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2011–12 Recipients

Cris Metzger, Laborer, Facilites Management

Awarded May 15, 2012 - Nomination by Chris Bailey & Dale Ovelman

Cris on his own initiative worked with one of our equipment suppliers to develop and implement a lighting retrofit project for multiple areas in the Garrett Sports Complex including the gym, pool and fields house areas. These improvements should result in significant energy savings, increased lighting, and more efficient operations.   Along these same lines, Cris is already developing additional in-house lighting projects that will be implemented during the next year.   This is the kind of initiative that we want to see from all of our staff as the best ideas typically come from those who work on these systems everyday!   Thanks for all of your hard work Cris, it is greatly appreciated!  

Rusty Zellers, Laborer, Facilities Management

Awarded June 6, 2012 - Nomination by Chris Bailey

Russ works as part of the ground and labor crew here at SU and reports directly to Ron Shambach. Unfortunately Ron is currently dealing with some medical issues that has kept him away from work on an extended basis. Ron went out during one of our busiest time of the year, the weeks leading up to graduation. Russ was able to step into the Supervisor's role and made sure nothing was missed with graduation and all of the other work that the grounds and labor crew does on a daily basis.

 

 

Brenda Balonis, Assistant Director of Human Resources & Risk Management and Cathy Smith, Payroll Specialist, Office of Human Resources & Risk Management

Awarded July 6, 2012 - Nomination by Kelly Houtz

I would like to nominate Brenda Balonis & Cathy Smith for WIT awards!   The reason I am nominating them is because it is my understanding that the WIT awards go to those who have gone above & beyond their call of duty for the greater good of the university. And I can’t think of two more deserving people than Brenda & Cathy.   In late spring/early summer, the HRRM office went from a staff of 5 down to 2 in a matter of days, leaving Brenda & Cathy to pick up the many projects and responsibilities and roll with them. Having to keep the office afloat and running smoothly while meeting the needs of staff and faculty, they have definitely risen above. They have taken on tasks they are not familiar with, performed countless duties not in their job descriptions, and put in countless extra hours, and they both did it with professionalism and efficiency. In the short time I have been here, I see the many balls that are in the air in this office at any given time, and I know the extremely long hours these two are putting in in order to maintain the level of accountability and customer service that needs to come from the HRRM office.   I feel very lucky to have come into such a welcoming office, and it is so evident the level of dedication and commitment the two of them have to the university and I would just like to see them recognized for it. Even now, with me on board, they continue their grueling schedules & workloads, all while being patient with me and taking the time to teach me what I need to know to help make me an integral part of this team.

 

Diana Heeren, Director of Finance, Finance Department

Awarded May 7, 2012 - Nomination by Anonymous

Diana Heeren and her husband assisted international students at SU with their tax reporting requirements.  They did two sessions during the evening. This initiative and kindness was done on their own time and generosity. That is going beyond the call and demonstrates the best of what it means to be doing whatever it takes!

 

 

 

Steph James, Senior Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Finance & Administration, Office of the Vice President

Awarded May 7, 2012 - Nomination by Anonymous

On a Friday afternoon as she was getting ready to leave the office, Stephanie James received a phone call about transporation. Long story short, there were complications with the Hertz program and a student needed to be in Harrisburg for an examination necessary for graduation. Steph offered to transport the student to Harrisburg, which she did on a Saturday. The student passed the exam and now expects to graduate.  Steph's willingness to help on a Saturday certainly demonstrates a rare commitment to doing whatever it takes. The situation was also far more difficult than simply providing transportation and Steph's attention was extraordinary!

Darren Hick, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy & Religion

Awarded March 19, 2012 - Nomination by Leona Martin, Maria Munoz, Kim Kaler, Charity Ney, Roger Manzano

On behalf of the steering committee for Susquehanna University’s 17th Annual Latino Symposium we hereby submit the following nomination of Darren Hick for the WIT award.  Our contacts with Professor Hick early in the process of designing promotional materials for the symposium brought to light his interest in the project and his exceptional skills in the area of graphic design.

The fact that we share Bogar Hall with the Department of Philosophy and Religion facilitated the personal contact that was required to design the main poster for the symposium and the ensuing individual posters for different features and events.  Attached to this nomination are some of the designs that Professor Hick helped create.  What was truly remarkable throughout this cooperative venture was the clear grasp of the symposium mission and the understanding of the nature of different events that Darren readily developed. 

