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Penn State York Remembers Carol M. Dorworth

Carol Dorworth service
5/4/2007 —

Penn State York students, faculty, staff, and friends celebrated the life of Carol M. Dorworth, late faculty member in the biology department at Penn State York on Thursday, May 3 in the Community Room of the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center. 

Pictured right is Kayla Arendt, a student at Penn State York, as she shares her memories of Carol M. Dorworth during the celebration of life service May 3 at the campus.

Throughout the evening her students, colleagues, and friends told stories of a hard working, caring person who gave of her best and expected the best from her students. Speakers shared remembrances of field outings to Mill Creek in York and the difficulty, and yet fairness, of exams and lab work. Some of Dorworth’s former students traveled from University Park to attend the celebration of life service and pay their respects to honor an outstanding teacher.

As part of the program, the poem “Dirge Without Music” was shared by John W. Dawson, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Penn State York and then remarks were made by Joseph P. McCormick, director of academic affairs at Penn State York; Donald A. Gogniat, retired campus executive officer at Penn State York; and Joel M. Rodney, chancellor of Penn State York. Students then took to the podium to share their stories about the faculty member they loved.

“Now I understand that we were like her children,” said Mary Brooks, a former student of Dorworth’s and a Penn State graduate. “Her expectations of us were like those of a mother with her child. She expected the best.”

Ranna McNeil, a science major at Penn State York, remarked that Dorworth had changed her life and brought at the best in her. She also recalled Dorworth’s tenacity in her goal to have a greenhouse at Penn State York. The Starbuck’s Greenhouse, a dream of Dorworth’s, was dedicated on September 19, 2006. Seven weeks later, November 12, 2006, Dorworth died after a prolonged illness.

During her 14-year career at the campus, she taught a variety of science courses in York and Lancaster including environmental science, introductory biology, and genetics. A dedicated environmentalist, she actively worked with students to plant saplings and flowers throughout the campus. The Carol M. Dorworth Campus Beautification Fund has been established at Penn State York to continue the work Dorworth started in planting bulbs and other plant life to beautify the campus. Those interested in supporting the fund should checks to the Development Office at Penn State York and indicate they are for this fund.

Dorworth received a Professional Development Grant from the former Commonwealth College in the spring 2005 semester to attend a Geographic Information System (GIS) training workshop in Costa Rica, held in summer of 2005. This workshop was a part of her vision to introduce GIS hand-held technology into some of the courses that she taught, a vision cut short by her untimely death.

She held a Ph.D. in wildlife and fisheries science from Louisiana State University; a master of science in natural resources from Cornell University, and a bachelor of science in biology from Penn State.

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