Greg J. Czarnecki '89
For many students, attending college is one of their first true steps into adulthood; however, this was not the case for Greg Czarnecki. A non-traditional student, he received his degree by taking courses at Gannon for a total of seven years, while also working full-time, raising a family, and paying a mortgage. His hard work and persistence paid off in 1989 when he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in biology.
Following graduation, Greg accepted a position as an adjunct faculty member in the biology department at Gannon. One of the courses he taught was invertebrate zoology, previously taught by one of his favorite Gannon professors, Dr. Stan Zagorski, “Dr. Zagorski was quite the character; we had so much fun we forgot we were learning. After he retired, I taught the invertebrate zoology course for several years and had some big shoes to fill!”.
Since leaving Gannon, Greg has worked on the executive staff of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, done consulting work for the U.S. EPA in Washington, and was director of The Nature Conservancy’s Science Office in Pennsylvania. Today he is the research and climate change coordinator for the state’s leading natural resource agency, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which manages 121 state parks and more than two million acres of state forests.
In addition to this work, Greg sits on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science as well as the Pennsylvania Biological Survey. He also serves on numerous advisory boards and committees for organizations ranging from Pennsylvania Sea Grant and the Chesapeake Bay Program to the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum. He holds both United States and European patents and was recently awarded the 2015 Editorial Award by the Antique Automobile Club of America. To top all of this, Mr. Czarnecki currently serves as president of the Gannon University National Alumni Association and is an adjunct faculty member at Lebanon Valley College.
In his very little spare time, he enjoys writing, photography, gardening, and antique automobiles. He and his wife, Karen, have been married for 33 years and have one daughter, Tara, and a “slightly crazy” Springer Spaniel named Sadie.
When asked to give a piece of advice to current Gannon students, Greg offered the following. “While academics are very important, what will really set you apart in your career and in life is how you give back. Volunteer at every opportunity and take what you’ve learned and put it to work for your community and those in need.”
(Published August 2016)