Welcome As we finalized Bloomsburg University’s Strategic Plan in 2010, we gave it a title that reflects the underlying current of everything we do at our university — Building on the Past, Leading for the Future.
This year’s annual report illustrates how we have incorporated that concept into the campus climate, building upon the strategic plan’s mission and vision. It shows a university at the forefront of adapting to today’s educational needs, enabling students to gain the skills employers and graduate programs demand through experiential learning, from the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity grant program to study abroad opportunities. It also shows a university facing the reality of limited public financial support, now at just 25 percent, and outlines how we must tap into the human endowment of our Husky community so we may continue to provide exceptional experiences that transform lives. That is what our $50 million It’s Personal campaign is all about. Just like the strategic plan, we chose the campaign’s name, It’s Personal, very deliberately. As students and alumni can attest, the entire educational experience is personal at Bloomsburg University. It’s about making meaningful connections between alumni and students through career mentoring, job shadowing, internships and other aspects of professional development. It’s about providing invaluable opportunities to students who might otherwise not be able to participate. Our strategic plan provides a framework for innovative programs and projects aimed at enhancing the educational experiences of our students, encouraging the scholarship of our faculty and reinforcing a strong and lasting connection with the larger community. In other words, it provides a framework for leading for the future. Sincerely,
David L. Soltz, Ph.D. President, Bloomsburg University
Office of the President
Carver Hall Bloomsburg University 400 E. Second St. Bloomsburg, PA 17815-1301 ®
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Blog: bupresident.blogspot.com Web: www.bloomu.edu/president
Inside The Strategic Plan: An Overview..............................................................................Pg. 2 Strategic Planning Grants........................................................................................Pg. 4 Enhancing Academic Excellence.............................................................................Pg. 6 The Research Advantage.........................................................................................Pg. 8 Achieving Excellence While Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability.....................................Pg. 10 Designing an Enrollment Vision in Terms of Demand, Program Mix and Capacity...Pg. 12 A Semester in Denmark.........................................................................................Pg. 14 MBA goes to Philadelphia......................................................................................Pg. 15 Fostering and Developing a Strong Sense of Community........................................Pg. 16 Concussion Institute..............................................................................................Pg. 20
The Strategic Plan: An Overview Mission
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania is an inclusive comprehensive public university that prepares students for personal and professional success in an increasingly complex global environment.
Bloomsburg University aspires to:
be a premier public comprehensive university, recognized as a center of thinking, learning and academic excellence anticipate and address the changing needs of the Commonwealth be a diverse community that produces positive change provide resources to maximize opportunities for success be a good steward of our resources and the environment develop individuals to be contributing citizens
Community Critical thinking Diversity Integrity Opportunity Personal and professional growth Respect
ENHANCING ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE Create a learning environment for personal and professional success in a diverse and rapidly changing world.
Provide professional development and scholarship opportunities for all university personnel.
ACHIEVING EXCELLENCE WHILE ENSURING FISCAL SUSTAINABILITY Identify, examine, align and allocate resources to meet institutional priorities. Coordinate efforts to identify and develop new resources in accord with university strategic priorities.
Integrate diversity in the learning environment. Implement and monitor a systematic process of assessment.
DESIGNING AN ENROLLMENT VISION IN TERMS OF DEMAND, PROGRAM MIX AND CAPACITY Assess enrollment trends and projections in terms of capacity, student demographics, target populations and demand.
Develop a realistic, dynamic, budget-sensitive, comprehensive enrollment management plan that supports student access and success. Implement and monitor a comprehensive enrollment plan relative to academic excellence, market demands and financial resources. VISION: PRESIDENT’S REPORT
FOSTERING AND DEVELOPING A STRONG SENSE OF COMMUNITY Communicate effectively among all stakeholders. Promote a diverse community that accepts and supports cultural and social differences. Encourage globalism and environmental awareness and responsibility. Improve town/gown relations. Increase student engagement with the university and community.
2015 — Page 3 Strengthen connection with alumni.
VISION: PRESIDENT’S REPORT 2015 — Page 3
Funding Academic Excellence: President’s Strategic Planning Grants
rom monitoring water quality in Fishing Creek to exposing talented high school students to college-level work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Bloomsburg University Presidential Strategic Planning Grants benefit the community and give undergraduates valuable real-world experience. Twenty-eight projects have received $650,988 in grants since 2011 following a rigorous review process by BU’s Strategic Planning and Resource Council (SPARC), made up of students, faculty and staff. Projects that receive grants – also known as SPARC funding — must include plans for attracting other funding sources, allowing the work to continue beyond the initial seed money.
2015 President’s Strategic Planning Grant Projects Bloomsburg University Center for Strategic Communications Services Project Leader: Grant Award: $20,000
Dr. Kristie Byrum
The Bloomsburg University Center for Strategic Communications Services is an applied research learning center for students that provides a full range of public relations and marketing communications services to regional businesses and non-profit organizations. The university-based, student-focused center is a win-win for both students and the community, as students gain access to professional opportunities and local organizations tap into student skills. Center participants, made up of students from multiple academic departments, will sharpen expertise in public relations, marketing communications, management, sales, development and entrepreneurism by working with regional community leaders. Specific client work will include the planning and implementation of strategic communications programs. Typical projects will include corporate and product positioning, go-to-market communication strategies, investor relations, donor relations, news media relations, corporate communications (internal and external), collateral materials development, event management and executive communications training.
