UCIS Staff Receive Chancellor’s Award

Two members of the University Center for International Studies are 2017 Chancellor’s Staff Award recipients.

Katherine von Lehman, compliance coordinator in the Office of International Services, will receive the Award in the Innovation in Advancing Administrative and Operational Efficiency. Sarah Wagner, director of the Vira I. Heinz Program, will receive the Excellent Mentor Award.

The Innovation in Advancing Administrative and Operational Efficiency Award recognizes staff members who have made exceptional contributions toward effectiveness and efficiency in the workplace, including implementation of innovative approaches to improving productivity or developing cost-saving plans.

Von Lehman has been with Pitt’s Office of International Services since 2011. Chancellor Gallagher lauded her dedication in implementing and customizing the Sunapsis database, streamlining a previously paper-based system for submitting and tracking immigration documentation. Her efforts improved processing times for multiple tasks, including a reduction from three-to-four weeks to eight days for initial student documents.

“Your work has played an important role in helping the University position itself as a leader in international education,” said Gallagher.

The Excellent Mentor Award recognizes staff members who serve as role models and mentors to their colleagues, helping them to develop or improve their skills, acclimate to new positions, or learn new processes so that they can achieve success in their careers at Pitt.

Wagner has been director of the Vira I. Heinz Program for the two years, previously serving as the program’s coordinator since 2008. As she administers the program at 15 member institutions, one of her many responsibilities is to provide guidance and mentorship to program coordinators. She also plans
and executes fall and spring leadership retreats for VIH scholars, who are new to study abroad opportunities. 

Chancellor Gallagher emphasized Wagner’s impact on her colleagues’ careers as she encourages them to develop the skills they need to succeed. He
also highlighted the program’s impact upon students at Pitt’s regional campuses, “opportunities they would not have had if you did not provide guidance and support to the Regional Campus Program Coordinators,” he said.

The awards will be officially presented at a ceremony on December 14, 2017. Both von Lehman and Wagner will receive monetary awards and
will be included on a permanent plaque displayed in William Pitt Union.