Congratulations 2023 Award Recipients!

The below recipients were honored during State of the 'Ville on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023.

Thank you to the many faculty, staff and student members of our community who shared their experiences with our EPPIIC employees during the spring nomination cycle. 

  • Exploration - Dr. Barry Atticks
    Barry Atticks wins EVA for ExplorationDr. Atticks constantly creates opportunities for students beyond the classroom. Each year, he organizes affordable trips to the largest music cities in the country including Los Angeles and Nashville. He organizes meetings with music industry executives at major companies including the Country Music Association (CMA), performing rights organizations like ASCAP and BMI, and Clair Global Nashville. While touring these facilities, students are simultaneously networking and becoming familiar with a new city. They also visit famous concert venues and attend performances of all kinds. Since 2015, he has led eight international educational trips. On these trips, students have had the opportunity to teach in Dominican schools and perform concerts in Norway. On these international trips, students gain a more genuine understanding and appreciation of other cultures. He's developed and continues to develop the Music Industry program into a well-rounded, innovative, respected program with many opportunities for students to learn, grow, explore, and travel. More recently, in Spring 2023, Dr. Atticks introduced Virtual Reality into his music technology courses. VR is a ground-breaking way to work in a virtual 3-D environment that simulates a live in-person recording studio. They can hone their skills without having to find exclusive time in the studio for practice. Dr. Atticks perpetually seeks out opportunities to expand his own and his students’ horizons. He has made making music videos into a tradition, always asking, “how can we make this different?”, “where can we go from here?”, and “who can we collaborate with?”. Now with three videos recorded and released, he has worked with the local PSPCA encouraging pet adoption, with the Historic Rock Ford bringing awareness to the local historic landmark, and with live snakes!

    Dr. Atticks perpetually gives students opportunities to garner “real-world” experiences and to learn about the latest advances in the music industry. Dr. Atticks uses his connections both within the U.S. and abroad to further his students’ education and professional development. He certainly embodies the “Exploration” component of Millersville University’s EPPIC Values.
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  • Exploration - Wendy Bowersox

    When Wendy was asked to help with a possible creation of a Student Employment Center within the HR department, she really got everything started in HR. She built the bulletin boards demonstrating the steps for student employment that resides just outside of the HR/Payroll suite. She also helped with the creation of a poster that details the specific steps in a fun and creative manner. We had a sheet we handed out previously, but her “poster” made the information easier to follow, including live links to our website pages when the poster is sent out electronically. We are now using this when we train our timekeepers for Payroll and have them distribute them to each student worker. In addition, she had a video created regarding the employment process for students at Millersville University, which provides prospective student employees with an overview of the process. This video can be found on our website under Payroll Services. No matter what projects Wendy is involved with, supervisor training presentations, MU Milestone awards, or the EPPIIC awards themselves, she thoroughly investigates all avenues in search of the most rewarding approach for our employees. In addition to everything noted above, Wendy revamped the entire (NEO) New Employee Orientation process, working with leaders and departments across the university. During COVID, this process was challenging, and she coordinated all efforts to create videos and/or zoom meetings to keep things moving and provide our new hires with all relevant information in a concise and timely manner. Many of these new processes were kept in play once we returned to campus and have greatly improved the whole NEO process for our new employees. Wendy was also responsible for the creation of our training room in the Dilworth building. Also, she has been working on cleaning up the HR website and is the driving force behind us pursuing the intranet in HR, separate from the internet that the public sees. Overall, Wendy is a valuable asset for the university and deserves recognition for all of her efforts.

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  • Exploration - Career Center Team

    In many ways it seems unfair to single out a particular staffer or department for demonstrating EPPIIC values, but working with The Career Center I see every day how the idea of exploration is exemplified within that department. Responsible for three “arms” of student involvement: career management, internships and mentorship, these campus leaders hit home runs continuously. The career management arm, led by Margo Sassaman, conducts over 60 in-class presentations a year, runs the Teacher Recruitment Day event, manages what seems to be a million mock-interviews, and attends regular professional development events, in addition to the day-to-day student interactions providing career advice, career path exploration and resume assistance to get these students in front of the employers that will make a difference to their futures. Mentorship is newer to MU and is growing by leaps and bounds.  Led by the tireless Audrey Bare, students are becoming more and more aware of the possibility of being a mentor or a mentee, and even those who aren’t participating are attending campus events and learning why this is hugely important to the success of not just those participating, but by those sharing the Earth with those who are growing from these shared explorative experiences. The internship process has recently transferred to the Handshake platform and with Patricia Taggart running point for this arm, students are benefiting from her unwavering dedication to making sure that all faculty coordinators are alerted to internships opportunities as well as making many new connections with employers who are offering these opportunities. She focuses heavily on making sure that all potential student interns are aware of the process and what is necessary to secure internships, and what is expected once their experience is put in place. Melissa Wardwell, at the helm of The Career Center is hyper-focused on making the Grad Fair and Job and Internship Fairs interactive, informative, and reflective of the innovation students expect coming out of college. Her leadership as an involved professional representation of the MU campus sets the stage not only for the career readiness the office conveys, but it is also evidence of the explorative nature of the department. Every event this office runs is led by how a student benefits, what is needed to make the student successful and after each event, an immediate “what did we learn and how can we improve” is documented to ensure continued improvements. The Career Center staff is dedicated and works diligently to pass the ideals of integrity and professionalism to all students who utilize their services. Their efforts to exploration and to students’ success should be recognized and applauded.

    Career Center Team:
    Audrey Bare, Margo Sassaman, Patricia Taggart, Melissa Wardwell

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  • Exploration - Paul Hill

    Paul Hill, Director of Environmental Health and Safety, has been an employee at Millersville for a short time, but has demonstrated more exploration of making Millersville a better, and safer workplace, than anyone I know on campus. I met Paul as he wandered through the Winter Center, introduced himself, and asked if there was an Emergency Response Plan in place for our building. He then proceeded to review what we had and make a few edits for us. He has also created a procedure for when pyrotechnics, haze, or other conditions are being used in our venue, so he can remain aware of what is going on during our events. Paul is always concerned about safety and has mapped out our building and the best locations for first aid kits. He not only took into consideration the best location for the first aid kits, but has come up with a great system for replenishing them when items are used. The first time I met Paul, he wandered through the building as a new employee just looking through all of the buildings on campus, curious as to who worked in them and what happens in each building. He asked me what safety protocols were currently in place for emergency situations, and graciously looked over our Emergency Response Plan, making edits and reviewing what we had in place before to make it a better plan to follow if any situation was to ever arise. Paul is part of the team that has fostered the free AED/CPR certification training for staff and faculty. He encouraged that I would be a good candidate to learn, and I'm excited for this opportunity! I think it is a brilliant idea to have several staff/faculty members in each building take place in this training so that Millersville can be prepared for any emergency situations. Paul has taken action and provided the Winter Center with new and updated safety protocols. I imagine he has gone to the same depth of exploration in each building on campus. His service and search to better the Millersville community is appreciated and noticed!

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  • Exploration - Heather Rossell

    Heather has been leading our department in new ways to do everything since I've started here.  Before I started, our department was completely paper-based and I don't even know what that looks like.  She's constantly revamping our processes and taking ownership of any technology changes that come our way. Heather created all electronic journal entry systems, she's taken full control of our switch to Financial Edge accounting system (including discussions with IT for smooth transitioning), she's taken on figuring out better tracking processes for scholarship distributions and reconciliations.  She's always thinking ahead.  When we started taking on work from ESU she immediately wanted to see how we could accomplish the entire process in a paperless fashion and hopes to eventually do this with our University's AP process. Heather is the best manager I've ever had.  She constantly values others' opinions and requests feedback while creating new processes or ideas.  She's constantly in discussions with other departments to figure out how we can do things better and always digs in to make sure she has the very best results.  She also NEVER takes credit for her accomplishments - she shares them, even though we all know we can't do it without her.  She's been leading the charge and transition in our Foundation's accounting system over to Financial Edge.  It's been as seamless as possible and could not have been done without her.  She's always coming up with better ideas for everything, or tasking us with thinking about it and contributing to the cause. The Development office informed us they would be switching systems, which required our accounting software to change with a small turnaround window.  Heather grabbed on with both hands, created mounds of spreadsheets/information to provide the vendor for transition.  She also worked with Ben in IT to create a process to feed gifts from Development into the Financial Edge software when we were unable to create a connection otherwise due to legal reasons. Heather is so professional, always completes every task and answers any question you ask her.  She always has a million things to do but is never too busy to listen to my concerns or just be my manager.  She is always a great listening ear whether it's work-related or not.  She makes this job the best and is always striving to get her employees to be their best in any way she can.

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  • Exploration - Dr. Deborah Tamakloe (Nomination 1)

    Dr. Tamakloe regularly mentors students to engage in scholarly and research activities. For example, Deborah took three students to Ghana to study in their schools, provide lessons for children, explore culture and conduct research. She co-led a study abroad trip with me to Italy this year where 14 of our students taught STEAM lessons in public schools, engaged in workshops and research in Italian schools. This summer Deborah is co-presenting with an undergraduate student at a highly regarded International Conference in India. Deborah consistently engages in research and scholarly activities with students here in PA and across the globe. Deborah engages in outstanding scholarly research locally and internationally. She includes students in work and collaborates with MU colleges and international colleagues. Her work has expanded MU's reputation locally, nationally, and internationally. Likewise, she marries this work with extensive service where she provides professional development for teachers locally and across the globe, including teachers in Ghana and Italy. Her teaching, research, and service align so that she can enhance the educational outcomes and experiences for children in diverse learning settings.  Deborah asks great questions that furthers intellectual curiosity for our students and colleagues and others in our field. For example, is part of a research team that is providing professional development for Italian Teachers and conducting research with their superintendent of schools. She has helped to gently but professionally push this research, service, and curriculum development by asking "good questions" and helping us exceed our own expectations. Likewise, she has expanded the notions of Universal Design for Learning in relation to culturally responsive teaching, and STEAM (Science, Engineering, Arts, and Math) curriculum. Through this work she has inspired intellectual curiosity or our students, our colleagues (both internationally and MU based) and ourselves. Deborah has conducted research with an undergraduate student and will be presenting their research in India this summer and will likely publish that work in a highly regarded peer-reviewed journal. Deborah brings the qualities of exploration to every contribution she makes here at MU and in our community. She is consummately a forward thinker and an innovator.

