Penn State Fayette honors faculty and staff at annual celebration

Mike Romeo receiving his 5 Years of Service certificate.

Mike Romeo, left, receiving his Five Years of Service certificate. Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus honored faculty and staff recipients of annual awards at the 2023 Fayette Retirement and Recognition Celebration on Dec. 8.

Credit: Bill Hager

LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus honored faculty and staff recipients of annual awards at the 2023 Fayette Retirement and Recognition Celebration on Dec. 8.

Charles Patrick, chancellor and chief academic officer, presented the awards. These monetary awards are supported by the Advisory Board through the Fayette Campus Endowment Fund, along with several family-named endowments.

Excellence Awards

  • The Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award was presented to Kati Porter
  • The Faculty Excellence in Research Award was presented to Andrew Royston
  • The Staff Excellence Award was presented to Karen Prettyman
  • The Ellen M. Laun Advising Excellence Award was presented to Elaine Barry
  • The Barbara B. Solesky Support Staff Excellence Award was presented to Karen Prettyman

Five Years of Service

  • Brandy Burke
  • Amanda Collins
  • Rasoul Milasi
  • Ginette Pineda
  • Mike Romeo
  • Andy Royston
  • Deborah Stoy
  • Jason Hayes
  • John Miller
  • Terry Smitley

10 Years of Service

  • Paul Coltus
  • John Skinkis
  • Charles “Chuck” Roman

15 Years of Full-Time Service

  • Lori Omatick
  • Michael Ridenour

20 Years of Full-Time Service

  • Danielle Mitchell
  • Peter Eberle
  • Donald Liddick

25 Years of Full-Time Service

  • Jason Bush
  • Bill Gardner

35 Years of Full-Time Service

  • Delia Conti
  • Earla Knoyer


Penn State Fayette acknowledges the passing of several members in 2023 and extends condolences to their families. Their contributions to the campus are appreciated and remembered.

Joanne Baugh passed away on July 31, 2023. Baugh was the first and longest serving campus librarian. She oversaw the library’s move from downtown Uniontown, to the Eberly Building, Williams Building, and finally its current location.

Carol Evans passed away on April 28, 2023. Over her tenure at Penn State Fayette, Evans was highly regarded for her pedagogical approach to teaching, which centered on supporting all learners in their journey. In 2022, she received the Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching at the undergraduate level.

Gregory Gray passed away on April 25, 2023. Gray served as chief executive officer and chancellor of Penn State Fayette from August 1998 to September 2006. During his tenure at Fayette, the campus experienced record enrollment growth and record campaign fundraising.

Joseph A. Hardy III passed away on Jan. 7, 2023. Hardy was the founder of 84 Lumber and Nemacolin Woodlands. At Penn State Fayette, he was a major donor and past chair of “For The Future Campaign” Committee.

Evelyn Ann “Ev” Hovanec passed away on March 2, 2023. Hovanec was a full-time professor at Penn State Fayette since its inception in 1965. Her 35 years with the University were divided between teaching English and American studies in addition to administrative duties at both Penn State Fayette and Penn State McKeesport (now Penn State Greater Allegheny).

Henry James “Hank” Oppermann passed away on Oct. 18, 2022. Oppermann graduated from Penn State with a degree in industrial engineering. He also served on the Penn State Fayette Advisory Board from 1983 to 2019. He received the Outstanding Fellow Award of Fayette Campus in 1997 and was instrumental in the establishment of the Penn State Fayette Nursing Program.

Rev. Peter E. Ostrander passed away on Sept. 5, 2023. Ostrander attended Penn State University and earned his doctorate in physics. He taught physics at Penn State Fayette from 1970 until his retirement in 2004.

Wayne Port passed away on June 26, 2023. Port earned an accounting degree from Penn State and his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Port and his wife, Nancy, both cherished Penn State. His dedication was demonstrated in his service to Penn State Fayette, having served on the Advisory Board for 32 years, 15 of which he chaired. Port received the Outstanding Fellow Award in 2003 and served as an adjust professor of business law.