Penn State Mont Alto end-of-year luncheon thanks, recognizes faculty and staff

Robert (Marty) Ogle is honored during Penn State Mont Alto's End-of-year Luncheon.

Robert (Marty) Ogle, Penn State Mont Alto athletic director, who will retire in June after 27 years of service, is recognized during Mont Alto's End-of-Year Luncheon and Awards Ceremony by Chancellor Francis K. Achampong.

Credit: Debra Collins

MONT ALTO, Pa. — Chancellor Francis K. Achampong thanked and recognized Penn State Mont Alto faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication during the annual End-of-Year Luncheon and Awards Ceremony in the Multipurpose Activities Center (MAC) on May 6.

“Thank you all for another great year,” he said. “It was a particularly difficult year because of the budget impasse in the Commonwealth and the uncertainties it presented. Thank you for keeping your poise in the face of that uncertainty and for your continued and unwavering commitment to this campus.”

Following the luncheon several awards were presented:

Length of Service Awards (full-time years of service at Penn State Mont Alto)

40 Years
Andrea Christopher, director of student affairs

35 Years
Mary Ann Fox, food service worker A, Housing and Food Services

30 Years
Deborah Mirdamadi, instructor in mathematics

20 Years
Susan Johnston Graf, associate professor of English
Jackie Schwab, associate professor of human development and family studies
Kathy Swope, student affairs staff assistant

15 years
Kevin Boon, associate professor of English
Peter Dendle, professor of English
John Henry, instructor in information sciences and technology
Peter Linehan, associate professor of forestry

10 years
Tim Keyser, manager, Housing and Food Services
Charlene Saeman, academic affairs administrative staff assistant
Stephanie Unger, instructor in nursing
Craig Wagner, chief of police
Linghao Zhong, associate professor of chemistry

Retiree – Marty Ogle, director of athletics, will retire effective June 30 after 27 years of service to Penn State Mont Alto. Marty started his employment in 1986 as assistant athletic director and became athletic director in 1989. At that time, Mont Alto had only four sports, now there are 12 with an average participation of 160 student-athletes per year. Marty served as president of the Penn State University Athletics Conference (PSUAC) for 15 years and as co-chair of its executive committee. He has also served as vice president of the USCAA, which the Mont Alto campus joined to give athletes postseason championship opportunities beyond the PSUAC. Moreover, he oversaw the transition of the athletics Web pages to the Presto Sports model.

Campus Builder Awards, presented by Randall Ackerman, director of campus development. “To recognize and reward a campus citizen who goes beyond doing their job well…Builders are imaginative, creative individuals. Their actions are not undertaken for professional advancement, nor are they isolated events instead they form a pattern of selfless behavior that benefits the Mont Alto campus community time after time.”

  • Marty Ogle, director of athletics — “Marty is a builder in the obvious sense (see above). ... He has been instrumental in building the athletic program from the local to the national stage. ... He has served not only his campus, but also his professional peers in the PSUAC and the USCAA."
  • Lauraine Hawkins, instructor in biology — Sets high classroom standards … and ensures that the students are given every opportunity to succeed. She mentors her own and others’ students and also mentors her colleagues. Lauraine’s sense of community extends to Mont Alto's philanthropy. She served as campus chair of the Faculty and Staff Subcommittee during Penn State’s For the Future campaign, for which she received the Outstanding Faculty Support Award, and continues to be an active member of the campus’ new campaign fundraising committee.

Faculty Scholar Award — Jacob Moore, assistant professor of engineering. “Honors a member of the faculty who had the most outstanding (academic) year in terms of research and creative accomplishments.”

Faculty and Staff Collaboration Award "Faculty Connections," a collaborative effort among Kira Hamman, instructor in mathematics; Sher-Ron Jones, associate director of student affairs; Donna Rhodes, coordinator of student activities and program development; and Kendra Sites director of academic support center. “The program provides opportunities for students and faculty to interact around topics including academic subjects, current events, hobbies, and more, outside of the classroom.”

Giraffe Award — Andrea Christopher, director of student affairs. “For her leadership in researching and developing a new section about ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence’ on the Penn State Mont Alto website.”

Martha Fisher Award for Excellence in Teaching (full-time)Ermek Nurkhaidarov, associate professor of mathematics. Nominated by students and chosen for “knowledge of the subject he teaches, ability to clarify difficult concepts, class preparation, respect for students as individuals, skills to encourage student participation in discussion, and strengths that set him apart.”

Penn Stater Awards — “To annually recognize outstanding service by Mont Alto staff, faculty, and tech service employees.”

  • Tech Service: Judyann Royce, maintenance worker — “Judy consistently goes above and beyond with her daily responsibilities. She is always looking for ways to help the students in our building. She is always helpful and responsive to them.”
  • Staff: Linda Monn, campus registrar — “Linda demonstrates outstanding loyalty to and concern for students, faculty, and staff. She works very hard to make sure that students, faculty, and staff have the best outcomes possible from the work she does. She stops what she is doing to help those who truly have nowhere else to turn.”
  • Faculty: Lauraine Hawkins, assistant professor of biology — “Lauraine has a strong presence on campus with the many committees in which she participates. She works long hours on her classes and yet maintains a strong presence for her students, never making them feel they are taking her away from other work.”

SGA Award for Excellence in Advising — Jennifer Reilly, associate professor of human development and family studies. Nominated by students for “advising ability as exemplified by the ability to clarify difficult concepts, respect for students as individuals, knowledge of the subject, preparation for advising, skill in encouraging students to participate in discussions about academic planning, and other strengths that set her apart.”

Sustainability Award — Brad Kendall, supervisor of maintenance and janitorial staff. “For overseeing a host of activities on campus that promote sustainability.”

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