Awards & Recognition

'Garden Odyssey' Takes Publishing Prize

More praise for a new book published by a Bucks Preservation professor.

Tyler Elegance: A Garden Odyssey, written by Lyle Rosenberger, edited by Barbara Long, and featuring photography and layout by Rita Melmud, won a Franklin Award for Excellence in Spring 2012. The book's publishers, H.G. Services, Inc. submitted Elegance to the Graphic Arts Association's Neographics Competition. The committee awarded them a Franklin in the Four-Color Book category.

The volume tells the history of the four-tiered formal gardens behind Tyler Hall that served as an outdoor parlor for George and Stella Elkins Tyler. Never-before published photographs and documents detail the gardens' layout and the role they played in high society.

The book is available in the Bucks bookstore.

Tyler Gardens Among Bucks Beautiful

The Tyler Formal Gardens added another award to its bouquet of honors.

Bucks Beautiful, an initiative by the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce encouraging the “greening” of the county, awarded the Gardens First Prize in its Fall Garden Competition. Tyler competed in the Community Gardens category, scoring an impressive 95 out of 100 possible points and earning a perfect score for overall design. The judges raved about the pruning, mulching, and edging.

"The perennials, arborvitae, boxwoods… everything really looked pretty good," said Professor Lyle Rosenberger, who heads restoration efforts in the Gardens. "We have a very good crew of volunteers. Without volunteers, we couldn't get anything done."

The Gardens have long been a popular place for wedding photos. But more students and staff have been enjoying the plantings, fountains and sculpture as a respite between classes or a place to enjoy a quiet lunch.

The Tyler Formal Gardens is now a member of the Greater Philadelphia Gardens network and has been highlighted extensively in local media. Being featured on several gardening and tourism web sites now brings in visitors from outside the college and outside the county.

Formal restoration of the Gardens began in 1999 and is a continuing project of the Historic Preservation program, receiving support from local businesses and the Bucks Foundation.

Tyler Hall and Tyler Formal Gardens have been on the National Register of Historical Places since 1987.

Learn more and take the virtual tour online:

Roberta Mayer Recognized as Pennsylvania 'Teacher of the Year'

Roberta Mayer, Ph.D., an Associate Professor at Bucks County Community College, has been named the 2010 Pennsylvania Professor of the year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
Mayer, who teaches art history and history of American furniture says she’s humbled by the award, for which she was chosen from more than 300 top professors in the United States. She credits her innovative approaches both in and outside the classroom with setting her apart.

“One of the things I bring to the award is modeling a level of professionalism,” said Mayer. “Not only am I passionate about teaching, I’ve written articles in peer-reviewed publications and lectured about art history.”

Among her numerous publications is Lockwood de Forest: Furnishing the Gilded Age with a Passion for India (2008, University of Delaware Press). She also wrote Stella Elkins Tyler: A Legacy Born of Bronze, a retrospective of the sculpture by the woman whose estate became the location for Bucks County Community College. The book complemented an exhibition of Tyler’s works to coincide with the college’s 40th anniversary in 2004. Mayer has also presented lectures throughout the U.S. and Canada, most recently on “Lockwood de Forest and the East Indian Craft Revival” at the Richard H. Driehaus Museum in Chicago.

Mayer credits the college for supporting her achievements that led to the award.

“We are a learner-centered institution that acknowledges and honors teaching. We also have the availability of online course spaces, which I use to supplement my face-to-face classes, essentially bringing the learning out of the classroom and into students’ homes,” she said.

“It’s impossible to do all this without having excellent library support,” Mayer added, noting that the BCCC Library received the 2010  Excellence in Academic Libraries award from the Association of College & Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association.

Matthew Metcalf, who holds a bachelor’s degree and came to Bucks to earn a certificate in historic preservation, calls Mayer one of the best teachers he’s ever had.

“The atmosphere of learning she creates, the way she uses technology, the way she breaks down difficult or abstract topics into ideas you can understand…you can't help but to learn the material,” said Metcalf. “The students – and the college – are lucky to have her. She's a role model for all educators.”

Mayer has been teaching at Bucks since 1999 and became full-time in 2001. In addition to teaching, she is also head of the visual arts area in the college’s Department of the Arts. She earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in art history at the University of Delaware. She earned her B.A. in the subject at Rutgers University, where she had earlier earned degrees in toxicology and chemical engineering.

