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Dr. Robert J. Semper will be awarded the 1998 Comenius Alumni Award by the Moravian College Alumni Association Board of Directors at the Comenius Dinner on Friday, October 23. In addition, the "Commission on the Future" of the College and Seminary officially convenes at the dinner. David L. Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, will deliver the keynote address, "Riding the Tide of Change."
This commission, composed of trustees, alumni, and business and community leaders, will spend the 1998-99 academic year examining the goals and initiatives that resulted from the institution’s strategic planning process.
The Commission on the Future will build on the work that the institution has already done. The Commission provides a way to broaden the institution’s perspective by involving those personally and professionally engaged in the complex social, economic, technological, and public policy issues of our time. In so doing, Moravian will strengthen its response to the challenges and opportunities that will shape the future of the College and Seminary and advance the integration of College and Seminary planning.
The six individuals who will serve as task force chairpersons are: Connie Hodson, student development, Harry Dimopoulos, global engagement, Fred O’Such, learning environment, Odell Guyton, community and diversity, George Friedman, history and traditions, and Gary Harke, preparation for ministry.
The first task force meetings begin on October 24, in various locations on campus. The commission will celebrate the conclusion of its work in October 1999.
Dr. Robert J. Semper ’68 was chosen as the 1998 recipient Comenius Alumni Award by the Moravian College Alumni Association Board of Directors, announced Bertie Knisely, director of alumni relations. He will be presented the award at the Comenius Dinner.
Dr. Semper received a B.S. (with honors in physics) from Moravian College in 1968 and a Ph.D. in physics from John Hopkins University in 1973.
After a number of years of college and university teaching and research in solid state and nuclear physics at Johns Hopkins, St. Olaf College, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and the University of California at San Francisco, Dr. Semper joined the Exploratorium in 1977. He became deputy director of the museum in 1985 and was appointed acting director in 1989. In 1991 he was appointed executive associate director with direct responsibility for all program activities. Currently he is head of the newly developing Exploratorium Center for Media and Communication.
In 1988, during a leave he was director of a creative collaboration between Apple Computer and Lucasfilm Ltd. concerning the development of interactive multimedia education projects combining computer graphics and film and video technology. He was also Schumann Fellow and a lecturer on education in the Harvard Graduate School of Education for 1988-89.
He was awarded the Distinguished Informal Science Education Award for 1994 by the National Association of Science Teachers.
At the Exploratorium, Dr. Semper has served as director for exhibit development projects on mathematics, perception, biology, and Einstein, and as project director for teacher development programs at the middle and high school level. He coordinated the development of the Exploratorium exhibition "Seeing the Light" for the IBM Gallery of Science and Art in New York City and La Villette, Paris.
Dr. Semper was a contributing consultant to Children’s Television Workshop’s PBS science program "3-2-1 -Contact." He has been a consultant for a number of museums, television programs, and educational institutions.