Page 1

K u t z t o w n

u n i v e r s i t y

M a g a z i n e

Summer 2012



in AmericA

Comedian JIMMy “SHARKy” CARROLL ’87 pulls back the curtain. page 8

German winery

macarthur foundation exec

Back to class

huff Post BloGGer


Our past success should not, however, overshadow the need to continue to grow, change and prepare for the years ahead. This past year, our administration took a serious look at the university’s future by revising and updating the school’s strategic plan. We listened closely to the interests of our various constituents and considered them carefully when finalizing our ideas. Historically, the university’s strategic plan was revised every five years. The new five-year plan is to be adaptive and flexible to our needs and challenges. It will be a “live” document that will be reviewed annually and “fed” with data, results and outcomes that will guide our budgetary and operational decisions.

The final version can be found through this link: Please take some time to review it and get a better understanding of KU’s goals and objectives. While the strategic plan will serve as an excellent guide for our future, the hard work of our faculty and staff has been, and will continue to be, the key to fulfilling our objectives and maintaining our academic excellence. I cannot express enough gratitude for all that they do. Thank you and the entire Kutztown University family for the support you’ve shown to us over the past decade. I look forward to seeing you all in the year ahead as we celebrate the successes of another group of seniors and welcome the aspiring class of 2016. Best regards, F. Javier Cevallos President


In May, we celebrated the end of Kutztown University’s 146th academic year with our spring commencement ceremony. The pageantry surrounding the annual celebration reminds us of the long-standing success our institution has had in preparing students for their careers and lives ahead. As I conclude my 10th year with the university, I have my own pride in carrying on the tradition of this great academic institution.

Contents Summer 2012


8 14 16 18


Comedy, talent and movies, KU brings its best to stage and screen.



Megan Miller’s zest for life. A FOUNDATION’S ImPAcT

Mark Yanchura oversees millions in grants. BAcK TO clASS WITh ...

Professor Crisson recalls role as educator.










Supporting Schaeffer renovations and The Old Main Society.

Opposite page: Those of us who have come to know KU President F. Javier Cevallos and his wife, Josée Vachon, over the past decade have discovered the couple’s love of music.

ON ThE cOVER Comedian Jimmy Carroll’s tales of humor and entertainment from the stage. COvER PHOTOGRAPH BY DOUGLAS BEnEDiCT


Kutztown university Magazine


ASST. DIREcTOR, UNIVERSITY RElATIONS; ExEcUTIVE EDITOR — Tower mAgAZINE: Sean A. Dallas ASSISTANT DIREcTOR, UNIVERSITY mARKETINg DESIgN & PRINT mEDIA: Camille DeMarco ’81, M ’01 DESIgN: Gipson Studio, LLC — Linda Gipson cONTRIBUTORS: Kate Auchenbach M ’12 Margaret Brownell ’12 Kirby Sybert ’12

Amy Biemiller Megan Sciarrino ’00

Tower magazine, issued July 2, 2012, is published by Kutztown University, a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The Tower is published two times a year and is free to KU alumni and friends of the university. Address correspondence to: Kutztown University, Office of University Relations, P.O. Box 730, Kutztown, PA 19530 or email Telephone: 610-683-4114 Submissions for Classnotes may be sent to:


news notes

KU Launches New Website

To Alaska with Love you never know how far teaching can take you. Just ask KU’s Dr. Kristen Bazley, assistant professor of elementary education, whose recent pedagogical adventure meant a 90-minute bush-plane ride into the wilds of Alaska. “There I was, in this tiny little plane, looking at snow-covered mountain peaks as far as the eye could see,” she said. “The airport runway was in the distance, just a snow field bordered by a large lake that marked where a community school of 32 students and nine teachers were waiting for me.” Bazley’s odyssey began in 2010 when she started researching teacher and diversity education and supporting a former student, Danielle Guarino ’10, in her teaching activities in the remote village of Nondalton, Alaska. The following year, another of her students, Kaitlin Moriarity ’11, went to teach there, and Bazley began encouraging her own students to form relationships with Nondalton students. “My student teachers met with their Alaska students by Skype and communicated by letters and email in

February 2012 marked the launch of For alumni, the website features the first phase of the new Kutztown a new gateway page with links to University website. Aimed primarily resources that are important to at prospective students, the new site is them, such as transcripts, campus the product of a two-and-a-half-year news and much more. The page effort by the KU University Relations/ is also linked to the Kutztown Web Content Office in conjunction University Foundation & Alumni with BarkleyREI of Pittsburgh Engagement website, which includes and Ingeniux of Seattle, Wash. information on services, benefits “We are very excited to present and alumni events. this product to the university commuFor alumni, the new site features a nity,” said Josh gateway page with links to transcripts, Leiboff, assistant news, events and more! director of university relations/web content. “Although the primary pages are KU’s new site includes several designed with the prospective student interactive features, including in mind, the site will continue to be expanded video clips and student a resource for all KU constituents.” profiles, highlighting some of KU’s This is the first major redesign of best and brightest students. the KU website since it was first intro“The people at KU are a main duced in the 1990s – around the time reason why this is such a special the web became a major communicaplace,” Leiboff said. “With these tions tool all over the world. Leiboff new multimedia features, we have and Kelly Smith, web technology a way to tell these stories to future manager, are targeting this summer to students as they make their implement all phases of the new site. college decisions.”

order to get to know their learning styles and abilities,”

KU is active on social media. We encourage you to find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,

Bazley said. “They devised

LinkedIn and Flickr.

educational games that DR. KRISTEN BAZLEy

accompanied age-appropriate books and materials, shipped

the materials to their students and then stayed in touch with them as they completed projects.” This past winter, Bazley journeyed to Alaska to personally meet the kindergarten through secondgrade students she and her KU education student teachers had been mentoring and reunite with her two former students. The project has been a real boost for the Nondalton students, who live in a very impoverished community. “These students lack the basic necessities that define most classrooms here in Pennsylvania,” Bazley said. “They now have books and educational games they take home and can use to enhance their education.” The program has been so successful that Bazley will expand it this coming school year to include students through fifth grade.

4 TOWER | Summer 2012

KU’s national Higher Ed Art Educator of the Year Kutztown Professor of Art Education and Crafts Dr. John Howell White was invited to New york City in February to be honored with the 2012 National Higher Education Art Educator of the year Award. White,

of the Colorado Rockies.

who has been chair of the department since 2002,

He remembers those picturesque

earned the Pennsylvania Higher Education Art

scenes fondly but considers himself a

Educator of the year Award in 2009. Now, just a

city person, having lived in Boston, Pittsburgh

few short years later, he is the recipient of the

and Los Angeles. He later moved to New york City,

national version of that prestigious award.

where he earned an MFA in fine arts/painting in

“It’s a true honor to be presented with these awards,” White said.

1975 from Pratt Institute. Now, White and his wife, Dr. Kathryn Hood, are

Dr. White was honored in

enjoying small-town life in Kutztown, cooking French

February at ceremonies

near the idyllic views of Annapolis, Md., and Cape

cuisine and spending time with their two cats. White

held in New York City. He is

Cod, Mass. He spent his undergraduate years at the

looks forward to the start of each school year and

pictured above holding his

University of Colorado, gazing at the rugged terrain

the new artistic potential it brings.

own original artwork.

White exercised his artistic eye while being raised

Lasko Makes an Impact at Wounded Warrior Game Gripping the tattered seams of an old baseball, criminal justice major Daniel Lasko recalls his participation in a Wounded Warrior flag football game against NFL alumni. The game preceded the Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, Ind., this year, and Lasko was named the MVP by Rick Reilly of ESPN. Lasko, a retired Marine corporal, is a member of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team, which flew to Indianapolis for the inaugural matchup to promote positivity in other service members who have experienced amputations. “It’s an honor to be a part of such a wonderful group of dedicated military retirees,” Lasko said. Lasko, a 2001 Easton (Pa.) High School graduate, joined the Marine Corps prior to the Sept. 11 attacks and was scheduled to be sworn in on that tragic day. In 2004, he was injured during an ambush roughly 45 minutes north of Kandahar, Afghanistan, by a roadside bomb. He was transported to a military hospital in Germany, where he awoke to find that his lower-left leg had been amputated. “I just couldn’t imagine never playing baseball again,” Lasko said. His positive outlook and overall drive to live life the way he wants helped him to accomplish more than he imagined possible. These days, Lasko is very busy completing his degree and balancing family life. He and his wife welcomed their first child, Luke, who is now almost 2 years old. Lasko tries to promote a positive, able attitude to other community members going through a struggle similar to his.

Afghanistan war veteran Dan Lasko, a KU criminal justice major, grabbed five touchdowns and two interceptions on his way to MVP honors.

Summer 2012 | TOWER 5


news notes

Ryan’s NSF grant will fund more than 25 scholarships for environmental science or marine science students.

In science, perseverance is imperative when looking for positive outcomes. No one knows that better than KU’s Dr. Christopher Sacchi, environmental science program coordinator, and Dr. Wendy Ryan, marine science program coordinator. Their perseverance over a number of years has just been rewarded with close to a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. It is the largest grant ever received by the Department of Biology and the university’s first S-STEM grant focused on scholarship.

