University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

Pitt-Johnstown Mourns Passing of Retired Math Instructor Terry Shustrick

The Pitt-Johnstown community is saddened to learn of the passing of retired math instructor Theresa Shustrick of Johnstown, who died on September 12, 2019.

Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar said “the campus has lost a talented and dedicated professor, and our world has lost a very caring and wonderful human being.”

A 1970 graduate of Greater Johnstown High School, where she was Valedictorian, she earned a BS in mathematics at Pitt-Johnstown and then a master’s degree at IUP. She retired in April of 2017 and was granted the title of Instructor Emeritus in Mathematics. She was recipient of the Edward A. Vizzini teacher of the year award. She was the co-author of the textbook Developing Skills in Algebra: A Lecture Worktext.

She is survived by her husband, James, Jr.; daughter, Becky, wife of Adam Dando, New Castle; sons: Greg, married to Jaime (Rudge); and Zack, married to Jennifer (Karcher), both of Hollsopple; and grandmother of: Nick, Blaise, Dominic, Olivia, Liam and Emma Dando; Samuel Shustrick; and Pete Shustrick.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made the family in order to establish a scholarship fund at Pitt-Johnstown in memory of Terry.

“Terry Shustrick graduated at the end of April in 1973. By July of that year, she was organizing and overseeing the development of a Math Lab at UPJ that was designed to help unprepared students achieve the level of competence in mathematics necessary to succeed at the college level,” said Michael Ferencak, PhD, a former colleague.

“Lifting students up, helping them rise to the next level, was something that she continued to do for the next 44 years.”

Dr. Ferencak recalled Mrs. Shustrick as a gifted instructor. He noted that she spent much of the latter part of her time at Pitt-Johnstown teaching a mix of developmental courses and mathematics courses designed for education majors.

“The mark she left on those leaving UPJ with a degree in education is deep, wide-spread, and singularly valuable to the field. If you received a degree in education from UPJ in the last 40 years, odds are good that you passed through one of Terry’s classes,” said Dr. Ferencak.

“She was indefatigable. She often taught as many as 21 credits in a term. She served as a conduit between students who wanted to tutor and the surrounding community who continually sought that help. She was the heart and soul of the department and can never be replaced.”

Dr. Ferencak noted that there was more to Terry than her accomplished education.

“Outside of ‘the job,’ she danced. She and Jim spent countless hours teaching friends and family the joys of the Slavic music with which they both grew up, and then sharing that music, those dances, and the customs with the public at ethnic clubs, festivals and churches far and wide,” he said, adding: “Kolo forever and a day Terry, dance, dance, dance.”