Amy Dietz (1963-2018) was a member of the faculty at the School of Labor and Employment Relations (LER) at Penn State. She helped create LER’s online program, served as a faculty member in the program, and was the student advisor for all of the School’s MPS students in Human Resources and Employment Relations (HRER). She was also a devoted hiker. She relished her mornings, afternoons, or evenings on Mt. Nittany.
During the last week of June LER hosted our online program summer hybrid classes at University Park. These courses involve pre-work online, a week of work on campus, and a final online project. One of the social activities that Amy Dietz had organized several years ago, and every year since, was a hike up Mt. Nittany. Most often the hike occurred on Wednesday evening.
In memory of Amy, this summer we organized the event for Wednesday, June 28th. Thirty students of the 45 attending the classes signed up. Unfortunately rain, including thunderstorms, were part of our weather that day, so we had to reschedule for Friday night. By that time, of course, many students had already left for home. Regardless, of those that remained until Saturday, most participated. They took the Blue Trail, and you can see from the photo that they made it to the top, as did Erin Hetzel of our staff. And they achieved that success in the context of an 88 degree temperature and very high humidity.
(The only persons not able to reach the summit were the instructors! We gave it the proverbial “College Try”; however, legs, lungs and a variety of other factors left us about 1/3 of a mile from success.)
Regardless, all of us were absolutely thrilled to continue the tradition Amy began and one that we will continue to sponsor every summer in memory of the wonderful friend and colleague she was to all of us.
Originally we had intended to place a plaque in Amy’s memory at the summit; however, we learned that would not be permissible. We will place the plaque on a wall in Keller Hall as a memorial to her massive impact on our students, program, faculty and staff.
And did I mention that Amy loved Mt. Nittany?
—Antone J. Aboud, Ph.D.
School of Labor and Employment Relations