College of Arts and Architecture honors faculty and staff

May 03, 2016

College of Arts and Architecture staff members Catherine Adams and Wanda Hockenberry and faculty members Tony Costa and Jennifer Trost were honored for outstanding service at the college’s annual spring awards ceremony on Friday, April 15.

Catherine Adams, assistant curator of visual resources in the Department of Art History, and Wanda Hockenberry, administrative assistant and manager of the director’s office at the Center for the Performing Arts, received the Staff Award for Outstanding Service

Adams has served as assistant curator of visual resources since 2007, supporting the work of 13 full-time art history faculty members, as well as faculty affiliates and the department’s graduate students. The Visual Resources Centre (VRC) maintains a digital archive of approximately 75,000 high-resolution TIFFs, an online database of approximately 84,000 images, and a collection of approximately 200,000 35mm slides. Adams is a Penn State alumna, and also holds a master of library and information sciences degree from the University of Pittsburgh. With several years of work experience in the Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library, Adams’s professional knowledge of library science and her familiarity with the University Libraries has been an enormous asset. She has been particularly involved in the VRC’s outreach mission, placing the images and data of the Palmer Museum of Art’s permanent collection online. She has initiated a similar project with the Steidle Collection of American Industrial Art in Penn State’s Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum and Gallery. Adams is actively involved with the visual resources field at the national and regional levels, currently serving as the chair of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Visual Resources Association.

Hockenberry has been in her current position at the Center for the Performing Arts since 2004. Her day-to-day responsibilities call for excellent interpersonal skills, a high degree of organization, and the ability to plan events, multi-task, and provide excellent service in a deadline-driven and fast-paced office environment. Hockenberry was nominated for the award this year in particular because of the work she took on over and above her regular duties. When the center director became the co-chair of the college-wide artsUP event last September, Hockenberry too became an integral part of the implementation team for that event, and over the course of planning devoted many extra hours to ensuring that the event was successful. She did this while also serving in a temporary capacity as the administrator of the Classical Music Project (CMP), requiring organization, teamwork and communication at an even higher level. Hockenberry has served the college as a member of the Staff Advisory Committee and was its chair in the 2011–12 academic year.

Tony Costa, associate professor of clarinet, received the Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching. In addition to teaching, he is clarinetist with the Pennsylvania Quintet, the Prestige Clarinet Quartet, and the Chihara Trio. Dedicated to his role as artist-teacher, Costa taught clarinet and music courses at Otterbein College, Ashland University, and the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio before joining the faculty at Penn State. Both his faculty colleagues and students cite his recruiting and teaching of clarinet students as exemplary. In addition to teaching private clarinet lessons, Professor Costa leads a clarinet choir composed of 16–18 members. Along with saxophone faculty colleague David Stambler, he has helped organize a Single Reed Summit, bringing clarinetists and saxophonists from across the region together for master classes, concerts, and presentations. He is also an active teacher and recruiter for the School of Music’s summer Honors Music Institute. Costa’s undergraduate degree is from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He also holds a master of music degree from Temple, and a doctor of musical arts from Ohio State.  

Jennifer Trost, associate professor in the School of Music, received the Award for Excellence in Advising and Mentoring. Trost teaches voice, as well as the song literature and opera literature courses. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music education at Albion College in Albion, Michigan, and a master of music degree in applied voice at Michigan State University. She is active as an opera singer, recitalist, voice teacher and master class technician. Her nomination for this award, supported enthusiastically by her colleagues and students, cites her ability to inspire students, her knowledge of relevant career and academic information, her ability to communicate effectively, and her availability and demonstrated concern for her students. In addition to the students in her voice studio, Professor Trost advises music education students, where she has embraced the challenge of learning the particulars of this requirement-heavy program. Her students repeatedly cite her deep investment in ensuring the academic success and general well-being of her students as characteristics that make her an excellent mentor, adviser and source of encouragement.


  • Tony Costa
    IMAGE: Alex Bush
  • Catherine Adams
    IMAGE: Alex Bush
  • Wanda Hockenberry
    IMAGE: Alex Bush
  • Jennifer Trost
    IMAGE: Alex Bush
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Last Updated May 03, 2016