As part of our regular “We Are!” feature, we recognize 12 Penn Staters who have gone above and beyond what’s asked of them in their work at the University.
This week, on behalf of the entire Penn State community, we’d like to say thank you to:
Heather Agnello, proposal and award generalist at Penn State Behrend, whose nominator wrote: “Heather is an amazing team member. She brings humor and joy to our office every day. We are so lucky that she took a leap of faith and joined our newly formed team last summer.”
Pamela Brobst, special events coordinator at Penn State Abington, whose nominator wrote: “Pam goes above and beyond each semester to ensure that our commencements are centered on our students and their families, friends and guests. This year was no different!”
Sherry Cooley-Johnson, financial assistant in the Black School of Business at Penn State Behrend, whose nominator wrote: “Sherry exemplifies what it means to be the best. Whether it is her duties or the little extras, she puts 110% into everything she does. ‘We Are’ fortunate to have her here at Behrend.”
Joslyn Neiderer, team marketing coordinator for the Food Family and Health and Food Safety and Quality teams at Penn State Extension, whose nominator wrote: “Joslyn is a positive and caring team member who seeks to improve processes and innovate new solutions to support organizational goals. Joslyn often goes out of her way to help others while maintaining a busy workload, and she leads with integrity.”
Debbie Lissenden, director of records and core curriculum for undergraduate education in the Smeal College of Business, whose nominator wrote: “Debbie is the go-to contact for any questions related to curriculum and records management. She is welcoming and willing to help. She consistently goes above and beyond her job responsibilities and is a positive and calming presence. Her hard work and supportive leadership style is inspiring.”
Emily Lombardi, customized programs coordinator for education abroad at Penn State Global, whose nominator wrote: “Emily is consistently going above and beyond to support the team with new ideas and projects, and she steps in whenever we need extra hands. She helps colleagues in other areas when she can and is willing to learn new things and teach others. She’s a valuable part of our team.”
Tara Mondock, associate director of client relations at Penn State Extension, whose nominator wrote: “Tara embraces the meaning of ‘We Are’ by treating all Extension employees with the connection one would feel as a friend. She routinely mails cards to our team members to let them know they are supported. She believes that human connection is what matters in making us a great University.”
Avis O’Donnell, housing assignment coordinator for Auxiliary and Business Services, whose nominator wrote: “Avis provides amazing customer service to our residential student population and to parents and families. She is quick to provide support and answer questions, going above and beyond to accommodate students' requests. She looks for ways to make it all work out for them, which I don't think they realize!”
Marissa Rosensteel, director of events for Intercollegiate Athletics, whose nominator wrote: “Marissa has excellent leadership skills, one of which is her ability to build effective teams. She is an excellent communicator. She establishes priorities and recognizes that leveraging each team member's unique background and perspective is critical to achieving the goals of the team.”
Aneesah Smith, director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Penn State Abington, whose nominator wrote: “Aneesah creates home away from home at the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and creates inclusion and belonging in all spaces she leads and inhabits. That is a gift to make all people feel affirmed and included. She leaves staff, students and faculty better than she found them, with dignity and kindness when they need it the most.”
Chris Walters, senior coordinator for student success at Penn State Abington, whose nominator wrote: “As a member of the CARE team, Chris sees our students when they are at their worst — when they’re dealing with academic, social and financial challenges. He treats all students with dignity and kindness when they need it the most.”
Curtis Wengert, manager of housing and food services at Penn State Mont Alto, whose nominator wrote: “I want to recognize Curt and his staff for hosting the amazing retreat our SCUP MidAtlantic Regional Council held at Mont Alto in May. Everyone in attendance remarked about how welcoming and professional everyone at the campus was."
Thank you Heather, Pamela, Sherry, Joslyn, Debbie, Emily, Tara, Avis, Marissa, Aneesah, Chris and Curtis — and to everyone who helps make Penn State such an incredible community!
Do you know a Penn Stater who deserves a shoutout? If you do, consider nominating that individual by filling out a short online form.