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California University


Commencement Set for Friday and Saturday nterim University President Geraldine M. Jones will confer degrees at two ceremonies during Cal U’s 2013 Winter Commencement. The School of Graduate Studies and Research will award master’s degrees at 7 p.m. Friday. Master’s degree candidates will be vested in their academic hoods during the ceremony. Undergraduates in the College of Education and Human Services, the College of Liberal Arts and the Eberly College of Science and Technology will receive their diplomas at 10 a.m. Saturday. Alumnus Dante E. Morelli ’02 will address students at both ceremonies, which will be held in the Convocation Center. The doors open at 5 p.m. Friday and at 8 a.m. Saturday. Cal U’s 177th Commencement recognizes students who completed their studies in August and December. More than 620 undergraduates and 773 graduate students will receive their degrees, although not all will attend the ceremonies.


Interim President Geraldine M. Jones makes a point while answering a question at the Nov. 14 Campus Talk.

Tweets Add to Campus Talk n person and online, students posed questions to interim University President Geraldine Jones and her Cabinet at the third in a series of Campus Talks. President Jones initiated the town hall-style meetings last fall to provide an additional opportunity for students to ask questions about all aspects of campus life. More than 150 students attended the Nov. 14 event, which was held in the south wing of the Convocation Center. For the first time, students also asked questions using Twitter. In all, more than 270 tweets were posted with the hashtag #CalUTalk. “Student Government has been working extremely hard to be sure that all students can get their questions answered,” said Chelsea Getsy, president of Student Government. The hour-long Campus Talk stretched to nearly 90 minutes as students asked questions about the academic calendar, course evaluations, food service, late-night activities and transportation. “ I really appreciate this,” President Jones told the — Continued on page 3


Young Educator Morelli is an assistant professor of communication studies at Suffolk County Community College in Selden, N.Y. A native of Murrysville, Pa., he makes his home in Long Island, N.Y. At Cal U Morelli earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, summa cum laude, with an emphasis in radio and television. He also was the student member of the University’s Council of Trustees and president of the Student Association Inc. Morelli went on to earn a master’s degree in corporate and professional communication from Radford University, in Virginia. He currently is

Dante E. Morelli ’02 will address students at both Commencement ceremonies this Friday and Saturday in the Convocation Center.

completing his doctorate at Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio, where he is enrolled in the organizational communication program. He remains active in his teaching, department and the Suffolk college community while finishing his dissertation for the Ph.D. A proud Cal U alumnus, Morelli is serving his third term on the Alumni Association Board of Directors. He has served on the Alumni Events and Chapter Development Committee, the By-laws Committee and the Student Engagement Committee since joining the board in 2006. Both commencement ceremonies can be viewed live online at More information about Commencement, including links to directions and parking information, is available at . For more information, contact Jodie Rooney, academic events coordinator, at 724-938-1584 or

First-Place Poster Senior Nicholas Patton, a dual major in chemistry and geology, shows off a poster highlighting his senior thesis, ‘Investigation of inorganic species in Oregon Hollow Wetlands: Washington County, Pennsylvania.’ Patton’s work received first-place honors at the PASSHE Undergraduate Research Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, held Nov. 15-16 at Slippery Rock University. The winning poster was one of 75 submitted by students from all 14 PASSHE universities. Cal U faculty members Dr. Min Li and Dr. Kyle Fredrick supervised Patton’s project.

Grant Writers Recognized at Ceremony wo awards to recognize the contributions of successful grant seekers were presented for the first time at the 2012-2013 Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Grant Writers Recognition Ceremony on Nov. 21 in Kara Alumni House. Dr. Katherine Mitchem, of the Department of Special Education, received the President’s Award for Outstanding Grantsmanship. Dr. Kyle Fredrick, of the Department of Earth Sciences, received the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Grantsmanship. The president’s award includes $500, and the provost’s award includes $300, both to be used to support research or professional development.


