Five faculty/staff to be roasted at New Kensington retirement luncheon

Amid the quips, witticisms and bon mots, colleagues, friends and former students will express appreciation and gratitude May 2 for five faculty and staff members at their retirement luncheon in the campus Conference Center.

Charles “Bud” Gibbons, professor of visual arts; Dolores O’Hara, coordinator of the nursing program; Sharon Levett, education program aide for Continuing Education; James Lewis, maintenance worker; and Ronald Bowser, maintenance worker; will retire June 30 after a combined 135 years at the campus. The quintet will be roasted and praised by guests for their service to the campus.

Gibbons holds a master of fine arts degree from Penn State and a bachelor of fine arts from the Maryland Institute of Art. He joined the campus faculty in 1974 and teaches introductory courses on visual arts, drawing and painting. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, the Lower Burrell resident is the director of the art gallery. Each month, solo and group show are exhibited on campus. An accomplished artist, Gibbons has painted around the world in places as remote and exotic as Tibet, Peru, Alaska, the mountains of China, as well as the American landscape from the Atlantic to the Pacific. His annual show at the campus runs throughout May. He will hold the title of professor emeritus.

"Bud will leave an amazing legacy behind him as he enters the next phase of his artistic career,” said Andrea Adolph, director of academic affairs. “There is barely a room on campus that does not showcase one of his paintings, and his creative spirit has touched everything that he has accomplished during his time here. While he will be missed on campus by students and colleagues alike, the world of art will be the richer for his increased ability to spend time with his paints and palette."

O’Hara, an Export, Pa., resident, earned her doctorate in nursing practice from Waynesburg University and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. She came to the campus an instructor in 1999 and assumed the duties as program coordinator in 2004. She teaches upper-level courses, Transition and the Professional Nursing Role, Data Management for Nurse Managers and Integrated Concepts in Nursing Practice, as well as coordinates independent study activities. The nursing program offers registered nurses the opportunity to earn a baccalaureate degree in nursing at the campus.

"Dee has contributed to nursing education at the campus for many years and, importantly, she has helped to maintain a presence in our region of a Penn State-quality nursing education,” said Adolph, who holds a doctorate in English literature from Louisiana State University. “Our nursing program provides local registered nurses with a route toward completing a bachelor’s degree, and Dee has overseen the advising and curriculum for these students, allowing them to move forward in their careers.”

Levett has been a mainstay in the Continuing Education Office since 1987. She is responsible for coordination of adult and youth programs, such as SAT review course, and credit and noncredit programs, such as professional development initiatives. The Upper Burrell resident has been the face of Kids in College, a series of summer youth camps, since its inception in 1988.

“Sharon definitely has been an important part of our Penn State family, the main cornerstone and 'glue' that held the Continuing Education office together,” said Pat Hollinger, co-director of continuing education.
“Not only is she a loyal friend, family member and neighbor to all she came in contact with, she is also the epitome of being a Penn State Proud member of our campus,” said Nancy Miller, who serves a co-director with Hollinger.

Lewis and Bowser, both residents of Leechburg, are a part of Building Operations department. They assist in repairs and general maintenance of campus facilities. Lewis joined the maintenance staff in 1988 and serves as mechanic and locksmith. Bowser came on board two years later and is a part of the night shift’s janitorial staff.

“Jim has always been a team player, who was willing to help out wherever he could,” said Randy Tressler, maintenance supervisor. “Penn State has lost a valued employee that will be missed.”

“Ron's commitment to Penn State and this department has been greatly appreciated by all of us,” Tressler said. "Besides his normal duties, Ron has also been willing to help out when needed and to share his carpet installation experience.”


Media Contacts: 

Bill Woodard

Work Phone: 
Home Phone: 
Cell Phone: 

Alumni and Public Relations Specialist

Last Updated April 30, 2014