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News and Events
2016 Fall Senior Exit Show
Bloomsburg University’s fall Senior Exit Show opened last week in Haas Gallery or Art with a reception and a series of lectures from the exhibiting student artists. The on-campus show runs through Friday, Dec. 16.
Student Presenters — Amber Martin, art history major; Ellen Brennan, art studio major; Paul Gonzalez, art studio major; Emmalee Harris, art studio major; Lisa Kamarzel, art studio major; and Khairi Potter, art studio major.
The Exit Show is a senior’s final capstone requirement for graduation and includes a selection of their best works and research.
One step closer to graduation
One step closer for these Class of 2016 members as they were honored Tuesday night during the First World Graduation Ceremony by Bloomsburg University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs.
The bi-annual First World ceremony is celebrated each December and May to congratulate the achievements — academic and leadership roles — of BU’s multicultural students at the baccalaureate and graduate degree levels.
Those honored were: Tyeriah Smith, KhaDeidra R Stuckey, Linda Ngohe Ehabil, Ajee Johnson, Raijene Dreuitt, Shirley Neequaye, Nana Yaw Effah, Khadijah Convington, Akia D. Williams, Irenes Sanchez, DuPrese Northern, Michael Morton-Brown, Ceirra Evans, and Daneisha Williams.
FOCUS concludes fall semester with campus service
Bloomsburg University’s Office of Cultural Affairs/ Student Support Services will be hosting Martin Harris, Sr., pastor of F.O.C.U.S. Young Adult Ministry at Bethel Deliverance International in Philadelphia for an on-campus church visit on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 11 a.m. in the KUB Multicultural Center for fellowship and Finals Week and holiday blessings. Free breakfast starting at 10:45 a.m. If you would like to take part in the program please contact Marcei Woods at 570-389-4091 for details.
Tri-Sigma set to "Take My Hand" in NYC
Lena Kaback has always been deeply impacted by the sight of homeless people on the street. Aware of how lucky she is to have a roof over her head and food to eat, the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority sister has always offered whatever she can to these individuals when she sees them. Kaback took her desire to help the homeless a step further this year by involving her sorority, which also strongly believes in giving back to those who are less fortunate.
“Being in college, having a roof to live under and having the support system we have as a sisterhood are all things we as a sorority are beyond grateful for,” Kaback said.
Through this philosophy of giving back, Kaback created the Take My Hand event. This event is a clothing and food drive to assist shelters and homeless people in New York City. The Tri-Sigma sisters will be taking a bus into Manhattan on Monday, Dec. 19, and walking all over the city to donate warm clothes, blankets, water, food, and care packages. If any supplies are left over from the donations collected, it will be given to the Covenant House, which is a shelter for kids and young adults that have suffered abuse, human trafficking, or abusive parents.
“This event gets us into the holiday spirit for a simple reason. Giving,” Kaback explains. “Giving will always be better than receiving.”
Trustees approve a new institutional scholarship
Bloomsburg University’s Council of Trustees approved a new institutional scholarship for 2017-18 during the Dec. 7 quarterly meeting. The university will award 60 renewable $3,000 scholarships to first-year students residing in Pennsylvania with an academic profile of an average SAT score of 1117 and 3.8 GPA. The scholarships support BU’s strategic enrollment efforts and Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) performance metrics.
Also during the meeting, the Trustees:
- Approved a resolution recognizing Trustees LaRoy Davis and Kenneth Stolarick for their dedication and service.
- Approved the annual resolution certifying the Bloomsburg University Foundation’s, Community Government Association, Inc.’s and Husky Research Corporation, Inc.’s compliance with Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education policy.
- Approved the annual financial audit report for fiscal year 2015-16.
- Heard a presentation on the Rehabilitation Justice Certificate program by James Brown, dean of BU’s College of Liberal of Arts. Beginning in spring 2017, liberal arts faculty in humanities and social sciences will deliver courses to 30 incarcerated students at Muncy and Mahanoy State Correctional Institutions. The students can earn up to 24 credits. The program is funded by the Second Chance Pell initiative.
- Seven retirees were honored for emeriti status: Paul Hartung, from the Department of Mathematical and Digital Sciences, Timothy McConnell, Department of Exercise Science, Eric Rawson, Department of Exercise Science, Sharon Solloway, Department of Academic Enrichment, Barbara Wilson, Department of Exceptionality Programs, Diana Zoelle, Department of Political Science, and Bonnie Martin, Marketing and Communications, non-instructional emerita.
- Approved the following schedule for quarterly meetings, all Wednesdays: March 7, June 13, Sept. 19 and Dec. 5, 2017, and March 6 and June 13, 2018.
Graduate student earns recognition at ACSM conference
Tyler Meckes has a unique perspective on his latest award-winning research on muscular responses. He’s actually experienced both sides of it … literally.
The first-year Bloomsburg University graduate student took a special interest in this topic as an undergraduate in exercise science, volunteering to be a subject. A year later, he’s a co-investigator and now a commendation award winner as a presenter from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Harrisburg.
“This study focused on muscular responses during the seated row, which is a commonly used resistance exercise,” said Meckes ‘16, who has been working with Swapan Mookerjee, professor of exercise science, on the research. “It involves various muscle groups in the upper body. With the advent of newer handle designs, it is not known if these muscular responses differ.”
According to Meckes, they then measured electrical activity (EMG) in selected muscle groups across two handle designs. In fact, the newer handle design did provoke a slightly different muscle response.
“While I am involved in several other projects in our Physiology Laboratory, this study gave me my first opportunity to present at a scientific venue,” Meckes said. “My goal is to pursue doctoral studies in the area of exercise and applied physiology. Therefore, it is essential I gain maximal experience in scientific research.”
PR class honored at Keystone Awards ceremony
A mass communications team from Kristie Byrum’s Public Relations Workshop Class was recently recognized by the Central Pennsylvania Public Relations Society of America chapter with an honorable mention in the Excellence in Student work category during the annual Keystone Awards ceremony in Harrisburg.
The students were honored for their work last year for the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Farm to Fork Initiative, according to Byrum, assistant professor of mass communications.
“This hands-on, real life experience gave me opportunities to apply my skills and learn an abundance of other skills,” said Jennifer Bello ’16, who graduated in May and is now pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA). “I’m a visual learner; lectures don’t work for me.”
The class puts students with a client for a semester-long project. Bello’s group worked with the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce Farm to Fork Initiative, a program to promote locally grown food in local restaurants. Bello said they met with local council chairperson Bob Garrett, where they asked questions and conducted a needs assessment and communications audit to determine how to help them.
“A lot of my work, for the more interactive master’s classes, is applied work and real-life situational analyses,” Bello said. “So this project gave me a good first step of where to start and how to weave my way through on a larger scale project as well.”
Marketing majors shine at AMA regional competition
Competing against the likes of Penn State, Maryland and Temple, teams of Bloomsburg University marketing majors showcased their talents placing second and third this fall at the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) fourth Annual Regional Case Competition at Johns Hopkins University.
The conference theme was “Play-By-Play of Sports Marketing.” As part of the conference, the students were challenged to create an advertising plan with a $5,000 budget for the sports app, TeamBuildr, which coaches and trainers use for all age groups to help develop and disperse workouts.
“We were asked to target the high school coaches in order to get more of them on board with purchasing the product,” said Sammi Maloof, junior marketing major, AMA social media chair. “Each group came up with different ideas and different plans.”
AMA Competing Groups
- Group 1: Lauren Falkow, Joshua Gross and Matt Cotter
- Group 2 (second place): Sammi Maloof, Nikki Slivka, Becka Mull, and Stef Haley
- Group 3: Lorraine Piccirillo, Katrina Eicholtz, and Lawren Harris
- Group 4 (third place): Matt Starcher, Sam Payson, and Vince Delucy
Nursing students help assess Montour County
Portions of Montour County are a little healthier now thanks to the work of a few Bloomsburg University nursing students, who spent this fall conducting a semester-long health promotion project.
“We identified health problems in those areas through intensive data analysis, key-informant interviews, and windshield surveys,” said Amanda McIntyre, senior nursing major concentrating in gerontology. “After all data was collected and organized, we developed a formal teaching plan based on community needs.”
McIntyre said this semester’s experience helped her and fellow nursing majors prepare for the nursing field by showing them how to identify health needs in specific populations, such as vulnerable populations (children, elderly, disabled), and rural community populations.
“As future nurses, we will be sure to assess the demographics of our patients and identify further needs related to health care beyond just disease process,” McIntyre said. “Part of being a competent, compassionate nurse is caring for the whole patient, the whole picture, rather than just treating illness.”
The senior nursing class will present their health promotion projects on Monday, Dec. 5, at 9 a.m. in the KUB Ballroom.
Forensics Team caps semester with Holiday Tourney
Bloomsburg University’s Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team recently won the fifth place Team Sweepstakes award at the Collegiate Forensic Association’s Annual Holiday Tournament held at Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. BU competed against Brooklyn College, Davis and Elkins College, Florida College, Lord Fairfax Community College, Lynchburg College, Randolph-Macon College, Shepherd University, University of North Carolina – Charlotte, and the University of Richmond.
A group of 12 students competed at the Holiday Tournament, including seven of whom won individual awards:
- Abbey Porambo: second in Poetry; fifth in After Dinner Speaking; fifth in Dramatic Duo with Jayleen Alvarado
- Jayleen Alvarado: second in Lincoln-Douglas Debate; third in Communication Analysis; fifth in Dramatic Duo with Abbey Porambo; sixth in Pentathlon
- Anna Scott: third in Informative; fifth Declamation
- Tarah Kelley: second in After Dinner Speaking; sixth in Declamation
- Alisa Evans: first in Best Parliamentary Debate Speaker
- Cameron Ostrowski: fifth in Single Dramatic Interpretation
- Deanna Campion: sixth in Extemporaneous Speaking
Theresa Clark, Tobias Sonnenberg, Stijn Gillaerts, Amy Bitar, and Thomas Weber also competed at the CFA Holiday Tournament.
Harry C. “Neil” Strine IV, director of forensics and chair of the Department of Political Science, served as a speech and debate judge at the competition. Four BU alumni — Delaney Hellman, Dan Pagana, Jackson Staples, and Charles Humphrys — also judged events at the tournament. Erin Brummett, assistant professor of communication studies, and Timothy Oleksiak, assistant professor of English, assist Strine with coaching students on the BU team.
Students share love of hacking
This Bloomsburg University club is making it cool to be nerdy. Just ask them.
“We’re a bunch really nerdy students, and we like to take our learning beyond the classroom," says Daniel Pany, senior computer science and digital forensics major, president of the Bloomsburg Cyber Defense Club (BCDC). BCDC focuses on studying hacking and security techniques, working to hone their skills for cyber defense competitions and their future in digital forensics.
“We get to play with a lot of cool toys and do nefarious acts in a controlled environment,” said Kyle Mumper, senior computer science and digital forensics major, club treasurer.
BCDC prepares for competitions like Cyber Seed, Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, and GrrCON, which allows them to build their network with professionals in the industry and also show what they have been training for in the competitions. According to Vincent Phan, senior digital forensics major, club secretary, he has learned things during the competitions that he might have not learned until his senior year.
“When I first started here I didn’t know anything,” Mumper said. “I had basic computer knowledge, but I’ve learned a lot in the classroom and even more through the club.”
Digital Forensics Club takes on GrrCON
This fall, the Bloomsburg Digital Forensic Club attended the GrrCON computer security conference for the third consecutive year with 34 students and an alum joining Phil Polstra, associate professor of digital forensics. It was Polstra’s fifth consecutive year as a speaker at this event.
GrrCON attracts speakers from around the world and features numerous speaking tracks, workshops, villages, and competitions. This year some new villages appeared, including an open hacking village, car hacking village, and Internet of Things (IoT) hacking village.
“My favorite highlight had to be learning at the car hacking village,” said Jesse Mancuso, a senior digital forensics major. “There are a lot of ‘villages’ that allow you to learn things like lock picking, wireless hacking, and car hacking."
As in years past, students spent many hours in these villages learning about new areas in security and forensics.
“This competition really opens your eyes as to how much information is available floating around the internet,” said Matthew Shafer, a senior digital forensics major. “Our society has sacrificed security for convenience, and it’s never more evident than when I can identify a target’s childhood pet’s nickname because one family member with an open social media account left a comment on a photo that was posted years earlier.”
Testing Center earns NCTA certification
Bloomsburg University was recently certified as a National College Testing Association (NCTA) national test center. Bloomsburg is the fourth testing center in Pennsylvania to earn this distinction and the first testing center within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).
“With this national certification, the number and types of tests permitted to be administered at BU will increase, which provides additional testing opportunities for BU students as well as for community and regional examinees,” said Kathy Kollar-Valovage, BU testing center coordinator.
NCTA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of professionalism and quality in the administration of testing services and programs, including issues related to test administration, test accessibility, test development, test scoring, and assessment.
This distinction recognizes BU’s testing center locally and nationally, and it ensures any individual who uses the testing center is assured their testing needs are met with the highest accepted standards and procedures for all types of testing.
Legacy of Leadership Awards
Bloomsburg University’s Dr. H Preston Herring Scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate the former administrator’s most important leadership qualities, which include service, modesty, and commitment.
Hannah Breckinridge, a junior speech-language pathology major, represented just that last semester, earning the scholarship and a special recognition at the upcoming third annual Legacy of Leadership Awards.
“I felt very honored to receive this scholarship based off of how I perceive myself in my personal essay and through the volunteer work I have done throughout my time at Bloomsburg,” Breckinridge said. “I think I have gained so many leadership skills through attending workshops for CLE leadership certification, delivering workshops for my job at The Writing Center, and through my involvement with various clubs.”
The Dr. H Preston Herring Scholarship was founded as a tribute to Herring who served as vice president of student affairs for 15 years before passing away due to a battle with cancer in 2009. Ginny Herring created this scholarship in 2014 to honor her husband. She wanted to show that students like Breckinridge and the past recipients are appreciated and that they have not been overlooked. Nominations are being accepted until Jan. 22, 2017.
Career boot camps set for spring semester
In today's competitive job market, employers are looking for more than just good grades. They want a clean, concise resume, an applicant who shows up prepared and confident, someone who articulates why they are a good candidate for the organization and an employee who performs in a professional manner.
Seniors and juniors can learn how to leverage skills and experiences to be successful in the transition from student to professional by attending a Career Intensive Boot Camp on Feb. 10 to 12 or March 3 to 5. Attendees will participate in 20-plus unique sessions, including: Compensation Considerations, Debunking the "Career Path" Myth, The Shocking Truth of Getting Hired, Making Connections on LinkedIn, 3 Mock Interviews, Office Communications, a Professional Etiquette Dinner and more.
There is also the opportunity to network with more than 60 alumni, organization representatives, faculty and staff. Sessions are held at the Greenly Center in downtown Bloomsburg. Shuttle from campus is available. Space is limited.
Survey seeks opinions of freshmen, seniors
Each member of Bloomsburg University’s first-year and senior classes is invited to share opinions about his or her experiences at BU by completing the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). According to Sheila Dove Jones, assistant vice president for planning and assessment, answers to the online survey will reveal students’ views on the quality of their education and their level of involvement in activities outside of the classroom. Results will be used to improve the undergraduate experience and as a baseline measurement for BU’s general education requirements.
Jones said several email messages containing a link to the survey will be sent to BU’s freshmen and seniors in February and March. She encourages students to respond by April 7.
In appreciation for their participation, students who complete the survey by April 7 will automatically be entered into a random drawing to win one of these 84 prizes: one $150 Amazon gift card, one of two $100 Amazon gift cards, one of nine $50 Amazon gift cards, one of three BU tailgate folding chairs, one of three BU stadium blankets, one of six BU travel mugs, one of five BU smartphone power banks, one of seven BU drawstring bags, one of 20 BU spirit flags, or one of 28 BU iPod armband holders. A student’s chances of winning depend on how many students complete the survey; the last time this survey was administered, 635 students responded. Thus, a student’s odds of winning are roughly 1 in 8. The Web version of the survey is available at www.nssesurvey.org.
“All student responses are valuable for helping us compare the experiences they report with those of students at hundreds of other colleges and universities,” Jones said. “The results will also indicate important trends in undergraduate education. More voices will make the results more valid.”
Approximately 4,000 BU students have been invited to participate. A total of 560 U.S. colleges and universities and approximately 322,500 first-year students and seniors participated in the 2016 survey.