“With the grant, we hope to promote even greater opportunities for the cohort of students who are awarded KU Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) scholarships as well as the many other students who will benefit from participating in the academic- and career-support activities,” Sacchi said. The grant will serve to showcase two things, explains Ryan. “We’ll be able to highlight the strengths, opportunities and interdisciplinary features of the environmental and marine sciences programs as well as draw attention to the rest of the science programs here at KU,” she said. The four-year grant will fund 25 to 30 scholarships as well as provide for supplemental education, career and leadership development activities for more

KU Alumna, U.S. District Judge Presented with Criminal Justice Award Newly confirmed U.S. District Judge Arenda

Barack Obama in June 2011 to serve as a U.S.

Wright Allen ’82 returned to Kutztown University

District Judge for the U.S. District Court of the

on April 3. Wright Allen graduated from KU

Eastern District of Virginia. Her qualifications as a

with a bachelor of science in criminal justice. She

federal public defender and Norfolk, Va., commu-

was invited to campus to be presented with the

nity member as well as her past experience as an

Department of Criminal Justice Outstanding Alumni

assistant U.S. attorney and Navy JAG officer

Award. The award was presented by Dr. Al Pisciotta,

helped to earn her unanimous support from

chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, during

the U.S. Senate. Wright Allen is the first

the department’s NCJHS induction ceremony.

African-American woman to serve as a U.S.

Wright Allen was recommended to President

6 TOWER | Summer 2012

District Judge in the state of Virginia.

students in the environmental or marine science programs. Some of the grant will be used to attract seminar speakers to campus and fund student excursions to museums, zoos, aquariums and an annual trip to the Marine Science Consortium in Virginia. “This is a great opportunity to further influence our students at a fundamental level by providing scholarship support and an array of activities to support their growth and success,” Sacchi said. It also provides an opportunity to distinguish KU science programs from the competition. “One of our goals is to enhance our programs so that we can attract more attention from students interested in studying the sciences and have them attend Kutztown,” Ryan said.


Professors Sacchi and

national Science Foundation Awards Biology Department nearly $600,000


Groundbreaking for an Old Friend The spring groundbreaking activities for the renovations and expansion to the Nathan Schaeffer Auditorium brought friends and families together in March as the auditorium entered an extensive 18-month renovation and remodeling, the first in its 74-year history. Renovations will address concerns with “My great-uncle was Schaeffer’s ailing interior and the growing need for officially the first more academic and rehearsal space, including room student of Kutztown for KU’s growing music program. The expansion state normal school will include state-of-the-art “smart” classrooms, when it opened loading dock, freight and passenger elevators, and in 1866. i think he backstage areas. The expansion will add more than 14,000 square feet in additional space. Renovations would be most will also create “green” rooms and dressing rooms, impressed with practice rooms, more restrooms, additional instruthe new building.” ment and equipment storage, music classrooms and technological infrastructure to meet the complex —Judge schaeffer needs of a diversely used building. Schaeffer Auditorium has been home to commencements, performers and guest speakers numbering in the thousands through the years and including social activist Julian Bond, trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, speaker and Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia, author and political analyst Donna Brazile and, more recently, Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Last March, KU played host to Grammy Award-winning recording artist and actor Common. Plans call for the auditorium to be reopened in fall 2013. You can learn more about the renovations and see the video presentation of the expansion plans at

Great-nephew to Schaeffer Auditorium’s namesake, Judge Forrest Grim Schaeffer, wife, Dorothea, and son, Phillip, a KU student, attended the March groundbreaking ceremonies on the $20.1 million project.


Renovations Begin on Schaeffer Auditorium Work on Schaeffer Auditorium began early in January 2012 with plans for completion in fall 2013. The rendering below shows a bird’s-eye view of the walkway between Schaeffer on the left and the Sharadin Arts Building on the right. The construction will add more than 14,000 square feet to the existing structure.

OVERHEAD VIEW A side-view rendering of the completed Schaeffer Auditorium shows a larger two-story addition to the side of the building. Toward the back of the building on the right are additional practice rooms, smart classrooms and larger backstage areas.


Summer 2012 | TOWER 7


pulling back the curtain Contributing writers:

At age 8, comedian Jimmy “ShArky” CArroll ’87 was undoubtedly inspired by Bill Cosby’s performance at the Temple University music Fair. But a lesser-known story that formalized his nearly 30-year stand-up career involves milk shooting out of his father’s nose. “i knew i was funny at the dinner table. i grew up in a strict household, and i remember i was able to do an impression of the priest from church,” Carroll said. “he had this really funny accent, and i’d do it for my father and three brothers. They laughed a lot, but at one point, my father said, ‘That’s enough.’ And when he said, ‘that’s enough,’ he meant it.” in the next beat, though, Carroll’s father asked him to pass the salt – Carroll couldn’t resist saying “salt” in the priest’s voice. it was this exact moment that provoked the earlier-mentioned projection and committed Carroll to trying stand-up by age 21.


megan sciarrino ’00 & K at e a u c h e n b a c h m ’1 2

Jimmy carroll arroll ’87 Carroll transferred to Kutztown University from Montgomery County Community College as a communication design major after taking a year off to work in the sign department at Coca-Cola in Philadelphia. He wanted to have art as a fallback, but by his senior year at Kutztown, he was actually a working comic hired by the college. “After my first summer at Kutztown, I was literally paying rent by doing stand-up,” Carroll said. His early bookings took him to New York City and Philadelphia, as well as locations in New Jersey and Delaware. One of Carroll’s arriving moments was “getting passed” at the now-defunct New York City club Catch a Rising Star. In the business, getting passed means becoming a paid regular rather than signing up every night for a chance at a few minutes of stage time. Catch showcased anybody who is somebody among comedy’s greats, including Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres, Ray Romano and Whoopi Goldberg. “Years ago, when you got passed as a regular on Catch, that meant something,” Carroll said. “In the industry, you were able to use that as a credit. I’d been performing for four or five years when I got passed at Catch.” Another bright spot was appearing on A&E’s “Evening at the Improv.” “It was big because I remember watching the show as a kid and thinking that if I could perform in front of that brick wall, that would be something,” Carroll said. Carroll, like all stage performers, can attest to some not-so-great moments that happened along the way. This unfortunate downside, Carroll admits, is exactly how you develop that much-needed thick skin. The hilarity of the first time he “bombed” is realized only after years and years of success. “I was opening for singer Nina Simone. And believe me, I had no business opening

for Nina Simone,” said Carroll, who at the time had only been on stage once or twice with an act that was just pushing five minutes. “The killer part is that it was $50 for a half hour. My jaw dropped over making this because, up until then, I’d been making nothing,” Carroll said. “I ended up staying up all night writing what I thought was really great material; I read it and allowed time for laughter and applause.” A nervous Carroll arrived at 5 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. show. He stopped to grab some dinner. “It gets to be 8 p.m., and Nina is not yet there. The manager announces that she is stuck on the Beltway in D.C. but is

on her way. Meanwhile, I realize this is a very hip, urban crowd of well-dressed jazz fans. And me? I’m wearing a shirt with epaulettes and Docksiders.” Nina finally arrives to a standing ovation, and the manager is deciding whether Carroll should do the full half hour. “I say, ‘I don’t even know if I should do five minutes!’” Carroll said. “I don’t even remember my opening joke. It was something like dah dah, di, dah dah … New Jersey!” Carroll said. “I heard ice tinkling in the glasses and pins dropping. I realized I didn’t have the audience. Then some guy said, ‘Hey, don’t make fun of New Jersey. I’m from there.’ Continued



3. 1. Actor Christopher Walken 2. Actor Al Pacino 3. Actor, director Clint Eastwood 4. Actors Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones



Summer 2012 | TOWER 9

bruno catrambone ’10



I immediately forgo my traditional response for a clever comeback of ‘Okay,’” Carroll said. Carroll said he was sweating like Albert Brooks in the movie “Broadcast News” or Michael Vick at a PetSmart®. “It was only five minutes, but it felt like three years of my life. I didn’t even want to take the money for it,” Carroll said. “This one goes to my grave! I hope I never run into someone who was at that show!” Decades later, Carroll is on the road 200-plus days a year. Many of them are spent performing on the high seas with Royal Caribbean Celebrity, Princess, Norwegian and Holland America cruise lines. Carroll’s most rewarding work, however, is performing for the U.S. troops. He’s been to Korea, Japan, Okinawa, the Philippines and Guam and hopes to reach forces in the Middle East. “It’s amazing. It’s not like performing anywhere else. It’s about afterward, when you meet them,” Carroll said. “They really appreciate what you’re doing, but you really appreciate what they’re doing. Believe me when I say I get more out of it than they do.” When it comes to what’s next, Carroll has a lot in the works, including his one-man show “The Last of the Boomers,” a series of published cartoons at www. The show revisits his art student roots and co-authoring “Comedy by the Book” with fellow comics Scott Bruce and Steve Shaffer. But no matter where his aspirations lead him, Carroll says his first priority has been and always will be his family. “I’ve been able to achieve everything I’ve wanted, and everything else is just gravy,” Carroll said.

