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Thank you

The Eberly Science community thanks
these extraordinary people

2020 Acknowledgements

During this extraordinary time in our world, nation, and College, the following members of our community have been recognized for their efforts to keep our community thriving.

Douglas Cavener, Barbara McGrath, Becky Bourne. Biology

I have worked closely with them for research, and I just really appreciate how understanding they have been this semester. This semester has brought on a lot of challenges, personal and societal, so I'm grateful for their understanding of our situations as students.

--Undergraduate Student


Traci Shimmel, BMB

Thank so much for all your great helps, Traci! You are the most kind, warm-hearted and hard-working person I have ever known. Have received your emails not only in the working days, but also frequently in evening, at weekend and even during the Holidays. I know how much you have been dedicating to working for our Department, College and University. Thanks!

--Gaozhong Shen, BMB


Traci Shimmel, Lorraine Grattan, Kim Gummo, and the BMB Administrative Office

Traci Shimmel, Lorraine Grattan, Kim Gummo, and everyone at the BMB administrative office for all your help and support!

For their support and help with all aspects of departmental affairs!

--Santhosh Girirajan, BMB


Garth Gregor, Denise Hlivia, Gina Grazier, Missy Gensimore, Jenna Neff, Lisa Sergeant, Jen McElhinney, and Kyle Fagan. Finance Office, Office of Research Administration, and the Dean's Office.

A huge thank you to Garth Gregor, Denise Hlivia, Gina Grazier, Missy Gensimore, Jenna Neff, Lisa Sergeant, Jen McElhinney, and Kyle Fagan for your help, hard work, and support! You have been amazingly helpful with your quick responses at extraordinarily busy times! Thank you!!

For their continued help and support in preparing, submitting, and administering our grants.



People in the Bryant Lab. BMB

2020, such a challenging year to all of us in research and teaching! Together, as a group but more like a family, we have shown our special spirit with creativity, hope and determination in achieving our goals. Thanks for all your great support, care, encouragement and friendship! We look forward to our successful 2021!

--Gaozhong Shen, BMB


Douglas Cavener, Barbara McGrath, Becky Bourne. Biology

I have worked closely with them for research, and I just really appreciate how understanding they have been this semester. This semester has brought on a lot of challenges, personal and societal, so I'm grateful for their understanding of our situations as students.

--Undergraduate Student


Tomalei Vess, Ann Marie Daniel, and Nimisha Thakur
Office of Science Engagement

The Office of Science Engagement works with our students on engagement experiences including study abroad, internships, and undergraduate research. Study abroad was one of the first serious impacts of the pandemic, and internships and undergraduate research are being disrupted more and more. The OSE team has worked hard to help students navigate all of these changes and have advocated for students throughout. I appreciate how hard they are all working to reduce student stress.

--Chris Palma, Office for Undergraduate Students


Joel Ranck, Nate Follmer, and Gail McCormick
Office of Communications

For this year's virtual commencement ceremony, we have been asked to provide videos from the college congratulating our students. With little notice, Joel, Nate, and Gail helped us script and record videos of department heads and deans. We had to be careful to abide by all of the restrictions of social distancing while accomplishing this, and they worked hard to make sure we could all do this safely.

--Chris Palma, Office for Undergraduate Students


Jessica Kim-Schmid
Office for Science Outreach

When COVID-19 hit Jessica was preparing to leave PSU to move to VA to become a new Mom and MBA student at Darden School of Business. In true Jessica fashion, she immediately put her project management hat on to work with her team on the "what if" scenarios for Science-U camps. She also began the transition of director duties to Tim Gleason, interim director. Jessica's grace, cool business sense, and efficiency are appreciated and will be truly missed. Best wishes Jessica on your new adventure!

--Teresa Diehl, Office for Administration


Raymond Schaak, Chemistry

From the beginning of these trying times Ray has been fully supportive of all of his lab members and sympathetic towards their individual needs. Despite his own busy schedule and having to learn how to transition two of his own teaching courses to online, Ray recognized that working from home can be difficult and took the time to compile a list of unique ideas and opportunities that his lab members can work on from home if they find themselves in a rut. Thank you for your strong leadership Ray!

--Auston Butterfield, Chemistry


Cecil Shelton, Statistics

Faculty members from another department had a glitch within one of their Canvas exams that was pulling from a test bank. They needed to correct the scores for several sections of the course that included hundreds of students. Cecil (aka the Canvas-whisperer) spent about 45 minutes of his time showing the non-obvious ways to fix the issue and pitfalls to avoid in Canvas. Without his knowledge and insights, these faculty would have had to spend 10 hours on the fix as opposed to 2. Thanks Cecil!