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  • Exploration - Dr. Deborah Tamakloe (Nomination 2)

    Dr. Deborah Tamakloe is always researching new ways to improve pedagogy. When the Positive Energy grant was inaugurated, she reached out to a K- Prep Learning Center to find out how she could support them with a Garden Curriculum and Outdoor Learning Center. Dr. Tamakloe was one of the recipients of the grant to include at least 30 students to research how a Garden’s Curriculum could improve sustainability and improve learning for children in an early learning center while also enriching the learning of preservice teachers. This project led to benefiting MU students who are placed in K-prep, improved MU–alumni relationships, Made in Millersville Presentations, and mentorship for three of the students to co-publish their work in the Made in Millersville journal.  Dr. Tamakloe has extended enriching her students’ experiences by collaborating with her colleagues to recruit and train students to be research assistants in two collaborative projects namely the Global Champions Project and the Labyrinth Project equipping them with skills to use in their future careers. Dr. Tamakloe is focused and always takes a problem and turns it into an opportunity.  When the department of EMEE was switching from one major capstone experience to another (Teacher Work Sample to Action Research), she thought it would be beneficial to create a venue for student teachers to not only research their problem of practice in their classrooms but also disseminate their research at a conference. Dr. Tamakloe quickly ran the idea by the department, got their blessing, and co-established an annual Action research conference. She obtained several grants such as the positive energy and community engagement grants to sustain the conference in the first few years. This has benefited over a hundred student teachers, honed the practice of faculty members, strengthened partnerships with teachers in the district, and is going to benefit many more student teachers to come. Another forward-thinking idea is how Dr. Tamakloe expands the experiences of MU students by including them in high-impact practices such as study abroad trips, creative projects, and conference presentations locally, regionally, and internationally. She has attended the PA-Name conference, the PASSHE Consortium, and the Teacher Education Conference with several MU students while collaborating with students from different majors to engage in training and professional development ventures in Ghana. Dr. Tamakloe has written and submitted several IRB proposals to conduct research in several areas that contribute to the literature on inclusionary practices. Her research seeks to understand issues of disproportionality in special education and how that can be resolved through inclusionary practices. Her contributions to the field of special education and the results of her findings have earned her over 30 peer-reviewed conference presentations worldwide and over 10 peer-reviewed publications in high-impact outlets. Dr. Deborah Tamakloe has collaborated with MU students and colleagues on research that has led to three co-published peer-reviewed journals with students in the International Handbook of Academic Research and Teaching Journal, Excellence in Education Journal, and Engaged for Change Journal. She has also collaborated with her students on an assistive technology project that sought to design low-tech assistive technology devices for an exhibition that attracted MU faculty and administrators, teachers from the district, and MU students. These devices were donated to the IU13 students who are in dire need of assistive technology devices to help them access the curriculum like their typically developing peers. Dr. Tamakloe is a respected colleague who espouses the EPPIIC value of exploration by collaborating with her students to conduct research and disseminate the results through publications and conference attendance. She expands opportunities for our students by creating environments that foster cultural responsiveness and intellectual curiosity. I enthusiastically nominate her for the EPPIC value award.

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  • Exploration - Wehrheim School of Nursing Team

    The faculty of the Wehrheim School of Nursing are proactive in their approach to ensuring quality and comprehensive education for our students.  Last year, faculty identified that changing to a different accreditation agency would greatly benefit our students by ensuring continued access to a broad array of programs.  Despite the significant work of switching to a new accreditation agency, the faculty were able to obtain pre-accreditation status and host a successful site visit in less than 15 months, thus ensuring no lapse in accreditation status.  The Wehrheim School of Nursing faculty actively seek ways to move the School and University forward.  Currently, the School is engaged in working with Academic Partners to significantly increase the size of their graduate programs.  Faculty are actively exploring methods to ensure educational quality while also meeting consumer demand for accelerated programs.   The faculty are committed to working throughout the summer and other university breaks to ensure the success of the program expansions.  The inclusion of required courses in environmental health is quite unique from other nursing programs.  In Fall 2022, the National League for Nursing issued their first white paper calling for incorporation of environmental health into nursing curricula; however, these concepts have been integral to the MU nursing curriculum for more than 10 years -- demonstrating the progressive and forward thinking of the faculty.  Most recently, the faculty created and launched an innovative, online telehealth certificate program.  This program, open to any discipline, is the only one of its kind in the PASSHE system and addresses a clear and growing demand in the healthcare sector.  The nursing faculty embody the spirit of intellectual curiosity -- guided by the principles of research and evidence-based practice, the nursing faculty continually seek to improve the student experience and our student outcomes.   In addition to the curricular innovations described above, the faculty have also recently developed a proposal to add another MSN track, this one in Nursing Informatics.  Recognizing the changing landscape of healthcare, the faculty continue to develop programs, certificates, and tracks to address the needs of the healthcare community. The nursing programs at MU consist solely of non-traditional students, with the majority of our students engaged in fully online programs.  While we may not have as many "traditional" student-faculty research projects, we are thrilled to have highly connected and engaged students.  Among our most recent cohort of DNP graduates, 3 of the six graduates have worked collaboratively with faculty to have their scholarly projects and other scholarly works published in peer-reviewed journals.  Each spring, faculty work with each of our MSN students to develop their graduate capstone projects.  These projects are featured via poster and podium presentation at our Annual Scholarship Symposium.  Further, the faculty work collaboratively with numerous local healthcare institutions and local school districts to create and support high quality practice-based learning opportunities for students at all levels.  The Wehrheim School of Nursing faculty are dedicated to the success of our students.  Through aligning our mission and vision with that of University and by carefully crafting our annual school goals to support the University strategic plan, we believe we provide the optimal learning environment for our students to thrive and grow.  Beyond just being educators, the nursing faculty embrace the core value of advocacy in their support of students. 

    Wehrheim School of Nursing Team:
    Rachel Gray, Dr. Teresa Hartmann, Melissa Kober, Dr. Kelly Kuhns, Dr. Dawn Lambert, Dr. Cayleigh Minter, Dr. Jenny Monn, Dr. Susan Moyer, Dr. Kelly Rotondo

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  • Professionalism - AEST Faculty Team

    In the Fall of the 2020/2021 academic year the MU faculty were given the choice of teaching their courses face-to-face or delivering instruction via distance learning in an on-line format. COVID vaccines had not yet been developed and the pandemic was raging throughout the region. These conditions made for a difficult decision for all faculty members, but particularly for those within the AEST department, where hands-on learning has been a paramount instructional strategy since the department's inception.  Faced with that difficult decision, almost the entire department made the decision to return to face-to face instruction long before this was the norm. The commitment to provide quality instruction through hands-on laboratory-based learning experiences was viewed as too important to give up on, even when the personal health of the faculty was placed at risk. Lectures and testing may have been conducted via distance learning, but the laboratory components of AEST courses were taught face-to-face.  I have always known we had a quality faculty, but I gained tremendous admiration for those who chose to put their own health at risk in order to provide quality educational experiences for students at such a difficult time in our recent history.  I think my explanation demonstrates the tremendous amount of pride the faculty exhibited during the heart of the COVID 19 pandemic.  The faculty adhered to institutional processes and procedures while providing the most authentic instructional experiences for the students that they could.

    AEST Faculty Team:
    Dr. Betty-Jo Bowers, Dr. Sharon Brusic, Cindy English, Dr. John Haughery, Dr. Alex Johnson, Dr. Mehdi Khalighi, Dr. Len Litowitz, Dr. Jack Ogutu, Donna Painter, Dr. Mark Snyder, Dr. Scott Warner, Dr. John Wright


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  • Professionalism - George Ciarrocchi

    Providing robust and secure networking services can be a challenge on the best day, especially given all of the personalities of all of the stakeholders.  George manages to assertively and effectively maintain a secure and highly functional network, while refusing to compromise his standards, but also while showing respect to all of the stakeholders involved. George consistently goes the extra mile to assist people on his team, but also those on other teams, and even end users, with the end goal being to provide excellent network and systems services to the campus community as a whole. George is extremely innovative, and constantly introduces new technologies and new practices.  This is based on countless hours of research and testing.  He is usually the first to know how to use a new tool or system, even before we adopt it.  In addition to his research, he is also furthering his education by pursuing an MBA. This is best reflected in George's requirements that we follow best practices for our network and systems.  He strives to be a good steward of our budget and has effectively saved the university hundreds of thousands of dollars by streamlining our hardware and software systems, while maintaining a secure and agile environment. He has changed the way we make our purchases so that they are done in a more ethical and responsible manner. George is always present.  He follows/manages projects from beginning to end.  If the project has difficulties, George accepts his share of the responsibilities, and encourages team members to get it back on track.  George also celebrates team successes and provides credit to those who assisted with the success. George is extremely humble; I believe he gets more pride from seeing the team succeed than he does from his own, personal success. In fact, I'm sure if he knew he had been nominated for this, he would be embarrassed. The respect he shows comes from his management style.  He is willing to listen.  As a team member, I feel like I can express my opinion and offer direction, even if it may conflict with George's opinion.  Even when he disagrees with me, I feel like I was respected and appreciated.

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  • Professionalism - Dr. David DiRusso

    An instance I can recall is in his lecture regarding needs and wants, beginning stages of the semester, he voiced an example from a slide he was presenting.  This particular slide had a very expensive, high-end car on it.  Dr. DiRusso continued to explain resources are a factor whether are not a person can have both needs and wants.  His explanation was on point.  There were no derogatory or negative explanations provided; he provided an optimistic approach. Listening to Dr. DiRusso's lectures, he continuously follows with an explanation to his notes compiled in the PowerPoint presentation.  This technique is completely advantageous for retaining the material being taught through distant learning. When corresponding with Dr. DiRusso via email, his detail for ethical decision-making was at its ceiling.  Dr. DiRusso uses an optimistic approach when communicating with his class.   His enthusiasm is heard in his verbiage when reading through his weekly directions/instructions.  I can tell he enjoys what he does and shares his knowledge with the class. Dr. DiRusso wants every single student to excel and succeed with their goals. Dr. DiRusso is my academic advisor as well as my marketing professor.  He is very detail oriented with his lectures, calculated with his assignment requirements, and also the discussion threads.  The discussion threads are the best; he provides a brief on the weekly topic (provides the class some thoughts) then finishes up with multiple questions to be answered.  Not everyone learns or retains data the same way, Dr. DiRusso knows how to channel the resources in order to learn AND retain what is being taught.  Something else I took notice to with Dr. DiRusso is the feedback thread for the beginning of the week, especially after a huge test.  He doesn't isolate the class in any direction, he speaks to us as a whole team.  For example, after a huge exam, he provides an average class grade and doesn't point out who didn't do well or who had the best grade out of the class.

