Sara Rinkunas named Penn State Scranton’s January Employee of the Month

head shot of Sara Rinkunas

Assistant Director of Athletics, Intramurals and Recreation Sara Rinkunas is Penn State Scranton's Employee of the Month for January.

Credit: Penn State

DUNMORE, Pa. — Penn State Scranton Chancellor Marwan Wafa has announced that Assistant Director of Athletics, Intramurals, and Recreation Sara Rinkunas is Employee of the Month for January.

In nominating her for this recognition, the campus’ Student Services and Engagement office commended her for “always going out of her way to find ways to improve our student-athletes’ experiences at our campus.”

The department wrote, “This year alone Sara has spearheaded the conversion of our Track and Field program to varsity sport status after starting it as a club sport just two short years ago. She has also found ways to improve varsity team media days with new lighting set ups and props for the athletes to use for publicity shots and headshots. She is a driving force that keeps the department going daily and puts her all into every aspect of the college athletic experience for all. Sara is dedicated to making sure each athlete and coach has what they need to succeed in and out of the classroom and in their sport as well as getting them visibility across media platforms.”

Additionally, the nomination stated, “In November, Sara penned a great feature article highlighting one of our student-athletes which was picked up by a local news outlet. Due to her involvement with the athletes on a day-to-day basis she has been able to build strong bonds with the athlete population where they feel very comfortable going to her for guidance and advice, as well as serving as a mentor for some. Sara finds ways to push the department in a positive direction each day in many ways including by serving on various committees at both of our athletic conferences (PSUAC and USCAA). Through her service on these committees, she is able to bring more visibility to our athletes and programs throughout both conferences and work towards giving our teams more opportunities across the board. Sara has been dedicated to making PSU Scranton Athletics the best it can be for 13 years and is still full steam ahead with the same goal in mind, make this the best experience for all athletes, fans and families.”

Director of Student Services and Engagement Matthew Nied wrote, “Sara’s dedication to the betterment of Penn State Scranton’s Athletic program is one that should be emulated across the commonwealth. She is integral in the success of our student athletes both on and off the competition field. Sara’s creative eye is apparent through her graphic designs and robust photography work. It has been wonderful to work alongside Sara this fall, learning first hand the ins and outs, the processes and intricacies that it takes to effectively run the athletics and recreation programs. Sara has worked to develop students into integral partners in live-streaming, advertising and game-day management. Without her dedication to training these students, we would not be able to offer all that we do.”

Congratulations, Sara!

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. Campus staff, faculty and students are encouraged to nominate staff members that deserve to be recognized for “going above and beyond.” The link for nominations can be found here.