English-Spanish Summer Enrichment (ESSE) Program Project Leaders: Grant Award: $43,000
Dr. Betina Entzminger. Dr. Christopher Donahue, Dr. Kim Cardimona, Ms. Kailyn Stewart
The departments of audiology and speech pathology, teaching and learning, English and languages and cultures, along with the offices of admissions and multicultural affairs, are collaborating with guidance counselors, teachers and administrators from high schools in Berwick, Hazleton, Lancaster and Reading to create a two-week early outreach residential summer program for Latino high school students. Participants will live on campus while attending courses targeting the improvement of their English language skills, as well as nurturing appreciation for their cultural and linguistic heritage. The project also will provide learning and leadership opportunities for BU students from the departments of English, teaching and learning and Spanish and the English as a Second Language (ESL) Institute, and provide professional development experiences to faculty, staff and administrators.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Research in Collegiate & High School Student Athletes Project Leader: Grant Award: $49,000
Dr. Joseph Hazzard
The Institute for Concussion Research & Service was officially launched in September 2015 to address the topic of concussion, also known as mild traumatic brain injury. The Institute conducts research to better understand this phenomenon, provide support and service to the medical community in return-to-play/return-to-learn decisions and conduct translational activities that contribute to clinical application of knowledge. The medical community has focused efforts to address the need to better understand the diagnosis, treatment, and management of MTBI as a result of sports participation at all levels. While many researchers are exploring concussion incidence, treatment, and outcomes, we are poised with a multidisciplinary approach to better understand the various clinical outcomes related to concussion. The Institute is staffed with faculty/clinicians from Exercise Science, Audiology & Speech Pathology, Psychology, Biochemistry, and Athletics. It provides student engagement opportunities for interdisciplinary graduate (Exercise Science/Clinical Athletic Training, Audiology & Speech Pathology) and undergraduate students (Psychology, Biochemistry).
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2014 Presidential Grant Recipients
2012 Presidential Grant Recipients
Campus-Wide Energy Monitoring and Efficiency Initiative
Establishing a Real-Time Water Quality Monitoring Station for Fishing Creek Dr. Steven Rier, Associate Professor, Biology
A Model Program to Attract Quality STEM Transfer Students from Community Colleges Dr. Toni Bell, Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry $35,000
BU Institute for Liberal Arts: Educating for Life, Phase 1
Dr. James Brown, Dean, College of Liberal Arts
Center for Leadership and Engagement
Edwin Valovage, Associate Director of Auxiliary Services, Residence Life, Student Affairs $25,000
Sports Leadership Academy
Susan Kocher, Head Softball Coach
Center for Visual & Performing Arts
Dr. Stephen Clickard, Professor and Chair, Music
Dr. Nathaniel (Ned) Greene, Professor, Physics & Engineering Technology
The Educational Pathways Initiative
Tom Fletcher, Vice President of Enrollment Management Dr. Steve Kokoska, Professor, Mathematical & Digital Sciences Dr. Irvin Wright, Assoc. Dean of Academic Achievement (retired) $25,000
Initiation of a Center for Undergraduate Research and Education in STEM
Dr. John Hranitz, Professor, Biological & Allied Health Science $24,680
Summer STEM Enrichment Program
Dr. John Polhill, Professor, Mathematical & Digital Sciences Dr. Jennifer Venditti, Associate Professor, Biology
Environmental Impact Assessment of the Bloomsburg WindJET
Center for Community Research & Consulting
Dr. Heather Feldhaus, Professor and Chairperson, Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice Dr. Christopher Podeschi, Assistant Professor, Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice $23,915
Dr. John Huckans, Associate Professor, Physics & Engineering Technology
2011 Presidential Grant Recipients
University Photovoltaic Solar Array & Educational Demonstration Site
2013 Presidential Grant Recipients
Dr. Patricia Beyer, Assistant Dean, College of Science and Technology
Dr. Julie Kontos, Chair, Psychology $50,000
Dr. John Hintz, Associate Professor, Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Science $46,000
Dr. Deb Sanders, Assistant Professor, Nursing
Start Fresh or Fresh Start
George Kinzel, Director, Center for Leadership and Engagement
Institute for Applied & Popular Philosophy Dr. Scott C. Lowe, Chair, Philosophy
Center for Earth & Environ. Sciences
Dr. Elizabeth Mauch, Dean, College of Education
Center for Visual & Performing Arts
STEM Magnet High School Program Dr. Elizabeth Mauch, Dean, College of Education
Dr. Nathaniel (Ned) Greene, Professor, Physics & Engineering Technology
Children’s Choice: A Literacy Initiative for our Region
Dr. Cynthia Venn, Environmental, Geographical and Geological Sciences $14,000
Susquehanna Valley Field School $21,000
Dr. Heather Feldhaus, Chairperson and Associate Professor, Sociology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice $1,900
BUtiful Heart Cardiac Rehab. & BUBeFit Weight Loss & Maintenance Program Dr. Timothy R. McConnell, Prof., Exercise Science
Dr. Phillip Tucker, Associate Professor, Exceptionality Programs $4,483
University-wide Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Preparation Program
Dr. Jennifer Johnson, Assistant. Professor, Psychology $3,472
Summer Educational Anthropology/ Archaeology Camp Program Dr. Susan Dauria, Professor, Anthropology
Crafting the Future of Distance Learning through Mobile Devices Dr. Helmut Doll, Chairperson and Professor, Instructional Technology
Toy Library Virtual Center of Excellence
Dr. Mary Katherine Waibel Duncan, Joan and Fred Miller Distinguished Professor of Good Works Professor, Psychology $10,951 TOTAL...................................................................$81,488
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ENHANCING ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
Academic achievement in the classroom and beyond Call it the experience conundrum: While seniors are beginning to make their way in the world, graduate programs and employers want to see real-world skills.
