Sending a 'We Are!' to these Penn Staters

Nittany Lion Hug

As part of our regular “We Are!” feature, we recognize Penn Staters who have gone above and beyond what’s asked of them in their work at the University.  

Credit: Penn State

As part of our regular “We Are!” feature, we recognize 11 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: 

  • Shannon Arney, ticket manager at the Center for the Performing Arts, whose nominator wrote: “In her role, Shannon manages sales for hundreds of arts events on campus and deals with clients, customers and student staff on a daily basis. She is agile and responsive, quick to adapt to changing situations and a creative problem solver. Her positivity makes her a great coworker.” 
  • Deana Clevenger, records specialist at Penn State Mont Alto, whose nominator wrote: “Deana is a wonderful colleague. She puts the student first in everything she does and is willing to go the extra mile to help faculty and staff. The campus is grateful to have an exceptional staff member like her. Thank you, Deana, for being amazing!”  
  • Wanda Devlin, coordinator of partnership engagement and faculty Fulbright at Penn State Global, whose nominator wrote: “Wanda has been key to the Global Partnerships unit in countless ways: she intrinsically provides assistance, does the required research and enables the unit to stay true to its professional goals.  Additionally, she provides wisdom and humor to hectic days. We are so grateful to her!” 
  • Lisa Fuoss, graduate programs administrative coordinator in the College of Engineering, whose nominator wrote: “Lisa is the most knowledgeable employee in all matters related to the life span of graduate students from application to graduation. I always refer to her as being ‘the expert’ at any task she performs.” 
  • Ida O’Donald, stewardship business analyst in the Division of Development and Alumni Relations, whose nominator wrote: “Ida is an amazing colleague. She is a positive, upbeat person who is enthusiastic about her work. Ida is always ready to help others, whether it is providing training, responding to inquiries or assisting a colleague with a task. She goes above and beyond to provide excellent customer service.” 
  • Charles Mierwald, administrative support assistant in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS), whose nominator wrote: “Charles created a workflow to produce EMS-branded impact reports for over 450 donors once the system ran. He streamlined and condensed a tedious task that would have otherwise been months of work into a few weeks.” 
  • Tryphena Miska, associate registrar for curriculum and class scheduling at University Park, whose nominator wrote: “Tryphena does an excellent job of managing course scheduling! She provides training and information to help us be effective in our scheduling work. She is understanding and supportive of special situations and of individual department needs. She carries out her work with a professional and cheerful demeanor.” 
  • Laura Ramp, director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Penn State Harrisburg, whose nominator wrote: “Laura is a great colleague and goes above and beyond to support faculty, students and staff. When we were left in a bind two semesters in a row with emergency medical leaves, Dr. Ramp found a solution to meet faculty and student needs each semester. Laura is an asset to students and faculty alike.” 
  • Kate Twoey, IT trainer at Penn State World Campus, whose nominator wrote: “Smart, funny, kind ... Kate is wonderful to work with on every level. Her role is unique and she possesses an amazing breadth of knowledge, making her an invaluable resource to the team. There is never a time that she doesn’t jump in to help others when asked. We are incredibly lucky to have her.” 
  • Lisa Sykes, grants and contracts manager at Applied Research Laboratory, who received multiple nominations. One nominator wrote: “Lisa's eye for detail and immense breadth of experience is critical for work to be done and for contracts to be brought in. In her position it would be so easy to always be stressed and take it out on others. It is mind-blowing that she doesn't. Lisa is generous with her warmth, time and patience.” Another nominator wrote: “Lisa is an absolute professional in every way.  She is a dedicated and exceptionally hard worker, and she always puts others before herself. Lisa is reliable and responsible and performs her job functions in a superb and meticulous manner! In short, she is absolutely amazing and we are very fortunate.” Yet another nominator wrote: “We rely heavily on Lisa for her expertise and contracts knowledge. Lisa provides excellent support to all of us and bends over backwards to get many impossible tasks done on a daily basis. She is a great problem solver, co-worker and friend!” 
  • Rich Villasenor, academic advisor at Penn State World Campus, whose nominator wrote: “Rich has taken on the interim role of assisting with graduate advising for the School of International Affairs. He has seamlessly embraced this additional responsibility along with undergraduate advising, bringing his expertise and passion to support graduate students. Talk about a true team player!”   

Thank you Shannon, Deana, Wanda, Lisa, Ida, Charles, Tryphena, Laura, Kate, Lisa and Rich — and to everyone who helps make Penn State such an incredible community!

Do you know someone who deserves a shout out? If you do, consider nominating that person by filling out a short online form.