--Melissa Hicks, ODL


Danny Lux & Jake Piane

Danny and Jake have been lifesavers during this remote learning time! As my two CHEM 213M TAs, they have helped brainstorm and create new curricular materials to make the reminder of the semester enriching and engaging for the students. A HUGE thanks to both of them!

--Kate Masters, Chemistry


Carly Dreibelbis
Office of Digital Learning

A department was looking for videos they had filmed well over 7 years ago. Carly went to the office, went through several hard drives, found the videos and began to upload them. The videos are so large and demanding on her internet service, they disrupt her ability to connect to things like Zoom. Every morning, for the past few weeks, I wake to see Carly has uploaded several overnight. The fact that she manages to work around the clock to support faculty is just one testament to Carly’s ethic. Thank you Carly!

--Melissa Hicks, ODL


Megan Kuhlman, Chemistry

Megan, Thank you for being my rock in these troubled times. Special thanks for putting together the essential personnel list. You are the best!

--Philip Bevilacqua, Chemistry


Teresa Diehl
Assoc Dean of Administration

Teresa has been very quick to share the rapidly shifting guidance from the university with her teams and has also been very responsive to our individual unit requests. While there really isn't such a thing as certainty during these pandemic-inflicted times, having a leader who tries her best to help others manage and navigate the uncertainty successfully definitely helps. Thanks, Teresa!



Carla Hass, Kim Nelson

Even in this very busy time of trying to convert courses to online and help others with that transition, Kim and Carla have been a wonderful support and made time to continue to provide me with excellent peer mentorship as various scenarios have come up in real time. It is nice even as we social distance to have a team attitude and their willingness to make time to help me and vice versa is truly special.

--Glenna Malcolm, Biology


Jeffrey Lanning, IT

The BMB staff would like to thank you for all your support during this transition. Your leadership, creative thinking, phone calls, remote screen sharing sessions and mostly the patience you have that you’ve shown all of us should not go unrecognized. Your skillset has allowed all of us to be fully functional at home and we thank you for that.

--BMB Staff


Lynne O'Cain
Senior Associate Dean for Instruction and Curricula

For the past few weeks, Lynne has been an extra-positive force in our unit, working hard to support everybody as they scrambled to get used to this new reality. She has jumped into new things when asked, without hesitation. She always does so with a smile. And she continually asks for more. There's a lot of things going on in the background while we are trying to focus on what we need to do, and Lynne is back there managing all that background noise. We couldn't do it without you. Thanks!

--Office of Digital Learning


Kimberly Johnson, Melissa Krajcovic and John Moses
Science Advising Center Prehealth Advisers

Kudos to the prehealth advisers for turning Group Prehealth Advising Sessions to an online format so all students and advisers across all campus have access. There are about 3,000 students who are interested in prehealth professions across Penn State. These students are being well served during this transition time.

--Sharon Fong, Advising


Justin Gruneberg, IT

I'd like to thank Justin for all the help he has provided to get me up & running so I can fully work from home. From inspecting my personal laptop to see if it was functional for my daily duties, to providing me a laptop at the last minute, going back & forth through email to get me remotely connected from home, scoping out websites to assist in finding the correct computer peripherals to make everything work, it was greatly appreciated & your efforts of going above & beyond didn't go unnoticed!

--Natalie, Finance Office


Melissa Hicks and Michael Potter
Office of Digital Learning

Melissa and Michael respond and fix all my online content at light speed! even during this extra-busy times. I wouldn't have been able to successfully teach online without their help! Thanks,



Louis Leblond, Physics

Louis is our online teaching expert. He shared all his content, experience, tools, etc! He hosted online training for all the physics faculty, and prepared additional material and tutorials for everybody. Louis, you're awesome! Thanks,



Ann Brunner, Suzanne Kiehl, Katie Miller (Mathematics Undergraduate Office)

Thanks to the Undergraduate Mathematics staff for making the transition to online teaching and advising as smooth as possible! Your hard work and organization has made it a lot easier for the Math faculty to do our jobs.

--Steve Hair, Mathematics


Lorraine Grattan

Thanks Lorraine for your super-calm under stress efficiency! I appreciate that all the staff have a manager who is on top of things and thinking ahead. We all appreciate your efforts!

