Thursday, October 23, 2008

Liz Is Retiring!

We've set this space up as a place for us all to leave comments for and about Liz. We'll be sharing these comments and this site with Liz at the ATE conference opening session on October 29.

Take a few minutes to read posted comments, post a Liz story, a Liz memory or to send Liz a message by clicking the COMMENTS link below.


  1. It is truly hard to think about NSF ATE without think of you Liz. You have been the heart and soul around so much of ATE from its earliest visions. I can say that I will truly miss you and the professionalism that you have brought to the program. Much of my professional career has been associated with my work on ATE related projects and Centers and I appreciate the support you have been to me in my endeavors. Twice I have had the honor to be part of a Center exit interview, once in Texas and once in Kentucky. While with any exit interview you don't always agree with everything, I appreciate your willingness to discuss the issues. I believe the new National GeoTech Center will be a real key to the future of spatial education and appreciate your support of this Center.

    You will be missed at ATE and AACC meetings, I have always enjoyed our discussions at these events. I will miss you as a friend, colleague and scholar. I hope you enjoy your next endeavors. Vince DiNoto

  2. Dr. Teles is an exceptional individual and the ATE program will miss her.

  3. Dear Liz,

    I have known you since the early years of the NSF ATE - I was fortunate to have served on the first NWCET NAB and followed the rapid growth and enormous success of the program. I can't imagine the NSF ATE without you, but because of your diligent oversight, your enthusiasm for the program, and the foundation you strongly influenced, I have no doubt it will continue to flourish.

    Your retirement is well earned - you have put so much personal energy into the many accomplishments of the ATE program - now it's time to spend some precious moments on yourself! I am grateful for our long association and sincerely hope we don't lose touch.

    Congratulations and warmest regards...Lucy Baney

  4. I LOVE that Liz has shown her commitment to making sure this program reaches every corner of the country. ATE has been a blessing to our program here in upstate NY. I have met an amazing number of people because of ATE, and our biotechnology program is 10 years ahead of schedule because of it. Most importantly, our students have amazing jobs, and they come back and thank us for what we have done for them and their families. This is "trickle-up" thanks. Our students thank us, we thank ATE, and ATE should thank Liz for her service and leadership - THANKS LIZ

  5. As an over enthusiastic ATE awardee, I asked Dr. Elizabeth Teles if it would be wise to aspire to become an NSF Program Officer during my sabbatical year. She looked at me long and hard and told me to enjoy my sabbatical and consider applying in three years. I just finished a wonderful sabbatical year during which I wrote four books! I thank you always for all the generous advice and your tireless vigilance to secure the success of so many.
    Be well and happy.

  6. Your support, understanding and belief in community colleges – especially our students – has been an inspiration to us all. You’ve had such a positive impact on the careers and lives of so many people in our country.Congrats and have fun Liz – enjoy!

  7. Thanks for your dedicated efforts to support community college students and teachers. Their success is a tribute to your insight and drive. Enjoy your retirement Liz. Dennis Kirlin

  8. Liz, I have known you for just a few years and I have been very impressed by your commitment and support to Technician education. Your encouragement and the inspiration you have given us over the years will be greatly missed. Enjoy your retirement.


  9. Liz:

    Good luck in your retirement. I have enjoyed working with you for the last 20 years, at AMATYC & NSF. It is hard to imagine coming to the ATE PI meeting and not having your there.

    Thanks for all the work you have done on behalf of two-year colleges. Before you began working at NSF it was unusual for community colleges to receive grants. Thanks to your work and that of other like-minded folks at NSF, community college faculty members are submitting proposals with expectations of receiving funding.


  10. Liz,

    I am no good at this sort of thing. It's been a privilege, an honor and a joy to work with you on all these ATE projects. You've been instrumental in putting two-year colleges on the map as serious institutions (e.g., LCC as Lexington COMMUNITY COLLEGE rather than Last Chance College). Also, you earned a Ph.D. rather later than is traditional, and were partly responsible for my working up the courage to do the same (however, if one gets a Ph.D. at the age of 52, this and $2.00 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks...); it gave me much satisfaction to do it, and I will always be glad I did...Thanks for everything,


  11. Dear Liz,

    It has been a pleasure working with you in the past on a number of NSF projects. Your advice and guidance have been invaluable. I hope that all of your dreams and expectations in the future come to fruition. I know that you will be missed by all at the NSF and all of us who you advised in the past.