10 TOWER | Summer 2012

While indie folk band Former Belle took its new folk revival sound on a European tour this summer, members’ hearts were not far from KU. “This band is a product of the nurturing support that the KU music department gives to its students,” says Bruno Catrambone ’10, Belle guitarist and vocalist. “The professors understand and support their students in taking what they are learning and applying it to their own art. I left with a whole new perception and knowledge of music that I know I could not have gained without the help of the professors with whom I had the honor to work.” When Catrambone formed the band with fellow music student Patrick Schneider ’11, Belle Lead singer Bruno bassist, they did so by buildCatrambone ’10 and ing on the knowledge and fellow KU alumnus support they derived from Patrick Schneider ’11 their close association with travel with their faculty, especially Dr. Kevin band, Former Belle, Kjos and Professor David to play dates in the Cullen. U.S. and Europe. “Dr. Kjos is one of the most knowledgeable, downto-earth people that I have ever met,” Catrambone said. “From him, I learned that you must take the things you learn and make them your own by applying them to the songs and arrangements you create.” Catrambone also learned how to refine his musical style while at KU, an important step that helped in the early success of the band. “Professor Cullen took me under his wing to help me find my way as a burgeoning singer/ songwriter. I looked forward to my lessons with him each week, and his passion and dedication inspired me to be not only a better guitar player, but a knowledgeable, tasteful player who can adjust to any given situation.”

Since graduating, the duo has worked to define the band’s sound. They wrote and recorded their first EP, which helped them to book gigs from New York to Washington, D.C. The band has played at World Café Live, Kung Fu Necktie, The Knitting Factory and Rockwood Music Hall. Their song “Hardest Days” ranked fifth on the Indie Darkroom’s Top 10 NYC radio show. During their European tour, they played for audiences in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Serbia and the United Kingdom, where they recorded a performance for the BBC. Now back in the United States, they are booked for an extensive national tour.

“From Dr. Kjos, i learned that you must take things you learn and make them your own.” — B r u n o c at r a m B o n e

Jillian lentz ’07

Clockwise from left: Former Van Halen lead singer Sammy Hagar with Jillian Lentz ’07;

The smartphone is a vital bloodpumping appendage for Jillian Lentz ’07. Or so it seems for the sleepless Atlantic City talent coordinator, who is ready for anything from filling Axl Rose’s 2 a.m. room-service order to uncorking the just-right bottle of champagne on New Year’s Eve with Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine. For nearly two years, Lentz has hosted celebrity talents at the 2,500-seat venue House of Blues, and she is presently on staff at Revel, Atlantic City’s all-new resort. Music celebrities Alice Cooper, Sammy Hagar, Jamie Foxx and Snoop Dogg are among the somebodies she has worked with. And Beyonce and The Black Keys are next in her cue. “People are amazed by who I meet,” Lentz said. “I don’t get star struck because they’re just people, too.” At Kutztown, Lentz settled on a speech communication major her junior year. She made meaningful connections with faculty and, soon after graduation, was on the path to marrying her two loves – meeting new people and music. “My favorite professor was Dr. Claire Van Ens in speech communication,” Lentz said. “She had a great speaking approach. She didn’t just present with PowerPoint; she was always interactive.” With her one-month-old degree in hand, Lentz took a position as a parttime phone screener at Philadelphia’s country music station WXTU 92.5 FM. Lentz admits to not being wild about country music, but the position exposed her to the entertainment industry she eagerly wanted to break into. “I got to meet Lady Antebellum before anybody knew their name,” Lentz said. “We couldn’t even pronounce their name. We were all like, ‘Anti what?’ Three years later, they’re a huge headlining act.” Lentz quickly moved up to morning show producer and saw the show through three iterations.

Academy Award winner, actor and singer Jamie Foxx with Lentz; and international music sensation Maroon 5 with Lentz

“I was the backbone of the show,” Lentz said. “I learned a lot about working with talent and guests.” Ready to branch out from radio, Lentz next landed a talent coordinator position at House of Blues. “From August 2010 to March 2011, pretty much every show at House of Blues was my show,” she said. In this role, Lentz reviewed artist contracts from talent buyer C3 Presents, producer of the Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza music festivals, plus 800 other shows nationwide. From there, she collaborated with C3 and marketing specialists to promote the shows and ultimately execute all nonproduction needs, including food, hospitality and escorting the talent on property. Lentz said most of the celebrities she works with are normal folks. A glaring

exception was heavy metal act Guns N’ Roses. The group’s exhausting catering order, along with front man (Axl) Rose’s neurotic need to fully drape his hotel room, tested her professionalism.   Now with Revel in a similar capacity, Lentz welcomes the challenge of the larger, 5,000-seat venue she excitedly watched being built from the ground up. She knows there will be more 20-hour stretches alongside otherwise untouchable talents. And that she’ll struggle to pencil in any time for relaxation. But she doesn’t regret a minute of her fast-paced, fast-advancing career. “I like what I’m doing right now,” Lentz said. “I have the radio side down, the venue side down, but I want to get all the perspectives of entertainment.”

Summer 2012 | TOWER 11

alex house ’93 The career of comedienne Alex House ’93 unofficially started during a summertime open mic in the Bonner Hall courtyard on the KU campus. Encouraged by orientation staff friends and student activities coordinator Richard Caswell Cooke III ’93, who was then her boyfriend and now her husband, House was ready to stick punch lines with Barcelona, Olympicsbased material. “I had notes with me, and I was nervous as heck! But I went on, and that was it,” House said. “I was bitten by the bug of what it’s like to make people laugh.” Heavily involved in theatre, House was surprisingly an art education major. “I went to Kutztown thinking I would do something with international relations because I’d spent my junior year of high school in Denmark,” House said. “But the pull of the arts was too strong, and after taking one semester of Russian, all I could remember was ‘da’!” House and Cooke married in 1994 and moved to Maryland for Cooke’s first telecommunications production job. They soon moved to Jersey City, N.J., to be closer to employment opportunities in New York City. House sold high-end Barbie dolls at FAO Schwarz and, for three years, poured her heart and soul into one heartless comedy club.

got word called their friends,” House said. said. “I was very new. If it were eight years “I was hiding in between tables, and later, I would have walked off sooner!” Chris Rock, who was well known at the All told, House will never walk away time, was in front of me doing the same.” from the fun of being funny. When it Soon after, House was chosen from comes to her humor, she sticks with what among 25,000 comics for one of 20 she knows – today, that is being a wife showcased East Coast semi-finalist spots and a mother of two. Oh, and a Zumba® on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” instructor. Within this time frame, she also twice appeared on ABC’s “The View.” “When all this happened, it was so like, ‘Take that!’ to that manager,” House said. House also performed with Lisa Lampanelli in an all-female comedy show. “[Lampanelli] was always supportive of me and other female comedians,” House said. “She’s really good at what she does, and there is a compassionate person behind her brassy chick attitude.” Other respected names she’s worked with include Bobby Collins, Maryellen Hooper, Brian Regan and the late Greg Giraldo and Patrice O’Neal. House later took to the college circuit. “At colleges, the pay is night and day,” House said. PHOTO BY HUB WiLLSOn ’ 71 “Comics today are still get“I’m on stage four to five days a week ting paid what they did in the ’80s, like with Zumba, and while it’s not comedy, $20 for 10 minutes, and it doesn’t matter I’m still very much a performer. Once it’s who you are.” in you, it’s hard to completely shut it out.” The comedienne performs in the Greater Lehigh Valley, including —alex house ArtsQuest’s comedy night in Bethlehem, Pa. She next aspires to finish a documentary about what it was like performing as House recalls an outdoor spring break a comedian during her first pregnancy. show from early on. The campus was House was nominated as 2004 Female invaded by high school-aged undesirables Entertainer of the Year, 2005 Comedian shouting profanities. of the Year and 2006 Best Small Venue “The college security, wearing headsets by the readers of Campus Activities like they worked at The Gap, told me I Magazine. She is a two-time winner of was lucky because, the year prior, they the Bud Light® Ladies of Laughter had a mosh pit and eight people were Contest as well as a two-time finalist of sent to the emergency room. I left after the Purina® Pet Comedy Contest. something was thrown at me,” House

“ the pull of the arts was too strong, and after taking one semester of russian, all i could remember was ‘da’!” “I did everything except bartend and wait on tables. I worked for six bucks an hour for five minutes of stage time in front of three drunks,” House said. The hardest part was walking out in tears after being told by a manager that she just wasn’t funny. “One redeeming factor was that Robin Williams came in one night. It was supposed to be hush-hush, but everybody who

12 TOWER | Summer 2012

Kevin coyle ’02 Smoke and mirrors, or rather smoke and broken glass, are inseparably part of DreamWorks animator Kevin Coyle’s story. Soon after graduating in 2002 with a double major of communication design and telecommunications, Coyle took an art director position at Emmaus, Pa.-based Medstar Television, working on the popular show “Forensic Files.” Unbeknownst to him, a trauma like those he encountered on the show would soon unfold in his own life. It would also catalyze a California-bound career that involved him working on titles like “Kung Fu Panda” and “Puss in Boots,” the Oscar-nominated “Shrek” spin-off. “With the technical knowledge I gained at Kutztown, I knew I could do the job of being Medstar’s art director,” Coyle said. “It was really rewarding to have a department to run. I was involved in design, hiring people and maintaining equipment.” But then, there was the fire. Trapped inside his two-unit Allentown carriage house, feeling his way through black, waist-high smoke, Coyle was able to locate an object and break out a porch window to escape. “I narrowly got out of the structure without dying of smoke inhalation,” Coyle said. Outside, too shocked to tend to glass-cut wounds on his feet and shoulder, he watched his photo albums and artwork reduce to ashes. The blaze also took with it Coyle’s beloved upright mahogany piano; only the tone-producing metal chords remained in its burnt-out belly. This event, clustered with the passing of his close cousin and a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis in the week that followed, forever changed the tune of Coyle’s existence. “I just couldn’t return to working on a TV show about people doing

horrible things to other people,” Coyle said. “I knew then that life was too short. I had to do what I really wanted to do, and that was to be a computer animator.” Coyle says Professor of Art Education Dr. Tom Schantz, now retired, first influenced Coyle’s dream of being an animator. “His class is where I drew a deeper understanding about the way things move through time and space, composition, color and timing, but most importantly, it was that he taught me how to tell a compelling story using only a simple camera and construction paper,” Coyle said. Coyle next earned his master of fine arts degree in animation from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga. Soon after, a call from a friend won him special effects work on Escape Studios’ feature film “Catwoman.” After working at various film studios, including Industrial Light & Magic during its 3-D conversion of “Chicken Little,” Coyle landed a position with DreamWorks in 2005. “The first film I worked on was ‘Flushed Away,’ ” Coyle said. “From there, I worked on about 10 different films. The two that most stand out for me are ‘Kung Fu Panda’ and ‘How to Train Your Dragon.’ They are good examples of storytelling and stunning visual imagery.” Coyle is specifically a digital paintfix artist.