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  • Professionalism - Gregory Freedland

    While Greg is a fountain of knowledge, he listens to the thoughts of those around him and considers their opinions and ideas before settling on an answer. When a question is better suited to a colleague or subordinate, he delegates it to the appropriate person.  Since arriving in his role, Greg has immersed himself in the daily reading of numerous newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs and podcasts on communications, marketing, enrollment and higher education. He has become a fountain of information for the entire campus and has his pulse on best practices.  Ethical behavior is exhibited through honesty, fairness and equity in interpersonal, professional and academic relationships. Greg makes sure that tough decisions are made in an honest and fair manner that respects the dignity, diversity and rights of individuals and groups of people. He doesn't make decisions in a vacuum but takes into account how to do the most good for the most people.  No one works harder than Greg Freedland on Millersville's campus. He arrives early to scour newspapers, websites, radio and TV broadcasts and shares information with his colleagues. He is quick to praise the actions of others and lets the broader team know about wins. He uses his personal social media accounts to shout the achievements of students, faculty and staff at Millersville University.  Greg lives and breathes the EPPIIC values of Millersville. His moral code helps guide him concerning what is right and wrong regarding conduct and decision-making.

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  • Professionalism - Dr. Jason Petula

    Maturity of thought was demonstrated by leading the first study abroad program after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was during the Winter 2022 session.  The program navigated ever changing pandemic regulations (e.g., testing requirements) through three countries (Denmark, Estonia, and Sweden).  The program participants arrived in Europe during the crest of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. Countries were taking dramatic efforts, from restricting entry (e.g., we had gained special permission to enter Sweden) or closures of public spaces.  I am a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teacher educator.  I am also the Millersville University representative for a significant partnership with a large school system in Sweden.  I regularly conduct study abroad programs to these partner schools in Sweden for the university's teacher candidates.  As such, when the pandemic started, I used the opportunity to study Swedish, as evident by (as of today) 1,430 consecutive days on Duolingo, private tutoring by a faculty member from the Scandinavian department at the University of Pennsylvania, and five courses in Swedish language through the American Swedish Historical Museum (most recently, Intermediate IV).  The knowledge of Scandinavian culture and language allowed me to better serve the teacher candidates during the practicum study abroad program, described above and below, during winter 2022.

    Using a famous strategy from Earnest Shackleton's Endurance Expedition, a famed Antarctic expedition during the Heroic Age of Polar Exploration, I strategically distributed responsibilities among the teacher candidates to keep their focus away from dire circumstances and on the purpose of the program: i.e., a teaching practicum.  Some students contracted COVID during the Swedish leg of the program.  Some host families contracted COVID during the program, resulting in unexpected quarantine requirements, and while these dire circumstances did disrupt the planned practicum, it did not eliminate the fuller experience or detract from the teacher ethic 'what is in the best interests of the children'; hence, the candidates delivered engaging units and the Swedish students remained in the flow of learning. At the center of my focus, was honoring the ethic of the profession, but also Millersville's EPPIIC values for the teacher candidates I served on the trip. In December of 2021 the entire study abroad program was uncertain right up until the day of departure.  For example, the previous winter, travel was not permitted, but we completed the program remotely by adjusting our clocks to Swedish time (six hours difference).  Hence this Winter 2022 group of students were motivated to travel and committed to the students we planned to teach in Sweden.  I had a commitment to the university students under my care, the majority of which were having their first international experience.  A cancellation of the program would result in a loss of the program cost for the participants, and the lost opportunity to complete the practicum, which was the capstone course in the teacher candidates Integrated STEM Education Methods (ISEM) minor.  In collaboration with the principal, and cooperating teachers at the placement school, the decision was made to forge forward.   In the end, all of the students enrolled in the course completed the practicum: with distinction.  Two students were specifically cited by the Dean of the College of Education and Human Services for excellence in the field.  Several students were offered employment by the principal of the Swedish school - one is currently working at that school along with two other Millersville University alumni. The final day in the placement school, we had a debriefing meeting (those remote joined use via Zoom).  In the meeting, the students reflected and shared how each of the Millersville University EPPIIC values were experienced on the trip.  Professionalism was noted by the school principal - which may explain why he and the school system he represents, comes to Millersville University each spring to recruit teacher candidates for employment.  We are the only university in the United States that Internationella Engleska Skolan recruits because they feel the quality of our teacher candidates are world-class. Leading a normal study abroad program requires a great deal of personal responsibility and accountability.  Despite considerable unexpected expenses such as quarantine hotels, COVID tests, care medicines, etc., the teacher candidates did not incur any additional expenses and even had unexpected expenses reimbursed; this was only possible through collaboration and knowledge of Sweden, and I take pride in making this happen.  I am proud that I have had this impact on students' futures. The study abroad trip of 2022 demanded an unprecedented understanding and implementation of processes and procedures, beginning with a set of contingency plans for as many scenarios as we as a group could predict.  We collaborated to establish contingency plans, which did come into action.  Because of my understanding of unforeseen circumstances and ability to plan for them, the trip came in under budget.   In collaboration with the College of Education and Human Services, and the Office of International Programs and Services, and other divisions at Millersville University, the partnership with Internationella Engelska Skolan (IES) survived the disruption of the pandemic.  Several dozen Millersville University teacher candidates have started their careers in IES schools.  Over seventy-five (75) MU teacher candidates have participated in study abroad programs to IES schools.  We currently have a student teacher (Secondary Mathematics) in Sweden and five (5) additional student teachers are scheduled to teach in Sweden during the fall 2023 semester.  The same practicum, described above, is scheduled for winter 2024, which is already enrolled to capacity.  The Millersville University/Internationella Engelska Skolan partnership has become a program of distinction for our teacher education programs.

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  • Professionalism - Dr. A. Nicole Pfannenstiel

    Dr. Pfannenstiel is not only the graduate coordinator, and graduate advisor - Dr. Pfannenstiel has also been a phenomenal professional university citizen and professional all around academic. Dr. Pfannenstiel makes sure that her graduate students, and undergraduates as well, know what professional academia is all about. For graduate students it is obvious that Dr. Pfannenstiel is not just a professor lecturing she is as involved in research at a professional level, and that is very evident to all of her graduate students. As a past GA and current student ethics is at the foundation of Dr. Pfannenstiel's research regimen and the way that she conducts her classes. What makes a good citizen and what make one a good social media citizen and what makes a good university citizen? All of these questions are central to Dr. Pfannenstiel's pedagogy and research. Dr. Pfannenstiel not only takes pride in work graduate students do for her, but she does take pride in all of her work and that is demonstrative in her research and in ALL of her classes. Even if a student is less than professional Dr. Pfannenstiel ALWAYS listens and offers advice and deflects many bad behavioral issues. When I think of a good university citizen and a good academic, I think of Dr. A. Nicole Pfannenstiel, Ph.D.

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  • Professionalism - Tonya Pyles

    Tonya works as an administrative assistant for Computer Science and Biology at MU. Tonya's work is above and beyond when it comes to quality and the amount of effort she puts into it. Moreover, she is always very friendly, upbeat, professional, and very hard working.

    When she orders items for Biology, for example a running buffer for gels from company Biorad, and the order is backordered or delayed, she always follows up with the company to determine if the order is on its way and when it would be arriving. When I'm sending packages with biological samples to a company for processing, she helps me find packaging materials, makes arrangements with Receiving at Palmer for package pickup and sometimes carries the package to Palmer Building herself. She is very knowledgeable about accounting and has plenty of experience with this job. She is also friendly, kind, professional and compassionate. She is an outstanding employee in more than the professional category and an amazing person. Tonya always learns new things about her job, ex. she attends trainings when a new ordering system becomes available. Tonya is a very ethical person. She always makes sure the companies we work with get paid for their work in a timely manner and that the accounts balance. She always makes sure the charges get charged to correct accounts. Tonya works very hard at her job, and she is always happy when she can help someone, for example, as I mentioned above, she helps me assemble packages with research material and ship them out to companies on time. This is not really her job, but she wants to help and make sure that my work is successful. She is also extremely well organized, so that whenever I need information about an order or an account, she always has answers for me. She takes pride in her job and helping others with theirs. Tonya is a very respectful person. Sometimes she has to deal with representatives and accountants from companies who are not easy to work with, but she is always polite, respectful and professional. For example, now she is helping me pay for some work a company did for me, but their accountant fails to send us an invoice. She sends them very polite reminders and she is always nice on the phone. Tonya is an outstanding employee. Without her I would really struggle to do my research, as would other professors in my department. She helps things run smoothly with ordering, accounting, and overall administrative support.

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  • Professionalism - Past & Current CORE Leadership


    C.O.R.E. - Core Office Representatives and Executives - was founded by Abby Gabner and Kathy Nazarenus.  Both have since passed responsibility for oversight of this group onto Liz Thompson and Linda Mellinger.  CORE offers quarterly professional development/networking meetings for administrative staff members who voluntarily wish to participate in this group, as well as host to a Microsoft Office Teams Chat for general communications, problem solving, resource sharing, networking, etc.  In addition, born from CORE was the Administrative Professionals Mentorship Program, a new opportunity introduced in September 2022 for mentees interested in furthering their knowledge of the institution and their role.


    Not only have Abby, Kathy, Liz and Linda volunteered to create and continually develop this network of professionals that spans across divisions to further their own knowledge, skills and abilities, but doing so provides a golden opportunity for members of this group to do the same.  Quarterly meetings are held during breakfast or lunch.  These meetings provide a variety of content to attendees, from learning more about campus departments (Migrant Education presented an overview of their programming, Student Affairs educated participants on best approaches to support our students, and IT discussed printer conversions) and resources, to skill building (the most recent series addressing business writing).  The collaboration I've witnessed as a partner to the group (one member created a resource list for onboarding new administrative professionals and shared it with the rest of CORE to reduce time and frustration of determining who to contact for what purpose - keys, systems access, room scheduling, etc.) has been rewarding, and the programming and communication channel which has developed is better equipping our team to support student success - and one another. It would be easy for this voluntary add-on to their daily role to get set aside when workloads are heavy, but previously Kathy and Abby and now Liz and Linda continue to ensure regular meetings are hosted and that quality programming is offered.  They evaluate what went well and what they might do differently at a future meeting to make sure they are providing the best service to participants, and the university as a whole. I've witnessed discussions regarding budget development for this group's operation, with a desire to follow procedure regarding allowable expenses per the Use of Public Funds Policy.  They respectfully consider schedules when planning.  They cast a wide net to be inclusive of anyone who can benefit from the offerings of the group.  They share knowledge in the MS Office Teams chat, such as how to recycle printer cartridges properly, how to query chosen name in reports to ensure student satisfaction, names of campus notaries, Applicant Travel Policy details, and so much more!  And fiscal responsibility is a priority for CORE.  I've seen no-longer-needed resources shared via office "yard sale" and emergency supplies given when Amazon didn't deliver an order in time. Whenever I see a chat message on CORE's MS Office Teams chat pop-up, I am elated at the communication happening across departments and divisions.  We commonly hear the "silo" reference, and this group has done and continues to do a tremendous job at giving a structure to allow our community to flourish.  Because of their commitment to professionalism, Abby, Kathy, Liz and Linda have paved a path not only for their development but for all CORE members to grow.

