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Prof. Reno Unger

Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of Communication Studies

Difference Maker

Nominator: John Acquavita '96

John's Memories: My classmates who attended Kutztown with me in the mid-1990s can attest that we were the final generation to take classes there before a major technological shift occurred with the "dotcom" boom. I'm not making any major revelations when I say that PageMaker, microfiche, word processors and dial-up internet are all antiquated in today's world of Google and smartphones. The one thing that has endured with me from Kutztown wasn't something I learned from a class per se; it was from one man whom I admired and greatly respected.

I would not be where I am today-professionally or personally-if it weren't for Reno Unger. He parlayed his 19 years of experience as Kutztown University's director of public relations into a 16-year position as a professor in the university's Speech and Theatre Department (now Communication Studies). I'm sure many of his former students can recall him discussing his experiences as an F-4 flight officer in the Navy or his public relations "war stories," as he fondly termed them.

From 1992 to 1996, I registered for all seven speech and public relations classes that he taught. I learned several valuable lessons from professor Unger throughout those courses as a KU undergraduate, but the tenets of how to properly execute a public relations campaign aren't what I recall 15+ years later from his lectures.

He, perhaps more than anyone, inspired me with his demeanor to change from an immature youth to a responsible man. His core value system-steeped in honesty and integrity-was unlike any I had ever seen. I tried as best I could to emulate it, not just socially in my private life, but professionally in the workplace as well.

That was undoubtedly the most valuable thing I learned in my years at Kutztown-something far more practical and enduring than anything from any teacher's lesson plan. 

 

Prof. Unger was recently featured in the latest issue of The Tower, Back to Class with Reno Unger

 

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