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Alumni News

Honoring Emeriti Faculty

Montclair State honors Emeriti Faculty with an in person luncheon and virtual gathering

Posted in: Alumni News and Events

Emeriti Faculty

In a tradition of honoring the accomplishments and service of emeriti faculty, seven newly appointed members were recognized at the Emeriti Faculty Luncheon held on November 18 at the Feliciano School of Business. Gathering in person and virtually, fellow emeriti faculty, guests and University leadership joined in celebrating the emeriti faculty and their collective influence on Montclair State University.

Kimberly Hollister, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, opened the program to announce the newly named emeriti faculty and recognize all emeriti faculty in attendance. In thanking members for their years of service, she pointed out, “If you compile the years that each of you here today served Montclair State and our students, the number represents over 1,415 years of service. Now that is impressive!”

Recognizing that emeriti faculty remain a vital part of the University community, University President Jonathan Koppell thanked the group for contributing to Montclair’s growth as one of the largest and most successfully diverse public research universities in New Jersey. President Koppell noted that this is an exciting time where we will build on this foundation in bold, imaginative ways that contribute to the prosperity, health and well-being of New Jersey and the nation.

Jonathan Koppell
President Koppell speaks with the crowd about partnering with communities.

The seven newly appointed emeriti faculty members recognized at the luncheon are:

Megan Austin
Megan C. Austin, Director of Montclair State University Galleries spoke to attendees about various curated programs.

As part of the program, Megan C. Austin, director of University Galleries, provided an overview of the Montclair State University Galleries program, which presents diverse and inclusive exhibitions and programs that create connections and unite the campus experience with the local and global community. “We want to create opportunities for artists, curators and scholars and to be able to promote outreach and accessibility,” noted Austin.

Austin highlighted Tech/Know/Future/ From Slang to Structure, the exhibition that was open through December 11, which placed the viewer at the intersection of the past, present and future. Eleven diverse, cross-disciplinary artists established new relationships among technology, knowledge and time through augmented reality, artificial intelligence, sound, video, textiles and works on paper.

Dr. Joseph Attanasio ’62, ’65 MA, professor emeritus and former chair of the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, provided remarks on behalf of the faculty. Dr. Attanasio served at the University for 45 years and noted, “As emeriti faculty, we receive benefits from the University, including parking and library privileges. Let’s take advantage of those benefits and continue to stay connected to each other and the University.”

In closing the program, Jeanne Marano, assistant vice president for Annual Giving and Alumni Engagement, shared: “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to recognize our newest emeriti faculty members and to celebrate the contributions all of you have made to Montclair State over your many years of service. Your continued involvement is so very important to our success.”

Emeriti faculty are an integral part of the campus community, serving as ambassadors for the University and its educational mission in the community, state and nation, as well as in professional and academic organizations and activities. They serve as significant scholarly resources for the University with their collective wisdom and knowledge, sharing their expertise through professional achievements, publications and community service.

We invite you to view photos from the luncheon, which was sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Development division. We look forward to continuing to host events and activities that engage our emeriti faculty at Montclair State University. For more information, contact Karen Hackett in the Office of Alumni Engagement at 973-655-4207 or

Please join us in congratulating our newest inductees as Professors Emeriti! Below you can read some of the focal points of their careers at Montclair State, including their years devoted to the University, awards and achievements:

Professor James Benham
Department of Computer Science
College of Science and Mathematics

Professor Benham served the University for thirty-three years. He was instrumental in developing programs in computer science. He assisted in establishing an accredited program in computer science and establishing the Department of Computer Science. He served the department as a professor and mentored younger faculty throughout his tenure, and was one of the longest serving faculty members. He taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses including Programming Languages, Compliers, Data Structures, Algorithms, and Computer Science Theory. In collaboration with his department colleagues, he designed and taught capstone and student project experiences. These project experiences served as assessment data collection points in General Education courses serving 2000 students per year. He distinguished himself as a scholar in the field of computer science, and published in both software engineering and computer science education journals.

