PIE: Faculty & Staff Collaboration Award

Penn State Mont Alto has a culture of cross-departmental collaboration among faculty, staff, students, and alumni, and of recognizing faculty/staff collaborative efforts. The Faculty/Staff Collaboration Award reinforces this culture. All awardees are recognized at the annual End-of-Year Luncheon.  

The deadline for nomination is 11:59 p.m., March 31, 2024.

Nomination Form

All nominations are confidential. 

The Award

Winners will be recognized in the following manner:

  • Engraved plaque to be displayed in Conklin Hall honoring these and subsequent winners
  • Certificate to each member of the group



  • Evidence of partnership across a minimum of two separate divisions
  • Minimum of at least two partners (may be full- or part-time faculty, staff, administration of Penn State Mont Alto)
  • Impact on students, faculty, campus, staff, and/or community
  • Represents a new idea or additional component to an existing idea/program


  • Initiative represents an intentional partnership as evidenced by involvement of each partner
  • Initiative demonstrates inclusion of external community partners
  • Initiative demonstrates creativity, inventiveness, and originality
  • Initiative aligns with PSUMA’s strategic plan/goals (Strategic plan may be found on campus website.)

Past Recipients


Student-Athlete Movement Screening Initiative

Pro-bono movement screenings are being offered to student-athletes at Penn State Mont Alto to identify musculoskeletal risk factors that may increase their vulnerability to injury. These modifiable risk factors are being identified and solutions are being offered to the athlete, coach, and athletic trainer.

This has been under development for the last two years. Funding was secured gradually through the support of the alumni board and Functional Movement Systems with student discounts for certification courses. Student selection and training occurred over Summer 2023. Equipment was purchased and the first screening officially occurred in January for spring athletes through the collaboration of the PT department, biobehavioral health faculty, and the athletic department. Screenings will now occur three times a year.

This collaboration included:

Amanda Snider, Assistant Teaching Professor, Associate Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Staci Brennan, Director, Athletics

Shane Myers, Assistant Director, Athletics
Softball and Baseball Coaches
Anne Hill, Lecturer, Associate Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Renee Borromeo, Professor-in-Charge & Teaching Professor, Associate Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Jessica Yannotta, PTA Program Support, Associate Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Denise Salters, Assistant Teaching Professor, Baccalaureate Biobehavioral Health
Three certified FMS Student Screeners
PTA Student Volunteers


Jump Start for First Gen

Through campus outreach, program advocacy and promotion, as well as, extensive collaboration, awareness of the Jump Start for First Gen program and Jump Start students has increased with this initiative. This awareness and overall collaboration have not only improved knowledge about the Jump Start program, but also the needs of the program and Mont Alto’s first-generation students. 

While Jump Start for First Gen has been active prior to April 2022, it was this year that purposeful outreach to departments to create a sense of inclusion and awareness was conducted.

This collaborative effort included representation from:

  • Student Affairs
  • Advising
  • Cocurricular programs
  • The Registrar’s Office
  • Career Services
  • Academic Affairs
  • Enrollment
  • The library
  • Residence Life
  • Student Advocacy
  • Housing and Food Services
  • Numerous faculty members
  • Many students


Penn State Mont Alto Day of Service

  • Athletics
  • Academic Affairs
  • Office of Physical Plant
  • Student Affairs
  • Student Activities Fee 

The Penn State Mont Alto Day of Service brings together students, faculty, and staff in service to our campus community and the region that supports us.  This year's service projects included care and hygiene kits for local shelters, care cards written for the staff, faculty, and administration at Mowery Elementary School, tug toys made for local animal shelters, trash removal from Oak Road, debris, stick, and leaf clearing on campus, and mulching and wood chip distribution on campus. Campus volunteer efforts saved 120 hours of OPP labor. 


Race, Equity, And Action

  • Kira Hamman
  • Barrett Scroggs
  • Peeter Dendle
  • Angela Hissong
  • Peter Linehan 

Conceived by Kira Hamman and funded by a grant from Barnes and Noble, Race, Equity, and Action is a campus-wide initiative that engages students, faculty, and staff in difficult conversations about race to help our community become better at the conversations and to prepare students to be successful and compassionate in a global and diverse world. 

"A Feather - A Play" 
Nancy Funk (playwright) 
Charlene Saeman
Deana Clevenger
Kendra Wolgast
Karen Buhr
Shawn Albright
Tom Reinsfelder,
John Henry
Peter Dendle

This project took a lot of coordination and work on everyone's part.  Students were initially cast to perform, but because of COVID-19, they had to withdraw.  A full performance was originally scheduled and had to be canceled.  With the willingness of all, audio performance was done and recorded.  People from different occupations pulled together to accomplish a wonderful play, through a difficult time.  This truly shows what collaboration is about.  This group definitely deserves this award for all their effort and willingness to adjust to have it complete. 


Unity Week

For the second year, Student Affairs Director Curtis Hoover orchestrated Unity Week, which was a new initiative for the Penn State Mont Alto campus. Unity Week’s main objective is to promote Penn State’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by promoting the “All In” initiative, which seeks to 1) Promote Inclusion; 2) Encourage Civil Discourse; and 3) Challenge All Perspectives. Open classes were offered by many faculty members with a Student Affairs team member starting off each class by promoting Unity Week and the “All In” initiative by quizzing students on those initiatives, bringing awareness to the allin.psu.edu website, and presenting a Unity Week T-shirt to all those giving the correct answer or engaging in interactive conversation regarding Unity Week. There were other activities outside the classroom as well that brought students together in a less formal, relaxed atmosphere and encouraged them to spend time with others with whom they may not otherwise spend time interacting.

