You Rock! Award

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You Rock! Award

The You Rock! Award was created as a way to recognize and honor unusual dedication and outstanding contributions by College of the Liberal Arts staff members. Anyone who works in the college may nominate any non-exempt or exempt staff member in the college as long as they have been in their current role for a minimum of six months. All nominees and nominators must be in good standing in accordance with University performance policies. Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis and will be reviewed by the Staff Advisory Committee during monthly meetings.

Here are some examples of criteria we're looking for:

  • Outstanding achievement on the job
  • Exceptional contributions towards the effectiveness and efficiency of operations
  • Outstanding service to other employees or visitors
  • Special efforts in promoting workforce diversity
  • Distinguished efforts in staff development/recognition

We know that our college is filled with exceptional staff members, and we would like to publicize their great accomplishments.

Submit a You Rock! Award nomination

Recent You Rock! Award winners:

Summer 2021

Congratulations to our summer 2021 You Rock! award winners:

Emily Bloom, Human Resources Consultant

Kristi Brinker, Front Desk Coordinator, History/CAMS/Jewish Studies

Jessica Fatica, Human Resources Consultant

Amanda Gallo, Human Resources Strategic Partner

Michelle Ilgen, Administrative Coordinator, Political Science

Jodi Ripka, Purchasing Agent, Information Technology (ITLA)

Elysabethe Thatcher, Human Resources Consultant

Jo Thornton, Associate Coordinator of Grants and Contracts, Research and Graduate Studies Office

Spring 2021

Congratulations to our spring 2021 You Rock! award winners:

Jeff FoltzCustomer Support Coordinator, Information Technology (ITLA)

Kelly Jedrzejewski, Communications Coordinator, School of Labor and Employment Relations

Marc Kepler, Technology Consultant, Information Technology (ITLA)

Rusty Price, Technology Asset Management Coordinator, Information Technology (ITLA)

Karissa Rodgers-Hill, Executive Assistant, Alumni Relations and Development

Kirsten Schlorff, Public Relations Generalist, Strategic Communications

Christy Thresher, Administrative Assistant, Office of the Dean

Fall 2020

Congratulations to our fall 2020 You Rock! award winners:

Nicole Bahrmann, Assistant to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies

Emily Bush-Clark, Events Assistant, Department of Applied Linguistics; Department of Communication Arts and Sciences; and Department of Philosophy

Lynn Carey, Undergraduate Staff Assistant, Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies; Department of History; and Jewish Studies program

Chantel Harley, Recruitment Coordinator, Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies

Carmen Henry-Harris, Community Engagement Coordinator and Liaison, PACT: Parents and Children Together

Dave Horner, IT Support Specialist, Information Technology (ITLA)

Sarah Jones, Undergraduate Program Assistant, Communication Arts and Sciences

Keshia Kennelley, Administrative Support Coordinator, Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies; Department of History; and Jewish Studies program 

Dave Lingenfelter, Director of Student Services, Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies

Clayton Lose, Senior Graphic Designer, Information Technology (ITLA)

Melissa McBrayer, Academic Adviser, Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies (Psychology)

Cheryl Mohr, Graduate Staff Assistant, Department of English

Greg Nolan, Director of Academic Advising, Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies

Leah Osowski, Administrative Support Coordinator, School of Global Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Denise Poorman, Financial Coordinator, Oswald Region

Mary Price, Administrative Support Assistant, School of Global Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Jessica Snyder, Administrative Operations Manager, Department of Sociology and Criminology

Amber Thomas, Events Coordinator, Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies; Department of History; and Jewish Studies program

Ben Whitesell, Academic Adviser, Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies (History, Classics, Jewish Studies, Medieval Studies, and Latin American Studies)

Teresa Yost, Financial Assistant, Burrowes Region

August 2020

Congratulations to our August You Rock! award winner:

Trisha Everhart, Assistant Director of Online Programs, School of Labor and Employment Relations

"Trisha not only knows how everything works in the School of LER, she is a mentor and friend. Her work ethic is like no other. There is probably not a question you could ask, concerning our particular department, that she cannot answer. She cares and tries to make all of her colleagues succeed and stands up for all of us. It's important to her for not only us to succeed, but for the program and the university as a whole to succeed. She is the best at what she does, is the biggest 'team player' in our office and ALWAYS there to help!" —Mark Ivicic, nominator



July 2020

Congratulations to our July You Rock! award winner:

JoElle DeVinney, Asset Management Specialist, Information Technology (ITLA)

"JoElle is a member of ITLA’s Asset Management Team (AMT). The team is responsible to build and deploy computers to support the college computer and technology needs. JoElle builds, deploys, and manages the college inventory of Apple computers. In addition to her build/deployment responsibilities she assigns all AMT ServiceNow tickets/requests to the team, and manages our computer decommission/salvage process. JoElle tracks when AMT pulls computers from our inventory of new computer’s keeping an inventory of Windows and Apple computer’s available at all times. JoElle also manages our stock of computer new/used peripherals i.e. cables, adaptors, laptop docks, keyboards, mice, display monitors, etc.