That’s not a problem for Huskies. In addition to ample job shadowing and internship opportunities, many made possible by committed alumni, BU undergraduates engage
in research that will further their academic and professional careers. The Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (URSCA) Awards provide stipends that enable students to collaborate with professors for distinctive learning experiences.
the Kepler Space Telescope to looking at how fast human remains decompose in polluted water. Students in the humanities benefit from URSCA as well — in July, 25 students from the BU Jazz Ensemble performed at two wellknown European venues.
Since 2012, nearly 150 students have engaged in research as varied as crunching data from
Creating student opportunities
Over the past four years, BU has created eight independent centers and institutes that bring together students and faculty from multiple disciplines to tackle problems and promote creative expression. Many projects benefit the Bloomsburg region, fulfilling the university’s goal of building strong community ties.
Center for Earth & Environmental Studies (CEES) From conducting watershed cleanups and acid mine drainage to constructing a solar array on the south side of Ben Franklin Hall, the Center for Earth and Environmental Studies brings together students, faculty and community organizations with a passion for nature and protecting our planet. Created in 2011, CEES is a source for information on environmental courses, student projects, volunteer
opportunities and area conservation groups.
Institute for Concussion Research & Services Is it possible to detect a concussion from a saliva sample? How does an athlete who suffers a hard hit know it’s safe to return to the field? Working with local high school athletes and coaches, as well as BU student athletes, the institute harnesses the talents of faculty and students from multiple disciplines including speech pathology, psychology, biochemistry and exercise science. Center for Healthy Aging (CHA) In Columbia and Montour counties, 17 percent of the population is over 65 years old and many need help as they face the challenges associated with aging. Created in 2014, CHA brings together students and faculty from audiology, nursing, social work and psychology who work in the community in conjunction with the
Columbia/Montour Area Agency on Aging and directors of the counties’ eight senior centers. Students get practical experience as they educate seniors on how to maintain their health, remain independent and stay safe. Center for Leadership & Engagement (CLE) Bloomsburg University is committed to supporting the region and providing opportunities for student growth — and CLE is where the two goals come together. Students can work with school districts or a variety of nonprofits in volunteer or paid positions, using what they learn through CLE’s three-level leadership development certification program to benefit the community. The annual, daylong Husky Student Leadership Summit allows students to explore potential career options and learn leadership skills through interaction with alumni, faculty and staff.
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Sustainable Food Systems Outdoor Classroom Urban agriculture is one of the fastest growing food production sectors in the United States. BU’s Sustainable Food Systems Outdoor Classroom, funded by a President’s Strategic Planning Grant in 2013, gives students experience in economically viable and environmentally sustainable food production. Located on the university’s upper campus, the project features outdoor gardens and a solar greenhouse, composting area, educational kiosk and more. Students also receive experience in food distribution, directly selling the produce and marketing the site through traditional and online media.
Center for Visual & Performing Arts (CVPA) Created to provide a link between BU and the community, CVPA offers students enrolled in art and art history, English, music, theatre and dance the opportunity to showcase their talents in off-campus locations. Signature events include Arts in Autumn, a dinner fundraiser for BU scholarships, and A Taste of the Arts, an afternoon of free entertainment. Both feature music and theatrical performances, art exhibits and more. BU Institute for Liberal Arts Liberal Arts and undeclared students are exposed to potential areas of study and career pathways through the institute’s mixture of hand-on projects and practical advice from recent graduates. Sophomores are mentored by professionals in their field of study and receive guidance in creating a portfolio of their work,
MyCore: An Innovative General Education Program It’s not enough to have a college degree — today’s employers want to see experience that demonstrates applicants’ skills. MyCore documents students’ achievements and learning. At MyCore’s heart are 10 educational goals Bloomsburg graduates are expected to possess, including effective communication, problem-solving skills, basic communication in a second language and knowledge of social and natural science principles, concepts and methods. In addition to showing these skills through course credits, additional courses or experiences in a specific field can be noted on a student’s transcript — another way Bloomsburg graduates can demonstrate their expertise.
all with an eye to helping students transition into their chosen vocation.
McDowell Institute for Teacher Excellence in Positive Behavior Support
Zeigler Institute for Professional Development
New teachers may be academically well prepared, but find themselves unprepared to deal with the myriad social and emotional needs of today’s students – that is why the McDowell Institute for Teacher Excellence in Positive Behavior Support was created. The institute collaborates with BU’s faculty to integrate the practices of positive behavior support, a set of research-based strategies used to increase quality of life and decrease problem behavior of children. Established with a $2 million gift from philanthropist Susan McDowell of Selinsgrove, the institute ensures BU’s teacher candidates are ready to meet the challenges they will face in the classroom.