“We are the unsung heroes. We get involved at the end when the visual effects supervisor sees something wrong,” Coyle said. “Something wrong” could be anything from a character’s body showing through its garments to its legs not moving when it is supposed to be running. Artists like Coyle rotoscope, or hand paint, individual frames of animation to erase these imperfections and save the cost of revisiting earlier production phases. Coyle’s next aspiration is final layout. “You’re pretty much the digital cameraman,” he said. “You set up scenes and the individual shots, like a long shot of a city or a camera flyby that breaks off into a sequence of other various shots.” Coyle said Kutztown shaped him for this latest role and as a storyteller. “I remember fetal biology with Professor Patrick Duddy and realizing how delicate things can be. Drawing not just from art history and techniques, I actually learned how different authors, businessmen and painters viewed the world. If I didn’t have that roundness from KU, the fire may have impacted me differently.” Kevin Coyle ’02 has worked as a digital illustrator on films “Kung Fu Panda,” “Puss in Boots” and, most recently, “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” shown below.

Photo above courtesy of DreamWorks Animation “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” © 2011 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Summer 2012 | TOWER 13


A FineWine FroM the rhine

Megan Miller ’84 CraFts a historiCal ConneCtion to a FaMily heritage

by: Félix AlFonso PeñA

When it comes to the colors with which she paints her life, MEGAN MILLER ’84 has plenty of choices on her palette: from the gloomy grays of a country at war, to the deep reds of courage, to the vibrant hues of orange and yellow that bespeak a joyful zest for life. Miller, who has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, could also dip her brush in the blue hovering over a beckoning horizon, in the purples, reds and greens of a vineyard and in the satiny blacks and browns of muscular horses. Such is the canvas of Miller’s life; it is a work in progress, a breathless journey from her native Sellersville, Bucks County, Pa., to San Francisco and, from there, to Kirrweiler (Pfalz), Germany. Miller credits her parents, Ann and Walter Miller, for opening her eyes to the vistas that awaited. “My parents are both immigrants from Germany,” Miller said. “My father always let me know that the world was at my feet and I should take advantage of that – and I really did.” At KU, the door that her father unlocked was thrown wide open. “I was exposed to so many people from so many places. College lets you know everything is there.”

14 TOWER | Summer 2012

In particular, she remembers art professor Anthony J. Evangelista, who helped her realize her potential. Among her other fond college memories are playing on the women’s lacrosse team and being captain of the KU equestrian team. Former Golden Bears head football coach George Baldwin kept the horses, she recalled, “and he would always let us go over for a ride.” After graduation, Miller made a job for herself. “My father bet me I wouldn’t get a job. He thought that, with an art degree, I would be like a Bohemian selling paintings on the docks in Maine,” she said. She started her own advertising firm and collected on the $50 bet. Eventually she was creating billboard advertisements for a car dealership. Craving something more creative, she heeded the advice of her friend and KU alumnus MITCH SHIPON ’79, who was in California. “He said, ‘San Francisco is perfect for you,’” Miller recalled. Convinced, she sold her business and, with about $6,000 in her pocket, moved to the Bay area in 1986. Once there, she met principals from architectural firms, and soon she was working as a commercial interior

designer. Eight years later, she made the transition into technology – and into the heart of the Silicon Valley telecommunications industry. With her move to global electronics giant Siemens in 1995, the world under her feet began moving at a breathtaking pace, as she traveled extensively. In 2001 she started at Siemens AG corporate headquarters in Munich, Germany, where she worked for five years before transferring to a Siemens location in the state of Pfalz, near the French border. There, Miller is market manager of corporate security in Siemens’ newly created Fire Safety and Security Division. Her marriage in 2004 to Martin Schwaab added all the hues of a vineyard and the sleek lines of carriage horses to Miller’s life. Schwaab is the third generation of his family to own and operate the Weingut Schlössel winery. He also raises Moritzburger carriage horses, the same breed that pulls the carriage of England’s Queen Elizabeth II. “We do wine tastings from carriages,” Miller said. And when Weingut Schlössel was chosen as the wine for the nearby Speyer Cathedral’s 950th anniversary celebration, the wine – 1,000 liters of it, flowing in a fountain – was delivered by horse-drawn carriage. The wine was gone in the space of two hours, Miller said. The winery has a historical connection to the cathedral, a major monument of Romanesque art in the German empire. The bishop once had a castle where the winery now stands; a 500-year-old cellar is the only vestige of that residence. Miller has made other impressions, too. She designed the labels for the wines, and because she missed the oaken character of California wines, she convinced her husband to add that to the line. “It sold out by December,” she said. The return to her family’s national roots also opened unexpected inner vistas. “I saw where some of my characteris-

tics came from,” said Miller, referring to her adventurous and intrepid spirit. It turns out that her paternal grandmother had been the first woman to start a business, selling food to passengers on the Rhine. The enterprise evolved into a small grocery store. And on a trip to northern Germany, she learned of a monument in Braunschweig to her maternal grandfather, Bruno Maue.

An outspoken opponent of fascism, he would lower the extended arms of those who greeted him with a “Heil, Hitler” and tell them, “No, but it’s a nice day anyway.” Maue helped Jews escape Nazi persecution and later perished in a concentration camp. Now Miller sees other new vistas beckoning – the few parts of Europe, especially eastern, where she has not traveled and, beyond that, Asia. She emphasized that, wherever she may go, Kutztown University is a vital part of what she is. “College is the part of my life I grew from,” she said. “With an education, you can see the world and be the world.” Clearly, she will add more of that wonder to the canvas of her life, which seems as vast and varied as a landscape and painted in the colors of a happy day.

Clockwise from left: Weingut Schlössel winery sits on 35 acres; Speyer Cathedral in western Germany, near the French border, rests close to the winery; Megan Miller ’84 and husband, Martin Schwaab


“with an eduCation, you Can see the world and be the world.” —megan miller

Summer 2012 | TOWER 15


s p e c i a l t o Tower b y :

James DeFrancesco

foundation exec oversees millions in grants and reflects upon the responsibilities For some, life can be defined by consistent successes, earned by hard work and diligence. Kutztown graduate MARC YANCHURA ’79, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is just such a visionary, having achieved multiple accomplishments while serving more than three decades with the foundation, one of the largest private philanthropies in the United States. Founded in 1978, the group is a private foundation established for the betterment of society. Its inception, with more than $900 million bequeathed from John D. MacArthur’s estate, created a foundation whose legacy has grown throughout the years as it bestows funding to programs, groups and individuals across the country and throughout the world.

“My memories of Kutztown are marked by how well the professors and fellow students fostered sense of focusing on the things that really matter.” — M a r C ya n C h u r a

Headquartered in Chicago, the organization has carefully cultivated a spirit of definitive global impact. As Yanchura explains, “Our foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to improving the human condition. MacArthur supports

16 TOWER | Summer 2012

people and organizations working for change on a variety of complex societal challenges, such as defending human rights, advancing global conservation and security, making cities better places and understanding better how technology is affecting children and society. “Our grants are generally long-term, strategic investments, focused on building evidence about what works and finding solutions to often intractable problems,” he said. While some foundations work on a small number of issues, MacArthur is a multipurpose organization with grant making in fields that are often interrelated, from migration and conservation to housing and education. “Our grant making aims to address societal challenges in a strategic way and formulate specific strategies that guide decisions about how and where our funding can have a significant impact.” In 2011, the foundation, now with assets of $5.5 billion, paid out nearly $250 million in grants and program-related investments to organizations and individuals in the United States and around the world. Yanchura joined the foundation in 1981 a in its offices in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He transferred to its Chicago headquarters in 1989 and was promoted to assistant treasurer in 1993, treasurer in 1999 and vice president and chief financial officer in 2006. He has been active in many professional civic organizations in both Florida and Illinois. As a senior officer, Yanchura bears overall responsibility for MacArthur’s financial operations,

including accounting, budget and tax, as well as for the foundation’s financial systems and banking relationships. This multifaceted executive also has responsibility for human resources, information technology and administrative services, in addition to the leasing, management and operation of the group’s historic headquarters building in Chicago. “I grew up in Lansford, Pa., and got engaged to my high school sweetheart during my college days,” he recalled. “My memories of Kutztown are marked by how well the professors and fellow students fostered a sense of focusing on the things that really matter. Coming out of high school, I didn’t have a lot of clarity as to what I wanted to do, but the university certainly helped me understand the importance of applying what I was learning to the disciplines needed to achieve my career and life goals. Kutztown is a good school and certainly broadened my views. Being aware of the world around you during your formative years is vital to any young person’s future success.” Coming from a family of educators, Yanchura pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in education yet knew his destiny might not limit him to a life in academia. “I maintained good grades and learned an important life lesson: If you’re going to do something, you should do it well, and that’s been my basic credo ever since,” he said. Recalling those college days some 30 years later, Yanchura indicated his time at Kutztown was fulfilling in a number of ways. “It certainly was a good experience and one that helped me prepare for my life’s work. Those days, coupled with the subsequent opportunities and experiences that I’ve had, pointed out pathways to the place where I am today. Kutztown is a small town, and yes, I still have many friends in the area,” he said. He occasionally played racquetball and several other intramural sports while at KU but readily admits his skills were not anything to base a sports career upon. “They were fun to participate in, but I was engaged at the

time, and when classes ended, I spent most of my time with my fiancée.” After graduation from Kutztown University, Yanchura earned an MBA from Nova Southeastern University in 1985.