    Past & Current CORE Leadership
    Linda Mellinger, Kathy Nazarenus, Liz Thompson

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  • Professionalism - Kayla Rankin & Greg Black

    Greg Black & Kayla Rankin win Professionalism EVAKayla has only been an administrative assistant for a few years, yet she exhibits professional qualities that are those of a seasoned professional.  She has exemplary customer service skills with contractors and salespeople.  She is in constant communication with faculty, students, and other staff, keeping them informed of work projects, progress reports, and special circumstances to be addressed.  She is the first to ask how she can help an individual or solve a problem.  She is often typing an email while answering her phone AND directing a contractor at the same time ALL with a smile on her face.  She is our in-house tech support, key keeper, van loaner, meeting maker, Zoom connecting, blueprint creating phenom who also makes and assigns work orders and treats everyone with dignity and respect. Kayla is especially happy to find inventive solutions to unusual problems such as when she used food to lure the swans away from Dutcher so students could exit the building and finding a home for them when they needed to be moved for the pond restoration.  She also serves groups such as the Safety Committee and MUBA.

    Greg is a seasoned professional and presents this in his actions as well.  He also is an extremely busy person.  He manages to answer email and phone calls, attend meetings, assess projects and manages facilities supervisors all while addressing a seemingly constant barrage of visits from contractors and his staff.  Greg is our permission granting, money finding, advice giving, personnel refereeing, solution negotiating, feather smoothing sage who can be stern or humorous as needed, but who ALWAYS exhibits professionalism and kindness to everyone he deals with. 

    One of the things Greg does best is communicate with parents.  Most often when he is contacted by parents it is because their student has an issue with their dorm room.  Greg is quick to return a phone call or email to the parent, giving as much information as he has, listening intently to the full scope of concerns and offering the best solution possible.  He then stays in contact with this staff as repairs are made so he can continuously update the parent on the progress and status of the situation.  In short, he treats each parent as he (as a parent) would want to be treated!

    Greg also finds creative ways to improve the MU campus such as volunteering to represent MU at Clipper Stadium for Employee Recruitment Day, instituting the “Mower Brigade” (allowing employees to use push mowers to cut small and hard to reach grass areas after regular work hours) when the grounds department was short-handed, as well as routinely picking up trash on Creek Road as he walks to Palmer to meet with his night crew.   Kayla is currently working toward obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business administration.  Her first class, while not an actual business class, was an introduction to Emergency Management, which will be very beneficial to her position since campus facilities are often the first line of action during snow, water, and wind events at MU. 

    Greg acts as the Program Development Director for both the Keystone Chapter of the Association of Physical Plant Administrators (KAPPA) and the Eastern Region Chapter of the Association of Physical Plant Administrators (ERAPPA).  Both professional affiliations host yearly conferences for facilities managers throughout the state and East coast respectfully.  Greg interviews perspective speakers, assists in choosing speakers, and acts as host to the chosen presenters throughout each conference. 

     They treat all contractors, students and employees with the same friendly professionalism, listening to concerns, suggesting solutions and generally treating everyone as neighbors!  Kayla and Greg, while ambitious, are both humble and generous. 

    Kayla understands that confidentiality and/or humor is often key to handling department situations and is willing to follow Greg’s lead on issues.

    It is difficult to decide into which category Kayla and Greg fit best.  Both exhibit many qualities of ALL the EPPIIC Values.  Observing these two together it does not take long to realize they are a great team!  They Explore alternative solutions to unique situations.  They are Inclusive; treating the vast array of personalities, interests and abilities that make up facilities with respect and a smile.  It is evident that they have a heart for Public Mission in that they are willing to go an extra mile, sometimes out of their job description, for the university.  They demonstrate Integrity and Compassion in the way they strive to be consistently fair, give equal help and consideration and do what they can to meet campus needs as quickly as possible.  In my opinion, all these qualities combined, are the epitome of Professionalism.  Kayla will continue to grow and advance her skills while Greg will keep perfecting well-honed traits that have allowed him to advance in his career.  Both are assets to MU and deserve to be acknowledged for their personal merit and hard work!

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  • Professionalism - Dr. Kathleen Schreiber

    Dr. Schreiber has played significant roles in environmental sustainability both on and off campus. These roles have often required the combination of leadership and organizational skills, effective, respectful communication skills, research and teaching skills, creative thinking, and advising skills, as illustrated below. These activities have been chosen to benefit national, state, regional, city and campus communities. The most productive outcomes occur with careful, courteous listening and speaking, and provision of an orderly manner of respectful communication. Dr. Schreiber regularly attends international, national, regional, and local conferences and workshops.  The most recent appear below. Nominee listens carefully to issues and problems in teaching and advising. She responds promptly, and where she doesn’t know the answer to a problem, she is prompt in finding an answer to a problem. In organizational settings, she follows protocol for speaking in turn. Friendliness and listening fully, as part of respect, can result in large strides toward successful outcomes.

    Conferences and Meetings

    • 5th World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities: Educating the Sustainability Leaders of the Future.
    • Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers
    • National Council for Science and the Environment/Drawdown 2021 Online Conference: Research to Action: Science and Solutions for a Planet Under Pressure
    • Pennsylvania Geographical Society Virtual Annual Meeting.

    Example Workshops

    • World Resources Institute: Systems Change Lab & Climate Watch: Training on Tracking Climate Progress.
    • US Global Change Research and Research Program: A Discussion on USGCRP's New 10-Year Strategic Plan (2022-2031)
    • World Resources Institute: Keeping 1.5 C Alive: Responding to the IPCC Report on Mitigating Climate Change
    • World Resources Institute. State of Climate Action

    Outcomes of these and other educational events include: New Sustainability option within the Geography major, new course in sustainable development, and advances in existing courses.

    Other Activities

    • Millersville University Representative, PASSHE Sustainable Development Task Force, Fall 2020 – present. Promotion of sustainability education in general education across all system-wide campuses. Working toward more sustainable campus facilities including a power purchase agreement across multiple campuses.
    • Led MU through meeting requirements for campus carbon neutrality. Researched/taught requirements, researched/taught/evaluated mitigation strategies, developed strategies for the climate action plan. Led 3 faculty workshops on Climate Action Plan. Initiated shutting off of campus HVAC systems at night which has resulted in a significant cost and carbon emissions reduction for the campus. Led Lights Out Initiative to promote turn-off of classroom electronics and lights when not in use. Initiatives for campus climate education. The committee’s climate action plan was awarded an honorable mention for Cross-Sector Collaboration in Climate Leadership by Second Nature.
    • Member, MU Campus Sustainability Committee. 2009 to present.
    • Member, Lititz Run Watershed Alliance, September 2019-present.

    Nominee chooses content for course and student activities on campus and community that will provide needed benefits to the communities and display values of community service to students. Nominee is careful with respectful communications, carefully planning course material and activities for a positive outcome for all.  Demonstration of pride in a job well done has resulted in award plaques being hung in the office, and more enthusiasm to continue efforts for sustainability in education and service.

    Out-of-classroom Student Environmental Education efforts: Class local stream health assessments with results available online to Earth Echo. Earth Day Education events. Stream cleanups. Campus gardening with products for use by Campus Cupboard. Campus Climate Vigils to raise awareness and political action on climate change.

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  • Professionalism - Dr. Elizabeth Thyrum

    Dr. Thyrum took over the helm of the Honors College from a long-time and beloved leader on campus, Dr. Dennis Downey.  She has masterfully built on the foundation of the Honors College with a leadership style that is low key, caring, and expertly competent.  She quietly has moved the Honors College to new heights and had a tremendous positive impact on her students.  She models a high level of professionalism in all her actions. Dr. Thyrum sets a great tone in the Honors College and models professionalism. She is caring and passionate about her students and the program and is a masterful collaborator.  She is the epitome of a colleague who accomplishes great results without fanfare and with a gentle approach. She is brilliant at working within the organizational systems and ensuring that her program thrives while saying "please and thank you" very often.  Her students respect and admire her steadfast leadership. Dr. Thyrum has demonstrated an extraordinary level of dedication and professionalism over the past few years as Director of the Honors College.  She is a tireless advocate for the program and her students from the day they arrive to the day they graduate. The excellent outcomes of the Honors College in retaining and graduating students are evident. The story of the record breaking 42 graduates from the Honors College this May begins with the story of Dr. Thyrum's leadership and dedication.

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  • Public Mission - Heather Fogell

    Heather has volunteered to set up and run an event for Science Olympiad every year since she joined our department. For some context, during Science Olympiad we have hundreds of middle and high school student competing in STEM-related events here at MU.

    Heather has volunteered to set up and run an activity for the Summer Science Training Program (SSTP) every year since she joined our department. For some context, during the SSTP we have up to 48 middle and high school students participating in STEM related workshops here at MU.

    Heather set up the laboratories for General Biology, Introduction to Biology, and Cell & Developmental Biology. She always goes above and beyond! She has incorporated changes that saves money to the department and can be invested in improving the same laboratories by purchasing and adding resources for the students.

    Heather has fixed many of the instruments for the department! To the point that when something breaks or is not working in my lab, my research students say: "let's talk to Prof. Fogell" she will know what to do. Heather is very resourceful, which helps faculty, and which ultimately helps the students. Heather is very kind! Also, she never judges people, and she effectively communicates to make sure that everybody is content. She is indispensable for our department, college, and scientific community.

