The "ultimate" sport for plastics students
– tossing a plastic flying disc with the "ultimate" coach, their academic mentor
by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor. Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel except as credited.
FREE RADICAL: an atom or molecule having at least one unpaired electron: free radicals are usually reactive and unstable.
"I'd heard stories about Dr. (Kirk M.) Cantor – about how he used to be into freestyle Frisbee and that he competed in nationals 'back in the day' when he went to college," Pena said. "I think it's awesome that he hangs out with us and plays Frisbee. Every time we're losing a game, he calms us down and gives us advice. He's a great leader in the classroom and on the field."
And, are those rumors about Cantor's freestyle past true?
Indeed. Cantor co-founded the University of Maryland Ultimate Frisbee Club in 1979, during his undergraduate career majoring in aerospace engineering. The high point of his collegiate career was as a member of the U.S. Team for the 1982 World Frisbee Championships at Rutgers University, considered to be the birthplace of collegiate ultimate.
Gerardo Pena is a bit in awe of his plastics technology professor – who also happens to be the adviser of his "ultimate" (the sport originally known as "ultimate Frisbee") team.
"I'd never played Frisbee before, but I figured it'd be a great way to meet people and hang out," said Pena, a senior from Aspers. "If it wasn't for Frisbee, I might not have hung out with these guys or gotten to know them as well. Now, all my closest friends are people on the Frisbee team. It has definitely bonded us with a common interest outside of the classroom."
Nowadays, Cantor is highly regarded in the plastics field and on the Penn College "field" and affectionately called, simply, "Doc" by his plastics students.
Watch plastics video
from an episode of Penn College’s award-winning documentary television series "degrees that work.TV." The series, produced in partnership with WVIA Public Media, presents careers in emerging technologies and offers free lesson plans, based on Pennsylvania Career Education and Work Standards, to K-12 educators.