Recollections & Aspirations of a Three-Term Department Chair

Dr. Len S. LitowitzI originally prepared my comments for the last faculty meeting of my term as department chair. Those of you who know me best know that I am highly emotional and it would have been a difficult meeting for me to preside over. So, I’m offering my comments in writing as we navigate this changing of the guard. But first, time for a little more baseball talk, just like when Donna Hernandez retired. One reason I like baseball is that it is about impossible to get good at. For example, win 6 out of 10 games all year long and you have likely won your division. Bat .300 and you are considered a very good hitter. Bat .325 and you are an all-star. Approach .350 and you are the league MVP. And bat .400? It has not been done in the modern era of specialty pitching. Ted Williams did it last – in 1941. So, why I would have ever headed into the department chair role thinking that I would have been able to accomplish everything I set out to do? I am not sure. But I did – chalk it up to unbridled optimism, I suppose. What I found out was that my baseball analogy is a good metaphor for life. Do we ever really accomplish everything we set out to do? It certainly didn’t work out that way for me. The last several years have been particularly challenging. I would not have predicted getting upended by a pandemic, a cyber-hack, and in recent years, a constant fight to even keep the building properly climate controlled, no less get some faculty lines back.

Here are some accomplishments I am proud of. Although I was supportive, they are far from my efforts alone. Rather, they are the collective results of a lot of hard work by a lot of individuals and committees, and they just happened in my time. In keeping with my baseball theme, I will count many of these accomplishments in the win column. Continue reading “Recollections & Aspirations of a Three-Term Department Chair”

Summer Institute: Teaching Across the Curriculum Using Problem-Based Learning

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Attention all teachers: Spots are still available for this summer institute.

This course focuses on how problem-based learning experiences appropriate for your content and grade level can be incorporated into your curriculum.
For many of today’s students the didactic approach is not enough. Increasingly, they need to see meaning and value in what they are learning. The “just in case” philosophy of education that served public education well in the 20th century is being replaced by the “just in time” approach of PBL. Click on the link above or below to view the information flyer.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Scott Warner or Dr. Molly Miller.

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‘Ville Robotics Wins Big

25 teams from around the world entered the 2023 IGVC AutoNav competition – only two (Millersville included) completed the AutoNav Course.

Millersville University’s Robotics Team scored big at the 2023 Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition held June 2-5 in Rochester, Michigan. Their latest autonomous robot, named ALiEN 4.0 (Autonomous LiDAR-based Environment Navigator), won 1st to Qualify, 2nd Place Performance, and 2nd Place Overall in the AutoNav Class. They also won 3rd Place in the Grand Award, which combines the results of both AutoNav and Self-Drive class competitions.

“This was an outstanding performance for the team,” says Dr. John Wright, professor of Automation & Electronics Technologies. “We are quickly establishing ourselves as a top-ranked IGVC team.”

With these accomplishments, the team has now won 49 1st-3rd place individual awards and won seven championships since 2001.

25 teams from around the world entered the 2023 IGVC AutoNav competition. Only two completed the AutoNav Course, the University of Oklahoma and Millersville University over the 4-day event. This was MU’s third year competing in the international competition with their unique distributed intelligence control approach.

“Congrats to our hard-working engineering students for this outstanding accomplishment this year at IGVC,” says Wright. “Over 2000 student hours were spent on the 8-month project.”

You can watch ALiEN’s best run here –

There is additional information on the competition here.

Interested in studying automation and robotics engineering technology? Click here.