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Carleen Dinello

Working with students and faculty at Penn State Beaver makes Carleen Dinello happy.

“I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather do,” said Dinello, assistant director of academic affairs and senior instructor in reading and English. “I’ve always wanted to be a teacher since I was a little kid.”

Getting to that point, though, took time. After her freshman year in college, Dinello got married and started a family. It took 12 years for her to complete her undergraduate degree in English and social sciences. “I wanted to graduate before I turned 30, and I did that,” she said.

From there she completed her master’s degree, eventually getting a job with an adult literacy program that became part of Penn State Beaver.

Dinello, who has worked at Beaver for 23 years, enjoys the fact that each day offers a new challenge.

Her job now primarily consists of overseeing the English department and hiring adjunct faculty.

“I’ve always been so proud to tell people I work for Penn State,” Dinello said, pointing at the PSU pin on her jacket. “We are a family.”

Penn State Beaver offers a sense of home she thinks is necessary for students transitioning from high school to college.

“Everyone is given the chance to try what they want to do,” she said.

It’s also a good starting point for education majors before continuing to one of the eight Penn State locations that offer the final two years of a degree in education.

“It’s a place for them to grow before they can fly,” she said.

As part of education majors’ first-year curriculum, students are given the opportunity to work with students from local school districts to gain experience and to help them decide on their definite major.  

“Being an educator isn’t just a job. It’s something that has to come from inside you,” Dinello said.


Master’s Degree
Education, Slippery Rock University

Bachelor’s Degree
English and Social Studies, Geneva College

Writing skills
Basic essay development
Reading skills
Study skills and time management
Learning styles
Memory skills
Note taking skills
Strategies for successful test taking