The Legacy of Dr. Stan Zoltek: Paying it Forward Posthumously
Dr. Stan Zoltek was a staple in the Math and Physics departments since as early as the 1980s. Stan is remembered by faculty and friends as an active faculty member who despite his physical limitations was always eager to engage in new projects. He committed to giving students the best training and working collaboratively with faculty to advance the educational mission at George Mason University. Dr. Zoltek joined Mason as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and quickly advanced to Associate Professor. “Stan was one of the first to do a CDS math course online,” says Dr. Harold Gellar, Observatory Director & Associate Professor at GMU, who was a close friend and colleague of Dr. Zoltek. Dr. Geller remembers that Stan never stopped; he loved math and teaching. Stan served as the Inaugural Director of IT & Computing and was a long-term member of the Faculty Senate.
The Chair of the CDS (Computational and Data Sciences Dept.), Dr. Jason Kinser, announced that Stan’s legacy has impacted the fight against COVID-19. “Even though Stan passed away a few years ago, his legacy lives on.” A 3D printer, Stan purchased was recently donated to the Forensic Science Department. They have teamed with the Police & Public Safety department to manufacture expandable straps for the shortage of N95 masks used in our local healthcare systems. N95 masks serve as vital PPE-Personal Protective Equipment in our healthcare system. See article on the straps at: https://content.gmu.edu/news/584951
“Dr. Zoltek never turned away a friend in need.” Dr. Peter Becker, professor at George Mason University, a close friend and a colleague, recalls what he lacked in physical mobility he made up for with his brilliance and compassion for others. Over the last ten years of his life, Stan relied on home health care assistants. His assistants were a huge blessing to him, and he loved and appreciated them. Dr. John Wallin, professor at Middle Tennessee State University – and Stan's former best friend on campus, spoke at Stan's funeral, saying, "His disability did not define him; he was a dedicated teacher and respected member of the Mason community, more importantly, Stanley was a good man."