Facing Future Challenges With no end in sight to budget woes in Washington, D.C., and all but a handful of state capitals, philanthropy faces new demands to fill the gaps created by dwindling government aid. Organizations are now challenged to give more to protect the safety net, keep museums and theatres open and ensure children and young adults go to decent schools. Yet the current economic downturn seems not to have dampened the aspirations of the foundation, according to Yanchura. “We obviously do not have enough money to solve any one problem, such as curing cancer or

wiping out AIDS. We focus instead upon granting funding and support to those programs and individuals who can and do have a positive impact on their communities and society,” he said. “We differ from a charity in an important way: We are a foundation that uses private money for the public good. That way we can take risks that other organizations can’t take, and if there are occasional failures, we can absorb them – and we’re OK with that,” he added. As he looked back, Yanchura couldn’t escape the sage advice of an early career mentor, his dad: “Whatever you do, do it well and work hard at it. Don’t merely copy or emulate all that you’ve seen and done. Set your own path and continually build on the strengths you see before you.” Wise words then, they are continually embraced by this leader.

Summer 2012 | TOWER 17


Back to class with ...

roBertA crisson proFessor eMerita oF speeCh and theatre helped shape students, FaCulty and the Ku experienCe. While ROBERTA CRISSON has always been purposeful in her role as an educator, there is one notion her fellow colleagues would agree helps define her success as a professor, faculty leader and university administrator. “We shouldn’t really take ourselves all that seriously,” she said. “Stay on task, but don’t ever lose your sense of humor!” When Crisson joined the faculty in 1972 in the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre (now the Department of Communication Studies and Theatre), she took on an assortment of responsibilities that complemented her natural ability to communicate. She taught theatre and speech courses and directed productions on the Schaeffer Auditorium main stage and in Rickenbach Theatre. Crisson traveled with students to out-of-state performance festivals and helped kick off the fledgling KUTV cable network. She was involved in developing the Women’s Studies program and the KU Spring Arts Festival. In every activity, she proved herself willing and more than able to take on projects and roles that would help shape academia and the lives of students and faculty.


Am y Bi em i l l er photography:

DAn Z. J o hn son

“STAY On TASK, BUT DOn’T EvER LOSE YOUR SEnSE OF HUMOR!” — roB erta cr isson

Helping others learn has always been a driving force in Crisson’s life. “One of the things I am particularly proud of is the Voices of American Women course that I wrote in the mid-’70s,” she said. “It opened the eyes and minds of many students and continued to be one of the most popular courses in the women’s studies minor.” Crisson also enjoyed seeing students master tasks that they initially felt were overwhelming.

18 TOWER | Summer 2012

“My greatest accomplishments were seeing the positive results that occurred when students took my challenge to leave their comfort zones and take risks that seemed scary but were really exciting chances to fly,” Crisson said. Crisson’s sunny disposition and devotion to helping students and faculty be successful continued to drive her activities at KU until her retirement in 2008. Until then, she has served the university in a variety of governance committees and task forces; served 15 years as chair of the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre; and represented the faculty as senator, vice president and president of the University Senate. She also served as continuing faculty consultant in creating the Bachelor of Science degree in telecommunications (now electronic media) and Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in related arts. As director of International Studies for seven years, she facilitated the development and implementation of study-abroad programs and was involved in fostering alliances with China for faculty exchanges. Since retiring, Crisson has continued to apply her energy to one of her greatest vocations – theatre. She performs a one-woman show titled “Mother Jones,” portraying the turn-of-the-century champion of the working class to audiences around the country. She also travels and employs her artistic flair to photography. And, when she can spare a moment, she intends to act on her musical aspirations. “Somewhere along the road, I plan on picking up my guitar again,” she said. These days, she continues to help others learn by coaching individuals in the art of business presentations, public speaking and interviewing, especially for media appearances. In 2010, KU reached out to Crisson, calling her back to campus for a semester of fulltime teaching. “I feel very lucky and cherish the memories of my time at KU,” Crisson said. “I am proud that I was able to build strong, lasting relationships with students, faculty and colleagues across academic disciplines, administrators and staff based on mutual trust, respect and integrity.”

Photographed in the rickenbach Theatre, Professor Crisson fondly remembers productions and performances, proudly pointing to positive results for students.

kU FoUndation


kU AlUmni AwArdS The KU Alumni Board of Directors is accepting nominations for outstanding alumni in these categories: THE EARLy


Gladys M. ’44 and Clifford Miller recently became members of The Old Main Society by making a planned gift to the university. Gladys and Clifford have served the community as teachers, and both received their training while in college. When asked about the motivation behind their gift, the Millers said, “Our education was a way of educating others. We are now able to help students at Kutztown University do the very same thing.” The Millers’ deeply felt devotion to education is evident; in addition to their planned gift, the Millers have also created a new scholarship for KU students majoring in elementary education. Did you know that planned giving can help you preserve assets during your lifetime and help provide support to Kutztown University? There are a number of flexible planned giving options, and the staff of the Kutztown University Foundation & Alumni Engagement office would be happy to work with you to determine which option would best meet your needs.


• Gifts from your will or trust • Gifts from a retirement plan • Gifts of stock or appreciated assets

Where is Wiesenberger? Have you been considering participating in KU alumni activities but aren’t sure where to start? The Wiesenberger Alumni Center is located on Main Street across from Old Main. KU Alumni Engagement staff members are eager to help you find alumni activities and events. For more information, visit

20 TOWER | Summer 2012

• Gifts of life insurance • Gifts of real estate


• Charitable gift annuity • Deferred gift annuity


• Charitable lead trust • Retained life estate • Charitable bargain sale

Many of the above planned giving methods may qualify you for membership in The Old Main Society, which is named in honor of Old Main, the most historic building on campus and the central beacon of the university. The Old Main Society recognizes donors who have designated Kutztown University Foundation as the ultimate beneficiary of a planned gift. Members of The Old Main Society include alumni, current and emeriti faculty, and friends. One of the most important benefits you will receive from joining The Old Main Society is the satisfaction derived from making a contribution to Kutztown University’s long-term success. Like the Millers, you, too, can provide enduring support to the university and its students. To learn more about The Old Main Society and planned giving, please visit plannedgiving.


SChAeFFer renovATion ProJeCT The renovation of Schaeffer Auditorium is one of the main priorities of Setting the Stage, the Campaign for Kutztown University. An upgrade will keep Schaeffer vital for years to come and will transform the auditorium into a facility that matches both the quality and prominence of the programs it hosts. To complete the renovation of Schaeffer Auditorium, increased private support is needed. The current cost of the project is $20.1 million, with approximately $15.7 million designated by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services in 2005-06. The remaining $4.4 million for the renovation must be raised from private support. To restore the beauty and character of this local landmark, the project will adapt some of the unused and out-of-date spaces in the building and will include a 14,000-square-foot expansion. This expansion will house the new


dressing rooms and support rooms, a large stateof-the-art classroom and a new, large rehearsal hall for the rapidly growing music department. There are many options to support the renovation, and the staff of the Kutztown University Foundation & Alumni Engagement office is always happy to help donors with their philanthropic goals. A few of the naming opportunities for the new Schaeffer Auditorium are listed below. For the full list of naming opportunities, please visit

Another great way to support the

AUDITORIUM ......................................................................................................... $2,000,000

period of four years.


renovation of Schaeffer Auditorium is by sponsoring a seat in the auditorium. By donating $1,000 toward the installation of a seat, you are contributing to the experience of every student and patron who visits Schaeffer Auditorium. All donors who sponsor a seat will be recognized on a special plaque within Schaeffer. A sponsorship gift for a seat can be paid over a By making a gift to the cam-

LOBBy ......................................................................................................................................... $500,000

paign – whether toward the

LITTLE THEATRE ..................................................................................................... $325,000

renovation of Schaeffer or to

LARGE MUSIC CLASSROOM............................................................ $225,000 MUSIC LIBRARy ............................................................................................................. $75,000 PRACTICE ROOM.........................................................................................................$25,000

another area of the university – you are pledging your support to current and future KU students and ensuring that the university retains those characteristics that make it so special – namely, its excellence, accessibility and vitality. Please visit schaefferrenovation to learn more about the Schaeffer renovation project. Visitors to the site can learn more about ways to support the project, view a digital flythrough tour of the new Schaeffer, monitor the renovation’s progress through the Schaeffer webcam and download renderings of the floor plans and digital overviews of the renovated building.

