Petrou Receives the Mary McCormick Distinguished Staff Award

By:  Ashley Duvelius

Lana D. Petrou, CEAS Information Technology Analyst and Graduate Student, receives the CEAS 2012 Mary McCormick Distinguished Staff Award for her dependability, dedication and consistently going above and beyond ordinary job duties in supporting the college’s faculty and staff.

“I consider myself fortunate that UC chose me,” reflects Lana D. Petrou, a University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science Information Technology Analyst with a renaissance background. After earning her BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University, she worked as a Manufacturing Engineer at Cincinnati Milacron in the Electronic Systems Division for 12 years.

Labna Petrou

Switching gears, she was then employed as a User Support Analyst and Network Analyst at Mosler, Inc. for about 2 years. Due to the country’s tough economic times, Mosler, Inc. abruptly went out of business in early August of 2001. While searching online for jobs, Lana came across her current position at UC.

“Lucky for me, I was one of five applicants out of approximately 100 applicants to get an on-site interview. After meeting the Office of College Computing staff, I knew I’d fit right into the team. I was pleasantly surprised when I got the call to offer me the position,” she remarks. Within a month, Lana was in the career that changed her life.

As an Information Tech Analyst for  College Computing, Lana provides consultative, technical and training support services to administrative PC users in CEAS. She says, “My job is a combination of tech support, system administration, and computer training. I address hardware installations and break/fix issues, software installations and how-to questions, network connectivity issues, security vulnerabilities, server installation and configuration, among other things for the CEAS administrative staff. I’m just one of the people behind-the-scenes that keep things working for the CEAS faculty and staff, so that they can serve our students in the most efficient manner possible.”

While working full time for CEAS, Lana took night classes and achieved her MS in Business Administration- Information Systems in June 2011. Currently she works full-time and takes classes toward earning an MBA. Lana is more than satisfied with her decision to change from industrial engineering to information technology.  Her strong desire to learn drives her to pursue advanced degrees at UC. “I’m happy that I work at a place that values education,” Lana adds.

As for her career change, Lana affirms that she is doing what she really enjoys. “I changed careers because I found that I enjoyed helping people and teaching them about computers. In retrospect, it makes sense that I initially chose Industrial Engineering because it combined people, processes, and equipment. IT essentially covers these same areas, except the equipment is a computer instead of manufacturing machinery.”

Lana’s dedication, positive spirits, and exemplary work have earned her CEAS’ 2012 Mary McCormick Distinguished Staff Award. She explains, “I’m honored to receive this prestigious award.  Since I work with and support CEAS faculty and staff, I know how many talented and dedicated employees we have in this college. By receiving this award, I feel that my pursuit to find my purpose was worth it. It was a difficult journey, but this award makes me feel that I’m on the right path.”

The McCormick Staff Award honors one member of the College of Engineering and Applied Science staff. In the committee's judgment, the winner will have demonstrated exemplary service that has significantly contributed to and furthered the mission of the College of Engineering and Applied Science by demonstrating dependability, dedication, supporting and encouraging community spirit, consistently going above and beyond ordinary job duties, demonstrating initiative and innovation in work.

As she eagerly continues on her journey, Lana lives by the philosophy of an anonymous writer - “Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express, not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt.” Her talent and dedication both in the office and in the classroom is the essence of what makes UC-CEAS the place to be.   

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