2023 Year-End Celebration


  • Dr. Eugene Boman, 1996
  • Joseph Brugger, 1995
  • Joseph Conaway, 1988
  • Susan Copella, 1990
  • Chuck Garber, 2007
  • Rebecca Gardner, 1997
  • J. Craig Haas, 1998
  • Dr. Erdener Kaynak, 1986
  • Henry Koretzky, 1984
  • Dr. Linda Null, 1995
  • Donald Pell, 1984
  • Dr. Peter Swan, 1998
  • Lynn Yoder, 2007

25 Year Service

  • Sharon Blouch
  • James Hill
  • Rebecca Gardner


  • Staff Service Award
      Donald Friday
  • Faculty Service Award
      Dr. Abbas Ali
      Dr. Roderick Lee
  • Excellence in Research and Scholarly Activity Award
      Dr. Kimberly Schreck
  • Excellence in Advising Award
      Dr. Charles Kupfer
      Dr. Brian Maicke
  • Excellence in Teaching Award
      Dr. Adam Gustafson
  • Thomas Eberlein Excellence in Teaching Award
      Dr. Grady Mathews
  • Faculty Diversity Award
      Dr. Mary Zaborskis
  • Staff Diversity Award
      Ronda Stump
  • University Support Staff Award
      Colleen Monismith
  • Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching
      Dr. Patrick Cusatis   

Celebration of Life


Dr. Eugene Boman
Associate Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, School of Science, Engineering, and Technology

No bio available

Joseph Brugger
Electrician A - Grade 3, Office of Physical Plant

Joseph Brugger began his career at the campus on April 4, 1995 and has served as campus electrician A since then. He has seen the campus transform from overhead high voltage cabling to underground electricity. Joe is responsible for maintaining and repairing the electrical systems and infrastructure on campus, from the lighting in an office to the main switch gear that supplies 12,470 volts to the campus distribution gear. Joe has been a mentor and shared countless bits of information and knowledge with numerous supervisors, fellow staff and even the occasional engineer. Joe has always put the campus and student needs first and shared all that he knows.
When Joe has a few moments of downtime, he loves to talk about the outdoors and has taught many of his fellow staff the tips and tricks to help land the big fish or get that deer. Joe’s experience and knowledge will be sorely missed.
Contributed by Daniel Barlup

Joseph Conaway
Environmental Systems Technician - Grade 2, Office of Physical Plant

Joe started his career at Penn State Harrisburg on November 28, 1998 as a refrigeration technician. He served in that position for many years before becoming the building automation mechanic. Joe was responsible for the day-to-day operations of all building systems on campus. When the temperature wasn’t right, Joe was the person that fixed those issues. The campus is a leader in energy conservation and sustainability, and Joe played an integral part in those achievements. Joe also served as the Union shop steward, representing Local 8 on campus. He worked with employees and management to find solutions to issues that made the campus a better place. In the summer, Joe could be seen riding into campus on his beautiful green Harley Davidson motorcycle. Joe’s expertise and willingness to work with all to resolve conflicts will be missed.
Contributed by Daniel Barlup

Susan Copella
Director, The Pennsylvania State Data Center

Sue Copella served as the director of the Pennsylvania State Data Center in the Institute of State and Regional Affairs at Penn State Harrisburg from 1992 to 2022. The Pennsylvania State Data Center is the Commonwealth’s official source of population and economic statistics. Sue also served as the state liaison for the National State Data Center Program, the Federal State Cooperative for Population Estimates, and the Federal State Cooperative for Population Projections. As such, Sue also provided assistance to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sue has over thirty years of experience in managing various demographic projects. She managed demographic studies from conception, execution and completion, including performing a variety of activities such as computer programming; data base management and collection; graphics and mapping; statistical analysis; and report writing.

Prior to coming to the Pennsylvania State Data Center, Sue worked for both a regional and county planning agency and an economic development board. Sue is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in urban studies and geography.
Contributed by Dr. Philip Sirinides

Chuck Garber
Facilities Manager, Maintenance and Operations

Chuck Garber served Penn State Harrisburg for more than sixteen years and has been an integral part of the campus’ success through periods of rapid growth and change. After a long and successful career in the corporate world, Chuck brought his knowledge and expertise to Penn State Harrisburg in 2007.

