Faculty Q & A

PH: Mathys

Polly Mathys
Assistant Professor of Computer and Information Studies

How long have you been working at Alvernia?

This is my 26th year at ALVERNIA. My 25th anniversary of full time was mid-august.

Can you please describe your job here at Alvernia?

My job here. Well, OFFICIALLY I am an assistant professor of Computer and Information Studies. I also teach First Year Seminar ( freshmen are my favorite species!). In addition, I am on the Honors and Awards Committee, the Green Team, the United Way Committee, and the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative for the eighth year.

That is the official part of my job. I have evolved into the Unofficial Official Photographer at student events. It is not because I am good at it, but because I am willing.

And of course there is the Turkey Drive. This is the 24th year of that effort, and each year it is bigger. There is nothing OFFICIAL about it, just a bunch of faculty, students, and staff that make it happen.

What is your favorite part about your job?

It's not a task, it's an environment. I love that I seem to be accepted with all my eccentricities and foibles.

When you aren't at Alvernia what do how do you like to spend your time?

With Animals. We have 5 dogs and 2 cats, all rescues. Oh, and Recycling. My husband and I have volunteered at Recycling Services Inc in Pottstown every Saturday for 25 and a half years. I figure I am well over a thousand Saturdays now.

Where is your favorite place to eat on or off campus?

I will say the Peanut Bar. For probably 24 years some of us faculty have gone to dinner Wednesday night. It has been as few as two people and as many as 15. There is a camaraderie, almost a family relationship, that you won't find many places. We settled on the Peanut Bar maybe fifteen years ago. We have the same table, the same waitress. We are so familiar now that we could probably order dinner for each other.

  • History: Established as a private four-year liberal arts college in 1958, Alvernia celebrated its 50th year by being awarded university status in 2008.
  • Heritage: Founded by the Bernardine Sisters, a Catholic religious order, the university embraces the Franciscan core values of service, humility, collegiality, contemplation and peacemaking.
  • Motto: “To Learn, To Love, To Serve”
  • Campus: The main campus in Reading is 121 acres, with two satellite campuses in Philadelphia and Pottsville (Schuylkill County).
  • Location: Our residential campus is situated three miles from center-city Reading, in the scenic Blue Mountain area of Eastern Pennsylvania.
  • Enrollment: 3,000 students attend Alvernia including 1,500 traditional undergraduates, 600 continuing education students, and 780 graduate students. Over 77% of first-year students live on campus.
  • Faculty: Our professors are accomplished scholars, experts in their fields, and supportive mentors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Most classes are 20 students or fewer.
  • Athletics: NCAA Division III, member of the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Athletic Corporation and member of Eastern College Athletic Conference, 8 men’s and 10 women’s intercollegiate sports.