After more than 100 combined years of experience, professors Paul Crutchfield, Bernadette Twardy and Jerry Noloboff, are leaving some awfully big shoes to fill as they retire during ceremonies held at Flagler College.
The three longtime members of the Flagler community were recently honored at a ceremony celebrating their service and retirement; during which, each was bestowed the title of “Professor Emeritus” by college president, William T. Abare, Jr.
Social Sciences professor Jerry Noloboff has made a career out of researching and teaching concepts such as meditation to his students. Now that he’s retiring, Noloboff plans on focusing on his own stress relief in his wood shop.
“I feel very fortunate to have had such a long and rewarding career at Flagler,” said Noloboff. “I look forward to being out of the harness and pursuing my interest in furniture making more whole heartedly.”
Noloboff, who is a licensed psychologist in the state of Florida, earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Clinical Psychology from The University of Kansas and his B.A. in Psychology from The University of Maryland.
Crutchfield, who started at Flagler in 1978, was influential in starting the college’s deaf education program, which is now regarded as one of the top programs in the country.
“Over the years the program has grown and stabilized but what we’ve always prided ourselves on is the level of student we are training,” said Crutchfield. “We have turned out so many exemplary teachers that it’s an honor to have been associated with it.”
The education professor has also taught at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind and the Central North Carolina School for the Deaf. He has also served with the Association of College Educators: Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Council on Education of the Deaf and Florida Educators of the Hearing Impaired
“It’s been glorious,” said Crutchfield about his time at Flagler. “When I came here the student body was about 750 students so it’s been fascinating watching how things have changed over the years.”
Crutchfield says he plans to enjoy the next chapter in his life in New Mexico to pursue his love of hiking and the outdoors.
“New Mexico is the fifth largest state and is near the bottom in population so it should be pretty easy to find a parking spot,” joked Crutchfield. “But honestly I’m just looking forward to enjoying the adventure.”
Twardy didn’t know much about Flagler when she was hired in 1984. She’s had plenty of time to learn over a 30-year career, which included 19 as chair of the Sports Management program, which she founded.
“I am so proud of where the program has gone. It’s much broader, more challenging and more associated with the business of sport,” said Twardy. “The philosophy when I built the program was that I wanted the students to not only have a good knowledge base but also real life experience and professional behavior. I feel like I’ve accomplished that.”
Twardy’s love of sports was on full display throughout her time at Flagler. In addition to her teaching and administrative duties with the college, she has also served as Flagler’s men’s and women’s basketball coach as well as the men’s golf coach.
But as much as Twardy professes her love of golf, it’s the students that held the top spot in her heart.
“Watching these kids come in as wide-eyed freshman and leaving with so much growth and maturity,” said Twardy. “I’m just so honored to have worked with so many of them and to see them prosper and take their places in society. I’ve had the best job on the planet.”
Flagler College is an independent, four-year, comprehensive baccalaureate college located in St. Augustine, Fla. The college offers 29 majors, 34 minors and two pre-professional programs, the largest majors being business, education and communication. Small by intent, Flagler College has an enrollment of about 2,500 students, as well as a satellite campus at Tallahassee Community College in Tallahassee, Fla. A Flagler education is less than half the cost of similar private colleges, and competitive with many state universities. A relatively young institution (founded in 1968), Flagler College is also noted for its historic beauty. The centerpiece of the campus is the former Hotel Ponce de Leon, a grand resort built in 1888 by Henry M. Flagler, industrialist, railroad pioneer and co-founder of Standard Oil. The Ponce has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. For more on Flagler College, visit www.flagler.edu.