January 31, 2019

Supporting Impact Beyond the Classroom

Since the launch of BU’s Professional U initiative in 2014, more than 100 alumni and friends have been inspired to support the university in preparing students to apply their education beyond the classroom.

On Thursday, Jan. 31, the university recognized just one example of the breadth of that generosity and its impact with the announcement of the 2019 professorships and endowed faculty fellowships.

Honored are 12 faculty members receiving named professorships or fellowships in recognition of their leadership impacting BU students through mentoring, research projects and the creation of experiential learning opportunities. 

“Bloomsburg University has an established reputation for attracting faculty who provide our students the personal attention necessary for life-long success,” says BU President Bashar W. Hanna. “BU faculty pride themselves on engaging students in the classroom and in professional experiences that complement and enrich the academic experience for students and sets those students up for successful careers in their chosen field.

The 2019 appointments include four new Professional U Faculty Fellows created thanks to a donation from Stephen Jones ’83, president and CEO of Covanta Holding Corporation. The Professional U Fellows are charged to expand Professional U opportunities within each academic unit on campus.

“Since I began supporting BU, it has always been my goal to provide opportunities that will help students to connect what they’re learning in the classroom to the professional setting,” says Jones, whose previous giving has included the establishment Professional Experience Grants. “I saw this as a perfect opportunity to help faculty members focus on new and inventive ways to increase the impact of those professional experiences.”

Former BU President Jessica Kozloff and her husband Steve established a faculty fellowship in 2015. “Steve and I chose to support two faculty fellowships for a number of reasons,” said Kozloff, BU’s president from 1994 to 2008. “First, both Steve and I had experiences during our educational journeys when faculty members made an impact on each of us, often significantly changing our academic aspirations. We know from our own experiences how vital that faculty-student relationship is, and we learned from our time at BU how deeply the faculty felt about mentoring students, and how good they were at doing it.

“Secondly, we did it for our Kozloff Undergraduate Research Scholarship students, who receive a financial award for four years at BU, while working with a faculty mentor. We wanted to make sure our two students would have a continuous and close relationship with an outstanding member of the faculty.”

Ed and Julie Breiner with Breiner Family Endowed Professor of Nursing, Kimberly Olszewski

Ed and Julie Breiner, who are funding the Breiner Family Endowed Professorship for Nursing, recognize the need for quality faculty in order for the BU program to grow.

“We chose to fund a nursing professorship at BU because we would like to see an excellent program taken to the next level,” says Ed Breiner. “Healthcare is front and center in our national dialogue, and BU offers one of the top nursing programs in the country - at a very competitive value. We hope that the program grows in size and scope, gaining the national recognition it deserves while placing better prepared BU graduates at the center of that dialogue to build a better healthcare system.”

“These endowed professorships and faculty fellowships will invest in the faculty member’s academic work and in the exploration of their field of expertise,” Hanna continues. “Having endowed faculty means students learn from talented teacher-scholars, work in research labs and pursue off-campus scholarly activities. It is truly an external validation of excellence. It is wonderful to have so many benefactors who share this feeling with us and who make these awards possible.”

The endowed professorships and fellowships are supported through the philanthropic efforts of alumni and friends of the university. For information on how to support an endowed professorship or faculty fellowship click here or contact the BU Foundation at 570-389-4128.

Faculty Fellows
  • The Michael and Bree Gillespie Faculty Fellow is Christina Force, from the Department of Business Education
  • The Vicki and John Mihalik Faculty Fellow is Robin Drogan, the Special Education Graduate Coordinator
  • The Jack and Helen Evans Endowed Faculty Fellow is Jerry Wemple, from the Department of English
  • The Kerby Confer Faculty Fellowship for Communications is David Magolis from the Mass Communications department
  • The Jessica S. and Stephen R. Kozloff Faculty Fellows are Kevin Ball from the Department of Psychology, Kate Beishline from the Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences
  • The Joan and Fred Miller Distinguished Professor of Good Work is Mary Katherine Waibel-Duncan from the Department of Psychology
  • The Breiner Family Endowed Professorship for Nursing is Kimberly Olszewski
  • Named Stephen J. Jones Professional U Fellows are Christina Francis from the Department of English, Abby Hare-Harris from the Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences, Jessica Bentley-Sassaman from the Department of ASL/English Interpreting, Edward Keller from the Department of Innovation, Technology and Supply
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