Northern Pennsylvania Regional College (NPRC) reaches another new milestone with the hiring of their core faculty members. These first four faculty positions bring regional natives back to the area and provided the opportunity to those already in our region. The disciplines hired for are English and Communications, Natural Sciences, Manufacturing and Technology, and Early Childhood Education.
Benjamin Blood, an English Instructor, joined the NPRC in mid-June. He has long roots in the area and came to NPRC from Jamestown Community College and SUNY Fredonia. He has a master’s degree in English with grades 7-12 teaching certification and an emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition. In 2018, Ben received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence and the President’s Award for Excellence at Jamestown Community College. Ben will work primarily out of the Warren sites. He will begin teaching
English courses for the Fall 2019 term.
Ron Pollock, Natural Sciences Instructor, joined NPRC in August. A native of Clarion, Ron returns from Texas where he taught as a Biology and Biotechnology adjunct faculty member at Lone Star College and Austin Community College, respectively. He was also an instructor at the Harmony Science Academy and served as the Science Department Chair since 2015. Ron’s home office and teaching site are still to be determined with his first classes being taught in Spring 2020.
Leigh Anne Kraemer-Naser, Early Childhood Education Instructor, is joining NPRC as a full-time instructor beginning Sept. 5. She has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Gannon, has the Pennsylvania Childcare Administration Director’s Credential, and is the Owner and Director of Curriculum Solutions Center where she consults with early childhood learning and care facilities through much of western Pennsylvania. Leigh Anne is a resident of Erie and will have her primary teaching site
and main office location there as well. She has been an adjunct faculty member with the Gannon/NPRC partnership since Spring 2019 and will begin her first full-time term at NPRC in Spring 2020.
Frank O’Connell, Manufacturing Technology Instructor, is joining NPRC as a full-time instructor beginning September 5. A native of Elk County, he will be returning to the area from Universal Technical Institute, near Philadelphia, PA, where he was a diesel and hydraulic technology instructor. Frank has a degree in Workforce Education and Development with a graduate-level certificate in English as a Second Language. His primary teaching site and office location is still to be determined with his first credit-
bearing term is anticipated to be Summer 2020.
“These four faculty members have a lot of work ahead of them in curriculum and course content development, but we are thrilled to have such a talented, student-centered group of instructors as the core members of our full-time faculty at NPRC,” says Dr. Debra Teachman, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. “They add valuable skills and diverse experiences to our already talented team.”
NPRC is dedicated to providing higher education to rural, underserved populations in the area. One of the goals of this mission is to help revitalize the workforce and the economy of the area, and the hiring of these regional natives is a step toward this goal. NPRC has provided these full-time faculty members an opportunity to remain in the area or return home rather than having to leave in order to seek employment after earning a degree. Due to this, they represent one of the goals of NPRC, and as the first full-time instructors hired by the college, they will be instrumental in building the programs and curricula that will help the college achieve its mission.