1,220 Years of Service Recognized
The St. John Fisher College Human Resources Department held its annual Service Recognition Luncheon on Thursday, November 10, 2011. The event, held in Cleary Family Auditorium, celebrated the years of service for Fisher employees. The luncheon began with comments by Lisa Riotto, Human Resources Manager, followed by an invocation from Father Joseph Lanzalaco. President Bain also said a few words to thank the honorees for their work at Fisher.
Years of service are celebrated in five-year increments. This year, there were 101 faculty and staff members honored for their collective 1,220 years of service to the College! Dr. Don Muench, Professor in the Mathematical and Computing Sciences Department, received special recognition for his 45 years of service to the College.
Muench has not only been a faculty member for 45 years, but he was a member of the Pioneer Class—the College’s first graduating class in 1955. He received his bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Fisher, and then went on to earn his master of science degree in mathematics from St. John’s University, along with his doctor of arts degree in mathematics from Idaho State University.
His teaching experience spans across high schools and colleges, and even includes the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Some of the schools are McQuaid Jesuit High School, St. John’s University, Gettysburg College, McCoy College, Loyola College, and the Richmond American International University in London, England.
During his tenure at Fisher, he has served on 14 different committees, and was chair of the Department of Mathematics from 1968-1979. In addition, he was director of the Computer Science Major Program from 1981-1984, and chair of the combined Department of Mathematics/Computer Science from 1996-1999. He was also a member of the College’s Katrina Relief team and traveled to New Orleans with the group for four years in a row.
We asked Muench to share a few thoughts about his time here at Fisher:
Q: What was it like being a student here at Fisher in the 1950s?
A: It was demanding. We had, I think, a 132-hour requirement for graduation. And I had some very good professors at the time: Fr. McReavy (Philosophy), Fr. Drouillard (Foreign Language), Dr. Carl Claus (founder of the Chemistry Department) and others. We knew we were “pioneers,” and as I look back on it, we sure had guts to take the chance.
Q: How has it been for you, as an alum and faculty member, to watch the campus change over the last 45 years?
A: Very exciting, especially in the past 15 years or so.
Q: Do you have one great memory from the classroom that stands out that you’d like to share?
A: I remember years ago I went to the parking lot and found my car wrapped completely in paper towels and toilet paper… put there by a very creative and funny class of students!
Q: Has any one particular student made an impact on you here at Fisher?
A: I can think of three who really stand out: Dr. Bill Troy (Professor at Pitt), Kathy Skerrett (top-notch Math and Computer Science student and now a great friend), Candice Rockell Gerstner (now a Ph.D. in Applied Math and starting her professional career). But, I have had many others who were inspiring and superb.
Q: If you were to sum up 45 years of Fisher in five words, what would they be?
A: Comfortable, close, happy, encouraging, supportive. And, I might add a 6th - fortunate.
Additional faculty and staff who were recognized included:
Maureen Van Cura
Paul Goverts IV
Father William Graf
Mary Jo Iuppa
Father Joseph Lanzalaco
M. Kamil Kozan
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