2017-2018 PPSA Executive Board: Nominees and Biographical Information

Below are the nominees for the 2017-2018 PPSA Executive Board. Chair-Elect serves a 3-year term (Chair-Elect, Chair, Past-Chair); Members-at-Large serve a 2-year term.

Make sure to attend the May Elections Meeting on May 25, 2017, from 12pm-1pm in Houston Hall’s Bodek Lounge, featuring guest speaker John L. Jackson, Jr., Dean of the School of Social Policy and Practice. Voting will open immediately after the May Elections Meeting. RSVP here to attend: http://bit.ly/2pCr62G.

Chair-Elect (choose 1):

Christopher J. Pastore
Christopher Pastore is the Associate Director of Humanities and Social Sciences Programs at LPS and a Lecturer in the History of Art department. He is the Director of the Master of Liberal Arts program and leads seminars in Visual Studies in topics ranging from Digital Art History to Gardens and Landscape Architecture. He served as the inaugural Barnes Foundation Program Director for Understanding World Art where he taught courses on Renoir and El Greco. He received his Ph.D. in the History of Art from Penn with a dissertation that explored villa ideology in the early modern Veneto. His publications include studies of allegories and gender identity, garden aesthetics and Renaissance theory, and the influence of the Islamic world on Venetian gardens. He is slowly revising a manuscript on Sixteenth Century Italian villa culture tentatively titled Cultivating Antiquity. He has enjoyed being part of the PPSA team, serving as a board member the past 2 years and previously serving as the PPSA representative to the Committees on Campus and Community Life (CCL) and Academic and Related Affairs (CARA).

Stephanie Yee
My name is Stephanie Yee, and I am currently the Laboratory Manager of the Circulating Tumor Material Laboratory in the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Perelman School of Medicine. I have been in this role for 3 years. Previously, I was a staff member in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Radiation Oncology. I have been a full-time Penn staff member in the Perelman School of Medicine for 9 years, and during this time, I have attended dozens of PPSA sponsored events which have helped me advance in my career at Penn. I am currently serving in my second year as a PPSA Board Member, and I have seen first-hand the positive impact of PPSA on Penn staff. During my tenure as a PPSA Board Member, I chaired multiple PPSA events and launched PPSA Connection, a new free program to promote one-on-one networking for Penn staff throughout all Penn schools and centers. As Chair-Elect, I will continue driving Penn’s professional staff development in novel and creative ways, such as PPSA Connection, to best serve the Penn staff community. PPSA provides a unique opportunity for staff members throughout the university to connect and help each other achieve success at Penn. It would be a privilege to lead this valuable organization as Chair Elect. I currently serve in a number of leadership positions on Penn Alumni boards: President Emeritus, Penn Alumni Club of Philadelphia; Co-President, Penn Class of 2008; Executive Board Member, Penn Alumni Class Leadership Council; and Executive Board Member, Penn Association of Alumnae. Previously, I was the Co-Chair of my Penn 5th Year Reunion and Programming Chair of Penn Spectrum 2013. In addition, I volunteer as an alumni interviewer for the Penn Alumni Interview Program, and I am a Penn Men’s Basketball season ticket holder.

Member-At-Large Candidates: (choose 4)

Amber Banayat
I am currently the Associate Director for the Multiple Sclerosis Division, Department of Neurology. Originally from California, I have been at the University of Pennsylvania for three years. I am interested in joining the PPSA, because part of accepting your job is to make a commitment, stay involved and keep a finger on the pulse to the evolving agenda and mission of the University. I started a higher education career 20 years ago, because I enjoy being a part of system that instills dedication, progressive thinking, resilience and cares about your staff, student and faculty populations. I have been a board member of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Student Affairs Commission, Stanford University Judicial Affairs, Stanford University Dean’s Advisory Board among 15 other institutional service positions. I get involved because I cannot be great at my job and continue to intellectually grow, unless I understand the University culture and share these new developments with those that want to listen. Over the years, you learn the importance of giving a voice to the Professional staff, the need to provide a necessary prospective to the educational community and to contribute my service to an institution that has provided me so much success, value and happiness in my life. I am delighted to be on the final ballot and would be honored to be elected as a Member-At-Large board member.

Danielle Crowl
My name is Dani Crowl. I have been working at Penn for the past 4 years. I began as an associate director in the Office of Student Affairs in September 2013. I was the SPEC and Freshman and Sophomore Class Board advisor at that time. I advised the students on Spring Fling 2014 and 2015. I applied for an opening at the Office of Student Conduct and started there as a Senior Judicial Case Manager in January 2015. I am interested in the Member-at-Large position on the board of the Penn Professional Staff Assembly because I would like to become more involved in the broader University community. I would relish the opportunity to learn more about the challenges and concerns of other Penn staff and be able to help facilitate and create solutions to those challenges. I would bring to the position, experience in programing, specifically from my time at the Office of Student Affairs, where I organized all types of events from small study breaks to large-scale concerts and helping coordinate Penn Traditions. Additionally, I believe that I could help bridge gaps between those with different opinions and ideas, by bringing to the table unique mediation and conflict management skills that I have gained in my experience in the Office of Student Conduct and prior legal positions. Most importantly, I believe that I would have much to gain by becoming a member of the board and learning from other staff across the campus community. Penn Staff are my friends and my family here in Philadelphia, and I would love to widen that community and strengthen those relationships through this role at PPSA. Lastly, I hope to add my spirit and passion to the board and gain much knowledge in return. Thank you for your consideration.

