Robert Fessler, Ph.D. (left) and Nathan Firestone, J.D. in the Lawrence Hall Gallery.
Not long after both joined the faculty of Point Park College, Robert Fessler and Nathan Firestone and several other teachers challenged their students to a touch football game on a field in a Pittsburgh neighborhood.
The students won that game, Fessler recalls with a laugh.
More than four decades later, Fessler, Firestone and a group of fellow longtime faculty members are still hard at work challenging their students – that is, challenging them to think critically and push the boundaries of educational achievement. And it’s fair to say that Point Park students are still the winners.
“Among longtime faculty, there is a common bond. We have been through so many changes at Point Park over the years,” says Fessler, now a professor of psychology and global cultural studies and the acting dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.
From the early 1970s, when a financial crisis threatened Point Park’s very survival, to the current era of academic growth and campus expansion, “There remains a core group of teachers who have been here for decades. We carry the history of the university with us,” says Fessler. “All of these faculty members really, truly care about education.”
The Point talked with the 10 professors who have taught for 40 years or longer to learn more about how, and why, they remain committed to educating Point Park students:
Read about Robert Fessler, Ph.D. (pictured above left), professor of psychology and acting dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.
Meet Nathan Firestone, J.D. (pictured above right), professor of political science.
Read about Nicolas Petrov, Ph.D. (standing at right), professor of dance in the Conservatory of Performing Arts, founder of Point Park University's dance program and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
Meet Channa Newman, Ph.D. (left), professor of French and Cultural Studies and founder and director of the Global Cultural Studies program.
Share a conversation with John Kudlac, Ph.D. (right) professor of earth sciences and engineering technology, and graduate program director, in the Natural Science and Engineering Technology department.
Read about Robert Alexander, Ph.D. (seated at left) professor of English and director of the University Writing Program.
Meet Robert Lewis, Ph.D. (standing at left), professor of English.
Share a conversation with Vishnu Agrawala, Ph.D. (right) professor of mathematics and physics.
Read about George C. Bromall II, J.D. (seated at left), professor of business management and a Point Park alumnus.
Meet Edward C. Wachter, Jr., J.D. (standing at left), professor of business management.
Whether you graduated in 1969 or 2012, you are invited to share your own memories of the Point Park professors who made a lasting impact on your life. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Text by Cheryl Valyo
Portraits by Martha Rial
The Point is a magazine for alumni and friends of Point Park University.