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IUP Mentors: Summer 2017

Distinguished University Professor

Teresa Shellenbarger

Professor of nursing and coordinator of the PhD program in nursing, Teresa Shellenbarger is IUP’s 2017-18 Distinguished University Professor. A member of the faculty since 1994, Shellenbarger has built a reputation as an innovator in the nursing field for her leadership in using new technologies to promote learning in the classroom, online, and in clinical learning environments. She is coauthor of Clinical Teaching Strategies in Nursing, a textbook used in graduate programs across the country and internationally. During her tenure as Distinguished University Professor, she plans to work on two books: a fifth edition of her Clinical Teaching Strategies in Nursing and a new book explaining recently developed clinical nurse educator competencies. Faculty members honored with the designation hold the title Distinguished University Professor for life and receive a grant and a reduced teaching load for one year to assist with research and scholarship.

Faculty Awards

The University Senate presented four Distinguished Faculty Awards in May:

Lisa Price

Professor Lisa Price received the award for teaching. A member of the Communication Disorders, Special Education, and Disability Services Department since 2007, she is committed to developing speech-language pathologists who conduct thorough evaluations and provide gold-standard treatments.

Justin Fair

Justin Fair, associate professor of chemistry, received the award for service. A faculty member since 2009, he started the Research Experiences for Summer Scholars program, which provides students with research, networking, and professional development opportunities.

Stanley Chepaitis

Stanley Chepaitis, associate professor of music, received the award for creative arts. A faculty member for 25 years, Chepaitis chairs the IUP string faculty and is first violinist of the Litton Quartet, the resident faculty string ensemble.

Todd Thompson

Todd Thompson, associate professor of English, received the award for research. A faculty member since 2009, he has written a number of articles, editions, and book chapters, as well as the 2015 book The National Joker: Abraham Lincoln and the Politics of Satire.

New Faculty Emeriti

The following faculty members were recently awarded emerita/emeritus status: John Baker, 18 years, and Ed Donley, 28 years, Mathematics; George Bieger, 31 years, and Valeri Helterbran, 14 years, Professional Studies in Education; Robert Heasley, 14 years, Sociology; Mary Jane Kuffner-Hirt, 34 years, Political Science; Blaine Knupp, 32 years, IUP Libraries; Sally Lipsky, 29 years, Developmental Studies; Helen Sitler, 18 years, and Michael M. Williamson, 31 years, English; Mark Staszkiewicz, 34 years, Educational and School Psychology; John Taylor, 33 years, Geoscience; Albert Wutsch, 25 years, Academy of Culinary Arts; and Keith Young, 16 years, Music.

Nick Karatjas

Economic Impact: Recently retired economics professor Nick Karatjas spoke about the impact a college education has on the economy—and vice versa—during an IUP alumni networking event in Philadelphia in May. He served on the faculty for nearly 39 years.

Time for Tea Research

Over the summer, seven students from the Department of Geography and Regional Planning, along with faculty members Sudeshna Ghosh and Brian Okey, traveled to India to study the effects of climate change on the production of Darjeeling tea and on the Kolkata wetlands. According to Ghosh, the researchers were to collect 50 years’ worth of weather-related data “to understand the extent of climate change, the impact, and whether it influences Darjeeling tea’s unique aroma.”

School of Life

As a second-grader in the 1960s, Joan Van Dyke became the first female student at Mount Gallitzin Academy in Baden. In April, Van Dyke, now an associate professor of dance at IUP, presented an original ballet, Lace, Ecole de Vie (school of life), as a tribute to her former academy teachers. Performed by her Punxsutawney dance school, Van Dyke and Company, the ballet featured scenes from her first day at the academy, French and art lessons, the chapel, the cafeteria, and graduation. The score also included original work by her academy music teacher, Sister Ruth Sattler. Van Dyke has been a member of the IUP Theater and Dance faculty for 17 years.

Faculty Deaths

Deaths of the following faculty and former faculty members have been reported:

  • Frederick Brown, who retired in 1985 after 13 years as a faculty member in the Criminology Department, died April 22, 2017.
  • Joan Campbell Ganley ’49, who retired from the Consumer Services Department in 1981 after 13 years of service, died May 23, 2017.
  • Anita Henry, a professor emerita of French who retired in 2008 after 38 years of service, died March 31, 2015.
  • Joann Rock Janosko ’73, a member of the IUP Libraries faculty for 17 years, died May 1, 2017.
  • Ronald Marks, a professor emeritus of chemistry who retired in 1986 after 27 years of service, died May 2, 2017.
  • Nancy Newkerk, who served as dean of women from 1957 to 1967, died June 23, 2017. She retired from IUP in 1994 after serving 16 years as associate dean of admissions. Newkerk received the IUP President’s Medal of Distinction in 2009.
  • Ruth Podbielski, a professor emerita who retired as associate director of athletics in 1987 after 32 years of service, died April 3, 2017.
  • Robert Witchel, a faculty member in the Counseling Department for 31 years, died May 3, 2017.
  • David Young, a professor emeritus who retired from the Communications Media Department in 1989 after 21 years of service, died March 17, 2017.