Eagle Ambassadors, Inc. - Dennis Showers ’71 Gained Lifelong Love of Science and Teaching at BEASD

Dennis Showers ’71 Gained Lifelong Love of Science and Teaching at BEASD

FaceBook  Twitter

Dennis Showers ’71 is a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor at The State University of New York at Geneseo, who attended Bald Eagle Area School District from the first grade. He credits a certain teacher at BEASD with giving him his love of science and teaching.

“Mr. Robert Anderson inspired me to become a science teacher,” he recalls. “He was my teacher in 7th grade science and 10th grade Biology.”

After graduation, Dennis attended Penn State University where he earned his Bachelor’s in Education. Things came full circle for him when he was hired to teach at Bald Eagle in his first year out of college, in the very same classroom where Mr. Anderson taught him.

It was Mr. Anderson’s style of teaching that made science such an interesting subject to Dennis. Mr. Anderson also encouraged him outside of the classroom, giving Dennis his old science textbooks and encouraging his participation in science fairs and extracurricular experiments.

Dennis went on to earn his Masters from Clarion University and his Ph.D. from Penn State. He has had an extremely successful career as a teacher and also an author. He feels his most important writings are merit badge pamphlets for the Boy Scouts of America, including:

Atomic Energy in 1982
Nuclear Science in 2004
Energy in 2005

To date, an estimated 130,000 copies of these pamphlets have been printed.

“I have had the privilege of working with science teachers and teacher educators in 15 countries including Russia, Australia, the Netherlands, Ghana and Chile,” he says. “I am currently working with a group for whom I would go to China in 2016 to train teachers there.”

In 2010 Dennis was the first faculty member in the Geneseo School of Education to be promoted to the rank of Distinguished Service Professor and is currently the Spenser J. Roemer Professor of the College.

“That allows me to pick and choose what activities I want to spend my time on: working in schools teaching science to children, mentoring junior colleagues, serving on selected committees to advance the goals of the college and the State University system, writing, learning, or whatever else catches my attention,” explains Dennis. “I get to work with very smart students who are excited about becoming great teachers, and they show their appreciation for the help I provide.”

Dennis is a big believer in having the right guidance along the way. The old adage “practice makes perfect” only works if you are practicing the right way, carefully, and with the guidance of an expert teacher.

He encourages today’s BEASD students to seek guidance and stay open to opportunities to travel, to learn about other cultures, and to become part of the community through volunteer work.

“Every day, life presents opportunities for new learning and growth,” he says. “There are chances to travel to meet people and experience their cultures. Every community has needs for volunteers to make differences in people’s lives but in doing these we grow and find fulfillment.”

At 62, Dennis still loves what he does. He has no thoughts of retiring any time soon. Outside of work he enjoys traveling, gardening, golfing, and spending time with his wife, Emily (BEA Class of ’79), and son, Joe, a professional juggler.