Contributing Partners and their Roles:

  • Staff/Faculty
    • Somjit Barat, business associate professor in Business
    • Nancy Funk, assistant professor in Integrated Arts
    • Lisa DeGregorio, Student Affairs administrative assistant
    • Susan Graf, English professor
    • Kira Hamman, assistant teaching professor in Mathematics
    • Angela Hissong, Occupational Therapy Assistant professor-in-charge and assistant teaching professor
    • Curtis Hoover, Student Affairs director
    • Donna Rhodes, Student Activities coordinator
    • Iris Richardson, Student Affairs associate director
    • Alice Royer, English and Women’s Studies assistant teaching professor
    • Jacob Sawyer, assistant professor in Psychology
    • Barret Scroggs, assistant professor in Human Development and Family Studies
    • Athan Spanos, Penn State Harrisburg Housing and Food Service chef manager
    • Mary Jo Stevenson, Campus Life administrative assistant
    • Curt Wengert, Housing and Food Service manager
    • Robin Yaure, Human Development and Family Studies Program coordinator and professor of teaching
  • Student Clubs
    • Allies
    • Alternative Spring Break
    • Campus Activities and Multicultural Programming
    • Student Government Association


There was a tie for the winner in 2018.

Cumberland Valley Women’s Conference

On October 21, 2017, Penn State Mont Alto hosted the 25th Annual Cumberland Valley Women's Conference in conjunction with the Occupational Therapy Program. The conference offered a keynote address by Dr. Corrinne Caldwell, campus executive officer at PSMA from 1987 to 1996; 20 workshops within three sessions; over 40 exhibitors; and many giveaways and quality door prizes. Most of all it drew over 200 participants from the community and the campus to meet, talk, learn, and laugh all within the theme of women's health.

Contributing Partners and their Roles:

  • Carranda Barkdoll (planning committee, faculty, Academic Affairs dept.,)organizer of student "go-fers"
  • Brandi Biesecker (planning committee,staff Development), registration coordinator and "runner"
  • Amy Cody (planning committee, Bookstore), initiator and distributor of conference tote bags, registration
  • Debra Collins (planning committee, staff, PR and Marketing Dept.) publicity, brochures, signs, event forms, and bags stuffer
  • Cheryl Deal (faculty Academic Affaris) workshop presenter
  • Anne Devney (planning committee, faculty AcademiA), workshop presenter
  • Terri Doss (staff Development). registration and runner
  • Sherry Goertz (faculty AA) workshop presenter
  • Staci Grimes (planning committee, staff IT), website and online registration forms creator
  • Olivia Hammond (planning committee, faculty AA), workshop presenter
  • Angie Hissong (planning committee and conference OT coordinator AA), table decorations and material, workshop presenter
  • Pam Kauffman (planning committee and conference answer person, staff PR) budgets, logistics and catering coordinator, exhibitor contact, tote bag coordinator
  • Brad Kendall (planning committee, staff OPP), conference set-up and support
  • Roxann Miller (planning committee, staff CE), registration/payments/refunds, budgets, exhibitor contact, bags stuffer
  • Penn State Mont Alto IT students (2) who gave invaluable IT support throughout conference
  • Penn State Mont Alto Students (25), acted as "go-fers" to direct participants to workshops, introduce and give conference gift to workshop presenters, general helpers throughout the conference
  • Rose Ray (staff OPP)
  • Alice Royer (planning committee, conference chair, faculty AA), secured funding from Shippensburg Physical Therapy and Summit Health, secured grant (Student Activity Fee) for $10 of $15 for first 75 PSMA students who registered, workshop presenter
  • Shippensburg Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine: $500 conference support
  • Kelly Sprinkle (faculty AA) workshop presenter
  • Eileen Strausner (planning committee, staff AA) budgets, registration, bags stuffer
  • Summit Health: $500 conference support
From Passion to Profession:  Sports Industry Career Panel

The purpose of this program was to highlight the variety of career paths available within the sports industry. This was a collaborative effort between ASC, DUS, and Career Services.

Contributing Partners and their Roles:

  • Ronnie Tucker: Pitched idea for new program. Reached out to DUS and Career Services for support/assistance with program. Promoted program to student athletes. Used his local network to reach out to variety of community partners to invite them to participate as panelists. Completed SAF proposal to get financial support for program.
  • Sophia McCleaf: Conducted research. Reached out to Penn State contacts to secure Alumni panelists (including Adam Rudel, Marketing and Football Outreach Coordinator for Baltimore Ravens). Communicated program logistics/details with all panelists. Coordinated day-of set-up for program. Promoted event to faculty and DUS students. Handled catering details with HFS. Submitted event registration form and handled site logistics.
  • Patty Gochenauer: Created list of talking/discussion points to share with panelists. Developed promotional materials for program including digital signage, posters, emails, flyers. Provided prizes presented to random attendees of event. Managed day-of details including table-set up, tablecloths, printed name cards for panelists. Provided thank-you's (post-it notecubes and pens for each panelist). Promoted event.


The Career Closet

The Career Closet is a perfect example of how teamwork and collaboration can result in an outstanding opportunity for students. The brainchild of Career Counselor Patty Gochenauer.  Patty’s collaborators included Donna Rhodes, Brandi Biesecker, Terri Doss, Grace Rockwell, Charlene Saeman, Helen McGarry (who provided a vacant CE office to store the items), Deb Mirdamadi (who provided Sewing Survival instruction), students Christopher Overdorff and Lindsay Devers, Brad Kendall and everyone on the maintenance staff who continuously moved boxes, clothing, and clothing racks across campus and up and down stairs multiple times, as well as Becky Starliper and others from the 11/30 Network. The end result was that 108 students visited the Career Closet, claiming 439 items.


Faculty Connections Program