The Zeigler Institute for Professional Development provides an opportunity for BU students to learn about potential career choices early on and to interact with successful alumni, who can serve as mentors. Every fall ZIPD sponsors a business conference where alumni share their experiences on topics ranging from basic professional skills to entrepreneurship. ZIPD, part of the College of Business, was established with a $1.67 million gift from Terry Zeigler ’76 and his wife, JoAnn Schultz Zeigler ’77.
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The Research Advantage
Research, scholarship and creative projects involving undergraduate students has been an important part of the Bloomsburg University experience for decades. Students in disciplines ranging from art to psychology have collaborated with faculty on projects — often resulting in published research or presentations at national conferences. In 2012, in order to make these opportunities more financially accessible to students, Bloomsburg University created the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity award program, known as URSCA. Students write grant proposals for research projects and receive stipends of up to $6,000 to cover 12 weeks of living expenses.
Addressing the twin concerns of flooding and water quality The Bloomsburg area’s history and its location hugging the Susquehanna River and Fishing Creek prompt residents’ very real concerns over potential flooding and water quality. BU students and faculty are working to ease those concerns.
There are weekly seminars and discussions about ongoing research, all capped by a conference in which students present their findings.
The university is in the midst of an ongoing project to install stream gauges along Fishing Creek, which joins the Susquehanna near the Town of Bloomsburg, and weather stations to measure rainfall. The information will eventually be available on a website, giving the public crucial information about potential flooding.
“We have so many high-quality students who want to be involved in research, but simply couldn’t afford not to work in the summer,” says sociology professor Heather Feldhaus, a member of the URSCA advisory committee. “What I’ve heard from our students who have done research through URSCA is that they arrive in grad school far ahead of their peers.”
“My house was flooded in 2006 and in 2011 with Tropical Storm Lee, and I found it was impossible to get any reliable information,” says Patricia Beyer, associate professor of environmental, geographical and geological sciences. To provide dependable information, students are placing apparatus that look like oversized rulers in specific locations in Fishing Creek. These gauges will be checked regularly and the information will be texted to special crowdsourcing software. The data will be available on the Fishing Creek Watershed Hydro Watch website.
In 2015, 41 students received URSCA grants, says John Hranitz, interim director of research programs. “Undergraduates are often faced with the experience conundrum: they want to go to grad school or begin their career, but they are required to have experience,” Hranitz says. “URSCA allows students to gain that experience.”
Additionally, solar-powered water-quality sensors with rain gauges will be set up in the creek in 2016. Information will be wirelessly sent to a server, producing a “firehose of data,” says Steven T. Rier, associate professor of biological and allied health sciences. “We have tremendous expertise on campus,” Beyer says. “This is a way to give the students experience and model the way to be a good citizen and contribute to your community. The work these students are doing will lead to better opportunities in graduate school and open the doors for jobs.”
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Lacy Marbaker: Testing remains in water
It’s not often that a scientist has the opportunity to do truly groundbreaking research — and it’s almost unheard of for the work to be done by an undergraduate student. Lacy Marbaker did both. Shortly after transferring to Bloomsburg University in her junior year to study forensic anthropology, Marbaker says she “started hearing from all my classmates about the exciting and enriching research they were doing.”
She hit upon a novel topic that perfectly married her interest in the environment with her studies: Examine the rate of human decomposition in polluted water as opposed to fresh water — research that would advance the field and potentially help law enforcement when dealing with remains found in streams and rivers. “In the realm of forensic anthropology you are not only testing what could happen, but what does happen,” Marbaker says. “I was excited to focus on something that brought the study of pollution and forensic anthropology together.” Funding for research Topic in hand, Marbaker was set to take advantage of a program that sets Bloomsburg apart: the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity award program, or URSCA. Like any researcher needing funding, Marbaker drew up a proposal, which was approved by a review panel. She was awarded a $6,000
grant to pay her living expenses for the 12 weeks of research over summer 2014.
creates faster rates of decomposition.
“I paid for my undergraduate education myself and I depended on scholarships,” Marbaker says. “Without the URSCA grant, I could have never created this project.”
Marbaker won second place at the annual Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s Conference for Undergraduate Research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for her poster, The Effects of Susquehanna River Water Pollution on Decomposition of Sus scrofa domesticus: An Application of Forensic Anthropology.
