Sending a 'We Are!' to these Penn Staters

April 21, 2021

As part of our regular "We Are!" feature, we recognize ten Penn Staters who have gone above and beyond what's asked of them in their work at the University. Do you know someone who deserves a shout-out? If you do, consider taking a minute to nominate that person by filling out a short online form.

This week, we'd like say thank you on behalf of the entire University community to:

  • Dawn Pfeifer Reitz, faculty member at Penn State Berks, whose nominator wrote: "Dawn is one of the most passionate and intentional instructors I have ever met. Her commitment to providing students with quality educational experiences is unparalleled. Beyond teaching, she is an active member of various committees and often takes on additional tasks to ensure the groups' success."
  • Felicia Nelson, staff member at Penn State Berks, whose nominator wrote: "Felicia, coordinator of the Campus Activities Board, works tirelessly to find ways of keeping students engaged socially. In addition, she has taken on new tasks and championed a new initiative that supports Berks students beyond social connections. She truly is an asset to our campus."
  • Shannon Kennan, faculty member at the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, whose nominator wrote: "Shannon has worked hard to help the Bellisario College faculty develop their remote classes. She's the college's Canvas master, and she regularly meets one-on-one with faculty to listen, troubleshoot, and suggest online teaching strategies. She's gone above and beyond to support our classes!
  • Danielle Perry, staff at the Smeal College of Business, whose nominator wrote: "She works tirelessly to ensure student questions and issues are dealt with in a prompt and professional manner. She also exceeds at making sure faculty and the department meet the critical deadlines each semester."
  • Kelly Kemmet, staff member at Penn State Behrend, whose nominator wrote: "Kelly is one of the few staff who have been asked to return to campus to work and she did so without hesitation and she brings a light to the office during a very weird time. She has had to revamp the process for our senior design conference and has done a phenomenal job in a short amount of time."
  • Halaina Bowers, student at Penn State Shenango, whose nominator wrote: "Halaina has taken on a role that was the definition of 'We Are!' at Shenango and she has been tough throughout the pandemic trying to have student engagement at a new level. Halaina is a strong individual with the students' vision in her eye."
  • Craig Merkey, staff member at Penn State Harrisburg, whose nominator wrote: "Craig was asked to lead the staffing, logistics and organization of our campus universal testing process. He accepted the task willingly, and organized a wonderful process that served our students with care and professionalism. Thank you Craig!"
  • Erica Willis, staff member at Penn State Greater Allegheny, whose nominator wrote: "Erica Willis works tirelessly to ensure that student basic needs are met. She leads the Greater Allegheny student food security programs. During COVID she has set up a food delivery service and mailed gift cards to students in need. This demonstrates her deep concern for students and their families."
  • Brenda Garland, staff member at Dickinson Law, whose nominator wrote: "Brenda supports our faculty at Dickinson Law. She is regularly in the office to serve our community and help with others' work. Brenda brings a can-do attitude to everything and regularly takes on new duties. Her reliability, flexibility, and positivity have been invaluable during the pandemic."

Thank you Dawn, Felicia, Shannon, Danielle, Kelly, Halaina, Craig, Eric and Brenda — and to everyone who helps make Penn State such an incredible community!

Last Updated April 21, 2021