With the college pivoting from an on campus to remote work environment in March this put a huge burden on ITLA to provide staff and faculty computers and technology enabling them to establish home office environments. Thanks to JoElle managing our inventory of available inventory of computers and peripherals ITLA was able to provide hardware to support the college’s needs. Thanks to JoElle’s inventory organization skills and desire to assume additional responsibilities to enable AMT and ITLA to operate and react efficiently we were able to respond to this huge demand quickly. Although the entire ITLA team came together very well to support this work environment change, leveraging the available inventory of new and used computers, monitors, and peripherals that JoElle managed was a critical factor enabling ITLA to provide these items. Her performance shows she cares about her peers, her desire to do a good job, thus enabling AMT and ITLA to operate efficiently and support the college IT/technology needs." —Greg Giles, nominator


June 2020

Congratulations to our June You Rock! award winners:

Grace TurnerCustomer Support Specialist, Information Technology (ITLA)

"Internet and computers play a critical role in our professional and personal lives. When computers stop working, when we can't install the software we need to conduct our research, or when apps malfunction, frustration reaches high points. Grace is outstanding at providing quick and accurate support, and at dissipating and solving problems. She is technically competent, creative when it comes time to figure out ways to solve problems; she communicates clearly and responds very quickly, she takes initiative, and she works very hard to overcome the problems that users are experiencing. She has been a tremendous help to me time and again. Grace consistently goes above and beyond. This is why she is deserving of the YouRock! award."—Giuli Dussias, nominator


Chris Meyer, IT Consultant, Information Technology (ITLA)

"I needed to purchase a research Laptop and Chris went above and beyond helping me choose and making sure I got the device in a timely fashion. As it turned out, I ended up experiencing extensive technical problems with the PC; Chris did his best to solve them himself and to get me in contact with other specialists who might help. In the end, we decided to return the device; since then, Chris has been extremely helpful in ensuring the process was carried out successfully, serving as an intermediary between the company Dell and myself.

The quality of the technical support provided by Chris is astounding; coupled with his kindness, warmth and willingness to help, it made me feel very secure that someone had my best interest in mind. In these difficult times, I believe it is especially important that staff, students and faculty can count with excellent support of knowledgeable and kind professionals such as him."—Priscila Lopez Beltran, nominator


May 2020

Congratulations to our May You Rock! award winner:

Marc KeplerTechnology Consultant (Zoom expert), Information Technology (ITLA)

"Long before the University moved to a remote-work environment, Marc was hard at work perfecting his craft, unaware on the effect it would have on all of us.
Prior to working from home, Marc has always been happy to assist me in the rare times I needed to set up a Zoom meeting. He helped me test equipment before job talk interviews for perspective candidates for the APLING department head position, troubleshooted the connection in the midst of the fall’s college-wide staff meeting, and taught me tools and techniques for administering consistent, high-quality meetings between Dean Lang and a variety of individuals.
In the past two months, the demand for Marc’s skills and attention has grown astronomically and he has taken on this added responsibility nobly. He graciously agreed to guest speak on two different occasions at the LA staff check-ins, in both instances speaking to nearly 100 individuals and answering questions in real-time. Outside of organized events, I know Marc has made several one-on-one appointments with staff members who were struggling with the transition to virtual meetings and events. He has even developed and published a comprehensive webpage on the LA IT website that faculty and staff can access at any time to get more information about hosting virtual meetings on Zoom.
Most impressive of all, Marc helps others in a humble and positive manner. He is thorough in his explanations and never seems frustrated if I come back to him later with the same question because I was unable to replicate something on a different occasion. He has demonstrated outstanding service to our faculty and staff during this time." —Kysesen Maravich, nominator


April 2020

Congratulations to our April You Rock! award winner:

Olivia BrownAdministrative Support Coordinator, School of Global Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (Department of Comparative Literature and Global and International Studies Program)

"Olivia has recently stepped into the role of Administrative Support Coordinator for the school. She has learned the ropes quickly and has taken it on herself to compile a full set of step-by-step directions for core tasks. In creating systems and archives of knowledge, she has skillfully navigated reaching out to a range of people across the University, including past heads, previous administrative staff, faculty, work-study students, and her peers in the unit, sleuthing out information and cultures of practice. Throughout this process, her communications have been characteristically brisk and professional, a model of kind efficiency." —Charlotte Eubanks, nominator


February 2020

Congratulations to our February You Rock! award winners:

Katie WysockiAssistant Director of the Career Enrichment Network

"Katie puts her heart and soul into the work that she does with and for Liberal Arts students each day. Whether this is through career coaching, connecting with employers and alumni, or developing sustainable, impactful career programs for students to engage in their career planning, Katie is at the forefront of it all. Most recently, Katie successfully coordinated Liberal Arts Career Week (January 2731), which included fifteen career-related programs for students that incorporated employers, alumni, and faculty. During this time, the programs that Katie organized and implemented reached hundreds of Liberal Arts students looking to help themselves develop their career goals and plans after graduation. Not only is Katie an advocate for Liberal Arts students during her day-to-day work, but she is also an a leader within our Career Enrichment Network team. Her motivation, strategic planning, and supportive nature is central to inspiring the work that we do with students, employers, and alumni. In addition, her positive attitude is infectious, making our work environment in LAUS a more inclusive and welcoming place to be." —Lauren Granese and Susan Knell, nominators