Chuck’s primary responsibilities were focused on overseeing the Maintenance and Operations staff as well as more than sixty technical service employees. He managed several key functions on campus, including the janitorial, utilities, renovations and grounds teams, as well as serving as a subject matter expert in the areas of project management and facilities information systems. In addition to these duties, he successfully facilitated several large campus-changing projects, including the construction of the Student Enrichment Center and the Education Activities Building addition, while also addressing the needs of the campus’ nearly one million square feet of buildings and 265 acres of land.
Chuck instilled a safety-based culture and provided leadership and expertise to many safety teams on campus and in the department, as well as serving on numerous University-wide teams establishing new policies and procedures that were deployed across Commonwealth Campuses. Chuck worked diligently to cultivate a strong “team” culture in maintenance and operations, ensuring that everyone understood their role and how important they were to the success of the University and campus. He also made sure the staff felt empowered to make decisions, providing guidance and feedback when needed. Chuck made sure that accomplishments were recognized and celebrated.
For nearly three years, Chuck also served the role of interim director of Business Services following the retirement of another colleague, and continued filling many of those duties after that time. Additionally, Chuck served as a catalyst for the campus’ actions during the COVID-19 pandemic, quickly transforming educational spaces on campus to meet the new and ever-changing guidelines provided by the University and external experts.
Contributed by Todd Camp

Rebecca Gardner
Senior Director, Strategic Communications, Penn State Harrisburg
Senior Director for Marketing and Special Projects, Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses

Rebecca Gardner joined Penn State Harrisburg in 1997 and celebrated her twenty-fifth year of service to the University in October 2022, shortly before retiring early in 2023.

Rebecca served under six different campus chief executives/chancellors at the college, where she was a chief strategist, with strengths in planning, data analysis, data-driven management, marketing, and mass communications. In addition, she was responsible for developing the Marketing and Communications Office into a full-service strategic communications resource for the college. 
Rebecca shared her expertise at the University level, as well, and was frequently tapped for stints at University Park. Most notably, she served as a key advisor for several years in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses. She also was an important member of the committee that led all aspects of the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
While she preferred to remain out of the limelight, Rebecca was a significant and dedicated contributor to the college and University who always kept the best interests of the institution at the forefront of her work. 
Contributed by Yvonne Harhigh.

J. Craig Haas
Lecturer in Philosophy and Humanities, School of Humanities

After receiving his master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1982, receiving theological training, briefly serving as a pastor in Mennonite and Brethren congregations, and then interpreting Amish and Mennonite culture to tourists in Lancaster County, Craig Haas taught his first classes as an adjunct instructor in philosophy at Penn State Harrisburg in fall 1996. He was recruited by then-school director Bill Mahar to teach Philosophy 345: Ethics and a critical thinking course. In fall 1999, Craig was hired as a full-time lecturer in the School of Humanities. Soon, Craig’s adaptability and success as an instructor led Dr. Mahar to schedule him to teach more courses in philosophy, religious studies, and humanities. When Harrisburg became a four-year campus, Craig was asked to teach Philosophy 12: Symbolic Logic, the first and only GQ (Quantification) course taught by the School of Humanities. He taught Symbolic Logic and multiple other courses until his retirement in December 2023.

As a scholar, Craig published two books related to Mennonite theology: Readings from Mennonite Writings: New and Old (Good Books, 1992) and The Mennonite Starter Kit: A Handy Guide for New Mennonites (Good Books, 1993).
Philosophy 12: Symbolic Logic became a staple in Craig’s teaching, leading him to instruct hundreds of students in the course in his twenty-four years as a full-time lecturer. Craig also developed his own text for the course, with many helpful exercises and examples for students. 

Among colleagues, Craig is known for his jovial and amiable manner and love of conversation. That ease and amiability helped him contribute as a member of the college committee that wrote the first guidelines for promotion of Non-Tenure Line Faculty in 2018. Craig also contributed to several “Ethicsville” townhall events, which brought hundreds of area high school students together with philosophy students at Penn State Harrisburg to discuss ethical controversies.

For his dedication and unstinting service, the School of Humanities wishes Craig a healthy and happy retirement.
Contributed by Dr. Jeffrey Beck

Dr. Erdener Kaynak
Distinguished Professor of Marketing, School of Business Administration 

Dr. Erdener Kaynak joined Penn State Harrisburg in August 1986 as a professor of marketing. An award-winning scholar, his expertise includes numerous sub-disciplines of marketing, international business, institution building, privatization of state economic enterprises, economic development, and project management.
During the years of his dedicated academic career, he offered graduate and undergraduate courses, executive training programs, courses and programs targeted at public policy makers at state (province) and federal levels and to members of not-for-profit organizations around the world. At Penn State Harrisburg, Dr. Kaynak has served as the marketing program coordinator, chair of the College P & T Committee, and has served SBA, college, and University P & T Committees as a member.

He was the first Penn State University recipient of the J. William Fulbright Senior Specialist Fellowship Award and has received four throughout his career. He has also been a fellow, visiting scholar, and distinguished visiting professor at higher learning institutions in over forty countries.

