Sampsell to receive 2021 Award for Administrative Excellence

April 22, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Steve Sampsell, director of strategic communications for the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, has been honored with Penn State's 2021 Award for Administrative Excellence.

Steve Sampsell

Steve Sampsell

IMAGE: Penn State

The award, established in 1970, is given to a faculty or staff member whose performance, methods and achievements exemplify the highest standards of administrative excellence.

Nominators called Sampsell a leader, role model, mentor, collaborator, colleague and teacher for the college. They said he’s had a hand in improving the college — and Penn State — at seemingly every turn. Since joining the college in 2001, he’s been responsible for effective communication while managing a diverse, hardworking and creative team serving multiple constituencies across the University. 

Nominators said one of Sampsell’s key achievements is the creation, implementation and leadership of a group of strategic communications professionals University-wide. This cadre of leaders serve as an unofficial advisory board for Penn State’s communications group. By pooling together expertise, nominees said, this effort has improved communications' efforts across Penn State.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sampsell started a “Start-of-the-Day Email” that appears daily for faculty and staff members in the Bellisario College. Nominators said the upbeat newsletter is full of information, support, links and news and is a great way to start the day.

Sampsell is a board member and volunteer for the Centre County United Way. He has also served on the board of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, faculty mentor for the Penn State men’s golf team and is an instructor for the college. 

His team produced a program for alumni and donors last November dubbed “2020: Stories of Success and Resilience.” The show featured stories from the college’s dean, faculty, students, donors and alumni.

“It is because of Steve Sampsell that this ‘small but mighty’ college punches above its weight when it comes to on-brand messaging, innovative outreach, and dynamic content for our prospective students, donors and alumni … and our entire community,” a nominator said. “I have witnessed his growth as an administrator, manager and leader with great pride.” 


Last Updated April 22, 2021