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Sandra Weiss – 40 Years at Neumann

Dr. Sandra Weiss
Dr. Sandra Weiss

What keeps a professor at a school for 40 years?  The answer is easy for Dr. Sandra Weiss - she simply enjoys teaching at Neumann University.

“This school is really student friendly. The relationship between the faculty and the students at Neumann is unique. We are a close-knit community, and the faculty are not competitive but collaborative, which is Franciscan,” said Weiss, coordinator of Neumann’s Biology/Clinical Lab Science (CLS) program.

Forty years ago, Weiss was working at a Presbyterian Hospital laboratory in Philadelphia. She had been in the city for some time since completing her undergraduate work at Drexel University. Weiss also has her master’s degree in biology from West Chester University and her doctorate in higher education from Widener University.

“I got here (Neumann University) purely by accident. I was getting tired of the commute into Philadelphia, and I really felt like I wanted to teach,” she recalled. “I came to talk with Sr. Margaret Lewis (chair of medical technology program at the time), and the next thing I knew I was working here.”

Sr. Margaret Lewis started the CLS program at Neumann and Weiss became the CLS program director in 1985.

Weiss witnessed big changes in the health care industry in the early 1990s. The hospital labs that were once viewed as income generators were considered cost centers. During that period of time, the job market for med tech students did not look promising.

After crafting a proposal for a new approach for Neumann, Weiss and her colleagues restructured the med tech program into a biology major with a CLS track.   

“Our students really have the best of both worlds, having biology and CLS. They can work in a pharmacy or a private laboratory. They have more options and many of our students go on for their advanced degrees,” Weiss said. “Right now employment opportunities for our students are good. Our really good students are employed before they graduate.”

Weiss has seen many changes during her 40-year tenure at Neumann University. The school’s name has changed from Our Lady of Angels College to Neumann College to Neumann University. It went from all women to admitting men and from a commuter to residential campus.

“I remember having our graduation on the Bachmann steps and then in the parking lot. There have been a lot of changes and all for the good. And, it’s still growing,” Weiss said.



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