  12. Liz,
    Best wishes on your retirement, although, retirement and Liz are not words than one normally use in the same sentence. You will be as busy as ever and full of enthusiasm for the ATE program.
    As a consultant for the Evaluation Center at Western, we've had many occasions to meet over the past nine years. I've always been so impressed with the way that you and Gerhard interact with ATE grantees. So compassionate and so helpful. Those are traits not always found in program officers and they are really appreciated.
    I've learned a great deal about technology education and community colleges from you and I thank you.
    Enjoy your new ventures!


  13. Around the turn of the century (still sounds strange, doesn't it?) when we were applying for our first major NSF grant, I made a promise to Liz that we would become self-sustaining at the end of the project. Last year we made good on that promise and we are now fully financed through our selling of industrial courses and services. The reason we for our success in acheiving this goal was simple. Liz's generous guidance and patience in dealing with a ton of my sophomoric questions was the key factor that allowed us to build and grow the program. Being totally green to the ATE process, her willingness to spend whatever time necessary to guide me through myriad questions and concerns never faltered, and I always sensed her desire to ensure our success was paramount on her mind.

    With Liz's retirement, I am fully confident that the ATE program will continue to foster success in its mission. Why? because I am also certain that Liz has built a strong foundation for those who dream to follow in her footsteps.

    Dr, Teles, "Thank You" does not even closely approximate the positive impact you have had on thousands of lives, careers, and on the United States.

    Chuck Carter

  14. Charlotte MulvihillOctober 27, 2008 at 8:52 AM

    From our Montgomery College Takoma Park days to NSF, you've done amazing work on the national level to help community colleges extend their potential and national recognition, a goal so close to all our hearts. Thanks so much. You've been a "class act" always - my daughter still says that your calculus summer class at MC was her best college class ever. A teacher, a science workforce leader - I'm sure you'll continuing making a difference in your future life. Best wishes, Charlotte

  15. Dr. Teles - I have always appreciated your approachability and willingness to answer any questions I may have regarding NSF grants. You will be missed by those of us who work on NSF grants here at Prince George's Community College. Enjoy your retirement!

    Diane Webb

  16. Liz, I and we at RapidTech wish you the very best in retirement, you have certainly earned it. The National Science Foundation has played an extremely important role in STEM program development due in a large part to your outstanding leadership. We will certainly miss you, and hope you will continue to support our efforts in retirement.
    Best wishes and good luck.

    Ken Patton

  17. Liz.... Your energy, commitment, and vision have brought out the very best in so many of us in the ATE community. You've always been there for us ... approachable, caring, and wise. You've made not just "A" difference, but "THE" difference for so many of us, who in turn have helped countless tens of thousands of students to better, more productive lives. You've given yourself unselfishly, and with a glow and sparkle we will never forget.

  18. Liz,

    I have really enjoyed the opportunity to both work with you on several projects and more importantly, learn from you in each of those instances. Your refreshing candidness, on-the-money insights, and terribly sane way of approaching issues and ideas is truly appreciated and valued. I know from my conversations with other more experienced ATErs and from my own expereinces with you personally that you have indeed been the driving and guiding force behind the success of the ATE Program and its many projects and Centers. I hope I will get the opportunity to stay connected with you in the future, and I wish you good luck, fun and adventure as you transition to the next part of your life. We will all miss you.

    Dennis Faber

  19. We wish you all the best in your future. Your exceptional support and mentoring throughout the years will be missed. As a champion for community colleges you have provided countless individuals and the ATE program with great leadership resulting in true innovation within their science and technician programs. I will certainly miss you, thank you.

