Shaun Gabbidon

Shaun Gabbidon, Ph.D.

Image: Penn State

Faculty and staff applauded at awards convocation


Six faculty members and two staffers were names recipients of major college honors as part of Penn State Harrisburg’s annual Awards Convocation March 27.

The award winners included:

  • Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Shaun L. Gabbidon — Excellence in Research and Scholarly Activity Award;

  • Associate Professor of Health Care Administration and Policy Cynthia Mara — Faculty Service Award

  • Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology Senel Poyrazli — Excellence in Teaching Award

  • Associate Professor of Humanities and History Louise E. Hoffman — Excellence in Advising Award

  • Assistant Professor of Sociology Kamini M. Grahame — Faculty Diversity Award

  • Special Events Manager Panna Idowu — Staff Diversity Award

  • School of Humanities Staff Assistant Sue Etter — Staff Service Award

  • Associate Professor of Community Psychology Holly Angelique — Kathryn Towns Women’s History Month Award 

Dr. Gabbidon was honored for his remarkable list of academic accomplishments in the field of criminal justice in a period spanning less than a decade. Since he joined the faculty in 1999, he has produced six books, more than 24 refereed articles, and a dozen additional papers. She was also honored by the American Society of Criminology with its Coramae R. Mann Distinguished Scholar Award for outstanding contributions to the study of race, crime, and justice.

The impact of Dr. Mara’s commitment and outreach to both the college and the community at large were cited as prime reasons for her selection to receive the Faculty Service Award. Since she joined the college faculty in 1994, Dr. Mara’s efforts "have borne clear hallmarks of altruism and effectiveness in addressing a vital public interest in long-term care to underserved sectors of society, including the elderly, prison inmates, and victims...," one administrator points out. Outside her teaching responsibilities, she has been a gubernatorial appointee to a state-wide committee on long-term care and has been involved in the formulation of national public policy.

Students and peers alike sing the praises of Dr. Poyrazli’s excellence as a teacher. Moreover, many students see her as a mentor and commend her incorporation of them into her research activities. "Dr. Poyrazli’s excellent teaching philosophy demonstrates that she sees teaching as a calling, and evaluations by students and peers attest to her excellence as a teacher," one nominator states. A fellow faculty member adds, "Dr. Poyrazli has a very impressive command of the subject matter she teaches and she does a masterful job of presenting it and discussing it with her students in a very accessible and understandable way."

For more than 20 years of exemplary service to both graduate and undergraduate students, Dr. Hoffman was named the inaugural recipient of the Faculty Advising Award. With a distinguished record of quality advising, Dr. Hoffman has mentored hundreds of students, taking into account the specific needs of different age groups and backgrounds. A former administrator says, "She is widely one of the college’s best and engaged academic advisers, committed to assisting her advisees and the scores of other Humanities students who seek her counsel."

Dr. Grahame constantly infuses issues related to multiculturalism into her courses as well as her scholarly research. Ethnicity, race, gender, and social class are critical themes in her courses. One fellow faculty member says Dr. Grahame "has been instrumental in improving the Women’s Studies program at the college and attracting applicants to the area of study." Her record of service to the community includes being a founding member of the Pennsylvania Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Network, making significant contributions in assisting refugees and immigrants who have recently settled in the Harrisburg area.

Despite her extensive duties for the college, Mrs. Idowu has shown a keen interest in the well-being of international students which greatly surpass any expectations. For a number of years, she has hosted "friendship dinners," holiday meals, and other gatherings with international students, assisting greatly in their acclimation to Penn State Harrisburg. She has collected household items, books, clothing, and toys to share with international students and their families, has assisted with grocery shopping trips and house-hunting, and has even provided transportation. She coordinated a program with a local church at which college international students presented exhibits on their native countries.

"Personable and professional," are just two of the many attributes describing Mrs. Etter’s service to the School of Humanities and the college. In a period of change, her "institutional memory" and "patience" were singled out as keys to success for the School of Humanities even as she assumes new and vital responsibilities. In her service to students, she is singled out for being the best advocate and helper for the many students in the American Studies program. "Every student, every candidate receives Sue’s full attention. She is the first point of contact for prospective students and remains their first stop — even after graduation," a nominator says.

As an educator, mentor, and community activist, Dr. Angelique has established a commendable record of raising the awareness of women’s issues throughout the region and beyond. She played a key role in the continued implementation of the Women’s Studies minor at Penn State Harrisburg, has taught courses in its curriculum, and continues to incorporate gender-related information into her lectures and strives to enlighten students about the gender role socialization process.


Also honored at the convocation were Penn State Harrisburg employees marking 25 years of service to the University. They are:

  • Professor of Management Melvin Blumberg

  • Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Folklore Simon Bronner

  • Professor of Management and International Business Refik Culplan

  • Associate Professor of Public Policy Carol Nechemias

  • Director of Human Resources and Assistant to the Dean Dorothy Guy

Acknowledged for their retirements over the last year were:

  • Staff Assistant Carol Anderson

  • Professor of Engineering Alex Aswad

  • Instructional Services Scheduler/DispatcherPeter De Hart

  • Janitorial Worker Henry Easter

  • Associate Professor of Education and ReadingBetty Fortner

  • Assistant Professor of Engineering Linford Harley

  • Associate Professor of Mathematics Jefferson Hartzler

  • Staff Assistant Coleen Kalbarczyk

  • Information Technology Manager Michael Kalbaugh

  • Staff Assistant JoAnn Krupilis

  • Snack Bar Attendant Sandra Lescisko

  • Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs William Mahar

  • Associate Professor of Public Administration Robert Munzenrider

  • Assistant to the Chancellor Robert Surridge

  • Staff Assistant Nancy Yetter