IUP Council of Trustees Honor Alumni with Naming of Tutoring Room in John J. and Char Kopchick Hall

Posted on 5/5/2021 2:18:49 PM
Rear Admiral CJ Jaynes and President Michael Driscoll with the resolution

Rear Admiral CJ Jaynes and President Michael Driscoll with the resolution

Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Council of Trustees today approved a resolution to honor and recognize the contributions of Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient retired Rear Admiral CJ Jaynes with the naming of a room in John J. and Char Kopchick Hall.

The tutoring room in Kopchick Hall will be named “The Admiral’s Study” in her honor.

Currently under construction, Kopchick Hall is a $90-million, 142,536 square foot science and mathematics facility that will be home to the John J. and Char Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Faculty and staff will move into the building in summer 2023, and students will be in the building for classes for the fall 2023 semester.

The resolution recognized Jaynes’ career achievements and her naval service awards and her generosity in making a “transformative gift to support the future of mathematics and sciences at IUP.”

Jaynes, a 1979 bachelor’s degree and 1982 master’s degree graduate of IUP, served in the US Navy for 33 years. She made naval history on Aug. 1, 2012, when she became the 79th woman to be promoted to rear admiral, and the first woman at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to achieve flag officer rank and then commander, Fleet Readiness Centers, for the entire naval aviation enterprise. She received the IUP Distinguished Alumni Award in 2017 in recognition of outstanding career achievements.

An aeronautical engineering (maintenance) duty officer, Jaynes’ final tour in the Navy was as the program executive officer for air anti-submarine warfare, assault, and special mission programs. She currently serves as executive technical advisor for Precision Landing Systems, Intelligence, Information, and Services, Raytheon Company, and is the owner of CJ Jaynes Consulting, which provides acquisition consulting services. 

She was selected for the 2013 Women Worth Watching listing and appeared in a 2012 edition of Profiles in Diversity Journal. Now living in Leonardtown, Maryland, she is a member of Women in Defense, Women in Aviation, and the Association of Naval Aviation.

Jaynes is a 1995 graduate of the Naval War College and earned her MBA from Norwich University in 2008 and Systems Engineering Certification from Cal Tech in 1999. 

In addition to her financial support of IUP, Jaynes has been a long-time volunteer, presenting at a number of events for students, offering her professional expertise about leadership and career success. Most recently, she was a panelist for the John J. and Char Kopchick College of Natural Science and Mathematics IUP STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Women’s Summit, held as part of the university’s Research Appreciation Week. 

“CJ Jaynes’ commitment to IUP is unwavering,” IUP Dean of the Kopchick College Deanne Snavely said. “It was clear, from the first time that I met her, that she wanted to make a difference for IUP students, and to give back to the university.

“Working her way up through the ranks, to become a rear admiral as a woman in a male-dominated field,, is a testament to her intelligence, abilities, leadership skills, and her dedication to her country and to her colleagues,” Snavely said. “CJ has an interminable positivity in all that she does, and an ability to motivate all types of people to get the job done well. She can see through the details of a project to the bigger picture and is quickly able to identify the path forward to a finished project.”

Artist's rendition of the West Facade of Kopchick Hall

Artist's rendition of the West Facade of Kopchick Hall

Kopchick Hall will include more than 51,600 square feet of laboratory space. It is sited facing the Oak Grove and will be part of the center of campus.

In addition to its laboratory spaces, the facility has 43 research lab modules, almost 10,000 square feet of collaboration space and 8,000 feet of formal teaching space, including three flexible classrooms. Special features include a planetarium, imaging lab, laser lab, anatomy lab, and roof terrace and partial green roof for research.

Kopchick Hall will include a number of common spaces in the building—not just for science majors, but for all students—in order to showcase science and mathematics to the community. The facility is designed to be state-of-the-art and flexible, offering both teaching and research labs, and reflecting the best thinking of what will be needed for science teaching and learning for the next 20 years.

Both Kopchick Hall and the Kopchick College are named in honor of John Kopchick and his wife, Char Kopchick.
John Kopchick earned a bachelor’s degree in 1972 and a master’s degree in 1975, both in biology. Char Kopchick graduated from IUP with an education degree in 1973.

The couple currently lives in Athens, Ohio. John Kopchick is a professor of molecular biology and the Goll-Ohio Eminent Scholar at Ohio University; Char Kopchick is the assistant dean of students there. He is a co-inventor of the drug Somavert, which combats acromegaly, a growth hormone disorder. John and Char Kopchick were raised in Indiana and Sagamore, Armstrong County, respectively.

In addition to the named space in Kopchick Hall in honor of Jaynes, there are currently three additional named spaces in Kopchick Hall.

The IUP planetarium and atrium are named in honor of Tim and Debra Phillips Cejka, 1973 graduates of IUP. The Cejkas were members of the IUP National Campaign Cabinet of the Imagine Unlimited comprehensive fundraising campaign, which raised $81.36 million, and served as chairs of the portion of the campaign that benefits the Kopchick College. Tim Cejka, a member of the IUP Council of Trustees, is the retired president of Exxonmobil Exploration Company and Vice President of Exxonmobil Corp.

The Anderson Rotunda in Kopchick Hall is named in honor of Bonnie Harbison Anderson, a 1980 graduate and 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient; her husband, Steve Anderson; and in memory of Bonnie’s parents, Edward J. and Donna M. Harbison. The Harbisons were lifelong residents of Indiana. 

Anderson, formerly of Indiana and now a resident of Half Moon Bay, California, has built a career in the health-care diagnostics and life sciences markets and is currently cofounder and chief executive officer of Veracyte, a molecular diagnostics company.

The Department of Chemistry, to be housed in Kopchick Hall, has been named the Madia Department of Chemistry in honor of alumni Bill and Audrey DeLaquil Madia. The Madias were cochairs of the National Campaign Cabinet of IUP’s Imagine Unlimited comprehensive campaign and have been long-time supporters of science and mathematics initiatives at the university.

Bill Madia, originally from Swissvale, earned his undergraduate chemistry degree from IUP in 1969 and his master’s degree in physics from IUP in 1971. Audrey Madia, originally from McKees Rocks, is a 1970 home economics graduate. Audrey Madia is the founder of Classic Homes and is an established interior designer.

Bill Madia is president of Madia & Associates LLC. He currently serves on the presidential advisory boards for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, and Princeton, for which he consults on research matters. He also serves on the boards of three venture capital firms that invest in green technologies: EnerTech Capital Partners, Rockport Capital Partners, and Primaxis Technology Ventures. Additionally, he serves as vice president and chairman of the Board of Overseers for the SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center) National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University.