Lt. Col. Mark Kaster, U.S. Air Force (retired) and Sharon Castano were honored by Wilkes University Student Government for their service to students at an extracurricular awards ceremony in April.
Kaster is a lecturer in Wilkes University’s Environmental Engineering and Earth Science Department and serves as the University’s veterans’ counselor. He was honored with the Faculty Choice Award. Kaster is advisor to the campus Veterans Club and assists with veterans’ transition to life as students on the Wilkes campus. The award, which is chosen by a vote of the entire student body, is presented to a faculty member who goes above and beyond his or her job description to enhance the extracurricular life on campus.
Since Kaster’s appointment as veterans’ counselor, the University has been named three times as a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine. The Military Friend Schools list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.
Castano, a coordinator in the University’s student development division, was presented with the Staff Choice Award. Also chosen by a vote of the student body, the award is presented to a staff member who goes above and beyond his or her job description to enhance the extracurricular life on campus.
Castano is responsible for coordinating all internship activities for Wilkes students. In addition, she supervises the Wilkes E-mentor program, which pairs upperclassmen with members of the incoming freshmen class to help facilitate their transition to University life. The E-mentor program was recognized with a national Excellence Award in 2013 presented by the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.
Castano also teaches a First-Year Foundations class in leadership for Wilkes freshmen and a Personal and Professional Development class in leadership in the Sidhu School of Business and Leadership at Wilkes.