Morristown, N.J. (December 11, 2014) – Sister Irma Kessler and Dr. Elena Colicelli, S.C., were welcomed by more than 70 people in the Ward Dining Room of Saint Joseph Hall on December 9, 2014, to celebrate more than 73 combined years of teaching at the College. Both were given the titles of Professor Emeritus. Sister Irma and Dr. Colicelli will continue their work teaching and working in their departments.
Sister Irma Kessler received her degree in biology from CSE in 1960. Between that time and 1979, when she returned to the College to teach, she earned her Master's at the University of Notre Dame and doctoral degree from the University of Maine and taught biology at both the high school and college levels. With an insatiable sense of curiosity, Sister Irma takes on technology with passion, often surpassing her students in the use of anything technical. Not limited to technology, Sister Irma also is a certified scuba diver, a ham radio operator, and worked part time for many years at Radio Shack in Madison, N.J.
Sister Elena Colicelli, also a CSE alumna of the class of 1972, received her doctorate from the University of Maryland. She has been teaching at the College for 38 years. After teaching organic chemistry most of her career, she is now moving into the areas of environmental and forensic chemistry. As a Fulbright Scholar, she was a Visiting Professor at both the Department of Applied Chemistry at the Bulawayo campus of the University of Zimbabwe and in the Chemistry Department of the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo. She enjoys singing and practices with the Elizabethan Singers.
CSE President Helen J. Streubert lauded Sister Irma with facts about her life that have greatly contributed to the life of the College and its students. Sister Irma has received grants from the National Science Foundation. She travelled to mainland China at the invitation of the China Women's Association of Science and Technology to the Association for Women in Computing where information about technology was exchanged. Noting her avid interest in biology, the delegation made arrangements for Sister Irma to visit the Department of Anatomy and Embryology at the Beijing Medical School, complete with a personal translator.
Of Dr. Colicelli, Dr. Streubert noted that she participated in three Middle States reaccreditation Committees and was a member of three committees revising the General Education Curriculum through the years. She participated in several National Science Foundation Grant Review Committees and has received multiple research and teaching awards.