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‘Master Teacher,’ ‘Excellence in Teaching’ Awards Presented


The Master Teacher Award, the highest level of recognition accorded to a Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member, was presented today to Dale A. Metzker, an associate professor of printing and publishing who is retiring after a 39-year career with Penn College and its two predecessor institutions.

Metzker received the award during commencement ceremonies held at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport.

The College also presented Excellence in Teaching Awards to Kenneth C. Kuhns, assistant professor of electrical technology/occupations; and Denise S. Leete, associate professor of computer science.

The Master Teacher is chosen each year from faculty nominees having at least six years of experience at the College. The Master Teacher must demonstrate dedication to providing the highest quality educational experience for students.

Metzker began his career with the College in 1963 as a production printer for Williamsport Technical Institute. He joined the faculty in 1966 as an instructor of graphic arts, after W.T.I. had become Williamsport Area Community College. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1971 and associate professor in 1983.

“I can think of no greater endorsement for his skill as a teaching professional than the fact that his retirement celebration was organized and executed completely by his students,” Penn College President Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour said of Metzker.

“During his impressive career, he has seen the field of printing and publishing evolve from a mechanical typesetting platform to today’s computerized electronic data processing,” Dr. Gilmour continued. “Throughout that time, he has maintained his currency and his expectations for students. Throughout his career, he has adhered in his teaching to the highest standards and created a teaching environment that allowed his students to live up to those standards.”

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.

Kuhns began his career with Penn College in 1990 as an instructor of electronics technology. He was promoted to assistant professor of electrical technology/electrical occupations in 1994.

He is an alumnus of the College, having earned an associate’s degree from Williamsport Area Community College in 1979. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from The Pennsylvania State University in 1983.

One of the students who nominated Kuhns had this to say about his teaching abilities: “He always clearly shows the theory he is explaining in class in many different ways. He will show a circuit, and then draw it in detail so as to show us the path that the electricity will take. He then shows the mathematical equations and solutions for the circuit, and finally illustrates the math in graphic form to make sure that each student has a clear understanding of what is occurring in this particular example.”

This praise came from a colleague: “I know firsthand that his work is impeccable, his standards high, his expectations for students considerable and yet compassionate, and his quest for what works in the classroom is never-ending.”

Leete, a Williamsport resident, began her career at Penn College in 1985 as an instructor of computer science. She was promoted to assistant professor in 1993 and associate professor in 1999.

Leete earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Alfred University in 1981 and a master’s degree in data processing from Shippensburg University in 1986.

Of Leete’s teaching prowess, a nominating student had this to say: “She created a relaxed classroom environment that was conducive to student participation. I never had a question that she did not find the time to answer, even when it meant staying after class, sometimes for considerable amounts of time.”

A colleague of Leete’s provided these comments: “She clearly demonstrates initiative, enthusiasm, creativity, humor and fairness in her approach. She is critical of her teaching and strives for continuous improvement.”

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