“I can’t imagine a curriculum that would prepare me for life as well as the Industrial Arts program at Oswego from 1950 to 1953,” says Kenvyn Richards ’53. “I learned so much that was practical and it has served me well for the last 60 years.” It served him so well, that he made it his life’s work, first teaching in the public schools in the Middleburgh School District and later as professor of industrial arts, now called technology education, at his alma mater.
Dr. Ronald A Brown’s teaching philosophy can be summed up in three letters: F-U-N.
When he joined the Oswego faculty in 1971, the physics department was fighting for survival. It had few majors, and needed to attract non-majors to remain viable. With a bachelor’s degree from Drexel University and master’s and doctorate from Purdue, Brown was hired away from Kent State. His mission: to make physics understandable for those fulfilling general education requirements and elementary education majors looking for fun ways to incorporate science into their classrooms. Vowing not to “kill ’em with calculus,” he devised his own method of hands-on, play-based instruction.
Who better to feature in this special Sesquicentennial issue’s Faculty Hall of Fame than cover subject Oswego Founder Edward Austin Sheldon? Certainly he was among the most esteemed faculty members at the college, leaving a legacy that has touched generations (see excerpts from Sheldon’s autobiography starting on p. 18).
Anzio Beach, Monte Cassino, Normandy: To most, these are names from a map or history book. To Charles Phallen, emeritus professor of technology education, they are places he served valiantly in World War II and visits now, at age 94, to receive honors from a grateful populace or pay respects at the graves of fallen comrades.
Last year, France honored him with the Chevalier Legion of Honor. The Legion of Honor is the highest award France can bestow, and it was presented to Phallen for his “personal, precious contribution to the United States’ decisive role in the liberation of our country.”