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NPRC Announces Two New Program Directors

NPRC announces the appointment of two new positions: Director of Applied Studies and Director of Arts and Sciences. This November, full-time NPRC faculty members Leigh Anne Kraemer-Naser and Benjamin Blood assumed these roles, respectively.

Kraemer-Naser will lead faculty who teach courses in the Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS) degrees, such as Early Childhood Education and Applied Technology, and have primary responsibility for NPRC’s assessment of student learning.

Kraemer-Naser began with NPRC in January 2019 as part of NPRC’s partnership with her alma mater, Gannon University, before joining us full-time in September 2019. She owned Curriculum Solution Center from 2013 – 2020 where she developed professional learning programs for educators and created student curriculum for childcare programs and K-12 schools. Before transitioning to higher education, she held teaching positions at the Pre-K through middle school levels.

Kraemer-Naser is excited for her new role as NPRC’s Director of Applied Studies. It allows her to put years of academic study and professional experience with curriculum design and assessment into practice. She remarked, “I am excited to intentionally align student learning outcomes within degree coursework to NPRC’s goals and professional industry standards in the applied studies programs. The work we do here is relevant and meaningful, so being able to showcase it to our students, partners, and communities is extremely validating.”

Benjamin Blood is the new Director of Arts and Sciences. Blood, currently NPRC’s instructor of English, will lead faculty and curriculum for most Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees, such as Liberal Studies and Business Administration, as well as the General Studies Certificate.

Blood joined NPRC in the summer of 2019 from Jamestown Community College and SUNY Fredonia, where he had taught for the two institutions since 2013. He has a master’s degree in English with a teaching certification for grades 7 – 12 and an emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition. In 2018, Blood received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence and the President’s Award for Excellence at Jamestown Community College. Recently, he presented at the 2021 Teaching Professor Conference in New Orleans and appeared on the Faculty Focus podcast to discuss his work aimed at helping underprepared and first-generation college students overcome non-academic obstacles.

When asked about the new position, Blood said, “I have always been proud to work here at NPRC. I am proud of what we have done to enhance the opportunities for students in the area. I look forward to the opportunity to continue working with students as an instructor as well as embracing new opportunities to serve the college, our community partners, and our students in new ways as a director.”

With respect to the appointment of these positions, Melinda Saunders, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, remarked, “I am proud of NPRC’s commitment to growing future leaders and am excited for the opportunity to lead academics alongside Ben and Leigh Anne. They are exemplary professionals who embody NPRC’s mission to provide affordable and accessible post-secondary education to the residents of northern Pennsylvania.”