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  • Public Mission - Dr. Jennifer Frank

    Dr. Frank is an exemplary community-engaged researcher whose work not only responds to the needs of our growing regional, urban, and metropolitan areas but she is proactive in identifying urgent unmet needs.  For example, through her teaching, Dr. Frank engages her students in experiential learning that allows her students to feel and experience how the people of Lancaster must identify resources to meet their basic needs, through, for example, a field trip to BB's Grocery Outlet in Quarryville. Further, Dr. Frank is deeply involved with The Hub to respond to the need of Millersville students and the Millersville Community for food.  Through her research, which is always community-focused and includes student research assistants and local agencies, Dr. Frank has examined innovative strategies to responding to loneliness, or how to improve relationship-building with community members who utilize area service agencies. Through the efforts of Dr. Frank, Millersville students are well-prepared for meaningful engagement in the broader society because she involves them in society with her teaching activities. Her students' reflections on her courses reveal that they are impacted by her courses and not only understand the data behind a need but also feel it through the experiential activities preparing them to positively impact the broader society. Through her consistent recruitment and use of students as research assistants, Dr. Frank has added value to a student's quality Millersville education.  These students have extra-curricular activities that support retention and also prepare students for their career or even more advanced degrees. Dr. Frank is in constant contact with her students, whether as a formal Advisor or those in her courses.  She is proactive in helping students to navigate challenges, so their education is not interrupted costing the student time and money. Dr. Frank is a member of the MSW Admissions Committee, and I have observed her thinking through and advocating for students who may be ready for graduate education but may have experience some grade challenges as undergraduate students.

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  • Public Mission - Diana Garber

    Diana is a part-time adjunct faculty member in the math department. She goes above and beyond her required time spent at MU and serves on the APSCUF committee. She spends many extra hours helping students one on one who are struggling with math. She serves as co-chair for the High School Math Contest and volunteers whenever a need arises. As I mentioned, Diana spends many hours helping our students in the PSSI program and others who struggle with math concepts. She serves on APSCUF and seeks to guide our university in making decisions that are best for all students. Diana has been able to work with students of all abilities and seeks ways to meet their needs so they may be successful. I am amazed at Diana's heart for the students, faculty, and staff at MU. She consistently goes above and beyond to meet student's needs and give of her time. She stays well after class to be sure that the students understand math concepts. She promotes MU to the public with her guidance of the High School Math Contest annually that is an excellent recruitment event. I can't think of a more deserving person to receive recognition for all she does.

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  • Public Mission - Dr. David Owen

    Dr. Owen consistently visits Southeast Asian countries and communities to help them achieve a better standard of living. He even teaches in other countries! Throughout the semester, Dr. Owen gives major insight into real world issues and how he has personally worked towards improving them.  Dr. Owen has served in the United States Air Force and has since kept his duty to America to protect, serve, and educate. Dr. Owen goes completely out of his way to make sure we as students understand his teaching. He gives his own personal experience with issues/situations as examples and gives students many opportunities to comment. I am in his Govt 228 class, and he has showed us music videos to help us understand countries culture, and he has brought in his own relics to help us understand. Dr. Owen has helped me personally by meeting outside of his office hours and also giving me advisement when my advisors were not available. If I didn’t have Dr. Owens continuous personal support, I don’t know if I would be as successful as I am at Millersville. Dr. Owen also has offered other students the capability of speaking freely in the classroom without being fearful of judgement or being told to stop talking.  Dr. Owen has gone out of his way as a professor not only in America but also in other countries and he deserves to be recognized for his achievements and efforts.

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  • Public Mission - Dr. Deborah Tamakloe

    I have worked closely with Dr. Tamakloe as her student worker, and I can speak to the immense contributions she has made to respond to the needs of the larger public good. As Pennsylvania strives to meet the needs of diverse students in 21st-century classrooms and to diversify its workforce, Dr. T has worked hard to transform the learning of her students, faculty, and community members in several ways that include:

    1. Serving as a principal investigator for a research grant funded by CHI St. Joseph Health in Lancaster to evaluate existing programs that promote the socio-emotional health of young learners in Lancaster County. This culminated in, recruiting and training five MU students as research assistants, collaborating with two MU faculty members, making recommendations for establishing a new early childhood center in Columbia, and a local ABC 27 tv news interview to share expertise on the new initiative.
    2. Acquiring community engagement and positive energy grants to recruit 27 MU students to work on a garden curriculum with K- prep learning center in Columbia, PA. This led to the creation of an outdoor classroom and garden which has improved family involvement, MU alumni partnerships, and mentorships for conference presentations and a publication in the Mim journal. Over 50 preschoolers that attend K-Prep and others for years to come will benefit from this initiative.
    3. Acquiring positive energy and community engagement grants to [co-establish] the Global Champions program that seeks to recruit early learners in Lancaster County during the summer to provide respite for their families and to create awareness about sustainable development goals through several activities. This has led to the development of over 30 global champions, mentoring several MU students to participate in training and a co-published article in the Engaged for Change journal with MU students and a faculty member.
    4. Serving as a Court Appointed Advocate in Lancaster County, advocating for neglected children with and without disabilities in the court dependency system. This has led to putting MU in the limelight and opportunities for MU students to be able to learn about this resource in their classes.
    5. Working with MU students and faculty to design assistive technology devices that are donated to IU13 for students within K-12 classrooms to be able to access the curriculum. IU13 serves 22 public school districts in Lancaster and Lebanon counties as well as students in nonpublic schools throughout PA.

    Dr. T supports MU’s mission to provide high-quality education at an exceptional value in several ways. The two that I would like to highlight include: 

    1. High-impact practices: Dr. T during class and advising sessions encourages her students to consider study abroad trips and have a global mindset. She has led or co-led at least 30 MU students on study-abroad trips to Ghana, Sweden, Spain, and Italy besides her collaborative project participation with students in conferences across the U.S. These have culminated in cross-cultural awareness, conference presentations with students, and a presentation to MU’s Council of Trustees. She has also supported internships for over 60 students through the Aaron’s Acres program during her tenure as the internship coordinator. These contributions align with our strategic goal which seeks to transform student learning and experiences.

    2. Cross-cultural collaboration with faculty and MU partners: Dr. T is a great collaborator and teaches us about the importance of collaboration and diversity of thought. She models this by collaborating with her colleagues at MU and outside of MU to conduct research and provide professional development. Dr. T recruited three MU professors to collaborate on providing professional development to over 100 teachers and university professors in Ghana. She also traveled to Kenya with four MU faculty to create MU partnerships. She has worked with professors from different departments on campus which enables her to share different perspectives with students and her colleagues leading to awareness about an environment that is culturally responsive and inclusive for all as it aligns with our strategic goal of investing in people and places. Dr. T has modeled for students many ways in which teachers can adjust their teaching styles to support all students using Universal Design Principles that seek to make learning accessible for all students. I consider her classroom to be an environment “engineered” for modeling teaching strategies that teacher candidates can apply in their future classrooms. She provides coaching and feedback to teacher candidates through her classroom interactions and supervision of clinical experiences.

    She clearly defines learning outcomes, uses organized learning activities, and develops diverse assessments (e.g., group activities, student presentations, in-class activities, student debates, guest lectures, quizzes, case studies, think pair share reflective journaling, and problem-based learning). In the classes that I took, she builds a community to make it a safe space for every student to contribute, learn and thrive. She is always asking for feedback through formal and informal evaluations so she can improve her teaching and promote the success of students. She designs her tests in a way that is accessible to everyone whether you have accommodations from learning services or not. In that way, you will not be able to tell which student has accommodations in the class. She provides us with choices to be innovative with her finals. This led to students coming up with what they learned throughout the semester and putting them in several projects in a gallery walk. Finally, she has co-written several grants (Community Engagement, positive energy, Ermaleen Etter) with students to support their research and conference attendance both nationally and internationally. Examples include the Teacher Education Conference and the Division of International Special Education Conference. These have resulted in students developing presentation skills and disseminating their work to tell the MU story as it aligns with our strategic goal of accessibility and student success.  As a student in Dr. T's class, I can confirm her dedication to Public Mission. She is always asking for feedback on how she can improve in her teaching so that she can further support her students and the community.

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  • Public Mission - Dr. Elizabeth Thyrum

    In our political times, showing value for higher education is of utmost importance. Dr. Elizabeth Thyrum does this by consistently demonstrating how students in the Honors College go on to meaningful jobs, filling social work, nursing, and teaching positions, which are so needed right now. Dr. Thyrum advises all of the students in the Honors College.  She serves as the director of the Honors program and oversees the Honors College LLC. Research shows that students involved with Living-Learning Communities are more likely to persist at that institution, earn a higher GPA and feel a greater sense of community. Because of the work of Dr. Thyrum and others at Millersville, our Living Learning communities have the potential to be a role model for other universities, particularly Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education institutions. Volunteer hours are required to graduate from the Honors College, and Dr. Thyrum encourages students to give back more than the minimum; all to help our communities. Part of the Public Mission EPPIIC value states, "Through interdisciplinary learning, collaborative and cross-cultural experiences and a renewed focus on a liberal arts tradition, our students become well-prepared for meaningful participation in the broader society." Dr. Thyrum, through her work in the Honors College, as a professor and advisor, gives our students the tools they need to have a direct impact on the larger public good. 

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  • Inclusion - Dr. Emily Baldys

