Colleen Lang Honored with Achieving Women Award
Colleen Lang, a food service and production worker in Pollock Dining Commons, was presented with the Achieving Women Award at an awards luncheon on April 7 at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center.
Sponsored by the Penn State Commission for Women, this award recognizes Penn State women who have shown “notable leadership and accomplishment in their fields, and have gone beyond the requirements of their employment duties and responsibilities in support of the University’s diversity efforts, promotion of equal opportunity, or contribution to human causes and public service activities.”
“It’s obvious that Colleen loves taking care of all our students and is interested in their success,” says Jamie Robinson, assistant manager at Pollock Dining Commons. “She seems to be most at home when teaching student co-workers new recipes and helping them with things they may have never done before.”
Lang says her favorite part of her job is getting to know student employees and student customers and being their “mom away from home.” As well as baking treats for students—including mini-Oreo cheesecakes, pineapple upside down muffins, and banana bread—Lang enjoys teaching her student co-workers how to bake. “Co-workers bring me recipes from their family cookbooks or recipes they want to try,” she says. “I love working with student employees who have never baked before. I showed one student who was from China and new to baking how to make a fruit turnover. She was so excited that she took a photo and sent it to her mom, back home in China. My recipe went halfway around the world!”
Robinson, who nominated Lang for the award, calls her “the teammate that everyone wants” and cites Lang’s professionalism, cheerful disposition, enthusiasm, and Penn State pride as examples of excellence on the job. “Colleen takes special pride in serving the Nittany Lion Training Table, where she balances many tasks while providing a superior guest experience,” Robinson says. “She has developed a following for her creativity and talent—students and staff alike visit her daily and ask for her if she is absent.”
Lang was also recognized in the nomination for volunteering for extra assignments and seeking out opportunities to learn new things and strengthen her skills.
For Lang, being honored with the Achieving Women Award was unexpected. “I was surprised,” she says. “I’m just trying to do my job the best that I can, and I never expected to win an award for it.”