College Park Scholars hosted the sixth annual Faculty and Staff Appreciation Awards ceremony on April 29 in the Cambridge Community Center. Organized by the Student Advisory Board, this event honored five Scholars faculty and staff members.
All nominations were made by students during an open call, and awardees were selected by a committee of SAB members.
“The Juggler” Award: Jessica Krenek
Jessica Krenek received a “Create Your Own” Award after being nominated by emcee Arts Scholar Michael Pensabene for how well she balanced her duties with students and her own studies.
“Jess is an incredibly hard worker whose job revolves around making the lives of the Arts students easier, and she is amazing at it,” said Pensabene. “Jess is able to somehow aid her students in their final stages of their Scholars careers as well as cultivate the final stages of attaining her PhD.”
Ken Joseph Outstanding Mentor Award: Jessica Wilke
A group of Life Sciences Scholars nominated their assistant director, Jessica Wilke, for this award because of her dedication to her students.
This award was created in honor of former Scholars faculty member Ken Joseph, who served in admissions and as associate director of Media, Self and Society.
Joseph said to seniors in the class of 2008, “Don’t let others define success for you. Ultimately, success is self-determined… Don’t worry so much about what others feel you need to do in order to succeed. Figure it out for yourself and work toward achieving goals that you feel are going to lead to whatever it is that you define as success.”
“Jess Wilke is an excellent mentor and is largely responsible for much of my success in college,” wrote an anonymous student in her nomination. “She made my transition to college a million times easier, and she’s always been there when I needed someone to talk to. She’s really rad and really deserves this award.”
“The Face of Their Field” Award: Dr. Mark Wellman
“The Face of Their Field” is a new award this year, designed to honor a faculty or staff member who shows their passion through academic and professional resources provided to enrich students’ experience within their prospective fields of choice.
Business, Society and the Economy Program Director Mark Wellman was nominated for this award because of what his students have learned from him about “innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.”
“Through Dr. Wellman’s courses, I have learned how to apply what I learn to my own thinking, improve my weaknesses, and keep my mind open for new possibilities,” wrote a student in their nomination essay. “...Dr. Wellman has clearly guided students to immerse themselves into dynamic learning environments where they develop innovative, global mindsets.”
Unsung Hero Award: Jeany Cadet
Several members of the Student Advisory Board nominated Scholars Coordinator Jeany Cadet for the Unsung Hero Award for all the integral work she does behind the scenes for Scholars.
Most of her work revolves around enriching the lives of Scholars students and staff and letting them be in the spotlight,” said Pensabene. “Jeany does so much for the Scholars community and doesn’t even take credit for it. Her efforts do not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Thank you so much, Jeany.”
Most Engaging in Class Award: Michael Van Alstine
Freshman Justice and Legal Though Scholar Kiely Duffy nominated MLAW Prof. Michael Van Alstine for this award because of the way that he engages his students in an immersive classroom experience.
“I absolutely love his dedication, and it is really encouraging when you have a teacher that clearly cares so much,” Duffy said in her nomination. “He is far and away the most enthusiastic and engaging professor I’ve ever had and will ever have. There is no one more deserving of this award than Prof. Van Alstine.”