Greater Allegheny community members recognized for supporting students

people holding certificates

Penn State Greater Allegheny first year students recognized more than 80 faculty, staff and student workers for making a difference during their first semester on the campus.  

Credit: Penn State

MCKEESPORT, Pa. — In fall 2023, Penn State Greater Allegheny launched a student success report card — an intentional strategy, based upon a campus wide definition of student success, to support student progress to and through critical transition points. These transition points occur after the first semester, by the end of the fourth semester, and at the start of the eighth semester. At each transition point, the campus uses data to evaluate its efforts and determine future programming and resource allocation.

“In spring 2023, through a series of town hall meetings, faculty and staff adopted a campuswide definition of student success,” said Megan Nagel, chancellor and chief academic officer. “It was important that we have a shared understanding of the factors that contribute to students’ progress from their first semester to the time they enter a major, and until they earn their Penn State degree. Our student success leadership team spent last summer identifying three areas we wanted to measure among the incoming class.”

For one measure, the student success team sought to determine if new semester students were finding a point of connection on campus by the end of their first semester. To do that, they administered a survey in Greater Allegheny’s first-year seminar classes to better understand how students were connecting to resources and people on campus. One of the questions asked was: "If there is an individual or individuals who you would like campus leadership to recognize for the positive impact they had on your first semester, please list their name(s) below."

“When we reviewed the survey data, we were amazed at both the response rate, which was 81%, and at the number of individuals and departments students mentioned as having a positive impact on their first semester,” said Victoria Garwood, director for Strategic Planning, and a member of the student success team. “From tech service employees to peer tutors, resident assistants, staff and faculty, almost every unit on the campus was named. We strive to be a welcoming community and the results of this question indicate that we are meeting that commitment. More importantly, students are finding individuals they can turn to for assistance.”

GA-Positive Impact Awardees

Penn State Greater Allegheny students and employees display their positive impact awards, as determined by first year students.

Credit: Nick Trunzo

Those named in the survey received a certificate signed by Nagel and were featured in a video montage shared through the campus Instagram account.  The following individuals were recognized with a Positive Impact Award:


  • Helen Alliston
  • Savanna Anastas
  • Teresa Bacon
  • Jason Broadwater
  • Siobhan Brooks
  • Adam Broome
  • John Bury
  • Shakeria Carter
  • James Cauler
  • Cherie Coates
  • Erica Fooks
  • Sarah Fresch
  • Lois Gallagher
  • Alisande Hall
  • Adam Jacko
  • DeAnna Jakubek
  • Barbara Kendig
  • Debra Kidd
  • Paula Landman
  • Megan McCormick
  • Jennifer McCutcheon
  • Camilie Mickel
  • Megan Nagel
  • Anthony Orlando
  • Stanley Pawloski
  • Jodi Petro
  • Amy Race
  • Amanda Rinchko
  • Marcus Roberson
  • Chip Roberts
  • Anthony Rutledge
  • Gage Shaffer
  • Stephen Sherwin
  • Ryan Snyder
  • Erica Tachoir
  • Valerie Wash
  • Kenneth Williams
  • Erica Willis
  • Amy Zakrzwski


  • Young Bae
  • Doug Charles
  • Zack Furness
  • Donald Garwood
  • Debbie Gaydos
  • James Jaap
  • Alandra Kahl
  • Beth Lindsey
  • Eric Lipsky
  • Liz Mazur
  • Kate McLean
  • Henry Moore
  • John Peles
  • Kris Sciulli
  • Fernando Soto
  • Andrea Stevens
  • Domenic Tavella
  • Kristal Tucker
  • Michael Vicaro
  • Johnathan White


  • Madison Baker
  • Nathan Beauchamp
  • Brooke Beisler
  • Kaylie Butler
  • Logan Buzas
  • Logan Cauler
  • James Clarke
  • Daniel Cooke
  • Eduardo Cruz
  • Xavier Davis
  • Tyller Ferderer
  • Jamya Fulmore
  • Aayushi Gandhi
  • Marcus Gillespie
  • Rondell Greene-Johnson
  • Deiago Holyfield
  • Izabella Kennelly
  • Joshua Lilly
  • Michael Marks
  • Ymani Merritt-Bates
  • Ryan Newton
  • Christian Penrod
  • Geoffrey Polley
  • Nevaeh Ragsdale
  • Keith Robinson
  • Zainab Saleem
  • Justin Scheibner
  • Sheldon Taft

Nagel and Garwood will discuss the campus student success work and the report card at the 2024 Data Summit, occurring Feb. 28 and 29.