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Dr. John Smetanka

Dr. John J. Smetanka has been a member of the full-time faculty since 1997 and currently serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean of Saint Vincent College, a position he has held since January, 2008. Dr. Smetanka, a Latrobe native and Derry Area High School graduate, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1989 from Carnegie Mellon, and a Master of Science degree in 1991 and a Ph.D. in 1997 in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Chicago. In addition to teaching a wide variety of courses in physics, astronomy, geology, and chemistry Dr. Smetanka has been involved in numerous projects and committees during the past decade at Saint Vincent. He held leadership positions in many of these initiatives, including service as chair of the Educational Policy Committee, Science and Theology Forum, the Lancy Scholars Program, and remains director of the Honors Program. As part of the Math and Science Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Dr. Smetanka has taken part in a number of workshops both locally within the partnership and also at the National Academy of Sciences on the evaluation and implementation of best practices for undergraduate science and mathematics education. Dr. Smetanka has been honored at Saint Vincent with the presentation of the Quentin Schaut Faculty Award in 1999, the Distinguished Faculty Award by Pathways to Success in 2002, and the Student Government Association Award in 2004. He is the author or co-author of numerous publications and presentations including his most recent peer-reviewed journal article with Dr. Anis Maize (Saint Vincent College, Department of Physics) “The Electric Polarizability of a Particle Bound by a Double-Delta Potential” published in the May 2008 European Journal of Physics.

Prior to joining the faculty at Saint Vincent, Dr. Smetanka served as Vice President for Research and Development for On Target Mapping, a Pittsburgh-based software company specializing in the development of Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Dr. Smetanka lives in Latrobe with his wife Sharon, daughter Lindsay, and two sons, Logan and Brent.

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