Dr. Kaynak authored or co-authored twenty-five books and has published over 200 articles in scholarly and professional journals and conference proceedings. In addition, he has edited five major international marketing/business journals and serves on editorial review boards of fifteen international business and marketing journals. At present, he is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Euromarketing and co-editor of Advances in Global Business. He is also co-founder, executive VP and director of International Management Development Association (IMDA). 
In 2020, Dr. Kaynak was named Distinguished Professor of marketing by the Penn State Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. In addition to this, he received an honorary D.Sc. degree in economics from Turku University, Turku, Finland; is a First Eminent Scholar and holder of the Kenan Evren Endowed Turkish Chair of International Business at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida; holds a South African Overseas Research Fellowship; been named a Swedish Institute Research Scholar; and appointed a Fellow of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Research Fellowship, Fukuoka University, Fukuoka, Japan.
Contributed by Dr. Angappa Gunasekaran

Henry Koretzky
Information Resources and Services Support Specialist, Madlyn L. Hanes Library

Henry started work in the library as a student assistant and became a full-time periodicals assistant in 1984. Henry managed the library's periodicals collection; helped students, faculty, and staff at the reference and circulation desks; and participated in the online Ask A Librarian reference service. He readily assisted coworkers in all areas of the library through his extensive knowledge of library operations.

Henry earned bachelor's and master's degrees in humanities from the School of Humanities at Penn State Harrisburg. He was here in 2000 for the move from what was then the Richard H. Heindel Library in the Olmsted Building to the newly built Penn State Harrisburg library, which was renamed the Madlyn L. Hanes Library in 2022.

Outside of work, Henry performs as a mandolinist, guitarist, and singer, and over the years he has played in many different groups in a wide variety of styles, including bluegrass, folk, contradance music, klezmer, and jazz.

Henry plans to continue his musical activities in retirement. We congratulate Henry on his retirement and thank him for over thirty-nine years of service to Penn State Harrisburg and the University Libraries.
Contributed by Alan Mays

Dr. Linda Null
Associate Professor Emerita of Computer Science, School of Science, Engineering, and Technology

Linda Null joined Penn State Harrisburg in August 1995 as an assistant professor of computer science. During her tenure of twenty-seven years, she taught undergraduate and graduate classes, as well as serving as graduate coordinator and associate program chair.

Dr. Null received a B.S. Ed. in mathematics and English, an M.S. in math, and an M.S. in computer science education from Northwest Missouri State University, as well as an M.S. in computer science and Ph.D. in computer science from Iowa State University. Her contributions include teaching, advising, serving as chair of Curricular Affairs for many years, chairing numerous search committees, advising student clubs, and other service to the University.

Her textbook, The Essentials of Computer Organization and Architecture, which she wrote specifically to address content in a Penn State Harrisburg class, has won many awards, including three Texty Awards and a McGuffey Longevity Award, which recognizes textbooks whose excellence has been demonstrated over time. 

Dr. Null has been recognized for her efforts by receiving several awards during her time with Penn State Harrisburg, including the Katherine Towns Award, the Penn State Harrisburg Excellence in Teaching Award, the Penn State Harrisburg Excellence in Service Award, the Penn State Harrisburg Excellence in Advising Award, a Penn State University Teaching Fellow Award, and the Thomas Eberlein Teaching Award. 

We are grateful for her decades of service and commitment to both Penn State Harrisburg and her students and wish her the best of luck in her new chapter. Now that she is retired, you can find her singing and playing keys, guitar, and bass in her bands, Acoustic Moose and Blue Moose, which play multiple times per week in Pennsylvania and Virginia. 
Contributed by Dr. Jeremy Blum

Donald Pell
Maintenance Mechanic Utility - Grade 4, Office of Physical Plant

Don began his career with Penn State in October 1984 as a custodial worker. In April 1989, Don transferred to a maintenance position at the Downtown Center and later worked at East Gate. Don transferred back to the Harrisburg campus in 1995 and began his work with the grounds crew. After six months, Don joined the utilities group as the second shift mechanic, switching to first shift mechanic in 2003.

Don has, as they say, “been there and seen that.” He has been on the front lines of all major renovation projects, from the construction of the new maintenance building and library to the renovations of the boiler plant, as well as many projects in between. Don takes care of the day-to-day operations of the Olmsted Building; whether lights need to be fixed or temperatures need to be adjusted, Don is the man to rely on. On the weekends, Don also takes care of problems that may arise in the student housing areas. Don’s knowledge of the Olmsted Building and campus projects will be missed.
Contributed by Daniel Barlup

Dr. Peter Swan
Associate Professor of Logistics and Operations Management, School of Business Administration

Dr. Peter Swan is an associate professor of logistics and operations management at Penn State Harrisburg. He has been a member of the Penn State faculty since 1998 and has enjoyed working in transportation and supply chain management for his whole career. After earning a Baccalaureate degree at Michigan and an M.B.A. at Tennessee, he began his career in the railroad industry. He worked at various operations and marketing positions for CSX for seven years before becoming a short line consultant. After ten years in the railroad industry, he returned to college for his Ph.D. in operations management at the University of Michigan. While at the University of Michigan, Dr. Swan researched the trucking industry, participating in both the Michigan Trucking Program Driver Survey and the Michigan Trucking Program LTL Case Study.