    Dr. Baldys has fostered a welcoming community in many ways. In general, her behaviors include a persistent thoughtfulness about others and a desire to make everyone feel acknowledged and valued. These behaviors extend to every facet of university life--from hiring diverse faculty who can teach ethnic literatures, to creating classrooms that value and accept differences, to planning events that celebrate diversity. In addition, she advises many students who have disabilities or other learning differences to impact their individual lives in significant ways. As Chair of the Literature Committee in English and World Languages, Dr. Baldys reached out to all English students through a survey to see what students wanted in terms of their curriculum in English. Taking those results, she effectively put together a hiring proposal for a Multiethnic Literatures position to further diversify our curriculum. By responding to the students' desire for more diversity in the curriculum, Dr. Baldys will validate their contributions to our community. If the position is filled, we will be able to further diversity the English curriculum, which will benefit all students taking English classes and especially future teachers through the representation of different ethnic perspectives. As Interim Coordinator of the Women and Gender Studies (WGS) Minor, Dr. Baldys reached out to WGS faculty to make decisions about advancing the curriculum and marketing of the minor. Her inclusive leadership created a more cohesive community in Women and Gender Studies faculty, which officially added Sexuality Studies to become more inclusive during this time. During this time, Dr. Baldys organized a WGS-sponsored author talk with the authors of Out in Central Pennsylvania: The History of an LGBTQ Community (PSU Press, 2020) to support LGBTQ+ students by affirming their identities. The participants all met over Zoom to discuss being out in Central PA.  For example, she co-Chaired the Latinx Literature Search Committee to bring more diversity into our faculty. By bringing a Latinx Professor on campus to teach courses on Latinx literatures and cultures, Dr. Baldys' contribution benefited the over 11% of Latinx students at Millersville, who have few Latinx professors as models and even fewer literature classes that focus on Latinx literatures. The diversifying of the curriculum helped all students by providing access to different perspectives through literature. To try to make our classrooms more inclusive, Dr. Baldys organized the CAE Inclusive Practices Series with Jess Hughes; the sessions in this series enabled professors to make their courses more inclusive, benefiting students with disabilities or differences as their classroom experiences became more welcoming. Dr. Baldys advises the American Sign Language (ASL) Club, fostering a welcoming community for students who are deaf or hard of hearing and creating a more supportive community for those students by teaching students how to sign. The abilities to sign in ASL helps students connect with each other, regardless of hearing status. Dr. Emily Baldys developed and teaches courses on disability in literature to help students understand the unique challenges of inclusion for people with disabilities. These courses have created a more understanding community on campus for student with disabilities as well as have given students with disabilities visibility in our literature curriculum. This change has been so important for the many students with disabilities who have felt unseen at Millersville. As Co-Chair of the Disability Pride Planning Committee, Dr. Baldys has developed and planned Disability Pride Day events to highlight the contributions and struggles of individuals with disabilities. This event has provided community members with disabilities an opportunity to celebrate their community and had provided others with more knowledge about people with disabilities, thus creating a more compassionate community overall. As Faculty Advisor for the MU ADAPT Club (for students with disabilities), Dr. Baldys has encouraged students to advocate for themselves and for other students with disabilities. Her care and encouragement have created a compassionate club whose members support each other, enabling more success among its members.

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  • Inclusion - Barry Kornhauser

    Barry Kornhauser is the definition of a welcoming community and always has others best interests in mind! Barry seeks out documentary films for our On Screen/In Person series that are diverse and can relate to a range of students or patrons (and that are free of charge to encourage anyone to take part in) from topics of transgender, native peoples, faith, and disabled. He also selects panelists that speak prior to the film screening on the topic at hand, bringing together staff, faculty, students, and community members.  Barry recognizes performances in our season that would be accessible to others that may be deaf, blind, or autistic. A lot of the films we screen, he will go the extra mile to get subtitles on the screen. Barry has a pool of ASL interpreters that he knows and works with to invite them to shows, and our Family Fun Fest Series, he's created a separate sensory friendly room if kids need to step away from the performance.  Barry is the creator of MUth and ARTSSMARTS - both summer camps for kids interested in the arts. He includes community members as teachers of these camps (as well as teaching himself), and Millersville students as camp leaders as well to create a fun learning experience for a diverse range of kids in the Lancaster community.  Barry has supported Inclusive Excellence by bringing opportunities to campus. For the film series that Barry puts together, he often has the filmmaker travel to Lancaster for a Q&A after the screening. Barry reaches out to different professors that may have a class interested in the topic of the film, so that the filmmaker can speak and answer questions during a class visit. By taking the extra step to bring the filmmaker to classes, Barry fosters the learning of students, and brings them new opportunities.  Barry's inclusivity and kindness towards all colleagues, students, and community members is truly why I believe he was sought after to fill his position. He is a friend to all.

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  • Inclusion - Dr. Thomas Neuville (Nomination 1)

    Dr. Thomas Neuville is undoubtedly a widely recognized inclusion champion on the Millersville campus. His commitment to creating a campus culture that is welcoming to ALL students is reflected in his efforts to change lives and changing systems so people who have not traditionally been welcome can now experience a superlative education in a vibrant and welcoming community. Working tirelessly with faculty, administration, and staff Dr. Neuville helps create a campus environment where differences can be expressed and respectfully heard, and where every student experiences a sense of belonging. Constantly fighting the forces of exclusion, segregation, and ableism Dr. Neuville is a great role model for his students and coworkers who are dedicated to creating authentic inclusive environments on the MU campus and beyond.  Dr. Neuville is the founder of the MU program Integrated Studies, where students who have been historically marginalized can now access an authentic inclusive postsecondary experience that will lead them to social and professional networks, careers, and a bright future. He is also the Principal Investigator for the Transition Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disability, a multi-million grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), which will help more colleges and universities across the Commonwealth to replicate MU’s initiative.  Dr. Neuville is also the founder of MU Disability Pride and Disability Film Festival, and he serves on the President's Commission of Cultural Diversity and Inclusion.  Dr. Neuville's exemplary leadership in advancing INCLUSION and fostering a welcoming community that engages all its diversity, along with the clear positive impacts as a result of his effort, wholeheartedly deserves the EPPIIC award for Inclusion.

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  • Inclusion - Dr. Thomas Neuville (Nomination 2)

    Dr. Thomas Neuville has dedicated his life’s work to teaching, advocating, and building inclusive practices and opportunities for people with an Intellectual Disability. He welcomes all people and believes everyone should have the opportunity to pursue the life they want to live, even if that means challenging policy, and changing common beliefs to provide individuals with this opportunity. Dr. Neuville has worked since 2001 to include young adults with an Intellectual Disability onto Millersville’s Campus. His vision came into fruition in 2014 when the Career and Life Studies program, now known as Integrated Studies, enrolled its first student. Since 2014, Inclusive Higher Education at Millersville has continued to grow. During the 2022-23 school year there were twenty-eight students majoring in Integrated Studies enrolled who were supported by seventy-eight peer mentors, or “coaches”, under the leadership of Dr. Neuville and the Integrated Studies staff. Dr. Neuville was the leader in creating this diversity among the student body by including those with an Intellectual Disability in all capacities on campus. Alongside being the Faculty Administrator for Integrated Studies at Millersville, Dr. Neuville also founded the Pennsylvania Inclusive Higher Education Consortium (PIHEC) which provides grant money, collaboration, and resources to other Institutes of Higher Education that operate inclusive initiatives on their campuses. His mentorship stretches far beyond Millersville as he assists, inspires, and advocates for the welcoming and diversifying of many Pennsylvania university campuses to include individuals with an intellectual disability within their student body using a fully inclusive model.  Dr. Thomas Neuville invites everyone to join him in collaboration when planning and making decisions. He demonstrates a thorough understanding that in order to change the culture and truly overcome bias towards individuals with an Intellectual Disability, other’s perspectives, concerns, and ideas must be heard. In order to maintain a fully inclusive model within Integrated Studies, Dr. Neuville aims to align the policies and procedures with the policies and procedures that exist at Millersville for the matriculated student body. He has “invited everyone to the table” in the form of collaboration with various departments around campus. He has collaborated with the Registrar's Office, Admissions Office, the Office of Learning Services, University Housing Services, and other various departments around campus to listen and decide how to streamline the policies and procedures maintained in Integrated Studies in the most authentic and inclusive way. In 2021, Dr. Neuville worked alongside Dr. Guy Caruso and Ms. Darcy Elks to create a thirteen-part video series, filmed right here on Millersville’s campus, to educate viewers about the theory of Social Role Valorization, and how it applies to Inclusive Postsecondary Education. Allowing this information and insight to be so accessible to the general population is a direct example of Dr. Neuville’s commitment to ensuring the accessibility of information and desire to provide the opportunity for others to learn about Inclusive Postsecondary Education as it aligns with Social Role Valorization. His collaboration and commitment to inclusive practices extends outside of Millersville’s campus. Since the founding of the Pennsylvania Inclusive Higher Education Consortium (PIHEC) in 2015, the vision of “designing and supporting postsecondary campus settings in which education, authentic social experiences, independent living, and integrated and competitive employment can be accessed by young adults with intellectual disability within inclusive and supportive environments” has been pursued by fifty-two members and fifteen Inclusive Postsecondary Education initiatives across Pennsylvania (PIHEC, 2023). Dr. Neuville is driven by inclusion for all.  There is truly no one more deserving than Dr. Thomas Neuville for the EPPIIC Value Award with his leadership, commitment, exemplar, and passion for inclusion.

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  • Inclusion - Dr. John Kaiser-Ortiz

    John consistently teaches the values of acceptance and kindness when dealing with those who are different from yourself. As a professor, he teaches classes specifically on diverse culture, positive critical thought, and equity for all. He treats all of his students as equals not only to each other but also to himself, especially in recognizing their cultures. He even goes as far as to apply these ideas outside of the classroom in his other work and his campus presence.  As the philosophy department head, John has worked to push for a more diverse and accepting campus. He has structured the philosophy courses and other courses that he teaches to focus on inclusion of people's thoughts and ideas no matter what background they are from. John has mastered Inclusive Excellence. Diversity in thought is his main priority in the classroom setting and beyond. He has taught classes that are beyond the bounds of his own thoughts just to allow a diverse set of ideas to reach students. Diversity in learning is achieved through the many ways he goes about teaching students, often suited to their culture and ideas. He allows students to show off their talents, gives them abstract assignments that can be handled in a way that allows diverse opinions, and even creates the ability for them to regularly discuss their own ideas inside and out of class. John even excels in his own personal diversity, allowing his students' diverse backgrounds to guide the efforts he makes to have others included in the campus community.

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  • Inclusion - Miranda Sweetman

    One of the key behaviors that Miranda has consistently shown is her use of inclusive language. She is careful to avoid stereotyping or generalizations in her communication, and she takes the time to understand the perspectives and experiences of her colleagues and student workers. For example, Miranda makes sure EVERYONE is included in our activities. She seeks out allergy information to be sure all of our staff and students can participate in our food-oriented gatherings. Miranda is a protector of all student workers, making sure they are always treated with respect and dignity. Our student workers come from many diverse backgrounds and Miranda effortlessly keeps promoting those differences, creating a cohesive work environment. Miranda is committed to inviting individuals with diverse perspectives and experiences to the table for discussion. She recognizes the interrelation of planning and decision-making on others and actively seeks out diverse perspectives to ensure that all viewpoints are represented. She is highly collaborative and seeks to create opportunities for involvement for all team members, regardless of their backgrounds or characteristics. An example of this would be how she sought to get to REALLY know her students; What drives them? What are their likes and dislikes? What are their needs? Because she took the time and energy to get close to them, and show them how important they are, she saved 3 of our student workers from leaving Millersville. She is committed to keeping enrollment up and giving our students a positive perception of MU. Miranda consistently recognizes the unique characteristics of others and seeks ways to create opportunities for their involvement. Miranda plays to the strengths of her student workers, thereby helping them see that they have significant talents. Working with the public is difficult, but she points out the skills they are learning daily with each call. She is highly empathetic and works hard to understand the challenges that her colleagues - and customers - face. She seeks out ways to create a work environment that is supportive and inclusive, recognizing that everyone has something valuable to contribute.  Miranda is highly respectful of individuals’ pronoun statements. She recognizes the importance of using the correct pronouns to honor a person’s gender identity and is proactive in asking individuals what pronouns they prefer. She also encourages others to follow her lead, creating a culture of respect and inclusivity. Miranda Sweetman is a highly deserving candidate for the EPPIIC award for Inclusion. Her commitment to creating an inclusive work environment has been consistently demonstrated through her use of inclusive language, her respect for pronoun statements, her commitment to inviting diverse perspectives to the table, and her efforts to recognize the unique characteristics of her colleagues and customers. She is a role model for us all and truly embodies the spirit of Inclusion.