    Erich Spengler

  20. It has been my honor and pleasure to work with you and the NSF these past few years. Your leadership and advise has been the key to many project's success and we appreciate your insights. We wish you the best in your future endeavors, and thank you for your participation in the ATE programs.
    Best Wishes
    Mike Mann

  21. Liz, All of us in US community colleges owe you a debt of gratitude. You have set high expectations for us and championed our work. We wish you the best in your retirement.
    Pat Cunniff

  22. Liz,
    When you and Gerhard showed up in Columbia, SC in 1995 for a site visit for our SC ATE Center proposal, the ATE program was new and future was bright. Now, the program isn’t so new, but the future is even brighter than ever before. You are the generator producing much of that light, and you keep ramping up the wattage! From the beginning, I have loved the fact that you have SC roots. Time and again, I have sensed that you understood us better than we understood ourselves. You have truly “raised us from pups.” I suspect that we are among the very few who have never had another NSF Program Officer. You have been with us for every project and Center, ATE or otherwise. This continuity has been a gift, and we have been steadfastly lead and encouraged by someone whose passion for this work parallels our own.
    I prefer to look at this less of a farewell and more of a transition. No doubt we will continue to find ways to work together to advance technician and STEM education …and to share photos and arrange play dates for our adorable grandchildren!

  23. Liz,

    It has been an honor to work with you and learn from you. Thank you for all you have done for community college technician education. All of us, and most especially our students, have benefited greatly from your efforts. We will miss you - enjoy your well deserved retirement!

    Monica Pfarr

  24. Liz - for those of us at Valencia Community College in Orlando, you will always be fondly remembered as not only a major supporter of community colleges in general, but also as the person who provided us with the guidance we needed to get our first NSF grant. You are the ultimate role model for program officers, possessing the right combination of smarts, sincerity, and communication skills to truly make a difference during pre-award and post-award. All of our NSF successes since that first grant can be attributed to the legacy that you helped to create. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement, and know that you will be missed!

  25. Bill Raley said . . .

    You are truely a 'Champion of Champions'. Your guidance has helped establish a network of alliances across the U.S. What began as a local idea is now a national coalition of chemical plants, refineries, and colleges. You have seen us through the significant growing pains of a small college building a collaborative effort led by the major employers in the energy sector. There are currently dozens of institutions, scores of industries, and hundreds of graduates that owe their successes to you, the NSF, and the ATE programs you have supported.

    We wish you well and please know that you will be remembered.

  26. Dear Liz,
    The New England Board of Higher Education, on behalf of the many community colleges and high schools in New England that have benefitted from your commitment to building the ATE program, sincerely thank you for your years of devoted service. Your vision, skills and energy have made the ATE program the powerhouse that it is.
    I think back to the spring of 1993 when you came to Bunker Hill Community College in Boston to share the good news about the ATE program. You gave an inspiring workshop and the more than 100 STEM faculty and development officers who were there went back to their home institutions and began to make plans to participate in the ATE program. Since that time, with your guidance and foresight, New England community colleges have become great partners with ATE by continuing to grow national and regional centers and projects. You have made a tremendous difference in our region and your legacy will continue to benefit our students and educational institutions into the future. Many thanks, and best wishes for a rewarding retirement, Fenna Hanes

  27. Liz,

    Being able to work with you has been one of the highlights of our professional careers. The MATE Center has taken a long path to get to where we are today. Thank you for being the strict mother hen that believes in people first. You have supported us through many college administrations and early PI transitions to get us to a point where we have exceeded all of our expectations. You have left your mark on the ATE program, on so many people that have benefited from the ATE program, and so many students in higher education. The ATE program will not be the same with out you. You are irreplaceable!

    Enjoy the next phase of your life; we’re sure you will because we can’t imagine you sitting still for long! Send pictures.

    XOXO, Deidre and Jill

  28. Liz is one of the best bosses I ever had. She gave me tons of responsibility, never doubting I could do it. When I got into trouble, she pulled me out and sent me right back in. I have seen her spend hours on the student awards that go out at the PI Conference – she makes them and all of us welcome. She and Gerhard have created the ATE Program that nurtured us all and connected us to the best and brightest in the ATE community, making our lives as faculty infinitely more interesting. I’m sure that her retired life will be as interesting as her career at NSF and look forward to new tales of her intrepid travels. We’ll miss you Liz!

