Marlene Guers, interim director of Academic Affairs and math instructor, dies

Marlene Guers, interim director of Academic Affairs and senior instructor in mathematics at Penn State Hazleton, died November 19 at her home after a brief illness.


She was appointed interim director of Academic Affairs on Aug. 1, 2010, during the medical leave of Director of Academic Affairs Monica E. Gregory. She was named assistant director of Academic Affairs on July 1, 2010. Guers joined Penn State Hazleton in 1981 as a part-time instructor in mathematics. She became a full-time instructor in 1982 and was promoted to senior instructor in mathematics July 1, 2001.


Penn State Hazleton Chancellor Gary Lawler said, "Marlene was a long-time educator recognized for her genuine passion for helping students learn and succeed at mathematics. She stepped in to serve the campus and faculty members several times during her career. The entire Penn State family extends condolences to the family and shares in the loss of a dynamic educator and administrator."


Long-time colleague and friend Maureen Gaffney, president of the Penn State Hazleton Faculty Senate and instructor in social sciences and education, added, "Marlene created a rewarding professional life at Penn State University. In 1981 she became the first woman faculty member in mathematics at the Hazleton campus, and thus began an illustrious career that reflected her unique combination of a strong work ethic, intelligence, creativity, enthusiasm, exemplary interpersonal skills, diplomacy, and professionalism."


Guers also served as part-time faculty coordinator, working with part-time instructors through the hiring, orientation and scheduling processes. 

In addition to teaching college algebra, calculus, and trigonometry courses throughout her career, Guers served as coordinator of the campus honors program, helping to develop courses, programs and experiences to enrich student learning.


She was the instructor and author of the Study Guide for College Algebra for Distance Education and through Project Empower, a technology-based instructional program, developed interactive computer labs which provided graphical animations to aid students in visualizing and comprehending calculus concept. Working with faculty members in other disciplines, she helped to develop Teaming Engineers, Educators, and Mathematicians for Undergraduate Programs (TEEM-UP) an outreach effort to generate the interest of area school district students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.


She was twice honored in 1999 and 2007 with the Penn State Hazleton Council Outstanding Teaching Award for her excellence in the classroom.


Her campus and university involvement included serving on the honors advisory and campus web committees and in various faculty senate positions. She was past chair of the instruction and advising committee, a member of the legislative advocacy committee and student mentor program selection committee. She also served on the business advisory committee for the creation of the campus' bachelor of science in business degree program.


Her professional memberships included the Northeastern Pennsylvania Mathematics Consortium and the Mathematical Association of America.


Guers earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and Russian and a master of education degree in mathematics from Kutztown University.

She resided in Hometown and is survived by her husband, David, and a son, Matt, State College.


Friends may call Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Wednesday from 9 to 9:30 a.m. at Joseph S. Blazosky Funeral Home, 81 E. Catawissa St., Nesquehoning.


A Panachida service will be held at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home, followed by a Divine Liturgy at 10 a.m. at St. John's Russian Orthodox Church, Nesquehoning.


In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Penn State Hazleton Honors Program, c/o Penn State Hazleton, 76 University Drive, Hazleton, PA 18202.