Shown above from left: KU Council of Trustees chair, Richard Orwig; Student Government Board president, Paul Keldsen; PASSHE Board of Governors chair, Guido Pichini ’74; the KU mascot, Avalanche; College of Visual & Performing Arts dean, William Mowder; KU Foundation executive director, Jason Ketter M ’05; KU Foundation Board of Directors chair, Roger Jackson ’90; and KU president, Dr. F. Javier Cevallos

Summer 2012 | TOWER 21

Considering continuing your education or changing careers?

I chose For masters’ programs and to apply online: For information sessions and open houses: Office of Graduate Admissions: or 610-683-4203

“The Social Work Department offered a program that was flexible enough to complement my personal schedule. The faculty were responsive to my concerns and were genuinely interested in helping me achieve my goals. Their dedication helped to facilitate the learning process in a way that was motivational, personable, and collaborative.”

J e r e m I a h G o l d b e r G MSW candidate

class noteS ThE



Emma Strause ’22 celebrated her 109th Christmas – not to mention her birthday. Strause has lived under 27 U.S. presidents and witnessed every major historical and cultural event of the 20th and 21st centuries. The era that sticks out most in her mind is the Roaring ’20s, when she was a student at Keystone normal School (KnS) and spent summers working as a waitress in Atlantic City, n.J. After attending a oneroom schoolhouse until eighth grade, she went to high school in Bernville, Pa., then to KnS, then earned a master’s degree from the University of Maryland. Strause, who began her teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse, says her favorite subject was geography. She was a teacher and served as principal of an elementary school in Prince George County, Maryland.

George Irvin ’70 is presently an


Nancy Phillips ’68 and her husband, Fred, retired two years ago. They keep busy as volunteers for the

adjunct professor at indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, ind.

nonprofit organization Marine

Charles W. Stopp, Esq. ’70, the

Education, Research and Rehabili-

senior partner of the law firm

tation institute. The couple currently

Steckel and Stopp in Slatington, Pa.,

resides in Lewes, Del.

was recently honored with the Av

Sandra Corpora ’69 was the featured artist at the Allentown office of the Lehigh valley Arts Council. Her subjects range from French landscapes

Preeminent Rating. Stopp is a practicing real estate, estate planning and estate attorney with more than 35 years of legal experience.

of Bordeaux to the victorian Louella

Pamela Fernsler ’72 is a computer

House in Wayne, Pa., and the eastern

user support specialist for the

shore of Maryland.

Philadelphia Fire Department.


She graduated from Wilson College


with a B.A. in elementary education

Harry Everhart ’70 gave 33 years of

in 1988 after earning a B.S. from

service teaching science in the Pa.

KU. She has been appointed a

coal regions and retired from the

member at large for American

same classroom.

Mensa, Ltd.

Reflections on a Writer’s Life

“My first novel, ‘Sadie’s Place,’ is about the pressure, drama and closed-door happenings of a fictional school board,” explained

Don’t ask DR.

CARL CONSTEIN ’42 to tell you which of his

Constein. “Now, I’m working on a sequel to my last historical fiction

published books is his favorite. Like any good author, he’ll say he is

novel, ‘From the Rhine to Penn’s Woods,’ continuing the saga of

proud of all of his literary “children,” which number eight, with a

the Staudt family as they make a life in Berks County after the

ninth on the way.

Revolutionary War.”

“I always knew I’d write a novel,” said the retired English teacher and Antietam and Wilson school districts superintendent. “It was just a matter of channeling personal experiences onto paper.” His first novel, “Born to Fly the Hump,” was published in 2000 and recounts his experiences just after he graduated from KU (Kutztown State Teachers College) and enlisted in military service. As a young World War II pilot, Constein took part in history’s first airlift and flew 96 missions to transport supplies from India to China over the Himalaya Mountains. He received two Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service and a deep well of experience that inspired three books and a memoir. “That first book reminds me of a different life, a time when the world was changing,” Constein said. “Those missions certainly influenced my life.” In between writing those historic perspectives, he began crafting fiction that drew on his experiences as a young GI after the war, a teacher and a school district superintendent.

Author of eight novels, Carl Constein ’42 is hard at work on a ninth – focused on a family’s life in Berks County following the Revolutionary War.

While writing has been a fulfilling career, Constein considers his time spent as an English teacher most important. “I believe my greatest contribution was teaching students how to perfect their writing and speaking skills and (teaching) the importance of communication,” he said. Those lessons were well-learned, as Constein takes pleasure in being in touch with quite a few of his former students. “I still hear from a good many of them, so some of what I taught must have sunk in,” he laughed.

class KU Powerlifters Celebrate 30th noteS Anniversary of national Title They were football players and wrestlers seeking addi-

Though a nonvarsity “club,” the team finished third

tional strength, so forming a powerlifting team seemed

in Pennsylvania in 1979 – its first year – and crowned a

an obvious way to improve in their sports.

national champion in Super Heavyweight ANDy

Kutztown State College, would become a national cham-

GARRITANO ’81. The next year, TONy THIBAULT ’81 and JIM BENNETT ’82 won national titles in

pion in its third year, 1981.

their respective weight classes.

This team of incredible hulks, the first of its kind at

“When we started the team, there wasn’t a barbell to be found anywhere,” said MARK Led by team founder

SABATINO ’81, one

of the team’s founders. “We raised money for equipment.

manifest on the football field, where more-powerful

We bonded because we built this from nothing.”

KSC linemen, like Bennett, JEFF

With the help of football coaches MITCH

Mark Sabatino ’81

By 1981, Kutztown had won two of its three straight state championships and had already seen the results


PAMMER ’81 and

Sabatino “pushed people all over the field,” according

(front row, second

’79 and the late Brian Kline and Doug Pollard, the lifters

to Sabatino. Such trench dominance helped the Golden

from right), the KU

transformed a dorm basement into a first-class gym. The

Bears advance to the 1980 Pennsylvania State Athletic

powerlifting team

lark quickly gained traction among the fiercely dedicated

Conference championship game – the first title game in

group, who took pride in competitively hoisting barbells

team history.

earned the national

against the country’s best schools.

title in 1981.

Not satisfied with just football success, the school hosted the national powerlifting championships the next year and captured the title, an accomplishment that ranks higher to the athletes “because of what we did as individuals and as a team,” Sabatino said. More than 30 years later, the powerlifting alumni are in their 50s and have become businessmen, restaurant owners, teachers and even FBI agents. The university has since built a state-of-the-art weightlifting and recreational facility for its students. For the powerlifters, it all started with nothing. “We broke new ground and did it at a time when we had few resources,” Sabatino said. “Everyone was committed, and our mantra was to push each other and make each other better. More importantly, these guys also became successful in life. They have great jobs and great families, and they contribute to their communities.”

Bonnie Rosen ’72 has dedicated much

and business brokerage firm with affil-

among many other awards. He is a

of her life to teaching. in 1980, she

iated offices around the world. He was

member of the American Watercolor

opened a day care center in Lansdale,

also recognized for being among the

Society, Audubon Artists, Allied

Pa., which she ran for 14 years. After

top 10 individual producers in the vR

Artists of America and Philadelphia

that, she started teaching in the north

network worldwide.

Watercolor Society and is listed in

Penn School District. Rosen was named principal at Bridle Path Elementary in 1998 and then principal at Oak Park Elementary in 2005.

Douglas Wiltraut ’73, one of the foremost painters in egg tempera and dry brush watercolors, was invited to jury an exhibition this year in Lambertville,

Who’s Who in American Art. His paintings are included in private, corporate and museum collections. Examples of his work can be seen in nine publications, including “How

Raymond H. Melcher Jr. ’73, managing

n.J. He is president of the national

principal of Marathon Business Group,

Society of Painters in Casein and

LLC, Wyomissing, Pa., received the 2011

Acrylic. He has been the recipient of

Jesse Brundage ’74 retired in August

Platinum Award for his personal sales

the Butler institute of American Art

2011 after serving as a librarian, teacher,

achievement from vR Mergers &

Award and the Knickerbocker Artists

drug/alcohol counselor, GED teacher

Acquisitions, an international M & A

Gold and Silver Medals of Honor,

and lifeskills teacher in Philadelphia.

24 TOWER | Summer 2012

to Discover Your Painting Style.”

Nancy Everhart ’75 became a school librarian after graduation, went on to get her master’s and doctorate, then became a professor at Florida State University in Tallahassee. She was recently elected president of the American Association of School Librarians.



Joan Hinderliter-Darnell ’82, a special needs teacher affiliated with Camden City Public Schools, has been named a Cambridge Who’s Who Professional of the Year in Special Education. She became involved in her profession

The oil paintings of Robert Hakun ’76

because Girl Scouts of the USA gave

have highlighted local historical locations,

her the opportunity to work with

including the Schuylkill Canal in

special needs children.

Phoenixville, Pa., the old RoyersfordSpring City Bridge and Warwick iron Company in Pottstown, Pa. Previously, he spent 17 years working at Collegeville Costumes and now works at Kalil’s

Bernard Sefcik ’82 has been appointed director of hotel sales at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. Sefcik will develop and implement the hotel’s annual business and marketing

Printing in Royersford, Pa., where he

plans, manage and operate all incentive

focuses on graphics and prepress

and trade shows, maximize profitable


revenue and expand corporate

Mary Beth (Emmerling) Shenk ’76

account business.

and Steven R. Wilson ’81 celebrated

Daniel J. Forster ’85 is a partner at

the 20th anniversary of their Lancaster,

WFM, a strategic package design

Pa.-based business, Masterpiece Murals.

firm based in Shillington, Pa., that

Lisa Eshleman Foster McCrae ’77

is celebrating its 40th anniversary

became an HQT-certified elementary

this year.

teacher after returning to Johnson

John Wissler ’85 had his paintings,

State College for graduate education

mostly of bodies of water, featured

courses. She now teaches first grade

at the Lancaster Galleries in Lancaster,

at newport Town School in vermont.

