Liberal Arts Stewardship Awarding Team

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Team ID: 
College / Administrative Unit: 
Liberal Arts, College of the
Date Started: 
April 2011
When Dean Welch came to Penn State, we awarded only $70,000 a year to our undergraduates from endowed scholarship money. Due to the loyalty and generosity of our alumni and friends, we now award over $1.4 million a year in scholarships from hundreds of funds, and the number continues to grow every year. Awarding these funds is a huge undertaking because many things have to be taken into account, including the number of scholarship applications, if students are qualified, donor preferences, student need, and much more.

In the past, much of this work was on the shoulders of one or two people in the College and this was not an effective or efficient strategy going forward. We needed to build an infrastructure and standard operating procedure that was organized for growth and spread the workload over a larger number of people. By spreading the workload between Alumni Relations and Development and the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies Office over the last twelve months, we were able to maximize each individual’s skill set to enhance the process.

Beyond being trained and working through many details of a complex plan across two departments, the team has come up with new innovative ideas for this year that are currently being implemented, including:
- Growing our number of applicants from approximately 650 applications to 1,000 applications in 2011/2012.
- Developing and marketing incentives for our students to apply earlier in the school year to allow several
additional months in the awarding process. This will allow us to notify the students on time moving forward and
allow for the awarding process not to consume all available time of a few people for months.
- Broadening the scholarship committee to include a development representative.
- Cross-training additional team members in both offices on the awarding process to build a "deeper bench."
- Completing our acknowledgement letters earlier in the year and with greater tracking mechanisms in place.

While the process improvements were greatly needed, this also brought two offices together for a closer and deeper working relationship that will help in many areas in the years to come. Because of the last twelve months, a dynamic has developed between both operations that will result in continual process improvement year after year.

In recognition of their work, the Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts is awarding them the College's Teamwork Award in February 2012.

Contact Person: 
Mark Luellen
  • Holly Beaver, Co-Leader
  • Mary Kay Hort, Co-Leader
  • Jillian Balay, Member
  • Julianna Chaszar, Member
  • Sara Cocolin, Member
  • Melissa McBrayer, Member
  • Billie Moslak, Member
  • Robin Robinson, Member