Jan. 19, 2011
Shawnee State University Board of Trustees has conferred the title of Professor Emeritus on Professor John Lorentz, Department of Social Sciences and Professor Gary Gemmer, Department of Natural Sciences.
Lorentz taught at Shawnee State for 16 years and made critical contributions to the development of SSU's history major. He was a voice of knowledge and reason for the campus and community after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Lorentz served as director for the Center of International Programs and Activities from 1997 until his retirement and was instrumental in building the program and recruiting international students for Shawnee State.
He received an Excellence in Education award and he was recognized in the Ohio Magazine December 2005 edition as a Memorable Educator. Lorentz and his son, Nathan, produced "River Voices," a documentary about the 1937 flood in Scioto County that received an award from the Ohio Historical Society as an outstanding contribution to public history in Ohio. Lorentz also was awarded the Board of Trustees Distinguished Teaching award in 2002.
Gemmer taught at Shawnee State for 27 years and served as president of the Shawnee Education Association during the crucial period when Scioto Technical College merged with Ohio University – Portsmouth to form Shawnee State General and Technical College and also after becoming a university.
He was chairperson of the Department of Natural Sciences during a period of great growth and he was largely responsible for designing the new university's physics program and brought speakers renowned in their fields to campus. Gemmer made a profound contribution to the academic life of the university by single-handedly creating in 2005 "A Celebration of Scholarship" that provides students at the undergraduate level with an opportunity to showcase their research in a professional setting.
Since then, "A Celebration of Scholarship" has become one of the premier academic events at the university and a lasting testament to Gemmer's commitment to undergraduate education and research.
To be considered for Emeritus status, professors must be employed full-time for at least 10 years; provide clear evidence of outstanding teaching and/or administrative services; have a recognized record of professional achievement, growth and development; show clear evidence of university service beyond the normal or ordinary expectations; and be of retired status.