Penn College bestows Distinguished Teaching Awards

Published 05.18.2019

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Three Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty members were honored at Spring 2019 Commencement ceremonies for their prowess as teachers.

Ryan P. Good, assistant professor of welding, was presented with the highest honor accorded to Penn College faculty: the Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award.

Two faculty members received recognition for their outstanding teaching skills by earning Excellence in Teaching Awards: Drew R. Potts, assistant professor and department head of civil engineering technology, and David S. Richards, professor of physics.

Ryan P. Good, assistant professor of welding, was presented with the highest honor accorded to Penn College faculty – the Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award. He is shown here with Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour. “Our superb faculty set us apart and enable Penn College to produce graduates who I see as ‘tomorrow makers’ in the workforce,” said President Davie Jane Gilmour. “Teaching goes to the very heart of our institutional mission and always will. Ryan, Drew and David continue a long line of Penn College faculty members who bring honor to the profession with their unceasing commitment to students.”

Since the inception of the Distinguished Teaching Awards in 1982, 110 honors have been presented to Penn College faculty: 33 Master Teacher Awards and 77 Excellence in Teaching Awards.

The Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award recipient is chosen from faculty nominees having at least six years of successful teaching. The award is “representative of the very best faculty, dedicated to providing the highest quality of experience to students.”

Good has been employed as a full-time instructor at Penn College since 2009. Previously, he served as an adjunct instructor. He has also worked in private industry as a lead weld engineer.

He earned both a bachelor’s degree in welding and fabrication engineering technology and an associate degree in welding technology from Penn College. He is also a 2013 recipient of an Excellence in Teaching Award.

Good’s student nominator wrote, “He is always looking to improve students’ lives and prepare them for the real world.” “I’ve never had a teacher as motivated and dedicated as Mr. Good,” the student continued. “He has pushed students to be better, helped in ways that no other teacher has thought of, and continuously tries to improve to provide us with a better learning experience.”

The nominator initially needed help for an upper-level course taught by Good. “Not only was he there to answer questions, he did a great job at trying to figure out ways to improve how the information was communicated. It was clear that he wanted me to learn the information, not just get me to pass the next test.”

Drew R. Potts, assistant professor of civil engineering technology, received an Excellence in Teaching Award.An endorser for the nomination added: “Ryan Good is a very dedicated instructor; he is truly Penn College proud and actively supports the development of his department and the college. Ryan consistently challenges the norm for the betterment of the program.”

Excellence in Teaching Awards are presented each May to full-time faculty members who are nominated by students and colleagues for excellence in instructional performance.

Potts has been employed with Penn College since 2008. Previously, he was an engineering manager and design engineer for a steel fabrication facility, as well as a consulting structural engineer. He holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from Bucknell University and a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from Penn State.

The student nominator for Potts wrote, “He is always willing to go above and beyond to help students understand the material that is being covered.” The nominator further explained: “Mr. Potts has a way of reaching and connecting to students. He makes students try hard to develop an in-depth understanding of the subject material. He is dedicated to helping us better ourselves as students and is an excellent professional.”

An endorser of the nomination for Potts wrote: “Drew provides quality teaching, but does so with a realization that he is educating the future civil engineers in our society. He cares about his profession and his students. Drew takes both charges with care and thoughtfulness.”

 President Gilmour presented David S. Richards, professor of physics, with an Excellence in Teaching Award.Richards has taught at Penn College since 1995. He holds a doctorate in instructional systems from Penn State, a master’s degree in physics from the University of Alabama and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Mary Washington College.

Of Richards, his student nominator wrote, “His classes are always packed, as the word is that Dr. Richards really knows how to teach.”

The nominator added: “Dr. Richards has demonstrated the passion and talent to be distinguished as a leader among the faculty at Penn College,” noting his “attention to detail,” “professionalism in the classroom” and “willingness to go the extra mile to make the connection.”

The nomination’s endorser wrote: “Dr. Richards is an excellent faculty member and mentor, who is passionate about the mission of our college. ... David provides countless hours of ongoing support to our students and is always looking to improve. Students, faculty and administration have genuine admiration for David’s expertise and ability to connect with all stakeholders.”

Penn College is a national leader in applied technology education. For more, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.