Also at the ceremony, professors John Kula and Laura Giachetti, from the Department of Academic Development Services, were honored as Million Dollar Achievers for their grants from the U.S. Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Education for the TRIO Upward Bound programs at Cal U. All told in 2012-2013, 56 proposals totaling nearly $3.6 million were submitted, and 36 projects totaling more than $2.4 million were awarded. Faculty and staff who either were awarded or proposed grants were honored at the event on Nov. 21. They are listed online at

staff/sponsored-research/grants-yearbook/index.htm. A link is provided on the Cal U website’s homepage. “I’m grateful for the funding because it has enabled us to provide an array of educational services and opportunities for prospective college-bound high school students, many of whom are from low-income families and will be first-generation college students,” said Kula, program director for TRIO Upward Bound. “Cal U has received this very competitive funding since 1968, and it is definitely put to good use.” Mitchem, who was honored for her history of successful grant writing, her focus on research and — Continued on page 3

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DEC. 9, 2013

Student­Athletes Prepare for Games’ End hrough injury or circumstances, an athlete’s career can end suddenly. Whether you’re a hallof-fame professional or a student player, making the transition to the next phase of your life can be challenging. Associate professor Dr. Taunya Tinsley joined former Pittsburgh Penguins player Troy Loney to discuss those challenges with more than 400 Cal U students during a workshop Nov. 14 in Steele Hall. Sponsored by the Department of Recreational Services and the Cal U ice hockey clubs, the workshop was part of a regular series of talks organized each semester by Recreational Services and Greek Life. Cal U’s varsity athletes also are invited to attend. “You can generalize the experiences from sports to that of Greek Life and other extracurricular activities,” said Tinsley, of the Counselor Education Department. “Sports ties in whatever group you may be involved with, because transitions are pretty much the same across the board.” Tinsley is a counselor educator, as well as a practitioner in private practice. She explained that a student-athlete who suffers a career-ending injury can suffer from the same depression that some older people experience when they retire. “It’s never too early to … start preparing to transition,” she said. Loney was a left-winger who played for 12 years in the National Hockey League, from 1983-1995. He was part of the Penguins’ 1991 and 1992 championship teams and the first team captain of the Anaheim Ducks in 1993-1994. “My last year in hockey was 1995. My body quit in 1994, and my brain thought I could do it for another year,” he joked. Loney is now a businessman, and he discussed the similarities and differences between sports and the


Following his talk during a workshop on transitioning from sports Nov. 14 in Steele Hall, former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Troy Loney signs an autograph for Cal U student and Flyers fan Alex Johnson.

business world. “With business, just as in sports, you have to train, know your product and know what the competition is doing, because it’s all relevant,” he said. “But in sports you instantly know if you win or lose, because there is a constant scoreboard. In business and many other fields, it’s difficult to transition … because it takes a year to know if you won the sale.”

Loney urged the students to broaden their base of friendship and support, not just for moving on to the next step in life, but also to avoid trouble. “Obviously you need to do the right thing, but if someone tells you that you’re in a self-destructive mode, you’d better transition and reset yourself,” he said. “It’s up to you to be a good teammate and do the same for someone else, as well.”

CUTV Airs Championship Live on PCN he red-and-black CUTV logo appeared on every replay when California University Television produced and broadcast last month’s PSAC football championship game at Bloomsburg University. PCN, the Pennsylvania Cable Network, aired the game live with Cal U sophomores Tyler Harris and Zach Lamarre handling the play-by-play and color commentary. “By the second or third play of the game, people realized it was a Cal U broadcast,” said Gary W. Smith, director of operations for CUTV. “I think the conference and other channels know we will do a good broadcast and be right down the middle of the road,” said Smith, emphasizing the student sportscasters’ objectivity. “This gets our broadcast out there statewide and gives another real-world experience to our students.” In addition to airing Vulcan football and a weekly high school football game, CUTV has produced at least one high school football game for PCN in each of the past 15 years. This was the first time the campus TV operation produced a PSAC game for the cable network. “It was a thrilling opportunity not only to grow myself, but also for the CUTV crew to showcase what we can


Sophomore Jennifer Germano and Gary W. Smith, director of operations for CUTV, work inside the production truck during a Cal U home football game.

