Photo: Dr. David Conroy (right) with his first-ever student, David J. Kulik.
On Sept. 19, NOVA celebrated mathematics professor Dr. David Conroy’s 50 years of continuous dedicated service to the college and his students – past and present. The event and reception was held at the Annandale Campus.
Dr. Conroy’s history at NOVA is impressive. He began teaching mathematics at the NOVA Eastern Campus (today’s Alexandria Campus) on Sept. 18, 1968 after completing his military career as a U.S. Army Captain. He then went to the Annandale Campus after it opened the following year. It is estimated that in the course of his 50 years of service to NOVA, Dr. Conroy has taught and guided more than 20,000 students.
Dr. Conroy holds a Bachelor of Arts from Providence College, a Master’s of Science from Central Connecticut State College, and a Doctorate in Education from American University.
At the celebration, NOVA President, Dr. Scott Ralls, announced the establishment of a new, endowed student scholarship to be known as the Dedicated Faculty Service Scholarship and let Dr. Conroy and all his assembled friends, family and colleagues know that he will be the “inaugural” faculty member to be honored through this program.
The annual scholarship program has been designed to recognize NOVA’s long time faculty members – specifically those who will have served more than 45 years. It is a $500 per year student scholarship to be awarded each year over a period of ten years.
As a veteran NOVA professor, Dr. Conroy has received numerous awards and accolades from the college. Among them are:
- The Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence
- Two “Golden Apple” Awards
- Two Alumni Federation “Faculty of the Year” Awards
Dr. Conroy is also an innovator in teaching methodology and he helped NOVA adopt a new computerized teaching program using “Math Technology-Based (MTT)” courses. Dr. Conroy is known for his participatory style of teaching allowing students to enter into active dialogue with the instructor. In his classes, routinely filled to capacity, he is admired for the value he places on immediate “feedback” from students and the impact this feedback has on learning. He ensures that his students assist and provide support for one another to create a positive and satisfying learning environment. He has also served as a guide and mentor to students and other college professors who have returned to teach at NOVA. Dr. Conroy has taught the children and grandchildren of students he welcomed into his classroom during his early years at NOVA.
Dr. Conroy is best remembered by a presentation he gave to faculty members during an annual convocation entitled “Don’t Accept Mediocrity.” He was also recognized during one of President Barack Obama’s many visits to campus – as an ordained deacon in the Catholic Church, Dr. Conroy was invited by the White House to offer an invocation.
At a lecture last year, Dr. Conroy offered the following, “Throughout the years, during which I have been honored to teach at Northern Virginia Community College, my greatest joy has been to have the privilege and opportunity to teach our students. All of my encounters with the students in my classes were consistently a very transcending experience, enabling me to set my entire life aside in order to share with the students new insights to facilitate their dreams in becoming a reality. As we enter the multivariate colors of autumn, we should be reminded of the incredible, unique attributes that our students will bring to all people they meet on their journey in life. To the point, it is all about the students.”