George D. Novak : CAL U

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Two students relax outside a building at Cal U.Two students relax outside a building at Cal U.

George D. Novak


  • B.S. in Education – Mathematics and Physical Science from California State College
  • Master of Letters in Mathematics from University of Pittsburgh


Novak graduated from California State Teachers College and began a teaching career at the age of 19 and has been in the field of education ever since. His first job was teaching mathematics and physics at West Bethlehem High School. Several years later, West Bethlehem High School joined with Bethlehem Joint High School, and he taught there for one year before coming to California State Teachers College, where he initially taught in the Physics Department. After several years teaching physics, he moved over to the Mathematics Department and began a long tenure in this department. During his tenure in the Mathematics Department, he not only taught numerous courses in the department, but also did the following:

  • Served as the director/ instructor in a training program in electronics, mechanics, and hydraulics for J&L Steel Corp. (mining division).
  • Taught numerous National Defense Education Act/ National Science Foundation programs in mathematics and computer science to area mathematics teachers.
  • Participated in a joint program in computer science with the Control Data Institute, Intermediate Unit 1 and the University to teach elementary computer concepts to area high school teachers.
  • Lectured at approximately 40 high schools in western Pennsylvania on the areas of mathematics and computer science. This project was sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Mathematics Association of America.
  • Presented various lectures at county institutes in mathematics at in-service programs.
  • Worked with the Internal Revenue Service to develop a database for electronic transmission of data on individual 1040 accounts.
  • Helped to develop a mathematics and computer science program/ curriculum at the University.
  • Was a partner in the firm CND Computers. CND was an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) that sold computers and did installations of hardware and software for small industrial sites.
  • Served as chairman of the Athletic Council at the University.
  • Acted as assistant chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department for a number of years.
  • Served as a computer consultant to McDonald Engineering Co.
  • Served for a number of years as president of the Mon Valley Health and Welfare Association, an organization that employed more than 700 people and served the areas of Fayette, Washington and Greene counties.


  • Basic Programming
  • Mathematics for Elementary Teachers
  • Computer Science Internship
  • Field Work in Computer Science

Affiliated Cal U Departments

  • Taught a course in computer science with the affiliation of the Control Data Institute, Intermediate Unit 1 and California University.
  • Taught a geometry course sponsored by the National Science Foundation to area mathematics teachers.
  • Taught numerous in-service programs to area high school teachers sponsored by the National Defense Education Act and California University at their schools.
  • Was a guest lecturer to area high school students in topics of mathematics and computer science. These lectures were sponsored by the Mathematics Association of America and the National Science Foundation and included talks to students in more than 40 high schools in Western Pennsylvania.
  • Taught a course in computer science to area high school students as part of a gifted program operated by the Washington County Institute.
  • Served on the board and as a teacher for a gifted and talented program that brought students ages 9-13 to the University for one week. This program received national attention and was recommended by Johns Hopkins University. Over the years, 5,000 young students were served in this summer program.
  • Developed a fine computer internship program that let many students into learn and earn situations at various sites mainly throughout the tri-state area. Students were able to obtain jobs through this program. This internship program served many local industries and businesses.

Service Learning Projects

  • Serves as president of the Cal-Ed Federal Credit Union. When Novak became president, there were $3,000 in assets; today, the assets are over $35 million, but most important is that the motto of the credit union is "people helping people."
  • Participated with the Boy Scouts and Explorers, developing a program that enriched their learning of computers. Many years ago, California University of Pennsylvania was one of the first colleges and universities in the nation to issue merit badges to Boy Scouts in computer studies.
  • Helped to develop first endowed computer scholarships sponsored by the Gabriel Family.
  • Received the following awards, all for service:
    • The John R. Gregg Award
    • The President's Faculty Award
    • The Dixonian Award
  • Serves as a captain in the State Employee Combined Appeal giving campaign.
  • Served for a number of years on the Alumni Board at the University.
  • Established an award in scholarship and athletics presented to a high school junior in the California Area School District.
  • Serves on the board of the Faculty Scholarship Committee.

In The Classroom

"The teaching technique that I use is based on the discovery method of learning and the non-verbal awareness concepts approach. I was introduced to this concept of teaching while I attended the University of Illinois on a National Science Foundation grant. It seems to work very well with the students. Students are very important to me."

Academic Department(s)

  • Department of Math, Computer Science and Information Systems

Academic Program(s)

  • B.A. Mathematics
  • None
  • None

Contact Information



Eberly Hall 316


"I have always enjoyed working with students and seeing students develop a love of mathematics and computer science. Supervising the computer internship programs, I have seen students develop their skills and obtain jobs in industry, education and the like. Many students have gone on to supervisory and project management jobs, and even further to those who now own their own companies. It is a great feeling that one gets when he helps students achieve success in their fields of endeavor."

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