By the staff of Franklin College
Franklin College announces the retirement of two beloved employees, Joel Cramer, who retires after a 38-year career as a professor with the college, and Marti Schrock, who served in several capacities at Franklin College over a 21-year time span.
Joel Cramer, J.D. Professor of Journalism
Joel Cramer, J.D., professor of journalism and the Chair of the Pulliam School of Journalism, joined the Franklin College faculty in 1985. He received his bachelor’s degree from Olivet Nazarene University, his master’s degree from Central Michigan University, and his law degree from Indiana University School of Law- Indianapolis (now Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law). He completed his law degree while working full time at the college.
Cramer spent 38 years in the classroom, sharing his expertise in media law, broadcast journalism, videography and photography with his students, oftentimes learning right alongside of them as technology rapidly changed. His students praised his patience and care in making sure they had mastered skills, helping them to become confident in their abilities.
In October 2022, Cramer received the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. The award recognizes a faculty member who exhibits excellence in mastery of subject and effective communication, has respect for all students, and believes that all students can learn and provides helpful feedback to other students in a number of ways. It was the second time Cramer had been recognized with the award over the course of his career, placing him in the elite company among the college’s faculty. During his tenure, Cramer also earned the Clifford and Paula Dietz Award for Faculty Excellence in 2008 and the Academic Advisor of the Year Award in 2015.
During the 2023 Commencement ceremony, Cramer was honored with the title of Professor Emeritus of Journalism by the Franklin College Board of Trustees in recognition of his dedicated service to the college.
“A 38-year length of service is a rarity at any organization, but especially in higher education,” said Kristin Flora, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. “I know I speak for the faculty when I say that we are grateful for the expertise, energy, and collegiality that Professor Cramer brought to our campus. The number of lives he has influenced cannot be overstated, and the impact he has made on our students and alumni will continue to be felt for years to come.”
Cramer resides in Avon with his wife. They have three adult children and one grandchild.
Marti Schrock, Executive Secretary, Student Development
After graduating from Franklin College in 1993 with a degree in journalism, Marti Schrock returned to campus in a professional role in November 2001 as the secretary in the Office of Career Services and Professional Development. In addition to managing the office and overseeing the budget, Schrock also served as an instructor of the college’s New STeP (New Student Transition Program), which educated students on topics such as time management, risky behavior, financial management and ways to get involved on campus.
In July 2007, Schrock’s personal relationships with recent graduates as well as alumni and community members led to her promotion to another role on campus as the assistant director of annual giving in the Office of Institutional Advancement. In this role, Schrock oversaw many aspects of raising money for the Franklin Fund, which supports student scholarships, including the annual Phone-A-Thon program.
In June 2013, Schrock once again made a leap across campus, this time becoming the executive secretary for Student Affairs (now Student Development), where, among many other duties, she produced a college ID card for each new student and new employee.
“Marti loved being able to meet and welcome each new member of the Franklin College family – more than 4,000 students, faculty, and staff during her tenure at the college. And Marti didn’t just ‘take a picture.’ She had the uncanny ability to make people feel welcome and at ease, and to know that Franklin College is a place where they would feel at home. Marti contributed in many, many ways to Franklin College and her absence and legacy will be felt for years to come,” said Andrew B. Jones, Ed.D., vice president for student development and dean of students.
In addition, Schrock also served the campus community for two years as a member of the newly formed Staff Communications Committee and volunteered as the campus adviser for Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity. In 2017, she was named a Woman of Distinction by her peers at the college. In the community, Schrock is involved with the Franklin Chapter of Tri Kappa and serves as the president of the Franklin Zeta Tau Alpha Alumnae Chapter. She is also a past board member of the Johnson County Public Library’s Friends of the Library organization.
Schrock, who has an adult daughter, Maddie Long, resides in Franklin with her husband, Brad.