highlighted multiple opportunities for community, social and economic benefits.”

Carol Snyder will be recognized with the Outstanding World Campus Alumna Award. She is the secretary/treasurer for the Penn State World Campus Alumni Society Board. She worked in human resources for Johnson & Johnson for 28 years and founded the Simon and Shermon Angel Fund — designed to provide financial support to pet owners who are unable to pay for critical care needs for their pets — in her hometown of Mount Dora, Florida. Snyder earned her bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from the College of the Liberal Arts through Penn State World Campus several years ago and decided to work toward creating experiences for other students who are not located at one of the Penn State campuses.

“Penn State World Campus is unique from other campus environments and I think it is important that alumni have a way to connect with others,” Snyder said. “As World Campus continues to grow, so should the alumni society support through providing networking, outreach, up-to-date communication methods and mentoring support for current students.”

Visit Penn State Outreach and Online Education for more information.

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Last Updated September 21, 2016