The work Standing in for human remains was flesh and bones from domestic pigs, similar in tissue composition, muscle size, hair-toskin ratio and other factors. The remains were placed in sealed jars with water collected from three locations: Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, N.Y., the source of the Susquehanna River; Tunkhannock, Pa., a mid point; and Havre de Grace, Md., where the Susquehanna joins the Chesapeake Bay. To mimic the average air-to-water temperature ratio in the summer, the jars were kept at 55 degrees. Every two days Marbaker photographed the remains and carefully recorded her findings. Marbaker theorized the heaviest decomposition would be seen at Havre de Grace, hypothesizing that the water would contain pollutants picked up as it traveled to the southernmost point. It turned out, however, that the highest rate of decomposition was found in the water around Tunkhannock. “The pollution around Tunkhannock is from heavy industry whereas most of the pollution from Havre de Grace is in the form of agricultural runoff,” Marbaker says. “My results suggest that industry pollution
Reaping the rewards
Marbaker, who graduated in May with a 4.0 GPA, also won the prestigious XL National Lambda Alpha Scholarship and a Charles R. Jenkins Certificate of Distinguished Achievement from Lambda Alpha National Collegiate Honor Society in anthropology. The competitive $5,000 award recognizes the nation’s top graduating senior in anthropology as selected by the national executive committee. Additionally, Marbaker wrote a 30-page, peer-reviewed paper on her findings, which is being published in Lambda Alpha’s annual journal. She plans to continue her work at the graduate level. “I want to thank my advisors and my mentors, Dr. Conrad Quintyn and Dr. Faith Warner for their amazing support and to Bloomsburg University for giving me the most incredible education that any student could ever ask for,” Marbaker says. “Most undergraduates can only dream of being able to do their own independent research. Bloomsburg has taken me leaps and bounds into my graduate career and into my future.”
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Facilities Master Plan While BU is a much different place than when it was founded in 1839, the university remains committed to meeting students’ changing needs. In 2012, the university began developing a facilities master plan, looking at everything from student housing and faculty office space to the campus’ dining facilities. Among the projects outlined in the plan is the creation of additional student housing, which is already underway with the demolition of the University Store Building. A new seven-story building will feature student housing, including suite-style residences, above the new University Store on the first floor, as well as new dining options. The master plan includes expanded green space and possible use of the current Centennial Hall parking lot as the site of the next new academic building.
ACHIEVING EXCELLENCE WHILE ENSURING FISCAL SUSTAINABILITY
It’s Personal — The Campaign for Bloomsburg University
Campus-wide energy monitoring and efficiency initiative
In 1984, the state appropriation provided 65 percent of BU’s funding; in 2014, it accounted for only 25 percent. For BU to continue providing students with exceptional educational experiences, the It’s Personal campaign is tapping into the university’s greatest resource — the Husky community. Finding ways for alumni to give back — through endowments, donations or sharing expertise with students — is what the It’s Personal campaign is all about.
BU students learn to be good stewards of the environment — and the university is teaching by example. The university switched from coal to natural gas at its heating plant, installed energy-efficient windows in Old Science and Carver halls, upgraded the chillers that serve Scranton Commons and Carver Hall, installed energy-efficient LED lighting and motion sensors to control hallway lighting, and added insulation to steam and hot water piping in various buildings. BU also helped install a dual-fuel heating system that can run on waste vegetable and motor oils for the Town of Bloomsburg Recycling Center’s main processing building.
Money raised during the $50 million campaign is dedicated to funding areas identified as most beneficial to current and future students and to the university’s continued success. They are: new academic and athletic scholarships; recruitment, support and retention of outstanding faculty; and professional experiences for students.
To help students gain a perspective on campus energy use, BU installed a unique kiosk adjacent to Ben Franklin Hall. The touchscreen software allows users to see how much energy is being used in five campus buildings: Hartline Science Center, Student Recreation Center, Nelson Field House, Columbia Residence Hall and Elwell Residence Hall. Find out more about how BU is saving energy by following #BUSustainability on Twitter.
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President David L. Soltz announces the public phase of Bloomsburg’s It’s Personal Campaign. The numbers on the students’ shirts show the amount raised at that time. Today, the campaign has reached more than $40 million.
Kimberly Abney isn’t shy about admitting that when she came to Bloomsburg University, she wasn’t ready for the workload – or the freedom — that came with college life. She soon found herself on academic probation. But with the help of BU’s Academic Support Services, Abney earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, graduating in 2009 with the rest of her class. She went on to earn a master’s degree and today is a certified school counselor for a private charter school in Philadelphia. Abney never forgot the opportunities Bloomsburg opened for her — which is why she was excited to help students like her through a BU Named Virtual Endowed Scholarship. Under the unique program, donors give at least $1,000 annually for a student scholarship and commit to a minimum deferred gift of $25,000 for a permanent endowment. Donors can select eligibility criteria for recipients, such as a field of study. “There may be students struggling the way I did, and knowledge of this scholarship may give them a goal and something to work toward,” Abney says. Tapping into stories such as these and finding ways for alumni to give back – through endowments, donations or sharing
expertise with students – is what BU’s It’s Personal campaign is all about. As public support for higher education decreases, the It’s Personal campaign, with a $50 million goal, is designed to ensure the university’s long-term sustainability.
‘There may be students struggling the way I did, and knowledge of this scholarship may give them a goal and something to work toward’
BU launched the public phase of the campaign in October 2015, after a five-year private phase raised more than $36 million from nearly 15,000 individual donors and organizations. During the launch, BU President David Soltz made it clear that the goal was not just to raise $50 million: “Tonight, we celebrate our opportunity to make a lasting impact on the lives of current and future Bloomsburg University students.” Money raised during the campaign is dedicated to funding areas identified as most beneficial to students and to the university’s continued success: academic and athletic scholarships, recruitment, support and retention of outstanding faculty and professional experiences for students. Every gift makes an impact as new approaches to fundraising are considered and initiated, such as the Bloomsburg University Foundation’s crowdfunding site, TakeActionBU, where donors can support projects and leave messages for the students they’re helping.
