The Dean Blog

May 11, 2009

A Thank You to our Retiring Faculty Members

At the end of this academic year, four long-time faculty members in the College of Communication will be retiring from their positions at Rowan:  Dr. Cindy Corison, Department of Communication Studies; Dr. Richard Grupenhoff, Department of Radio/Television and Film; Dr. Diane Penrod, Department of Writing Arts; and Ms. Mary Lee Donahue, Department of Writing Arts.

Dr. Richard Grupenhoff has been at Rowan since 1975, helping to build the Radio/TV/Film program and serving as the first chair of the department from 1996-2001.  A successful author, Dr. Grupenhoff’s biography of Lorenzo Tucker, a native Philadelphian, is one of the pioneering works of African American film history.  Dr. Grupenhoff founded a very exciting exchange program for students and faculty with the University of Osnabruek in the year 2000.  More than 100 students from the two universities have taken part in the program since its creation.  An active member of the university, Dr. Grupenhoff was awarded the Joseph A. Barnes Award for Outstanding Service in spring 2003.

Dr. Cindy Corison came to Rowan (then Glassboro State) in 1984.  In the years since, she has taught an impressive variety of courses including Public Speaking, Communication Studies Research Methods, Intro to Survey Research, Intro to Communication Studies, and Public Opinion.  Dr. Corison has been an active part of the leadership in the college throughout her time at Rowan.  She directed the graduate program in Public Relations early in its growth, scheduled courses for the entire communication program, and chaired the Communication Studies program from 1998-2007, providing important leadership in this time of growth and change. The Wall of Fame award that she received in spring 2009 is testimony to her commitment to students that persisted throughout her career at Rowan.

Dr. Diane Penrod joined us in the Writing Arts department in fall of 1994.  In the ensuing years, she has taught students at all levels of the program, from first year to graduate level and has taught in the Public Relations program as well.  Dr. Penrod has been an integral part of the development of both the Writing Arts major and the M.A. in Writing.  She has been the graduate adviser for the M.A. program for 10 years and students highly value her advice and mentorship in that capacity. The impressive quality of Dr. Penrod’s student evaluations speak to all she has offered to the Writing Arts program and its majors.

Ms. Mary Lee Donahue has more than 25 years of service at Rowan, first teaching at Glassboro State in 1983.  Over the years, she has shown a long-lasting and strong dedication to the first year writing program and its improvement.  Ms. Donahue has offered a variety of service to the Rowan community as an active member and officer of the AFT union, a participant in the Glassboro Board of Education, and an editor/writer for the Gloucester County Times, among other contributions.

These four members of the college have brought much to us during their time at Rowan, and while their impact on us will be long felt, their day-to-day presence in the college will certainly be missed.  We wish them all the best in their future endeavors and look forward to hearing about how the next phase of their lives unfold.



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