--Wendy Hanna-Rose, BMB


Tracey Besemer

Thanks for jumping in to push out more BMB Buzz blog posts and keep everyone informed!

--Wendy Hanna-Rose, BMB


Meredith Defelice

Thanks Meredith for all your assistance in making sure faculty were connected with resources needed to make the transition to online course delivery!

--Wendy Hanna-Rose, BMB


Carolyn Jensen

Carolyn's extensive cross-University advising connections are keeping me well-informed about messaging to students. I've been able to answer most of my students' general policy questions in class because I have the most recent University responses. It was particularly useful to have the information for international students in a quick format to share as they were making decisions about returning home. Thank You!

--Kim Nelson, Biology


Kristen Robinson and Mel McKinney

In a short amount of time, life on campus flipped as did the administrative needs of the Dean & Associate Deans.This is a shout-out to Kristen and Mel for handling a total overhaul of schedules, the distribution of necessary communications to the college and the admin tasks involved with many things to include the impact on faculty hire processes and the chaos of the graduate program, to name a few.They continue to accomplish these duties and more with professionalism and grace. Thank you!

--Teresa Diehl, Administration


Eberly IT Help Desk

The Eberly College of Science’s IT group was very helpful to me from Zoom when I needed to get my iPad and laptop talking to each other again to make a video for my students. I was particularly impressed because they could not take over my computer as they might on campus but were able to help me with me sharing my screen and me diving into the innards of my grumpy computer to fix the problem. Thanks very much!

--Glenna Malcolm, Biology


Barb DeHart, Malissa Martin, Christine Mellace, Ryan Showers, Leana Topper, Adrianne Vasey and Joel Waters in the Biology undergraduate advising office

Thanks to this wonderful group for keeping our undergrad advising effort up and running. You have done a great job of keeping in touch with the students, holding many, many advising appointments, and overall keeping the ship sailing ahead in spite of these rough waters. You are truly going above and beyond!

--Carla Hass, Biology


Tracy Langkilde, Biology

As Head of the Biology department, Tracy has been working tirelessly and diligently since early on to make sure that the whole department could still run as smoothly as possible and that everyone is informed, supported, and safe. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the department and the university.

--Benoit Dayrat, Biology


Kelli Wilkinson, Mathematics

Kelli has navigated the complexities of this situation within our department with consideration, calmness and decisiveness. She responds quickly to announcements from the university with decisions that show her care and concern for the department. She has ensured all staff and instructors have the technology needed for their work and teaching. Kelli does this on top of her normal duties and family responsibilities with a sense of humor. No Positive Paw is big enough to show our appreciation!

--Mathematics staff


Lorraine Grattan, BMB

I wanted to send out a HUGE Thank you to Lorraine for working with all of the faculty and staff to facilitate our needs to keep working and performing daily tasks with the challenges faced by working at home. Lorraine is always willing to help work with each of us as an issue may arise. Thank you Lorraine for the teamwork and problem-solving.

--Kim Gummo, BMB


Glenna Malcolm and Carla Hass, Biology

Glenna and Carla were instrumental for my surviving the first week of remote teaching. They have been there to answer my questions from Zoom, to Doceri, to quiz settings in CANVAS and beyond. I greatly appreciate their continued support.

--Kim Nelson, Biology


Maria Spencer

Thank you for prioritizing the safety and comfort of your students first and foremost during this pandemic and being forever encouraging and positive in supporting all their endeavors!



Jennelle Malcos, Biology

Always a force for positivity and creativity, Jennelle's strengths have really come to the rescue of her students and the faculty with whom she teaches. It is good to work with someone unafraid of trying something new!

--Biology faculty



To all the parents out there. Faculty, staff, and students who are trying to juggle their continuing full-time jobs PLUS the extra burden of shifting all your work online PLUS now having to do full-time child care and homeschooling. It's hard to hear in the media how *bored* so many folks are in the quarantine, picking up new hobbies, cleaning out closets, binge-watching shows. And you're doing 3+ full time jobs. We see you. We appreciate you.



Don Schneider, and Astronomy and Astrophysics department staff

I'd like to thank Don, and the entire staff in the Astronomy department (Christine, Laurie, Kaitlin, Deanna, Jessica) for being so helpful and proactive during these tough times. Thank you!