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  • Inclusion - Allison Yarrow

    When I first met Allision she welcomed me with open arms and allowed for me to feel like I was coming into a good school. She told me about some of the fun things Millersville has to offer when I was nervous as an incoming freshman. This reassurance that she provided made me feel comfortable knowing I would enjoy my time at the school. I learned not only about the fun activities Millersville has to offer for students throughout the year as well as sports I could get involved in, and all the campus recreation had to offer as an employer.  She and her team of intramural refs, and schedule makers, and payroll person have combined to help make planning events a seamless task. Her team works well together in understanding what goals are wanted to be met and executing in meeting these goals.  They have taken the resources that the university provides such as funds to make interactive activities on campus for students to attend and enjoy. Her staff are well equipped to offer students a fun experience when using the recreation center. Allison has demonstrated inclusive excellence by welcoming every single person into her organization and trying to provide them with a good environment for everyone to enjoy. She utilizes personal characteristics of her employees that best suit the environment of a welcoming organization.

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  • Integrity - Kelly Davis

    Using the University strategic plan and EPPIIC values as guiding principles, she is ethical in decision-making and when interacting with others. Kelly always carefully listens and considers all facets of very complicated situations in our College so that she can ethically and thoughtfully come to the right decisions for our faculty, staff, and students. She is approachable, ethical, and insightful. I have never seen her door closed except when she is in a meeting that requires confidentiality. She is very receptive to all of the stakeholders involved in her role and has always been a supportive, kind, skilled professional. Moreover, she has been one of the first faces students, faculty, staff, and community members encounter in our College and she represents us all very well. Kelly's mantra is “Do what you say you will do” – and they do!   She shows respect for others by being on time and meeting deadlines. Kelly's role now includes so many moving parts, but she always takes time to support us all. One example just recently involved my students request for a more comfortable classroom. Two of my 3-hour classes were very large and both classes were placed in rooms that have small desks and tight space. Kelly worked hard to rearrange room assignments and secure permissions from faculty with smaller class sizes to exchange our rooms. This took a great deal of time, but Kelly did this without complaint. Likewise, Kelly helps us with scheduling which is no easy feat in a college the size of ours. She always goes the extra mile to ensure that classes are not only listed correctly but also that all the notes and logistics are in order to ensure student learning.  Kelly is quick to praise others for accomplishments.  For example, Kelly is the first one to send an email or say a kind word in person when someone accomplishes something. When she was the Dean's administrative support person, she did collect points of pride and every time I submitted a point of pride, I heard from Kelly praising me for my accomplishments and encouraging us all to include students in our accomplishments. Kelly is honest, transparent, loyal, collaborative. She is both a leader and a team player. Kelly is respectful, supportive and demonstrates integrity with everyone she works with and for. She is the epitome of MU Integrity and is well deserving of this award.

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  • Integrity - Jennifer Hart

    Jennifer Hart exabits our EPPIIC values in her work every day.

    Exploration - While many have a mindset of "don't reinvent the wheel," Jen is always asking us how we can do better. When creating the holiday cards sent out to our community, Jen knew we could do a better job of making them more creative. As a result, our team has moved forward creating these plans so that MU will stand out in a row of PASSHE holiday cards as an outstanding school.

    Professionalism - Since we have switched to SharePoint, Jen has done everything in her power to be an expert for the rest of us. She has even gone so far as to attend many trainings and then make herself a "how to" book. She can then share this book with the rest of us in the office when we need help. She is now not only seeking knowledge but seeking ways to help others gather that knowledge as well. 

    Public Mission - Jen is almost always brining office discussions back to our EPPIIC values. She will point out we need to keep in mind how this applies to our EPPIIC values, and if it doesn't, we need to find a way to change things until it does.

    Inclusion - Jen is a large part of planning many events on campus. She has been planning this very EPPIIC Values Award/State of the 'Ville ceremony. In the beginning stages of planning this event, Jen pointed out all of the individuals who needed to be present in discussions to execute this event well. She reached out to these people and departments and invited them to join in on the topic. Jen knows so many of the moving pieces on this campus that she can always ensure we are looping in every necessary player in any event. This results in increased communication, people feeling included, and conversations being had all over campus.

    Integrity - Jen is our senior most employee in the office of the president. She is our well of knowledge and historical information. Jen is the person we all turn to for information. She is often put on the spot by our team, but she always has an answer even if it's "I'll have to look back in our records and get back to you." Jen has been tasked with more in the past six months as a direct result of staff turn -over in our office. She has been managing to keep her regular deadlines and get tasks completed. She has also been meeting the deadlines of tasks outside of her role. On the rare occasion something has been late, she is honest and transparent about why that is happening and has a plan to get it done as quickly as possible. For example, when our holiday cards got out later than usual, Jen had been on top of the issue for weeks, getting the situation under control and she was always transparent with the lateness of the cards. Because she will always own her mistake and find a way to fix it.

    Compassion - Jen has done each of the administrative roles in this office which makes her very aware of the demand on each of us. Entering a new team can be very intimidating. Jen made this office feel like home starting on the first day. Her warmth and humor welcomed me in, and her knowledge has kept me going even when things get challenging. Jen has exemplified trust and collaboration within our office.   She answers the phone with the same cheery "hello" every time, and she always makes us feel comfortable for not knowing something already.  Working externally from our office, Jen has collaborated with many people across this campus and at the Ware Center. She serves on the Commencement Committee, the Employee BBQ Committee, the State of the 'Ville Committee, EPPIIC Value Awards in addition to being responsible for major events hosted by our campus that involve our trustees, donors, legislators, and many others. The evidence as to whether her collaboration is effective lies in the success of her events. She can pull off major events with triumph, repeatedly. Her attention to detail and ability to seamlessly make last minute changes most people don't even notice, in order to improve an event, makes her invaluable to this office and campus.  She will be in the office till long past dark to get everything accomplished Jen might look as if she is sitting quietly in a meeting, but what she is doing is holding space for the input of others. If recognized for something, she will always name the person who came up with the idea because it is her responsibility to her team that comes first. Looking at her portfolio of accomplishments at Millersville there is little that our president is involved in, that Jen does not touch. Her motivation is always to ensure - whoever the president - she is honoring them in their truest form. She can name the characteristics that makes each president she has worked under unique. And she can speak to how that impacts her decision making for each event. It is with this mindset, that Jen shows responsibility to this university and this office. It is with her continuous success in events, that she demonstrates action. And it is in those toughest moments, the ones that humbles us all, that she shows accountability. Her hard work lies under the surface, and it deserves notice. Jen’s integrity holds us all together. Jen is honest and continuously maintains order in what can feel like chaos. Her hard work can go unnoticed because of how much she does without even being asked and as a result, I think she is the best example of Integrity I have seen in most workplaces, not just at Millersville University. I cannot imagine anyone who deserves this award more.

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  • Integrity - Rita Miller

    Rita, an alumnus, has worked in Millersville University for slightly over 47 years.  I have had the honor of working closely with her as the coordinator of advising for McComsey advising and success Center. She is a hard worker, who has dedicated her life to the institution. Rita`s children are the Millersville University students she works closely with coaching them to success. Each day, she leaves for home past 7pm if not past 8pm (true-not an exaggeration). She is involved in many committees, usually invited to be the voice of reason. She is a role model who stands by what is right and does the best to accomplish tasks assigned to her.  Even though she has worked in Millersville University for a very long time, Rita is a team player, soft spoken and very knowledgeable about Millersville.  She has been reelected to serve as the president of the staff Union for a couple of years.  Rita is definitely ethical in decision-making and when interacting with others.  She has been honest, transparent, loyal, collaborative, and deeply acknowledges the efforts of others and their accomplishments. Open a dialogue by listening and making people feel comfortable sharing is in Rita`s DNA. I have seen it firsthand when students and staff come to meet with her.  She ensures everyone around her is comfortable to say anything without being judged. She ensures that her union staff are heard and that their concerns are not falling into a black hole.  Rita works very closely with me and the college success coach very collaboratively. I am constantly referring students to her, and not once did she complain or say she won’t see them. She gladly responds positively.   I would say that Rita is very good at taking responsibility for her actions and firmly defends her decisions.  I have never seen her shift blame to others.  I remember onboarding her to the advising and success center and the weeks following and how she would always receive feedback with grace. All are welcome in Rita`s office. She goes out of her way to make others feel comfortable. This year Rita won an award, the newly launched Dwight Horsey Award, which is given to staff and faculty at MU who go out of their way to assist others and who support others to succeed. Rita has celebrated the accomplishments of the staff many times. She firmly supports them to succeed.

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  • Integrity - Tonya Pyles

    Tonya is shared between two departments and her level of integrity makes her a vital part of this university. She is often the first person to be called for many tasks, questions, and concerns because of her positive attitude, responsible nature, respectfulness in dealing with others, and willingness to help with projects that arise that help make the overall programs work more smoothly. She does what she says she will do and is very proactive in keeping the programs that she is associated with moving in a positive direction. Tonya has a tremendous personality and comes across as very professional, positive, polite, supportive, patient, and non-judgmental to all whom she interacts with. She is a very good listener, shows genuine concern for those around her, and is very effective in her interactions. She is very responsible and works hard to maintain a high level of effectiveness in her tasks. She also openly supports others at performing their tasks at the highest levels of effectiveness and integrity. Tonya has helped me work through numerous issues that I've had with ordering lab supplies through the Sourcepoint/Ariba program and has patiently and politely guided me on steps that I could follow or people within the university that I can contact to resolve my issues. She is extremely responsible in dealing with requisitions for multiple departments and has worked together with me to compare prices and services on numerous large purchases to ensure that we are getting the best quality and priced item. She has stepped up to assist the College of Science Math & Technology by working with me to share ideas and solutions as we began employing student workers in the Caputo storeroom and by temporarily taking on the bulk ordering task for the Caputo storeroom supplies while the position was left open between a retirement and hiring of a new employee. In all dealings, she has been positive, quality oriented, and professional. For the few situations in which she was unsure of the solution, she was very good about following up to find the best options toward solutions. Tonya is very professional, positive, and supportive in her dealings with others. She actively listens to students, coworkers, and community members, and is very good at acknowledging the positives in others, expressing support of their actions, and mentioning their strengths and accomplishments. She has been extremely kind in maintaining support for many of my professional actions for my department and I have witnessed her complimenting students on poster presentations, internships, and storeroom work. She creates a very positive, supportive environment by her selflessness and refection of attention toward those around her. Tonya is a joy to work with due to her tremendous sense of integrity and dedication to professionally embracing and representing the university's EPPIC value traits. Due to her sense of integrity, she is a joy to work with and extremely effective member of the campus community.

