David T. Gingher Award for Achievement Above and Beyond

Dave Gingher retired in 2020 as Director of Campus Retail Dining and Catering after 44 years of service. During that time he helped create many outstanding food concepts and partnerships at the University. He directs more than 20 on-campus dining locations, including national chains and self-branded concepts, as well as Campus Catering, the campus's catering service, and the Mount Nittany Club at Beaver Stadium. Gingher also provides leadership for the partnership between the University's Hotel and Restaurant School and Cafe Laura. He is also the contract administrator for Panda Express, and oversees Penn State's University Park Campus Pepsi and Vending contracts.


An employee (exempt, non-exempt, technical service, or wage) or group of employees who have worked in or supported Housing and Food Services for at least one year is eligible for this award. Individual employees as well as teams may be considered for this award. Award recipients will not be eligible to be considered for nomination two years in a row.

Selection Process

A director serving as chair, plus a five-member awards committee – consisting of one University Park Housing employee, one University Park Food Services employee, one Campus Housing and Food Services employee, one support unit employee, and the previous year’s award recipient – will select a finalist who demonstrates some or all of the following characteristics:

  • Exceeds customers’/stakeholders’/supervisors’ expectations on a consistent basis
  • Regularly volunteers for extra assignments
  • Willingly and frequently responds to requests for assistance for special projects and additional duties
  • Routinely gathers feedback about programs and services and follows up in positive and productive ways
  • Embraces the concept of continuous quality improvement and actively demonstrates it in the workplace
  • Effectively plans for and deals with change


The recipient will be presented with a statue and a monetary award – and will have his or her name displayed on a plaque in the lobby of the Housing and Food Services Building. If the recipient is a team, they will share in the monetary award and will have the team's name displayed on the plaque.

Read the FAQ's for more information on the nomination process and considerations.


Any customer or employee who works in or supports Housing and Food Services can nominate one or more persons or teams for this award each year.