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Three Faculty Members Set to Retire

Article about three faculty members retiring

by Joe Savrock (May 2008)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Three long-time College of Education faculty members reach the end of their careers this year. The College appreciates the many outstanding contributions of Murry Nelson, Syedur Rahman, and Robert Slaney and wishes them the very best in their retirements.

Murry Nelson


Murry Nelson, professor of social studies education, began his career as a social studies teacher in Chicago Public Schools. In 1975 he joined the Penn State faculty. He served as department head of Curriculum and Instruction from 2000 to 2007.

Nelson was named a Fulbright Scholar for 2007–2008. He is currently finishing his yearlong Fulbright study as the László Országh Distinguished Chair in American Studies with the School of English and American Studies at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary.

Nelson is a three-time Fulbright winner. He held Fulbright Senior Awards to Iceland (1983), where he taught at the University of Iceland, and Norway (1990–91), where he was a roving instructor of American studies, attached to the Ministry of Education.

Nelson’s major educational foci are social studies curriculum and curriculum history. He developed student teaching exchanges with the University of Utrecht (Netherlands) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

Syedur Rahman


Syedur Rahman, affiliate associate professor of education theory and policy, is the University’s director of international programs. He manages the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, where he advises and counsels the program’s Fellows on educational, cultural, and social issues. He has been associated with the program since 1982.

Born and raised in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), Rahman’s scholarly expertise is in political science.

Syedur has enjoyed a three-decade tenure with Penn State. He will be moving to Washington, D.C., where his wife, Tannaz, began work in 2005 as director of advancement for Washington International School.

Robert Slaney


Robert Slaney, professor of counseling psychology, joined the Penn State faculty in 1986. From 1999 to 2005, he served as head of the Department of Counselor Education, Counseling Psychology, and Rehabilitation Services. Earlier in his tenure, he was professor-in-charge of the Counseling Psychology program, a post he held for six years.

Slaney is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania and New York, and he is an internationally recognized scholar and researcher. He received a Fulbright Fellowship to India in 1988–1990 and was granted the status of Fellow by the American Psychological Association in 1988. He has published some 70 peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters, book reviews, and test reviews. His research interests focus on perfectionism.

Slaney received the prestigious Diversity Enhancement Award in 2005 from Penn State’s Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity. He recently won the College of Education’s Career Achievement Award.