Dr. Swan has been active with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) since 2001. He has chaired the Freight Systems Group and the standing committee for Freight Transportation Economics and Regulation. He is also active in the standing committees for Railroad Freight, and Trucking Research. He has also served on two steering committees for the Cooperative Freight Research Program and was a member of the South Central PA Regional Goods Movement Forum. He is currently serving on the ad hoc Consensus Committee to Study the Effects of Fright Trains over 7,500 feet long.

Although Dr. Swan started his Penn State Career at University Park, he has spent most of his time here at Penn State Harrisburg, which he considers home.
Contributed by Dr. Angappa Gunasekaran

Lynn Yoder
Maintenance Worker (General) A  - Grade 7, Office of Physical Plant

Lynn Yoder joined Penn State Harrisburg in November 2007 as a custodian. He remained in that position until he transferred to the grounds crew in April 2011. Lynn spent most of his fifteen years of service maintaining the grounds in Capital Village Housing.

Over the years, Lynn was recognized as a dependable, reliable, and dedicated member of the team. His attention to detail ensured his area was always in excellent condition. He was responsible for mowing, planting, pruning, mulching, irrigating, and all things horticulturally-related. The Office of Physical Plant received many letters and phone calls from coworkers and students in the Capital Village thanking Lynn for the level of service he routinely delivered. He not only maintained the landscape in the Village, but also spent many long days, nights and weekends providing around the clock snow removal services there as well. Lynn was also highly respected among the grounds crew and made it his mission to mentor some of the younger crew members. He has developed many strong relationships with the team while doing so and will be missed by all. He regularly went above and beyond, and his contributions to Penn State Harrisburg are to be commended.

Lynn is looking forward to traveling and spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He also plans to catch up on hunting and fishing, as he is an avid outdoors person. We thank Lynn for his dedication and years of service at Penn State Harrisburg and wish him and his family all the best in retirement.
Contributed by Michael Roth

25 Year Service

Sharon Blouch
Administrative Support Coordinator, Chancellor’s Office

Sharon joined Penn State Harrisburg in April 1998 as a staff assistant in the Bursar’s Office, where her primary responsibility was to assist students, parents, faculty, staff and various University departments regarding tuition and fees, housing rates, financial aid matters, and University policies.  
In May 2001, she joined the Chancellor’s Office as an administrative assistant to provide administrative support to the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and back-up support to the Chancellor. During her tenure in this position, she worked closely with three different academic deans. In 2007, Sharon was asked to serve as the administrative support coordinator for the Chancellor’s Office; in that role she has worked with three different chancellors.  
Sharon says she “is grateful for the opportunity to have worked with an amazing team over the years. Our campus is our extended family and ‘home away from home,’ and working with the campus community has been a privilege.”  
Sharon’s prior work experience includes serving as an office manager and a customer service student loan representative for the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency; she also worked as a teacher’s aide for the Middletown Area School District.  
Sharon is a proud 2010 graduate of Penn State Harrisburg with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a business minor. Her educational journey began at Slippery Rock University, where she began pursuing a special education degree; she also later took courses at HACC.  
Sharon has been married to Edward Blouch for forty-four years. They have two adult daughters, Chande and Corie, and five grandchildren: Ethan, Madyson, Emma, Addison, and Ellie. Sharon enjoys camping, hiking, home improvement projects, crafts, exercising, yoga, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.
Contributed by Dr. John Mason 

James Hill
Refrigeration Technician, Office of Physical Plant 

James Hill was hired in November 1997 as a refrigeration technician grade 3. Jim’s job is to manage all the equipment on campus that contains refrigerant, including large chillers containing hundreds of pounds, down to small pieces of equipment with ounces. He is also responsible to keep up with changing regulations involving proper management and disposal of equipment from the Environmental Protection Agency. Jim is one of the folks that works behind the scenes to make sure your space is cool and your lab equipment is working at peak efficiency. Jim is usually seen around the library where the largest of the refrigeration equipment is located. That equipment supplies chilled water for cooling to the Student Enrichment Center and Library, which is in total 470 tons of cooling capacity.
Contributed by Daniel Barlup

Rebecca Gardner

Ms. Gardner’s bio is listed under the Retirements section.


