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2013 Ella Reagle Staff Assistant Award Winner

Posted: October 31, 2013

Norma Young from the Montgomery County Extension Office was announced as the winner of the 2013 Ella Reagle Staff Assistant Award during the college-wide all-staff meeting on October 21, 2013.
Dean Christ presented Norman Young with the 2013 Ella Reagle Staff Assistant Award on October 21, 2013 at the college-wide all-staff meeting.

Dean Christ presented Norman Young with the 2013 Ella Reagle Staff Assistant Award on October 21, 2013 at the college-wide all-staff meeting.

The Ella Reagle Staff Assistant Award, endowed by Ella Reagle’s family, was established to honor Ella who served the college and cooperative extension for thirty years. Ella Reagle was hired in August 1962 under the Deanship of Russ Larson. Tom King was Director of Cooperative Extension at that time. Ella’s role in extension was to process all extension employment documents and payroll; therefore anyone working in Extension in those days, crossed paths with Ella. It was Ella’s commitment to her job and the integrity that she brought to it, that resulted in the admiration and respect from faculty, staff, and administrators for Ella. She was a perfectionist and expected no less from those she worked with. She was an excellent role model and mentor. Ella passed away in November 1998.

The purpose of this annual award is to honor and recognize staff assistants who support the College of Agricultural Sciences and have demonstrated outstanding dedication and commitment to the College and their work unit. Those that are eligible for the Ella Reagle Award are staff assistants who support the College including individuals who are based away from University Park and wage payroll employees participating in the earned-time program. The recipient of the Ella Reagle Staff Assistant Award will receive $500, an engraved plaque, and recognition today at our Fall College-wide Staff Meeting.

This year’s awardee was one that seemed to stick out with all of us committee members despite the numerous applications. Her contributions to further the College’s mission and goals go well past the job description for any positions that she has held with Penn State. First hired in 2003 as a wage payroll program assistant to enter data for a horticultural research project, she has branched out to make significant contributions to the College of Agricultural Sciences in numerous areas. She quickly became an integral team member of the IPM research project and developed strong relationships with many of the project cooperators. Those cooperators are now some of the College’s staunchest supporters in the horticulture industry, thanks to our awardee’s efforts.

Our recipient is passionate about learning new skills and staying abreast of new technology, and then sharing her knowledge with others. She is among the first to volunteer and has piloted several new computer programs and software for the College’s IT department. Her computer skills are outstanding and she continues to hone them as she sees opportunities to help the office staff. An extension educator writes that she has the ability to initiate new ideas and techniques without being pushy. Her patience and ability to interject humor at the right time makes working with her a pleasure. Our awardee is always willing to help others, often by dropping what she was doing in order to help. She also constantly keeps abreast of happenings with local elected officials, and often lets educators know of opportunities to involve these important stakeholders.

One person notes that our awardee is the epitome of what you are looking for in an Ella Reagle staff assistant. That she is a tireless learner and continually embraces change. Another individual writes that they are always impressed with the way that she handles her changing tasks at hand and that she expresses the utmost ability to bring out the best in people. Additional comments about our awardee are that her work at the Extension office has evolved into a personal passion for Extension and 4-H and that no request is unreasonable in her mind. I felt like the more I read about this exceptional woman, the more I was completely amazed at what she does and how that reflects upon those that she works with. A truly amazing individual receiving the recognition that she deserves.

At this time, it is my pleasure to introduce to you, this year’s Ella Reagle Staff Award Recipient, Norma Young from the Montgomery County Extension Office.

(Reprint from remarks made by selection chair during presentation of award.)