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Draft Remarks for the Distinguished Alumni Brunch


Service to the College Award: Dennis P. Zicko

Dennis P. Zicko is the recipient of the 2010 MCLA Service to the College Award.

Dennis graduated from MCLA with a Bachelor of Science in education in 1965. He also

received a Master of Natural Science in physics in 1970 from the University of South Dakota.

Dennis’s recent involvement with MCLA began in 2005, when a low turnout at his 40th

class reunion inspired him. Dennis has served as the class agent for the class of 1965 for the past

five years. His efforts to rebuild the connection between alumni and the school have been highly

successful. Over the past two years, Dennis has worked to raise $10,000 for the establishment of

a Class of 1965 Scholarship, and has secured contributions from an impressive 50 per cent of the

class. The Alumni Office acknowledged Dennis’s accomplishments by presenting him with the

Class Agent of the Year Award in 2009.

In addition to his work at the College, Dennis is actively involved in the academic

community. He describes himself as “an expert at doing demonstration, both in the classroom

and at various professional conferences.” He attended the prestigious Physics Teacher Resource

Agent Program in 1985, where he was trained to present workshops on such topics as Halley’s

Comet and Physics Olympics. Dennis developed “Spreadsheet Physics,” which teaches students

to use a computer spreadsheet to analyze experimental data. He served as the high school teacher

consultant and lab director for UMASS Dartmouth in Project Update, a three year program that

emphasized laboratory work in physics and translated to the high school classroom. Dennis has

had two articles published in “The Physics Teacher,” 1980’s A Nail Driven into Wood and Spin-

Out Velocity of a Slot Car in 1988.


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Dennis was awarded the Plymouth County Science Educator of the Year Award in 1990

and was a finalist for the Massachusetts State Science Teacher of the Year Award in 1990-1991.

He is currently a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Massachusetts

Teachers Association and the National Education Association.

Dennis P. Zicko, in recognition of all that you have done for this College and on behalf of

the entire Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts community, I am pleased to present you with

MCLA’s 2010 Service to the College Award.