Pennsylvania College of Technology on Thursday presented Distinguished Staff and Part-Time Teaching awards, celebrated faculty members for their excellence in advising students, inducted new members of its Quarter Century Club and honored employees retiring in the 2011-12 academic year.
Presented each spring since 1996, the Distinguished Staff Awards recognize the contributions of Penn College employees, nominated by their co-workers in each of three job classifications − Administrative, Professional and Technical (APT); Classified; and Service.
Staff awards were presented to Kathy S. Wurster, assistant director of counseling (APT); Sue A. Mahaffey, secretary to the assistant vice president for academic services (Classified); and Edward J. Bergstrom, carpenter/maintenance worker lead person (Service).
A Part-Time Teaching Excellence Award was presented to Tammy A. Miller, part-time instructor of biology.
The college presented, for the first time, Excellence in Academic Advising awards; this year’s recipients are Dave R. Cotner, welding instructor, and Charles R. Niedermyer II, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts.
Distinguished Staff Awards
“The challenges facing college counseling centers have increased dramatically during the past two decades,” a colleague wrote in support of Wurster, a Penn College employee since January 2005. “In addition to increased demand for services, there has been increased concern about disruptive behavior and the potential for violence. Counseling center administrators must constantly balance the ethics of our profession, individual interests and the safety of the greater college community. It takes a special person to successfully navigate these troubled waters, and Kathy is just the right person for the job.”
Mahaffey, a May 1983 graduate of Williamsport Area Community College’s secretarial science major, joined the college staff in September 2007.
“Hands down, Sue is one of the best people I have ever worked with. Her approachability, commitment to high-quality work, ability to work both with others and independently, critical-thinking skills and general good nature make her an invaluable asset to our team,” a nominator said. “She is smart, friendly, compassionate, dedicated, trustworthy and respectful. Taken all together, she is simply a quality human being, and Penn College is a better place because of the contributions she makes.”
Since arriving at Penn College in June 1981, a colleague wrote, Bergstrom’s “work performance has been nothing less than exemplary at all times.
“Ed is always prepared for any job assigned to him, always organizing his work activities, whether it involves a major renovation or simple task. Ed is thorough on every job that he undertakes, with his materials and tools sorted and ready to go at any time, to best utilize every minute of his day. His accuracy and neatness are evident in every job he finishes. His reputation as a ‘Master Carpenter’ speaks through his work.”
Part-Time Teaching Excellence
Of Miller, a faculty observer said: “I noted that she had a strong understanding of the material she was teaching … and that she was gifted in putting that information into terms that the students could easily understand. She routinely tied in r
eal-world applications of the material, which gave the students a chance to see how it related to their chosen fields of study. She had a good rapport with her students, and there was a constant give-and-take interaction between them as they discussed the material. Overall, (she) did a great job of actually teaching microbiology.”
Excellence in Academic Advising
A student nominator had this to say of Neidermyer’s advising technique: “When passing him in the hallway or walking past his office, it’s not uncommon for him to stop you and chat with you about how the semester is going or if we have any new plans for a job. He not only takes the effort to get to know you as a student, but as a person as well. It makes it a lot easier to come to him for advice on goals and aspirations because he really cares about your success. He has had so much experience that he can almost always give you real-life examples, which helps out a lot when making important decisions.”
An endorsement from one of Cotner’s colleagues was no less complimentary.
“When working on advisee schedules, he uses sound reasoning to effectively advise the student based on where they are in their education,” the co-worker wrote. “Often times, Dave will map out several semesters of work for the advisee so that he or she is able to clearly see their path to graduation.”
Quarter Century Club
Quarter Century Club members honored for 25 years’ service to the college are: James J. Folmar Sr., R. David Kay, Stephen A. Manley, Kathryn M. Reed and Dana R. Suter, APT; Ronald A. Bubb, Todd Campbell and Steven R. Shadick, Service; and Linda M. Barnes, Jack E. Fisher, Joseph (Gustav) Loehr, Regis C. Kohler, Abdul B. Pathan, Jeffrey L. Rankinen, Wayne A. Smith and Timothy E. Weston, Faculty.
The 2010-11 retirees who were honored are: William R. Barrett, Stanley G. Boler, Dorlan F. Books, Patricia A. Bracey, Sandra L. Britton, Stephen P. Campbell, Susan K. Clark-Teisher, M. Patricia Coulter, James E. Cunningham, Asesh K. Das, Arlene L. Deppen, Sharon M. DiMichele, Gary R. DiPalma, Charles A. Duda, Dennis E. Fink, DeWayne C. Greenawalt, Ronald L. Hartzell, Rae Ann Karichner, Linda L. Kepner, Steven T. McDonald, Marlene McElroy-Rook, Joan L. McFadden, Virginia L. Michael, Lisette N. Ormsbee, Juliann T. Pawlak, John C. Phillips Jr., Donald O. Praster, Harry L. Rall, Edward L. Roadarmel, Gary R. Rockey, Candy V. Rook, Steven R. Shadick, Andrea J. Skrobacs, James E. Temple, Glenda D. Twiss, Barbara Wayne-Mellott, Linda S. Weaver, William P. Welch, Mary E. White, Karen E. Williams and Dina L. Wilson.