do,” said Lamarre, a communication studies major from Marietta, Ga. “To be a sports announcer is a big dream of mine, and to be part of a statewide broadcast is a great step in building my career path.” The PSAC championship was just

one showcase for CUTV. This season the Champs Sports Network asked the station to produce two WPIAL football playoff games, which aired via tapedelay on the CW Pittsburgh channel. Smith also produced a public service announcement for the PSAC. The 30-

second spot aired nationally on CBS Sports during a live telecast of the Shippensburg-Bloomsburg football game. “It was pretty cool,” Smith said. “After showing some pictures, there was a map of Pennsylvania that showed each PSAC team logo in their school’s location.” The PSAC is the largest NCAA Division II single-state conference, the announcement noted, with 16 teams, 23 championship contests and more than 7,000 student-athletes. “The PSAC is very fortunate to be able to utilize the resources provided by CUTV,” said Will Adair, associate commissioner for the conference. “Over the past several years, Gary Smith and his staff have been extremely helpful in helping our conference develop its identity. Now, with the agreement we have with PCN, we are able to draw on the experience of CUTV and expand our relationship to live television. CUTV is a tremendous asset for us.” J.R. Wheeler, director of student media, said CUTV has come a long way since 1986, when it began operating out of a tiny office on the third floor of the Natali Student Center. “We are now a known commodity across the state,” he said.

Holiday Pottery, Jewelry Sales Start Today he annual Cal U Holiday Student Pottery Sale will be held from 10 a.m -8 p.m. today and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday in the Ceramics Studio, CER 100, near Vulcan Hall. The sale features handcrafted holi-


day gifts including mugs, bowls, pitchers, jars and vases of all sizes. In addition to pottery handmade by the Student Pottery Association, this year’s sale will include jewelry created by students in the Vulcan Metals Club. For more information, contact the

Department of Art and Design at 7249384182, or professor Richard “Duke” Miecznikowski at 724-938-4083 or The Cal U community and general public can find an ideal holiday gift during the annual Cal U Pottery Sale this week.

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DEC. 9, 2013


Chancellor Unveils Electronic Admissions Application

Fred McMullen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, emphasizes the importance of communication during the first presentation in the Meteorology Club’s new Colloquia Series.


Effective Messaging is Key, Says Weather Specialist eteorologists are scientists, of course, but they need strong communication skills if they hope to respond effectively to natural disasters — or to build successful careers. Fred McMullen, the warning coordination meteorologist at the Pittsburgh forecasting office of the National Weather Service, emphasized the importance of communication during the first presentation in the Meteorology Club’s new Colloquia Series. As an example, he cited the devastating Superstorm Sandy, which was not classified as a hurricane when it made landfall Oct. 29, 2012, in New Jersey. “There was a hurricane plan in place, but because the storm was never declared a hurricane, people didn’t take action,” he said. “As scientists, we know the message, but getting the message out clearly is something we are constantly working on.” McMullen urged the students in attendance to master math and science, but he stressed that the field of


ast month at PASSHE’s Fall Counselor Information Day, PASSHE Chancellor Frank T. Brogan officially unveiled the State System’s new Multi-University Electronic Admissions Application (MUEAA). The new online tool allows potential students to apply to any Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education university — or to multiple universities — with ease. Since its quiet launch in August, which included Cal U, more than 50,000 applications have been submitted or are in progress. “Today’s 15- to 18-year-olds are very sophisticated consumers of information and products, including what they expect in the application process for college,” Brogan said. “Our research shows us that speed and ease of use are at the top of the list of their must haves. Call it the ‘one-click’ rule.” The MUEAA can be accessed from the PASSHE website ( or from any of the 14 individual PASSHE university websites, including Potential students begin by completing the application at the PASSHE university of their choice. Once the initial application has been completed, the student can easily apply to another university: All of his or her personal information and educational history will already be pre-populated on the second form. “We know for the vast majority of students who enroll at one of our 14 universities, that institution was their firstchoice school,” Chancellor Brogan said. “We also know that many of our applicants apply to multiple PASSHE universities. The new multi-university electronic application makes that process simple.”

