June 03, 2022

Three longtime faculty and staff retire, receive honors

The Beloit community said farewell to College Registrar Mary Boros-Kazai, Chemistry Professor George Lisensky, and Physics and Astronomy Professor J. Patrick Polley when they retired this year. The three were feted at an April ceremony and awarded emeriti status.

Mary Boros-Kazai

Mary Boros-Kazai Mary Boros-KazaiMary Boros-Kazai joined the Beloit College staff in 1989 as registrar and served in that role until December 2021.

During her tenure, she maintained official student records, advised thousands of students in making academic decisions, answered countless questions from faculty, staff, and alumni, and supported the work of six provosts and four college presidents.

She managed the integrity of the curriculum and related academic data as the college adapted to new software systems and formats and oversaw necessary pivots to calendars, schedules, and protocols during the pandemic.

George Lisensky

George Lisensky George Lisensky
Credit: Trevor Johnson
George Lisensky, professor of chemistry, was the Robert H. Solem Professor in the Sciences when he retired.

Since joining the chemistry department in 1980, he has changed fields twice, moving from bioinorganic chemistry to materials science to nanoscience. He remained engaged in research in all three areas.

Most notably, Lisensky has mentored more than 100 undergraduate students in his research, resulting in many co-authored articles and new experiments that he incorporated into his courses. An international leader in nanochemistry education, he has given hundreds of workshops and conference presentations across four continents and received numerous teaching awards, including the Chemical Manufacturers Association National Catalyst Teaching Award and Beloit College Teacher of the Year.

J. Patrick Polley

J. Patrick Polley J. Patrick Polley
Credit: Trevor Johnson
J. Patrick Polley, professor of physics and astronomy, has wide-ranging interests, including mechanical and electromagnetic properties of material, classical archaeology, and military history.

For more than three decades, he has worked on developing and grading the Advanced Placement Physics Exam in collaboration with the College Board and the Education Testing Service. He has spent many summers preparing high school teachers to teach AP physics, the college-level physics course offered to high school students across North America.

His Beloit students speak warmly of his enormous range of knowledge in and well beyond physics. As one former student reflected, “More so than any equations or theories, in those years with Pat, I learned how to teach from one of the best.”

Also In This Issue

  • George Lisensky

    Three longtime faculty and staff retire, receive honors

  • Professor of Anthropology Shannon Fie works with students individually in an anthropology classroom.

    Ready for a career and a meaningful, flourishing life

  • Many students, faculty, and alumni have walked past these intricately carved terracotta blocks, sunken into the brick wall of a well-used campus lobby. Do you know what they are, where they are, and why they were preserved? If you do, email us at belmag@beloit.edu. This is just one of the campus mysteries we’ll solve in a fall story.

    Uncovering Hidden Campus Spaces and Places

  • The Americares Emergency Response team assesses a map of Ukraine and discusses potential points of distribution for medicines and medical supplies in Rzeszów, Poland, in March. Adam Keehn’80, director of complex humanitarian emergencies for Americares, is on the far right.

    Addressing a health crisis in a war zone


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