Bethany College to Formally Install Komorowski as Matthew Quay Ammon Endowed Professor in Mathematics

BETHANY, W.Va. —Darin Fields, Bethany Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, announces the College’s March 8 Formal Investiture Ceremony officially installing Mary Ellen Komorowski, Professor of Mathematics and Chair of the Department of Mathematics, as this year’s Matthew Quay Ammon Professor of Mathematics. The event is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in the College’s Academic Parlour in Old Main, and President Scott D. Miller will present remarks.
 
“I can think of no more appropriate individual to be the first professor named as the Matthew Quay Ammon Professor of Mathematics than Dr. Komorowski, given that she was one of Matt’s professors during his time here,” stated Fields. “As Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences, Dr. Komorowski holds the professorship with distinction.”
 
Komorowski serves as the inaugural appointee to the Matthew Quay Ammon Endowed Professorship of Mathematics, established to honor the memory of Ammon, who graduated from Bethany in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and mathematics. He went on to earn a law degree from Duquesne University and, after working for law firms in Pittsburgh, Pa., Austin, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Kansas City, Mo., was recruited by Microsoft — the world’s number one software company — to serve as an intellectual property and licensing attorney at the company’s Redmond, Wash., headquarters.

Less than a year after moving to Washington to begin his work with Microsoft, Ammon passed away at the age of 31 when a construction crane collapsed and crashed through the roof of his apartment. His mother, Dr. Kathleen Gaberson, initiated the professorship to honor her son and to help express the important role Bethany College played in his life.
 
Komorowski began her career in mathematics by teaching high school, eventually working as a graduate research and teaching assistant at WVU while a student there and then as a Bethany College professor. Since then Komorowski has established a strong reputation of expecting excellence not only from her students, but from herself as a teacher, scholar and mentor. Ammon was one of many students she has helped lead to professional success.

She maintains a prolific agenda of professional and community activities and continues to actively engage her research interests, which include technology in the classroom, equity in the classroom, curriculum and evaluation standards and alternate assessment. She has also authored articles for publications such as the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education.

Komorowski has worked with a wide variety of area organizations, including the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) Instructional Materials Committee, WVDE Mathematics Curriculum Writing Team, WVDE STEP Test Writing Team and the Marshall County Board of Education. She served as vice president for the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics and project director for the Science and Mathematics Education Enhancement Council.
 
She regularly participates in conferences for groups such as the Research Council for Diagnostic and Prescriptive Mathematics, the International Congress on Mathematics Education and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Komorowski recently presented at the annual meeting of the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

In addition, Komorowski has spearheaded a number of key programs on Bethany’s campus and beyond, including a successful grant proposal with the Appalachian College Association to the Teagle Foundation. The project was designed to help mathematics come to life for students by enhancing curriculum and providing state-of-the-art technology with which students can interact.
 
Komorowski joins a host of other distinguished scholar-teachers named to endowed positions at Bethany: President Miller, M.M. Cochran Professor of Leadership Studies; Fields, Sarah B. Cochran Professor of English; Gary H. Kappel, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Professor of History and Perry E. and Aleece C. Gresham Chair in Humanities; W. Randolph Cooey, John F. and Evelyn Casey Steen Professor in Economics; James W. Farwell, Thomas W. Phillips Chair of Religious Studies, Professor of Religious Studies and Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Humanities; M.E. Yancosek Gamble, Renner Scholar; Elizabeth M. Hull, Dr. Robert L. Martin Chair in English Literature, Professor of English and Chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies; Robert A Paysen, The Goulding-Woolery Professorship in Chemistry and Chair of the Department of Physical Science; Heather L. May-Ricciuti, The Mary Cutlip Director of Libraries and Learning Resources and Professor of Learning Resources; and Herb Weaver, Jennie Steindorf Renner Chair of Fine Arts and Professor of Fine Arts.
 
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.