Staff Service Award

To recognize staff for extraordinary service

Donald Friday
Head Men’s Basketball Coach

Don Friday has shown over many years what service above and beyond his position looks like. Coach Friday has led efforts to raise significant funds for our campus and our local community including $2,300 for a shopping spree for children from impoverished backgrounds and $40,000 on Giving Tuesday. Don has assisted with COVID-19 testing on campus, supported the Black Lives Matter and Embrace Mental Health basketball games, and led a deep connection with our Career Studies program here on campus. In the local community, he and his team have helped decorate Middletown Park, volunteered in the Middletown holiday parade, helped install streetlights, and supported local middle school games.

As a basketball coach, Don Friday has been recognized as a National Coach of the Week and Regional Coach of the Year while leading numerous championship teams. He has also helped many student athletes acquire excellent professional career opportunities. A faculty member wrote in his recommendation letter that Don Friday “should be recognized for developing an ecosystem that has consistently contributed to student access and success, especially as it pertains to the diversity of our students.” A school director also wrote in his letter “Coach Friday has provided extraordinary service to dozens of young men that he has coached, to the Penn State Harrisburg community, and to the region. I salute him and thank him for his admirable character and tireless dedication to continuous improvement.”

Thank you, Coach Friday, for all you do for Penn State Harrisburg, our students, and the local community! We honor your contributions and impact with this year’s Staff Service Award!
Contributed by Dr. Todd Clark, Chair, Staff Service Award Committee

Faculty Service Award

To recognize faculty for extraordinary service

Abbas Ali
Associate Professor of Management, School of Business Administration

Dr. Abbas Ali earned this award for his service to the University and profession. He served as the Faculty Senate President during the challenging COVID-19 pandemic. His service continues as the co-chair of the Revitalization Committee that is charged with highlighting systemic issues across the campus that hinder our growth. He is an active participant in conferences; reviewing journal articles, including articles for the Journal of Business Ethics, a Top 40 journal; and serving on editorial boards. Outside of the University, he conducts workshops for professional organizations and participated in a TEDx talk around his research expertise.
Contributed by the Faculty Service Award Committee

Roderick Lee 
Associate Professor of Information Systems, School of Business Administration

Dr. Roderick Lee has earned this award for the second time with his recent service work to the University and community. At the University, he is a past President of the Faculty Senate, co-founded the Council on Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity (CORED- Harrisburg), and chaired the inaugural School of Business Administration's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council. He has increased his service level while still actively serving students as the professor in charge of all MIS and IST degrees at Penn State Harrisburg, which include the addition of three new options during the past two years alone. This year, his involvement with diversity at Penn State includes working on a special project with the Office of the President. Externally, he has elevated Penn State Harrisburg to a regional and national stage. He was instrumental in bringing the Summer Institute for Equity to Penn State Harrisburg during 2022 and is involved in planning events for 2023. He also chairs committees to support the Ph.D. Project, an organization furthering diversity within academia. Finally, a little closer to home, he is a board member for the Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania, whose mission is "to connect members and organizations to promote technology and fuel economic development" within the Central Pennsylvania region and beyond. As you can see from this short list, Dr. Lee is utilizing his academic expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion on a broad scale beyond the academic articles and major grants he's received. 
Contributed by the Faculty Service Award Committee

Excellence in Research and Scholarly Activity Award

To recognize and encourage excellence in academic research, creative activity, scholarship, and mastery of the subject by faculty

Kimberly Schreck
Professor of Psychology, School of Behavioral Sciences and Education 

Dr. Kimberly Schreck is a professor of psychology in the School of Behavioral Sciences and Education, a position she has held since 2013. She joined Penn State Harrisburg in 1999 as an assistant professor of psychology and was promoted to the rank of associate professor in 2005. She is a licensed psychologist and a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral (BCBA-D). She is key faculty in the graduate Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) M.A. program and the Psychology B.S. program, and she also mentors research in the Applied Clinical Psychology M.A. program. Dr. Schreck has also served as program coordinator (2005-2018) and program chair (2011-2014). Her three main areas of research are sleep/feeding, ethics in evidence-based practice, and neurodegenerative disorders. 
Dr. Schreck has impacted the field worldwide with her research on autism, intellectual disabilities, sleep disorders, and identifying ethical practices and treatment. She has more than thirty peer-reviewed publications, including publications with students and six as the sole-author. Her work appears in highly respected journals in her field. She has several papers that are considered “classic” citations in her field. Five papers each have more than 300 citations and several others have more than 100 citations. She has also presented her research extensively, delivering more than 120 presentations since arriving at Penn State Harrisburg, across varied local, state, and national conferences. Many of these presentations were co-presented with her students. Dr. Schreck has been awarded $39,975.00 in grant funding.
The impact of her work is further evidenced through her service on journal editorial boards and as a licensed clinical psychologist. She has also served as an expert witness for cases related to her field and routinely provides guidance to ABA at the national level related to behavioral therapy. Dr. Schreck has developed an assessment tool, the Behavioral Evaluation of Disorders of Sleep (BEDS), which is used worldwide and has been translated into multiple languages.
Notably, her work has a direct impact in the field of psychology, and she actively makes her work translational by disseminating it to practitioners in the field for implementation. For this work, she received a News Literacy grant from Penn State Harrisburg to support disseminating her research to a broader audience. She has also created ABA research treatment plan to help children with Sanfilippo Syndrome.
Contributed by the Excellence in Research and Scholarly Activity Award Committee