    Barb Anderegg

  29. Dear Liz,
    Thank you for your support and advice during the last few years. I've appreciated your kind and encouraging words. Your dedication to community colleges, and your confidence in their students and faculty, has been evident and has improved the lives of many people. I wish you the best as you retire. We'll miss you.
    Julie Johnson, Normandale

  30. Dr. Teles,
    We at Alabama Southern and our (npt)2 network partners around the country wish you a wonderful retirement from the NSF. You have been so supportive and helpful to us for about a decade, and we hope you see your influence in setting the stage for incredible opportunities for technology education that affects many students, industries, and communities. Many thanks and our warmest wishes,
    Steve Duke

  31. Dear Liz,
    We at Mount San Antonio College and our partners of the RISSC team wish you a wonderful retirement. You have been instrumental in seting the stage for the community colleges for opportunities in technology education which has benefited so many. Wish you the best in your journey ahead
    Jaishri Mehta

  32. Dear Liz,
    Personally, it has indeed been a pleasure to work with you; but more so, to learn from you. Your guidance, patience, wisdom and understanding were greatly appreciated. Your strong dedication to technician education and support of community colleges is evident with the wonderful centers and projects that will continue to carry on this work. MatEd wishes to extend our best wishes and success to any endeavor you undertake. As stated by others, you will be missed.

    Take care, Mel Cossette

  33. Liz,
    My first introduction to you was to drive you to the 2006 CARCAM NVC meeeting, from our Gadsden State Ayers Campus in Anniston to Wallace State CC in Cullman. I was immediately at ease with you thanks to your warm and down to earth personality, and have been the beneficiary of your mentorship ever since. I'm so grateful to have had such a Program Officer as yourself, who was always there for me with advice and support.
    I'm looking forward to hearing of the great things I know you'll do in retirement, and hope our paths cross many more times in the future. You truly are one of the great influences on my life. I wish you the very best as you embark on this new journey in yours. Dale Cox, CARCAM

  34. Liz:

    On behalf of Stu Schulman, Christoph Winkler, Jon Deutsch and the rest of the CUNY Institute for Virtual Enterprise, we'd like to thank you for your kind words and good insight over the last several years. We're comforted by the fact that in your speech at the conference you reminded us all that retirement doesn't mean that you won't still be involved in all the great work that happens at ATE and in its many supported projects.



  35. Liz,

    It has been a pleasure working with you over the past several years as a PI, Co-PI, and proposal reviewer. Rock Valley College and our partners at Northern Illinois University sincerely wish to thank you for all of your support and guidance.

    I enjoyed talking with you last Wednesday during the afternoon workshop session. Best wishes for you and your family during your retirement. We will look for you at one of the national parks.


    Chuck Billman
    Aviation Chair,
    Rock Valley College

  36. Kayla Cummings (Robeson Community College)November 3, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    Dr. Elizabeth Teles,

    It was a great honor of myself and Robeson Community College to participate in your program. You are a great role model to myself and many other people. As a student, I would like to thank you for the great opportunity you have helped in providing myself and many others. May God continue to bless you and your family.

    Thanks Alot,
    Kayla Cummings

  37. Liz, I had to opportunity to meet you at the 2008 ATE PI Conference. My name is Jordyn Smith and we had the chance to have breakfast and chat. I want to say it was an honor to meet you and I enjoyed talking with you. I was so honored to be able to participate in the conference. Thanks again

    Jordyn Smith

  38. Liz,

    I want to wish you all the best on your upcoming retirement. You have had a profound effect on many students and faculty, at community colleges in general and at Normandale Community College in particular. Your encouragement and support for the work that community colleges do in STEM is so very much appreciated. You will be greatly missed. Thank you so much!

    Julie Guelich
    Normandale Community College

  39. Dear Liz,

    We deeply appreciate the help and encouragement you gave us in the years leading up to our successful grant award. You were generous with your time, even during busy conferences, to help us through all the questions we had. We learned much through your guidance. You put a face on a very large organization, and working with you has been a pleasure.

    We are inspired by your extensive contributions and deep commitment to technical education at the community college level. Your leadership made possible the funding of many innovative projects that have made a big difference in our students’ lives. Words are not enough, but thank you for everything you have done for all of us!

    We join with our colleagues, here and elsewhere, to wish you a wonderful retirement!

    Best wishes,

    Judith Berry
    Radecka Appiah Padi
    Mary Speiser
    Business, Media and Information Technologies Division
    Lansing Community College