Haering receives Advising Award from the Penn State Engineering Society

March 25, 2005

William J. Haering, assistant professor of engineering at Penn State DuBois, is the recipient of the 2004-2005 Penn State Engineering Society Outstanding Advising Award.

"We're very proud of Bill's accomplishment as an educator and adviser," said Anita McDonald, campus executive officer. "This award and his previous recognitions give ample evidence to his effectiveness in working with students, both in the classroom and one-on-one."

The Penn State Engineering Society Outstanding Advising Award recognizes and rewards outstanding advisers of engineering undergraduate and graduate students. These awards are established in recognition of the importance of advising in the total engineering education program.

"In the five years since Dr. Haering joined the Penn State DuBois faculty, he has continually gone the extra mile to ensure his advising, teaching and service to his students is of the highest quality possible," added Robert Loeb, director of academic affairs. "To achieve this well-roundedness as a faculty member and excel at this level in his advising is an admirable accomplishment. His commitment to students is evident in his daily interactions with them over the semesters and years."

Nominees for the award must have completed at least three years of full-time service at Penn State before the nomination; regularly served as a teacher and adviser of students; and demonstrated evidence of exceptional advisory service to individual students or student groups. They also must demonstrate concern for students; serve as a respected role model and provide guidance, assistance, motivation and inspiration to students in a manner that substantially exceeds the normal expectation for a faculty member. Nominations may be initiated by engineering students, faculty or department heads.

Testimonial letters from Haering's former students played a key role in his selection for the advising award.

"Like so many professors at a University, Dr. Haering has posted office hours," explained former student Amy Miller, who now is studying mechanical engineering at the University Park campus. "However, he makes himself available anytime his students need help, in academics or in advising. Taking a few minutes of his time is not an issue when it comes to helping one of his students. In some cases, he will even get a group of students in his office or in the common areas; anything to get everyone on the same page of understanding."

"Not only was he readily available, even on the numerous occasions I showed up unannounced," added Genette Reitz, a computer science major, "but he also had the appropriate academic information. I believe he has a genuine interest in every student he encounters. He will warn students of the hard work that lies before them, but at the same time, encourage and motivate them to succeed."

Mark Marusiak is another former advisee. He was an adult learner at DuBois, having been away from the classroom for 20 years before beginning his college degree. But Marusiak faced another challenge. He was a quadriplegic, with no movement below his shoulders.

"Without his help, I'm not sure if I would be in the position I am now, slowly but surely closing in on my baccalaureate degree in civil engineering," said Marusiak. "It is hard for me to even begin to describe the help I've received from Dr. Haering as both a teacher and an adviser. Whenever I get a chance, I try to stop and visit with him. He likes to keep track of how I'm doing. That's not just being an adviser, but being a very good adviser genuinely caring how well his advisees are still doing in pursuit of their degrees."

Haering authored a pedagogical paper on his experience working to help Marusiak overcome his special circumstances and the two of them presented it together at the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence Colloquy in May 2003.

Before joining the faculty at Penn State DuBois, Haering worked for General Motors for more than 14 years as both a project and a research engineer. In his research, Haering has published technical papers in engineering journals and presented papers at international engineering conferences. He also is active in writing pedagogical papers based on his teaching experiences at Penn State DuBois and has presented them at annual conferences of the American Society for Engineering Education. He is a member of that society as well as the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Haering is a native of rural Pennsylvania, and is a Penn State graduate, having received bachelor and master of science degrees in mechanical engineering in 1983 and 1984, respectively. In fact, he attended one of the campuses outside of University Park for his first two, thus having first-hand experience of the functioning of Commonwealth College campuses from a student perspective. He is a registered professional engineer and received a doctoral degre in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics from the University of Michigan in 1992.

He also has received several awards and been recognized for his teaching excellence. These include the 2003-04 Penn State Engineering Society Outstanding Teaching Award, the 2002-03 Commonwealth College Excellence in Teaching Award, the 2001 DuBois Educational Foundation Educator of the Year Award and three consecutive selections to "Who's Who among America's Teachers."

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009