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Penn College Recognizes Employees, Alumni, Distinguished Faculty

Pennsylvania College of Technology recently presented its 1997 Distinguished Teaching Awards, honored Part-Time Teaching Excellence, named its Alumnus of the Year, and recognized a number of employees.

Distinguished Teaching Awards
Pennsylvania College of Technology announced 1997 Distinguished Teaching Awards at commencement ceremonies held Saturday, May 17, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., in the Community Arts Center in downtown Williamsport.

  • The highest level of College recognition for faculty, the “Master Teacher Award” was presented to Dennis E. Fink, assistant professor of horticulture
  • Receiving “Excellence in Teaching Awards” were Dr. William B. Urosevich, assistant professor of biology, and Monica J. Lanczak, instructor of food and hospitality/culinary arts.

Fink, of Jersey Shore, graduated from Penn College’s predecessor, Williamsport Area Community College, in 1973 and began employment at the College in August 1974 as an instructor of horticulture. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1995. In addition to teaching, Fink formerly owned and operated a floral and greenhouse business for a number of years.

One of Fink’s nominators stated: “He gives you the feeling you can reach your goals and believe in yourself. He treats everyone with a great deal of respect.” Others offered: “Communication with this instructor is flawless. He always retains an open ear” and “He does an excellent job of extending learning beyond the classroom.”

The “Master Teacher” is chosen from nominees having at least six years of successful teaching experience. The “Master Teacher” is representative of the very best of faculty dedication to providing the highest quality of experience for students of the College.

Dr. Urosevich, of Lewisburg, earned a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry from Wilkes University in 1976, a master of science in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1979, and a doctor of optometry from Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1983. Urosevich also served in the U.S. Army, last serving as chief of contact-lens services at the West Point Military Academy. He began working at Penn College in August 1992 as a part-time substitute instructor of anatomy and physiology. He was employed full time as instructor of biology in August 1993 and promoted to assistant professor that same year. In addition to teaching, Urosevich is the senior partner at Urosevich Eye Associates, a primary-care optometry practice in Lewisburg.

His commitment to teaching excellence is demonstrated through these student comments: “I’ve never seen or been instructed by a more intelligent, enthusiastic or capable instructor” and “His lectures were stimulating and I always felt as though I could listen to him for hours.” Additionally, a nominator indicated, “He is unparalleled by any instructor I have had at this institution.”

Lanczak, of Williamsport, earned a bachelor of science degree in fine arts from Carlow College, Pittsburgh, in 1975. She received certification as a pastry cook in 1981 and certification as a pastry chef in 1984, both from the Los Angeles Trade and Technical College, American Culinary Federation Apprenticeship. A native of the Pittsburgh area, Lanczak previously worked as a pastry chef at a number of gourmet restaurants and hotels and also served as a culinary institute instructor. She began full-time employment at Penn College as an instructor of food and hospitality/culinary arts in August 1994.

One of her nominators stated: “She personifies professionalism and brings the reality of industry into the classroom and lab.” Other comments included: “She has displayed enthusiasm and creativity for projects, knowing that students will benefit from intensive involvement” and “She is a firm believer in learning for life and encourages her students to be open and receptive.”

The Distinguished Teaching Awards are sponsored by the Penn College Foundation, with the Master Teacher Award recipient receiving $1,000 and the two Excellence in Teaching Award honorees each earning $500. The Distinguished Teachers also receive the opportunity to work on special College projects. Since 1982, 47 full-time faculty members have been honored for their excellence in teaching and outstanding service to students. Nominations are received from students and other individuals with direct knowledge of a nominee’s work and dedication. Faculty are chosen from nominations by a representative selection committee which includes faculty, students, administrators and a member of the Corporate Advisory Board and the College Board of Directors. Each award winner exemplifies the College philosophy of dedication to excellence in instruction and the College practice of quality service for all students.

Part-Time Teaching Excellence Awards
Pennsylvania College of Technology presented 1997 Part-Time Teaching Excellence Awards to two adjunct faculty members recently. Honored as distinguished instructors were Jenny M. Maurer, of Williamsport, and Robert L. Matchock, of Bellefonte.

Maurer began teaching office administration at Penn College in 1994. She is employed as a cataloging assistant in the College Library and previously worked as a laboratory assistant for the Individualized Learning Center; her full-time employment at the College dates back to 1982. A 1980 graduate of Troy Senior High School, Maurer earned a computer science degree from the College’s predecessor, Williamsport Area Community College, in 1982, and a degree in early childhood education from Penn College in 1992.

A part-time instructor in psychology, Matchock began teaching at Penn College in 1994. He is in the doctoral program in psychology at The Pennsylvania State University, working on a Ph.D. in experimental psychobiology. He earned a master’s degree in experimental psychology at Marywood College and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Maurer and Matchock were honored at a reception in the College’s Thompson Professional Development Center. The event was attended by family, colleagues, students and College officials. This was the eighth year that part-time faculty have been included in the naming of “distinguished educators” at Penn College. The educators are honored for their of excellence in instruction and outstanding service to students. Nominations are received from students and other individuals with direct knowledge of a nominee’s work and dedication. Full-time faculty are honored at Penn College’s annual spring commencement exercises.

