Penn State Schuylkill celebrates faculty, staff at Employee Recognition Event

A sketch illustration of Penn State Schuylkill's Administration Building with the campus logo alongside it
Credit: Penn State

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa. — Penn State Schuylkill celebrated faculty and staff members at its annual Employee Recognition Event on Friday, Dec. 17. Awardees were recognized for their years of service, and select faculty were recognized for excellence in service, advising and research. The 2021 Outstanding Staff Award recipient also was announced.

I am proud to recognize these dedicated professionals who make a difference every day. Their service to our students, community and University perfectly demonstrates Penn State Schuylkill’s commitment to our land-grant mission.

—Patrick M. Jones , Penn State Schuylkill chancellor

Faculty Awards

Faculty Service Award

Michael Gallis, associate professor of physics, earned Penn State Schuylkill’s 2021 Faculty Service Award, which recognizes and encourages excellence in service to the University or to the community. Gallis’s nomination stated, “Dr. Gallis is the best team player anyone could hope for, and he truly helps our campus is so many ways. He is an asset to Penn State Schuylkill, the University, and his discipline, and I am very grateful for his willingness to jump in and help.”

Excellence in Faculty Advising Award

Valerie Schrader, associate professor of communication arts and sciences and Honors Program coordinator, earned Penn State Schuylkill’s 2021 Excellence in Faculty Advising Award. The award recognizes faculty members who demonstrate a dedication to faculty advising. Schrader explained, “Participating in honors advising is now a requirement for all students in the Honors Program, and it has resulted in students registering for classes sooner and in fewer problems with students missing honors credits. I strongly believe that participating in advising is an important part of the college experience, and I enjoy providing this important service.”

Excellence in Research or Creative Accomplishments Award

Lee Silverberg, associate professor of chemistry, earned Penn State Schuylkill’s 2021 Excellence in Research or Creative Accomplishments Award, which recognizes and encourages excellence in the scholarship of research and creative accomplishments. Nominees also are expected to demonstrate appropriate quality of service in the areas of teaching and citizenship within the campus.

Silverberg explained his research: “We use novel methods to synthesize novel organic molecules, and with our collaborators, we explore their physical, spectroscopic and biological properties. In the last five years, I have published 20 research papers and submitted three patent applications. Many undergraduates have been involved in the research and been published. … Simply put, our research has been productive, successful and important.”

Excellence in Teaching Award 

Lucas Redmond, assistant professor of biology, earned the 2021 Excellence in Teaching Award, which recognizes and encourages an exemplary commitment to excellence in teaching. Redmond’s nomination stated, “Dr. Redmond is committed to his students, engaging them in research both in the field and in the classroom. Students are very enthusiastic about his courses, and from what I have observed, he is a consummate teacher.”

Outstanding Staff Award

Penn State Schuylkill’s Outstanding Staff Award is awarded annually to a full-time, nonacademic employee who has provided exceptional service on behalf of the campus and who demonstrates integrity, respect and excellence in all aspects of their position.

This year’s awardee — Cindy Ebling, Penn State Schuylkill’s campus nurse and coordinator of Health Services — received a record number of nominations, with nine colleagues recommending her for the honor. During the recognition ceremony, Chancellor Jones said, “Cindy is a true hero, someone who serves our students and campus community daily as a matter of course, and especially throughout the last 21 months of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Cindy has provided expertise and guidance through challenges and changing circumstances, time and again.”

Ebling’s nominators noted that she does the job with compassion and kindness, with Bryan Valentine, director of student affairs and engagement, writing, “Cindy has done and continues to do yeoman's work on a daily basis all while keeping a positive and upbeat outlook. Working with Cindy is a real joy for me, and Penn State Schuylkill is very fortunate to have her on our team.”

Years of Service Awards

Also during the December ceremony, Valerie Henne-Hallman, regional human resources strategic partner, announced faculty and staff members who reached milestone service anniversaries in 2021:

35 years of service

  • Rosanne Chesakis, library supervisor

20 years of service

  • Catherine Fiorillo, associate teaching professor, theatre and speech
  • Robert Koellner, network coordinator
  • Bruce Kraft, maintenance—general
  • Judy Lenick, senior academic adviser
  • Kimberly Quinn, retention specialist
  • Marianne Seiler, library assistant

15 years of service

  • S. Hakan Can, professor of criminal justice
  • Anne Mercuri, lecturer and program coordinator, human development and family studies

Five years of service

  • William Beaumont, maintenance—utility
  • Samantha Bower, publications and digital media specialist
  • Kate Fullerton, athletic trainer
  • Therese Hohman, administrative support coordinator, academic affairs
  • Gregory Katucki, lecturer of engineering
  • Bret Maley, mechanic—heating, ventilation, and electrical
  • Jon Peters, manager, information technology services