Excellence in Teaching Award presented to biology professor

August 12, 2008

Pennsylvania College of Technology rcently honored Carol J. Kafer, associate professor of biology, with an Excellence in Teaching Award.

Excellence in Teaching Awards are presented to full-time faculty members who have been nominated by their students and colleagues for excellence in instructional performance. The award was presented during a summer commencement ceremony at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

Kafer, who also received an Excellence in Teaching Award in 1994, began her employment with the college in 1991 as an assistant professor of science. Previously, she taught at Mount St. Vincent University, where she held the positions of assistant professor, Department of Biology, sabbatical replacement, 1990; assistant professor-mathematics, 1988-89; lecturer and tutorial instructor, Department of Mathematics, 1987-88; and summer session statistical tutorial instructor, 1983.

From 1985-87, Kafer was employed by Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, as a lab demonstrator-medical and health science physiology. She was a science teacher and science department chair for three years at the Grier School, Tyrone, from 1974-80.

Kafer holds a doctorate in biophysics from Dalhousie University, a master of arts in teaching from Cornell University and a bachelor's degree in zoology from Penn State, where she also did graduate-level studies in bioengineering from 1980-82. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Heart Disease Research Center at Dalhousie University in 1989-90 and a research assistantship in bioengineering at Penn State in 1981. She received a National Science Foundation grant for summer research in 1971.

Student comments from Kafer's nominating documentation include:

-- "I could tell she liked her job, and really cared about students and their success and learning. She always took the extra step."

-- "(She) always went the extra mile in class to offer a variety of learning strategies and took the time out of her day … to help us review for tests or learn a concept that we didn't quite understand."

Since 1982, 78 Distinguished Teaching Awards have been presented at Penn College and its immediate predecessor institution, Williamsport Area Community College.

For information about Penn College, visit online, send e-mail or call toll-free (800) 367-9222.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009