Mansfield University honors employees with annual awards and service recognition


MANSFIELD – Mansfield University honored faculty and staff with a service recognition and presented annual awards as part of its Employee Recognition Celebration that was held virtually for 2020.

Nichole Lefelhoc, Director of the Career Center, was named the 2020 Employee of the Year. Lefelhoc has been an invaluable resource for Mansfield University students and alumni in all aspects of career planning and preparation. She has implemented several modern career services resources such as the job posting app Handshake, in which Mansfield owns the highest percentage of students using the service in the State System. Lefelhoc has also been highly involved as a “positive influence” inside the classroom at Mansfield, speaking to students about the Career Center and assisting with projects, and has also taken charge of the university’s Career Pathways initiative.

“In many settings, I have observed Nichole exemplifying the principles and values of MU’s four pillars of Character, Scholarship, Culture & Service,” said a nominator. “For example, during meetings and presentations, Nichole always demonstrates her character by greeting others with a warm smile and a kind disposition.”

Employee of the Year nominees included Nichole Book, Holly Correll, Kathryn Crossin, Stephen Hazlett, Amanda Sanko, and Carmen Wood.

Dr. Lynn Pifer, Professor of English, was honored with the Deans’ Award for Outstanding Teaching. Dr. Pifer, who has taught at Mansfield for almost 30 years, was described by a nominator as “having a relentless enthusiasm for the subject matter she teaches.” Through a variety of teaching methods, Dr. Pifer “arms her students with the knowledge needed to be successful.” Dr. Pifer supports the Sigma Tau Delta English honor society and has furthered students’ academic experience by planning field trips outside of the classroom.

“Thankfully, Dr. Pifer does not fall into the ‘if you only have a hammer everything looks like a nail’ approach,” one of her students explained. “When students are not clear on a topic, she will switch approaches, demonstrate the subject from another angle or context, provide additional examples, or reference material.”

Nominees for the Outstanding Teacher Award were Dr. Fanny Arango-Keeth, Dr. Mary Feeny, Dr. Maegen Borzok, Dr. Steven Hensley, Dr. Goplan Kutty, Dr. Kristen Long, Lilace Guignard, and Dr. Robert Maris.

Dr. Kristen Long, Assistant Professor of Biology, received the Deans’ Award for Outstanding Academic Advising. Dr. Long was noted as going above and beyond to “make sure her students are on the path to success no matter what their goals are.” Well organized and knowledgeable of university policy and procedure, Dr. Long’s strongest attribute as an advisor was described as “desire for her students’ success.” Four of Dr. Long’s students have received NASA Research Scholarships for their work in pancreatic cancer research.

“She not only wants you to be the best version of yourself, but also helps mold you into a proactive individual,” said a student nominator. “She goes beyond her normal duties as an advisor to listen to what is happening in your life and offer words of encouragement as well as insightful advice.”

Nominees for Outstanding Academic Advisor included Dr. Jennifer Demchak, Dr. Devon Almond, Dr. Nanci Werner-Burke, and Dr. Karri Verno.

Faculty and staff were recognized for years of service and recent retirees were highlighted:

10 Years: Eric Barnett, Mary Daly, Carl Dillon, Steven Getgen, William Kluge, John Mays, Stacie Rosewood-Boyskey, Michael Shief

15 Years: Conrad Alexander, Scott DiMarco, Rebecca Dodson-Webster, Raymi Gausline, James Guignard, Michelle Novitske, Janice Purk, Dorothy Rakoski, Jill Scott, Andrea Swain, Karri Verno, Ryan Wood

20 Years: Kristen Decker, Theresa Doerksen, Sheila Kasperek, Sheryl Koernig, Sean McCarthy, Dean Miller

25 Years: Adam Brennan, Steven Hensley

30 Years: Peggy Dettwiler, Brian Loher, Beth McClure, Russell Wood

35 Years: Karen Crisp

Retired: Dennis Dean, Edgard Domenech, Tamara Hagar, Victoria Johnson, Daniel Mason, Michael McClure, Renee Potter, Gayle Thompson