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Distinction in Field

Last fall, Ohio University gave a Medal of Merit to IUP professor emeritus Gary Olmstead, who received a master of fine arts degree from Ohio University in 1966. He was one of only 15 to be honored; his specific award is given to alumni who have achieved distinction in their chosen fields. Olmstead retired from the IUP music faculty in 2003 after a career that spanned nearly four decades and included service as director of Percussion Studies and director of the University Percussion Ensemble. A renowned percussionist himself, he has performed and recorded with dozens of celebrated orchestras, ensembles, and music groups, appeared as a solo artist, and written two books and dozens of articles. He was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 2013.

Naming Honors

Vector control involves limiting or eradicating animals, birds, insects, and others that transmit disease pathogens. Last fall, the Pennsylvania Vector Control Association announced it would change the name of its student award to honor Jan Humphreys, an IUP professor emeritus who taught in the Biology Department. Humphreys was actually instrumental in establishing—in 1999—the award that will now bear his name. He has also served as chairperson of the association’s awards committee since its inception. The newly named Dr. Jan G. Humphreys PVCA Academic Award for Student Research in Vector Control recognizes excellence in undergraduate or graduate student research. Three IUP alumni are among the award’s past recipients.

The Performance of Caring

The disciplines of nursing and drama rarely intersect, but IUP Theater and Dance faculty member April Daras combined them in the course “The Performance of Caring” for the university’s nursing students. She also directed student actors in roles as patients in IUP’s Nursing Simulation Lab and developed simulations for doctoral programs in the Educational Psychology and Psychology departments. For these kinds of applied theater activities, Daras recently received an Innovative Teaching Prize from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. An advocate of theater in service to the community, she is also a member of the Pittsburgh Playback Theatre company, an original form of improvisational theater.

Lifetime Achievement in Geography

IUP geography professor emeritus Joseph Bencloski ’64, M’70 received his PhD from Penn State. As a graduate student there, he was assigned in his first assistantship to work with Professor Willard Miller. Bencloski therefore found it especially meaningful last fall when the Pennsylvania Geographical Society gave him the Ruby S. and E. Willard Miller Lifetime Achievement Award, an honor that recognizes exemplary long-term dedication to the discipline of geography and to the society. During the same conference at which he received his award, Bencloski presented a research paper on the previous year’s Super Typhoon Haiyan. He taught at IUP for 24 years, retiring in 2013.

Faculty Deaths

Recently, a number of longtime faculty members died:

  • William Betts Jr., a professor emeritus who retired from the English Department in 1992, died November 7, 2014. He taught in the department for nearly 37 years and served as a volunteer assistant coach for men’s basketball for 17 years.
  • Louise Burky, who retired from the Management Information Systems and Decision Sciences Department in 2005 after 16 years of service, including six years as department chair, died December 18, 2014.
  • Richard Chamberlin, a professor emeritus who retired from the library’s Media Resources Department in 1992 after 25 years of service, died December 8, 2014. He also served as chair of the University Senate.
  • Helen Cooke Cunningham M’76, a member of the Nursing Department faculty for 26 years before her retirement in 1999, died December 28, 2014.
  • Clarence (Alex) Garvin, who retired in 1998 after 29 years as a faculty member in the Economics Department, died December 4, 2014. He established the IUP chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon.
  • Janice Mazzotta Livingston ’91, M’11, who retired from the Center for Career and Technical Personnel Preparation in 2014 after 20 years of service, died January 24, 2015.
  • Larry Miller, a professor emeritus who retired in 1999 after 29 years in the History Department, died September 10, 2013.
  • Jeffrey Ritchey, a faculty member of nearly 10 years in the Adult and Community Education Department, died November 24, 2014.
  • Ronald Steiner, a professor emeritus who retired from the IUP Libraries in 2002 after 34 years of service, died November 25, 2014.
  • Mario Sussmann, a professor emeritus who retired in 2001 after 25 years in the Psychology Department, died October 29, 2014.
  • Elizabeth Troxell, who retired from the Mathematics Department faculty in 1979 after eight years of service, died December 5, 2014.

More from the Spring 2015 Issue of IUP Magazine

Evolution of the Oak Grove

Evolution of the Oak Grove

With the help of botanists, arborists, faculty and staff members, students, and many other supporters, this beloved campus landmark is returning to the beauty of years past.

Front Door: Growing Globally

Front Door: Growing Globally

Nearly 900 strong, the international student population at IUP is enhancing the learning experience for everyone.

Message from the President

President Driscoll discusses how IUP is preparing students to respond to the pivotal issues of today and tomorrow, such as energy independence.

Namedroppers | Achievements | Mentors

Photo Gallery | In Brief | Letters to the Editor

Vantage Point

Selected IUP faculty respond to the question:"As it relates to your academic discipline, what specific historical event is the most underestimated in terms of its impact on society?"

Pitching In

Using hammers, paint brushes, bats, and baseballs, a number of IUP student-athletes have helped build villages—and spirit—in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Recruiting from Within

For alumni and students seeking careers, IUP offers help in many forms. Among the most effective is connecting them with other alumni.