Penn College honors employees, retirees for Recognition Week

May 16, 2014

Distinguished Staff Awards and related honors were presented at ceremonies commemorating Employee Recognition Week at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

In addition to Distinguished Staff Awards, Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour bestowed awards for Excellence in Academic Advising and Part-Time Teaching Excellence.

The college also inducted the newest members of its Quarter Century Club and honored those employees retiring in 2013-14.

Distinguished Staff
Presented each spring since 1996, the Distinguished Staff Awards recognize the contributions of Penn College employees, nominated by their co-workers in each of four job classifications: Administrative, Professional and Technical; Classified; Service; and Regular Part-Time.

Distinguished Staff Awards were presented to Dennis L. Dunkleberger, registrar, Administrative, Professional and Technical; Barbara A. Adzema, secretary to the Residence Life Office, Classified; Lee R. Whittington, dining services worker III, Service; and Karen L. Fischer, an aide in the Dunham Children’s Learning Center, Regular Part-Time.

Of Dunkleberger, his nominator said: “His work is consistently of high quality and without error. He is unbelievably reliable in all that he does and the work he produces. … He is a top-quality performer, second to none.” A co-worker wrote: “It is said that employees are an organization’s greatest asset. I believe that employees like Denny are the spirit behind that phrase. His contributions over the past decades hold a collective value that I think deserves the public gratitude and recognition of his colleagues.”

Adzema’s nominator said: “We have parents that come in the office looking for moral support as they think about their child leaving home. She is always there to help them with empathy and encouragement.” Another person noted: “She always uses sound judgment, even when a new situation arises for which there is no established protocol. When Barb is asked about her response, she has said, ‘I just think that, if that was me in that situation, how would I want to be treated?’”

A nominator for Whittington wrote: “Though our students may be too young to remember, shouts of ‘Lee’ on the walk up to the grill are reminiscent of the cast yelling ‘Norm!’ on ‘Cheers.’ Students are always happy to see him and he is genuinely happy to see them, too. Lee has a knack for remembering customer’s likes and dislikes, along with specific conversations. He asks students about their classes, sports schedules and daily life. This has helped create that home-away-from-home bond with students, a relationship that many of them remember well after graduation.”

A co-worker wrote of Fischer: “Karen loves the children and they love her. The youngest toddlers know her name and jump for joy when they see her. It is not by accident, but through Karen’s bright and joyful personality that children gravitate to her.”

Part-Time Teaching Excellence
A Part-time Teaching Excellence Award was presented to Amelia A. Seaton, dining room manager at the college’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant. Seaton’s nominator said of her: “She holds her professional disposition no matter what type of day she is having and is always cheerful with her staff and students. She listens to what students’ needs are and accommodates them to the best of her abilities. She never talks down to her students and staff, never has a bad word to say about anyone.”

Excellence in Academic Advising
Excellence in Academic Advising Awards were bestowed upon Nancy A. Grausam, assistant professor of education/early childhood education, and Thomas J. Mulfinger, associate professor of building construction technology.

Of Grausam, a student advisee said: “I have had Nancy as an adviser since I started the early childhood education major. She made it known from Day 1 that, no matter what, I and all of the other advisees/students could come to her if we needed help with something.”

Of Mulfinger, a colleague said: “Tom will spend as much time as needed to ensure that students are advised properly. He is a model for others to follow and is able and willing to share his strategies, experiences and advising tools with any faculty member to enhance their skills.”

Quarter Century Club
Quarter Century Club members, honored for 25 years’ service to the college, are Valerie A. Baier, Candace S. Baran, James E. Bies, Jennifer L. Hammond, Charles A. Kern, Heidi V. Mack, Susan K. Manzitti, Carol T. Sims, Mary A. Sullivan, Josephine S. Taylor and Rick D. Wyland, Administrative, Professional and Technical; Karen L. Rishcoff, Kim I. Schweikart, Joan E. Shade and Jennifer L. Whitmoyer, Classified; Billie A. Coffman, David E. Pentz, David P. Showan and Keith A. Vanderlin, Faculty; and Barbara J. Betts, Duane C. Fargus and Bruce A. Sechrist, Service.

The 2013-14 retirees honored – representing 610 years of combined service to the college – are William J. Astore, Sharon G. Auker, Linda J. Fischer, Paula M. Fisher, Connie E. Funk, Wayne E. Gebhart, William F. Geyer, Joan M. Gilbert, James F. Glenn, Darla K. Haines. Robert S. Heiser, Elwood A. Holmes, Joann M. Kay, Charles F. Kemnitz, Linda J. Miller, Richard R. Motter, Walter D. Nyman, Karen L. Patterson, David E. Pentz, Willard A. Probst Jr., Dennis F. Ringling, Joseph S. Shoemaker, Wayne A. Smith, Debra L. Steckenfinger, Linda L. Strous, Alfred M. Thomas II, Robert M. Werkmeister, Dennis R. Williams and Marge L. Withers.

“I am very proud to work among people who so consistently exemplify the values and work ethic to which we all should aspire,” Gilmour said. “In a centennial year – or any other year – these employees are the foundation of our institution, of our success and of our very future.”

For more about Penn College, which is celebrating its centennial throughout 2014, visit, email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

  • Part-Time Teaching Excellence and Excellence in Academic Advising honorees

    Part-Time Teaching Excellence and Excellence in Academic Advising honorees are, from left, Amelia A. Seaton, Nancy A. Grausam and Thomas J. Mulfinger.

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated January 09, 2015