Moreover, his willingness to volunteer his talents and efforts to cooperate with the steering committee far surpassed what can normally be expected of colleagues from other departments. Collegiality has characterized the production of Susquehanna’s Latino Symposium since it began seventeen years ago. No common effort with other departments and offices on campus has been more successful or gratifying than the production of the Hick/Modern Languages graphic materials illustrating “Fearless Latino Voices.”  Numerous colleagues across campus have commented on the beauty of our posters and promotional materials; many have requested copies to keep for their own use. All members of the steering committee concur in honoring Darren Hick with the WIT award for the many ways in which he has gone beyond usual expectation of an instructor to support the efforts of another academic department.


 

 

 

Carson Leitzel, Laborer, Facilities Management

Awarded March 8, 2012 - Nomination by Cynthia Brosius

During a recent emergency situation at the library, Carson was delivering chairs as part of his normal work assignment, when he noticed a trail of blood. He immediately followed the trail of blood to the source to inquire if anyone needed help. Since the initial crisis was over he turned to leave, noticing numerous drops of blood and a few larger pools of blood in the area outside of the library.  He did not want to leave this mess, and the housekeeper assigned to the building had already moved to her second morning assignment, so Carson carried buckets of water and a broom and cleaned the entire area on his own accord. This selfless dedication and strong work ethic exemplifies the WIT program. Carson is very outgoing to all on campus, helpful to all who need and assists whenever he sees a need without being asked.


 

 

 

Cheryl Rotzler, Custodian/Housekeeper, Facilities Management

Awarded Feb. 1, 2012 - Nomination by Anonymous

Ms. Rotzler brings a 'particular energy' to her work. Students appear to really respect and genuinely care about her as she provides guidance, comfort and a positive spirit to her work and approach to all situations. I have personally witnessed students of all genders, cultures and social class seeking her out for a smile and a positive word to get them through the day. Cheryl is such a positive presence and fixture in Degenstein and students, staff and faculty all value her and look forward to hearing her infectious laughter. When she is not present, students and others ask, "Where is Cheryl?"  This is quite a testament to how loved, respected and valued she is. Also, she is terrific at her job!


 

 

 

Chris Bailey, Director of Facilities Management, Facilities Management

Awarded April 10, 2012 - Nomination by Anonymous

Apparently, Chris Bailey reads almost everything he can get his hands on regarding drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania. Undoubtedly, much of this curiosity comes from Chris's love of fly fishing for trout in unpolluted streams. A byproduct of this reading is that Chris has become well versed in the pricing of natural gas and how it ties to drilling activity. Happily for Susquehanna, Chris's avocation, fishing and conservation, have informed his vocation, facilities management, and have enabled Chris to identify particularly low natural gas prices which SU used to lock in its electricity prices and natural gas prices for some years into the future. The electricity contract alone will save us approximately $70,000 per year from what we are currently paying.


 

 

 Jose Sanchez, Assistant Director of Residence Life for Community Development, Residence Life

Awarded March 28, 2012 - Nomination by Michale Coyne

Jose has gone above and beyond to help community people affected by SU's purchase of Pine Meadow. Jose has repeatedly volunteered to translate for the large Spanish speaking proportion of Pine Meadow residents. Last week one of the tenants was unable to secure a truck from the local U-Haul site for her move. Jose drove this woman, who is also a member of the SU community via the campus bookstore, to Shamokin to pick up a truck.


 

 

Jerry Habegger, Associate Professor of Accounting

Awarded March 15, 2012 - Nomination by Anonymous

For just over a month, Jerry has done not only his own job but also that of another faculty member, a department head, and sometimes a dean. Jerry's colleague and department head, Barbara McElroy, was diagnosed with a severe allergic reaction after Thanksgiving, which then turned into a very serious pneumonia. Jerry helped initially by administering the final exams for two of Barb's classes as well as the finals for his own three classes. When she didn't feel better in the next week, he spent 15 hours grading her exams. They were in a class he has never taught, so it was very time consuming to create a key and grading rubric even before sitting down with the tests. Jerry kept in touch with Barbara and her husband over break and found that she was still too ill to create the class schedule for the department for 2012-13, which was due Jan. 9. It is a time consuming and nitpicky procedure of determining which classes need to be offered in rotation, contacting faculty members about preferred times and rooms, and filling out Excel templates. It is the department head's job, but Jerry gave up several days to perform this duty. At the same time, Dean Alicia Jackson was abroad, and so Jerry had to make some executive decisions on her behalf. As it stands today, Barbara will not be well enough to teach in the spring, but there is not enough time to hire adjuncts for her courses, so Jerry and Alicia will be teaching unpaid overloads for up to a month while teachers are located.  Jerry is always a good sport and willing to step up to serve, but these duties over break were really over and above the expectations of his job description.


