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Dr. Gail Grejda, Distinguished Faculty

            Dr. Gail (Fulton ’66) Grejda has experienced all facets of Clarion University – as a student, faculty member and administrator.

She is one of seven individuals who will be honored with a Clarion University Alumni Association Distinguished Award on Friday, October 3, during a banquet in 6 p.m. in the Gemmell Student Complex Multi-Purpose Room. A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Gemmell Student Complex Rotunda.

            RSVP for the banquet at due by Sept. 21 to or telephone (814) 393-1784. The cost is $40 per person. Checks should be made payable to the Clarion University Foundation, Inc., and mailed to Clarion University Foundation, Inc., 840 Wood St., Clarion, Pa. 16214. Those attending are asked to indicate any food allergies and the honoree for whom they are attending.

            Clarion University – Venango campus will hold a distinguished alumni reception on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 5 p.m. in the Robert W. Rhoades Center.

            Being honored are: Distinguished Alumni – Edward Bauer (’70); Distinguished Service – H.E. (Gene) and Susanne Burns; Distinguished Faculty – Dr. Gail (Fulton ’66) Grejda; Distinguished Achievement – Brigadier General Peter Talleri (’79); Distinguished Volunteer – Sheryl Riesmyer; and Venango Campus Distinguished Alumna – Rhonda Steigerwald (’75).

            In addition a special presentation of the President’s Medallion will be made to the Honorable Fred C. McIlhattan (’70) in acknowledgement of his 40 years of public service.


            “I feel very honored to have been selected as the Clarion University Alumni Association 2008 Distinguished Faculty Award recipient. This award is particularly meaningful because Clarion University has long been synonymous with high quality instruction. The exemplary list of national accreditations held by the university attests to the elite group of educators who share this honor with me.

            “The opportunity to work with professionals who share my interest in teaching and learning has been a major factor in both my personal and professional growth. It generated my passion for teaching and ignited my pursuit of lifelong learning.”

            A Clarion education has been a long tradition in the Finnefrock-Fulton-Grejda family. Four generations of Grejda’s family graduated from Clarion since it was established as Clarion Normal School in 1887. Grejda’s grandmother, Inez Finnefrock (1902), completed a two-year program at Clarion Normal School; her father, Ralph Fulton (’35), received his degree in mathematics from Clarion; her son, Richard, received his M.B.A. from Clarion and her granddaughter, Erin, is currently a freshman education major. Several other members of her family are also Clarion graduates.

            Grejda’s husband, the late Dr. Ed Grejda (’57), was also a Clarion graduate. Ed Grejda received the Clarion University Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Award in 1985.

“Much of what I learned about teaching, I learned from him,” said Grejda. “Our respective teaching successes, however, began with the quality educational foundation we experienced at Clarion University.”

            Grejda earned her Ph.D. from Penn State University in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in instructional systems design. She taught for 17 years in the public schools and two years internationally at the School of the American Embassy in Barbados and at the Beijing International Embassy School in Beijing, People's Republic of China, before joining Clarion University’s faculty in 1988.

She was named the interim dean of the College of Education and Human Services in 1997 and in 1998 was appointed to the position full-time, serving as dean until her 2004 retirement.

“Although there were many memorable moments during my tenure as dean, the accreditation visits by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) in 1998 and 2003 were the highlights. The exemplary reports received by the university, with no weaknesses, are extremely rare. This again attests to the extraordinary faculty I had the pleasure of working with and who share this honor with me.

            During her tenure at Clarion University, she was honored by Marquis Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who of American Women, and Marquis Who’s Who in America. In addition, she was named in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and was selected as an Academy Urban Fellow and a member of the Society of Urban Scholars. She is also a member of Pi Lambda Theta, Education Honorary, Phi Delta Kappa, Education Honorary, and Phi Kappa Phi Education Honorary.

            Grejda was also extremely productive in the area of publications and presentations, including articles in the Journal of Educational Research, Computers in the Schools, and the Technology and Teacher Education and the Association of Teacher Educators Annuals.

            Her exceptional service to the university is also recognized through the writing and funding of millions of dollars of grants in the areas of early literacy, science, technology, assistive technology, professional development schools, and the K-12 Council.

            “Education has long been the cornerstone of my professional life,” said Grejda. “I’ve had a passion for teaching and learning since the first day I stepped in front of a classroom. Travel has also been an important component of my life. The opportunity to travel, live and teach in other cultures has broadened my world and contributed to my pursuit of lifelong learning.”

            Since retiring, Grejda has split her time between Sarasota, Fla., during the winter, and Shippenville, Pa., during the summer. She enjoys golf (some days), bridge, mahjong, theater, music reading and the beach. During the summer she enjoys attending her grandchildren’s sporting events.

            “Being selected as the recipient of this distinguished award from the Clarion University Alumni Association is an honor I will long cherish,” she said. “It is the capstone of a very satisfying and rewarding career.”



9/3/2008 3:20 PM

Dr. Gail Grejda, Distinguished Faculty