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Excellence in Teaching Awards Presented to Penn College Faculty

Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty members Dr. Joseph E. LeBlanc and Mary Jo Saxe were presented with Excellence in Teaching Awards during spring commencement ceremonies at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport.

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

Dr. LeBlanc, an instructor of physics, has been employed by the College since 2000. Previously, he taught at Nagoya University, Japan, where he was an assistant professor, and at the University of Puerto Rico, where he was a lab instructor.

He also was employed as an English conversation teacher in Nagoya by Language Resources Ltd. In addition, Dr. LeBlanc was a research associate at Nagoya University and was on the technical staff at Hughes Aircraft Co.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Puerto Rico, a master’s degree in physics from California State University and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from Nagoya University.

A student nominator wrote: “Dr. LeBlanc is always there when you need him. He comes to the classroom one hour before class begins to help anyone needing it. He genuinely loves the discipline and imparts that enthusiasm to the class. He demonstrates a high degree of professionalism and although eminently fair, expects us to perform to the best of our ability.”

Another student nominator wrote: “His enthusiasm is contagious. . . . Dr. LeBlanc is very knowledgeable about the subject. He is always thinking of ways to demonstrate the theory to the students. If a student has an idea, he thinks how he can work it into his experiments. . . . He is always checking to see if the student understands the material that is being presented that day.”

Saxe, an associate professor of dental hygiene, has been employed by the College since 1989. Before becoming a full-time instructor of dental hygiene in 1992, she had been employed as a part-time and temporary full-time instructor at Penn College. She was promoted to assistant professor in 1996 and associate professor in 1999.

Previously, she was a student teacher at Penn College and Thomas Jefferson University and an instructor of nursing staff seminars at the Unitarian Home, Philadelphia. She also held dental hygienist positions with various dentists in Pennsylvania and was a program coordinator of the Children’s Community Dental Health Program at Girard College.

Saxe earned a certificate in dental hygiene from the University of Pennsylvania, a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from Thomas Jefferson University and a master of health administration from the University of Scranton.

A student nominator said of Saxe: “Just by talking to Mrs. Saxe, you can feel her genuine kindness and enthusiasm. Always with a smile on her face, she is there for each one of us and treats us with empathy and fairness. . . . She’s awesome, so kind! Mrs. Saxe is so understanding and she always tells us that we can do it! She is also always willing to give us extra help or material that will help us succeed.”

The nominator continued: “Mrs. Saxe, with her constant smile, kindness and intelligence has inspired me immensely. I want to be a professor just like her. . . . Mrs. Saxe has helped me bring out the best of me.”

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