Creating Academic Programs of National Distinction

Creating Academic Programs of National Distinction

Creating Academic Programs of National Distinction

Millersville continues to enhance its academic programs to ensure the University is nationally recognized as the best educational choice for Pennsylvanians and beyond. We commit ourselves to hiring faculty who are teacher-scholars, equally known for their contributions to their fields as they are for teaching and mentoring students. We commit ourselves to providing the resources necessary to support programs of distinction and to employing technology that enhances the educational process. We continue to enhance the training that enables the administration and staff to provide necessary support to faculty and students as they undertake the robust intellectual, professional, and civic activities that are characteristic of programs of national distinction.

University Success

In its 2012 annual college rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Millersville University 82nd in the category of Best Regional Universities in the North. Millersville shares this distinction with West Chester and Shippensburg as the highest ranked among the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) universities in this category.

President Francine G. McNairy launched a "transformational process" as part of her Case for Change initiative, an ongoing effort that addresses continual improvement in the areas of student success, increased advocacy, and efficient and effective student services.

The spring 2012 National Survey of Student Engagement found Millersville University seniors compared favorably to students at the other PASSHE institutions. MU students performed highest on benchmarks that measure student engagement in activities linked to student learning, measuring students' perceived level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning and enriching educational experiences.

Millersville University's overall four-year graduation rate is 36 percent, above the national average of 22.2 percent for a public, regional comprehensive university.

Faculty and Staff Success

Dr. Richard Clark, earth sciences, was inducted as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, at its 92nd Annual Meeting in January 2012 for making outstanding contributions to the atmospheric or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences or their applications. He was also elected to a second three-year term on the board of trustees of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), a nonprofit consortium of more than 100 colleges and universities offering degrees in the atmospheric and related sciences.

Dr. Todd Sikora, earth sciences, was elected to the UCAR membership committee, which is responsible for reviewing and recommending new and renewing institutional membership applications.

Dr. Charles Geiger, geography, was recognized for his excellence in teaching Geographic Information Systems (GIS) by the PASSHE GIS Consortium and affiliates group.  He received the Outstanding Contribution to GIS Education in Pennsylvania award.

Dr. Mandi Dupain, wellness and sport sciences, co-presented "Agreement Between Activity Monitoring Devices During Home Rehabilitation: A Sub-study of the AAA STOP Trial" at the 2011 European Society of Cardiology Congress in Paris, France.

Dr. Yuan Zhong, biology, chaired a session of the 2011 International Conference on Food Engineering and Biotechnology in Bangkok, Thailand, and made an oral presentation, "Role of ABA in Ethylene-independent Flower Senescence - PP2C as a Positive Effecter of ABA Signaling." The presentation was co-authored by Millersville student Claire Ciafré and won the Best Paper Award at the conference. Dr. Zhong received funding from PASSHE Faculty Development Grants, as well as outside support from the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in Oklahoma, to research "Comparative Genome-level Analysis of the Terpene Synthase Gene Family in Glandular-trichome-bearing Medicago and Non-glandular-trichome-bearing Arabidopsis." Her poster, "Comparative Genome-Level Analysis of the Terpene Synthase Gene Family in Medicago Truncatula and Arabidopsis Thaliana," co-authored by Millersville student Michael Parker, was presented at the 41st Annual Meeting of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania University Biologists, winning second place in the poster presentation category.

Millersville University's second annual Educator of the Year award was presented to Dr. John Wallace, biology, known for his work in medical entomology and stream ecology and international leader in the study of Buruli Ulcer. Dr. Wallace has been a role model to his students, evidenced by his constant supervision and collaborative efforts with them on research projects, many resulting in presentations and peer-reviewed publications, and his fellow faculty since he came to Millersville in 1998.

Program Success

Millersville University's respiratory therapy program was recognized by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care with the Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success Award. Millersville's respiratory therapy program is one of the longest continuously accredited respiratory care programs in the nation.

The School Psychology Certification program received full approval by the Specialized Professional Association as a nationally recognized educational specialist equivalent program. The National Association of School Psychologists commended Millersville's program for using systematic and valid procedures to evaluate and improve the quality of its program.

Graduate programs in the "helping" professions continue to show strong market interest and program success.  The Master of Social Work program continued demonstrating strong student interest and enrollment with a record high 95 applications for the academic year 2011-12.  Based on these applications, new student enrollment exceeded 70, a 15% increase over the previous year.  The Master of Science in Emergency Management program also demonstrated strong interest, exceeding 30 applications for the academic year 2011-12.  New student enrollment, based on applications, reached 26, an 8% increase over the previous year. The headcount for fall 2011 reached a record high of 43 students, surpassing the previous high of 37.

Student Success

David WaltonDavid Walton (pictured second from left), a senior chemistry major with a minor in mathematics, won the 2012 Dr. Ali-Zaidi Award for academic excellence, presented annually to a graduating senior from a PASSHE university. The award recognizes outstanding academic achievement and participation in extra- and co-curricular activities and was established by Syed R. Ali-Zaidi, a founding member of the PASSHE Board of Governors.

Millersville University's Chapter of the National Broadcasting Society (NBS; pictured above) was named National Chapter of the Year at its national conference in New York City. Millersville's NBS chapter received both individual and chapter awards including three production awards, the alumni coordinator award, the community service award and the Alpha Epsilon Rho honor society student of the year award.