Catawba College recognized three retiring faculty members at its May 11 Commencement Exercises. Drs. James "Jim" Beard, John B. "Jack" Green and Cynthia B. Osterhus '73 were cited for their contributions to the institution at the 10 a.m. ceremony held in Keppel Auditorium.
Dr. James "Jim" Beard
Dr. Beard, a professor of chemistry, joined the Catawba faculty in 1988. He had previously served as a member of the faculty at both Pikeville College and at Manchester College. He spent a decade working in private industry. He was employed as a clinical chemist at two hospitals and as an administrative director of laboratory services at a third. He also worked for a time with Bio-Dynamics, an industrial company in Indiana, as manager of an applications laboratory, assistant director and manager of applications, and as director of scientific and regulatory affairs there.
Dr. Beard earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Manchester College, and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Stanford University. He completed post-doctoral research at Iowa State University in organic photochemistry.
A native of Indiana, Dr. Beard wanted to be a teacher since he was in the fifth grade because he has "a knack for explaining things to people." A man of strong religious faith, service too has always been a part of his life. In Rowan County, he served as president of the local Habitat for Humanity in the early 1990s when that organization was just starting up.
Looking back on his career at Catawba, Dr. Beard says he is most proud of recruiting two of his colleagues in the chemistry department, Drs. Carol Ann Miderski and Mark Sabo, with whom he has worked to build a very strong chemistry department.
Active in the American Chemical Society, he has published numerous scholarly articles and has authored a textbook, "Environmental Chemistry in Society."
In retirement, he will move on to his next challenge, completing a program at the Salem Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church USA to become a lay pastor.
He shares this advice on how to succeed in life:
Know yourself; make a plan both professionally and personally; be flexible and have a plan B; do something you enjoy; remember there is more to life than your career; and do something that will leave the world a better place than you found it.
Married to wife Susan, the couple has six adult children.
Dr. John B. "Jack" Green
Dr. Green, an associate professor of marketing, joined the Catawba faculty in 2002. Following graduation from Providence College in 1969, he served as a 2nd Lt. Armor Tank Commander at Ft. Knox and Ft. George G. Meade. After completing the MBA in Marketing at State University of NY-Albany, he spent eight years as an account executive for Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith, in Connecticut and New York.
Following his "Wall Street Period," he spent five years as Director of The Regional Advancement Service of the SUNY-Albany School of Business and taught most marketing courses to classes of 500-600 students. It was then that he realized possible joys of teaching at small liberal arts colleges. Thus, he joined the faculty of Brenau University and Women's College in Atlanta for 18 years. During that period, he earned the Ph.D. in Marketing Research at University of Warwick, Coventry England, the first AACSB accredited institution in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Green says he has enjoyed Catawba for the last 11 years, especially during good football, basketball, lacrosse and soccer seasons, but most of all, he has enjoyed the diversity of Catawba's student body.
In retirement, he plans to spend some time practicing Search Engine Optimization on his 170+ WWW domains, teaching online, and expanding his Kindle e-Book publication library in the quiet confines of his house at the Outer Banks of N.C.
Married for 44 years to wife Nancy, the two are parents of sons John, Tim and Nathan.)
Dr. Cynthia B. Osterhus '73
An associate professor of teacher education and director of the Shirley Peeler Ritchie Academy for Teaching at Catawba, Dr. Osterhus is retiring after 10 years as a full-time faculty member at the college.
A 1973 alumna of Catawba, she earned her undergraduate degree in mathematics. She holds her M.Ed. in mathematics and her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Teaching in Mathematics from UNC Greensboro.
Before joining the faculty at Catawba, she was a mathematics teacher with the Salisbury City Schools. Her prowess in the classroom earned her recognition as the N. C. Teacher of the Year in 1987, as a Teacher in Space Finalist with NASA in 1985, as N.C. Gifted and Talented Teacher of the Year in 1984, and as Outstanding Young Educator of Rowan County in 1983. Catawba honored her with its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1986.
Dr. Osterhus worked for Horizons Unlimited of Salisbury between 1990 and 2002, serving first as director and space science specialist, and later as director of staff development.
At Catawba, she helped create the Ritchie Academy for Teaching in 2007 which has since welcomed over 70 West Scholars in six different cohorts and awarded over $4 million in scholarships.
Dr. Osterhus says of her time at Catawba: "The joy of teaching at Catawba was the freedom to exercise the art of teaching. What has kept me in teaching (and excited about teaching) even after 40 years, is that I don't know how to do it right. I only know that each time I interact with students, I learn something about how they learn, and what I learn gives me ideas for new ways of teaching."
While at Catawba, Dr. Osterhus also wrote a successful grant through which the Burroughs Wellcome Fund provided funding for the Catawba Conservation Camp for three summers on campus. This camp was open to rising sixth and seventh grade girls from our area and its purpose was to expose them to and interest them in science. More than 150 girls had an opportunity to participate in the camp during its three-year run and further develop a curiosity and interest in science and mathematics.
Married to husband Ken, Dr. Osterhus is the mother of two daughters and stepmother of four sons.
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