Four Faculty Members with Endowed Professorships

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Plymouth State University has honored four faculty members with named professorships. Patricia Lindberg, Ph.D., was named the Stevens-Bristow Professor of Education, Kerry Yurewicz, Ph.D., was named the Helen Abbott ’39 Professor of Environmental Studies, Eric G. Hoffman, Ph.D., was named the Colonel Craig Souza ’87 Professor of Meteorology, and Matthew D. Zawodniak, Ph.D., was named the Ed and Marilyn Wixson Professor of Mathematics. Each awardee will be featured speakers of PSU’s Spring 2022 Professorship Lecture Series. The lectures are open to the public and will take place at various locations on PSU’s campus in March and April, 2022.

“Our endowed professorships recognize members of our faculty who have displayed immense dedication to preparing our students to enter the professional world,” says Ann McClellan, Ph.D., Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Plymouth State University. “Trish Lindberg, Kerry Yurewicz, Eric Hoffman and Matthew Zawodniak demonstrate their commitment to PSU and our students by embracing our Integrated Clusters education approach, which enables students to develop the critical thinking and problem-solving skills they need to enact positive change in their communities.”

Patricia Lindberg Named Stevens-Bristow Professor of Education

The Plymouth State University Stevens-Bristow Professorship was established in 2007 by Wallace R. ’62 and Meredith Bristow Stevens ’62 to honor an exceptional faculty member who demonstrates excellence in teaching, advising, or mentoring; engages in scholarly activity that is recognized nationally or internationally; and who makes outstanding contributions to the profession, University or state.

Patricia Lindberg is a professor and coordinator of the masters of education in integrated arts program at PSU. Lindberg created the masters of education in integrated arts degree program and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Arts Leadership and Learning and worked for many years in PSU’s elementary education program. She founded and artistically directed the Kearsarge Arts Theatre, an award-winning children’s theatre in New London, New Hampshire, for 30 years and is currently the artistic director of the Educational Theatre Collaborative (ETC) and the TIGER professional theatre company, both based at PSU. In addition to teaching, producing and directing, Lindberg is also a published author and playwright.

Lindberg will be presenting on March 23, 2022, 4:00-5:30 p.m., at the Museum of the White Mountains. 

Kerry Yurewicz Named Abbott Professor of Environmental Studies

The Helen Abbott ’39 Professorship of Environmental Studies was created by Janice C. Griffin, former PSU student from Union, New Hampshire, and current professor of law at Suffolk University in Boston, to honor her friend, teacher and mentor, Helen Abbott, a Plymouth State graduate. Griffith established the Professorship in 2010 to honor Abbott for her commitment to youth environmental education. The endowed professorship recognizes an exemplary member of the PSU faculty who integrates elements of environmental studies into coursework or research.

Kerry Yurewicz is an associate professor of ecology at PSU. Yurewicz uses natural surveys and experiments to investigate animal behavior, interactions between species and pattern of biodiversity across environmental gradients. Yurewicz is passionate about inspiring an appreciation for biodiversity in her students and encouraging them to ask and seek answers about the natural world. Her research focuses on amphibians and invertebrates, often in freshwater systems, and collaborates with both undergraduate and graduate students. She has been a member of PSU’s faculty since 2004 and a long-time member of the board of directors at Quincy Bog Natural Area, a local nonprofit environmental organization.

Yurewicz will be presenting on March 31, 2022, 4:00-5:30 p.m., at the Silver Center for the Arts.

Eric Hoffman Named Souza Professor of Meteorology

The Colonel Craig Souza ’87 Endowed Professorship in Meteorology was made possible through a generous gift from retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and PSU alum Craig Souza. Souza served most of his career supporting the U.S. Army, including serving as the senior Air Force meteorologist supporting the Army and its Chief of Staff’s weatherman. Souza credits his illustrious career to his time at PSU. The purpose of the endowment is to celebrate and provide financial support to a deserving PSU faculty member who will research and present on the value of “functional meteorology.”

Eric Hoffman is a professor of meteorology with expertise in synoptic and mesoscale meteorology. Prior to joining PSU’s faculty in 2000, Hoffman worked as an aviation meteorologist for the Aviation Weather Center of the National Weather Service. He works with both undergraduate and graduate students on a variety of research projects, including cold-air damming in northern New England, impactful weather associated with stationary fronts in the eastern U.S., climatological studies of high wind events and weather-related power outages. 

Hoffman will be presenting on April 2, 2022, 3:30-4:30 p.m., at the Merrill Place Conference Center.

Matthew Zawodniak Named Wixson Professor of Mathematics

The Ed and Marilyn Wixson Endowed Professorship of Mathematics was created by longtime PSU mathematics faculty members Ed and Marilyn Wixson to celebrate and recognize Mathematics faculty who are exemplary faculty models of teaching, scholarship, and service or who show strong promise to become such excellent faculty.

Matthew D. Zawodniak is a teaching faculty member in mathematics and the graduate mathematics program coordinator. Zawodniak’s doctoral research was conducted in the field of Algebraic Topology and Rational Homotopy Theory, which studies the similarities of different mathematical constructs. He loves hosting math murder mysteries and teaching outside whenever possible. His favorite course to teach is Mathematics for Elementary Teachers as elementary math is integral to the future mathematical success of young students. Zawodniak has designed and taught courses for in-service elementary teachers and he has an overall goal of improving mathematics education at Kindergarten through college levels.

Zawodniak will be presenting on April 15, 2022, 3:00-4:30 p.m., at the Silver Center for the Arts. The Spring 2022 Professorship Lecture Series presentations are free and open to the public but pre-registration is encouraged as space is limited.