July 1969 was a monumental time for Frank and Ann Kujawa. On the fifth of the month, they were married and about to travel from their home in Baltimore to Orlando for Frank鈥檚 final interview with UCF. Eleven days later, they sat atop the school鈥檚 engineering building to watch the Apollo 11 launch.

That summer led to a as an associate professor and geologist in the College of Sciences 鈥 the longest of any faculty at the university. 聽As Kujawa鈥檚 impact was felt by many, his loss is just as equal. Kujawa passed Feb. 18 at 82, and a funeral service and celebration of life was held for him on May 18 at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park, Florida.

Frank鈥檚 teaching career stemmed from his basic personality, including his interest in helping others, Ann says. He helped his siblings as they were growing up. He also served as the leader of an intercollegiate square dance club in Baltimore, where he and Ann met.

One of the things that drew Frank to UCF and kept him there for so long was the university鈥檚 investment in the students, Ann says. Frank was involved in the university鈥檚 decision to implement a free supplemental instruction program for students to help them adjust to the rigors of college level work.

He also employed various ways to improve the learning experience of students. For instance, he took panoramic slides of geologic formations from around the country so students could better visualize and understand them in the classroom.

Other examples of enhanced learning were the field trips Frank organized and led. During two excursions to the Appalachian Mountains students gained hands-on experience with how professional geologists conducted precise mapping and documentation for field research.

Through instruction, research and testing, Kujawa found ways to teach students in a manner that expanded their ability to use their thinking and reasoning skills rather than rely on memory and association. Kujawa also saw the personal transformation of many of his students sometimes long after they had graduated.

鈥淪ometimes Frank would hear [years later] from former students 鈥 who would tell him how much his approach to learning had transformed them.鈥

In addition to helping students learn more about geology and improve their thinking skills, Kujawa also took an interest in their careers. He taught a seminar class for the Department of Chemistry, where students learned the fundamentals of how to give clear and interesting professional presentations. He did individual coaching sessions and rehearsals with students, sometimes coming in over the weekend to practice with them.

鈥淗e thought that he really made an impact, and the department was saying the same thing. 鈥極h, the caliber of these presentations 鈥 they鈥檝e gone up tremendously,鈥 鈥 Ann says.

In addition to teaching, Kujawa was involved with the United Faculty of Florida in his earlier years at UCF. He started out as the treasurer of the group, served about four years as the chapter鈥檚 president, and eventually became the statewide vice president. He also was involved with the social action group at his church, the Central Florida Labor Council, and the Natural Resources Action Group of the Orange County League of Women Voters.

Kujawa witnessed UCF鈥檚 physical metamorphosis, going from a dirt road, library and science building to an expansive campus that has one of the nation鈥檚 largest enrollments. Throughout it all, his main focus was on students and teaching them lessons that not only prepared them as scholars, but as global citizens.