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Prof. Lynn Sprankle

Associate Professor Emeritus of Geography

Nominator: Rich Pawling '73

Rich's Memories: It is an honor to recommend Professor Sprankle as someone who made a difference in my life. 

Difference MakerWhen I first enrolled at Kutztown State College (KSC), I had no idea what my major would be. The Vietnam War was happening, and America was struggling with major issues. Turmoil seemed to be everywhere. I had a draft number and did not know where my future was taking me. 

My father, Dr. J. Allen Pawling, was a professor at KSC in the art department. Thus, I was raised in Kutztown and went to school at the college's Laboratory School (Lab School) from grades kindergarten through third, and then I transferred into the public school system of the Kutztown Area School District. 

My parents thought elementary education should be my major. Thus, I graduated from KSC with high honors in elementary education and a minor in geography. I also earned my environmental education certification from KSC. 

It was my geography professors who opened my eyes to the amazing world of geography. Professor Sprankle was one who went the extra mile to show me the value of gaining knowledge in geography. It was Professor Sprankle who molded my life more than any other. He was not one of those "take Sprankle to get an easy grade" professors. He was tough. He demanded the best, made me think and taught me how to produce quality term papers. This skill will be applied in earning my Master of Science in geoenvironmental science from Shippensburg University. 

His best course and the one I learned the most from was Geographical Influences upon American History. Never before in my life had I ever thought about the influence that the land had upon people, and people upon the land. Now I had a desire to travel across America and apply that information in learning about my genealogical connections to American history.  Well, the rest is history. I went on to teach college courses for 27 years, and passed on my love of American history and geography to my students. 

Enthusiasm is contagious. In 2000, I was named one of Kutztown University's Most Distinguished Alumni of the Century. A host of other national awards have also been bestowed upon me. And where did my inspiration for these successes come from? From the hallowed halls of what was once Kutztown State Teacher's College, then Kutztown State College, and now is Kutztown University. My success came because of professors like Professor Sprankle, who were willing to challenge me to be the best that I could be. They taught me the value of education: quality education comes from the heart, and a desire within the individual to want to inspire future generations.

Thank you, Professor Lynn Sprankle and Kutztown University, for making a difference in my life.

Difference Makers Sponsored by PSECU