Kathy Eck, campus registrar, is retiring on June 30 after 35 years of service with Penn State Lehigh Valley.
Eck, of Macungie, began her career with Penn State Lehigh Valley working part time in the registration department at the Fogelsville campus in 1981. Three years later, Eck transitioned to full-time status, becoming the campus registrar.
As campus registrar, Eck was responsible for the development and publishing of the fall, spring and summer schedule of courses for the campus. Eck was responsible for publishing the academic calendar for the campus, including the final exam schedule. She worked closely with students to ensure eligibility for graduation and worked with program coordinators to resolve any problems. Eck managed student records, organized and supervised all campus registration operations, scheduled classrooms for all courses, and served as the campus access and security representative. Eck is also a member of the Campus Leadership Team.
Before coming to the Lehigh Valley campus, Eck previously worked for the Department of Education in New Jersey and for Air Products and Chemicals in Trexlertown.
Eck said her favorite part of working at Penn State Lehigh Valley has been building relationships with faculty, staff and students, as well as constantly learning.
“I’ve loved learning and watching Penn State Lehigh Valley grow. I was part of the transition to the Center Valley campus; I was here when PSU-LV began offering four-year degrees. I watched as students completed their degrees from start to finish. Penn State Lehigh Valley is a wonderful community, we are one big family,” said Eck. “I try to maintain my sense of humor, which is crucial when trying to work with the special requests of our faculty, while molding the course schedules to cover our needs but optimizing our space and ensuring that our students have the opportunity to complete their degrees in a timely manner.”
Eck said being asked to join the Senior Management Team organized by Chancellor Ann Williams has been a highlight of her career.
In 2002, Eck was awarded the Outstanding Staff Award. When presenting the award, then Berks campus Chancellor Susan Speece remarked, “Kathy has served with distinction and dedication. She is first and foremost outstanding in her knowledge in her area of expertise. She is highly effective in scheduling courses and knows the requirements of every major and does not hesitate to tactfully suggest that a student may be better served by selecting another course.”
“I’ve been with this campus for so long. I’ve had the confidence of administration, including four different chancellors. I’ve seen Penn State Lehigh Valley grow from just 500 students. I’m proud to have been a part of these changes,” said Eck.
“Working with Kathy Eck has been a terrific experience for me,” said Kenneth Thigpen, director of academic affairs. “Kathy has always been proactive and generous with her time for students, faculty, and for me. She has made my job much easier and has helped me preserve the integrity of the courses we offer on our campus. She has been a model registrar in every way. Personally, I will miss her droll humor, her calming impact, and her devotion to Penn State. I wish Kathy the very best in her well-deserved retirement.”
Eck is looking forward to spending time with her family. Her husband, Dale, and two sons, Bryan and Peter, are all Penn State graduates. Eck and her husband will continue their activities with the Macungie Historical Society, but also plan to travel throughout the United States whenever they can.
Eck’s friends and colleagues will attend a retirement celebration for her on June 15 at the Lehigh Valley campus.