Professor Emeritus of Education Raymond Bridgers Jr. readily admits that if someone had told him as a high school student that he would become a teacher, he would have laughed. “School was not a particularly happy place for me,” he says. But once he started teaching, Bridgers came to love the classroom. “I literally enjoyed
Dr. John Demidowicz, professor emeritus of Spanish, liked to play a little joke on the first day of class. He would let a golf ball slip out of his pocket and tell the students, in Spanish of course, that he was on the golf course when he remembered he had to teach. “You ruined a great game,” he would say.
Invariably, they would laugh, and that was just what he wanted. “A burst of laughter is like an unexpected quiz, “ he says. “It shows they understand.”
“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.”