The 2021 Grove City College Omicron Delta Kappa Professor of the Year is Dr. Lisa M. Antoszewski, chair and associate professor of Biology.
Antoszewski accepted the award Thursday at Harbison Chapel on campus. “I am humbled and a bit overwhelmed by this moment,” she said.
Grove City College President Paul J. McNulty ’80 presented the award and cited student testimonials to Antoszewski as a teacher and a mentor. “Students say she is an especially caring person, committed to their well-being. She is admired for her exemplary teaching.”
Speaking to students at chapel, Antoszewski reflected on her educational inspiration and, in what might be a first for a professor of the year, quoted the late Christopher Wallace, better known as The Notorious B.I.G.
“So, what makes a good teacher? Honestly, I don’t know,” she said. “I’m still trying to figure that one out. But I know what I loved about my teachers, and I try my best to emulate them in this space day after day.”
Antoszewski recounted early lessons from three nuns at her Catholic grade school who demonstrated a love for God and their students and an AP history teacher who served up “a nice slice of humble pie” when she begged for extra credit to turn a B into an A.
“She laughed in my face – literally -- and said, ‘No way, you need to learn to deal with this.’ I probably cried, but she was 100% right,” Antoszewski said. “There is more to life than an A, and we learn more from failure than success. I remind myself of this each time I fall short. There is always a lesson on the other side.”
She cited her grad school mentor who “was so invested in each of his students. He knew what made each of us tick. He knew that he needed to give me a pep talk every month or so when my experiments failed in order to keep my confidence up. He challenged me when I needed to adjust my approach or my way of thinking. He wanted what was best for me and, because he knew me so well, he was able to guide me along the right path. I try to make the same investment in each of my students.”
Antoszewski circled back to the lessons learned from her first and most primary teachers, her parents. They taught her to work harder, make connections with those around her and to have faith in God, she said.
“To my colleagues and my students: thank you for your continued support. Thank you for the challenges you bring. Thank you for enriching my life. It is a joy to spend this time with you,” she concluded. “In the words of Biggie Smalls – yes, the rapper – ‘Stay far from timid, only make moves when your heart’s in it, and live the phrase sky’s the limit.’”
Antoszewski graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in Biochemistry from Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pa, in 2000 and earned a Ph.D. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2007. She was a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh before joining the faculty of Grove City College in 2011. She lives in McCandless, Pa., with her husband Ed Antoszewski and their children: Giana, Ava and Zach.
Omicron Delta Kappa is a national leadership honorary that has recognized collegiate scholarship, leadership and citizenship for more than a century.