Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition: June 27, 2001
Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition
In This Issue
H'Olympics Held Here

Former Provost Paul Christiano Dies

University Gets Another $20 Million from Paul Mellon's Estate

New England Conservatory Provost Named Music Head

Virtual Space Scientists

MCS Staff Awards

Alberto Guzman Retires from CMRI

Engineering Class Builds Pavilion for Doherty

Changing of the Guard at the Heinz School

Stephanie Byram

Heinz School Races for the Cure

News Briefs

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MCS Trio Gerry Rensko, Katya Malkin and Joseph Sullivan Earn MCS Staff Awards

Gerry Rensko, Katya Malkin and Joseph Sullivan are this year's recipients of the Mellon College of Science (MCS) Staff Recognition Awards. Rensko earned the Merit Award, Malkin received the Rookie Award and Sullivan garnered the Special Award, given annually to a non-MCS employee who has made exceptional contributions to the college.

Rensko, Malkin and Sullivan were nominated by their colleagues, faculty and students for their professionalism, inter- personal skills and cheerful willingness to accurately complete assignments on time.

Rensko, secretary for the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences (PGSS), the summer program for the state's most gifted high school students in science and math, has provided secretarial and administrative continuity for three program directors over the past 12 years.

"She has successfully maintained a wonderful working relationship with many of the campus offices involved in housing, catering, instructional technology, room reservations and the HUB," said PGSS Director Peter Berget, associate professor of biological sciences.

Rensko's nominators and supporters called her "friendly and hospitable," "quick and efficient" and "extremely knowledgeable." She was lauded for her "behind-the-scenes" work that makes the PGSS an annual success.

"I have worked with many, many people in my more than 30 years as an educator, and I have only very rarely met individuals that approach Mrs. Rensko's overall effectiveness," said Chemistry Professor Mark Farrell, an instructor in the PGSS program since 1982. "She is a remarkable woman, a true asset to MCS and PGSS."

Malkin, who joined the MCS Dean's Office as an administrative analyst last June, uses her diverse talents and abilities to maintain the MCS Web site, generate analytical data about the college's undergraduate programs and train staff members to use a variety of software applications.

She was praised for taking the lead on several projects, including the improvement of the MCS Web site and for developing new processes to evaluate graduate student teaching. She has also volunteered to help the Biological Sciences Department redesign its online presence.

"I have had wonderful comments from the MCS students about her interactions with them," said Eric Grotzinger, associate dean of MCS. "She works well with all of us and her positive attitude is infectious. She doesn't know boundaries and will do whatever is needed to get the job done."

Sullivan, information and systems analyst for the Office of Sponsored Research, is the major contact person for all departmental grant administrators using the Oracle financial management system.

Sullivan's colleagues praised him for his "unusual patience," "unflagging cheerfulness and courtesy," and "an optimistic, untiring drive to solve problems."

"Joe is unfailingly good natured," said Leslie Levine, an administrator for the Science and Technology Center. "I've never known him to be ruffled or out of sorts. He seems incapable of talking down to anyone about a concern or being curt in his responses."

David Kapcin, financial affairs manager for the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, said Sullivan was "professional and courteous at all times, even in the face of total frustration."

Several nominators noted his dedication to getting the job done and cited his telephone calls to them while he was out of town on military reserve duty.

"Joe is a resource that I cannot imagine losing," said Cynthia Davis, business manager for biological sciences.

Chemistry Department Business Manager Tim Sager agreed with Davis.

"They should do whatever possible to ensure that he never leaves the university as it would be a devastating loss," Sager said.

Lynn Smith

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