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May 15, 2013 Professor Sam Morgan receives 2013 Todd A. Milano Faculty Excellence Award

Central Penn College Professor Sam Morgan, of Mechanicsburg, was honored with the 2013 Todd A. Milano Faculty Excellence Award. The award was announced at Central Penn's 131st annual Commencement ceremony May 3 at The Forum in Harrisburg. This recognition is validated through input from students.

Below is a feature story on Morgan's nomination for the prestigious award:

Morgan will be the first to tell you that he does not teach with the intent to receive accolades or be in the limelight. Humble, yet assertive, he waves off almost every question I ask about him during his interview and instead talks about his true ambition: the students.

"The students are everything to me," says Morgan seriously, his hands emphasizing every word. "They are my entire focus. I respect them tremendously."

Any professor would say that, right?

But when Morgan says it, you can feel it. He explains with intensity that there is always a "commonality of respect" in his classroom, where no students' views are incorrect and everyone learns together, even Morgan as the professor.

Based on the nominations, students relate to him. They cite his humor, knowledge and more than 30 years of law enforcement, corrections and military experience as factors to their success. When Morgan retired from the local Lower Allen township police force, he was team leader of the accident reconstruction team and a deputy chief for the Cumberland County DUI department.

Here are a few nominations:

"He cares for his students and shows true knowledge, both of textbook and real-life experiences."

"Professor Morgan is fair and really pushes me to be a better student. He has helped me during times of my life that were uneasy and stressful!"

"I am a fully online student and I am currently in my third term with Central Penn. I have had the privilege to have Professor Morgan for four classes so far and I have to say that if I had the opportunity to have him teach all of my classes, I would take it in a heartbeat. He is an excellent professor and one that is willing to help you with anything at the drop of a hat."

"They relate to me because I am one of them," explains Morgan who is currently a doctoral candidate in business administration with a concentration in criminal justice. "I believe you never quit learning, and I've learned a lot from the students. We're in this together and I respect them tremendously."

One student nominator says, "I was very nervous about coming back to school. His [Morgan's] classes taught me that I could work very hard and it reinstated my excitement for school. He was always so nice and helpful, and I consider him the best professor at the college."

Despite the praise, toward the end of the interview Morgan still asks me with his typical wry sense of humor and clipped speech, "What have I done that's so great?"

Well, for starters, he revitalized the criminal justice administration and homeland security management program curriculums. He rallied and secured approval to operate the Central Penn building off of 730 Valley Road as a future collaborative learning center for students and local law enforcement, and has been invited as a two-time homeland security presenter at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, Cal.

According to a student walking across the stage at the Forum building in next week's commencement ceremony, Morgan was that student's number one motivation at Central Penn College.

"He [Morgan] is one of the reasons I will be graduating in May," the student shares.

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Central Penn College has been helping students turn potential into career success since 1881, offering bachelor's and associate degrees in the fields of accounting, business administration, criminal justice, information technology, communications, healthcare, homeland security, legal studies and organizational leadership. The College, currently serving students at its Harrisburg, Lancaster and Lehigh Valley locations, attributes its high rate of student success to a caring faculty and its hands-on learning approach. Based on Central Penn's most recent One-Year Graduate Survey, 82.9 percent of graduates were employed in their chosen field or continuing their education within one year of graduation. Central Penn College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. www.centralpenn.edu