College Presents Distinguished Teaching Awards

From left, Eugene M. McAvoy, Excellence in Teaching Award recipient%3B Robert G. Bowers, Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award winner%3B and David S. Richards, Excellence in Teaching Award recipient.Pennsylvania College of Technology presented Distinguished Teaching Awards to several faculty members during Saturday’s Spring Commencement ceremonies held at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport.

The college’s highest level of recognition for a faculty member − the Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award, so named in 2006 for the college’s retiring vice president for academic affairs/provost − was bestowed upon Robert G. Bowers, professor of mathematics.

The award is presented to a faculty member who has at least six years’ successful teaching at Penn College. The recipient must be representative of the very best faculty, dedicated to providing the highest quality of experience to students.

Excellence in Teaching Awards were presented to Eugene M. McAvoy, assistant professor of English-composition, and David S. Richards, associate professor of physics.

Excellence in Teaching Awards are presented each May to full-time faculty members who have been nominated by their students and colleagues for excellence in instructional performance.

Bowers began his Penn College employment in 1966 as an assistant professor of mathematics. He was promoted to associate professor in 1968 and professor in 1979. He helped develop the Distinguished Teaching Award Program, in addition to serving as the chair of its selection committee from 1982-93.

Bowers holds a Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University. He earned a master of science degree from the University of Delaware and a bachelor’s degree from Juniata College.

Comments from some of his nominators include:

  • “The extra effort he invests in preparing students to learn allows them to focus more on learning and understanding during class and not just copying what is written on the chalkboard.”
  • “He is the most helpful teacher I have had the opportunity to learn from when approached with a problem. I have often taken up his entire office hour.”

This observation came from a fellow faculty member:

  • “I have been informed by students and have witnessed firsthand that students have continued their education in our field having taken one of his classes. Within the department, his opinions, dedication, sincerity and devotion to advancing education, as well as the college, are highly respected by his colleagues.”

McAvoy began his employment with Penn College in 2003 as an instructor of English-composition; he was promoted to assistant professor in 2006. He earned a master of fine arts degree from Old Dominion University (where he was an instructor of English previously) and bachelor’s degrees from University of the State of New York Regents College.

Comments from his nominators include:

  • “He has an enthusiasm for his subject that is highly contagious.”
  • “So far in his class, I have learned far more than I have in any other. This is due largely to his use of highly innovative teaching techniques.”
  • “He is an excellent listener and is always eager to answer any questions that I have. He makes the atmosphere in class light, so that everyone is comfortable and wants to participate. We learn a great deal through this participation.”

Richards has taught at the college since 1995, beginning as an assistant professor of physics. He was promoted to associate professor in 2000. Previously, he taught at Judson College and Marion Military Institute. He earned a master of science degree from the University of Alabama and a bachelor of science degree from Mary Washington College.

Comments from his nominators include:

  • “He uses the latest technologies in his teaching methods such as WebCT, remote-control class quizzing and tablet PCs.”
  • “He is always willing to entertain a question and is never impatient in his answers.”
  • “His intentions make clear that his commitment is to our learning process and that his class is not a distraction from his own academic interest. We are his academic interest.”

Since 1982, 75 Distinguished Teaching Awards have been presented at Penn College and its immediate predecessor institution, Williamsport Area Community College.

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