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Mentors: Summer 2010

Ben Rafoth

Ben Rafoth

English Department professor Bennett Rafoth is IUP’s 2010–2011 University Professor. Recipients of the honor retain the designation for life. Associated with the program in Composition and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Rafoth came to IUP in 1987 and currently serves as director of the Writing Center, a position he previously held from 1988 to 2006. From 2006 to 2009, he was director of graduate studies in Composition and TESOL; he was interim dean of the IUP Libraries in 1997 and 1998.

As part of a Fulbright Scholarship, IUP English Department associate professor Susan Comfort will spend the Spring 2011 semester engaged in research at the Centre for Women’s Development Studies in New Delhi, India. She is IUP’s sixtieth faculty Fulbright recipient. Comfort, who joined the IUP faculty in 1994, said, “I’m thrilled to receive this grant because it will eventually provide me with more resources and experience that I can share with students at IUP.”

Rosemary Gido, professor and internship coordinator in the IUP Department of Criminology, received the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Mentorship Award in February. In the past five years, she has mentored eighty-two doctoral students in paper presentations at fourteen national and local conference venues. Gido came to IUP in 1997. A story about her, “Woman of Characters,” appears on IUP Magazine’s website.

IUP Political Science professor Gawdat Bahgat has been selected for a faculty position in the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. Bahgat, who directs IUP’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies in addition to his teaching, will be on leave from the university for two years to work at the NESA Center. NESA endeavors to enhance security in the Near East and South Asia by building relationships and promoting effective communications through interactions in an academic environment.

Works by IUP Art professor Fuyuko Matsubara were exhibited last winter at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. According to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Mary Thomas, Matsubara’s “sublime woven and silk painted works, in ‘Seeds of Light,’ combine fanciful landscape and biological elements that are based on reality, with a symbolic visual language of her own making.” Thomas explained that Matsubara’s “exquisite woven twelve-panel ‘In the Earth,’ vibrant in color and imagination, took almost twenty years to complete from a large-scale drawing made in 1984, after she graduated from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan.”

In March, IUP’s Center for Teaching Excellence announced winners of the 2009–2010 Teaching Excellence Awards. The faculty members honored were Wendy Carse, English; Karen Cercone, Geoscience; Jason Chimonides, Theater; and Susan Cravener Fello ’72, M’77, D’92, Professional Studies in Education.

Faculty and staff members (as well as graduate students) were honored in April at the sixteenth annual Outstanding Achievement in Sponsored Programs and Excellence in Graduate Student Research awards program. The faculty and staff honorees, their departments, and their awards: Carmy Carranza M’80, Developmental Studies, Outstanding Achievement in Curriculum and Instruction; Hank Knerr, Fine Arts/Public Events, Outstanding Achievement in Public Service; Jeffery Larkin, Biology, Outstanding Achievement in Research; Timothy Runge, Educational and School Psychology, New Investigator; and Tracey Missien ’82, M’07, Workforce Education and Economic Development, Graduate Dean’s Award for Outstanding Commitment to Sponsored Programs.

Dorothy Snyder ’30, ’48 celebrated her hundredth birthday in March at an assisted-living facility in Verona. An IUP faculty member from 1962 to 1970, she taught educational psychology and directed the reading clinic. Her centenary was noted in a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Eberly College of Business and Information Technology’s annual Business Day has been renamed Lt. Col. Charles B. Stevenson Memorial Business Day. Stevenson, who died last year, had a unique career at IUP, in that he first served as professor of Military Science and chairperson of his department and later was a management professor in the College of Business, where he introduced and coordinated what was then called IUP Business Day. Along the way, he served for a time as the college’s acting dean. Eberly’s new Charles B. Stevenson Center for Leadership and Development should be active within a year, according to Dean Robert Camp.

In recent months, a number of longtime IUP faculty members died.

  • Lois Blair, a supervising teacher in English at Keith School for a quarter-century and director of student teaching for another decade, died April 9 at the age of 100.
  • Thomas Cunningham, who taught in the Computer Science Department for thirty-one years and served as its chairperson for thirteen of those years, died December 8.
  • Olive Fornear ’33, who also taught at Keith and was on the faculty of the university for seventeen years, died January 15. The Olive Mae Fornear Music Education Classroom in Cogswell Hall is named in her honor. An interview she did with IUP Libraries Interim Dean Theresa McDevitt is available in Special Collections.
  • Constance Settlemyer, a faculty member in the Nursing and Allied Health Department for thirty-one years until her retirement in 2008, died February 12.
  • Elwood Sheeder ’46, who served as a faculty member, as dean of men, and as dean of the Business School in a twenty-two-year professional association with the university, died December 2.
  • Howard Tompkins, a cofounder, with James Maple, of the Computer Science Department and a faculty member for sixteen years, died December 5.
  • Robert Warren ‘49, who taught math at Keith School as a colleague of Blair and Fornear and went on to serve as a faculty member and in a number of administrative positions in a twenty-five-year career at the university, died April 22.

More from the Summer 2010 Issue of IUP Magazine

Magic in a Bottle

Magic in a Bottle

The 2009–2010 men’s basketball team won more games than any other and competed on nationwide television for the Division II crown.


Leaders Made Here

In six decades, the ROTC program at IUP has produced nearly two thousand U.S. Army second lieutenants, not to mention eight generals.

Above the Caption

Legacy Gala, Ruddock Hall, who’s in that photo, and more


Highlights about IUP faculty members, past and present


The latest IUP player to be picked in the NFL draft, plus other newsworthy IUP athletes

IUP Magazine Web Exclusives

Professor Shari Robertson and her daughter Brianna Robertson ’09 

Diphthongs and Dahntahn 

June 30, 2010
What distinguishes our Western Pennsylvania dialect?

We Have Survived

“We Have Survived”

May 12, 2010
Promoting Native American awareness at IUP.

Green Acres

Green Acres

April 21, 2010
Explore the 270 acres of the Co-op Recreational Park and the IUP Sailing Base at Yellow Creek State Park.