Penn State DuBois' Coles Receives University-wide Award
DuBois – Penn State DuBois Academic Advisor Melissa Coles has been chosen to receive the Penn State Commission for Women's Achieving Women award for 2011. An awards ceremony is planed for April 15, at University Park.
Awardees are chosen from nominations collected from all Penn State locations. According to the Commission for Women, the award recognizes Penn State women who have shown notable leadership and accomplishment in their fields, and have gone beyond the requirements of employment duties and responsibilities in their support of the university's diversity efforts, promotion of equal opportunity, or contribution to human causes and public service activities.
Coles has served on the campus Diversity Committee, served as co-advisor for the All Come Together (ACT) Club, and has been a member of the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity. She has organized numerous diversity oriented events for students, faculty, and staff. Just this year, Coles organized a month of activities centered on the work of Marin Luther King, Jr. The activities included featured speakers, diversity workshops, a discussion event on a film dealing with diversity issues, and an essay contest.
"I am most humbled by her willingness to work hard to provide an atmosphere for people to delve into the meaning of diversity, and have educated conversations about how inequalities affect people," said Student Life Coordinator Marly Doty, who was among the people who nominated Coles for the award. "This is not a part of Melissa’s job description. She has gone completely above and beyond in creating these avenues for our campus to work on this difficult boundary at Penn State DuBois."
Spanish Professor Deborah Gill also nominated Coles for the award. She said, "Melissa embodies what diversity and equal opportunity is all about. She has supported our students, our campus, and the university to the fullest both in her capacity as an Academic Advisor as well as a member of the DuBois campus community."
Coles said her dedication to diversity comes from knowing how important it is to pass along positive attitudes to others, especially students. "It's important because we try to create, not only well-rounded, educated students, but people who will go out and create a better world," she said. "That needs to start here, both in and out of the classroom."
Coles will soon begin a new chapter in her career of helping students achieve. In April, she will leave Penn State DuBois to take on new responsibilities as the lead advisor for Penn State's World Campus, based at University Park.