Aerial view of campus

Bucknell Employees Honored for Outstanding Service

August 15, 2022

by Katie Williard

The annual Geiger, Zeller and Maxwell Awards recognize staff who exceed the expectations of their job descriptions, going above and beyond for their colleagues, the students they serve, and the University. Photo by Emily Paine, Communications

On Aug. 15, President John Bravman honored members of the Bucknell campus community, awarding the 2022 Geiger, Zeller and Maxwell Awards to five individuals and one team. The annual awards recognize staff who exceed the expectations of their job descriptions, going above and beyond for their colleagues and the students they serve.

Award winners pose with their awards at the Annual Campus Picnic with President John Bravman

President John Bravman presents the 2022 Geiger, Zeller and Maxwell awards for excellence to members of the campus community. Pictured from left are President John Bravman; Stephen Apanel, director of housing services & card access services; Brent Papson, director of campus activities and student media; Jackie Cetera, director of residential education; Missy Wray, operations area manager; Lindsey Boyer, custodial section supervisor; Jeff Rishel, crew leader for grounds & labor; and Jeremy Fanning, environmental health & safety specialist. Photo by Emily Paine, Communications

The Walter C. Geiger Memorial Award

Named in honor of the late director of the Bucknell physical plant, this award recognizes administrative staff who demonstrate sustained excellence and embrace Bucknell's core competencies. This year's recipients were Brent Papson, director of campus activities and student media, Campus Activities and Programs; and Jackie Cetera, director of residential education, Student Affairs — Living, Learning, Leadership.

Papson leads student programming at the University and has re-imagined fresh, vibrant activities for students. In 2021, the events he helped facilitate drew local food trucks, A-list celebrities and participation from more than 100 student organizations. He is recognized for his consistent, student-centered approach to decision-making, and as a team-focused leader who consistently seeks opportunities to learn and grow in his understanding of diverse populations.

Cetera was recognized as a leader who empowers initiative and autonomy in her staff of community directors, routinely stepping in beside them to support students. She launched Res Ed Stands, a platform focused intentionally on educating students regarding various diversity issues. In addition, she spearheaded COVID-19 logistics for Student Affairs, working with Library & Information Technology to create an internal tool that helped the Office of Residential Education manage and communicate with students during pandemic operations.

The John F. Zeller Memorial Award for Support Staff Excellence

This award honors the former vice president for business and fiscal affairs and general counsel emeritus at Bucknell, and recognizes support staff who demonstrate consistent excellence in the conduct of their responsibilities. This year's recipients were Kara Van Buskirk, academic assistant, Religious Studies; Lindsey Boyer, custodial section supervisor; and Jeff Rishel, crew leader for grounds & labor.

In addition to her role as academic assistant for religious studies, Van Buskirk also supports The China Institute and stepped up to fill in as an assistant for the women's & gender studies department. She is known for her sunny disposition and cultivates an ethos of care and respect through her conscientious, warm engagement. Always organized, attentive and helpful, Kara brings joy to colleagues, students and the entire Bucknell community.

Boyer played a key role in managing the mitigation of challenging issues related to mold in Vedder and Hunt Hall last year. As a section supervisor, she empowers her team by setting clear expectations and making sure her staff feel valued and supported. She is always willing to step up to challenges, keeps her attention on efficiency, communicates effectively with other campus departments and focuses on the well-being of students.

Working closely with the CAP Center and Events Management, Rishel's leadership ensures the success of many campus-wide events. He offers sound advice, mitigates crisis situations and consistently goes above and beyond through his willingness to lend a helping hand. He leads by example, boosting the morale of his crew through mutual respect, a positive attitude, and by implementing processes and purchasing necessary equipment to help them work smarter.

The Maxwell Award 

Named in memory of the late Vice President for Administration Barry R. Maxwell, the Maxwell Award celebrates the exceptional collaborative efforts of cross-functional groups, project teams and task forces that make outstanding contributions to the Bucknell community.

This year's recipient was the Air Quality Response Group, which consists of staff from Environmental Health & Safety, Facilities and Student Affairs. The team displayed extraordinary effort in the monitoring and mitigation of mold in several residence halls across campus last fall. From testing and inspection to deploying dehumidifiers and air purifiers to educating students on HVAC controls and assisting those who were displaced, the team worked in a coordinated and consistent effort. Their empathy, patience and diligence minimized disruption to student life and allowed the University to successfully navigate the hurdle.

All recipients were honored at an in-person ceremony and picnic for faculty and staff ahead of the opening of campus for the fall semester.