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Spring 2017

Congratulations To Craig Dubler

As part of the "National BIM Guide for Owners" Committee, John Messner, Charles and Elinor Matts Professor of Architectural Engineering; and Craig Dubler, Penn State Office of Physical Plant Facility Asset Management program manager and instructor in architectural engineering, received the National Institute of Building Sciences Honor Award. For read the entire story, visit Penn State News.

Kudos To Custodial

Jim Caltagirone, Director of Alumni Relations and External Relations for The Graduate School wrote in to praise Greg Corbin and Albert Darpino for their hard work: "On behalf of my colleagues in the Graduate School, I am writing to praise Greg Corbin and his fellow team member Albert for the outstanding effort they put forth on Saturday, March 25, to prepare the Kern Graduate Building Lobby for the annual Doctoral Alumni Recognition Luncheon. Both Greg and Albert were extremely conscientious as they ensured that the lobby would look spectacular for our nearly 100 guests from throughout the United States, Mexico, and Puerto Rico...and the lobby certainly did! Greg and Albert are not only positive reflections on your unit, but the entire University.  Please know that their efforts were recognized, valued and appreciated."

Cheers From The HUB

Brad Wagner, a Facilities Supervisor, wrote in to thank Connie Brumgard and Area 4 for their hard work in the HUB. "I just wanted to send an email out and give a big thank you to Area 4 and Connie Brumgard. The HUB has been a very busy building the last few months and with that, like always, we have had some issues. Connie Brumgard and her crew at Area 4 have done an excellent job maintaining our building and working with my staff. We are very fortunate to be in the Area 4 district and you should be very proud of your staff. Thank you always."

Keeping Things Clear

Rob DeMayo, director of Transportation Services, wrote in regarding the March 14 snowstorm."Thanks for the help with the Fleet lot yesterday, and thanks for the help keeping CATA services runnings. The GM at CATA also forwarded their gratitude to those who were involved in clearing route pathways."

Great Job on Snow Removal

Sue Merritts, assistant manager for North, West and White Course Housing, wrote in regarding the snowstorm on March 14. "Please know the staff is appreciated for their hard work through the night and into the day. I managed North Halls on March 14 and shovelers were working when I came in and the walkways were in incredible shape. Thank you for a non-appreciated job...as the snow melts and everyone forgets what you do."

A Satisfying Commute

Kristen Hanna wrote to Christina McGinley to thank OPP for successfully removing the snow near Innovation Park. "I just wanted to send a note of thanks for clear conditions this morning. I was delighted when I got here this morning, and happy to be headed to Innovation Park and not the other way, which – judging by the traffic jam – looked to be the real doozy today. Thank you, Chrissy, and everyone else who helped make for a smooth morning."

Cheers from a Tricky Intersection

Peter Aeschbacher wrote in to OPP to thank snow removal crews for their efforts in clearing up the snow at the intersection of Atherton and Curtin. "Thank you for your help! As I reached the intersection after yesterday’s snowfall, I thought fondly of the plowing crew. Please extend my thanks to them for the great work!"

Kudos from Coach

Penn State Head Football Coach James Franklin acknowledged OPP in his Feb. 1 press conference. "I want to thank the people that work on this campus because it's amazing to me how many people talk to me about how beautiful the campus is, how clean the campus is. That's OPP. That's all the people that work on campus, cleaning things up, shoveling sidewalks, picking up trash."

Cheers from IST Red Lot A

Kent Matsueda wrote in to OPP to thank Dave Libreatori, Howard Bone and Kalen Brown for their efforts in Red Lot A during the Jan. 31 snowfall. "I drove in this morning thinking that the Red A lot was going to be a mess. I knew there would be people parked all over the lot because of the snow.

"I was dumbfounded when I pulled in to see every car lined up as usual.

"Then I saw these gentlemen working hard shoveling every single lane line and I can tell you that it made all the difference. I've been parking here since I began working at IST in 2011 and this was the best snowy-day parking."

Sayonara, Snow!

Barb Duclos, an administrative support assistant from Facilities Resources & Planning, wrote to Matt Wolf to thank his team for their work clearing the snow."Hi Matt – Just a shout out to you and your crew for getting us dug out from the snow and ice this morning. All of us on Elm road really appreciate it! Thanks so much. Glad to be another day closer to Spring!" Russell Barton also wrote in to compliment the crews on their work: "Great clearing and prep around the Business Building this morning. Thank you."

A Successful Groundbreaking

Lynn Tressler, Executive Assistant to the Dean (College of Engineering) wrote to thank those present at the Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Groundbreaking."On behalf of Dean Elnashai, I would like to pass along our sincere thanks for those in attendance and/or involved in the Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Groundbreaking event on Friday. While the weather was a bit challenging, everything else came together beautifully. We are truly grateful for your participation."

Fall 2016

Courteous and Quick Service

Tammy Steiner, Engineering Services, wrote to Buildings & Grounds to praise the work of Linda Shawley. "She is a great employee who, when called regarding plumbing down in 113, is always very courteous, quick responding and informative. She always has a chipper attitude and let's you know what is going on, when she will return and what is being done if further work is to be conducted. The entire suite in Room 113 really all agrees what a nice and hard working person she is. She is a great employee for Penn State and OPP!"

A Prompt Response

Sandra Del Pilar, administrative support assistant with the Population Research Institute, wrote in to say thank you for the prompt response to an issue with the heater in Oswald. "Stan Mayhew came to check on the heater and while it seems to be working, he indicated he would come back to check it again and may need to change the thermostat in the room. We appreciated his quick response." Dave Brown, Area 2 Supervisor, also shared, "Stan is certainly one of the most conscientious employees I've supervised, and he genuinely takes pride in his work and assignments."