 


 

Nick Hoover, Head Women's Soccer Coach, Athletics

& Jim Findlay, Head Men's Soccer Coach, Athletics

Awarded Jan. 18, 2012 - Nomination by Pam Samuelson

Nick Hoover

Just days before the women's soccer preseason was to begin, our first-year head coach resigned his position. The state of the soccer program was already in somewhat of a fragile position and the vacant position put us in a position where there could have been a real catastrophe. Nick agreed to serve as the associate head women's soccer coach in addition to his duties as assistant men's coach. Nick spent a significant amount of time with the women's team, as he served as the head coach in those games that conflicted with the men's schedule. He did a tremendous job of not only coaching the women between the lines, but also of establishing and maintaining a professional relationship with the players. His knowledge of soccer, along with his strong verbal communication skills, played a key role in the success of our team this season. I am very grateful for the time and energy that Nick put in this fall above and beyond his regular duties with the men's program. The team's performance exceeded expectations as we qualified for the Landmark Conference playoffs. Jim really stepped up and did what was best for SU athletics, even though it was not the best situation for his family and the SU men's program. I am very grateful for his efforts this fall.

Jim Findlay

Just days before the women's soccer preseason was to begin, our first-year head coach resigned his position. The state of the soccer program was already in somewhat of a fragile position and the vacant position put us in a position where there could have been a real catastrophe. I contacted Jim Findlay to get his thoughts on how best to proceed after losing the head coach. Jim and I discussed a couple of options and then he offered to think about taking over the women's program himself (with the assistance of Nick Hoover), along with his present responsibilities of coaching the men's team. Jim and Nick did an outstanding job with the women's program. The team's performance exceeded expectations as we qualified for the Landmark Conference playoffs. Jim really stepped up and did what was best for SU athletics, even though it was not the best situation for his family and the SU men's program. I am very grateful for his efforts this fall.  

 


 

 

Kim Council, Assistant Professor of Music

Awarded Dec. 20, 2011 - Nomination by Anonymous

What Kim has done to help Holly Daubenspeck is truly beyond the call.  Kim has spent endless hours at the hospital, in communication and fellowship with Holly's family, working with our students who have been deeply impacted by Holly's accident, and of course raising money.  The fundraiser she organized generated more than $10,000 in support for Holly's family.  It is an extraordinary demonstration of WIT! 


 

Pam Hoffman, Administrative Assistant, Admissions

Awarded Dec. 16, 2011 - Nomination by Anonymous

Pam Hoffman is an integral part of the Admissions Office and we are grateful to Pam for going above and beyond every day. Although her primary responsibility is application processing, she does a lot more than that.   She is wonderful with the families that visit. Making them feel not only welcomed but as one family, that visited recently, stated “She made us feel like we were at home”.   She regularly goes above and beyond her duties to make sure her coworkers and student workers have everything they need to be able to perform their duties. Cleared work areas, supplies, etc. Recently, she even brought in homemade chicken soup for a co-worker who was sick.   She happily assists others when needed. Her attitude is a let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work. From helping with freshman "move in day" to working tirelessly for two days cleaning a co-workers home after the flood simply in hopes of “relieving some of her (coworkers) stress”. Pam is available to any of us who need her and to the students who have endearingly nicknamed her “Mommahoff”.    I can say with confidence that Pam does “Whatever it takes!” for Susquehanna University. 


 

Mark Radecke, Chaplain

Awarded Dec. 14, 2011 - Nomination by Anonymous

Mark is always available to minister to our community. His gifts have been especially appreciated this fall. He has been a pillar of strength for so many different people this fall and his work in coordinating the losses to our community have been truly important. He coordinated memorial services for Koz, Dave Stefanovige, and Elissa Krivitsky and worked directly with each of their families. He did so in ways that were meaningful to all, sensitive to the differences in values, temperament and religion for each of those lost, and at the same time true to his own convictions. He was deeply involved also in providing counseling and support for members of the community who were impacted by these deaths. In addition, he coordinated the fall Religious Life retreat, coordinated and hosted Robert Putnam for the Shade Lecture in late September, and wrote a successful grant application. For all of these reasons, Mark is highly deserving of recognition for a WIT.                                                                      


 

Crystal VanHorn, Academic Assistant

Awarded Dec. 14, 2011 - Nomination by Betsy Verhoeven, Drew Hubbell, Angelique Nixon, Susan Bowers, Laurence Roth

The literature faculty of the Department of English and Creative Writing are indebted to Crystal Vanhorn for the many instances of going above and beyond during our move from Hassinger to Fisher. One member of our department summed it up: “Without Crystal, our move would have been a disaster!”

