Graduate School staff receive 2016 Way Paver Awards

April 06, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — One academic administrator and two staff members from the Penn State Graduate School received Way Paver Awards from the Council of College Multicultural Leadership during a ceremony held April 6 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Suzanne C. Adair, assistant dean for Graduate Student Affairs; Teresa Tassotti, director of the McNair Scholars Program within the Office of Graduate Educational Equity Programs; and Charles E. Gibson III, graduate assistant in the Office of Graduate Educational Equity Programs, will join nine other awardees being honored at the event. Regina Vasilatos-Younken, vice provost for Graduate Education and dean of the Graduate School, expressed her pride and support for the recognition of all three Graduate School members who, she said, “are highly-deserving, and exemplify the strong commitment of the Graduate School to diversity and the principles of the Way Paver Awards.”

The Council of College Multicultural Leadership (CCML) has given the Way Paver Awards annually since 2011 to "honor those who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to diversity and the creation of an inclusive community, positively enhanced student life and the climate throughout the University and local community, and who have motivated others through their leadership and impeccable character.”

CCML consists of academic college multicultural directors and deans, and the senior director of the Office of Graduate Educational Equity at University Park. Its members develop their respective unit strategic diversity plans, and assist in the implementation and review of the University's "Framework to Foster Diversity."

Adair holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Antioch College, a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate degree in educational theory and policy from Penn State.

Tassotti holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in counseling psychology, both from Gannon University.

Gibson holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Wake Forest University, a master of arts and education specialist degrees in higher education from Appalachian State University, and is a doctoral degree candidate in the higher education program in the Graduate School at Penn State.

More information, including a list of previous Way Paver Award winners, is available at

Last Updated April 07, 2016