Northampton Community College professor wins national honor

Source: Lehigh Valley Live

For the second time in three years, a Northampton Community College faculty member was named the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Pennsylvania Professor of the Year, according to a news release.

According to the release Thursday:

Biology professor John K. Leiser specializes in the study of wildlife and fish. He has involved students at the Monroe Campus in research and service learning projects having to do with watersheds, bird populations, invasive plant species and community-supported agriculture.

“One of the first things a student of Dr. Leiser’s learns is that you are going to gain more knowledge (from him) than any textbook can teach you,” according to his former student, Maia K. Rossiello.

“John is a phenomenal teacher,” agrees Erin Reilly, an assistant professor of sociology at the college. “He has an uncanny ability to teach as though having a conversation with a friend.”

A resident of Henryville, Monroe County, Leiser graduated from East Stroudsburg University with concentrations in chemistry and German. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in biology from Lehigh University.

He began teaching as an adjunct professor on the main campus during spring 2002. By August 2004, he was hired into a tenure track position as an assistant professor at the Monroe Campus.

In 2010 Leiser received Northampton Community College Christensen Award for Excellence in Teaching and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Partners in Conservation Award.

“The roots of scientific inquiry are not new, but science itself is transitive, ever-plastic, growing,” Leiser said. “Pursuing science, educating beyond lectures, beyond facts and obtuse text, I aim to provide students with the courage to experiment, to excel.”

The earlier NCC recipient of the Pennsylvania Professor of the Year Award is Vasiliki Anastasakos, an associate professor of political science, who was selected in 2009.