Megan Foster recognized with College of Education's Outstanding Staff Award

April 17, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The College of Education is publishing brief profiles of faculty, staff and students who would have been honored at the annual spring appreciation and awards luncheon. 

Faculty, staff and students who have made significant contributions to their fields were selected through nomination letters prompted by their outstanding service and dedication to their job. 

Today’s featured award winner is Megan Foster, one of two people who earned the Outstanding Staff Award. The other is Darlene Kolesar.

This award recognizes the accomplishments of a staff member in the College of Education for outstanding service and commitment to faculty, staff and students of the Penn State community.

Foster is an academic adviser in the College of Education’s Advising and Certification Center.

“Megan’s communication skills benefit faculty, staff and students in the College of Education, and go well beyond the boundaries of the University Park campus,” said her supervisor, Greg Mason, director of advising and certification.

“Megan is seen as the point of first contact by many education faculty and staff at Penn State’s Commonwealth Campuses for students who are majoring in special education or rehabilitation and human services. The success of our orientation programming in the College of Education is due, in large part, to Megan’s tireless efforts,” Mason said.

Deirdre O’Sullivan, associate professor and professor-in-charge of the RHS major and minor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education, said Foster is a critical part of the RHS program’s success.

“I am grateful for her organizational skills and technical savvy as she helps us improve our process,” O’Sullivan said. “On more than one occasion, I have known Megan to help her fellow advisers at other campuses in the commonwealth and across this campus as new courses or requirement are rolled out.

“I get the sense she is one of those people who others quickly figure out is a ‘go-to’ person with capable answers and friendly advice. In other words, my experience and observations of her are shared by others. She does not shy away from going beyond what would be expected of her in the service of her colleagues and students,” O’Sullivan said.

According to Kathleen McKinnon, associate teaching professor and coordinator of teacher education for special education, Foster is a professional in all aspects.

“She is someone I depend on to help our students navigate the path to the major,” McKinnon said. “And a final exceptional quality I want to highlight is her sunny disposition. Whoever enters Megan’s office is met with a warm greeting and friendly smile for each encounter.”

Award winners are:

  • Outstanding Staff Award: Megan Foster and Darlene Kolesar
  • Outstanding Teaching Award: Uju Anya
  • Outstanding Senior Researcher Award: Gerald LeTendre
  • Outstanding Junior Researcher Award: Jennifer Frank
  • Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award: Ashley Patterson
  • Career Achievement Award: Simon Hooper
  • Climate Enhancement Award: JT Taylor
  • Graduate Student Recognition Award: Kaela Fuentes-Packnick
  • Undergraduate Student Leadership and Service Award: Taylor Young

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 22, 2020