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Three faculty members honored for ‘Excellence in Teaching’


Three faculty members at Pennsylvania College of Technology were presented with Excellence in Teaching Awards at the start of the 2020-21 academic year.

As part of the Distinguished Teaching Awards program at Penn College, President Davie Jane Gilmour presented Excellence in Teaching Awards to Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture; Barbara F. Di Marco, assistant professor of mathematics; and Heather S. Dorman, instructor of physician assistant.

Distinguished Teaching Awards are presented to full-time faculty at Penn College who have been nominated by their students and colleagues for excellence in instructional performance. There have been 115 recipients since the program began in 1982: 33 Master Teacher Awards and 82 Excellence in Teaching Awards.

“From day one, teaching has been at the core of who we are,” Gilmour said. “As is obvious through comments from their students and colleagues alike, Carl, Barb and Heather are among the very best at putting that mission into practice.”

Carl J. Bower Jr.Carl J. Bower Jr.
Bower earned associate degrees from Penn College in business management (1990) and landscape/nursery technology (1993) and a bachelor’s in technology management (2005). A member of the Penn College faculty since 2001 – full time starting in 2006 – he also holds a master’s in education from Wilkes University.

Comments in support of his nomination include:

  • “My skies are endless, and it all started with Mr. Bower’s infectious knowledge and passions.”
  • “Mr. Bower will do everything in his power to ensure our labs are hands-on and in the trade. We won’t look at pictures of plants; we will be outside touching, seeing and learning the plants – up close and personal.”
  • “He sees potential inside of me that I fail to see, and gives me the little extra motivation to bring out what I don’t believe is there.”

Barbara F. Di MarcoBarbara F. Di Marco
Di Marco joined the college faculty full time in 2007 after teaching at the high school level and as an adjunct instructor for evening classes at Penn College. She holds a certificate in statistics, a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s in instructional systems from Penn State.

Comments from her nominators include:

  • “She has vast knowledge and understanding of the subject and shares how math relates to problem-solving in the real world. She takes time to be sure we are able to accomplish our goals of competency of the subject matter before tests because, when her students accomplish their goals, she has accomplished her goal, as well.”
  • “She allows us to offer advice and critique her lesson plans to know what we like or dislike about her methods. Because of her, I have developed a new fondness of math that I never had before.”
  • “You can tell Professor Di Marco continuously spends time and thought on her syllabus and teaching to make the subject be easy to understand and remember – not just for a test, but for a lifetime.”

Heather S. DormanHeather S. Dorman
Dorman, a 1994 graduate of the Williamsport Hospital and Medical Center Paramedic Training Institute, received a Penn College bachelor’s degree in physician assistant studies in 2005. She earned a master’s in instructional systems-educational technology from Penn State. She was named clinical director of the college’s physician assistant program in 2008 and joined the faculty in Fall 2018.

Among her nominators’ observations:

  • “She has been a great example for students of the necessity of continuing education, being willing to take her personal time to learn the skills required to effectively teach ultrasound skills, even collaborating with her clinical colleagues.”
  • “Heather is consistently available for her students, both as a mentor and instructor. She has arranged personal review sessions for students who are struggling academically, is available for students even outside of course or office hours, and never hesitates to lend an ear to students who are facing personal issues, either.”
  • “Heather initiated a plan to provide students with pre-rotation skills workshops and quizzes so that they could self-identify and improve upon any knowledge gaps or skill deficits prior to entering the clinical setting. This approach was in direct contrast to the previous practice, where instructors would work with unsuccessful students coming off failed rotations in an effort to remediate deficiencies identified after the rotation had already ended, when it was too late for the student to improve course outcomes.”

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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