Two professors win 2018 University-wide awards

Jennifer Parker and Nichola Gutgold were honored at April 3 ceremony

Penn State recognizes outstanding faculty and staff with annual awards in teaching and excellence. The invitation-only ceremony for the 2018 awards was held Tuesday, April 3, at University Park. This year two professors from Penn State Lehigh Valley were among the faculty and staff who were honored.

Jennifer Parker, associate professor of sociology at Penn State Lehigh Valley, has received the 2018 President’s Award for Engagement With Students.

Woman receiving a plaque award from a man

Jennifer Parker, associate professor of sociology at Penn State Lehigh Valley, has received the 2018 President’s Award for Engagement With Students. Nick Jones (right) presented Parker with her award on Apr. 3 at University Park.

Image: Mike Krajsa

The award is given to a faculty member who goes beyond his or her responsibilities to engage and encourage students in learning. The honorees have made themselves available to interact with students outside class, link students to opportunities, and help them build their confidence as learners and potential contributors to society.

“This award is an incredible honor because I consider engaging students the most important part of my role as a faculty member.  Penn State's mission to make life better underscores my approach to teaching.  The classroom, to me, is just the starting point, it’s where we build bridges to engaging in real world problems and questions and bring theory to practice to have a positive impact on society,” said Parker. “I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by role models at Penn State Lehigh Valley, colleagues who engage students in meaningful and empowering curriculum all over the world.”

For more about Parker and her achievement, read the article announcing the 2018 President’s Award for Engagement With Students winner).

Nichola D. Gutgold, professor of communication arts and sciences at Penn State Lehigh Valley, has received one of the Alumni/Student Awards for Excellence in Teaching, and Gutgold was named a 2018 Penn State Teaching Fellows.

Woman receiving a plaque award from a man

Nichola D. Gutgold, professor of communication arts and sciences at Penn State Lehigh Valley, received one of the Alumni/Student Awards for Excellence in Teaching, and Gutgold was named a 2018 Penn State Teaching Fellows. Nick Jones (right) presented Gutgold with her award on Apr. 3 at University Park.

Image: Mike Krajsa

The Penn State Alumni Association, in conjunction with undergraduate and graduate governing bodies, established the award in 1988. It honors distinguished teaching and provides encouragement and incentive for excellence in teaching. Recipients are expected to share their talents and expertise with others throughout the University system during the year following the award presentation.

“As a faculty member, I feel a responsibility to my students to help them succeed, not only in the classroom, but as they consider how they will apply the lessons to their lives. As a student, I had great teachers who felt that same responsibility, and I learned so much from them,” said Gutgold. “It is a tremendous honor, especially because I am an alumna, to receive this teaching award from the Penn State Alumni Association, and I feel highly motivated to give back to Penn State all that has been given to me.”

For more about Gutgold and her achievement, read the 2018 Penn State Teaching Fellows article.

“We are incredibly proud and impressed by both Dr. Parker and Dr. Gutgold. The way Dr. Parker engages her students with the community and enhances their education with impactful out-of-the-classroom experience is impressive. Dr. Gutgold empowers her students to find their own voice, all while guiding and helping them grow in their own successful endeavors. We are very fortunate to have both professors at the Lehigh Valley campus and are thankful that the University recognized their efforts,” said Douglas Hochstetler, interim director of academic affairs, Penn State Lehigh Valley.

Contacts: 

Dennille Schuler

Public Relations Specialist

Work Phone: 
610-285-5018