Several faculty members and one staff member are retiring from Kent State University at Ashtabula after the completion of the spring semester. Ed Murray, Diane Murry, Carol Puthoff-Murray, Charleen Steele and Joseph Zingaro have all spent several years serving the students of the Ashtabula Campus.
Edward J. Murray arrived on campus as an instructor in 1972, and was promoted to assistant professor of psychology in 1977 and tenured in 1978. For 39 years he has served the students, faculty, campus, university, and Ashtabula area community in ways that have been professionally competent, academically insightful, socially useful and personally engaging.
As the lone full-time psychology professor for most of his career on campus, Murray taught the majority of psychology courses that were offered here. He attracted both majors and minors to the discipline. He encouraged students to consider graduate education and helped a good number of them gain admission to graduate programs locally and around the country.
Diane Murry has spent over 30 years in the field of education. She began her career in Ohio, spent 25 years in the state of Washington, and has been back in Ohio for the last ten. Murry has covered the entire spectrum of education, with positions as a staff person, administrator and faculty member.
She arrived at Kent State University Ashtabula in the fall of 2001 to become the lone program lead, advisor and faculty instructor for the Early Childhood Education program. She also had a significant role in the creation of Commitment to Kids, a conference for teachers, parents, child care personnel, students and social agency personnel. What she is most proud of in her teaching career is her ability to spark interest and curiosity so students will become lifelong learners.
Carol Puthoff-Murray has served as a teacher, mentor, advisor, program coordinator, campus citizen, and consultant to a host of social service agencies in Ashtabula County. She has served the Ashtabula Campus and its surrounding community with whole-hearted commitment since her arrival on the campus as an adjunct faculty member in 1991. Appointed assistant professor of human services technology in 1995, she also assumed the position of human services program coordinator in that year and, upon doing so, both embraced and developed the multiple roles it entails.
Teaching a range of courses in helping relationships, community resources, group process, the assessment of client needs, client advocacy and case management, she grew adept at connecting with her studentsâ€”many of whom are from significantly disadvantaged backgroundsâ€”by encountering them as persons while stressing the importance of professional standards and orchestrating classroom interactions at a high level and in an engaging manner.
Charleen Steele first began her career at Kent State Ashtabula as a faculty secretary in 1974, working for the various academic departments, and leaving in 1978 to start her family. She returned in 1998, and worked for several more departments. Most recently, she has served as the secretary for nursing and respiratory therapy, working closely with the faculty, advisors and program directors.
The delight of her job has been the kindness of everyone with whom she works, and being able to assist students as they work toward their goals. Both she and her husband Robert earned their bachelor degrees from Kent State in 1974. They reside in Ashtabula and have three married children (Kevin, Jason, and Kristy) and three grandchildren. Steele looks forward to spending more time with family, friends, and church and enjoying her hobbies of quilting, hiking, biking, swimming, camping and traveling.
Joe Zingaro came to the Ashtabula Campus in 1986 as an adjunct faculty member. He started full time in fall 2001. His efforts to bridge the gap between university and community are unparalleled. He developed and has organized the English Festival for 12 years. This workshop for 7th and 8th graders in a college setting is a spring highlight for area educators and students. Zingaro helped develop and continues to organize the College by Six program for Conneaut 6th graders. The event brings students to campus for a one-day multidisciplinary college experience. In January 2011 more than 120 students participated.
In 2006, Zingaro co-founded the Socrates CafÃ©, a well attended, insightful academic event that incites discourse and dialogue on a variety of topics.
These faculty and staff members will be recognized at Kent State University at Ashtabula commencement ceremonies Friday, May 6.