ESU Honors Two Faculty as Distinguished Professors

Posted by: Elizabeth Richardson on September 6, 2017, No Comments

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania presented its annual Distinguished Professor Awards to Gregory B. Dwyer, Ph.D., FACSM, professor of exercise science, and Patricia Smeaton, Ed.D., professor emerita of professional and secondary education, during an all-university meeting on Tuesday, September 5, in the Abeloff Center for the Performing Arts.

The Distinguished Professor Award – the highest honor for ESU faculty to receive – is presented based on outstanding contributions to the academic life of the University and its reputation. The award of Distinguished Professor is conferred upon an individual by the ESU President, Marica G. Welsh, Ph.D. in recognition of exceptional achievements in teaching, research / scholarship / creative activities, and service.

Dr. Dwyer has been a member of the Exercise Science Department at ESU for 19 years and has served as the coordinator of the undergraduate exercise science program for the past 11 years, during which time he led the self-study that enabled the program to earn and continue to sustain CAAHEP Accreditation. Dr. Dwyer has taught 20 different undergraduate and 13 different graduate classes within and outside of the discipline of exercise science.

As a researcher, Dr. Dwyer has been directly involved in faculty-level research with colleagues as well as many undergraduate and graduate theses, often serving as chair. Most of the results from these research projects have been presented at regional or national conferences and/or have been published in professional journals with Dr. Dwyer as the lead author or as a contributor. To date, he has served as editor of four books, seven book chapters, two software programs, five periodical columns, and two web-based publications.

Dr. Dwyer has served on a number of University committees and has also demonstrated significant contributions to support the mission of ESU’s Exercise Science Department, specifically curriculum development, advisement of the Exercise Science Club and participation in departmental committees, search and screen initiatives and action committees. On a larger scale, Dr. Dwyer served as a fellow for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), held office in 18 national and regional ACSM committees and earned five professional certifications. He currently serves as a reviewer for the journal published by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) and serves on the advisory board for Penn College. In addition, Dr. Dwyer has previously served on committees for organizations such as Association for Fitness in Business (AFB), American Diabetes Association (ADA), and the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA).

Dr. Smeaton began her career as a mathematics teacher in the early ’70s in schools that were in challenging environments, populated with students who were burdened by neglect and poverty. In anticipation of her later career in higher education, she began to explore teacher effectiveness through the use of student surveys. Ahead of current best practice, she utilized data to determine needs of her students, reflected, and adjusted her teaching accordingly.

Upon earning her doctorate, Dr. Smeaton joined ESU’s Professional and Secondary

Education Department in 1994 and earned the rank of full professor in 2004. She taught courses at all levels and was critical in creating key programs including several course sequences attached to the professional and secondary education Master of Education program. Dr. Smeaton served as department chairperson, graduate coordinator, and doctoral coordinator of the collaborative IUP/ESU doctoral program and helped direct the Professional Development School program.

Dr. Smeaton also worked with colleagues throughout the College of Education on research initiatives and actively advised doctoral students, helping them translate their dissertations into publications. She has clarified complex issues for government agencies so that they could better understand how legislative initiatives, such as No Child Left Behind, impacted rural education. Over the last 10 years, she secured grants to study why many new teachers leave the profession in their first five years, and in an effort to further the recruitment of candidates for the teaching profession, Dr. Smeaton established the Smeaton-Lane Endowed Scholarship to support ESU female students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate major in 7-12 education in the fields of science or mathematics.

All of her collaborative scholarship, which involved working with ESU faculty across campus, has resulted in numerous conference presentations at the local, state, national and international levels. But perhaps Dr. Smeaton’s most noteworthy achievement was her work with other esteemed faculty to shepherd ESU’s first doctoral program which has resulted in the first ESU doctoral graduates in the spring of 2017. Her positive vision of education as a force for change lies behind her many projects that have impacted ESU. Dr. Smeaton retired in 2017.

For more information, contact the APSCUF office at 570-422-3278 or visit