About the Award:
CASE and the Carnegie Foundation have been partners in offering the U.S. Professors of the Year awards program since 1981.  CASE assembled two preliminary panels of judges to select finalists. The Carnegie Foundation then convened the third panel, which selected four national winners. CASE and Carnegie select state winners from top entries resulting from the judging process.  For more on the awards, visit

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching was founded in 1905 by Andrew Carnegie “to do all things necessary to encourage, uphold and dignify the profession of teaching.” The foundation is the only advanced-study center for teachers in the world and the third-oldest foundation in the nation. Its nonprofit research activities are conducted by a small group of distinguished scholars.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is the largest international association of education institutions, serving nearly 3,400 universities, colleges, schools, and related organizations in 59 countries. CASE is the leading resource for professional development, information, and standards in the fields of educational fundraising, communications, marketing and alumni relations.

Students Win Prestigious Historic Structure Documentation Award

Image of group of people in front of a barn

Student-drawn documents of Civil War-era barn topped submissions from major universities to earn a national award. Besting a field of major colleges and universities, Bucks County Community College garnered first prize in a national competition for architectural drawings. Bucks won the 2008 Charles E. Peterson Prize, an annual contest presented by the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) of the National Park Service, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The prize honors Charles E. Peterson, founder of the HABS program, and is intended to increase appreciation of historic buildings throughout the United States while adding to the permanent HABS collection of measured drawings at the Library of Congress.

"If this isn't a David and Goliath story, I don't know what is," said John Petito, Assistant Academic Dean of the Department of Behavioral and Social Science, noting that BCCC was the only community college in the competition.

Bucks' historic preservation team rose to the top of 14 entries, beating out Kent State University's College of Architecture, which placed second, and a third-place tie between Clemson University's graduate program in historic preservation, and the Art Institute of Chicago's historic preservation department. Judges were from the National Park Service, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.

"It was by far the most competitive competition in recent memory," noted Mark Schara, architect for the National Park Service's HABS and one of the judges. "A total of 23 points out of 300 separated the winning project from the 11th-place entry."

The winning submission by Bucks was a set of measured drawings of the Best Farm Stone Barn at Monocacy National Battlefield in Frederick, Md. Project director and instructor Kathryn Ann Auerbach led preservation students over two summer sessions and an independent study last winter to produce detailed documents of the late 18th-century stone barn that witnessed fighting during the Civil War Battle of Monocacy.

"This was a unique opportunity for Bucks students to produce valuable documents for the National Park Service, while learning about the architecture of the building, its comparison to local Bucks barns, and the historical events around the 'Battle that Saved Washington,'" Aeurbach said.

The hands-on activity of taking field measurements of the actual building, then creating measured drawings for a permanent record to be filed in the Library of Congress, are components of the HABS Workshop offered through the Historic Preservation Certificate Program at Bucks.

"The program is very unique," noted Pat Fisher-Olsen, coordinator of the Historic Preservation Certificate Program and an alumna. "We offer students an opportunity to participate in active preservation work traditionally available only at full-time graduate level preservation and architecture programs at universities."

The Stone Barn drawings completed a series of HABS projects Bucks performed for the National Park Service under a five-year cooperative agreement. Previous projects included the Brawner Farm House in Manassas Battlefield Park, Va., which won a third place Peterson prize, and the Thomas Farm-Araby Outbuildings, which won a fourth place Peterson prize.

Thomas Vitanza, Senior Historical Architect for the NPS's Historic Preservation Training Center, has worked closely with Bucks students on these projects. "We chose Bucks because of their ability, through drawings done by hand, to highlight the specific construction details and to provide insight into the buildings' architectural interpretations," said Vitanza. "Bucks students aren't afraid of getting down and dirty in the process of recording minute details about the structure, in the spirit of Charles Peterson's philosophy of learning architecture through graphic analysis."

The historic preservation team from Bucks consisted of: Diana Barbera-Horwitz, Petrona Charles, M. Scott Doyle, Jennifer Eagen, Patricia Fisher-Olsen, R. Stephen Gray, Mirka John, Kevin Keating, Lisa Mroszczyk, Geoffrey Raike, Lexa Rio, Stephen Russell, Christopher Smith, Suzanne Stasiulatis, Vickie Stauffer, and Maureen Victoria.