Excellence in Advising Award

To recognize and encourage excellence in academic advising

Charles Kupfer
Associate Professor of American Studies, School of Humanities

Dr. Kupfer has been a faculty member at Penn State Harrisburg since 2001 and currently holds the position of associate professor of American studies and history. As attested by his school director, Dr. Kupfer "has advised graduate M.A. and Ph.D. students successfully as their committee chair to completion of their degrees; served on countless other committees, such as candidacy committees, advisory committees, and admission committees; and guided his M.A. and Ph.D. students to career success." What is unique about Dr. Kupfer is that he is known for guiding many doctoral and master’s students. For example, since spring 2016, Dr. Kupfer has chaired seventeen doctoral dissertation and fourteen master’s thesis committees while serving as a reader in many other committees and serving on doctoral candidacy committees. He even had a semester when his school had eighteen master’s graduates at the commencement ceremony, fifteen of whom chose Dr. Kupfer as their first reader. Dr. Kupfer "knows and understands the Penn State curricular system, yet at the same time discovers and prioritizes the specific needs and intentions of each individual student." Each of his students gets "individualized attention" and can reach him even via text messages. Dr. Kupfer believes that "students need their adviser to know them; to understand how they feel about their own education; to support progress towards degree; to help them figure out what that degree can do for them afterwards." That is why he makes sure that every student receives such "expert attention."
Contributed by the Excellence in Advising Award Committee    

Brian Maicke
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, School of Science, Engineering, and Technology 

Dr. Maicke joined Penn State Harrisburg in 2012 and has demonstrated a strong commitment to advise his students in all aspects since then. He advises students in the mechanical engineering (ME) and mechanical engineering technology (MET) programs, provides career advising for students interested in aerospace, and has been a New Student Orientation (NSO) adviser since 2017. Dr. Maicke also advises graduate students and supervises master’s theses while serving on several committees. Moreover, he has advised several honors thesis students, including one who won the best thesis award. Dr. Maicke has an open-door policy for his students. In addition to his regular office hours, he encourages students to "drop in without appointments to discuss classes, graduate school, or career plans.” He also meets with them over Zoom to help commuters and students with non-traditional schedules. He regularly attends his school’s and Penn State Harrisburg’s Lambert Advising Center's workshops and participates in Excellence in Academic Advising courses offered by World Campus. His efforts have been commended by his colleagues and by his students who are grateful for the guidance offered. 
Contributed by the Excellence in Advising Award Committee

Excellence in Teaching Award

To recognize and encourage excellence in teaching

Adam Gustafson 
Associate Teaching Professor of Music, School of Humanities

Dr. Adam Gustafson's pedagogy is well deserving of the Penn State Harrisburg Excellence in Teaching Award. He seeks to instill a curiosity for how music influences or is influenced by other contexts. He also understands that students are the best teachers and that there are multiple ways to assess student learning. As described in his philosophy, Dr. Gustafson believes that teaching is a privilege and is one of the most powerful tools for shaping who we are as a society and as individuals. 

Dr. Gustafson's excellence in teaching can be seen in three distinct ways: first, his ability to provide instruction receives the highest levels of student satisfaction; second, his capacity to teach a wide variety of courses in a range of humanities areas is highly impressive; and third, his success in developing music opportunities on campus for both curricular and extra-curricular experiences for students is exceptional. Dr. Gustafson has taught twenty-one distinct courses at Penn State Harrisburg. These courses are considerable in their range, everything from Music Theory, Classical Music, Rock and Pop Music, the Science of Music, Jazz and Hip-Hop, to performance courses for choir, guitar, and ensembles, as well as introductions to the humanities, and theatre courses on play analysis and the history of drama. The breadth of knowledge and flexibility to teach this wide range is impressive on its own, and yet Dr. Gustafson has done so with remarkable results. Student praise of his teaching has been exuberant, with many lauding his overall teaching effectiveness, knowledge of music and passion for teaching, and ability to develop meaningful experiential learning opportunities. Dr. Gustafson is an exemplar in the teaching of music in particular, and humanities in general, and is most deserving of this great recognition.
Contributed by the Excellence in Teaching Award Committee

Thomas Eberlein Excellence in Teaching Award

To recognize faculty and encourage excellence in teaching in the School of Science, Engineering, and Technology at Penn State Harrisburg

Grady F. Mathews IV
Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, School of Science, Engineering, and Technology

Dr. Mathews received his Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of South Carolina. He has been an assistant professor at Penn State Harrisburg since 2016.