Crystal trouble-shot a number of unexpected issues that came up during our move. For instance, when we found out on moving day that there would be fewer guest chairs for the halls than projected, despite the turmoil of other activities, Crystal quickly inspected our Hassinger furniture, chose the best chairs, and marked them to be included. She packed up seven adjunct offices, in addition to the large displays in the department’s hall in Hassinger, the modern language studies office, and the supply closet for all academic assistants on campus. When one of our faculty sustained a back injury, “Crystal went to great lengths to find someone who could pack my books (26 boxes in all—including 13 to the library)!” She explored Hassinger after the move, discovering a number of items faculty had missed and made sure that they made it to Fisher. She had computers up and running in no time at all, even as the majority of her boxes were unpacked, her computer was still getting assembled, etc. Even before the move, she was, as one professor put it, instrumental in brainstorming, planning, ordering and organizing the supplies, materials, equipment, even coordinating the room layout for the new publishing and editing suite.

Because a number of administrative assistants currently work in more than one building, while patiently managing her own department, Crystal also cheerfully and competently answered questions and located items for faculty from other departments when their own administrative assistants were away from Fisher.

All of this hard work happened during the warm-up for fall classes with its usual set of responsibilities: distributing course packets, interviewing and training student workers, listing office hours, and so on. At the same time, she acclimatized our newest faculty member to SU and Selinsgrove. This faculty member wrote, “Crystal has helped me enormously to feel welcome here and get adjusted. …  She regularly goes above and beyond her duties to make sure faculty and students have everything they need to be comfortable and thrive. ... She has helped me every step of the way to settle into my teaching and work environment. ... I can say with confidence that she deserves much praise and honor for the time, effort, and positive energy she gives to Susquehanna University.”

Because of Crystal, the department hit the ground running for the new semester despite having just moved. She is already designing two creative posters, one for our Undergraduate Literature and Creative Writing Conference and another for theatre.

Another member of our department explained that it’s hard to begin to list the things that Crystal stays on top of: “The challenge is, honestly, that Crystal just handles whatever comes her way so efficiently that most of the time we don't even know all she is doing!”
For all of these reasons, we recognize that Crystal does “whatever it takes!”


 

Juli Boggs, Academic Assistant

Awarded Nov. 4, 2011 - Nomination by Colleen Flewelling and Alicia Jackson    

Juli willingly took on overloads during two very busy times of year, helping SWSB faculty in April and history and political science adjuncts in August. She worked with faculty she had not met before on projects she knew very little about, and did so with her usual commitment to excellence. The dean and the faculty were very pleased with how well the faculty were supported during this transition, and are grateful for Juli's willingness to help with the many end-of-semester and beginning-of-semester projects. She made a challenging situation much easier!


 

Anne Claus, Senior Administrative Assistant to the Dean of SWSB

Awarded Nov. 4, 2011 - Nomination by Colleen Flewelling and Alicia Jackson

Anne willingly took on an overload during a very busy time of year, providing support for the Stein Fellowship in April when one of our academic assistants had accepted another position. She worked with faculty she had not met before on projects she knew very little about and did so with her usual commitment to excellence. The dean and the faculty were very pleased with how well this project was supported during the transition, and are grateful for Anne's willingness to help with this project. She made a challenging situation much easier!


 

Audrey Eroh, Academic Assistant

Awarded Nov. 4, 2011 - Nomination by Colleen Flewelling and Alicia Jackson

Audrey willingly took on an overload last April when one of our academic assistants accepted another position. She worked with faculty she had not met before on projects she knew very little about and did so with her usual commitment to excellence. In August, when another academic assistant accepted a different position on campus, Audrey voluntarily agreed to support additional faculty for the academic year 2011-12. The dean and the faculty were very pleased with how well the faculty were supported during this transition, and are grateful for Audrey’s willingness to help with the many end-of-semester projects.  She made a challenging situation much easier!

 


 

 

 

Charity Ney, Academic Assistant

Awarded Nov. 4, 2011 - Nomination by Colleen Flewelling, Alicia Jackson and Michele DeMary

Charity willingly took on overloads during two very busy times of year, helping SWSB faculty in April and political science faculty (including two new faculty members) in August. She worked with faculty she had not met before on projects she knew very little about and did so with her usual commitment to excellence. The dean and the faculty were very pleased with how well the faculty were supported during this transition, and are grateful for Charity's willingness to help with the many end-of-semester and beginning-of-semester projects. She made a challenging situation much easier!

