New Kensington campus mourns loss of IST faculty member Michael Manojlovich

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — Faculty, staff and students at Penn State New Kensington, Penn State Greater Allegheny and throughout the University are mourning the loss of Michael Manojlovich, lecturer of information sciences and technology (IST), who passed away Feb. 27. He was 65 years old.

Michael Manojlovich

Michael Manojlovich, lecturer of information sciences and technology at Penn State New Kensington, passed away on Feb. 27, 2021. After working in information technology within the steel and industrial manufacturing industries for nearly 27 years, he joined academia in 2000, when he taught first at Penn State Greater Allegheny until 2013 and then at the New Kensington campus.

Credit: Penn State New Kensington

“Mike was loved by students and colleagues alike,” said Kevin Snider, chancellor at the New Kensington campus. “While we will miss Mike, we take comfort in knowing he will be remembered through the hundreds of lives he impacted through his teaching and service.”

Originally from Warren, Ohio, Manojlovich was raised by his mother, Lottie, and father, Walter, who both immigrated to the United States after meeting in a German labor camp as prisoners of war from Yugoslavia and Ukraine. It was in Warren that Manojlovich met his wife, Pam, who he married in 1976. The couple moved to Sewickley, Pennsylvania, in 1989 and would go on to raise two children and many feline companions.

Prior to becoming an educator at the University, Manojlovich worked in information technology (IT) within the steel and industrial manufacturing industries, bringing more than 27 years of experience to his classroom and students. He shifted to higher education in 2000 when he became an instructor at then Penn State McKeesport, which later became the Greater Allegheny campus, and taught there until 2013. According to Hal Smith, associate professor and program coordinator of IST at the New Kensington campus, Manojlovich was one of the first IST faculty members at a Commonwealth Campus location and helped define campus IST degree programs.

Galen Grimes, associate professor of IST at the Greater Allegheny campus, remembered being part of Manojlovich’s transition to academia.

“All the years I worked with him, I can truthfully say that Mike was a dynamo,” said Grimes. “He seemed to have boundless energy, and he was never too busy to work with students and help them in any way he could. He was especially adept at explaining to students how to apply much of the theoretical foundation of IST to real world problems, and he did this by drawing on his years of industry experience.”

“I know the impact an educator can have on his students and colleagues,” said Jacqueline Edmondson, chancellor and chief academic officer at Penn State Greater Allegheny. “I think of our Greater Allegheny alumni who had Mike as an instructor or an adviser, and believe they benefited from his presence in their lives. Speaking on behalf of the campus he called home for a number of years, we extend our deepest sympathy to his family and current colleagues and students at New Kensington.”

Manojlovich joined the New Kensington campus faculty in 2013, where he would continue to make an impact on students and the program.

“The New Kensington campus and the IST program were so lucky to have Mike as part of our community,” said Andrea Adolph, director of academic affairs at Penn State New Kensington. “He always earned high praise from his students, and as they learned of his death, students reached out to let us know how meaningful their classes with Mike have been and how much he impacted them.” 

Smith echoed, “Students often commented on how they enjoyed his classes and appreciated how he made them relevant. He was a great and valued colleague and brought so much enthusiasm and experience to his teaching.”

As a faculty and staff colleague, Manojlovich is also remembered as being kind, jovial and having a sense of humor.

“Faculty from across the state and at World Campus have also expressed to us what a valued colleague Mike has been throughout the years,” added Adolph.

Manojlovich earned his bachelor of science degree in computer science from Youngstown State University and his master of science degree in information science from the University of Pittsburgh, where he was also pursuing his doctoral degree.

Outside of his professional career, he loved reading about astrophysics, astronomy, science fiction and vacationing with family in Cook Forest.

A celebration of Manojlovich’s life will be scheduled when it is possible to gather safely.

The family has requested that support or donations in Manojlovich’s name be made to Humane Animal Rescue in Pittsburgh.