University Staff Advisory Council elects leaders, sets goals for 2018-19

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The University Staff Advisory Council (USAC), which serves the president and administration in an advisory capacity about issues that have an impact on staff across the University, has elected new leaders for the 2018-19 academic year.

Jeannine Hanes, client service manager for Penn State World Campus, is chair; Mark Belkowski, business relationship manager for Penn State IT, is chair-elect; Denita Wright Watson, academic program manager for Penn State Great Valley, is secretary; and Samantha Walker, administrative support assistant for the Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education, is secretary–elect.

Hanes is beginning her third year on USAC. She has been a member of USAC’s Campus and Alumni Committee for two years, serving as chair of that committee last year. In the coming year she wants USAC to develop goals in partnership with Human Resources to help improve engagement between Human Resources and staff.

Starting his second year on USAC, Belkowski aims to foster further collaboration, build new relationships and connections, and identify additional opportunities to positively impact the University. 

Belkowski joined USAC because he believes that creating a positive environment is foundational to the overall success of Penn State. For more than five years, Belkowski has served on the Central IT Climate and Diversity Committee, both as past chair and current adviser.

Wright Watson is starting her fourth year on USAC. She aims to maintain open and clear communication across USAC and wants to serve as a connector, so everyone’s opinion is heard and taken into consideration.

For four years, Wright Watson served as a member of the Diversity Action Council at Great Valley. As a Penn State alumna, Wright Watson remains active in mentoring events.

Walker is starting her second year on USAC. She aims to enhance transparency and promote a welcoming environment for all USAC members. 

Walker has been a member of the College of Education’s Diversity and Community Enhancement Committee for three years, serving as chair of DCEC’s Staff Subcommittee during that time.

For more information on USAC, visit