Norman Hipps, president of Saint Vincent College, presented the Projektenmacher Award to Nancy Rottler.
Nancy Rottler M’00, D’13, director of the Opportunity/Act 101/Student Support
Services (SSS-TRIO) Program at Saint Vincent College and assistant professor of health sciences, was named the sixth annual winner of Saint Vincent College’s Projektenmacher Award in recognition of her initiatives that, in the spirit of Saint
Vincent founder Boniface Wimmer, “have brought vision to reality through hard work and perseverance.” The award was presented by Saint Vincent College President Norman W. Hipps, O.S.B., during the Founders’ Day Honors Convocation on November 17 in
the Saint Vincent Basilica.
Seven years ago on Founders’ Day, Br. Norman announced his intention to begin honoring a member of the Saint Vincent College community annually with a Projektenmacher Award.
“Boniface Wimmer’s fellow monks were derisive of his vision for a mission
to America, and even nicknamed him, ‘Der Projektenmacher, that big plan-maker! That dreamer!’,” Br. Norman commented. “But at the end of Wimmer’s life, after 40 years of extraordinary accomplishments in America including the establishment
of seven monasteries, 75 schools and 152 parishes, Projektenmacher came to identify an individual who got things done, to realize visions, to enlist support and collaboration of his fellow monks and lay colleagues.”
“As Wimmer was concerned about the education of immigrants and those most in need, and created schools to serve them, so has Nancy Rottler directed and expanded our Opportunity Program to assist not only first generation students at Saint Vincent (who
typically have numbered 40 percent of our incoming class), but also those students who have experienced academic challenges,” Br. Norman commented in his presentation of the award. “She has done this, not as an administrator disconnected from the
students, but incredibly involved with the personal commitment as the mentor, confidant, advocate and motivator. She has found partners in her staff, but also grateful former students, now alumni, who are willing to support and encourage current students.
She works with the resources at hand but relentlessly seeks out more funding doing dogged work in grant writing. Nancy lives her motto/equation, Students + Service = Success.”
“I share this distinction not only with my colleagues, I wish to recognize our students and graduates, many of whom have already started to serve as alumni mentors for the program,” Rottler commented in accepting the award. “Each day, you challenge me
and provide me with endless occasions to channel positive energy, support your endeavors and celebrate your accomplishments. You have accepted challenges and persevered to the many opportunities presented to you in a successful way. Your success motivates
and inspires me.”
A 1986 graduate of Greensburg Salem High School, she earned a bachelor of arts degree in business economics with a concentration in management and a minor in communications at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. She completed a master of arts degree
in student affairs in higher education with highest honors at IUP in 2000 and was named to the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Rottler was awarded a doctor of education degree in administration and leadership studies with highest honors at IUP in 2013.
Her doctoral research explored the predictive variables associated with the academic help-seeking behavior of academically and financially disadvantaged students across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The dissertation was titled, “Academic Help-Seeking
Behavior of Act 101 Students: Who Seeks Help? Who Is Reluctant?”
A member of the Saint Vincent administrative staff since 1993, she has been director of the Opportunity program since 2001. She previously served as associate director of admission and financial aid. She also teaches leadership and management, ethics
and research methods for the nurse anesthetist program at Saint Vincent.
At Saint Vincent, Rottler is a member of the Financial Aid Appeal Committee, co-chair of the Middle States Self-Study Working Group on Governance, Leadership and Administration, member of the STEP Scholar Advisory Committee and STEP Scholar Selection
Committee, Academic Status Committee and the Retention Intervention Committee.
She is also a member of the Westmoreland County Community College Student Support Services Advisory Board, ACT 101 Advisory Committee for the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), Pennsylvania Association of TRIO Programs, Mid-Eastern
Association of Education Opportunity Programs Personnel, National Academic Advising Association and the Pennsylvania Association of Developmental Educators.
Rottler is the daughter of Mary Lou Murtha Rottler of Greensburg and the late Martin J. Rottler.
She is a member of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral Parish, Greensburg, where she is a lector, and a member of the church finance council and Christ Life moderator. She serves as secretary of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Alumni Association and
is a fund-raising volunteer for Action for Animals in Latrobe.
During the past 41 years, the Saint Vincent Opportunity program has helped more than 2,000 students with potential and ability learn the skills they need to succeed during their college years and beyond. The program received the inaugural Crossroads Foundation
Award for Excellence in Advancing Educational Attainment.