SALISBURY, MD---Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. – William Butler Yeats
At the end of this semester, Salisbury University says farewell to seven retiring faculty and staff who helped light that fire for thousands of students throughout the years. Together, they represent more than 174 years of combined service.
They are: Andy Reese of Blackwell Library, 33 years; Robert Long of the Social Work Department, 33 years; Dr. Gerry St. Martin of the Modern Languages Department, 30 years; Jack Spence of the Purchasing Office, 28 years; Kit Zak of the English Department, 24 years; Elwood Collins of Housekeeping, 20 years; and Dr. Ellen Zinner of the President’s Office, six years.
SU also bid farewell to one faculty member during the fall semester: Dr. Grady Armstrong, 32 years.
Reese began his employment at the library in 1974, becoming an expert in multiple fields during the next three decades. He served Blackwell in both the order and research service departments. “His broad background and extensive reading have made him invaluable to both,” said Dr. Alice Bahr, dean of libraries and instructional resources. “We wish him much joy in the next phase of his adventures.”
Long, an associate professor of social work, has taught at SU since 1974. An advocate for Coastal Hospice, he has helped hundreds of students learn about social work through that and other programs. “Bob Long is referred to as the heart of the department,” said Dr. Marvin Tossey, chair of the Social Work Department. “He is always there to support his colleagues and students. Thought of as a helpful uncle by many students, he is person to see for ‘extra’ advising about an academic problem or career advice. A winner of the SU Advising Award, Bob is always there to lend a hand or an ear. After 33 years service he will be missed by all and impossible to replace.”
St. Martin, professor of modern languages, began his teaching career at SU in 1975. The director of SU’s popular Study Abroad Program in Cuenca, Ecuador, he has presented papers both nationally and internationally and helped students get involved in learning about other cultures first-hand. “Besides being a master teacher of both French and Spanish, Dr. Gerry St. Martin has been a true, out-in-the field (or in Gerry's case, more like “out-in-the-mountains”--the Andes!) pioneer in international education at SU,” said Dr. Keith Brower, chair of the Modern Languages Department. “Gerry has truly shown his students, in both French and Spanish, a whole other world.”
Spence has served SU since 1978. A procurement officer by trade, he will be missed for his sense of humor as much as his work ethic, said Betty Crockett, associate vice president of administration and finance. “His procurement knowledge base is going to be difficult to replace,” she said. “We’re going to miss him terribly.”
Zak, lecturer in English, came to SU in 1984, focusing her efforts on SU’s freshmen through her 102-level class and service-learning seminars. She also served as the English Department’s intern coordinator. Zak founded SU’s chapter of Amnesty International and may begin a chapter in the Lewes/Rehoboth Beach, DE, area following her retirement. She also is considering continuing her outreach to SU students as a teacher in Salisbury’s international program in Cuenca, Ecuador.
Collins joined SU’s housekeeping staff in 1986, becoming a friendly fixture of the campus. “It has been my pleasure to work with Elwood,” said Shirley Pinkett, assistant director of facilities services. “I will miss seeing his cart parked by the Social Room in Holloway Hall. Elwood is known for his laugh and his favorite quote, ‘There you go!’ We wish him good health, unending laughter and a well-deserved, blissful retirement.”
Zinner has served as the Assistant to the President since 2000, founding new programs and re-establishing old ones as a member of the President’s executive staff. “Ellen came to Salisbury University just a few months after I assumed the presidency,” said SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach. “She has been my associate, my steadfast supporter and my sounding board for the last six and a half years. I could not have asked for a more loyal or committed Assistant to the President. During her tenure, Ellen’s duties have changed as needs demanded, but she always brought enthusiasm, patience, and dedication to her tasks.”
During her time at SU, Zinner was the original coordinator of the annual SU Day at the Legislature in Annapolis, revived the University’s annual staff and faculty picnics, customized and promoted the Preventing Sexual Harassment online training program, drafted the application for SU’s Phi Beta Kappa national honor society in the liberal arts and sciences, and promoted external awards for faculty and staff. “It has been a privilege to serve the President and to see the progress that Salisbury University has made over the last seven years in expanding its reputation nationally,” she said.
Armstrong, associate professor of health, physical education and human performance, began his career at SU in 1974. In addition to his work in the classroom, he presented research and publications to national audiences throughout the years. A past director of SU’s intramural program, he also influenced the physical activities of thousands of Salisbury students. In 1993, he conducted a survey of students’ attitudes about exercise and self image before and after they completed a health and fitness course. According to the study, which served as the basis for Armstrong’s dissertation, the students’ attitudes toward exercise changed significantly after the course, placing them on the road toward healthier lifestyles.
“Grady was instrumental in developing the adapted physical education program,” said Dr. Susan Muller, chair of the Health, Physical Education and Human Performance Department. “He initiated the practice of bringing local school children to SU for physical education instruction, benefiting both the children and the teacher candidates. Grady was also very dedicated to working with under served youth in the local and regional area. Each summer he worked and directed various sport camps designed to assist these youngsters.”
For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.