Pa., in fall 2011.

McCrae also recently showed her art at the Catamount Gallery in St. Johnsbury, vt. She resides with her husband, Brian, and three children in newport, vt.

Stephen M. Beaudoin ’86 resumed his position as partner at Reger employment group. He is based in the Philadelphia office.

in as the new deputy secretary for com-

Thomas Burke ’86 has joined Mortgage

Pa. Department of Community and Economic Development, Ryan Township. Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett appointed the Mahanoy City native to the post nov. 14, 2011. The department fosters opportunities for businesses to grow and for communities to succeed.

Joseph B. Sheris M ’89 successfully defended his dissertation to earn a Ph.D. in psychology from northcentral University. His research explored the experiences of nonresidential fathers within the coparenting relationship following divorce. Sheris is a Pennsylvanialicensed psychologist and partner at Psychological Associates of Schuylkill County LLC, Pottsville. He holds professional certifications as a nationally certified counselor, certified clinical mental health counselor, nationally certified custody evaluator and nationally certified parenting coordinator. He is a four-term appointee by Govs. Ridge and Rendell to the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board.


Rizzo & Darnall LLP in the labor and

Clyde “Champ” Holman ’78 was sworn munity affairs and development with the

Eduardo Uribe ’88 has been appointed senior director of quality services at AAiPharma Services Corp., a provider of pharmaceutical product development services. Uribe will oversee the facility’s quality-control organization as the company expands its manufacturing facilities.

network, inc. in the Whitehall, Pa.,

That piece hangs in the Women’s Center on campus and was created by Kutztown Professor of Art Education and Crafts Rhonda Wall.

office as a loan officer. Patrick Tulley ’87 was inducted into the Berks Basketball Hall of Fame. Tulley played on four Berks Conference championship teams and on the 1981 and 1983 District 3 AAA championship teams at Reading High School. He was

John Linder ’79 was elected mayor

a two-time All-Berks selection and won

in november 2011 and gave Democrats

the Jack Flowers and Reading-Berks

control of the city of Chester, Pa., for

Old-Timers Outstanding Player Awards.

only the second time in more than a

Tulley played at KU, helping the Golden

century. When elected mayor, Linder

Bears win the 1988 PSAC East champi-

retired from Delaware County Com-

onship. He was the head coach at

munity College, where he was a

Reading High for three seasons,

professor of social sciences.

winning the Berks title in 1999.

Summer 2012 | TOWER 25

class noteS ThE


Mark Steinmeyer ’94 has been

Mary Densevich ’99 of South

named head coach of the Reading

Abington Township, Pa., has spent

Express. Steinmeyer, who had been

the last few years volunteering with

the Express’ defensive coordinator,

northeast Regional Cancer institute,

joined the team in 2008 as defensive

helping plan the annual Survivors

backs coach and has served as

Celebration and co-chairing the

defensive coordinator the last two

group behind Colon Cancer

seasons. Steinmeyer, a new Jersey

Awareness Saves Unlimited Adult

native who played football at KU,

Karen Pepper ’91 had a solo exhibit

Lives Day, or CASUAL Day. She

was part of Reading’s American

this past winter titled Color and

previously worked in academic

indoor Football Association

Music hanging in the Stairwell

advising in Philadelphia and now

championship team in 2009.

works as a transfer credit analyst

Deborah L. Booros ’96, dean

at the University of Scranton.

of lifelong learning at DeSales

Kurt Moyer ’99 had his artwork

University, was welcomed into

exhibited at The Davis Gallery in

the ranks of Stanford Who’s Who

January 2012. He is a working artist

in Feb. 2012.

focusing on landscape and figurative

Michelle Hawley ’96 is an instruc-

painting. Moyer’s paintings have

tional facilitator in the Summit

been exhibited in public and private

Public Schools. She joined the

galleries throughout the northeast.

faculty in July 2011.

He is represented by the Gross

Michele Balliet ’90 has been appointed superintendent of the Elizabethtown Area School District. Balliet previously served as the district’s assistant superintendent for elementary education, beginning in June 2008.

Gallery at Gunn Memorial Library & Museum in Washington, Conn. Born and raised in Lancaster, Pa., she longed to see more of the country and moved from the East Coast to Colorado. Denise Strohmayr ’91 has been named director of group sales and marketing for the Reading United A.C., Reading’s premier minor league soccer franchise. Michael Mannicci ’92 has joined First Generation in the Lehigh valley as an account manager and will oversee the growth of current and new business accounts. A former

Heidi A. Williamson ’96 was named vice president for grant making and communication at Berks County Community Foundation. She previously served as vice president for communication at the foundation.

account executive at The Morning

Danielle Kovach ’97, a teacher at

Call, Adams Outdoor Advertising,

Tulsa Trail Elementary School,

Yellowbook 360 and Citadel

received the national Education

Broadcasting, he has a strong

Association’s top award for teaching

background in advertising and

excellence at the organization’s

media tools.

gala in Washington, D.C. She was

Edward F. Bachert Jr. ’93 was appointed police chief for the Borough of Fountain Hill, Pa., on Jan. 4. Bachert is also a professor of criminal justice/education at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pa. Crystal Cammauf-young ’93 was featured in a School in the news article in the Reading Eagle. She is a learning support teacher at Schuylkill valley High School.

previously named Hopatcong’s Teacher of the Year, Sussex County

McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia but lives and works in Rochester, n.Y. ThE


John Hoptak ’00 was the guest speaker at the Wyoming valley Civil War Round Table in november 2011. A lifelong student of the Civil War, he serves as a park ranger at Antietam national Battlefield, Md. Hoptak has written several books and articles, most recently “The Battle of South Mountain,” which was the topic of his presentation.

Teacher of the Year and new Jersey

After Royersford resident Nan Moyer

State Teacher of the Year. Kovach

’00 was diagnosed with pancreatic

earned grants for her school to

cancer in 1991, she finished her nurs-

boost technology, earning Tulsa Trail

ing degree at Alvernia University in

the recognition as being a SMART

’95 and earned a B.S. in psychology

Showcase School, one of just two

and professional writing from KU

in new Jersey.

in 2000. She is a 20-year cancer

Jean Burdick ’98 presented an exhibit at The Gallery at St. Asaph’s Church in Conshohocken, Pa., this

survivor and now the parish nurse for St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Boyertown, Pa.

winter. She received an MFA in

Michelle Steele ’00 was hired by the

Ronald Magill ’94 received an Early

painting from the University of the

Parkland School Board as its new

Career Excellence Award from the

Arts, Philadelphia; an M.Ed. in art

varsity field hockey coach. She is

KU Alumni Association. Recently, he

education from KU; and a BFA in

currently a sixth-grade teacher at

published his second book,

painting from the Pratt institute,

Springhouse Middle School and has

“Sincerity,” with W.W. norton.

Brooklyn, n.Y.

11 years of coaching experience at

26 TOWER | Summer 2012

various levels in the Parkland athletic

sales and marketing efforts across

Dr. Kirsten Johnson ’02 has

program. Steele is a former Parkland

the brand. He speaks at various

been promoted from assistant

student–athlete, a star field hockey

organizations and nonprofits to

professor to associate professor

and softball player for the school

help others achieve vibrant health

and awarded tenure at

in the ’93-’96 seasons and was

through better lifestyle choices.

Elizabethtown College. She

inducted into its Athletic Hall of

Andrew Cunningham ’02 is a photo-

serves as the chair of the

journalist with WTAE Channel 4,

Department of Communications.

located in Pittsburgh. He worked

Johnson teaches courses in

Jeff Tkach ’01 was named publisher

with a WTAE anchor on the

broadcast news writing and

of Rodale’s Organic Gardening

“Rebuilding Pittsburgh” report,

television production, serves as

magazine. The position includes

earning an Emmy Award for Best

the advisor to the Society for

publishing oversight of the 70-year-

Feature news Reporting Series.

Collegiate Journalists and has

old magazine and organicgardening.

The report focused on the daily

been a member of the Academic

com. in his new role, Tkach will

struggle of Pittsburgh residents

Council and the Professional

lead print and digital advertising

who live below the poverty line.

Development Committee.

Fame. She continued her success as a KU softball player.


DiLullo Brown Calls the Ballpark Home

business side of sports and events. Today, what she learned at KU guides her activities for Little League. “The classes I took at KU help me bring in revenue for an organization like Little League and understand the business objectives of my clients,” she said.

