2020 Employee Recognition Ceremony

2020 Employee Recognition Ceremony

SRU celebrates employee service with video presentation


Oct. 15, 2020

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — In a typical year, Slippery Rock University invites all employees to a campus gathering to celebrate those that have provided many years of service to the institution. Being that 2020 is not a typical year with COVID-19 safety protocols to consider, this year's Employee Service Recognition ceremony is instead being conducted via a video presentation that is shared on the SRU website.

"Although we don't see each other in person as much as we used to, the dedication of our employees has not gone unnoticed," said SRU President William Behre. "Our employees are the backbone of the University and we thank each of them for their service, especially those who are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year."

A total of 85 SRU employees are celebrating either their 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th or 35th work anniversaries at the University in 2020.

Those celebrating 35 years at SRU include Alan Levy, professor of history; Laureen Lokash, head women's volleyball coach; Larry McCarthy, assistant professor of accounting, economics and finance and assistant to the dean of the College of Business; and George McDowell, veterans recruitment and benefits manager. McDowell retired earlier this year.

A one-time director of the Honor's program, Levy earned tenure in 1990 and was promoted to full professor in 1995. Levy said he always seeks to grow in mind and spirit while striving for productivity, service to the campus community, research and writing and communicating "history's enlivening ideas to the many students I have had the honor of teaching over the past 35 years."

"Maintaining that healthy balance has not always been easy, and amidst many efforts to that end, the rolls of memorable events and people are rich and full of laughs, grimaces, exhaustions and elations," Levy said.

Lokash, whose 643 career wins as The Rock volleyball coach ranks 22nd all-time in NCAA Division II history, said career fulfillment is about the people, not the records.

"During my time at SRU, I've gotten to know a lot of really great people and being in coaching for this length of time has given me the opportunity to develop solid friendships," Lokash said. "There are a lot of really good people that work here who truly care about the student experience and do the best they can to make it a positive one. Teaching is a never-ending process of learning and that, combined with working with the students on this team, keeps me in a younger mindset. After all, athletics is the internship for life."

McCarthy, who earned tenure in 1990 and serves as the faculty grand marshal of SRU's commencement ceremonies, also agreed it's the people who make the University a great place to work.

"I feel very fortunate to have remained at SRU 35 times longer than I originally intended and often wonder where all the time went," said McCarthy, who, after serving in the military, attended SRU as a student and graduated in 1984 with a degree in accounting. "I come from a family of SRU alumni and, as well as growing up near Slippery Rock, I share a similar background and culture that helps me identify with our students."

In addition to honoring milestone service achievements during the video presentation, SRU recognized the co-recipients of the 2020 President's Awards for Outstanding Service. Karla Fonner, director of student support, and Mimi Campbell, associate director of housing accommodation, received the honor that was announced last spring.

The following are the milestone service award recipients (name and department):

10 Years

  • Tricia Bishop, Art
  • Tony DeMarsh, Enterprise Database Administration
  • Chad Folmer, Facilities and Planning
  • Tom Gaudi, Facilities and Planning
  • Corinne Gibson, Inclusive Excellence
  • Brenda Gruber, Purchasing
  • Emily Keener, Psychology
  • Kevin McCarthy, Planning, Resource Management and Assessment
  • Emily Price, Admissions
  • Kelli Rensel, President's Office
  • Rebecca Ridener, Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Jodi Sindlinger, Counseling and Development
  • Debbie Steighner, Facilities and Planning
  • Doug Strahler, Communication
  • Joy Urda, Exercise and Rehabilitative Sciences

15 Years

  • Brett Barnett, Communication
  • Brenda Baughman, Facilities and Planning
  • Joel Brown, Environmental Health and Safety
  • Xianfeng Chen, Geography, Geology and the Environment
  • Katherine Cooklin, Philosophy
  • Jo Dublin, Facilities and Planning
  • Julie Ferringer, Inclusive Excellence
  • Heather Frederick, Political Science
  • Bryan Fuhs, Planning, Resource Management and Assessment
  • Marilyn Garczynski, Communication
  • Sandy Hempfling, Facilities and Planning
  • John Hicks, Secondary Education and Foundations of Education
  • Lenora Karenbauer, Health Services
  • Rusty Karnes, Facilities and Planning
  • Mike McGuire, Facilities and Planning
  • Jeff Melhorn, Information and Administrative Technology Services
  • Maria Melnik, Facilities and Planning
  • Mark Metzka, Admissions
  • Mike Monfore, Special Education
  • Ellen Pontius, Library
  • Jose Prada, Facilities and Planning
  • Terri Robinson, Facilities and Planning
  • Cathy Saylor, English
  • Jialing Wang, Geography, Geology and the Environment
  • Barbara Westman, Art
  • Dan Wolfe, Facilities and Planning
  • Junko Yamamoto, Secondary Education and Foundations of Education
  • Hongbo Zhou, Computer Science
  • Jim Zoeller, Facilities and Planning

20 Years

  • Brian Alben, Facilities and Planning
  • Deb Baker*, University Advancement
  • Barb Billek-Sawhney, School of Physical Therapy
  • Richard Burnworth, Printing Services
  • Becky Cress, Accounts Payable
  • Robert Lagnese, Orientation
  • Jack Lisco, Parks, Conservation and Rec Therapy
  • Jack Livingston, Geography, Geology and the Environment
  • Katherine Mickle, Art
  • Brian Mortimer, Campus Recreation
  • Chris Niebauer, Cognitive Science and Leadership
  • Karen Perry*, Campus Recreation
  • Susan Rehorek, Biology
  • Kevin Sharkey, University Police
  • Rob Snyder, Elementary Education and Early Childhood

25 Years

  • Edwin Christmann, Secondary Education and Foundations of Education
  • Tom Como, Art
  • Danette DiMarco, English
  • Tom Flynn, Communication
  • Mary Ann Holbein-Jenny, School of Physical Therapy
  • Terri Kind, Printing Services
  • Dean Lindey*, Planning, Resource Management and Assessment
  • Barb Mathews, Health Services

30 Years

  • Chris Byrd, Art
  • Jerry Chmielewski, Academic Affairs
  • Carmine DeCarlo*, Elementary Ed and Early Childhood
  • Renee Decker, Center for Government Contracting
  • Peggy Denning*, History
  • Tod Horner, Project Design and Construction
  • Chris Hughes, School of Physical Therapy
  • Cynthia Martin, Accounting Services
  • Keith Martino, Facilities and Planning
  • Krishna Mukherjee, Physics and Engineering
  • Ann Romanczyk, Psychology
  • Adelle Williams, Public Health and Social Work
  • Joan Wilson, Environmental Health and Safety
  • Susan Zirpoli, Chemistry

35 Years

  • Alan Levy, History
  • Laurie Lokash, Athletics
  • Larry McCarthy, Accounting, Economics and Finance
  • George McDowell*, Enrollment Management

*-Retired in 2020

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 | justin.zackal@sru.edu