Retiring faculty and chaplain influenced thousands of students

From left, Paul Kostyu, John Gatz, Lynette Carpenter, Tom Burns, and Amy McClure outside their reception at the Ross Museum.

As baby boomers are beginning to swell the ranks of retirees across the nation, an unusually large number of faculty, along with a prominent staff member, retired at the end of the 2018-19 academic year.

Eight fulltime faculty ended long and distinguished careers in May, each receiving the Adam Poe Medal in recognition of their dedicated service to their students and their profession. And in July, Chaplain Jon Powers retired after three decades as the head – and heart – of religious life at OWU.

Retiring faculty included:

  • Ted Cohen
    Lynette Carpenter, professor of English. Carpenter, who specialized in 19th- and 20th-century American women’s literature and American film, ended her 30 years at OWU with a flourish, as she received the Bishop Herbert Welch Meritorious Teaching Award, in addition to the Poe Medal, at commencement.
  • Ted Cohen, professor of sociology and anthropology. In Cohen’s 35 years at OWU, he researched issues of marriage and parenthood, and in 1990 he received the Sherwood Dodge Shankland Award for the Encouragement of Teachers.
  • John Gatz, William and Elizabeth Austin Professor of Zoology. Gatz’s career spans 44 years at OWU. As OWU’s chief health professions advisor, Gatz helped guide scores of students into medical schools, with an outstanding success rate for medical school placements.
  • Mary Howard
    Jerry Goldstein, professor of botany and microbiology. During Goldstein’s 36 years at OWU, he worked with students on research projects related to microbial molecular genetics, bacterial physiology, and biotechnology.
  • Mary Howard, professor of sociology and anthropology. A Shankland Award recipient during her 34-year career, Howard was involved with problems of poverty in Columbus and worked with students on documentary filmmaking.
  • Paul Kostyu, associate professor of journalism. Kostyu’s stellar career as a journalist, including a Pulitzer Prize nomination, served as the background for his 20 years teaching journalism at OWU.
  • Amy McClure ’72, professor of education. Over a 40-year career, McClure served as department chair, received the Welch Meritorious Teaching Award, directed the OWU Honors Program, and guided hundreds of students to successful teaching careers.
  • Alan Zaring, professor of computer science. In his 29 years at OWU, Zaring taught a wide range of computer science courses, and he received the Shankland Award for Encouragement of Teachers in 2001.
Jon Powers dressed as Reverend Adam Poe.

Also retiring this year was Tom Burns, part-time professor of English and former director of Perkins Observatory. Embracing the idea of the liberal arts, Burns’ career included work as a writing teacher, columnist, and astronomer.

Finally, Chaplain Jon Powers retired at the end of July. Since he joined OWU in 1988, Powers has spearheaded and supported much positive change, including the formation of interfaith mission teams, the creation of the Office of Community Service Learning, and the development of the Columbus Initiative, which pairs Ohio Wesleyan student-tutors with children at Linden STEM Academy in Columbus.


Return to the Fall 2019 OWU Magazine