At the Tillamook Bay Community College commencement ceremony in June, the College awarded its first ever Emeritx Faculty Awards for years of outstanding service to two retirees. Presented by Vice President of Instruction Dr. Teresa Rivenes, the prestigious awards were made to Dr. Robert Pietruszka and Michael Weissenfluh, both of which retired at the end of the 2020-21 academic year.
Dr. Pietruszka, affectionately called Dr. Bob by his students and colleagues, was hired in 1988 by the first TBCC President. Though Dr. Bob has advanced degrees in both Zoology and Biology, in the early years at TBCC he was hired to develop the College’s first computer network, information database, and instructional computer lab. During this time he taught biology classes and computer classes on the side. For the past 18 years Dr. Bob returned to his roots and taught purely biological sciences-most notably an Anatomy & Physiology sequence that almost all students destined for the healthcare field enroll. Though Dr. Bob’s classes are rigorous, his students appreciate the training and in addition to Emeritx status he also received the Teaching Excellence of the Year Award for 2020-21; the second time he has received the award, which is determined by student nominations.
Michael Weissenfluh is the second recipient of the Tillamook Bay Community College Emeritx faculty designation. Weissenfluh has taught for TBCC for 25 years in the Accounting and Business department. He is an expert in his field and has contributed to several College Accounting textbooks. At TBCC, Weissenfluh worked tirelessly to promote online education, Open Educational Resource adoption, and served as a leader for his peers and colleagues. In addition to his faculty position, he was the chair of the Faculty Senate, served on the TBCC Leadership Team for nearly 10 years, and has served for 13 years on the TBCC Foundation Board where he is currently the chair.
Emeritx Faculty status is used to designate a retired chair, professor, or other person who the College grants the honorary title. TBCC uses the word EmeritX to purposefully recognize diversity and honor inclusivity of all people eligible for the honor.
“Tillamook Bay Community College has been incredibly fortunate to have long- standing faculty members who have served the college and its students with integrity, commitment and tireless service,” states Dr. Rivenes. “It is exciting to award these two amazing faculty this Emeritx status during TBCC’s 40th anniversary year. I am honored to have worked alongside them and have an immense amount of gratitude for their service.”
Honorees must be nominated by their supervisor and/or the Vice President of Instruction in the year they announce their retirement and must have a record of distinguished service. All approvals are made by the College President.