Housing and Food Services director receives award

HAZLETON, Pa. — Jonathan Kukta, director of Housing and Food Services at Penn State Hazleton, Schuylkill, Wilkes-Barre and Worthington Scranton, was honored during the annual Housing and Food Services Award Ceremony held by Penn State Auxiliary and Business Services. The Rewards & Recognition celebration for Housing and Food Services was held April 17 at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center.

Kukta received the William H. Rieber Award for Outstanding Management Performance, given to an awardee who demonstrates strong job performance; willingness to take initiative; enthusiasm; loyalty; leadership skills; and the ability to cooperate with colleagues and students. 

Penn State Hazleton Chancellor Gary Lawler said, “Jonathan is an integral part of our commitment to making each student feel welcome and included. We have heard many complimentary remarks and personal stories from students and parents alike about how he has modeled leadership with compassion while assisting in each unique situation.”

Christopher Hurley, senior director of Housing and Food Services for Commonwealth Campuses and Culinary Support Services, said, “Jonathan is one of our top performers in Housing and Food Services and this award demonstrates his commitment to excellence in all he does for Penn State. He has been involved in numerous renovation and construction projects and strategic planning initiatives and is the ‘go-to person’ for planning and executing major events, particularly those that involve VIPs within and outside the Penn State University community.”

The award was named for William H. Rieber, who retired from a 30-year career with Penn State in 1980 as the director of Operational Services in Housing and Food Services. Winners of this award share his enthusiasm, skillful management practices and talent for strong leadership in the Housing and Food Services unit.

Kukta said, “What an honor it is to receive the Reiber Outstanding Housing and Food Services Management Performance Award. I am so fortunate to work with such hardworking Housing and Food Services teams at all my campuses and for the leadership in central administration and the campus chancellors who support, encourage and believe in me.”

As a recipient of the award, Kukta will have his name displayed on a plaque in the lobby of the Housing and Food Services Building at University Park.

In addition to his role as Housing and Food Services director, Kukta teaches part time as an adjunct instructor at Penn State Berks in Hospitality Management classes and at Penn State Schuylkill in the Business Administration program. He also is the recipient of the Penn State Schuylkill Outstanding Alumnus of the Year (2017), Penn State Hazleton Service to Student Award (2015), Finance and Business Mentorship Award (2012) and Finance and Business Leadership Award (2010).

Last Updated May 10, 2017