DUNMORE, Pa. — Penn State Scranton Chancellor Marwan Wafa has announced that Athletics Programs Coordinator Sara Rinkunas is the campus' Employee of the Month for March.
In the nominations for Rinkunas, Maureen Cooper, director of Commonwealth Campus Athletics for the Office of Ethics and Compliance, and Ryan Ehrie, assistant director of Commonwealth Campus Athletics, wrote: “The thing we most appreciate about Sara is her willingness to help, not only the athletes and coaches at the Scranton campus, but at all the campuses within the PSUAC. She helped edit the ‘Around the PSUAC’ video features for the conference social media platforms which highlighted Penn Staters across the commonwealth. Her willingness to assist others and her commitment to advocating for the Scranton student-athlete population is unequaled and speaks to her incredible work ethic."
In addition, they stated: "We suspect that she is handling a very considerable workload (e.g., ensuring compliance of student-athletes and staff with the University-required Sexual Assault Prevention Training, scheduling athlete engagement activities that comply with the COVID-19 health and safety protocols, confirming athlete eligibility for the Spring Semester, to name a few) with a high level of efficiency.”
Enrollment Specialist/Financial Aid Specialist for Veterans and Athletes Stacy Shattuck wrote: “Throughout the pandemic our students have experienced a lot of change and loss. Sara has not stopped for a moment in her efforts to continue to provide support and opportunities for our student athletes and coaching staff to stay connected, engaged and on track.
"Sara has made herself available to coaches and students alike while working through so many new processes for athletics to still happen this year in any capacity. It often seems she never takes a day off, weekend or otherwise, she is always available to help and assist in any way. Despite the crazy amount of changes and work that has come with it all, Sara has been a positive and encouraging team member within athletics. It could be so easy to be overwhelmed and a bit discouraged amid all this, but Sara never shows that. She is upbeat, kind and thoughtful at every turn. Working with Sara is always an honor for the dedication she gives to our student athletes and their well-being.”
Mar Tsakonas, administrative support assistance in athletics, stated: "Every day, Sara looks for new ways to improve the experience of all student athletes and other students on campus. She comes up with different social media themes that all followers, athletes or not, interact with on a daily basis, increasing our online presence which shines a positive light on our campus community. These posts reach students, faculty, staff and alumni as well as the local community and throughout the Commonwealth Campus community. Every day, Sara reaches out to incoming and current students via e-mail, social media, etc. During this trying time, she answers all concerns and questions any student or student-athlete throws her way, whether it’s showing support to the students during the pandemic or issues they may have with the diversity and inclusion movements sweeping the country, and if she does not know the answer, she looks for it or directs them to whom they can speak to in order to find the answer. She also makes sure to include as many student athletes, students, faculty, staff and alumni as possible on the themed posts she puts out on a daily basis. She puts an incredible amount of work into making sure every person who she comes across feels welcome and like a part of the PSU family.”
The Employee of the Month recognition was initiated in 2016 by Wafa as a way of distinguishing staff members who "go above and beyond the call of duty" in serving Penn State Scranton.
Members of the Penn State Scranton community are encouraged to nominate a staff member that deserves to be recognized for “going above and beyond” online here.