Four University of Central Florida professors were granted emeritus status Wednesday during the annual Founders’ Day ceremony.
The status is awarded to faculty and administrators that have worked at UCF at least five years. The title honors the contributions and distinction they achieved at the university, and grants them a lifetime link to the university.
Robert C. Ford, Professor Emeritus, a professor of Management in the College of Business Administration, has been at UCF since 1993 when he started as chair of the Department of Hospitality Management. He also served five years as the college’s associate dean for Graduate and External Programs. He has authored 10 books and numerous articles and presentations on organizational issues, human resources, and services management. Ford has served in several professional positions with the Academy of Management, has been the chair of the accreditation commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration, a board member of the Destination Management Accreditation Program, and president of the Southern Management Association. He is a Fellow of the Southern Management Association.
George Pawlas, Professor Emeritus, came to UCF in 1991, as assistant professor of Educational Leadership, after a distinguished national career in education. During his tenure at UCF, Pawlas chaired the College of Education Planning Committee responsible for the programmatic design of the UCF Academy for Teaching, Learning and Leadership and the renovation of the Education Complex Building. Pawlas chaired 33 doctoral dissertation committees in addition to having served on more than 100 other doctoral committees. Since retiring, he has continued to serve on additional dissertation committees. Pawlas’ research on the topics of employee supervision, school-community relations, and contemporary issues related to educational leadership earned him recognition as one of the most highly regarded authorities on educational leadership.
Jennifer Platt, Professor Emerita, began her career at the university’s Cocoa Campus in 1985 with the goal of designing and growing undergraduate and graduate programs in Exceptional Student Education. Achieving the rank of professor in 1994, Platt began coordinating Elementary Education and the Exceptional Student Education at the Brevard Campus the same year. Elevated to the position of associate dean of the College of Education in 1997, she was promoted as the college’s executive associate dean for Academic Affairs in 2007, where she serves today. Platt’s research and scholarly activities center on recruitment, development and retention in teacher education and strategies for working with academically diverse children, with a record of funded research and projects totaling more than $1.7 million.
Patricia Bishop, Professor Emerita, retired in January after joining UCF in 1978 and serving as vice provost and dean of the College of Graduate Studies since 2000. She oversaw graduate academic support services and was responsible for graduate curriculum and appointment of graduate faculty. Previously she was assistant vice president and director of graduate studies. She ovesaw the development of 30 master’s programs and 16 doctoral programs. In addition, the number of graduate students doubled, the number of doctoral graduates increased by five, and fellowship support increased from $5,000 to $2.5 million. As a professor of mechanical engineering at the university, Bishop received several awards for teaching and research and wrote more than 60 articles about mechanical engineering.