Kris Forrest
My name is Kris Forrest. I have been with Penn for five years, and I manage the Business Office at the Penn Museum. I have an MBA in finance, and am currently working on my master’s in Organizational Dynamics here at Penn. I serve on the Platt Advisory Council, as well as Penn VIPS (Volunteers in Public Service).

I believe in the value of PPSA and its ability to support, provide a platform for, and connect a very talented staff. I have been the secretary for the PPSA for the past three years. As a board member, I will create opportunities for staff to meaningfully engage with one another, and to continue their own learning via professional development and cross-school/center involvement. I look forward to networking with individuals from across the Penn community, sharing fresh perspectives, and representing matters that are of importance to our community.

Deona L. Hatley
My name is Deona L. Hatley and I have served in House Dean position in the Department of College Houses and Academic Services at Penn for almost a year. As a new employee, I have learned that an institution as large and decentralized as Penn, can be a challenge for staff members to build a healthy network. For example, I have formed good relationships with professionals in my department, but I still feel disconnected from the rest of Penn. Instead of settling for discontentment, I would like to become a part of PPSA so I can continue to acclimate myself to campus, and help create a sense of community amongst staff. I would also like to contribute to this organization by carrying out the vision, while providing innovative opportunities for Penn staff to enhance their professional development here at the university. In my current and previous roles, I have created or facilitated several volunteer leadership and service-related experiences. For instance, while working at Duke University, I helped create “BPN,” which was an informal opportunity for Black professionals at Duke to network. This opportunity allowed Black professionals to build a support system, one that acknowledged and embraced their cultural identity. Additionally, I helped Duke Police create a Citizen’s Police Academy, which was designed to give Duke faculty, staff and students an insight into police operations and promote the importance of community policing. Outside of my responsibilities at Duke, I found value in getting involved in the Durham community so I became a volunteer Cheerleading Coach for the Durham Special Olympics. All of these experiences, in addition to others, helped me settle into my position and transition to the city. I hope to continue to do the same at Penn and in Philly, since I consider the two my new homes.

Christine Lowery
My name is Christine Lowery and for the past three years I have worked as a risk management nurse for the Office of General Counsel. In this role, I analyze patient events to identify and manage areas of professional liability exposure. My educational background is in nursing. I earned my bachelor of science in nursing from The College of New Jersey and a duel master degree in nursing and management from Wilmington University. Prior to coming to Penn, I worked in a hospital setting as a staff nurse on a medical unit. I have attended many PPSA sponsored events and participate in the monthly PPSA connection. These learning and networking opportunities have enhanced my work life at the University, and I would like to be a part of developing and promoting the work of PPSA as a member-at-large. If elected, my organizational and attention to detail skills will be helpful when planning workshops and events. I am a motivated individual who enjoys working as a member of a team and meeting new people, and I am ready to step in and immediately contribute to PPSA’s efforts. I volunteer with my church to prepare and serve breakfast at the Ronald McDonald House in Wilmington, Delaware. The Ronald McDonald house provides temporary housing for families of sick children who are receiving medical treatment at nearby hospitals. In addition, I visit a local nursing home with members of my church to fellowship with the residents and provide words of encouragement. Earlier this year, I began volunteering with Wings for Success. Wings provides women with free professional clothing and holds workshops to prepare women to succeed in the workplace. I assist clients in selecting clothing and accessories in preparation for an interview or new job.

Hannah A. Rollings-Cunningham
My name is Hannah A. Rollings-Cunningham. I am the Faculty and HR Coordinator for the Department of Emergency Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine. I returned to the University of Pennsylvania in April 2016 and prior to that I was a Penn employee from 1984 through 1999. When I returned to Penn, I decided I wanted to give back to the community that has given me so much. My first leadership position was in the Department of Medicine, Medicine Administrator. I managed the academic and human resource process for 250 fulltime and 1500 parttime faculty and clinical and research staff. It was more like a Project Manager position than an Administrator position. My next leadership position came when I founded the Amerihealth Caritas Toastmaster Club. Toastmasters is an international organization whose mission is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment for members to develop their oral communication and leadership skills, which fosters self-confidence and personal growth. Before the club reached charter status I had to get leadership buy in, showing the value of the initiative to the organization and the associate. It took two years but we became a charter club in March 2016 and today the club is still thriving and strong. Serving the community where I live is also important to me, which is why I am a member of the Wynnefield Residents Association and until a year ago, was an active member (Financial Secretary) of the Executive Board. As financial secretary I prepared monthly budget report, chaired fundraiser committee, and organized various events for the club. It is now time for me to pay homage to the organization that helped me focus on a career path and not just a job. This is why I want to serve on as a member at large.

Katherine Siegmann
My name is Katherine (Katie) Siegmann and I am the Assistant Director of Communications and Stewardship at Penn Nursing. I have worked at the University since graduating from the College of Arts & Sciences with my BA in English in 2010. I also have my MPA from Penn’s Fels Institute of Government, which I received in 2014. Penn has been my home away from home for more than 10 years, and it has provided me with my education, lifelong friends, and experiences and connections that continue to enrich my life. From my first days on campus, I have sought out opportunities in which I could express my gratitude and give back to the Penn community. As an alumna, I have been a leader on my class gift committee and the alumni interview committee. As a staff member, I have participated in volunteer initiatives within the School of Nursing, most recently through serving on the Sustainability Committee. I would now like to expand my efforts on behalf of the University by joining the Penn Professional Staff Assembly as a Member at Large. I believe I would bring a unique perspective to PPSA, having experienced Penn as both an undergraduate and graduate student, an alumna, and now a staff member. I think I could provide an integrated viewpoint that would help advance not only the mission and goals of PPSA but make the University a better place to live, learn, and work for all within the Penn community.