Retirement System Director Named Penn College Alumnus of the Year
James A. Perry, executive director of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System, has been honored as Penn College’s 1997 Alumnus of the Year. The award was presented Saturday, May 17, at Penn College’s 2 p.m. commencement ceremony, held in the Community Arts Center in downtown Williamsport.

A native of Renovo and graduate of Bucktail Area High School, Perry is a 1967 graduate of Penn College’s predecessor, Williamsport Area Community College, where he studied business management. Additionally, he graduated from Elizabethtown College, received a master’s degree in government administration from The University of Pennsylvania, and served in the U.S. Army Air Defense Command.

Perry joined the PSERS staff in 1971 as an accountant. In 1984, he was named the system’s sixth executive director. PSERS has assets in excess of $36 billion and ranks as the 14th-largest public pension fund in the United States. The system has more than 200,000 active contributing members and nearly 120,000 retirees receiving monthly benefits. The nearly 300-person PSERS staff works at the system’s headquarters in downtown Harrisburg and at seven regional field offices. The Alumnus of the Year says his alma mater “provides an excellent foundation and education which focuses on the skills you need in the workplace. I picked up my basic skills in accounting and management at the College.”

Addressing the Penn College graduates, Perry said, “I am very honored to share this day with the graduating class. From my experience, I can tell you that you have established an excellent foundation upon which to build your total education… Life is a constant learning experience… and education is the key to success and prosperity. Take advantage of every opportunity you have to learn and develop new skills, be a good listener, and always try to do the right thing.”

Perry is past president of the National Council on Teacher Retirement and past chair of the Legislative Committee for the Public Pension Coordinating Council. He is also a member of the Government Finance Officers Association.

Perry resides in West Hanover Township near Harrisburg, where he was previously active with the Keystone Area Council of Boy Scouts, the Mountain View Swim Club Board, and the Township Planning Commission. His wife, Barbara, is an instructor at the Harrisburg Area Community College. The couple has two sons. One is a sophomore at The Pennsylvania State University’s University Park campus; the other is a recent Penn State graduate in international finance. Perry is the son of Isobel Perry, of Renovo, and the late Jerome Perry. In addition to his mother, a number of other relatives live in the Renovo area.

Nominations for the Outstanding Alumnus award are accepted for graduates of Penn College (or its predecessors, Williamsport Area Community College and Williamsport Technical Institute) who have made significant contributions in his/her chosen field or benefited his/her community, state or nation.

Penn College Recognizes Outstanding Employees
Pennsylvania College of Technology conducted its annual Employee Recognition Week during the week of May 12.

A highlight of the week was a special reception, held Wednesday, May 14, in the College’s Professional Development Center honoring recipients of the Distinguished Staff Awards, new members of the College’s Quarter Century Club, and retirees. This was the second year the College presented Distinguished Staff Awards to recognize outstanding full-time employees. One honoree was selected from each of the College’s three staff classifications: administrative, professional and technical; classified, and service staff.

Patricia J. Martin, clinical coordinator of occupational therapy assisting, was honored for her work as an APT staff member. Martin, of Hughesville, joined the College in her current position in January 1991. She earned an associate degree in practical nursing from the College’s predecessor, Williamsport Area Community College, and an associate degree in occupational therapy assistant from Penn College. She is certified by the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy and licensed as a certified occupational therapy assistant in the state of Pennsylvania.

Nancy J. Schick, secretary to the dean of student services, earned recognition for her service as a classified employee. Schick, of Williamsport, has worked at the College since January 1972. She first served as a secretary in the College Library and has, for several years, worked as a secretary for a number of top College administrators, primarily in Student Services.

Clyde L. Worley, custodian at the Lumley Aviation Center, was honored for his dedication as a service staff member. Worley, of Jersey Shore RR 2, joined the College’s General Services department in June 1982 and has provided custodial and maintenance service to the Aviation Center since May 1989. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in Bible from Highland College, in California, and a master of divinity degree in theology from Faith Seminary, near Philadelphia. He is an ordained minister.

The Distinguished Staff Award winners received a framed certificate and $500 each from the College Foundation.

Also honored at the Employee Recognition reception were six College employees who are celebrating their 25th anniversary of service to the institution. The new inductees into the College’s Quarter Century Club are:

  • Janice A. Kuzio, assistant director of financial aid
  • Nancy J. Schick, secretary to the dean of student services
  • Joan L. McFadden, secretary to the physician assistant program
  • Richard J. Weilminster, faculty, horticulture
  • Dr. Dennis F. Ringling, faculty, forestry
  • the late Thomas F. Ott, custodian, whose daughter, Debra McQuade, accepted the honor on his behalf

Also recognized at the special gathering were 11 Penn College employees who announced their retirement in the 1996-97 academic year:

  • Charles A. Brooke, faculty, mathematics
  • Ann R. Durinzi, coordinator of educational services
  • Richard P. Eck Sr., carpenter
  • Judith Michael, toolroom attendant, electrical
  • Victor A. Michael Sr., faculty, electronics
  • Joseph B. Murphy, faculty, carpentry
  • Rita C. Ulrich, faculty, business administration
  • Barbara H. Williams, faculty, drafting
  • Donald R. Womeldorf, custodian
  • Clyde L. Worley, custodian, Aviation Center
  • John L. Yost, supervisor of plumbing/heating & cooling systems
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