His research investigates the use of waste products in construction materials, including reclaimed waste-to-energy aggregates and lightweight foamed glass aggregates. His primary focus is on the use of these materials in cementitious products, including cast in place concrete, masonry blocks, and precast applications. Dr. Mathews is a licensed professional engineer with a background in structural design and materials. 

Before joining Penn State, Dr. Mathews worked at Ferrell Engineering, Inc., designing steel connections for high rise buildings. He also currently serves on the American Society for Testing and Materials C09 Committee for concrete and concrete aggregates and the American Society of Civil Engineering Structural Engineering Institute Technical Activities Division – Sustainability Disaster Resilience.  
Contributed by the Thomas Eberlein Excellence in Teaching Award Committee

Faculty Diversity Award

To recognize and reward a faculty member who has demonstrated a commitment to celebrating diversity by initiating steps to create a welcoming climate and/or eliminate discrimination through encouragement or understanding between persons of different races, sexes, age groups, ethnicities, religious heritages, disabilities, or sexual orientations

Mary Zaborskis 
Assistant Professor of American Studies and Gender Studies, School of Humanities

Dr. Mary Zaborskis has supported the advancement of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility at Penn State Harrisburg and beyond through diverse curricula in her classroom, contributions to diverse populations via her academic research, and her service on many diversity-related initiatives. 

Dr. Zaborskis has implemented diverse curricula that spans courses such as “Black American Writers,” “Gender and Culture,” and many more. She has also developed an extensive research portfolio that includes publications that contribute to knowledge of disenfranchised persons and communities, including co-writing an article for Feminist Foundations that received an honorable mention from the National Women’s Studies Association.

Dr. Zaborskis’ work also extends to service for the University and beyond. Her service to the University includes being an affiliated member of the College of Medicine and developing research at the intersectionality of childhood, sexuality, and the history of medicine. Additionally, she serves as a member of the College of Medicine’s LGBTQI+ Curriculum Task Force and chair of Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Humanities Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Board. She has also contributed to work in the surrounding communities through her work with the LGBT Center of PA.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Mary Zaborskis on receiving this year’s Penn State Harrisburg Faculty Diversity Award.
Contributed by Tim Schock

Staff Diversity Award

To recognize and reward a staff member who has demonstrated a commitment to celebrating diversity by initiating steps to create a welcoming climate and/or eliminate discrimination through encouragement or understanding between persons of different races, sexes, age groups, ethnicities, religious heritages, disabilities, or sexual orientations

Ronda Stump
Senior Academic Adviser, School of Behavioral Sciences and Education

Ronda Stump has supported the advancement of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility at Penn State Harrisburg and beyond, both in her work and her service to the University. 

Ronda has been instrumental in supporting and/or developing many initiatives that have benefitted diverse communities of students, staff, faculty, and community members through childcare for lower-income single mothers, bridge programs for students from marginalized populations, initiatives that advanced women in STEM, and building relationships with HBCUs. As nursing program coordinator, Ronda has provided advancement in American medicine for displaced physicians through nursing and includes participants from Cuba, Iraq, and many other countries.

Ronda is an exemplar of what service can look like for University staff. She is a leader in the Diversity and Educational Equity Committee, serving as co-chair of the Outreach Subcommittee and the official liaison and coordinator of the Read 365 initiative, the first year-long, college-wide service project that provides multilingual book reading for school-aged children across the globe. More recently, she has been a pivotal member of the Campus Revitalization Committee (CRC) and a founding member of the DEI subcommittee of the CRC.

Please join us in congratulating Ronda Stump on receiving this year’s Penn State Harrisburg Staff Diversity Award.
Contributed by Tim Schock

University Support Staff Award

The award recognizes the overall high-quality performance of a full-time member of the support staff with at least five years of active service in fulfilling the mission of the University and of his or her college or administrative unit. It also recognizes dedicated focus to customer service, commitment to quality improvement, outstanding skills and abilities, teamwork and professionalism.

