Retiring Great Valley staff members to miss friendliness of campus

MALVERN, Pa. — After over 40 combined years of work, Millie Ingersoll, admissions counselor, and Donna Carotenuto, assistant registrar and student services representative, will retire from Penn State Great Valley at the end of June. Both are members of the enrollment management and student services department, and will miss the friendship and humor of their team.

Ingersoll came to Penn State Great Valley from an orthodontics office in 1995. Hired as a staff assistant in the education department, she reported to JoAnn Kelly — one of her colleagues today. Some of Ingersoll’s first responsibilities included designing departmental brochures.

Carotenuto was already working at an area engineering firm when she started another part-time position in Great Valley’s career services department in 1996. Later that year, a full-time position opened up in the registrar’s office, where Carotenuto has stayed for nearly 21 years.

When the two started in enrollment management and student services, course registration was completed in person. Known then as “one stop shopping,” students could walk in, meet with a staff member, apply, pay, and sign up for courses — all before beginning their workdays at nearby companies. When Ingersoll and Carotenuto would arrive for work, the parking lot was already full, and lines of students spanned the lengths of the Main Building’s halls. Donuts were served to accommodate the crowd on the first day. The registrations transitioned online — first to eLion, then to LionPath.

The two credit their decades-long tenure to the conviviality and closeness of their department. Both women have a deep fondness for their colleagues. Carotenuto appreciates Elizabeth del Valle’s strong memory; Ingersoll claims Pat Misselwitz has been the best part of her job.

Many members of the enrollment management and student services team started at Great Valley around the same time. Together, they went through changes — both on campus and in their personal lives. They raised children together and supported each other through difficult times.

“Everyone is supportive and caring,” Carotenuto noted. “I’m going to miss the friendliness of the entire campus.”

Both Ingersoll and Carotenuto have learned to be adaptable and flexible. They try to add humor to each day — even when things do not go as planned. The two burst out laughing when they remembered a time when Carotenuto mistakenly wore two different shoes to work.

“This is a great team,” said Ingersoll. “Students are our first priority, and that’s shared among all of us. Even when we faced challenges, we made each other laugh and accomplished our tasks.”

After retirement, Carotenuto will move to a home on the beach, and looks forward to visits from her six grandchildren. She plans to volunteer; her sister is involved with the Special Olympics.

Ingersoll is also excited to spend time with her four grandchildren. Two live in California, where her husband often travels for work. Ingersoll plans to accompany him on these trips. She’s excited for the new phase in her life, and plans to discover her next passion — whether it be traveling or volunteering.