 


 

 

 

April Ritter, Academic Assistant

Awarded Nov. 4, 2011 - Nomination by Colleen Flewelling and Olu Onafowora

April willingly took on an overload during a very busy time of year, helping economics faculty in August while we were searching for a new academic assistant in Steele Hall. She worked with faculty on projects she knew very little about and did so with her usual commitment to excellence. The faculty were very pleased with how well they were supported during this transition, and are grateful for April's willingness to help with the many beginning-of-semester projects. She made a challenging situation much easier!


 

Crystal VanHorn, Academic Assistant

Awarded Nov. 4, 2011 - Nomination by Colleen Flewelling and Alicia Jackson

Crystal willingly took on an overload last April when one of our academic assistants accepted another position. She worked with faculty she had not met before on projects she knew very little about and did so with her usual commitment to excellence. In August, when another academic assistant accepted a different position on campus, Crystal voluntarily agreed to support additional faculty for the academic year 2011-12. The dean and the faculty were very pleased with how well the faculty were supported during this transition, and are grateful for Crystal’s willingness to help with the many end-of-semester projects. She made a challenging situation much easier!  

 


 

Sara Wenrich, Academic Assistant

Awarded Nov. 4, 2011 - Nomination by Colleen Flewelling, Alicia Jackson, Ed Slavishak

Sara willingly took on overloads during two very busy times of year, helping SWSB faculty in April and history and women’s studies faculty in August. She worked with faculty she had not met before on projects she knew very little about and did so with her usual commitment to excellence. The dean and the faculty were very pleased with how well the faculty were supported during this transition, and are grateful for Sara's willingness to help with the many end-of-semester and beginning-of-semester projects.Her contributions made a challenging situation much easier! 


 

 

Dan Olivetti, Director of the Art Gallery

Awarded Sept. 20, 2011 - Nomination by Kimberly Andretta

Dan has helped me handle two separate complicated gifts to Susquehanna University in the past three years. The first gift required the art gallery to store several items for long periods of time until they found homes on campus. Dan worked with me, an appraiser, and an attorney to ensure that the gift was handled with the utmost care and importance. It was a long and complicated process but Dan remained cheerful and a joy to work with.

The second gift is ongoing and Dan has stepped up to help me sort through the process once again. His expertise is greatly appreciated and he is working to ensure that a proper balance is maintained between the donor's wishes and the university's needs, a very delicate process. The donors respect Dan's opinion and have pulled me aside to comment positively on Dan's demeanor and overall helpfulness.


 

Erin Wolfe, Associate Director

Angelica Long, Administrative Assistant  

Pam Wolfe,  Senior Technical Assistant

Financial Aid

Awarded Sept. 15, 2011—Nomination by Helen Nunn

Serving in a supporting role, when the work of the financial aid staff is carried out in a way that enables students to overcome financial barriers to attendance and processes flow smoothly so that families get the financial aid credits to student accounts when they expect them, then the financial aid staff is going a long way toward fulfilling our mission.

We do get some curve balls along the way where quick responses to decisions outside our ability to exercise control demand immediate and well thought-out actions. The required conversion to Direct Lending for all federal student and parent loans, effective July 1, 2010, represents one of those moments. Congress passed the law requiring the change on March 25, 2010, giving SU a very short lead time to make sure that all student borrowers (both new and returning students) and their parent borrowers 1) knew the steps they needed to take and 2) completed them prior to the first day of the fall semester 2010.

Erin Wolfe stepped up to manage the entire process. She located training for herself, then trained the staff. She worked out a communications plan that would provide guidance and direction to all of our student borrowers and to those parents who use the Parent PLUS Loan to finance university costs. She identified the need for an additional pair of hands to work with students and parents to address the volume of work to be done. Erin determined which trainings staff needed to be part of and worked with Pam Wolfe and Angelica Long to put the technical plan in place, to test all the pieces, and to troubleshoot where necessary. 

I am pleased to be able to report that, aside from the requirement to complete new forms, the transition was effectively transparent to our students, their families, and our accounts receivable staff. Loan disbursements were made on time, and reconciliations among federal Department of Education records, Financial Aid and the Finance Office were perfect every month over the course of the year, reflecting a volume of over $16,395,000 in federal loans disbursed. This dollar figure represents a significant portion of the University's annual budget. 

All the credit goes to Erin, Angelica and Pam for seeing the problems before they happened, for developing strategies to get all the players and processes in place and to monitor all the steps in the process for the success of SU. When attending meetings with colleagues from similar institutions, it was very clear that SU had achieved superior results and we were far ahead of our peer institutions. It is my pleasure to nominate Erin, Angelica and Pam jointly since this project required their collaboration, coordination and ongoing troubleshooting to hammer out best practices—all under time constraints that meant that success was the only option—all accomplishing all of this in addition to their standard spring/summer heavy workload.

 


 

 




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