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Audio Visual Award Winner Announced

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rachael Hoffman, a senior psychology major, received the Westminster College 2011 Audio Visual Award.

Hoffman is a daughter of Walter and Patricia Hoffman of Transfer and a graduate of Reynolds High School.

Gary Swanson, Westminster College director of audio visual services, said, "The award was created in 1999 to provide public recognition of the exceptional work provided to the campus through AV's work-study students.  An annual ballot of nominees was reviewed by a panel of current faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni.  Rachael's nominated work was selected as ‘most outstanding.'"

Hoffman began as a student assistant and was promoted to the positions of equipment circulation manager and operations manager.  According to Swanson, Hoffman has been consistently recognized by faculty, staff, and her peers for her thoughtful, efficient, and extremely competent approach to her work. 

"As operations manager, Rachael has regularly demonstrated her competence in creative problem-solving, her dedication to helping others overcome obstacles, and shoring up all roles and responsibilities as they relate to the goals of our department and the individuals involved," Swanson added.  "Her support of student and faculty research through AV Services could not be more commendable.  Her contributions to Westminster are innumerable, and I'm delighted that our panel of judges selected her as this year's award winner."

Hoffman organized Westminster's first AV Week technology recycling event after researching vendor policies and business practices and coordinating campus details.  The event was so well received, it has been repeated three times with each one more successful than its predecessor.

She spearheaded AV's battery recycling initiative by helping design the receptacles and coordinating the logistics through campus offices and provided solid leadership in the establishment of Project Green AV.

Within AV Services, she has developed charts and online tools to help customers select the appropriate equipment for their needs; redesigned the department's employee handbook wiki; made improvements to ongoing staff training and "boot camp" training day; and organized an AV curriculum with associated rubrics to improve the training process.

Hoffman provided support with a cooperative grant between AV Services and Westminster's Department of Psychology.  She, Swanson, and Dr. Sandra Webster, Westminster professor of psychology, presented the resulting research at national conferences.  Hoffman has submitted a review which is under consideration for publication in a national consortium journal.

Hoffman is active with Scrawl, Westminster's literary arts publication; Habitat for Humanity; Psychology Club; founding member and past president of Neuroscience Club; and as a psychology department research assistant.  She has been on Dean's List and received a Heinz grant for her senior thesis research at Western Galilee College in Israel.

Hoffman received a framed certificate and bookstore gift certificate.  Her name will be added to the permanent award plaque on display in the audio visual department.

Contact Swanson at (724) 946-7188 or e-mail gswanson@westminster.edu for additional information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top tier liberal arts college, a national leader in graduation rate performance, and a "Great School, Great Price," according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 38th among liberal arts colleges, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 373 Colleges" and "Best in the Northeast" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.


Click image to enlarge.

Rachael Hoffman and Gary Swanson