Sociology instructor retires

Instructor in Sociology Rosalie "Lee" Muroski is retiring at the end of this semester after a 35-year career with Penn State.

She began her time with the University as a part-time faculty member at the Wilkes-Barre campus, where she taught from 1979 to 1989. She joined the faculty at Penn State Hazleton in 1983, teaching part-time until 2000, when she became a full-time instructor.

"The classroom is my life. It has always been my life," Muroski said.

She taught several sociology courses at Penn State Hazleton, including her favorite course, Introduction to Sociology. Muroski was known for her participation each year in New Student Orientation (NSO) and First-Year Experience (FYE), where she focused on helping new students get acclimated to college. She received the Teaching Excellence Award in 2003 and was nominated for the 2013 Excellence in Advising Award College.

Director of Academic Affairs Elizabeth Wright said Muroski has consistently been praised by her students for her knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject matter, with some even saying, "She changed my life."

"She engages students and is interested in hearing what they have to say. When she interacts with students, she listens to their successes, academic goals and dreams, serving as not just an adviser, but as a trusted confidante," Wright said.

Active in supporting faculty development, Muroski was a longtime member of the Instruction and Advising Committee and the Faculty Senate. She served as the campus' representative to the College of Health and Human Development.

She was honored at an on-campus retirement celebration on April 22 among a gathering of her family, friends and colleagues, when she was presented with a Nittany Lion statuette that acknowledged her support for traditional and nontraditional students at Penn State Hazleton.

Campus Chancellor Gary Lawler said that for years, Muroski has helped students start their academic career on the right foot. "I admire her caring nature and empathy for other people. That is something I greatly respect," he said.

Muroski said she didn't intend to become a teacher, but became a teaching assistant to help pay for college. "I would see in the students' faces a certain look every now and then when something would hit home, and that's what drew me in and made me want to become a teacher," she said.

She holds a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Wilkes College and a master of arts degree in sociology from the University of Hawaii.

She created the Michael J. Muroski Academic Award in Engineering in 2012 to honor her late husband and also established the Rosalie T. (Lee) Muroski Award at Penn State Hazleton last summer. "Not quite ready to leave," she will be an adjunct instructor at Penn State Hazleton in the fall.