Three Earn Faculty Merit Awards

Apr 07, 2022

Drs. Andrea Cencich, Nicole Evanick and Ali Sezer will be honored at Cal U's Commencement ceremony May 7.

faculty merit awards

Dr. Andrea Cencich (left), Dr. Ali Sezer and Dr. Nicole Evanick.

Three outstanding California University of Pennsylvania faculty members have received Presidential Distinguished Merit Awards.

Award recipients Dr. Andrea Cencich (service), Dr. Nicole Evanick (teaching) and Dr. Ali Sezer (research/scholarship) were recognized during the May 7 Commencement ceremonies. They received a medallion they wore over their academic regalia, plus a scholarship to be awarded to a student in each recipient’s discipline.

Cencich, an associate professor of Spanish, was honored for excellence in service. At Cal U she serves as the face of the Latinx community and empowers students with the skills they need to maximize their academic success, achieve their career goals and become leaders in their communities. Always an advocate for her students, Cencich also serves as the adviser for the Hispanic Student Association and the Language Honor Society.  

Cencich earned her Ph.D. from Aston University in Birmingham, England, her master’s degree in education from Duquesne University, and her bachelor’s in Spanish from Cal U. A native of Santiago, Chile, she earned a first professional degree from the University of Technology of Chile before coming to the United States.     

Dr. Nicole Evanick, R.N., was honored for excellence in teaching. She is an assistant professor nursing and the Global Online coordinator for the Master of Science in Nursing program. Her teaching expertise includes healthcare informatics, nursing leadership, quality improvement and project management. Prior to teaching full time, Evanick held various leadership and management positions at large medical centers in the Pittsburgh area.

Evanick also worked with robotic and software engineers developing clinical teaching software that was deployed across the country to nursing, medical and pharmacy schools. She has presented both at local and international conferences regarding best practices in online teaching methodologies and serves on the Board of Directors for the Southwestern Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders. Evanick has developed “The Nitty Gritty: A Podcast for Aspiring Leaders” for Cal U’s academic community.

Sezer, a professor of chemistry, was honored for excellence in research/scholarship. He was born and raised in Turkey and earned his Ph.D. in chemical and materials engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

His expertise is in general, physical and polymer chemistry. He has been involved in developing educational resources for chemistry, including two illustrated books: Know-It-All Chemistry and Visual Learning Chemistry: An Integrated Guide for All Ages. He is currently working on book projects including one about polymers and the impact they have in our environment.