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Division of Enrollment Management As part of strategic action item three, a division was formed to focus on enrollment, retention and student success. From identifying issues that impede student graduation to focusing on distance education and web-based instruction, BU’s Division of Enrollment Management identifies what is needed to support student success and retention. The division also encompasses recruitment and enrollment, extended programs, corporate and continuing education and offcampus programs.
Student Success Collaborative As part of BU’s ongoing mission to help students achieve academic success and complete their degree, the university joined the Student Success Collaborative (SSC) along with four other schools in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. SSC is a software platform that analyzes past student data to identify factors that hinder success, allowing Bloomsburg’s faculty and staff to address problems and design support services.
DESIGN AN ENROLLMENT VISION IN TERMS OF DEMAND, PROGRAM MIX AND CAPACITY
Educational Pathways Initiative Under a partnership with the Allentown School District that began in summer 2013, rising high school seniors experience college life during a two-week summer program. The seniors live in the residence halls and are mentored by BU students as they get a taste of college-level studies. Students learn about college financial aid, the admissions process and participate in team-building activities with the Quest leadership program. The overall goal is to attract these high-achieving students to Bloomsburg University’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors. To date, the program has hosted 65 students, five of whom are now attending Bloomsburg and several who have applied for admission.
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Lehigh-Carbon Reading Area Northampton HACC (Harrisburg) and starting fall 2016 Bucks County Community College Community College of Philadelphia Pennsylvania Institute of Technology at PASSHE Center City in Philadelphia
Outreach: BASTL program
Whether a community college graduate wants to continue his or her education immediately after earning an applied associate’s (AAS) degree or has been in the workforce and wants to earn a four-year degree for career advancement, BU’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Technical Leadership program is the answer. Bloomsburg University has partnered with community colleges around the state so students may complete their bachelor’s degree at the community college’s campus.
Participating community colleges include Lehigh-Carbon; Reading Area; Northampton; and HACC-Harrisburg (formerly called Harrisburg Area Community College). In fall 2016, Harcum College, Community College of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Institute of Technology and the State System campus in Center City Philadelphia will offer the BASTL program. Eleven students have graduated from the program since its inception in the fall of 2012 and 60 students are currently enrolled. An additional 40 students have applied to begin classes in spring 2016.
STEM Magnet Program Area high schools needed to challenge top students and local companies were decrying the lack of qualified engineers: BU provided the solution to both problems with its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Magnet Program. Participating high school juniors and seniors from 11 school districts are offered a choice in two areas of focus, engineering or health sciences. Students who successfully graduate from the program earn up to 30 college credits and are offered admission to BU. Twenty-six students are currently participating in the program. Of the students who have graduated from the program, 13 of 14 have reported choosing a STEM major in college. The program also links students with mentors from the business community, connections that may lead to internships and job offers.
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A Semester in Denmark, lifelong lessons for home. Twenty-year-old Nadine DeJesus traveled 3,800 miles to study in rain-soaked Denmark for a semester. What she learned about her homeland and her heart could never fit into a suitcase. When the college junior ventured outside her comfort zone to live in the land of Hans Christian Andersen, she knew virtually nothing about the scenic country. She understood Spanish fairly well, but she did not speak Danish. That challenge was part of the appeal, as was her friend’s conclusion that her time in Denmark had changed her life. Now, after 13 weeks in Denmark studying at the University of Aarhus, DeJesus can say the same. The Allentown native, who is majoring in mass communications, decided to treat her trip overseas as a semester-long news interview, meeting people and assembling a narrative about the Danes. Along with that story, the lens turned not only to the way Danes view Americans, but on how Americans are viewed globally. While Bloomsburg students can choose to
spend a semester abroad virtually anywhere, the university has a reciprocal relationship with the University of Aarhus and a number of other schools, enabling students to pay BU tuition and fees. Financial aid and grants apply to foreign studies and scholarships are also available.
Culture shock DeJesus discovered that most Danes are reserved, accepting of nontraditional lifestyles, physically fit, socially aware, sexually open, and deeply concerned about gender equality. They contribute more than half of their income in taxes and enjoy free health care and college tuition. Students are paid to attend the university, where two-hour and threehour classes meet just once a week. The crime rate is low, and the wail of police sirens seldom echoes across the cobblestone streets. While the shy Danes rarely strike up a conversation in a check-out line, their TV shows are replete with nudity and overt
sexuality. A “sweet tax” is added to the price of candy and baked goods. And bicycles are the most popular mode of transportation. “The taxes for cars in Denmark are very high, so people just bike,” she says, surmising that may explain why “the Danish people were very, very fit. People were always running or working out.” DeJesus found that many Europeans assume all Americans are wealthy and underestimate the size of the United States’ landmass. Her new friends were surprised she had never been to Florida, she says, figuring it was a short drive from Pennsylvania to the Sunshine State. “You can drive through all of Denmark in a day,” she adds. At the university, DeJesus studied female sexuality in modern culture, talking about “cougars” and feminists and the image of women who dress provocatively. As the only American in the class, many questions were directed to her as an instant reality check. The students also asked her about social issues. “We talked a lot about how you can own a gun before you can drink in America,” DeJesus says.
