College of Health and Human Development Honors Faculty and Staff

October 11, 2010

The College of Health and Human Development will honor eight of its faculty and staff members at a ceremony at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 20, 2010, at the Bennett Pierce Living Center, 110 Henderson Building. The awards are sponsored by the College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

Carol Clark Ford Staff Achievement Award

The Carol Clark Ford Staff Achievement Award recognizes outstanding achievements by a staff, clerical, or technical service employee of the college who makes it easier for others to accomplish their objectives effectively and efficiently.

The recipient of the award is Michelle Ilgen, administrative support coordinator in the Department of Kinesiology. Ilgen has served for nearly two decades in the College of Health and Human Development and the School of Nursing. In her current role in the Department of Kinesiology, she is responsible for the daily operations of the department’s administrative office, a role that includes supervising seven employees and managing numerous budgets. She is known among her colleagues to have a positive attitude and an “infectious optimism,” and she is devoted to maintaining smooth operations within her office and department.

Evelyn R. Saubel Faculty Award

The Evelyn R. Saubel Faculty Award recognizes faculty members who display a commitment to human service, accessibility as an adviser, and a caring, professional style in their service to students.

The recipient of the award is Constance Kossan, instructor in communication sciences and disorders and pre-major adviser. Kossan provides guidance and support to around 200 students each year. She also helps students get involved in programs and organizations through which they can develop as individuals and leaders. Her colleagues have noted that she has a “caring, professional, and supportive advising style,” to which many of her current and former advisees have testified. One student noted, “Even though I knew she had so many other advisees, I always felt that when I met with her she had all the time in the world to discuss whatever was on my mind.”

College of Health and Human Development Diversity Achievement Award

The College of Health and Human Development Diversity Achievement Award recognizes a person who demonstrates a commitment to the value of diversity and has been instrumental in creating or facilitating a climate of inclusiveness in the college.

Dr. Rhonda BeLue, assistant professor of health policy and administration, is being honored with this award. Much of BeLue’s research focuses on improving health and well-being for diverse and vulnerable population groups, particularly Africans and African Americans. As a mentor, BeLue goes out of her way to assist students. She “gives selflessly of her time in informal mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds, and has provided invaluable support and counsel to international students” in the college, said her colleagues.

Alumni Society Excellence in Teaching Award

The HHD Alumni Society Excellence in Teaching Award honors a faculty member for excellence in teaching and contributions to the art of teaching.

Dr. Breffni Noone, assistant professor of hospitality management, is the recipient of the award. Noone regularly teaches two Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management (HRIM) courses, and in both courses, she finds ways to create high standards for students while ensuring that each student has equal access to the course content. She creates and uses instructional videos to bring students up to speed on software required in class, and she has students interview managers in the field in order to apply classroom theory to real-life career situations.

Fran and Holly Soistman Faculty Development Award

The Fran and Holly Soistman Faculty Development Award honors a faculty member’s engagement in significant, innovative research related to the design, development, delivery, administration, or evaluation of health care services.

The recipient of the award is Dr. Marianne Hillemeier, associate professor of health policy and administration. Hillemeier combines her expertise and training in nursing, sociology, and public health in a way that makes her “poised to make major contributions to reducing health care disparities related to women’s and children’s health,” said her colleagues. Her research focuses on a number of topics related to health outcomes and health care, and in her research she has documented differences among various factors contributing to health disparities: poverty, minority/ethnic status, and residence (urban vs. rural). Findings from her research have been published in prestigious journals varying in focus, from the Lancet and Pediatrics to the International Journal of Health Services.

Leadership in Outreach Scholarship Award

The Leadership in Outreach Scholarship Award honors an individual who has made significant leadership contributions to the outreach mission of the college.

Dr. Patricia Barthalow Koch, professor of biobehavioral health, is being honored with this award. Koch helped form and now directs the Pennsylvania Learning Academy for Sexuality Education (PLASE), a collaborative initiative among Penn State, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and community organizations. Through PLASE, Koch develops and implements workshops for teachers and community educators throughout the state. She also co-chaired the 2010 Teen Pregnancy Prevention Conference, which was co-sponsored by PLASE and held at Penn State. In the past, Koch has worked with the Centre County Youth Service Bureau; the State Correctional Institution at Rockview; United Cerebral Palsy; the American Academy of Pediatrics; and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Evan G. and Helen G. Pattishall Outstanding Research Achievement Award

The Evan G. and Helen G. Pattishall Outstanding Research Achievement Award recognizes research contributions occurring or culminating within the past several years.

The recipient of the award is Dr. David Almeida, professor of human development and family studies. Almeida is one of the world’s leading figures in the study of the effects of stress on health. Well known in the scientific community for his work in adult development, Almeida has also made his mark in researching specific populations and contexts, such as workplace and family interactions. “He has been a major leader and innovator in the study of how daily experiences shape and are shaped by developmental health outcomes,” said his colleagues. He has received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 2001, and since 2005 has been principal investigator of five NIH grants totaling nearly $8.5 million.

Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Research Career Award

The Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Research Career Award honors a senior faculty member who has made outstanding research contributions across a major portion of his or her career.

Dr. Peter Molenaar, professor of human development and family studies, is being honored with this award. Molenaar is a leader in research methods and his work spans a number of fields, including psychology, neuroscience, genetics, and human development. His primary focus of research is finding ways to apply mathematical theories to solve psychological issues. He is a prolific researcher, having published more than 150 papers in the last twenty years. Because his work deals with many fields, Molenaar fosters interdisciplinary collaborations that involve faculty in medicine, human development, engineering, and psychology. His work has been published in the top peer-reviewed journals across multiple disciplines, including quantitative psychology (Psychometrika and Multivariate Behavioral Research), engineering (IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering), and philosophy (Erkenntnis).

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Editors: For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at 814-865-3831 or healthhd@psu.edu.