Outstanding faculty and staff receive awards at All Campus Day

Penn State Lehigh Valley Logo on Dark Blue Background
Credit: Penn State Lehigh Valley

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Penn State Lehigh Valley faculty and staff were honored for their accomplishments at an All Campus Day luncheon, held on Aug. 19. The campus-specific awards were presented by Tina Q. Richardson, chancellor, and Anibal Torres Bernal, director of academic affairs.

Faculty honored for academic excellence, notable service, innovative teaching and exceptional research included the following:

Liz Flaherty, associate teaching professor, arts administration and coordinator of the honors program received the 2022 Teaching Excellence Award for Full-Time Faculty. Flaherty was noted for bringing a high level of enthusiasm, excitement and energy to her classroom. One of her students also commented that Flaherty is always available to give advice, not just on college life, but on personal matters. Flaherty nurtures success in her students and understands the importance of collaboration with colleagues for teaching excellence.

Michelle Kaschak, assistant teaching professor of English received the 2022 Outstanding Contribution in Outreach Award. Kaschak serves on the Retention Committee, which works with students experiencing academic difficulties, several promotion committees for her discipline, as well as promotion committees for the campus. She is also a representative for the University Colleges Faculty Council, undergraduate research symposium, and faculty senate committees, as well as the Student Awards Ceremony. Outside of her many PSU-LV commitments, Kaschak is a member of her local school board.

Maung Min, associate teaching professor, business, and director of business programs, and Jeffrey Stone, associate professor, information sciences and technology, both received the 2022 Outstanding Research Award.

Min was nominated by his colleagues for his significant research activity in 2020 and 2021. The review committee found his work to be particularly important given its cross-discipline nature and focus on sustainability. Peer-reviewed, it appears in many respected journals and Min frequently shares it with his students, making his contribution even more meaningful.

Stone was recognized for his contributions to the social applications of computing — an increasingly important area of study across many disciplines. He has also contributed research in areas such as gaming, social media, and computing, as well as information science and shares his work with both colleagues and students who have benefited tremendously from his accomplishments.

In addition to a commemorative plaque, the above recipients will receive additional travel funding for academic purposes in this academic year.  

The faculty awards committee includes Sandy Kile, Nicola Gutgold, Maryam Kiani, Beth Michalec, Dan Jackson, Karen Kackley, Tracey Carbonetto, Nicole Ryerson and Margaret Christian.

Staff honored for their dedicated and inspired work ethic included:

Marta DaSilva, received the 2022 Outstanding Staff Award for extraordinary service to the Penn State Lehigh Valley campus. DaSilva has many roles at PSU-LV — director of advising and career services, academic adviser, coordinator of new student orientation, and LPN program support, continuing education and outreach. One nominator wrote, “her sense and sensibilities have made her a ‘go-to’ adviser for students, as well as for staff and faculty, by always providing clear, accurate, and encouraging guidance and support.” In addition to her roles as liaison for the LPN program for the department of Community Education and Outreach, DaSilva willingly assumed the interim role of director for academic advising and career strategy above and beyond the assigned duties of her position and was named to the position permanently as a result of her loyalty, dedication to the campus, passion for helping students, years of institutional knowledge, and remarkable leadership skills.

John Toney, lead maintenance mechanic, building operations, received the 2022 “For the Glory” Spirit Award, given to a staff member who demonstrates exceptional spirit, whether it is attitude, high energy, enthusiasm, or a willingness to go above and beyond. Toney received this award because as one nominator wrote, “…along with his sense of humor, he always makes coming to work fun. He is invaluable to this campus. We wouldn’t be able to function — literally! He is an unsung hero for all he does around our campus, from ensuring COVID safety protocols were being handled to assisting with the campus expansion and new admissions center.”

The awards committee of the Staff Advisory Council included Lorie Khalil, Amy Gery and Hiba Moussa.