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New Vice Chancellor/Chancellor Finds Residence at Penn College – PCToday

Neslihan “Nesli” Alp’s illustrious career in teaching and academia prompted several moves over the years from her native Turkey to various parts of the United States. But her latest stop feels like home.

Alp is Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chancellor of the Pennsylvania Tech University and the highest academic officer for the institution. Her extensive resume is consistent with the university’s core mission of teaching applied technology.

“The program here makes me feel like I’m home,” smiles Arp, who started work on August 1st. I don’t feel like a new person here. “

Her office reflects that sentiment, adorned with memorabilia from past employers and numerous family photos showing her husband Birol and sons Khan and Koray at various stages of their lives. increase. Her sons are now medical students at Vanderbilt University and the University of Miami respectively. “They are my motivation,” said Arp.

Combining his engineering background with his passion for higher education for nearly 30 years, he has served as lecturer, then dean, and vice dean at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and for the past four years as dean at Indiana Tech University. . University.

There she grew the nascent engineering department and enhanced its online course offerings. Alp has also successfully led various degree certification efforts thanks to her experience as a program evaluator for the Engineering and Technology Accreditation Board.

“We had done so many good things that I thought I would stay at Indiana State University for a few more years,” she said. I said I wasn’t looking for a job, but they said Penn College was looking for someone like me, so it would be a good opportunity.

Satisfied with the unknown, Arp decided to apply for the position. In doing so, she followed the principles that had guided her actions for so long.

“You can’t go up unless you take risks. You have to consider your options,” she explained. “If you always stayed in your comfort zone, you wouldn’t grow as much.”

Growing up in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, Alp found comfort and joy in mathematics with the praise of his middle school tutor. By her high school, she excelled in this field and recognized engineering as her career path due to its roots in mathematics. Her university test scores in her Alp were consistent with Istanbul Technical University, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in engineering management and a master’s degree in industrial engineering.

While in college, she took on the role of a tutor, helping middle and high school students tackle math and other STEM subjects. Her love of teaching blossomed in graduate school when she assisted faculty in her classrooms and labs. With her inspiration, Alp decided to take her final degree and become a professor. Her academic adviser suggested the US or UK due to limited research opportunities in Turkey. Alp chose the Missouri Institute of Science and Technology.

“It was a good, strong school with an emphasis on technology,” she said.

But the location – Laura, Missouri – was a culture shock. Arp spent her life in her 13th most populous city in the world. Istanbul has a population of her 15.46 million, slightly more than New York, Los Angeles and Chicago combined. Laura’s population is less than her 20,000.

“It was a very different lifestyle for us,” laughs Arp, who considers English a third language after Turkish and French. “There was no public transportation, no place to shop. It was my first time away from home. I was lucky to have my husband with me. It would have been much more difficult.”

The small town became a home for the next few years. Arp completed his Ph.D. As she earned her PhD in Engineering Management and her husband earned her MBA, she embarked on a postdoctoral study at the university. Her first research assignment at her Alp, online teaching, spearheaded her career advancement.

“I was the first to create an online course there and started teaching people how to teach online,” she said. “When I came to America, I didn’t even know how to use a computer.

Alp’s professional life is just beginning. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has hired her to move her degree in Engineering Management and other programs online. As her additional duties, she was asked to create her engineering curriculum, teach multiple courses in that field, and engineering management.

“I love teaching. I love being in class. “Your decision could change so many things for many students.”

That recognition led to an administrative role of increasing responsibility during Alp’s 19-year tenure at Chattanooga, culminating as associate dean. He then went on to become president of Indiana State University. This was the job when Penn visited his college last May for an interview for the president.

“To be honest, when I came in for the interview I thought the odds were 20-80. I had a 20% chance of accepting the job offer and an 80% chance of staying at Indiana State University. she admitted.

These odds reversed after the visit.

The university’s mission of applied technology education, motivated faculty, strong leadership, and a stable environment enabled her to say yes when she was offered a job a few weeks later.

“This is the environment I want to work in. I like people, and unlike other schools, I don’t have to prove the importance of an engineering or technical program,” she said. “On my first day at school, I was in shock walking around.The students were in the lab.They were already building things! Think of it as a lab.”

Michael J. Reid, who served as president of Penn College before replacing Davey Jane Gilmore as president in July, called Alp a “tremendous asset” for the college.

“Nesli’s resume is exceptional. She has received accolades as a professor, researcher, administrator and STEM advocate,” he said. “Her dedication to applied technology is unwavering and fits well with the unique mission of her Penn College to develop the next generation of industry leaders with real-world experience and an innovative spirit. I look forward to welcoming you to the senior management team.”

Alp’s goal in the first few months of work is to “listen, observe, and learn.” Then it’s time for action.

“I didn’t come here for the title. I wanted to go somewhere where I could make an impact,” she stressed. Impressed, but there may be some changes.”

Specifically, Alp wants to increase diversity among its students, faculty and staff. Enroll more international students. Enhance your online course offerings. Promote the university and its uniqueness far beyond Pennsylvania’s borders.

“I want to spread the word of Penn College, not just in the United States, but around the world,” said Alp. “We have to be proud of Penn College and share our amazing stories.”

She is passionate about doing her part.

“I’m very excited. I’m on fire,” said Arp.

After all, she is “home”.

penn college National leader in applied technology education. Email the admissions office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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