Welcome new teachers but keep the old; Romano remains; Gingerich gets greeted

By Jillian Milam
April 7, 2005

Shane Evans

While Dr. Joseph Romano, professor of philosophy, holds the title of being the teacher at Cabrini the longest, Mr. Jeffrey Gingerich serves as the newest member of the faculty here.

“The BIG difference is that every year the freshmen are the same age and I am always one year older,” Dr. Joseph Romano, professor of philosophy, said with a chuckle. “They’re the constant and I’m the variable!”

Romano has been teaching at Cabrini College since fall of 1960. “I had the first graduating class, first group of seniors,” he said. “They were good students…I remember almost every student I had.”

However, he was not always a professor of philosophy here. Through the years, his titles have changed but the “most significant” change occurred in 1979.

He left the faculty department and ventured to administration. Vice president of academic affairs, to be exact. He maintained this position until 1988 and underwent many challenges, many of which were very different than those of teaching.

“I had to make lots of decisions…I helped create the core curriculum, the very first masters degree in education here and the first computer science major,” Romano said. “And I hired John Dzik who revamped the entire athletic department.”

“I take pride in those nine years,” Romano said. “I had two main rules – never take credit for anything. Find the

person that really deserves it. And always be ready to take the blame when the president or the board of trustees is sore with something.”

Romano has accomplished many things in his career. However, one highlight includes being granted a leave for Cabrini when he received a visiting professorship that involved him teaching at one of the oldest Catholic Universities in Europe, Louvain in Belgium. “My family and I lived there for a while, it was cool,” he said.

In regards to all of the plans for expansion and construction on Cabrini’s campus, Romano expressed that it’s nothing too new here. “There’s always been growth here, we’re always expanding,” he said. “But buildings don’t make communities, people do. As long as we can maintain the personality of Cabrini, it doesn’t matter how many buildings we have. Facilities are necessary conditions for a college…the good people are the cause of a successful college.”

On the other side of the spectrum, Mr. Jeffery Gingerich, associate professor of sociology, began his journey here merely three months ago in January. “Coming here in the middle of the school year has its challenges, but it’s nice in some ways,” Gingerich said. “It’s nice to just jump into the swing of things…so far so good!”

After attending the University of Pennsylvania, he worked for five years at Bluffton University in Ohio before coming to Cabrini. “I’ve been interested in the direct work of helping people…and trying to answer the questions, ‘why are people in poverty or crime?'”

Gingerich has many things on his agenda for the future, such as getting to know the students, work with them and try “not to be the person who just hands them a paper every now and then.”

He is making endeavors of improving the sociology department and is in the midst of revisions for the curriculum. “The sociology department is wonderful to work with. At big universities, it’s hard because you can get lost in the department,” he said. “My role is to look at the criminal justice aspects, you know, we don’t want to just spit out people to catch bad guys…we want them to understand why [crime] happens and what the effects are. Then try to prevent it,” Gingerich said.

As he gets acquainted with Cabrini, the sociology department should see positive alterations as he tries to “make the program strong” and prompt the students to, “make applications to the real world.”

Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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Jillian Milam

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