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Krys Kaniasty

Distinguished University Professor

Psychology professor Krzysztof (Krys) Kaniasty is the Distinguished University Professor for 2014–2015. IUP honors one faculty member each year with this lifetime title based on outstanding teaching, research, and scholarly activity and service. Kaniasty is perhaps the foremost authority on post-disaster social support. He has conducted and collaborated on large-scale studies around the world investigating social support exchanges, individual and communal coping, and psychological well-being following natural disasters and other major stressors. President of the Stress and Anxiety Research Society, he received the society’s Lifetime Career Award in 2011.

During his tenure as Distinguished University Professor, Kaniasty plans to explore the question, “When is social support actually helpful?” a project that will lay the groundwork for a series of articles or a book examining the complexities of social support processes. He hopes to prepare a set of explicit recommendations for helping people in crises.

Distinguished Faculty Awards

Shundong BiShundong Bi, Department of Biology, received the award for research. Bi’s work focuses on the morphology, systematics, and functional anatomy of mammals. In the last five years, he has published 12 papers in peer-reviewed journals, including a paper in the journal Nature that places the origin of mammals 50 million years earlier than scientists had previously thought.

Ajawad HaijaAjawad Haija, Department of Physics, received the award for teaching. Haija twice was invited to speak for the National Youth Science Foundation. He reviews physics textbook chapters for major publishing houses and is coauthor of Essential Physics and Classical Physics, a textbook in Arabic. Students have recognized Haija for being highly accessible and concerned with their mastery of material.

Kevin EisensmithKevin Eisensmith ’78, Department of Music, received the award for creative arts. Eisensmith has performed and taught around the world while remaining active in regional orchestras as well. He has published more than 50 articles in magazines and journals and been part of more than 30 recordings. A member of the International Trumpet Guild since 1977, he recently received the guild’s Award of Merit, a lifetime achievement award that only 34 others have attained.

Sue RiegSue Rieg, Professional Studies in Education, received the award for service. Rieg has a record of actively supporting students as they prepare for teaching exams, develop their dissertations, and seek financial support. She has mentored new and non-promoted faculty members as they prepared for evaluations and, as department chair, has worked to align faculty teaching with area of expertise and research interest.

Words on the ‘Street’

Mary Jalongo and a friend

Mary Jalongo, of the Department of Professional Studies in Education, is working with the Children’s Television Workshop as a content advisor for Sesame Street. Her work with the show stemmed from a PNC grant to produce a series of episodes focused on building vocabulary. Planners approached Jalongo after an Internet search turned up her textbooks on language arts and creativity and a review of her research on young children’s vocabulary development. In this service role, Jalongo critiques drafts of television program scripts, mobile apps, and materials provided free to teachers and families. “The question I have to answer is, ‘How do you explain it to them like they’re five years old?’” she said. Named Distinguished University Professor in 1991, Jalongo was also a consultant for PBS Boston’s Martha Speaks!

Faculty Deaths

  • Alma Bagley Kazmer ’47, professor emerita and former chair of the Department of Home Economics and Child Development, died March 1, 2014. She retired in 1985 after 23 years of service.
  • Eva Vouklizas, a Music Department faculty member from 1967 until her retirement in 1994, died April 1, 2014.
  • Dennis Whitson, professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Physics, died May 3, 2014. He retired in 2003 after 34 years of service.

More from the Summer 2014 Issue of IUP Magazine

Reining In the Party

Reining In the Party

Members of the campus community, including President Michael Driscoll, talk about the challenges IUP and other universities face with excessive partying and what they’re doing to combat it.

A True Underdog Story

A True Underdog Story

The women’s rugby club lacked a coach, visibility, and the funds to go to the national tournament, but its title run was the stuff Hollywood movies are made of.

Namedroppers | Achievements

Photo Gallery | Letters to the Editor | In Brief

Comment on This Issue

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Distinguished Alumni Awards

The IUP Alumni Association presented its highest honor to 10 alumni in fields ranging from the arts and culinary arts to the military and television and film production.

Cool Summer

Each summer, the campus provides learning opportunities to students from elementary through high school while giving valuable experience to IUP student helpers.

Celebrating Keith School

Former Keith School students, student teachers, and faculty members will gather this fall to say goodbye to the building.