Smeal Update: May 3, 2021

Smeal announces annual Staff Award recipients

Smeal held its annual Outstanding Staff Awards Recognition Ceremony on Wednesday via Zoom. In addition to the five traditional awards that are bestowed each year, the Smeal administration introduced the COVID Spot Awards. The one-time awards were meant to highlight extraordinary achievement tied to the University’s COVID responses.

  • Customer Service Award: Renee Ford, instructional designer, eLDIG
  • Leadership Award: Evan Smith, academic adviser, Undergraduate Education
  • Outstanding Staff Award: Mindy Fisher, administrative coordinator, Office of Professional Graduate Programs
  • RISE Above Award: Darren Conner, senior microcomputer systems consultant, RIIT Group
  • Staff Sustainability Award: Jen Crispell, director of Alumni Relations

COVID Spot Award recipients

  • Teri Ault, director of facilities and events, RIIT Group
  • Teresa Avery, managing director of Executive MBA Program, PGP
  • Kitt Camplese, director of learning design, eLDIG
  • Darren Conner, senior microcomputer systems consultant, RIIT Group
  • Melissa Forsha, budget manager of MBA program, PGP
  • Thompson Harner, director of employer relations, Business Career Center
  • Erin Long, director of learning and development, Penn State Executive Programs
  • Karen Serago, senior academic adviser, Undergraduate Education
  • Tracie Shannon, administrative director, Center for Supply Chain Research

How faculty and staff can navigate Smeal’s H&I goal

Commitment to an ethical culture is a strategic goal for Smeal, and all employees are expected to support our culture through specific and objectively measurable actions.

Staff will find a unit-wide goal in workday, to ‘Support Smeal’s culture by actively engaging in activities that demonstrate and further develop the College’s commitments to integrity’. Michelle Darnell is sharing this linked powerpoint, which she used to guide this week’s discussion with staff.

Faculty are asked to provide a ‘Narrative Statement on Advocacy of Smeal’s Culture’ through Digital Measures. Research, teaching, or service that impact Smeal’s culture directly or demonstrates our shared commitment to encouraging responsible business activity, should be reported.

Feel free to reach out to Michelle or Tamara Giluk with questions about the goal or how to successfully incorporate it into your performance evaluation materials.

Faculty Research: Consumers might not return to old product choices once finances improve

When faced with job losses, a sudden drop in income, or other stormy economic conditions, consumers will likely need to shift their purchasing priorities and preferences. Those changed preferences outlast the contraction and shape choices even after income recovers. In a series of studies, a group of researchers, including Meg Meloy, chair of the Department of Marketing and Calvin E. and Pamala T. Zimmerman Fellow, say that consumers may not return to their original spending patterns even after those gloomy economic clouds finally clear up. Read the story.

Encourage graduating seniors to fill out exit survey

Faculty and staff who teach or engage with graduating seniors are asked to strongly encourage them to fill out the Smeal Senior Exit Survey. Feel free to share the following link:

Ask the Dean open for your questions

Send your questions to We’ll do our best to provide answers in a video to be included in an upcoming Smeal Update.

Do you know someone who rocks? Nominate them!

Each month the Smeal Staff Advisory Committee names a You Rock! Award recipient. The recipients for April were Smeal administrative coordinators and assistants. Congratulations! You all rock! You can nominate a co-worker for the You Rock! Award online.

The Smeal Community Weekly Poll

This week's survey assesses your entertainment preferences. Click this link to participate. Results will be shared during next week's Smeal Community Zoom.

Question from faculty

Can I test out of isolation?

Individuals who have been placed in isolation cannot test out of isolation. Individuals who are in isolation are COVID-19 positive. They cannot leave isolation for a minimum of 10 days and may have to isolate longer if they are symptomatic. The full FAQ is available here.