While we will formally welcome new faculty and staff at the August State of the University gathering, and celebrate promotions and other honors, I wanted to call attention to some new members of our community as well as recognize the efforts of a few current colleagues.
Two valued members of our community are assuming important interim leadership roles. Daria LaTorre has been named interim dean of the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies. Having served as associate dean for the last three years, she is well positioned to lead the major transformation needed to enhance educational quality, financial strength, and our competitive position. Dan Hartzman, assistant director of admissions, has been named interim director of undergraduate admissions. Dan has six years of experience, most notably as coordinator of our highly successful Guest Program. Please join me in congratulating them and offering our support and encouragement for their important efforts.
I am also pleased to welcome back Kevin Godfrey to full-time faculty status. After completing a two year term as executive director of Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities (AFCU), Kevin will resume teaching theology as well as First Year Experience courses on a full time basis. As an AFCU board member, I know first-hand that the association has made great strides under his leadership.
Three prominent local leaders have been elected trustees: Carl Herbein, CEO of Herbein & Company; Robert Davis, president & CEO, Vist Financial; and Chris Pruitt, executive vice president of East Penn Manufacturing. Each brings considerable business acumen as well as passion for Alvernia’s mission.
We are very pleased to welcome a number of talented new faculty members to campus: Samuel Bradley – business, William Davis – psychology, Ondra Kielbasa – biology, Jae Chun Kim – math, Terri McCormick – nursing, Cathy Myers – biology, Christine Poteau – Spanish, Brian Prather - theatre design and Kayla Riegel - occupational therapy. And we are fortunate too that national searches brought us Beth Aracena and David Myers—talented, creative leaders for the College of Arts and Sciences and the O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Public Service.
Two library staff members completed their MSLS degrees and have been promoted. Joel Pearce assumed responsibilities as Technical Services Librarian, and Susan Kane fulfills a new role in the Franco Library as Systems Librarian. Joel and Susan both utilize technical expertise to perform their expanded responsibilities, and will also serve at the Reference Desk and as Information Literacy instructors.
Four Alvernians attended the AFCU 2012 Symposium held at Viterbo University in June. Participating were Kevin Godfrey, Lisa Venkler, Judy Bohler, and Sr. Paula Nowak. The theme of the symposium was “Franciscan Leadership: Serving, Learning, Leading.”
A pair of “Claires” is making news. Our dean of student success, Dr. Claire Berardini, was selected for the Council of Independent Colleges’ Senior Leadership Academy; Dr. Clair Murphy, director of health services, was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Paul West, associate professor of Counselor Education, was nominated by Gov. Corbett and approved by the state senate to sit for a four-year appointment on the Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors.
Leadership Berks graduated a record class of 30 students, including Bill Stiles, director of athletics.
Last spring was likely the best in the history of Alvernia athletics. Crusader teams took home three conference titles (men’s and women’s golf, softball) and an ECAC championship (women’s lacrosse); earned three NCAA championship appearances (men’s golf, softball, baseball); and celebrated three MAC Coaches of the Year (Yogi Lutz – baseball, Jon King, men’s golf, Tom O'Connell – women's golf) and three conference players of the year (Chris Ray – baseball player of the year, Aaron Benusis – baseball pitcher of the year, Katie Fitzharris – women's lacrosse). Congratulations to all.