August 24, 2023

Three Susquehanna University staff members were recognized recently with the Signe S. Gates Appreciation Award — Thomas Counterman, head mechanic; Amy Davis, assistant director of inclusion and diversity; and Barb Dennen, director of finance.

Established in 2006 by Signe S. Gates ’71, chair of Susquehanna’s Board of Trustees, the award recognizes employees’ outstanding contributions to the institution and acknowledges their dedication to advancing university strategic objectives through extraordinary work performance that inspires others to reach for similar achievement.

Counterman was recognized for his willingness to utilize new technologies that monitor and support the behind-the-scenes mechanical infrastructure of the 297-acre campus.

“Tom’s work is vital to keeping our campus buildings comfortable throughout all four seasons while working to maximize older infrastructure and integrating new technologies,” said Counterman’s nominator Malcolm Derk, chief of staff. “Tom exhibits leadership in working with his colleagues and fosters a congenial atmosphere in his interactions with team members, faculty and staff.”

Davis was honored for her work with Susquehanna’s Center for Diversity & Inclusion.

“Through her work advising and supporting diversity student organizations, working to create a sense of community among international students on campus, and her collaboration and commitment to the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, Amy reflects one of SU’s guiding values in that the institution is committed to being and becoming ‘a diverse community that cultivates inclusive excellence, intercultural competence, and global citizenship,’” said Davis’s nominator María L. O. Muñoz, interim chief inclusion and diversity officer and associate professor of history.

Dennen was recognized for exemplary performance in managing the university’s finance office.

“Barb played a key role in onboarding the new vice president for finance, assisting me in learning the landscape and Susquehanna processes while retooling the budgeting process in developing the university’s multi-year financial plan,” said Dennen’s nominator Jeff Listwak, vice president for finance. “This also included significant interaction and support of the Executive Leadership Team and Senior Leadership Team, as well as other various leaders across campus.”

Gates Award winners were honored at Susquehanna’s annual Opening Dinner on Aug. 22.