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Misher College Says Thank You to Retiring Faculty
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Contact:  Brian Kirschner
Contact Email:  b.kirschner@usciences.edu
Contact Phone:  215-895-1186
Misher College said thank you and farewell to faculty who are retired in 2013. In addition, they College also celebrated Misher faculty for the progress made on the Misher College Strategic Plan.

Left to right: Retiring Misher faculty Ruth Crispin, Margaret Kasschau, David Traxel, and Lois Peck.

Professor Ruth Crispin joined the University of the Sciences in 1992 after earning her PhD in Spanish from Vanderbilt University. She earned the rank of full professor in 2009. She taught in the Intellectual Heritage program, where she offered her course “Belief and Thought,” known for its strong emphasis on art. She was the driving force behind the creation of the Spanish minor, tripling the number of Spanish courses. Dr. Crispin expressed her love of poetry in many offerings, including her language courses. Of particular note are two innovative courses--“Spain through Art, Literature and Film” and “Don Quixote and Other Spanish Anti-Heroes.” Throughout her career at USciences, Dr. Crispin served on many committees, and remained active in her discipline beyond the school’s borders. She offered her expertise to, among others, the American Literary Translators’ Association, the Modern Language Association and the National Endowment of the Humanities. The high points of her career as a scholar included the publication of Song of the Self: The Poetry of Pedro Salinas in 2002, Memory in My Hands: The Love Poetry of Pedro Salinas in 2009 and, most recently, a translation of the novel entitled Meow by Benito Perez Galdos. In addition, she presented papers at numerous conferences and published more than a dozen articles in scholarly journals. Dr. Crispin has won numerous grants and fellowships, including four from the Mellon Foundation. 

Dr. Margaret Kasschau joined the University of the Sciences in 1994 as professor and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. While Chair, Dr. Kasschau championed forward-thinking measures for growth and fortification of the department. During her tenure the Department enjoyed significant growth in its undergraduate population, departmental research efforts, and the programs offered. Dr. Kasschau was responsible for obtaining University and State approval for, and successfully starting a BS in environmental sciences, MS in cell biology and biotechnology, and MS in science teaching. She was also responsible for initiating several dual degree programs, coupling the BS in biology with the BS in medical technology, master in physical therapy, master in physician assistant studies, and PharmD.

In 2004, Dr. Kasschau relinquished the chair of Biological Sciences to become associate vice president for academic affairs, and later, associate provost. In this position, Dr. Kasschau had immense impact on the University at large, with reporting departments and responsibilities that included the library, registrar, academic retention and advising, teaching learning center, student grievances, catalog coordination, and degree audit coordination. Dr. Kasschau has continued making contributions from afar. In the 18 years that Dr. Kasschau has been at USciences, she has been a constant source of inspiration in the Department of Biological Sciences, and has worked tirelessly for the benefit of the University. The entire campus has benefitted from her leadership and spirit.

Dr. Lois Peck received her BS in biology with a minor in general science and her MEd in biology and education from West Chester University. She continued her education at Temple University where she earned an EdD degree in science education in 1989. Dr. Peck joined the Department of Biological Sciences in 1989, and in 1990 became the director of the teacher certification program on campus. In addition, Dr. Peck taught parts of the undergraduate curriculum in the department. Dr. Peck has done some of the most visible and valuable off campus outreach to the community surrounding the University of any faculty member. The numerous Institutes for Middle School teachers that she has run, have in particular, had an enormous effect on students at several middle schools in the Philadelphia School District. The multiplier effect of exciting teachers, each of whom will teach over 100 students in a day during the school year, is enormous. In addition, Dr. Peck has directed summer and mentoring programs for local school students through GEARUP (1999-2006) and PRIME (1994-1997). She was also involved with the Young Scholars Program that ran at the University from 1992-1995. To run all these programs, Dr. Peck brought in during her career over $760,000 to the University in grants and contracts from Federal, State, local agencies and foundations.

Over the years Dr. Peck has provided extensive service and leadership to the USciences. She served as director of the science teacher certification program for over 20 years, as well as director of the post-baccalaureate teacher certification program, and coordinator for science education field experiences. Dr. Peck also served as interim director of the Teaching and Learning Center in 1998. She has chaired or co-chaired many University committees, including the Assessment Steering Committee, the General Education Implementation Committee, and many search committees. Dr. Peck served as vice president for Faculty Council for three years and has been a member of the Teaching and Learning Advisory Board since its inception in 1991.

Dr. Peck has presented at least 40 faculty development workshops on effective teaching to faculty at both University of Sciences and many other colleges and universities. She is looked upon by junior faculty as a “master teacher” from whom they learn valuable skills. Her leadership and commitment have benefitted both the campus and community over many years.

Sylvia Tarzanin received a BA in English literature from West Chester University in 1986 and a master of library science from Drexel University in 1996. In 1987, she was employed by an environmental engineering firm, now known as ARRO civil engineering, as a technical writer. After completing her graduate degree, she became this firm’s sole librarian. The library had been neglected a long time so she had to do major collection development. She traveled to the firm’s branches providing documents and teaching engineers how to search websites and how to obtain state and federal regulations.
She retired after fourteen years. She then decided she would like to work in a university environment so she accepted an offer to do reference desk work at West Chester University for three semesters on Friday evenings and Saturdays. She began as a part-time reference librarian at University of the Sciences on April 22, 2001, and retired April 22, 2013. During her time at USciences she served at reference desk, scheduled desk hours for all librarians, maintained the reference collection, and served as advisor to as many as seven students per semester.

Professor David Traxel joined USciences in 1992 as an assistant professor of history. He earned his PhD in 1974 from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He was promoted to associate, then full professor in 2006. He taught extensively in the Intellectual Heritage program, offering his course “Nature.” His history courses—especially “Twentieth Century U.S” and “The American Civil War” became departmental mainstays. Throughout his career here, Dr. Traxel served on numerous committees such as the arts and science planning committee, and he remained active in his discipline, frequently serving as a reviewer for scholarly articles and monographs. Dr. Traxel’s numerous accomplishments as a scholar include the publication of three books, An American Saga, the Life and Times of Rockwell Kent in 1980, 1898: The Birth of the American Century in 1998, and Crusader Nation: The United States in Peace and the Great War, which won the 2006 Philadelphia Athenaem Prize as an outstanding work of non-fiction. He presented numerous papers at conferences, reviewed nearly a score of books, and won several notable awards, including a Fulbright appointment in France, a Bernard DeVoto Fellowship at Middlebury College, and an NEH summer grant in Paris.

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