Colleen Monismith
Administrative Support Assistant, John Crain Kunkel Career Center

Colleen Monismith joined Penn State Harrisburg in November 1993 as an information specialist for the Pennsylvania State Data Center. In July 2004, she became the administrative staff assistant (ASA) for Career Services, where she has worked ever since. Colleen has not only seen the office grow, but also the campus community through her twenty-nine years at the University. During her tenure, Colleen continues to exemplify her deep passion and commitment to the University, students, and her position. 

Her dedicated focus to customer service is unique. Colleen’s extensive experience in her position and with the University makes it easy to help any individual that seeks help, career-related or at the University level. For some students, visiting Career Services can be intimidating. As the first person that students see when visiting the office, Colleen certainly minimizes that feeling when greeting them with a big smile and friendly personality.  

Some of Colleen’s contributions include enhancing the career closet operations as well as the training and co-supervision of the office student workers. She demonstrated her outstanding abilities in the fall 2021, when she was an office of one and successfully led the fall career fair on campus, which is one of the most important events for career services.  

Colleen is the heart and soul of the career office. The team, space, and operations wouldn’t be the same without her. We recognize Colleen for her many years of service at Penn State Harrisburg and for always going above and beyond. Her presence, kindness, and hard work make a positive impact on our students, staff, and faculty.
Contributed by Marcela Service Manzo

Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching    

The award was established in 1992 and is generally awarded to two faculty who, in addition to being outstanding teachers themselves, have also provided support or mentoring to others. Milton S. Eisenhower was president of Penn State from 1950 to 1956.

Patrick Cusatis
Associate Professor of Finance, School of Business Administration

Dr. Patrick Cusatis graduated from Penn State with a Ph.D. in finance in 1992.  He joined Lehman Brothers in New York City as an investment banker and worked for the next ten years on Wall Street firms as a derivatives and municipal bond specialist. He’s also a chartered financial analyst. 

He joined Penn State Harrisburg in 2002 as an assistant professor of finance and was promoted to associate professor in 2010. He has taught more than 160 sections of 20 courses and relies on his experiences inside and outside of the classroom to guide him.

Since joining Penn State Harrisburg, he established the London Finance study class in 2004, which is the longest running international study program on campus. He also established the Penn State Harrisburg Student Managed Investment Committee, which invests real money and is currently worth $30,000. He has been an avid supporter of the Finance Club for the last twenty years and has accompanied them on numerous trips to New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

Dr. Cusatis’ students said his ability to understand his students and provide industry guidance based on experience make him an adept educator.
Colleagues called him a passionate educator who wants to educate his students with cutting-edge and current knowledge but also wants them to get the most out of their careers. 

Celebration of Life

Dr. Winston Richards
Associate Professor Emeritus of Mathematical Sciences, School of Science, Engineering, and Technology

Winston Ashton Richards, Ph.D., 87 years old, passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife Kathleen, his children, in-laws and grandchildren on Monday, December 19, 2022, at his home in Durham, North Carolina. Born in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago, to the late Edward Richards and Leanora Nimblett-Richards, Dr. Richards came to University in the United States in 1955. Dr. Richards received degrees from Marquette University and The University of Western Ontario. Dr. Richards was a professor of mathematics and statistics at Penn State Harrisburg, a visiting professor at Stanford University and The University of the West Indies. Dr. Richards is survived by his wife, Kathleen Marie Richards Esq.; children: Ashton Richards, Dr. Winston T. Richards and wife Michele, Dr. Marie Barber and husband Toby, Dr. Michael Richards and wife Dr. Malana Moshesh, Bridgette Richards Esq. and husband Jorge Fidhel, Mary Kroner and husband Charles, Dr. Patricia Richards-Altmon and husband Dr. Ephraim Lorenzo Altmon and Edward Richards; ten grandchildren; brother, Dr. Henry Richards and wife Carol (deceased); sister, Jacqueline Richards; nephew, Courtney Richards and wife Debra and niece, Laura Richards. 

Dr. Vedula Narasimha Murti 
Professor of Economics, School of Business Administration

Dr. Murti passed away on Monday, April 3, 2023. He was a valued member of the Penn State Harrisburg community and will be greatly missed.  

Murti emigrated from India to the U.S. in 1961 to pursue his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He moved to Harrisburg in 1968 working briefly in Philadelphia and Lewisburg as a professor of economics at Bucknell University. He continued his profession as a professor of economics at Penn State Harrisburg, serving from 1968 until his retirement in 2003.

Murti was an ardent reader of American and Indian literature. He could be found spending hours in the Penn State Harrisburg campus library even after retirement.  
Murti is survived by his wife Santha Murti; sons Vedula R. Murti and Srinivas Murti; and grandchildren Lola Murti, Dravin Murti, Caroline Murti, and Ryan Murti.