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2008 Outstanding Faculty, Staff, and Students Honored

News release about the Penn State College of Education 2008 outstanding faculty, staff and students awards.

By Pamela Batson and Joe Savrock

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - Seven members of the College of Education community were recently honored as winners of 2008 Faculty, Staff, and Student Awards. The following people were recognizing their dedication and service to the college community at a reception on April 30:
Outstanding Staff Award – Angela Hummel and Cindy Fetters  
Climate Enhancement Award –  Richard Hazler and Eugenio Longorio Sáenz
Graduate Student Recognition Award – Nadine Mastroleo
Outstanding Teaching Award – Scott McDonald
Career Achievement Award – Robert Slaney


Outstanding Staff Award

The Outstanding Staff Award recognizes the outstanding service and commitment to faculty, staff and students of the Penn State Community. The 2008 recipients are Angela Hummel and Cindy Fetters.


Angela Hummel

Angie Hummel is a staff assistant in the dean’s office. Her primary responsibilities are as office receptionist and assistant to Dean David Monk and his assistant, Sharon Patrick. Angie has worked in the College of Education for eight years.

hummel_sml.jpgAs the front line contact for the Dean’s Office, Angie demonstrates very strong customer service skills, always offering a positive and friendly manner with all customers. She also assists the dean’s assistant with making travel arrangements and processing reimbursements and making sure that annual processes are handled in a timely manner. She is known for her hard work and for seeking ways to gain experience and learn new processes.

Sharon Patrick stated that she was, “fortunate to have a support person with these attributes working with me.”

During the past several months, Angie took on additional tasks within the dean’s office to support Dr. Jacqueline Edmondson, associate dean for teacher education and undergraduate programs, while her staff assistant was out on maternity leave. Many of the tasks were time-consuming and involved public events and public officials. She worked with ANGEL and curricular affairs; areas that were new to her, but ones that she learned quickly and with great interest. 

Dr. Edmondson sums up Angie’s contributions to her office by saying, “I have been exceptionally grateful for her support, and I appreciate that she did this extra work with a smile and generous attitude.”


Cindy Fetters

Cindy Fetters is a staff assistant in the Education Policy Studies department. She has been with the College of Education for over 16 years. Currently, she handles the entire budget process for the department and the numerous grants, centers, and student groups within the department.

fetters_sml.jpgIn overseeing student travel requests and assistantships, Cindy’s responsibilities often bring her in contact with an extremely diverse faculty, staff, and student body. She works hard to help students understand University policies and to find appropriate funding. According to her supervisor and department head, Dr. Gerald LeTendre, “Clearly, Cindy is motivated by a strong work ethic, a sense of responsibility and, above all, by a sincere interest in our students.”

Cindy has initiated a system for hiring, training, and supervising work-study students as office assistants. Her effort in this capacity has meant that the students are better able to facilitate the work of the other staff assistants and provide tremendous support for individual faculty members.

Dr. David Gamson, professor-in-charge of the education theory and policy program comments, “She has overseen the departmental budget with skill and acumen, and has become expert at processing expense documentation. She has helped me and other faculty members develop budgets for several successful grant proposals.”

Aside from her normal job duties, Cindy oversees the budget for key University and community activities, such as the annual Traditional American Indian Powwow.


Climate Enhancement Award

This year, the College of Education honored two Climate Enhancement Award winners: Richard Hazler and Eugenio Longoria Sáenz. They shared this year’s recognition for their pursuit of the College’s diversity agenda.


Richard Hazler

Richard Hazler, professor of counselor education, has shown strong leadership in the area of climate enhancement, having served on the College’s Diversity and Community Enhancement Committee. As professor-in-charge of the Counselor Education program, Richard pays great attention to making sure the program reflects a commitment to diversity and social justice.

hazler_sml.jpgHis nominator writes: “Richard consistently moves toward addressing issues that relate to power and privilege, and he takes on these issues with tremendous sensitivity. His leadership reflects a deep commitment to equality and fairness. Richard also strives to connect with students, staff, and faculty. He seeks to ensure that others feel that they matter. The fact that he expresses his commitment to enhancing the climate in all these ways is inspirational to others.”

One department faculty member stated that “Richard’s arrival in our College and department has made the environment better for all people. I have observed Richard on several occasions get into discussions regarding diversity that very few men of European-American descent would follow. His disarming personality, with his thought-provoking questions about diversity-related issues, is something to behold.”