meteorology needs professionals who can relate to a lay audience’s perception of weather-related risk and craft effective messages. “Interpersonal skills are first and foremost what weather agencies are looking for,” he said. “Because if you can’t put two words together, you’re not going to be able to help.” Social media has become a valuable tool for communicating forecasts and weather warnings, McMullen said. And volunteer networks can help meteorologists gather information quickly and reliably. For instance, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Skywarn® program, a volunteer effort, has trained more than 300,000 severe weather spotters. Weather scientists can post an image or a question through social media and receive thousands of responses within an hour. “Students are very good at understanding how to get the message across, and the use of social media has helped us (at the National Weather Service) to modernize many of our

programs,” McMullen said. “Something may replace it, but for now we are riding the wave. Social media is changing our approach.” Although improvements in weather-related technology allow for increasingly complex analyses, the information distributed to the public must be condensed. “People want the bottom line, not some 66-slide presentation about the weather,” McMullen said. “We are trying to get away from the headlines and talk about the facts,” sometimes in just the 140 characters that comprise a “tweet.” Sophomore R.J. McGinnis, a meteorology major, is the Colloquia Series coordinator. “We want to educate not just Cal U students, but also the public, on what meteorologists do to help them,” he said. “I thought this was really interesting. I never realized how much communication skills differed from the scientific standpoint, and how they are used in dispensing weather information to the public.”

Students Ask Questions Live, Via Twitter at Campus Talk — Continued from page 1 assembly. “We can’t know what’s on your mind unless you tell us. This is a way for us to make your University even better.” One day after the meeting, every student received an e-mail outlining specific plans to install more bicycle racks and add ashtrays near building entrances — two

requests that students had made in person and via Twitter. The President’s message also was sent to faculty and staff, and it was posted on the Cal U website. In addition, the message told students where to find help with selecting meal options, and it announced a student focus group to discuss campus safety concerns, “a subject of critical importance.” Cal U administrators are reviewing the remaining

Two Nursing Programs Accredited he Board of Commissioners for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education has approved accreditation for two Cal U nursing programs. The bachelor’s degree program in nursing has been re-accredited for 10 years, through 2023, and the master’s degree program in nursing administration and leadership has been accredited for five years, through 2018. Both accreditation actions are effective as of March 25, 2013.

tweets, and students can expect to see more answers soon. Some may be directed to individuals, but responses of general concern will be posted on the Cal Times website. “I’m always open to new ideas,” President Jones said. “We can’t always tell students what they’re hoping to hear, but it’s important that we listen to their questions and try to provide them with answers.”

Grant Writers Feted — Continued from page 1


Shown outside the Kara Alumni House during the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Grant Writers Recognition Ceremony on Nov. 21, professors John Kula and Laura Giachetti, from the Department of Academic Development Services, are Cal U’s newest Million Dollar Achievers.

programming, and her national and regional expertise, said she was “honored and privileged to have received this award when there are so many deserving people.” “It’s wonderful that the administration recognizes our grant writers and the efforts that go into it,” she said. In her remarks, interim University President Geraldine M. Jones noted that grants can provide learning opportunities that might not otherwise be available to the University, its faculty and students. “I appreciate the efforts of the many faculty and staff members who have worked diligently to secure outside funding to help support our programming, research, service, teaching and learning — funding that will become increasingly important as state support continues to decline,” the President said.

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DEC. 9, 2013

Campus BRIEFS Spring Semester Starts Jan. 21 Students, faculty and staff are reminded of these important dates on the academic calendar: Friday: Residence halls close at 8 p.m. Dec. 16: Winter College classes begin. The online classes end Jan. 17. Dec. 24-27: Holiday break (University closed). Jan. 18: Residence halls reopen for new students. Returning students may arrive after noon on Jan. 19. Jan. 20: All University offices close in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Jan. 21: First day of classes for the 2014 spring semester. March 7-21: Spring break for faculty and students. May 6-10: Exam Week. May 9-10: Commencement ceremonies.

