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Exca ibur

The Gannon University Honors Program Newsletter November 2016 1

Table of Contents Therapeutic Volunteering at the Anna Shelter __________ 3 Chasing Water __________________________________ 4 Honors Students Spotlight _________________________ 5 Erie Philharmonic _______________________________ 6 Full Time Students, Part Time Athletes _______________ 7


Therapeutic Volunteering at the Anna

Shelter By Sarah Alasady and Heba Alsahlani By Sarah Alasady and Heba Alsahlani Finals are fast approaching, and before you know it, they will engulf your every thought. If the stress becomes overbearing, you should head over to the Anna Shelter and get some much needed pet therapy in preparation for the upcoming stressful weeks! At the same time, you can volunteer for a good cause.

while having a memorable time doing it. Admiral Twinkie

Freshman Marketing major Ryan Hamilton says, “They had us stocking shelves with food, organizing donations, and cleaning rooms. Then, we played with cats and dogs.”

Both Rafeew and Hamilton expressed that they greatly enjoyed their experience because they got to de-stress and spend time with animals. Freshman Biomedical Engineer major Emily Schweitzer mentioned that the dogs and cats enjoy the extra visitors. They don’t receive a lot of attention at the shelter so the few hours spent playing with them really helps.

The Anna Shelter takes in strays and gives them to families. The facility cares for all the animals by making sure they are administered their shots to keep them healthy. Hamilton expressed that the staff are grateful for the volunteers that spend time helping them keep the facility in good condition for the aniEvery week honors students are invited to volunteer mals, while also providing them with the much needat the Anna Shelter. This non-profit organization pro- ed company. vides lost or stray cats and dogs with a safe, nurturing So how can you help? According to Hamilton, the environment to gather up their strength and prepare public can support the Anna Shelter by donating their for a new loving home. On Monday, October 31st a time, food and blankets. The extra food and voluncouple of Gannon’s very own honors students spent teers are always needed. their Halloween with cats and dogs. Schweitzer recommends volunteering at the Anna Freshman Mechanical EnShelter because “you’ll leave feeling great for just gineering major Alexanhaving fun.” So gather up your friends and spend der Rafeew says that, some time de-stressing with cats and dogs at the Anna “You don’t feel like you Shelter.! are actually volunteering. It’s fun and helps you for- If you are interested in volunteering, please contact get about your school the Honors Service Chair, Morgan Grzegorzewski. work for a while.” As honors students, we forget to take the much needed breaks that help us escape from the stressful environment of college. Visiting the Anna Shelter allows students to commit to therapeutic volunteering 3

Some other animals looking for forever homes:

ished, and wasteful practices in business and agriculture have all contributed to the current mess. Though water scarcity may not presently affect us in Erie, we are inextricably linked to countries around the globe, and their success and safety should be a priority. Mr. Richter offered two big solutions to the crisis: 1, to create water, and 2, to trade water. By creating water, he meant that every gallon not used is a gallon available for someone else. Using high-efficiency toilets, embracing native plants for landscaping purposes, and switching to less water-intensive crops are other possible ways to accomplish this goal. Water trading, on the other hand, would offer a financial incentive for businesses and governments to conserve water so that it could be sold to someone else. Implementing these two solutions on a large scale will be very challenging, but could effectively reverse the damage that has been done.


Mr. Richter concluded his insight with a question and answer session where he addressed issues including water conservation’s cal connection, fracking, the strain of drought in the western US, and some reasoning behind why farmers may not be willing to change their ways to save water for the whole. He suggested that in both cities and on farms, we need to incentivize the use of Brian Richter water. If farmers were to save 20% of the water they use By Bronwyn Brocklehurst and Alex just now, we would have plenty of water to provide to cities and the environment. Despite the issues we are Stauff and may soon to be plagued with, Mr. Richter spoke On a drizzly October night, Brian Richter, a global leader in water science and conservation, delivered a with optimism that the solutions he presented are very attainable. It’s just the matter of future generations powerful message to a packed audience of Gannon students and staff. He opened his presentation by jok- putting them into action. In other words, it’s up to us! ing that water conversation must seem like a silly topic, considering the rain pouring outside and Lake Erie’s location just down the street. Through the course of the evening, however, he pulled back the curtain on the global water crisis and allowed the audience to peek inside. For more information about the Anna Shelter visit:

Chasing Water

A rising human population, unequal water distribution, overdrawing sources before they can be replen4

Interviewers Lydia Pollum and Teddy Rankin Alex Stauff Freshman

Lauren Bergamasco Freshman

What are you thankful for? What are you thankful for? “I’m thankful for meeting “I’m thankful for my family… a lot of new people at Gannon.” and my sense of humor. HAHA.”

Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions? “My family and I start our Secret Santa gift exchange on Thanksgiving night in preparation for Christmas.”

Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions? “When we have Thanksgiving at our house, my mom buys all of our side dishes from Boston Market.”

Heba Alsahlani Freshman How is your semester going? “I mean, it's fine! I've got the hang of it” What are you thankful for? “Family. And loved ones. I'm thankful for all the blessings I have.” What is your favorite part of fall? “Definitely the leaves, I love to see the colors. Ooh and pumpkin spice everything!”


Erie Philharmonic By Mary Margaret Brady and Miriam Van Harn On October 29, some members of the Honors community ventured to the Warner Theater for a night filled with the spooky music of Danny Elfman, the composer most notably featured in many Tim Burton movies. The evening started out with the theme from Beetlejuice, followed by many other beloved classics, including The Nightmare Before Christmas, Vertigo, and the 1989 Batman. Between pieces, the conductor gave the audience background on the works, Elfman’s influences, and the evolution of his work over time. Overall, the music was very enjoyable; there’s something about hearing classic pieces played live that gives them a new life.

to Halloween, and set the tone for a wonderfully eerie weekend.

Full Time Students, Part

Time Athletes By Kate Robb Gannon University has ten NCAA Division II men’s and women’s sports teams made up of a total of 543 student athletes. In the 2014-2015 academic year, these student athletes maintained an academic success rate of 78%. Over 65% of students who participated on sports teams maintained a GPA of 3.0 or better. Gannon University Honors students certainly contribute to the success of academic teams on campus, both during competition and in the classroom. The Honors program currently has 42 students who are participants on NCAA Division II teams, including football, softball, golf, cross country, swimming and diving, baseball, competitive cheer, volleyball, and lacrosse.

Every year, Gannon recognizes student athletes who maintain a perfect 4.0 GPA during the semester, naming them to the “A Team.” In Spring of 2016, Kaitlyn Babiarz, Kassidy Deuber, Danielle Munsee, Abigail Printz, Kate Robb, Emily Roesch, and Mackenzie Wenrick, a total of seven Honors students, were The Halloween atmosphere of the evening extended named to the “A Team”! beyond the music, as another aspect of the event was Kassidy Deuber, a sophomore a costume contest. Many of the honors students par- occupational therapy major, ticipated, and among our ranks were witches, scare- recounted on her experience crows, and even Danny and Sandy from Grease! being an Honors student on the Needless to say, we made quite the entrance into the cross country team. She said, “I theater. Part of the festivities included a costume con- love my team, but it’s definitely test and several art vendors from the Erie a time commitment.” She stated and Edinboro communities. The theater itself was full that on Tuesdays and Thursof breathtaking architecture with its winding staircas- days she wakes up to run at 6:30 AM since she misses es, intricately decorated walls and ceilings, and beau- team practice for class. “The cross country team tiful chandeliers. All in all, it was a perfect precursor 6

meets roughly seven days a week. We have practice Monday through Friday and races or workouts on Saturdays. On Sunday mornings, we have swim practice.” On top of this demanding athletic schedule, she also is enrolled in anatomy and physiology lab and lecture and a variety of Honors classes. Brandon Jaces, a junior Honors student, stated similar experiences from his involvement on the baseball team. “In-season we would have about 12 hours of practice a week, two hours per day. We would have two or three morning practices a week and the rest were afternoon practices.” Although he noted enjoying comradery at practice and during game time, he cited the difficulty of balancing time commitments between practice, games, and academics. The life of an Honor’s college student is difficult enough, and the addition of Division II athletics on top of challenging class schedules is certainly admirable. The most important thing Honors students must keep in mind as they maintain their busy schedules is “Full time student, part time athlete.”


Excalibur Team Nicole Simonetti ______________ Committee Chair Molly Cooke _______________________ Publisher Sarah Magyan ______________________ Publisher Eleni Vlachos _______________________ Publisher Ally Owens ________________________ Publisher Heba Alsahlani _________________________Editor Miriam Van Harn ______________________ Editor Alex Stauff ___________________________ Editor Lydia Pollum __________________________Editor Rachel Reynolds _______________________Editor Bronwyn Brocklehurst __________________ Editor


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Excalibur - GU Honors - November 2016  
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