Another fellow faculty member noted that, “In the midst of inevitable disagreement among students, faculty, and staff, Richard is always able to step back and identify shared purposes that help individuals and groups come together to work toward common goals. His ability to translate the energy of disagreement into useful outcomes has truly enhanced the climate of both our department and the College.”

Richard holds a Ph.D. in Counseling and Guidance/Psychology from the University of Idaho. He earned both his M.A. in Counseling and Student Personnel Services and his B.A. in Elementary Education from The College of New Jersey. Richard’s research expertise focuses on two broad areas. One area emphasizes developmental issues of youth as they relate to school and community climate, peer-on-peer abuse, and youth violence. A second major area is the theory and practices related to humanistic approaches to counseling, counselor development, and counselor training.


Eugenio Longoria Sáenz

Eugenio Longoria Sáenz, doctoral candidate in the Adult Education program, has demonstrated a commitment to fostering diversity and meeting the needs of traditionally underrepresented groups. He has a multifaceted and multidisciplinary academic and professional background with a record of success in program development and management.

saenz_award.jpgEugenio has worked as a graduate assistant in the College’s Office of Multicultural Programs for the past three years. He is an active member of several multicultural organizations within the College. He chairs the Multicultural Advancement Alumni Council, a group that enlists alumni members to call upon their diverse backgrounds as an inspiration for future educational leaders.

Eugenio also serves on the College’s Diversity and Community Enhancement Committee (DCEC) as the student representative on the Leadership Team and is a member of its Curriculum Action Team. “Eugenio’s contributions to the committee extend beyond dialog and discussions,” said one DCEC colleague. “His passion for the work he does around areas of diversity and multicultural education through his actions is quite evident.”

One associate commended Eugenio for his “overall passion for social change and his genuine commitment to helping the College of Education meet the needs of underrepresented students. His concern for creating a positive climate for faculty, staff, and students within the College is inspiring and obvious to anyone who works with him.”

Eugenio has achieved outstanding academic honors, as exemplified by his status as a Puksar Holmes Scholar. Last year he won the Franklyn Conroy Williams Holmes Scholar Award in recognition of his academic excellence, leadership, scholarship, collaboration, and mentoring.

Eugenio earned his Master of Arts in Education and Human Development from George Washington University, and his Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics and International Business from Baylor University. Eugenio has recently accepted a position as the Executive Director of the Eastern North Philadelphia Youth Services Coalition.


Graduate Student Recognition Award

The Graduate Student Recognition award honors a graduate student for outstanding scholarship, research, dedication to education and the promise of professional excellence. The recipient of the 2008 award is Nadine Mastroleo, a Ph.D. candidate in the Counselor Education and Supervision program.Nadine is a graduate research assistant in the Prevention Research Center at Penn State. Since last January, she has also been an associate clinical staff member of Penn State’s Counseling and Psychological Services department.

mastroleo_award.jpgNadine conducts interdisciplinary research with social sciences and education researchers. Her dissertation uniquely combines her expertise in counseling and prevention research with evaluating differences in training for supervision of peer counselors working to reduce high-risk drinking behaviors in first-year college students. Last August she received federal funding for her research from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Her scholarly record is impressive with three papers published, including one of which she is the first author. She has four more papers under review, two of which are first-authored, and seven manuscripts in preparation, four of which are first-authored. In addition, she has presented at numerous professional conferences through refereed presentations. She has been an invited speaker and participated in workshops at Penn State and the University of San Diego.

According to Dr. Richard Hazler, professor-in-charge, “Nadine is quickly becoming a leader in the counseling profession even before she has completed her Ph.D.”

In the classroom, Nadine has received positive feedback from the students and faculty. Her advisor, Dr. JoLynn Carney says, “Students respond very well to her teaching style, finding her knowledgeable, fair and reasonable.”

Nadine received her B.A. in health and human services from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, where she also played on the women’s basketball team. She went on to receive her master’s degree in counseling from the University of San Diego where she also contributed as an assistant women’s basketball coach. She expects to graduate with her Ph.D. from Penn State in August.