Professor Richard Hodson
Chairperson of the Physics and Geosciences Department and later a member of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department
College of Science and Mathematics

Professor Hodson served the University for thirty-eight years, and throughout his tenure, he served with distinction as department chairperson. He led efforts to promote and recruit for the physics program, organized multiple workshops for teachers, and was active in the American Association of Physics Teachers including in a leadership role and as a conference presenter. He made significant and early efforts to incorporate the use of computers in physics teaching, was awarded National Science Foundation funds to redesign introductory physical science courses, and has remained a life-long supporter of and contributor to the physics program at Montclair State University and to its students.

Professor John Luttropp
Department of Art and Design
College of the Arts

Professor Luttropp served the University for thirty-one years, and he served with distinction as Professor of Visual Communication Design, department chair, Undergraduate Advisor for the BA and BFA Degree programs, developer and coordinator of the BFA Degree in Visual Communication Design, and Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees. He is an active artist and designer, co-author of four books on design, and engaged member of the community, serving on the Board of Managers for the American Cancer Society in Essex County, a Board Member for the New Jersey Art Directors Club, and Co-Chair of the International Microcar & Minicar Club.

Professor David Middlemas
Department of Exercise Science and Physical Education
College of Education and Human Services
Professor Middlemas served the University with distinction for twenty-one years. He helped establish and served as the Director of the University’s Athletic Training program. He was an accomplished scholar with several published journal articles and book chapters; and was a devoted educator who inspired generations of Montclair State University Athletic Training students. He received the National Athletic Trainers Association’s Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award and he is a member of the Athletic Trainers Society of New Jersey Hall of Fame, Chaired and co-founded the Peer Support-Critical Incident Management Team of Athletic trainers. He also served as Chair of the Inaugural National Athletic Trainers Association Care Committee and as an Associate Editor for the Crisis, Stress and Human Resilience International Journal.

Professor J. Kenneth Olenik
Department of History
College of Humanities of Social Sciences
Professor Olenik served the University for fifty years, and he introduced the study of the Chinese language in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, teaching East Asian history to thousands of students. He organized events on East Asia, served as department chair and on departmental committees, and created learning opportunities for his students. He specialized in Chinese and Japanese intellectual and political history and was awarded substantial grants to study and travel in China and Japan from the Social Science Research Council, Mellon Foundation, American Academy of Social Sciences, and The Academia Sinica in Taiwan. He worked as a visiting scholar at Keio University and Waseda University, including the Toyo Bunko in Japan and attended programs in China sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Social Science Department of Modern Chinese History. He published in Chinese and Japanese, including a text on Japanese history, presented numerous papers at prestigious academic conferences, and conducted field research in South China supported by the Chinese Workers and Peasant Party, travelling along the route of the Northern Expedition to Wuhan and down the Yangzi River.

Professor Klaus Schnitzer
Department of Art and Design
College of the Arts

Professor Schnitzer served the University for fifty years. He reimagined and developed Calcia Hall’s photography studio, and served as a professor for the BA, BFA and MA Fine Art/Studio degrees, inspiring a generation of photographers, artists, teachers and industry leaders, and is greatly respected by his colleagues and students for his high standards and dedication to his teaching. Professor Schnitzer was the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Polaroid Foundation, and New Jersey Council of the Arts. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Ellis Island Immigration Museum, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Polaroid International Collection and BMW NA. Ellis Island: Echoes from a Nation’s Past, published by Aperture, featured his images and the work of MSU students. He has had over two hundred exhibitions nationally and internationally and has consulted for MIT, the Polaroid Corporation and the National Park Service.

Professor Peter Vietze
Department of Psychology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Professor Vietze served the University for fourteen years. During his tenure, he served as department chair and as a member of the Personnel Advisory Committee, Graduate Council, and the College Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. He also served as Adjunct Coordinator of the Psychology Department, and taught in the University’s Teaching in English Program through the Global Education Center and at five different universities in the Peoples’ Republic of China. His scholarship included several research papers in peer-reviewed journals while at Montclair State University. He also served on the editorial boards of Current Psychological Research and Current Psychological Review.