DUNMORE, Pa. — Penn State Scranton Professor of Information Sciences and Technology Alan Peslak has been on the receiving end of some good news of late.
Peslak recently learned he was the recipient of the International Association for Computer Information Systems’ 2020 Ben Bauman Award for Excellence. Meanwhile, he was reappointed to serve as University College IST discipline coordinator for the 2020-21 academic year.
Founded in 1960, the nonprofit IACIS is dedicated to improving information systems and educating professionals in the field. The Bauman Award is given to members who have demonstrated significant service to their profession, University and community at large.
According to IACIS Executive Director G. Daryl Nord, Peslak was singled out for his contributions to the information systems field, commitment to students, longtime community service and outstanding scholarship.
Peslak is slated to receive the award at the IACIS’ fall conference in Nashville, Tennessee.
"I am very proud but humbled to be awarded this honor,” he said. “To be recognized by this international group of your peers is a unique accolade. The International Association for Computer Information Systems has a significant global reputation with two international conferences and a highly ranked journal, Journal of Computer Information Systems.”
Peslak’s role as University College IST discipline coordinator is just one good example of his commitment to service. He’s served in the position for the past six years, having originally been asked to take it on by Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses Madlyn Hanes.
“Though it can be challenging at times, I actually really enjoy the role,” Peslak said. “After a 25-year career in leadership positions in private industry, I thoroughly enjoy my traditional teaching, research and service roles here at PSU, but I did miss some of the decision making and administrative activities I participated in during my industry career. This opportunity has provided me with a chance to reengage some of those skills as well as contribute in another way to the success of the University.”
Among other duties, Peslak conducts annual meetings every fall with each University College IST faculty member as a way to stay current on their respective activities. The sessions are conducted via telephone, Skype, ZOOM and other platforms, making travel unnecessary.
Peslak also is tasked with reviewing Faculty Activity Reports (FAR) and participating as a disciplinary consultant in the annual performance reviews of tenure system and non-tenure system faculty to provide disciplinary input to campus administrators, including perspectives on research and currency. And, he assists faculty in assembling materials and finding external reviewers for sixth-year promotion-only or tenure-only reviews.
During the coming academic year, Peslak will help develop a new IST degree for the Commonwealth Campuses as co-chair of the new IST degree committee. And, he’ll coordinate the offering of new College of IST degrees in Enterprise Technology Integration, Human-Centered Design, and Development and Cybersecurity at select University College campuses.
Peslak said he’s receptive to staying in the role beyond next year, should he be asked. Whatever happens, he’s proud of his service.
“I am honored to serve in the role, especially in the current times when our curriculum is changing,” he said. “I believe I have been an effective advocate for assuring a voice for University College campus issues in planning and delivering our Information Sciences and Technology degree.”