The award was launched in August 2016 to give monthly recognition of a staff member doing a good job, helping someone out, coming up with a new idea, etc.


Full-time or part-time staff member in good standing with minimum of 3 months of service in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

Nomination Procedure

Anyone in the college can nominate a staff member for this award. Nomination is due the last business day of the month. The winner will be recognized during following month. If you are interested in nominating a staff member for this award, please complete and submit the form below.

Rock in Role Award Nomination Form

What Happens Next?

Your nomination, along with any others received this month, will be reviewed by SAC at the next meeting. A single winner will be chosen for the month.  Winners will be featured on the college website and digital signage with a brief description their accomplishment. Winners and their supervisors will receive a letter of recognition by email.

Reita Rockey

September 2017: Reita Rockey

Reita is recognized recognized for consistently providing great customer service in the Dean’s office.  She always has a great attitude, smiling face, and is very helpful to anyone who approaches the office.  It is great that all customers are greeted with a fantastic first impression.  She is also being recognized for her efforts to keep the EMS payroll train running on time.  Her hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated!

Ginger Kowalchuk

Karen Corl

August 2017: Ginger Kowalchuk and Karen Corl

Ginger and Karen are recognized for their extraordinary job arranging and reimbursing travel. Over a short two month period, they both coordinated visit schedules for eight faculty candidates as part of two tenure-track faculty searches in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science. This was also done during a time when graduate admissions were in full swing. Their hard work and dedication are greatly appreciated!

Matthew Croyle

July 2017: Matthew Croyle

Matt is recognized for continuing to push for innovation at the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute on behalf of the faculty members in the college. Matt also created a replacement solution for an outgoing tool in ANGEL that was widely used to do multi-step formulaic quiz questions. By implementing this solution quickly, faculty members did not have to alter their plans for assessment in their courses. This helped ensure assessments continued seamlessly for students and faculty members which impacts several undergraduate and graduate classes that enroll hundreds of students each semester. His hard work and dedication are greatly appreciated!

Martha Traverse

June 2017: Martha Traverse

Martha is recognized for her phenomenal job of planning and organizing the EMS commencement ceremonies. Her attention to detail, coupled with the numerous nomenclature hours held to ensure the correct pronunciation of even the most difficult names, resulted in an orderly and respectful ceremony where families could celebrate their graduate and hear their family name pronounced with respect and care. Additionally, her help in verifying graduates and mastering new procedures in LionPATH is greatly appreciated!

Melanie Finocchio

May 2017: Melanie Finocchio

Melanie is recognized for facilitating the Wilson Awards Banquet. Many people say the event appeared flawless and everyone enjoyed the banquet. They say it gets better each year. Thank you for all your hard work with mailing invitations, calculating attendance, creating name tags, dealing with last minute changes, and also collecting donations for the dean’s going away gift this year. Your hard work and dedication are greatly appreciated!

Suzanne Sunday

April 2017: Suzanne Sunday

Suzanne is recognized for being a great asset to the Pennsylvania Space Grant office and always having a positive and cheerful attitude. Her hard work and quick learning abilities are demonstrated through several job responsibilities, including ones that are beyond her own, and are greatly appreciated. We are thankful for her dedication and help in making the department continue to run smoothly.

Jackie Gibboney

March 2017: Jaclyn Gibboney

Jaclyn is recognized for her dedication to the department of Meteorology. Her professional help with Lion PATH errors were greatly appreciated and was said to be an enormous help! She has helped a lot of students (many of whom are trying to graduate this spring) fix their degree audit errors so that they were able to move forward. She is truly appreciated for going above and beyond.

Karen Cox

February 2017: Karen Cox

Karen Cox quickly stepped up to help when the Department of Geography's Undergraduate Assistant was off for three days by helping to host recruiters for Esri. She not only handled the recruiters, but also the students who were being interviewed. She did this while also handling the itinerary for the Miller Speaker, who was here at the same time. Her actions made the interviews and the Miller Speaker’s itinerary all run smoothly.

Annie Kohler

January 2017: Andrea Kohler

Andrea is recognized for her dedication to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Her efforts were greatly appreciated during the Steidle Building renovations, when she was quickly thrown into creating and designing the new look of the building, from the walls to the displays. Her designs have proven to be a huge attraction for students and visitors. She also designed the dedication logo, used in invitations, and trinkets, which helped to make the dedication ceremony successful. While supporting this huge task, she successfully performed normal assigned duties.

Susan Lauver

December 2016: Susan Lauver

Susan is recognized for her dedication to the Penn State Earth and Science Partnership. During the Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association Science Conference, she eagerly provided additional help which was needed due to a medical emergency of a project Principal Investigator. Because she went above and beyond, the conference was successful and many K-12 Earth Science teachers from across the state were able to gather for a day of professional development on an important topic.

Marnie Deibler

November 2016: Marnie Deibler

Marnie, from Geography, offered to help out in any way that she could when a person was out of the office unexpectedly.  This was very fortunate because there was a report that needed to be completed with a hard due date.  Marnie stepped up and completed the majority of the report, as well as helped with other needed tasks during this time.

LIndsay Wells

October 2016: Lindsay Wells

Lindsay was nominated for being instrumental in helping the MatSE faculty, staff and students transition from the Forestry Building to the new Steidle Building.  Her hard work and patience has helped every person in the building, in some way, by getting people set up with internet, printers, computers and AV equipment.

Jake Hoover

September 2016: Jacob Hoover

Jake has greatly smoothed the transition for freshman, international and change-of-campus students coming into EMS and Geosciences and helped to ensure that seniors are on the correct track to graduate. Also, he helped with transitions to LionPath, Canvas, Starfish, new classroom ownerships and allowed class times.  He handles crises with humor and expertise. Jake played a key role in helping to acclimate the new Associate Head of Undergraduate Programs in Geosciences. Because of his dedication, he is the kind of staff member whom students will remember long after they graduate!

Scott Henniger

August 2016: Scott Henninger

Scott has been coordinating the move of the MatSE department from swing space to Steidle Building.  He has efficiently handled an immensely complex process involving multiple research laboratories (chemicals, equipment, etc.) as well as department and personnel offices with a great deal of patience and skill. He has gone "above and beyond", with regard to both the time he has put in and the tasks he has taken on to make the move as seamless as possible and to minimize the disruption to our work.  His dedication to MatSE is evident!
We have experienced less down time and fewer problems than expected as a result of this move.  Post-move issues (i.e., punch list items) have been handled in a timely manner at the same time.  Scott has acted as an effective liaison between MatSE personnel and the contractors to resolve these problems.  All in all, Scott's handling of the move has resulted in less of an impact on everyone else in the department.

August 2017 Awardees


Reita Rockey

Reita Rockey

Reita is recognized recognized for consistently providing great customer service in the Dean’s office.  She always has a great attitude, smiling face, and is very helpful to anyone who approaches the office.  It is great that all customers are greeted with a fantastic first impression.  She is also being recognized for her efforts to keep the EMS payroll train running on time.  Her hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated!