Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Today's News and Events

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Campus Events


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Spring Graduation

Spring commencement nears

Nearly 1,400 graduates will receive diplomas during the ceremonies Saturday, May 7, on Bloomsburg University’s Academic Quadrangle. The first ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. for the 302 graduates of the College of Business and 149 graduates from the College of Education. Commencement for the 350 graduates of the College of Science and Technology will be held at 12:30 p.m., with the final ceremony for the 403 graduates of the College of Liberal Arts beginning at 4 p.m.

Top honor graduates

Students who earned the highest grade-point average in each college will be recognized are:

  • College of Business — Dustin Grymko, Wilkes-Barre, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting
  • College of Education — Kristin Bernadette Epsaro, Bethlehem, Bachelor of Science in Education in Middle-Level Education (4-8) with an emphasis in mathematics; Dannielle Marie Rayhon, Roseto, dual Bachelor of Science in Education in Secondary Education and English; Nicole Lori Southcott, Downingtown, Bachelor of Science in Education in Special Education (PK-8) and Elementary Education (PK-4) with an emphasis in language arts
  • College of Liberal Arts — Aaron Michael Brown, Hughesville, dual Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies and Languages and Cultures
  • College of Science and Technology — Bradlee Jayde Mix, Williamsport, Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology with a minor in special education

Degrees for 162 graduate students and 12 doctoral candidates will be conferred during a ceremony on Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m. in Haas Center for the Arts, Mitrani Hall.

Husky Career Road Trip to the nation's capital

Husky Career Road Trip

A busload of students made a Husky Career Road Trip to Washington, D.C. in April to explore career and internship opportunities.

Victoria Geyfman, associate professor finance, and her students toured the Federal Reserve and FDIC; Neil Strine, associate professor political science, and his students met with PA legislators.

Another group of students visited The Washington Center Headquarters, including some who will be completing internships there and others exploring internship opportunities. A total 24 students made the trip accompanied by six faculty and also staff from the Office of Alumni and Professional Engagement.

The trip included a career networking social with BU alumni living in Washington, D.C.

Theta Zeta raises nearly $500 to fight cystic fibrosis

Theta Zeta Walk

Theta Zeta — Bloomsburg University's chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing — recently participated in the Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides Walk in Bloomsburg.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and progressively limits the ability to breathe.

Under the leadership of senior student, Kendra Betz, the team raised nearly $500 to support the mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation through popcorn and tee shirt sales, and donations.

Team walkers were Margie Eckroth-Bucher, faculty; Michele Vining, adjunct faculty; Logan Fouts; Nikki Oman; Abby Brown; Gwen Davis; Kathleen Fulton; Alison Turzanski; Kristy Sands, faculty; Carissa Pupo; Brooke Elliot; Debra Stayer, faculty; Kenzie Sands; Kendra Betz.

Computer Science students assist Geisinger ADHD study

Geisinger ADHD Study

Throughout the course of the spring semester, a group of computer science majors worked on a project for their Software Engineering course to benefit the Geisinger Research Department’s ADHD study. Two projects were given to the group of students among this class.

The first project had the objective of developing a mobile application that would store data extracted from wearable devices such as Apple Watches and FitBits in order to help with the diagnoses of adolescents with ADHD.

Of particular interest was postural sway, a motor deficit that has been reported in children with ADHD across multiple studies. In addition to this data, they were also required to store heartrate, acceleration, and pedometer information; the more data we could extract and store from HealthKit, the better.

Over the past 14 weeks, Ember Baker, Lucas Liberacki, James Toth, Evan Zimmerman, and Riley Renn worked on developing a MySQL database, ASP.NET web services, a website application, and an iOS application for use by Geisinger in their studies. The application and website present the user with all of their data in the form of graphs and spreadsheets.

Each member of the team had a specific area to focus on throughout the project. Renn was responsible for database design and management, Baker was involved with creating the iOS application, Liberacki– the website,Zimmerman– the web services, and Toth floated in between groups to help out wherever it was needed.

High school teams face-off in Science Iditarod

Science Iditarod

Nine teams of future scientists from high schools across the region competed in Bloomsburg University’s recent Science Iditarod, an annual science quiz-bowl-style competition for high school students.

Small student teams competed in rounds of geoscience, biology, chemistry and physics, with a plaque presented to the winner for each round. The teams with the top two cumulative scores went head-to-head in an all science Super Round. The winning team took home a trophy.

This year, BU hosted teams from East Juniata Area, Shamokin Area, Old Forge Area, Southern Columbia Area, and Wyoming Area high schools.

COB students complete Zeigler case studies

Zeigler Case Competition

Bloomsburg University’s College of Business held its spring Zeigler Case Competition, where students presented case studies for a selected panel of judges which included alumni, faculty, university provost and vice provost. Eight groups of students presented and a top three were selected for first, second and third place.

Students were required to present a case study on Tata Communications in India, which they had to decide if the company should fully acquire Pascal, a telecommunications company in Russia, to take a half stake on the company, or to not bid upon the company at all.

Teams were presented background information on Tada and financial information on Pascal and were asked to present their decision to the board of judges.

First place went to Group 7 led by faculty coach Chris Kilgus, team members were: Andrea Dietrich, Brandi Gift, Mathew Harries, Darren Lucca, and Steven Pask.

Senior ITM major and member of Beta Gamma Sigma, Andrea Dietrich, shared how it felt to take first place with her group, “Taking first place was encouraging but the experience alone was definitely worth all the hard work. Going against other teams that worked just as hard, with coaches that were just as motivated made it a great learning experience.”

High Schools compete in programming contest

High School Programming

Fifty teams from 24 schools participated in the 21st annual High School Programming Contest conducted by Bloomsburg University's Department of Mathematical and Digital Sciences on Tuesday, April 12. Four-person teams worked on 10 problems provided by BU faculty members during the three-hour contest in Kehr Union Ballroom. The teams’ solutions were judged by undergraduates in the computer science major and the Association for Computing Machinery student club.

The winning team, We Dem Bees from Emmaus, and second-place team, 1337 Enigmas from State College, each solved nine problems. The top 10 teams received plaques, and the top 10 placing schools received prizes, including sets of Amazon gift certificates valued at $150 and $100, provided by guest speaker Len Kalechitz, a 2001 computer science graduate, and his company, Solution Development Firm.

THIS internship works for social work

THIS Social Work

An internship based in Harrisburg learning the dynamics of state government seems perfectly suited for a political science major. How about social work?

Yes, according to Bloomsburg University’s social work program that has seen several of its students participate in Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s The Harrisburg Internship Semester (THIS) in recent years.

“Social workers have a unique perspective to bring to the government,” said Cassandra Hourlland, a senior social work major. “They have a broad range of knowledge and skills that can be used in multiple situations. Social workers can educate people in office on certain issues while advocating for the rights and safety of at risk populations.”

Hourlland has spent this spring interning in the Department of Human Services in the Policy Development office. She has had the opportunity to tag along to all different meetings, helped draft and read over bills, attended press events and policy summits and researches.

“The best thing about being an intern, is everyone is willing to talk to you,” Hourlland said. “I have had the pleasure to meet and talk with a lot of amazing individuals. The way the office is set up, everyone takes different program offices that deal with different issues and populations.”

Professional sales one of nation’s best

Professional Sales

Bloomsburg University is named among the top North American schools in the 2016 Sales Education Foundation’s (SEF) listing of the best universities offering professional sales education. BU is one of only four Pennsylvania institutions included in the listing.

Monica Favia, chair and assistant professor of marketing, said SEF recognizes institutions for elevating the sales profession through university education. “This recognition will help our students to secure professional sales positions,” she said. BU’s professional sales in marketing specialization began in 2015.

According to SEF, while employment rates remain flat for recent college graduates, many university sales programs report placement rates above 95 percent for their sales students, with some reporting 100 percent placement. Starting salaries for professional sales representatives average over $60,000.

Digital forensics recognized for excellence

NCAE Cyber Defense

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s digital forensics program has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. The designation by the National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Information Assurance Education is valid for five academic years.

This recognition indicates BU’s digital forensics program has met stringent criteria related to curriculum, faculty and research. It demonstrates an institution-wide commitment to information assurance practices and education. Sponsored by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, CAE programs promote higher education and research to increase the number of professionals with information assurance expertise and reduce U.S. infrastructure vulnerability.

History major's research leads to URSCA, study abroad opportunity

Elizabeth Miller

Elizabeth Miller, a history and Arabic major who is minoring in Middle East Studies, recently presented her paper “Deciphering Osama bin Laden’s Radicalization based on United States Actions, Policies and Presence in Saudi Arabia 1990-2001” at CERIS’s undergraduate symposium at Duquesne.

Miller recently received an URSCA grant to expand her research on this topic during summer of 2016, which will commence following her return back from the Arabic study abroad program in Morocco. She believes these suggestions will be helpful in expanding her research project.

Also representing Bloomsburg University was M. Safa Saracoglu, professor of history, who will supervise Miller’s URSCA project over the summer. Saracoglu delivered the keynote address for the symposium, “Debating the Syrian Refugee Crisis.”

Communications Studies class turns project into awareness campaign

Teal Campaign

In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a group of Bloomsburg University students decided to paint the Town of Bloomsburg teal throughout April.

Students studying Communication for Business Professionals worked with local businesses to enhance their internal and external communication methods. One group of students worked with the Women’s Center, Inc. in Bloomsburg to help them spread awareness of the “Paint the Town Teal” campaign.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and to publicize this, the students painted the window fronts of businesses downtown teal with hand prints, ribbons, and acronyms. They also took awareness posters into local businesses in order for them to post them within their restrooms.

Nursing students help Montour County with healthy habits

Community Health Nurses

To cap their Public Health and Community work this semester, a group of Bloomsburg University nursing majors recently helped Montour County become a little healthier.

The semester project involved a health promotion initiative specifically targeting older adults. The class chose Montour County and studied county data to determine the biggest health issues for the community.

As a result, the student nurses designed a health fair to education older adults on heart health, exercise and nutrition — taking them to Vintage Knolls Assisted Living Community and the Danville Area Community Center.

Accounting alumni score high on CPA exam

CPA Exam

Congratulations to Bloomsburg University accounting alumni Michael P. Gimino '14, '15, and Michael R. Rosten '14. They were among the top 15 scorers on the CPA exam for 2015, according to National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

The top scorers are those individuals whose combined scores on all four sections of the CPA exam were the highest of all Pennsylvania exam takers last year. These young professionals have passed the CPA exam with distinction, completed their 150 credit hour requirement, and will soon complete their year of experience to become certified as public accountants in the state of Pennsylvania.

While reflecting on excellence, the past two cohorts in the BU Master of Accountancy program have distinguished themselves on the audit portion of the CPA exam. Fifty percent, 10 of 20 reported, passed the audit section with scores in the 90 percentage range, with an average of ninety percent for the entire group of 20. What an impressive result — a reflection of the students’ hard work under the tutelage of Mike Shapeero. In fact, three M.Acc. students passed the CPA section with scores of 99, the highest possible score. Those three are Michael P. Gimino '14, '15, Eric Hiser '14, '15, and Brandon J. Arizini '15, '16.

Phi Beta Lambda shines at state leadership conference

Phi Beta Lambda

Nearly 40 Bloomsburg University business students recently participated in the Pennsylvania State Phi Beta Lambda Competitive Events held at the Pennsylvania Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Conference in Harrisburg.

At the conference, students were required to compete in a number of competitive events, which required on the spot preparation and presentation of topics ranging from all business and economics disciplines. They competed against many "top" schools around the Commonwealth, including Penn State, Temple, Drexel, University of Pittsburgh, and Duquesne.

Participating students also had the opportunity to attend many professional development sessions, according to Todd A. Shawver, assistant professor of accounting.

Ryan Kassees was also elected as new Treasurer of the Pennsylvania State Phi Beta Lambda Chapter. BU’s Phi Beta Lambda Chapter also earned second place as the Gold Seal Chapter Award of Merit/Outstanding Chapter.

