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. You may not nominate an immediate supervisor unless you are part of a group that wishes to nominate. All nominees and nominators must be in good standing in accordance with University performance policies. The deadline for submissions is the last business day of each month and will be reviewed by the Staff Advisory Committee during the following month’s meeting. All nominations received after the deadline will be considered for the following month’s award.

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 some of their great accomplishments.

Submit a You Rock! Award nomination

Recent You Rock! Award winners:

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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