Three faculty have been honored with University Senate Distinguished Faculty Awards: David Piper, for service; Joan Van Dyke, for creative arts; and Raymond Pavloski, for research.


Professor David Piper, Employment and Labor Relations; Professor Joan Van Dyke, Theater and Dance; Professor Raymond Pavloski, Psychology

Every year since 1969, the University Senate has invited students, faculty, and staff to nominate faculty members for this recognition. The Senate Awards Committee determines the honorees on the basis of significant contributions to the university.

Award recipients will be recognized at Commencement on May 12.

Service: David Piper, Employment and Labor Relations

Piper, professor of employment and labor relations and department chair, leads the Universitywide Graduate Curriculum Committee. He also heads the board of directors of the Student Cooperative Association, a nonprofit organization that provides physical and financial support for more than 100 campus organizations. The association is currently planning construction of a new recreational complex adjacent to the Hadley Union Building.

Piper founded an annual benefit dinner to recognize alumni in employment and labor relations that has raised more than $12,000 in scholarship funds for incoming students.

His community service includes nine years as deputy coroner for Indiana County and, in 2005, coordination with the American Red Cross of a fund drive that raised more than $13,000 for victims of Hurricane Katrina. He also serves as an arbitrator-mediator for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor.

Creative Arts: Joan Van Dyke, Theater and Dance

Van Dyke, associate professor of dance specializing in ballet, ethnic dance, choreography, and dance history, is recognized for blending art with the teacher-scholar model of educator.

She received the prestigious Dance Teacher of the Year Award at the university level from the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance in 2010.

She choreographed a production staged in Dubrovnik, Croatia, in 2008 that commemorated the 500th anniversary of the birth of the Croatian writer Marin Držic. In 2010, she collaborated in the creation and performance of “The Red Shoes Project.” Van Dyke presented her new approach to stage movement, “Alignment for Character,” at the Sixth International Theater of Change in Athens, Greece, in 2010.

She has performed with the North Star Ballet Company in Fairbanks, Alaska, and has owned and directed her own school and performing civic company for more than 15 years. She was the ballet mistress for the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts from 2001 to 2007.

Research: Raymond Pavloski, Psychology

Pavloski, professor of psychology and department chair, studies how perceptual experience is produced by neural network activities. In the past five years he has concentrated on the construction and simulation of models that produce patterns that are hidden from objective observation, as experiences are hidden from observations of brain activity.

Results of his research may help people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, including those who have difficulty recognizing faces and everyday objects, and could lead to new diagnostic instruments and interventions.

Pavloski has been an invited author for many professional publications and is the recipient of a 2007 IUP Academic Excellence and Innovation Award.

He is a core faculty member of the Robert E. Cook Honors College.