Barb Edwards, Assistant to the Director, Paterno Fellows Program and Assistant for Liberal Arts Undergraduate Advising

"I’d like to nominate Barb for her overall work efforts on behalf of the Paterno Fellows Program. I was a little anxious about stepping into this new role with all its responsibilities, but the previous director, Cathy Wanner, said, you’ll be fine, because you have Barb! And she was right. Barb cares deeply about the students, and about the program. She is a great partner when it comes to keeping the program running, and I feel that she frequently goes above and beyond what the job requires. Every week she orders and sets up lunch for the fellows at Lunch with Honors, and when there are special events in the evenings, she is there to organize and make sure things run smoothly. I never worry whether or not things will get done when Barb is on the case! She is as much the face of the Paterno Fellows program as I am, and I could not do my job without her." —Jeremy Engels, nominator


January 2020

Congratulations to our January You Rock! award winners:

Ethan CoxCustomer Support Specialist for Liberal Arts Information Technology (ITLA) 

"We have an important, specialty laptop that runs a piece of our equipment in our lab breakdown a week and half before a student was supposed to take it for a research trip abroad. We begged IT to rush look at it, and it was assigned to Ethan. He worked with us to repair the machine in record time. Additionally, when I personally stopped by the IT office with the disk needed to restore the drive, I asked if I could be there when he worked on the computer, so I could learn how the restore process worked, in case I ever needed to do it again (I manage the lab and the computers in them, performing small computer repairs when able). He immediately dropped everything he was working on, and rearranged his day to spend the next hour working on the laptop, with me there watching and asking questions along the way. He responded to all of my (surely computer ignorant) questions, and within an hour the laptop was up and running again. While fixing the computer may have been his job, he went above and beyond to show me the process and help me learn about what he was doing and how the computer worked so I understood the issue and can hopefully troubleshoot it myself in the future. It was truly above-and-beyond service, and we are extremely grateful." —Katrina Connell, nominator


Erin Eckley, Administrative Coordinator for the School of Labor and Employment Relations

"More than outstanding on the job by performing her duties and taking on other's duties to benefit the school. Erin is exceptional at her contributions toward the effectiveness and efficiency of operations. One, she has to deal with all of us in the department, which is not easy. Two, she is always open to suggestions to be more efficient to make the school run better. She is very generous in supporting and promoting workforce diversity. She nominates staff for awards, including Sierra Page who was nominated for the You Rock! Award in September for taking over when the new carpet was being installed in the department. Erin is just altogether THE BEST supervisor for our team. She is AWESOME and should be recognized for all that she does for us and the School of Labor and Employment Relations, AND the College of the Liberal Arts." —Mark Ivicic, nominator


December 2019

Congratulations to our December You Rock! award winner: Audrey ChambersGraduate Administrative Support Assistant for the Department of Anthropology.

"We are proud to nominate Audrey for her outstanding work in our department. In particular, we wish to recognize her for her efforts to encourage and uplift students, faculty and staff by spearheading a staff committee to improve collegiality and morale so we don't get buried in our work and start to ignore one another. She has organized several spirit day events, posted uplifting signs and actively encouraged people to take a moment to say hello and engage with colleagues. Audrey always has a smile on her face and is a treasured member of our department." Kristina Douglass, nominator



November 2019

Congratulations to our November You Rock! award winner: Shannon Brace, Assistant to Department Head for the Department of Political Science. 

"Shannon came to the department in March of this year, just before our spring Career Workshop and Board of Visitors meeting. Having only observed how things flowed one time, she then took the lead for the fall 2019 Career Workshop and Board of Visitors meeting, with great success (all while also learning the promotion and tenure process for the very first time). Shannon is meticulous with details and has performed in ways that would suggest she has been doing these things for years. We are very fortunate to have someone as dedicated and organized as Shannon. She ROCKS!" Michelle Ilgen, nominator



October 2019

Congratulations to our October You Rock! Award winner: Grants and Contracts Team (Rocco Zinobile, Carol Mellott, Jo Thornton, Mark Williams, Barbara Cox, and Carinda Kormanic).

"The hard work of this team led to record research expenditures in 201920. The team went above and beyond to collaborate with individualized tasks that lead to a huge payoff." Scott Bennett, nominator



September 2019

Congratulations to our September You Rock! Award winner: Sierra PageAdministrative Support Assistant for the School of Labor and Employment Relations.

"Half of the offices and a large conference room on our floor were being recarpeted, which we anticipated would cause minimal disruption. However, when the crews arrived, asbestos was found and the disruption factor exploded. Sierra took the lead, communicating with those affected and the OPP techniciansessentially running around like crazy—and did it all with a smile even though she had to deal with some pretty cranky folks who had to move more than originally "advertised." Sierra rocks it every day, but this week, she's really rocked it! —Erin Eckley, nominator



    View past You Rock! Award winners


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