The 101 LSB Huck Office Staff: Troy Ott, Dana Coval-Dinant, Melissa Bailey, Carla Rodgers, Jean Pierce, Terri Young, and Keith Hickey

The 101LSB Huck Office staff weathered these past few weeks with their usual humor and grace. I can't thank them enough for keeping so many aspects of our research running, especially dealing with the dozens of deliveries from everywhere that had to sit in their office until the recipients came to retrieve them. Thanks especially to Troy for holding down the fort while others now do their part to isolate themselves at home.

--Barb McGrath, Biology


Wendy Hanna-Rose, Don Schneider, Phil Bevilacqua, Nitin Samarth, Tracy Landkilde, Murali Haran, and Mark Levi

We all owe a big thanks to the Department Heads of our College for their non-stop work during this crisis. They deeply care about everyone in their department and are working to mitigate the many ways in which the Covid19 pandemic is negatively impacting our students, postdocs, staff, and faculty. Thanks!

--Doug Cavener, Dean of the College


The Coalition of Graduate Employees and its volunteers

The Coalition of Graduate Employees has been coordinating volunteer efforts for emergency transportation and housing, meals, study help, and more generally sudden adjustments to the closure of campus and residence halls. These efforts of support have been extended to the entire community and are certainly are not limited just to graduate students.

--Brett Green, Physics


Matt Ferrari, Biology

When we began contingency planning, Matt was getting many requests to participate in discussions and share evidence about what we knew of Covid-19. I really appreciated him joining a meeting I was in and giving very helpful information in a way that helped us really understand the measures all of us need to be taking.

--Chris Palma / Associate Dean for Undergraduate Students


All Science Faculty

We are so grateful to be working with our Science faculty members. For the past few weeks, they have been working tirelessly to learn new things, move their courses online, all in the ultimate goal of creating online courses for our students to ensure the continuity of learning. They have come to us with open minds and a positive spirit. They've been collaborative and share back info on what has worked and what hasn't, all in the name of efficiency and improving student learning. Honored to work with such a great group of people!

--Office of Digital Learning


Phil Bevilacqua, Chemistry

I am currently on Sabbatical in Europe. Despite the massive effort of needing to organize and coordinate the department in University Park, Phil has also been responsive to my particular questions, regarding what to do about my situation in Europe. His timely responses have really helped lower the anxiety my wife and I feel, and have helped us continue to make the best choices we can. His communication has been clear and consistent. Thanks Phil!



Louis Leblond, Physics

Outstanding help in getting classes to a 'remote learning' environment, helping all of our Physics colleagues with this daunting task -- multiple zoom meetings and great words of advice about how to 'turn the aircraft carrier' from one instructional mode to another in a few days! Kudos!!!



Melissa Hicks, Office of Digital Learning

The number of training sessions that the Office of Digital Learning has offered to us faculty to help us learn Zoom, Kaltura, and Canvas is astonishing. Plus, they are available for 1-on-1 consultations to meet our specific needs. They are working around the clock, with bottomless reserves of patience and compassion. Melissa's humor and grace under pressure are particularly reassuring in this most stressful of times. Thank you.

--Julia Kregenow, Dept of Astronomy & Astrophysics


Kim Gummo, BMB Business Office

Thank you to Kim Gummo in the BMB business office for walking me through how to submit P-card reconciliation forms online and giving clear instructions on what to do since I am unable to print forms at home. I appreciate all she is doing to keep the P-card process running smoothly at this time!

--Michelle Stone, BMB


Amanda Jones, Human Resources

Amanda has spent countless hours/days working on the COVID19 updates. She is working tirelessly to ensure that everyone is receiving real-time updates. She deserves a huge round of applause and thank-you.



Melissa Hicks, Michael Potter, Chuck Lavera, Carly Dreibelbis, and Lynne O'Cain

The Office of Digital Learning has gone above and beyond to support the efforts of the College and be a model for online education for the University. Their incredible efforts in preparation and contingency planning, training and support of the faculty and staff has been extraordinary. Their flexibility, creativity, and positive spirit has helped make this transition to an online learning environment as smooth as possible, and for that, I am so grateful.

--Kristin Finch, Associate Dean, Office of Diversity and Inclusion


Those caring for research organisms in the Rolls lab, particularly Matt Shorey, Ian Hertzler, and Greg Kothe

With almost daily changes in who is on campus, there is one constant: our research organisms must be cared for or we risk losing their lives, and our time and investment in generating them. Thank you to everyone who is taking responsibility for keeping our living resources alive. In my lab, thank you everyone who is helping and particular thanks to Ian, Matt and Greg.

--Melissa Rolls, BMB