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Bringing the MBA to Philadelphia “In Denmark, the legal drinking age is 18, but some people start when they are 14 or 15. You can’t drive until you are 18. So they asked, ‘How can you drive and vote before you can drink?’”
Bloomsburg will offer its MBA program to Philadelphia starting in fall 2016. A unique class structure allows students to complete a course every two months. Courses combine online work with face-to-face classes every other Saturday in downtown Philadelphia at the PA State System @ Center City Campus. Students will be able to complete their degree in just one year. Bloomsburg will also offer an eight-month graduate certificate program and part-time option in Philadelphia.
Lessons for the future While studying abroad, DeJesus had the opportunity to visit London and Barcelona, meet famous soccer superstar Pele and experience Chinese, Brazilian and Italian cultures. She says, the Europeans’ helpfulness mirrored the friendliness she finds at Bloomsburg. “I’ll never forget my experience and what it taught me. I am so much more confident, open-minded and open to trying things and talking to people,” DeJesus says. “It is so life changing.”
Additionally, on-campus Bloomsburg’s MBA program has been structured so students earning their bachelor’s degree at Bloomsburg can complete their MBA with just one additional year of study. MBA program coordinator Darrin Kass notes that an MBA is one of the most versatile degrees a student can earn and that it offers a significant boost in earning power. “Individuals who earn an MBA can expect an average increase of 35% in their salary,” says Kass. “Ninety percent of MBA graduates say their MBA increased their earnings power and improved their competitiveness, proactiveness, innovativeness, and creativity.” “And our program is affordable,” adds Kass. “Our students save more than $1,500 for each class compared to competing programs in the Philadelphia area.” BU’s MBA has AACSB accreditation, a hallmark of excellence achieved by less than 5% of the world’s MBA programs.
To read Nadine DeJesus’ blog from her time in Denmark, visit: dejesusindenmark.tumblr.com.
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Office of Alumni and Professional Engagement A successful college career today requires a mix of learning experiences inside and outside of the classroom — and often BU’s talented alumni can help students with internships, job shadowing, leadership training, networking and more. With this in mind, in 2014 Bloomsburg combined the services of offices devoted to career services, academic internships and alumni engagement to form the Office of Alumni and Professional Engagement. Programs include trips to off-campus job sites, weeklong sophomore year career explorations, semesterlong internships and campus networking opportunities and career workshops. The merger is a key part of the Professional U initiative, which brings together alumni and private sector partners to provide students with a blend of professional and personal development opportunities that support their life and career goals. Professional U aims to provide every student with a professional experience in each year of their college career.
FOSTERING AND DEVELOPING A SENSE OF COMMUNITY
Strategic Communications Members of a strong community rely on official information to stay in touch with each other and issues that confront the university. To this end, three publications were introducted: Vision, Communication Review Quarterly and The Week Ahead. Vision, the president’s annual report (and the publication you are now reading) highlights strategic accomplishments; Communication Review Quarterly, published electronically four times a year, features high-level news from each of BU’s five divisions and the president’s office; and The Week Ahead, distributed to the campus community each Monday through email, includes a weekly address from the president, key events and information pertaining to the campus community.
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Center for Community Research and Consulting In a true win for all involved, BU’s Center for Community Research and Consulting links student volunteers with nonprofits, volunteer groups and social service-related agencies that need help collecting data to better serve their clients. Assessing the economic impact of the Bloomsburg Fair and other regional festivals, conducting a downtown Bloomsburg parking study and studying the effectiveness of special drug and DUI courts for Columbia County are among the projects tackled by students since the center’s creation in 2012. Students have also worked with the Columbia County Housing Authority to survey residents of Berwick in connection with community redevelopment projects. Recently, the Center researched the viability of a Covered Bridges Tour in Columbia and Montour counties. Students are continuing work on researching rural homelessness in the region. Students have also consulted with approximately a dozen non-profit organizations to aid them in their strategic plans. At any time, approximately 200 students are involved in research projects, gaining invaluable professional experience while providing a real value to the region.
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Huskies helping the community From raising money and collecting food to help the hungry to ensuring local children have gifts over the holidays, Huskies show their commitment to the community throughout the year. Area nonprofit organizations as well as individual residents benefited from more than 82,000 volunteer hours worked by students – worth in excess of $1.7 million. Here’s a sampling of how BU students, faculty and staff helped in the past year: The Big Event: In March, 2,500 volunteers fanned out to help Bloomsburg residents with everything from painting and removing debris to gardening as part of the university’s annual “thank you” to the town. 12th Annual Empty Bowls Banquet: The largest single-day fundraiser for the Bloomsburg Food Cupboard raised $6,000 in March. Held in the Kehr Union, area restaurants provide the soup that students serve to patrons, who may also buy hand-decorated bowls made by local artists.
Mandela Day: The annual community service event commemorating Nelson Mandela’s July 18 birthday involved more than 250 students who volunteered to help the YMCA and AGAPE, a non-denominational, faith-based mission dedicated to helping those in need. Giving Tree: Students, faculty and staff select ornaments listing children’s names and their holiday gift wish. Last year, 125 boys and girls received presents. Relay for Life: In April, 1,100 volunteers raised $53,000 to help fight cancer. To signify that cancer never sleeps, teams made sure at least one member was always walking during the 12-hour event.
