“Suter Science Seminar” – Emeriti Panel Discussion

Six Professors Emeriti share history and perspective from their own experiences in their teaching careers at EMU.

Panel discussion with Drs. Kenton Brubaker, Glenn M. Kauffman, Galen Lehman, Joseph W. Mast,Clair Mellinger, and Millard Showalter

Dr. Kenton Brubaker graduated from EMU (then EMC) in 1954 after three years as a biology major there and a senior year as an agronomy major at Cornell University. He then earned a masters and doctorate in horticulture at Ohio State University. He began teaching at EMC in 1959, branching out in many areas of biology: biochemistry, genetics, ecology, and agriculture. One of his primary interests was international agriculture, fostered by a three year teaching term with Mennonite Central Committee in the Congo (1962-65).

Dr. Glenn M. Kauffman attended EMU (then EMC) in 1956-60, and earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and mathematics from Goshen College in 1961. At the University of Pennsylvania in the early 1960’s, he served as Teaching Assistant, Busch Fellow, and National NSF Pre-doctoral Fellow. He earned his PhD in physical organic chemistry in 1966. Dr. Kauffman served as Professor of Chemistry and Department Head at EMU from 1965-2003. Various committee involvements at EMU included the Academic Council, the Pre-professional Health Science Advisory Committee, and the EMU research Review Board. He also served as the Chemical Hygiene Officer and was the co-principal investigator on several grant proposals. Over the years he taught at EMU, Dr. Kauffman also engaged in research and served as a research professor at the University of Florida, The University of Toronto, and James Madison University.

Dr. Galen Lehman earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from EMU (then EMC) in 1973, a master’s in General Experimental Psychology from Hollins College in 1980, and a doctorate in Applied Experimental Psychology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1988. He retired from EMU in 2014 after serving 39 years as Professor of Psychology. (For several years prior to his retirement, he had been the longest-serving professor at EMU.) During his tenure at EMU, he served on “almost every committee” (including the Strategic Planning Council) and chaired a number of task forces (including co-chairing the EMU Structure task-force). He has served as a researcher and consultant to many large corporations including Motor Vehicle Manufacturing Association, Dominos Pizza, and USAID. Galen also served as Caribbean Regional Director for Virginia Mennonite Missions for 18 years, and as a member of the Board of Directors of Park View Federal Credit Union for 12 years.

Dr. Joseph Mast received a B.S. degree in Mathematics and Secondary Education from EMU (then EMC). He also received a Masters and PhD in Astronomy, and later a Master of Computer Science degree, from the University of Virginia. Dr. Mast taught at EMU for 37 years, beginning in the Physics department and later the Mathematical Sciences department. He was involved in the M. T. Brackbill planetarium program from its beginning and served as Director for twenty years. He was one of the charter members of the Park View Federal Credit Union. Joe enjoys reading and solving Sudoku puzzles.

Dr. Clair Mellinger taught in the EMU Biology Department for 37 years. A graduate of EMC, he earned a PhD in Plant Ecology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. On his return to EMC as the non-pre-professional-health professor in the department, he taught, at one time or another, almost every other course not having human anatomy or physiology in its title. When D. Ralph Hostetter retired he inherited many of his courses, including the ornithology course. Subsequently Clair spent much of his summer and sabbatical time on ornithological projects. This interest led to his serving as the President, Murray Research Award Committee Chair, and Board member in the Virginia Society of Ornithology. At EMU, he served for many years as the Biology Department Chair and the Director of the Suter Science Center. From 1980-2005 he was the Curator of the D. Ralph Hostetter Museum of Natural History. He served on the Dean’s Committee, COTE, Assessment Committee, and other committees during his tenure. Since retirement, he has more time to spend with his family, as well as indulging in reading, travel, and more bird watching.

Dr. Millard Showalter earned his bachelor’s degree from EMU (then EMC) in 1962. He later earned master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina (MM, 1966) and Vanderbilt University (MA, 1971), as well as a doctorate from the University of Virginia (EdD, 1981). Dr. Showalter served in EMU’s mathematical sciences department for 32 years (1966 – 1998). During his tenure at EMU, he advised the math education majors and served on various committees including Academic Council, Dean’s Committee, Honor’s Program Committee, and the General Education Curriculum Committee. For a number of years he served as department chair, and as building coordinator of the Suter Science Center. Millard was known for his presentations of memorized scriptural passages in chapel.