Political Science announces Prateek Goorha award winner

Political Science Research

With dreams of becoming Secretary of State one day, Kimberly Martin is eyeing a long career in government and politics. So the Bloomsburg University junior knew majoring in political science would be a significant first step.

“Political science has really helped me build the solid foundation of knowledge necessary to start on my career path,” says Martin, who is also majoring in communication studies and pursuing a minor in Arabic. “I want to pursue a career with the U.S. Department of State and work on creating foreign policy and developing diplomatic relations with other countries.”

She adds, “I am more than confident I will achieve all of my goals, in part because of the skills I have learned in the political science major.”

Martin was recently named the winner of the Prateek Goorha Best Research Paper Award from Fall 2015 for her paper “Marriage, Careers, and the Voting Woman,” which took a look at understanding what influences women’s voting habits.

Sekisui leaders offer insight into manufacturing industry

Sekisui Presentation

Ronn Cort, a local business executive, recently visited with several student groups and faculty from Bloomsburg University’s College of Business to discuss, “Polymers—Grown in Central PA.” His presentation focused on positioning Sekisui SPI, a Bloomsburg manufacturer of specialty thermoplastics, for future growth and good-paying manufacturing careers.

“(The presentations) showed us what we should be looking for,” said Garret Werkheiser, vice president of BU’s student chapter of Association for Production and Inventory Control Systems (APICS). “Companies now-a-days aren’t looking for profit, looking to better help community.”

Cort, president and Chief Operating Officer of Sekisui SPI, emphasized his firm’s commitment to cause, employees, sustainability, and customers. More than 200 students and faculty attended the presentation.

Prior to his presentation, Julie Salnicky, an alumna and Special Projects Manager at Sekisui SPI, presented a workshop for students and faculty on the Keystone Innovation Zone opportunities Sekisui is pursuing.

Students shine at Kutztown PACISE Conference

PACISE Annual Conference

A group of Bloomsburg University students recently participated in the PACISE Annual Conference at Kutztown University, where they presented on a panel discussion and competed in a computer programming contest.

Ember Baker, a senior computer science major, and Irenes Sanchez, a senior information and technology management major, were members of a discussion panel on “Enrolling Women into Computing and Information Technology Majors.”

They were joined by Loreen Powell, associate professor of information and technology management, and faculty and students from four other PASSHE schools. The panel was moderated by Robert Montante, associate professor in mathematical and digital sciences.

The conference also featured a four-hour programming contest. Computer science majors Jake Daniel, Brian Fekete, Brett Logan, Lucas Liberacki, Tim Caulfield, and Rio Weber competed as two teams in a field of 14 teams from PASSHE schools. Daniel, Fekete, and Logan took 2nd Place as team “Men in Computing.”

Theta Zeta celebrates 30th anniversary, inducts new members

Theta Zeta Ceremony

Theta Zeta, Bloomsburg University’s Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, recently held its induction ceremony at the Pine Barn Inn in Danville.

Families, friends, faculty and member of Theta Zeta were present to honor the 34 undergraduate and graduate students who were inducted into this prestigious society.

Sigma Theta Tau is the only honor society for nursing. Theta Zeta also celebrated its 30th anniversary with a honoring of past and the current president occurred as part of the induction ceremony.

Sigma Theta Tau membership is by invitation to baccalaureate and graduate nursing students who demonstrate excellence in scholarship and to nurse leaders exhibiting exceptional achievements in nursing. Here are some additional facts about our membership:

  • STTI has more than 135,000 active members.
  • Members reside in more than 85 countries.
  • 39 percent of active members hold master’s and/or doctoral degrees; 51 percent are in staff positions; 19 percent are administrators or supervisors; 18 percent are faculty/academics; and 12 percent are in advanced practice.
  • There are roughly 500 chapters at approximately 695 institutions of higher education throughout Armenia, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon​, Malawi, Mexico, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Swaziland, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
  • STTI communicates regularly with more than 100 nurse leaders who have expressed interest in establishing chapters globally, including those in Chile, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, India, Ireland, Israel, Germany, Jamaica, Jordan, New Zealand, and Spain.