Safety Kudos to the Labor Crew

George Benko, utility safety coordinator, shared his compliments to the Labor Crew, specifically in regards to their attention to safety. "I spent a few hours with the Labor Crew watching them move a large and heavy table. I was quite impressed with the teamwork and communication between the guys. They all discussed the best plan of attack, and even though there were a few ways to move the table, they all decided to proceed with the process in which they were used to. Everyone had their proper PPE and the tools were available. Each was cognizant of the risks and stayed out of the 'line of fire.' During every step of the move, the team talked the plan through so that everyone was aware. The Safety Office appreciates their efforts toward safety."

Beautiful Fall Landscapes

Derek Kalp, landscape architect, shared his compliments to the work the landscape crews have done this fall. "The fall planting in the pot at OPP is very well done. I've had tons of comments on the fall display at the Inn too. I also have to mention the work done at the Arboretum with the wreaths and gourd displays, which have been stunning. Those are just some of the highlights. Your crew has been doing an amazing job."

A New Attraction at Millbrook Marsh

Robert Brooks, professor of Geography and Ecology, wrote in to OPP in regards to work done at the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center. "It was a pleasure to work with everyone from OPP. Their suggestions and diligent efforts were essential for delivering what we know will be a very popular educational and wildlife attraction at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center. Every day that I'm there someone stops by and wants to know what we're doing, all with positive reactions. We wanted to sincerely thank Nadine Davitt, Mike Brown, Derek Kalp, Steve Maruszewski, Fred Espy, Jason Stover, Chris Taylor, Bob Warner, Scott Shoemaker, Norm Parks, Nate Haupt, Don Hassinger, Kyle Gallardy, Steve Kutches and Vince Benner, as well as anyone else involved that we've missed."

Exceptional Service

Margaret Buban, director of Finance & Business Operations at Penn State Brandywine, wrote in to praise the work of Andy Ritter.
"Andy brought up an excellent point related to the Verizon Small Cell initiative and possibly changed the direction of the project. As a point of reference, VZ Wireless folks were pushing the potential to icnrease data coverage area on campus and our problem with cell service is 'voice' signal strength. Andy realized what they were pitching and asked the necessary questions. If it wasn't for him, no one else would have realized the program they were 'pitching.' Andy is excellent and serves the campuses well! Today, his service was exceptional!"

Gold Star Work

The individuals who call Ihlseng Cottage home during the work day wrote in to OPP to thank the crew who completed work at their building. The members of the crew were Alan Shaffer, Greg Corbin and Mark Kopchik."We are tremendously impressed with everyone who helped to get the tubs cleaned in Ihlseng. They did a great job clearing the pipes and spent a great deal of time and effort trying to clean out the paint. These men deserve gold stars!"

Bridge Improvements

Anne Riley wrote in to OPP to express thanks to the crew, including Paul Cox, Scott Smith, Rob Knapik and John Daulby, who worked on the railing at Ridge Riley's Bridge in Alumni Gardens. Anne is Ridge's daughter. "Thank you so much for the beautiful railing work on the bridge. I am just so delighted."

Making Whitmore a Success

Joe Keiser, assistant head for Chemistry Department, wrote in to OPP commending Rob Bloom, who was the point-person for the Whitmore Lab renovations project. "Rob's help was critical to all facets of the project. He has served very effectively as the interface between OPP, the Chemistry Department, Stantec, Barton Malow, and the Greenberg contractor. Throughout the project, Rob demonstrated his knowledge and ability to work effectively with a wide range of people in a kind and pleasant manner. Rob was fast and helpful with all explanations, and I was impressed by his ability to keep up with the constant barrage of meetings, emails and decisions.

"I was impressed and surprised by Rob's willingness to oversee not just the big decisions, but also by his willingness to get involved with some of the small details. One part of the project that Rob got very involved with was the design of the first floor AV system. Not only was Rob involved in the detailed design discussions, but he also came to Whitmore on the first day it was used to make sure everything worked well.

"Another area in which Rob became involved with the details was the furniture selection committee. Rob arranged for the furniture meetings roughly every two weeks and he started them early so decisions could be made in a relatively relaxed manner. He participated in nearly all of these meetings and was an enormous help with thinking through the details.

"Throughout the project it was clear that Rob wanted to hold the line on expenses, but he also wanted quality. In October of 2014, we were debating about the trade-offs between 5' vs. 6' wide hoods in the organic labs. After a special meeting on this topic Rob wrote, 'Thanks to all of you for taking the time to prepare for and participate in yesterday's meeting. I think we've come to an acceptable compromise between energy usage and safety, while still retaining the six foot hoods in the project. Once this project is complete, my hope is that instead of just being a facility that is tolerated, Whitmore LAb will be an example of this balance for not only Penn State, but other institutions as well.'

"In the end I think Rob's hope has been achieved. I believe that Whitmore is a model for effective and efficient instruction in chemistry. The Chemistry Department has a lot of people to thank for this, but one person in particular who deserves credit for the success of this project is Rob."

Hansel Honored with Game Ball

Terry Hansel, project coordinator, was honored with the game ball from the Penn State vs. Maryland game on Oct. 1. Cory Chapman, assistant athletic director, said that, following a report of suspicious activity, "Terry quickly identified resources, staffing and went above and beyond in order to allow our law enforcement officials access to our stadium so a thorough and timely search could take place."