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The Greenly Center: STRENGTHENING COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
BU’s strong connection to the community was demonstrated in brick and concrete with the opening of the $8.25 million Greenly Center in downtown Bloomsburg in 2015.
local community,” says Jerome Dvorak, executive director of the BU Foundation. “This wonderful gift from Duane and Sue brings together the community and the university they love.”
Made possible in large part by a $1 million grant from Bloomsburg native and BU graduate Duane Greenly and his wife, Sue, both members of the Class of 1972, the center boasts a first-floor art gallery, classrooms for the university’s mini-courses, a 40-seat computer lab and a demonstration kitchen. Credit-based courses and programs for traditional and non-traditional adult students are held in the center. The fourth-floor is home to the Bloomsburg University Foundation.
The Greenly Center hosted its first event in March, a reading by Crystal Wilkinson, short fiction writer and a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets. A student art exhibit, Conceptions of Home, and a BU Career Intensive Boot Camp professional development program are among the first events scheduled for 2016.
“Maintaining and enhancing the university’s relationship with the town of Bloomsburg is important to us,” says BU President David Soltz. “A few years ago, when we asked the community for input for our strategic plan, we heard overwhelmingly that local residents wanted the university to have a presence in downtown Bloomsburg. The Greenly Center is that presence.” “This is a concrete demonstration of the university’s investment in the
“I am thrilled to see our vision realized,’’ says Duane Greenly, a member of the BU Foundation’s board of directors. “The foundation has a stronger home base to use in garnering support for the university. The university has a more visible presence in the downtown community, making it easier to build on our existing partnership with the Bloomsburg community. It’s an exciting time in BU history.” “This is a donation to both the town and the university,” Greenly says. “I grew up in Bloomsburg and always felt it was a wonderful town. Giving back to Bloomsburg was not a tough decision at all.”
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Concussion research: When is it safe to play? As Bloomsburg University students and faculty began to research sports concussions among high school football players last summer, they started to see a pattern in a small but significant number of cases. While the player’s balance may have shown improvement three to five days after the hit, on the seventh day some athletes experienced a subtle — but serious — return of some symptoms. By the 10th day, no further signs of concussion were apparent. “There is certainly something going on there, and we’re not sure what that may be,” says Joseph Hazzard, director of BU’s new Institute of Concussion Research and Services and assistant professor of exercise science. “If we can establish that this is a significant outcome for most people, it would be an important factor to consider when deciding whether an athlete may return to play.”
‘Research indicates that when someone is injured there are chemicals in the blood stream that allow the healing process to begin and show in saliva.’
Concussion:From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia CT scan, the arrows show places where bleeding occurred.
Concussion research is a hot topic today as concerns grow about NFL players suffering permanent injuries from hard hits and parents wonder if football is safe for their children. Hazzard says BU’s research is already giving important information to area coaches and doctors. The research is investigating new Joseph Hazzard, left, and a Bloomsburg student ways to detect take baseline tests of area high school athletes. concussions – such as developing a saliva test that one day may be administered pathology, psychology, biochemistry, exercise on the sidelines. “Research indicates that when science and athletics, have collected baseline someone is injured, there are chemicals in the data on almost 200 athletes. blood stream that allow the healing process to Hazzard says he’s not aware of any other begin and show in saliva,” says Hazzard, who institution that is doing the same kind of served for 15 years as BU’s head athletic trainer concussion work that BU students are pursuing. before transitioning to full-time teaching in “It’s one thing to teach students research 2004. “We’re looking for a salivary bio-marker methods and another to take them out, do that would indicate a concussion.” data collection and allow them to understand Working with area high school football teams the difficulties,” Hazzard says. “Students who as well as BU’s own football and women’s graduate from Bloomsburg have an experience soccer teams, Hazzard says he and his student level that puts them ahead of their peers.” researchers from departments including speech
BLOOMSBURG UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA — Page 20
Board of Governors, State System of Higher Education Guido M. Pichini, chair Marie Conley ’94, vice chair David M. Maser, vice chair Sen. Richard Alloway II Rep. Matthew E. Baker Audrey F. Bronson Sarah Galbally Rep. Michael K. Hanna Ronald G. Henry Jonathan B. Mack
Daniel P. Meuser Leslie Anne Miller Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera Sen. Judy Schwank Cynthia D. Shapira Harold C. Shields Aaron A. Walton Governor Tom Wolf Frank T. Brogan, Chancellor, Ex Officio
Council of Trustees, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Patrick Wilson ’91, Chair Judge Mary Jane Bowes, Vice Chair Nancy Vasta ’97/’98M, Secretary Ramona H. Alley Robert Dampman ’65 LaRoy G. Davis ’67
TEXT: JJACK SHERZER/MESSAGE PROSE, ERIC FOSTER DESIGN AND PHOTOGRAPHS: ERIC FOSTER COVER IMAGE: CHAD MILLER ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS: JAIME NORTH AND PROVIDED BY THE SUBJECT.
Joseph J. Mowad ’08H, M.D. Katherine D. Mullen, Student Charles E. Schlegel Jr. ’60 Kenneth Stolarick ’77 Secretary of Corrections John E. Wetzel ’98 Frank T. Brogan, Chancellor, Ex Officio Bloomsburg University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, or veteran status in its programs and activities as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and University policies.