Economics class gets inside look at Federal Reserve System

Federal Reserve System

A group of economics majors studying Economics of Money and Banking this spring visited the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C.

A special one-hour tour organized for the students — joined by Nakul Kumar, assistant professor of economics, — introduced them to the history and functions of the Federal Reserve System.

Students got a chance to explore the special research library, and the boardroom, where the Chairperson and the Governors of the Federal Reserve make key monetary policy decisions.

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, commonly known as the Federal Reserve Board, is the main governing body of the Federal Reserve System. It is charged with overseeing the Federal Reserve Banks and with helping implement monetary policy of the United States. Governors are appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate for staggered 14-year terms.

EGGS assistant professor earns education award

Environmental Award

The Columbia County Conservation District honored Jennifer Whisner, assistant professor environmental, geographical and geological sciences, this spring with an Environmental Education Achievement Award.

Whisner has served on numerous committees and presently serves as the chairperson for the Columbia/ Montour Coalition for Source Water Protection. She also, currently serves as secretary of the Fishing Creek Watershed Association.

Not to mention, she has presented at many educational events and had volunteered to help with Conservation District events at the district and at Kocher Park. She has also been on panels discussing Screenings on “Blue Gold: Waterwise” and Blue Water, Green Solutions."

Whisner follows the mission of the conservation district, thus earning the Environmental Education Achievement Award.

Cannon named honorary BU alumna

Maria Baron Cannon

Maria Baron Cannon, vice president of channel marketing for TE Connectivity and Bloomsburg University Foundation Board member, was named honorary alumna during BU’s alumni awards dinner on Saturday, April 23.

Four graduates also were recognized for their contributions to the university and their professions, including Crystal Skotedis, CPA and director with Boyer & Ritter CPAs and Consultants, who received the 2016 Volunteer of the Year award.

Cannon, San Jose, Calif., is the daughter of two BU graduates, the late Charles Baron ’52 and Margaret Suchy Baron ’49. In accepting the award, Cannon, who describes herself as a “Husky by choice,” said her parents met after graduating from Bloomsburg and instilled in her a passion for the university. After her father’s death, the family established a scholarship in his name.

In addition to the Foundation Board, Cannon serves on the College of Business Advisory Board. She has participated regularly in career programs for students offered as part of the Zeigler Institute for Professional Development (ZIPD). Prior to joining TE, she was at the helm of Cisco’s Worldwide Distribution Operations Organization, serving in various vice presidential roles. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, she holds a degree in electrical engineering and computer science.

Difficult, but not impossible

Boenell Kline

On Sunday, April 24, Boenell Kline, a senior communications studies major, Rang the Carver Hall Bell to celebrate the impact of the scholarships she has received through the It's Personal Campaign. Kline shared her story at the 2016 Scholarship Luncheon:

"On paper, I would not have been someone that most would have chosen to invest in. I struggled academically through high school, scored borderline disabled on my SATs, and had to go to my high school guidance counselor 11 years after graduating because I did not know how to fill out a college application. Despite my academic disadvantage, Bloomsburg University took a chance and allowed me the privilege to become a Husky."

Kline added, "Because of my academic struggles, I was placed in developmental classes as a freshman, and it was not long before I began to fall behind in my math class. But, I was blessed to have an amazing instructor who noticed me struggling and made it a point to help."

Downtown summer parking permits

Downtown Parking

Students living downtown this summer can purchase their downtown parking permit starting Monday, May 2, at the Bloomsburg Police Department, 301 E. 2nd St., between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Permits, which cost $70, will be valid through Aug. 12.

Students must have a valid BU student ID, current signed lease or utility bill and vehicle registration card. Permit will be valid in all zone areas of the parking lots except Zone G (Library Lot).

Summer School

New accelerated four-week online only courses from May 16 to June 10 this summer!

  • Session I — May 16 to Aug. 5
  • Session II — May 16 to June 24
  • Session III — June 27 to Aug. 5