Skip to Main Content

Retiring Gannon faculty honored with gratitude for years of service

Published: 04/28/2022

Bob Rawding, Laura Rutland, Jeremy Cannell, Patricia Marshall and Dick Moodey were on hand for today's celebration.

Bob Rawding, Laura Rutland, Jeremy Cannell, Patricia Marshall and Dick Moodey were on hand for today's celebration.

Eight exceptional members of the Gannon community were celebrated today as faculty and staff gathered to honor the retirement of their colleagues. Jeremy Cannell of the College of Engineering and Business; David Blaetz, Frank Garland, Richard “Dick” Moodey, and Laura Rutland of the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences; and Bob Rawding, Patricia Marshall, and Valerie Baker of the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences have each spent their careers transforming the university and its students. “Gannon is a special place because of each of you and what you bring to it,” said Gannon President Dr. Keith Taylor. 

Provost and Vice President of Student Experience Dr. Walter Iwanenko spoke in honor of each retiree, with a few of his sentiments shared below. 


Jeremy Cannell earned his degree with honors at the University of Surrey in England before trying his hand as a Formula One racecar driver (for one lap), a surfer, and a downhill skier. Finally, he decided to make the United States his home as he went on to earn his master’s degree in engineering, specializing in embedded software here at Gannon. Jeremy brought to us his world of experience after traveling for business through France from Toulouse, Paris, Pau and Nice. Starting out as a Trainee Research Engineer, Jeremy later transitioned into teaching, and over the past 20+ years, he has earned the widespread respect of his peers and students in the Department of Computer and Information Science for the College of Engineering and Business at Gannon University. 


Lou Reed said, “One chord is fine, two chords are pushing it, three chords and you have jazz.” David Blaetz always plays three chords. 

David’s work here at Gannon was always artful, always thorough, and always amazing. He taught video, field, and audio production for the School of Communications and the Arts; many local media folks learned basic and advanced production techniques with the ever-patient David Blaetz. 

David was also the shepherd for our practicum and internship students. He made contacts and placed students, matching experiences to interests carefully. His love of music and quality sound made him an asset for the Schuster Theatre, as well. Sound effects and musical threads were David’s work for many, many productions. 

He is a local favorite for his expert work playing the bass - and he has plans to play on.  We will miss his media expertise, his gentle work with students, and the jazzy three chords he brought to the SCA and to Gannon every day.


Sports aficionado, skilled listener, savvy proofreader, and a super teacher: all are words to describe Frank Garland

Frank sits tirelessly every day providing detailed written feedback on every written assignment. He always has a pen in hand to provide direction or to ask for clarity in a phrase or organizational pattern. Frank teaches basic composition and journalism courses: news writing, feature writing, and sports writing are favorites.  Regularly on Tuesday nights and throughout the week Frank mentors the Gannon Knight news operation on the second floor of the Center for Communication and the Arts. Even through COVID, the Knight continued with publication, and Frank saw the transition from pages to pixels as the online Gannon Knight went to the web confidently. 

As a writer, Frank is well known for his books on baseball greats, Willie Stargell and Arky Vaughn, and his writing will continue into retirement. 

Rogers Hornby, an American baseball infielder said “people ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” We hope for many “springs” in Frank’s retirement.


Dr. Richard Moodey started at Gannon in August of 1998 as a visiting professor of sociology - and never left! He became assistant professor in the fall of 2006, and in 2012 became interim department chair for criminal justice and social work through the spring of 2017.

Lauded by program colleague Dr. Parris Baker, “Dr. Moodey has characteristically demonstrated by his precocity and his superhuman perspicacity; his mind is a tenacious trap of sociological theories and data. He provides the Department of Criminal Justice and Social Work - and anyone who will listen - with moral direction and reminds all of us why our times are so uncertain, in America and around the world. He is a doting dad and tremendous colleague! At retirement, Dick is going directly to “The Far Side” of the Third Rock from the Sun, so he can reflect and perfect the Big Bang Theory!” 


Dr. Laura Rutland started at Gannon in the fall of 2004 as an assistant professor of English. She has been chairperson of the English for eight years and guided the department through a period of tremendous change. She was the director of the first-year writing program for many years before she was chairperson, she sings as a member of the choir at the Episcopal Church in Erie, and writes poetry. In the future, Dr. Rutland hopes to spend more time writing and teaching some classes and/or volunteering in the Writing and Research Center at Gannon.


This year marked Dr. Bob Rawding’s 21st year at Gannon: in that time he has been very supportive to his colleagues and especially helpful with onboarding. Renee Faradori said he took her under his wing right away, and together they developed a Human A&P lab. “He loves watching YouTube and other videos on his devices - he's great with technology and can answer everything about Angel and Blackboard. Unfortunately, he is a huge New England Patriots fan, but we can forgive him for that. He and his wife Annie plan to do some home remodeling projects once he retires. They also love to go RV-ing and plan to do some traveling!” 


Patricia Marshall earned her BSN in nursing from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 1978, and in 1986, she completed her MSN at California State University with a focus on critical care and nursing education. She joined the faculty of the Villa Maria School of Nursing in 1986 and was awarded tenure from Gannon University in 1991. Patricia has served in multiple capacities for the Villa Maria School of Nursing, including interim director from 2006 to 2009, and director of undergraduate programs through 2017. She has served or led multiple committees within the School of Nursing and the University, and has served in leadership roles for the Pennsylvania Nurses Association. She was honored with lifetime membership in the greater Long Beach-Orange County chapter of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Pat is an avid knitter, and thoroughly enjoys spending time with her grandchildren.


Valerie Baker earned her BSN from Villa Maria College, and her MSN from the University of Pittsburgh specializing in pulmonary and clinical care. She is a certified adult health clinical nurse specialist and author of several grants and initiatives that focused on interprofessional collaborative practice. Valerie has served as faculty for the Villa Maria School of Nursing since 1984 and retired as an associate teaching professor. She had been very active in initiatives that supported our student’s success with the NCLEX (nursing licensure) exam.

Val has several grandchildren that she enjoys spending time with and visiting. 

Congratulations to each of our retiring colleagues. We’re blessed to have the opportunity to celebrate you and wish you nothing but the best as you enter a new and exciting chapter - never forget your Gannon Family will always be here for you! 

View more from today’s celebration on Facebook

All media inquiries can be made by contacting Haley Figurski, Media Relations and Marketing Manager, at 814-823-1886.