Penn State Schuylkill chef awarded Achieving Women Award

Penn State Schuylkill Chef Penny Shade was awarded the 2011 Achieving Women Award presented by the University's Commission for Women.

The Commission for Women Award is a University-wide recognition that highlights the hard work of a technical service employee at Penn State. Shade works in the campus's Hidden Stream Café, a food court that features a large menu of snacks and meals for students during the school week. She also oversees Schuylkill's catering service.

"Penny goes above and beyond to provide students and the community here with incredible service," Penn State Hazleton and Schuylkill Housing and Food Services Director Jonathan Kukta said.

Shade will be honored at a ceremony on Friday, April 15 at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel. Kukta submitted the nomination and he said it wasn't difficult to find campus members to write supporting testimonials on Shade's behalf.

"I was delighted to learn that Penny is being honored for her achievements," Keith Hillkirk, Penn State Schuylkill chancellor, said. "She provides outstanding customer service in our campus café and it's essential that we recognize and celebrate excellence in the service and leadership exemplified by employees like Penny."

Shade said she was equally excited and surprised about winning the award. She added that "it's an honor to be highly respected and appreciated by my peers."
Shade's culinary life doesn't stop at the Hidden Stream Café. After work, she takes culinary arts classes at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport. Additionally, she also substitute teaches culinary classes at Northumberland Vo Tech in Shamokin.

"I love putting on my chef coat every day," she said. "There's just an endless amount of neat stuff you can do with food. If I can be a chef, I can smile."
Kukta said Shade brings a wealth of knowledge to the kitchen that is something the staff and students benefit from every day.

"Penny continuously displays the 'wow' factor to our students, faculty and staff," he said. "What makes Penny stand out is her student-centered approach in particular."