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  • Integrity - Jason Stetler

    Jason Stetler never says "no" to a job. He does what he says will be done, and it's always done on time.  He always finds a way to make it happen.  Jason manages the set-up of audio and visual effects for events from something as small as Dean's Council meetings where we need the capability to project onto a television and include an OWL to allow for Zoom features to events as large as Commencement where there is live-streaming, microphones, music, and floating television boards. Jason is an employee that "thinks outside the box".  Maybe it's because he is fairly new to the University, but he is always exploring new ways of doing things.  I never hear him say, "because that's the way we've always done it." It may be a fire drill to him at the time, but he never conveys that to me as his internal customer.  He enables me to be relaxed and prepare my part of the event because I trust that he is taking care of his part of the event.  I've never had a project delivered by him that isn't delivered well in advance of the deadline with zero quality errors.  He is truly a pleasure to collaborate with. Action, Responsibility, and Accountability.  Jason has a student worker that I just met recently named Jacob.  He came to setup one of the Dean's Council meetings for me with the OWL for Zoom capability and laptop connected to the tv for display capability.  As expected from Jason's department, Jacob was setting it up with plenty of time to spare. Jacob was very polite, professional, and respectful.  Not only does Jason exude those qualities, but he is obviously teaching those qualities to his student employees.  Jacob will be very successful in the IT industry (which is his major) if that is the experience he is getting as a student employee at MU. When I sent Josh Hartranft and Jason a Teams chat about Jacob, Jason replied back that he shared the generous feedback with him and thanked me for sharing my compliment of his student worker. Recently, I asked Jason if I could simply get a quote for a monitor in a newly created team meeting space in our building.  Jason came over and evaluated what he could do for my ask.  He proposed a much nicer idea for the space that would be less than $2,000. I was very excited about the possibilities.  Jason worked with the vendors to get me an exact dollar-amount quote.  My proposal was understandably not approved for budget reasons.  When I notified Jason and apologized to him for spending time with the vendors, he did not seem upset at all.  He was very polite and let me know that he would help me achieve that plan at a later date if it got approved.

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  • Compassion - Kimberlie Bennett

    This letter of nomination is in support for Kimberlie Bennett of the Office of Student Accounts to receive the EPPIIC Compassion award.  I have known Kimberlie in her role for several years and had the opportunity to work with her throughout the pandemic.  The compassion she demonstrates for the students she works with is remarkable.  For example, during the pandemic when we did not have access to our offices, Kimberlie made herself available to drop-off time-sensitive material at my home so I could help get it to a student overseas.  Ironically, that first time she came to my house was the first time we had met one another in person!  This is only one example of the compassion and empathy Kim demonstrates when working with students in extenuating circumstances, but there are many, many more I could highlight where having someone with Kimberlie’s compassion and work ethic benefited our students and the University as a whole, like the time she dropped what she was doing to look for a missing 529 check or the way she connects students who are thinking about withdrawing to others across campus to see if we can get them to change their minds. Kimberlie always listens to what her students tell her, shows empathy, and views the struggles of others through a lens of caring.  She regularly gives of herself with nothing being asked in return and for these reasons, Kimberlie should be selected as the EPPIIC Compassion Award Winner of 2023.

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  • Compassion - Joshua Belice

    As someone who has had the privilege of working alongside Josh, I can attest to his unwavering commitment to putting others first. He is truly exceptional in his ability to listen with intention, maintain eye contact, and ask thoughtful follow-up questions that demonstrate their sincere desire to understand and support those around them. His work is most definitely in alignment with our EPPIIC values and with the mission of MU. For example, I first came to know Josh when he reached out to me several years ago to ask about potential grant funded support for early childhood undergraduates who are pre-service teachers. He contacted me because he was working with a transfer student from HACC who received grant funding to support her associate degree. Josh cares so deeply for our students that he worked hard to ensure that not only student could receive funding but also that we might find funding for future students. Over the past few years, Josh helped Sarah Jackson, my departmental colleague, and me secure funding for undergraduates who have a major Early Childhood Education. We started with one and student and are now applying to fund 30 students next year. Josh truly demonstrates care and compassion for our students, faculty, staff, and community.  What sets Josh apart is his unparalleled empathy and ability to view situations through the lens of others. He has a remarkable gift for stepping into someone else's shoes and understanding their perspective, which enables him to offer valuable guidance and support. For example, after we received our initial funding to support early childhood education students, he met with some our grantees to ask what they needed to be successful in school. Many of them shared they that couldn't afford parking on campus and that they needed these passes to be able to commute to and from their jobs and our campus. Josh reached out to our funder and secured permission to pay for parking for our students. Joshua Belice is an outstanding and extremely compassionate member of our campus and community. He cares deeply for our faculty, staff, campus, and our students. He always reaches out when he can lend a helping hand or be supportive. Another example of this was when he shared several grant opportunities to support additional students and expand our childcare options in our community. He is a compassionate, kind, and thoughtful member of our campus community and demonstrates this on a daily basis.

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  • Compassion - Julianne Browne

    Julianne Browne is the administrative assistant at the Office of Learning Services. She consistently shows compassion towards the students registered with the office. She is also very kind to all of the student workers. She works so hard despite so many obstacles being thrown at her all the time. She always keeps a smile on her face and a positive attitude no matter what happens. She is always willing to listen to any student that comes to her and is great at holding conversations. I have seen her on multiple occasions show so much empathy for the students. She always advocates for every one of the students registered with the office. She is one of the kindest and hardest working people I have ever met. She deserves recognition for all that she does. She shows genuine love and is so caring for all of the people around her, including the students registered with her office and the student workers.

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  • Compassion - Todd Echterling

    Todd is amazing. Todd is always available if you need IT help and will make sure he can fix your issue. If he can’t, he will either find a solution or point you to someone who can. Todd is also so caring. He’s even there if you just need someone to talk to or just to vent. I routinely go to trivia night events outside of class and frequently see Todd there. When I needed help on a ticket. Todd was one of the first people who were there to help me. I didn’t know how to do something on a Mac and within 5 minutes Todd was messaging me and helping me 1 on 1 to fix the issue.

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  • Compassion - Dr. Nadine Garner

    Dr. Garner is so authentically herself and attuned to her environment that empathy is seemingly second nature to her. She consistently demonstrates empathy both in and out of the classroom, particularly in her time management. It consistently amazes me that no matter what the problem is, who is struggling, or why they're struggling, Dr. Garner will sit down with you and, if not talk then, she will find and set a time to meet and speak with you. She shares bits and pieces of her story with her classes sometimes, and through this vulnerability, we understand what it truly means to put yourself in the shoes of others. Dr. Garner is quite skilled at matching people to proper environments. By coming to know them honestly and authentically throughout their time at Millersville, she is able to recommend courses that align well with student interests and abilities; she matches interns with field placements that best suit them; and she consistently is open to and requests feedback from others to better enhance her teaching environment to better fit the needs of her students.

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  • Compassion - Dr. Kazi Hossain

    Dr. Hossain who has served MU for 22 years, recognizes that Millersville University students are mostly first-generation students who work hard to make ends meet while also taking courses. Each semester, he contacts me with a list of students who are at risk of failing by the third week of class to look for ways to accommodate their learning in terms of giving them extra time on their work and designing alternative assignments for them to find good work, life balance. Dr. Hossain in addition to his busy schedule, serves as a guest speaker in a colleague’s classroom every semester to share his research on Islamophobia in U.S. classrooms, so students can show empathy to all students in their future classrooms. Students have responded positively to this experience in their guest speaker survey commenting on how this experience will benefit them as future educators. A student commented. “The guest speaker pushed me to think and to check my own biases, which I need.” In the community, Dr. Hossain has been instrumental in enhancing MU-community relationships by serving as a refugee mentor in Lancaster County and writing thought-provoking, relevant articles. He connects refugees to resources in the community and guides how they can enroll in college. This has benefited refugees to enroll in community colleges, access the library and connect with MU. When the news of the murder of George Floyd broke, Dr. Hossain utilized his expertise to write a thought-provoking article in the York Daily, titled “Are you willing to explore your white privilege in the wake of George Floyd’s death” which garnered reflective thinking from community members. One such article earned him a call from ABC News seeking his permission to cite the article in a newspaper item which both brought recognition to MU and served the public good.

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  • Compassion - Jon Shehan

    Jon is constantly checking in on his student-athletes, staff, and colleagues.  He cares fiercely for people and has a servant's heart. I watch Jon show empathy to his student-athletes daily. He is actively shaping them into exceptional young men. He is consistently raising more than $60,000 (during One Day Give) for the University and baseball program on the day. He spends countless hours contacting alums, donors, and friends to contribute and make a positive impact on his program. People involved in his program WANT to show up for him, because he's always shown up for them. Jon develops such a strong relationship with his alums that they stay connected with the program and University well after graduation.

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  • Compassion - LaDonna Werts

    A student was in tears and LaDonna was concerned about the well-being of the student and asked the student if she was ok.  She told the student that it saddens her to see students cry. Often, if students appear to be lost in the building, she will ask them if they need help and she will guide them in the right direction.  There was also a time when a student had a medical emergency and LaDonna waited outside to direct the ambulance crew to the classroom where the emergency had taken place. LaDonna immediately notifies office staff when the push button door openers are not working because she is concerned about students with physical disabilities not being able to access the building. She genuinely shows concern for faculty, staff, and students. LaDonna goes above and beyond what is expected of her.  She is always willing to go the extra mile in providing assistance to faculty, staff and students. A few of the students have reported that "the bathrooms in Luek Hall are one of the cleanest bathrooms on campus".  LaDonna takes pride in the work she does, and she is very particular about the neatness of her classrooms.

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