This tribute will mostly be an expression of gratitude. In fact, I am going to share with you the five things about Al for which I am most grateful.
Number # 1 - Transformation of the Internship Program
In 1984 Al took charge of a “glorified work study experience” and transformed it into a true “Professional Internship Program”. Al’s model is emulated by other schools. In fact, Al has earned a national reputation for his expertise in the integration of internships and experiential learning into the curriculum.
Number # 2 - Teaching Excellence
Teaching is a combination of art, science and craft. Excellent teaching is difficult to define. However, most of us can recognize it when we see it. Anyone who has observed Al in the classroom has witnessed the personification of the concept of “teaching excellence”.
I must admit, I view Al’s teaching with admiration and envy. He does what a great teacher is supposed to do. He removes the barriers to learning and shows students how to take ownership of their learning through his masterful facilitation and course design.
Number # 3 – Civility and Respect for Different Views
Anyone who works in an academic environment will experience the inevitable clash of ideas and values. The trick is to keep it on the professional level and to not take it personally.
I cannot think of anyone who is more gracious in disagreement than Al. I have witnessed his ability to discuss and reach agreement on tough, and not so tough, problems.
Al has always served as a great example of how to “disagree without being disagreeable”.
Number # 4 – Curriculum Development Work
Most faculty members, at some point in their career, will have the opportunity to develop new courses. Al has done that many times. However, very few will have the opportunity to develop new degree programs and Al has also done that several times.
He played a major role in the development of the MS in Management program which was successfully launched in 1995. Al helped write the curriculum and provided a great deal of counsel and advice to me during the development process.
He also took the lead and developed the learning outcomes and wrote the entire curriculum for the MS in Human Resource Management program which was launched in 2005.
Number # 5 - Devotion to Student Growth and Development
Nazareth was quick to recognize Al for his commitment to student growth and development. In 1987 Nazareth honored Al with two awards: the “Outstanding Advisor Award” and the “Student Affairs – Service to Nazareth College Award”.
That was a sign of things to come. Al has received much formal recognition for his service to students over the course of his career. His latest national honor was the “Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award” from the National Academic Advising Association in 2010.
Al, best wishes and we know great things are ahead of you in your retirement.