Staff Members Honored for Outstanding Service at Annual Campus Event

Mike Morlacci

posted December 18, 2015


Two members of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown staff were honored for outstanding service by Pitt-Johnstown President Dr. Jem Spectar during the annual staff recognition luncheon held Dec. 17, 2015, at the Living-Learning Center on campus.

Mike Kemock with Dr. Jem SpectarMike Kemock received the President’s Staff Award for Excellence in Service to the Community, and Sue Palov received the President’s Staff Award for Excellence in Service to Pitt-Johnstown. They were among the 21 honored during Pitt-Johnstown’s annual event.

Kemock, a technical services coordinator who has been with Pitt-Johnstown for 27 years, is a go-to person for a wide range of campus problems, some of which are not found in a job description.

A colleague noted that Mike “is a person who gives his free time to people who are in need. One day I watched him stop and help a student change a flat tire.  In the winter, he is often seen shoveling sidewalks throughout his neighborhood and he is always willing to help a friend or coworker with an IT or computer-related problem.  He never complains and always has something positive to say about work.”

Beyond the university, Kemock shares his talent, energy, and goodwill with his church, community, and the young athletes he coaches.

Dr. Spectar and Sue PalovPalov, who serves as Secretary to the President and Secretary to the Advisory Board, received the President’s Staff Award for Excellence in Service to Pitt-Johnstown. Dr. Spectar cited her calm and friendly demeanor, ability to juggle countless projects and deadlines, loyalty to the university, untiring positive attitude, obliviousness to the clock, and eagerness to engage in campus and community activities as a few examples of her dedication to the university and the character she embodies as an employee, friend and colleague.

“At Pitt-Johnstown, we pride ourselves on how our combination of distinctive people, programs, and place lead to exceptional performance,” Spectar said. “Sue Palov, without a doubt, is one of those distinctive people - and her performance is, indeed, exceptional. Sue is an employee who is highly respected by her peers and most deserving of this award.”

Palov was also recognized for her 10 years of service.

Also honored for years of service were:

  • Bob Knipple and Gloria Lehman, 30 years;
  • Tom Brubaker, Judy Freedman, BJ Sarneso, and Joe Stiffler, 20 years;
  • Karen Barrick, Dr. Shawn Brooks, Sam Buchkovich, Kate Kinsinger, Karla Kitner, Jim Krasovic, Bill Michaels, Martha Miller, Sue Palov, Georgina Ressler, Elissa Till, and Eric Zangaglia, 10 years; and
  • Janna Kohler, five years.

Dr. Spectar also presented a certificate of appreciation to Mark Dougherty, executive director of Housing & Residence Life, for Dougherty‘s work with the Staff Association Council. He has been a SAC member for four years and its president for three years.


The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania, was founded in 1927 and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been presented with The Seven Seals Award by the US Department of Defense’s office of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). Pitt-Johnstown is the regional leader, educating for success in the Real World. The distinctive combination of our people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success.