‘Shiny, not slimy’ As his classmates line up for their turn, Danny Kelly, an eighth-grader at Charleroi Middle School, touches the smooth skin of a reptile during a visit to the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences. Sean Gillis ’06, ’12, a special education teacher with Intermediate Unit 1, arranged for students from the class to visit Cal U and explore the department, including the reptiles under the care of Dr. Brian K. Paulson (left). The youngsters also completed a leaf-mounting project with Dr. Robert Whyte, explored the Cal U biology museum with Dr. Summer Arrigo-Nelson, and built birdhouses with the Cal U Wildlife Club and Dr. Carol Bocetti. The department conducts several community outreach projects each year.

Spring Break Travelers Visit Argentina, Brazil

Runner is Champion Scholar ross country standout Morgan Huegel is this year’s first Vulcan student-athlete to receive the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Champion Scholar Award. Huegel, a junior, accepted the award during the PSAC championships at Kutztown University. The Vulcans placed fourth and tied its best-ever finish at the conference meet. Clarion junior Milea Schall was the female recipient of the award, which honors the male and female studentathlete at each contest with the highest cumulative grade-point average. Initiated during the 2011-2012 academic year, the award is presented at each of the PSAC’s 23 team championship finals. The selection criteria is identical to that of the NCAA Elite 88 awards, which honor the student-athlete with the top GPA at each of the championship finals sites of the 88 NCAA championships across divisions I, II and III. A native of Cranberry, Pa., Huegel is majoring in secondary education with a concentration in mathematics. He has a perfect 4.00 cumulative grade-point average and is a two-time PSAC Scholar-Athlete. Last summer he received a Division II Athletic Directors Association (D2ADA) 2012-13 Academic Achievement Award, which goes to

The Department of Modern Languages and Cultures will sponsor “The Spring Break Trip of a Lifetime,” an excursion to Argentina and Brazil, from March 13-23. The trip is open to students, faculty and staff, as well as their spouses or significant others. Cost is approximately $4,000 per person. Travelers will depart from and return to Pittsburgh International Airport. Students may register for a related course, MFL 479, which introduces Brazil and Argentina through films, music, literature and art, and culminates with the tour. Travelers are not required to register for the three-credit course. Dr. Margarita Ribar, chair of the department, says the trip will include a visit to the famous beaches of Rio de Janiero, the spectacular Iguazu Falls and the city of Buenos Aires, the home of “Evita” Peron and tango. “Are you ready to walk under Iguazu Falls or sunbathe on Copacabana Beach?” she asks. “This will truly be the spring break of a lifetime!” For more information, e-mail Dr. Margarita Ribar at


Junior Morgan Huegel accepts the PSAC Champion Scholar Award from Caley Glasgow, the conference’s director of Strategic Communication & New Media.

active team members with a GPA of 3.5 or higher for at least four semesters. Huegel competed in several cross country races this fall, finishing sixth on the team at the PSAC Championships. Overall, his selection marks the ninth time that a Cal U student-athlete has received the PSAC Champion Scholar Award. Huegel is the second men’s cross

country recipient; Tim Lahmers received the initial award in 2011. “I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to work with Morgan,” said head coach Daniel Caulfield. “He’s an extremely intelligent and polite young man, and he’s going to have a tremendous amount of success in his future.”

The California Journal is published by California University of Pennsylvania, a member of The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Geraldine M. Jones Interim University President

Robert Thorn Vice President for Administration and Finance

Dr. Nancy Pinardi Interim Vice President for Student Affairs

Dr. Bruce Barnhart Acting Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs

Craig Butzine Vice President for Marketing and University Relations/ Interim Vice President for University Development and Cal U for Life

Christine Kindl Editor

Dr. Charles Mance Vice President for University Technology Services

Office of Communications and Public Relations

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Bruce Wald, Wendy Mackall, Jeff Bender Writers 724-938-4195

Cal U Journal - Dec. 9, 2013  
Cal U Journal - Dec. 9, 2013  

Read the latest campus news in the California University of Pennsylvania Journal - December 9, 2013 edition.