Outstanding Teaching Award

The next award is the Outstanding Teaching Award, which recognizes a faculty mentor who demonstrates teaching excellence, shows respect to all students as individuals, and creates an environment conducive to learning. Scott McDonald, assistant professor of science education, is the recipient of the 2008 Outstanding Teaching Award.

mcdonald_sml.jpgScott earned a Ph.D. in Science Education, an M.S. in Science Education, and an M.A. in Teaching all from the University of Michigan. His B.S. in Physics is from The Colorado College.

Scott is a former high school physics, math, and environmental science teacher who took enormous joy in working with students at the secondary education level. He was thankful for the chance to help shape young minds, raising teens’ awareness and curiosity toward the sciences.

But he wanted to accomplish more. So after six years teaching in public schools, Scott set himself on a pathway that eventually lead to his current position, teaching at the higher education level.

He connects exceptionally well with his students. “Scott’s science education undergraduate students praise their time in class largely because of the social learning environment he creates,” said one College of Education faculty member. “Scott creates an environment that represents mutual respect, intellectual challenge, and interpersonal support. He knows his students well—a condition of successful teaching and learning.”

His nominator added, “Scott’s SRTE scores are among the highest I have seen, with an average overall instructor rating above 6.5/7.0.”

“At a time when our nation is in crisis mode with respect to developing the next generation of highly qualified teachers and professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, Scott is crafting and implementing pedagogical innovations in teacher education,” stated his nominator. “This includes his use of high-end digital video analysis software to examine teaching practices.”

Scott recently won the Janet H. & C. Harry Knowles Foundation Young Scholars Research Fellowship for 2008–2010. This prestigious, highly competitive fellowship is dedicated to supporting early-career scholars who are engaged in critical research relevant to the recruitment, preparation, induction, mentoring, and retention of high school teachers in science or mathematics.

Scott’s current research focuses on teachers’ classroom enactment of authentic inquiry science instruction. He is also developing a project using technology to create a geographically distributed professional development school focused on inquiry science instruction.


Career Achievement Award

The Career Achievement Award is designed to celebrate the career of a tenured faculty member within the College.  It is granted in recognition of superior leadership, scholarship, teaching and research in education. Robert Slaney, professor of counseling psychology, is the recipient of this year’s Career Achievement Award.

slaney_sml.jpgBob joined the Penn State faculty in 1986 as an associate professor in the Counseling Psychology program, and he was promoted to full professor in 1990. In the years that followed, he held leadership roles that helped shape the success of the program and department. From 1999 to 2005, Bob served as head of the Department of Counselor Education, Counseling Psychology, and Rehabilitation Services. Earlier in his tenure, he was professor-in-charge of the Counseling Psychology program, a post he held for six years.

Bob is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania and New York, and he is an internationally recognized scholar and researcher. He received a Fulbright Fellowship to India in 1988–1990 and was granted the status of Fellow by the American Psychological Association in 1988. Bob has published some 70 peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters, book reviews, and test reviews. His research interests focus on perfectionism.

“Bob’s systematic and programmatic approach to his research has served as a model to all those who have worked with him,” stated Bob’s nominator. “His contributions to research in perfectionism are directly related to his ever-present intellectual curiosity and his desire to facilitate understanding of how perfectionism influences mental health outcomes.”

Bob is an engaging instructor and advisor. He has invited his students to collaborate with him on many of his research projects. His student-centered style has inspired many of his former students to pursue and gain successful faculty and research positions at major universities. Others went on to serve as staff psychologists at university counseling centers or work in private practice.

One of Bob’s former students, who is now a faculty member at another university, said, “On numerous occasions I have thanked my lucky stars that they aligned enough to put me in contact with Bob, who has had such a profound impact on my career and my development as a person.”

Bob is committed to helping improve the University’s diversity climate and has been a proactive leader in this effort. He has served on various diversity committees and arranged a well-received workshop that was focused on power and privilege. The workshop served as a basis for discussion around diversity issues and is now an established part of the department’s orientation process for new students, staff, and faculty. For his efforts, Bob received the prestigious Diversity Enhancement Award in 2005 from Penn State’s Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity.

Bob’s distinguished career becomes complete at the end of this academic career, when he retires from his position as a Penn State faculty member. The Department of Counselor Education, Counseling Psychology, and Rehabilitation Services and the College of Education will miss Bob’s professionalism, sincerity, and caring personality.