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Penn College Presents Awards to Staff, Part-Time Faculty

Pennsylvania College of Technology presented “Distinguished Staff” and “Part-Time Teaching Excellence” awards today, while also honoring retirees and the newest members of the College’s “Quarter-Century Club.”

The honors were bestowed at an Employee Recognition Week Reception held at Penn’s Inn in the Bush Campus Center at Penn College.

The Distinguished Staff Awards, now in their eighth year, recognize the contributions of Penn College’s full-time employees, who are nominated for the honors by their peers. Awards were presented to one employee from each of the College’s three staff classifications: Administrative, Professional and Technical; Classified; and Service.

Charles A. Kern, HVAC supervisor, received the Distinguished Staff Award for APT employees. Lisa J. Caputo, secretary to the assistant dean of construction and design technologies, received the Distinguished Staff Award for Classified employees. Michael H. Miller, horticulturist/motorpool-lead person, received the Distinguished Staff Award for Service employees.

Kern began his employment with the College in 1989 as a plumbing, heating and refrigeration mechanic. Other positions he has held with the College are heating and refrigeration control mechanic and supervisor of plumbing/heating/cooling systems.

Of Kern, his principal nominator wrote: “Charlie is regularly called upon to be the ‘trouble shooter’ when difficulties arise. His expertise is not only utilized by those in his department, but also many others throughout the College. . . . All problems, big or small, are important to him, and his friendliness and expertise have won him the respect and admiration of all. . . . He has sacrificed significantly to ensure that College operations are unimpaired and College services second to none.”

Caputo began her employment with the College in 1998 as a part-time library assistant. She became a full-time mail clerk later that year before assuming her current role in 1999.

Of Caputo, her principal nominator wrote: “I have firsthand knowledge of her outstanding work and contributions to the institution. . . . She exceeds many of the criteria that determine a ‘distinguished staff member.’ It was very apparent that she is dedicated to her job when a shortfall of staff within the office occurred and she stepped up to meet the challenge and took on duties that she did not do on a routine basis. . . . Lisa has done nothing but improve and make great contributions to the office.”

Miller began his employment with the College in 1984 as a groundskeeper. He was reclassified to horticulturist in 1987 and assumed his current position in 1998.

Of Miller, his principal nominator wrote: “He exhibits self-confidence and enthusiasm in displaying his creative ideas through the plant material placed on campus. Mother Nature, equipment failure and staff problems can test your patience in the field of horticulture. In stressful situations, Mike displays self-discipline. . . . Mike Miller has been extremely dependable and hard-working throughout his years with Penn College. Without a motivated group leader, the grounds at Penn College would remain ordinary, not extraordinary as they are today.”

Part-Time Teaching Excellence Awards were presented to Jill M. Thomas of the adjunct mathematics faculty; and Carole Zarzyczny, adjunct instructor of medical terminology/anatomy and physiology.

Thomas has been employed by the College since 2002. She has also been employed as a Sylvan Learning Center instructor, as a mathematics tutor and at Tom Sturgis Pretzels Inc. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Bucknell University.

Of her teaching abilities, a student nominator wrote: “Jill Thomas truly has an enthusiastic attitude toward the teaching of algebra. She wants everyone to succeed. She has the ability to pass on her enthusiasm to those learning from her and make the students feel good about their progress, no matter how big or small. . . . She knows how to build self-esteem in those she teaches.”

Zarzyczny has been employed as an adjunct instructor by the College since 1982. She has also worked as a science instructor at Williamsport Area High School and as a paleontology instructor at Lycoming College for Kids, Lycoming College. She earned bachelor’s degrees in biology (pre-med) and comprehensive science from Lock Haven University and has done graduate work at Mansfield University, The Pennsylvania State University and Marywood University.

Of her teaching abilities, a student nominator wrote: “(She) always involves students, in every class. . . . I have never had a teacher so excited and positive as her. She is enthusiastic every day and always seems approachable. She knows the material inside-out, so anything we aren’t sure of, she explains. She uses great examples and materials of her own.”

Quarter-Century Club members honored at the reception for 25 years of service to the College are: David C. Dietrick, associate professor of welding; Kathryn A. Lehman, counselor and assistant professor; John J. Macko Jr., assistant professor of automotive technology; Patrick Murphy, associate professor of advertising art; and Robert Slothus, director of radiography-associate professor.

Retiring employees honored at the reception are: Ned S. Coates, professor of English; Sandra E. Hawkins, accounts payable/accounting clerk; Dr. Philip H. Henning, associate professor of electronics technology/occupations; Robert L. Kropp, part-time shipping/receiving support worker; Darla Brown Logue, associate professor of dental hygiene; Evelyn V. Reily, part-time food service worker; Nancy J. Schick, secretary to the vice president for student affairs; Doreen W. Shope, associate professor of business administration; and Michael Tyson, assistant professor of mathematics.

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