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Mentors and Achievements


President Tony Atwater

President Tony Atwater

IUP’s president, Tony Atwater, was selected by the New Pittsburgh Courier for its 2009 Men of Excellence recognition. One of fifty men chosen, he was named in the education category. “I am sincerely honored to receive this prestigious award,” Atwater said. “I have been blessed to enjoy success as a journalist, as a university professor, and as a university president, and I take pride in serving my community and facilitating the success of others.” The program recognizes African-American male executives, business owners, and community leaders who have displayed proven success within their profession, are positive role models whose contributions encourage others, and are active in community service or organizational involvement. Alumnus Davie Huddleston ’68 was also selected for the 2009 list.

Linda Norris

Linda Norris

IUP English Department faculty member Linda Norris was named the 2009 Teacher Educator of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators. Norris has been educating teachers for eighteen years and has directed IUP’s undergraduate English Education program for twelve years. With coauthor sj Miller, she received the 2007 Richard A. Meade Award from the National Council of Teachers of English for the book Unpacking the Loaded Teacher Matrix: Negotiating Space and Time Between University and Secondary English Classrooms. Valeri Helterbran, a member of the Professional Studies in Education faculty at IUP, was named Teacher Educator of the Year two years earlier.

Teresa Shellenbarger

Teresa Shellenbarger

Teresa Shellenbarger, a faculty member in Nursing and Allied Health Professions, has been chosen to serve as a mentor in the Faculty Leadership Mentoring Program of the National League for Nursing and the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future. The program pairs five early-and-midcareer faculty members with five fellows of the league’s Academy of Nursing Education who are recognized leaders in nursing education. The paired participants will work together throughout 2010 on individual leadership development and on a group project to be presented later this year in Las Vegas. Last fall, master’s and bachelor’s degree programs in Shellenbarger’s department were approved for unconditional ten-year accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


The August 26, 2009, edition of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review profiled Pittsburgher Irwin Kauffman, who has taught guitar at IUP since 1977. At seventy-two, the article said, Kauffman is the oldest member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, in which he has played the cello since 1964.

Ronald Smits

Ronald Smits

An article a month later in the Tribune-Review described the poetry of retired English Department faculty member Ronald Smits. Smits said he began to write poetry while pursuing his doctoral degree at Ball State University. He was influenced by the work of Allen Ginsberg, he said, and wrote his doctoral dissertation on Ginsberg’s work. Smits’s second book of poems, Push, was published by the University of Scranton Press in November and may be ordered through the University of Chicago Press website.


From 1947 to 1952, Margaret Gisolo taught physical education at Indiana State Teachers College. Long before she came to Indiana, though, Gisolo was famous. During the summer of 1928, she became what one author has called “a folk heroine in the national sports press.” The New York Times ran her picture with the caption “The Girl Babe Ruth of Blanford, Ind.” Her power-hitting presence on a boys’ American Legion Junior baseball team resulted in a ruling by the nation’s first baseball commissioner, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, refusing to bar her participation. Every media outlet from rural weeklies to Movietone News covered Blanford’s progress through county, district, sectional, and state tournaments, right up to the regional tournament at Comiskey Park. In Chicago, Blanford lost its first game—the game that would, thanks to a rules change, be the last one a girl would play in Junior Legion for nearly a half-century.

Gisolo kept playing baseball and even—as a member of the Hollywood Movie Stars Baseball Team—was welcomed at the White House in 1931 by President Herbert Hoover. Her baseball career earned her money for college, and she received a bachelor’s degree from Indiana State College in Terre Haute in 1935 and a master’s degree from New York University seven years later. From 1954 to 1980, she developed, and eventually chaired, the dance department at Arizona State University (where, coincidentally, one of her students was future baseball great Reggie Jackson). When, in 2000, at the age of eighty-six, she stopped traveling to national tennis matches, she was ranked first in doubles and second in singles. In 2006, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., opened Diamond Dreams, a permanent exhibit saluting women in baseball. It features a baseball autographed for Gisolo in 1928 by Commissioner Landis. Margaret Gisolo died on October 20 in Tempe, Ariz., only hours before her ninety-fifth birthday.


Gerald Zahorchak

Gerald Zahorchak

Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree

  • Awarded to Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak M’88 at IUP’s Midyear Commencement ceremonies in December. More information will appear in the Summer issue of the magazine and also may be found at the Commencement website.

New Appointment, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors

  • Jonathan Mack, an Indiana attorney and member of the IUP Council of Trustees

New Appointment, IUP Council of Trustees

  • Mary Esther Van Shura, who has an extensive background in the nonprofit, education, and public affairs sectors and who has served since 2006 as director of Community Affairs in the office of Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato

2009 Pennsylvania Teacher Educator of the Year

  • Linda Norris, English, selected by the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators

Nation’s Top ROTC Cadet

  • Erik Lloyd ’02, a current IUP graduate student, emerged as number-one in a field of 4,700 cadets who participated in last summer’s Leader Development and Assessment Course for senior ROTC cadets at Ft. Lewis, Wash. A story about Lloyd and the ROTC program at IUP will appear in the Summer issue.

IUP Legislative Fellow

  • Pennsylvania Representative Gary Haluska, who represents the 73rd Legislative District in Cambria County, selected as the 2009 Legislative Fellow in a program begun in 1998 by IUP-APSCUF
Jack Wagner

Jack Wagner

Friend of Higher Education

  • Jack Wagner ’74, currently serving his second term as Pennsylvania’s auditor general, who has more than a quarter-century of elected public service, including a decade on Pittsburgh City Council and a decade as a state senator

Best Business Schools

Phi Kappa Phi Chapter of Merit

  • IUP’s chapter recognized with eighteen other campus chapters nationwide for the designation. Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines and has chapters on more than three hundred campuses.

2009 Silver Telly Award

  • Awarded to Fish Eyes, a film produced and written by Communications Media student Sam Hakes ’08 in collaboration with other IUP students
Young Alumni Achievement Award winner Kenneth Collins (right) talks to Dean of Fine Arts Michael Hood

Young Alumni Achievement Award winner Kenneth Collins (right) talks to Dean of Fine Arts Michael Hood. Photo: Keith Boyer

Young Alumni Achievement Awards

The IUP Alumni Association annually recognizes a recent outstanding graduate of each undergraduate college.

The 2009 recipients:

More from the Winter 2010 Issue of IUP Magazine

South Eleventh Street

Then and Now

A lot has changed at IUP over 135 years. These photos compare a few campus vistas of today with how they looked in the fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties.

Lauren Fisher

Saved by the Bell

When her life was in turmoil—when she had neither a home nor hope—Lauren Fisher desperately needed salvation. She found it in the strangest of places. A boxing ring.

Above the Caption

Marvin Hamlisch, Bob Woodward, and Bill Strickland, and more

Mentors and Achievements

Faculty highlights; awards and honors


IUP’s annual Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony and more athletics news

IUP Magazine Web Exclusives

Professor N. Bharathan speaks with a student

The Academic Experience

January 15, 2010
Faculty, staff, and administration at IUP share one vision: academic excellence.

Melissa Rogers reads a comic book

Serious about Comics

December 15, 2009
For Melissa Rogers, comic books are serious business.

Scott McGuire ’90

Band of Brothers

November 14, 2009
Scott McGuire’s diagnosis of ALS brought his TKE brothers together again.