LIZ DILULLO BROWN ’97 considers her experience as a

Brown also credits her grandfather with influencing her career

marketing executive for the world’s largest organized youth sports

choice. Ralph DiLullo was a respected baseball scout for many years

program a grand slam.

for the Major League Scouting Bureau and the Chicago Cubs, as

“I am amazed at how the ‘stars aligned’ and brought me to Little League and to Williamsport for this position,” said Brown,

well as a minor league manager and player. “Looking back, he taught me by his actions,” she said. “He had a

vice president of marketing and strategic partnerships for Little

tireless work ethic and didn’t retire until he was 85 years old. He

League International.

was respected and admired for his skill and for his approach to Brown currently oversees marketing

relationships. All of these actions have taught me many lessons in


and licensing initiatives and the

the sports marketing business. My only regret is that I didn’t have

operation of Little League’s retail

this job when he was still alive.”


properties. This year she has started


developing 75th-anniversary activities

Brown ’97 at Little League International in Williamsport, Pa.

for the organization for 2014. As she handles her daily responsibilities, Brown keeps perspective by remembering for whom she really works – nearly 2.7 million players and one million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries. “It’s still a job with challenges and

dynamics like anything else. At the end of the day, I am able to say ‘what I did today meant something,’” Brown said. On the job, Brown is able to combine her passion for relationship building with her background in sports. “I did play softball for a few years,” she said. “I found my niche in another stick-and-ball sport – field hockey – and played during my years at KU,” she said. Brown originally wanted to be an athletic director. After some internship experiences, she realized she was better suited for the

Summer 2012 | TOWER 27

class noteS Robyn Jasko ’03 had her book

Lenin Agudo ’06, former director

League. Spotts works as the director

“Homesweet Homegrown: How to

of KU’s Latino Business Resource

of student services and facilities

Grow, Make, and Store Food no

Center, was chosen by the Greater

planning for the Lehighton Area

Matter Where You Live” published

Reading Chamber of Commerce &

School District.

by Microcosm Press in May 2011.

industry as a 2011 Rising Star Award

This book was inspired by Jasko’s

winner. The award recognizes up-


and-coming young professionals

Donmoyer ’09 began documenting

Christopher Srogota ’03 graduated

who are excelling in their careers,

hex signs on Berks County barns.

giving back to the community and

Traveling the county’s rural byways,

making Greater Reading a better

he photographed hex signs on

a master’s degree in business

place to live and work.

about 425 barns. inspired by the


Robert Preston ’07 was selected as

complex geometric patterns in

Jeffrey J. Dunn ’04 will join the

Glassboro (n.J.) High School’s 2011

the barn symbols, Donmoyer

Mystic Seaport Museum in

Teacher of the Year. He received a

began painting hex signs as art.

Connecticut as the new supervisor

master’s degree in school leader-

A folklorist doing independent

of the Treworgy Planetarium.

ship and is pursuing an Ed.D. at the

research at the Pennsylvania

He will be responsible for the

University of Delaware.

German Cultural Heritage Center

development and execution of all

Robert Flowers ’08 was inducted

at KU, Donmoyer continues to

programs and curriculum, including

into the Muhlenberg School

study the cultural roots of the

participation in the museum’s

District’s Hall of Fame as co-captain

region’s farming community.

innovative Science-to-Go and

and MvP of the 1998 Muhlenberg

History-to-Go programs.

football team that set the Berks

Jonathan Stanback ’09 was hired

William McGowan ’04 joins Maass

County scoring record. He played

Media as a data analyst. He will

football for KU and professionally

oversee new and ongoing analysis

for the Reading Express. He is now

and reporting activity for many of

head football coach at Reading

Maass’ most important clients.

High School.

of more than 500 members.

Most recently, McGowan was in

Nicole Ottinger ’08 and her hus-

Mark Bower ’10 is engaged to

the analytics group at GSi Com-

band, Josh, welcomed a daughter,

Kristy Borger of Kunkletown, Pa.

merce, where he worked in reporting.

Grace Claire, on Jan. 1, 2011.

Bower is currently employed by

The Front Royal Cardinals have

nicki and Josh celebrated their

Sanofi Pasteur. The wedding will

announced that Clayton Kuklick ’05

second wedding anniversary on

be in September 2012.

will manage the valley Baseball

nov. 27, 2011. nicki is a stay-at-

League franchise this summer.

home mom and resides in

As a player at Kutztown, Kuklick

Allentown, Pa.

garnered second-team all-Pennsylvania

Kyle Spotts ’08 was inducted into

State Athletic Conference honors

the Tamaqua Area High School

as a catcher and later played profes-

Athletic Hall of Fame. Spotts

Randy Quinby ’10 has joined

sionally for two seasons in the

excelled in football and baseball,

Prudential Landis Homesale

Can-Am League.

earning three varsity letters in

Services, Spring Township, Pa.,

Jenna Woginrich ’05 makes her living

each sport. He was the Times

as a full-time sales associate.

as a web designer for Orvis in

news Player of the Year and

He received his real estate license

Sunderland, vt. She’s also a farmer

Channel 13 Spring Sports Athlete

in December 2011 and will be

and now the author of “Barnheart,”

of the Year in 2003. At KU, he

specializing in residential, short-

a memoir about “the incurable long-

was a three-year starting quarter-

sale and new construction transac-

ing for a farm of one’s own.” She

back for the Golden Bears and team captain. He threw for 6,065

tions in Berks, Schuylkill and

also wrote “Made From Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a

yards and 51 TDs and added 12

Handmade Life” and “Chick Days:

rushing TDs during his Kutztown

An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to

career. After graduation, he signed

To have your news considered

Raising Chickens From Hatching

a contract with the new York

for Classnotes, please email

to Laying.”

Dragons of the Arena Football

from Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, in January 2012 with

28 TOWER | Summer 2012

As a KU student, Patrick J.

as the executive director of the Upper Merion Senior Service Center in King of Prussia, Pa. He manages a senior service center

Zachary Hartman ’10 is the lead guitarist and a vocalist for the Christian rock band The World Outside.

northern Montgomery counties. He resides in Pike Township.


Clara Coleman ’27 • 3/23/2012 Laura Kauffman ’29 • 3/10/2012 Mary Becker ’36 • 10/1/2011 Marion Johnson ’37 • 11/9/2011 Mary Louise Wertz ’39 • 8/30/2011 Mildred Miller ’41 • 9/22/2011 Arlene Sobresky ’41 • 10/25/2011 Aldine Feidler ’42 • 12/23/2011 Jean Haytmanek ’42 • 9/26/2011 Mary Heller ’44 • 10/20/2011 Phyllis Romig-Kent ’47 • 2/21/2012 Anne Wentzel ’48 • 2/12/2012 Dorothy Green ’50 • 12/2/2011 Elizabeth Britigan ’51 • 12/5/2011 Marvin Davis ’51 • 1/13/2012 Sidney Stocker ’51 • 10/11/2011 J. Louise Mantz ’54 • 10/26/2011 David Mitchell ’54 • 10/3/2011 Ruth Davies ’56 • 10/9/2011 Ronald Rozanski ’56 • 2/1/2012 Lester Breininger ’57 • 12/3/2011 Sally Freeze ’59 • 8/9/2011 Mildred Gordon ’60 • 8/11/2011 E. Barbara Reichert ’60 • 10/17/2011 Robert Phillips ’61 • 9/27/2011 Carolyn Weaver ’61 • 1/13/2012 Anthony-John Matalavage ’62 • 12/5/2011 Sallie Everett ’63 • 1/7/2012 Dennis Becker ’64 • 8/14/2011 Orville Fine ’64 • 9/27/2011 Roger Jones ’64 • 2/1/2012 Shirley Lutz ’64 • 3/3/2012 Roy Miller ’64 • 8/19/2011 Madeline Novalis ’64 • 3/1/2012 Barry Zoumas ’64 • 8/14/2011 Donald Gorsky ’65 • 11/23/2011 Katherine Naugle ’65 • 8/29/2011 John Higgins ’66 • 1/10/2012 Leonard Freudenberger ’68 • 8/5/2011 Gary Brey ’69 • 10/19/2011 F. Keith Longenbach ’69 • 11/4/2011 Gloria Holland ’72 • 11/25/2011 Annette Yurish ’72 • 3/19/2012 Ruth Stauffer ’73 • 2/29/2012 Frank Terranova ’73 • 8/11/2011 Brian Wagonseller ’74 • 10/2/2011 Mark Yatsko ’75 • 11/18/2011 Scott Hafer ’78 • 2/21/2012 Pat Seinfeld ’82 • 12/21/2011 Douglas Wesner ’88 • 8/29/2011 Elizabeth Adukaitis ’90 • 3/12/2012 Steven Mohn ’90 • 10/31/2011 Kelly Erb ’91 • 9/27/2011 David Lapos ’91 • 2/15/2012 Pamela Nichols ’92 • 9/9/2011 Kyle Schroeder ’92 • 2/19/2012 Larry Rosenberger ’98 • 9/4/2011 Jamie Silko ’06 • 9/17/2011 Cole Warminsky ’06 • 3/18/2012 Joshua Gadomski ’08 • 2/1/2012 Matthew Steiner ’10 • 3/13/2012 Dennis Dietrich • 10/24/2011 • faculty David Lehman • 3/3/2012 • faculty Arnold Newman • 10/18/2011 • faculty Judith Shea • 2/18/2012 • faculty

Huffington Post Blogger Turns Serious It is 9 a.m. on the big island of Hawaii. Location, though, is no matter for Huffington Post blogger and new media multitasker Bob

Cesca ’94.

“Around 1996, it was not normal for a smaller town to have an online magazine. I didn’t even have the Internet – I didn’t even have a computer,”

He needs only an Internet connection to readily

Cesca said. “I decided to just dive in because

produce and post poignant political bits for online

there wasn’t a lot on the Internet at that time.”

followers across the Pacific and beyond. Cesca grew up in Washington, D.C., and northern

Soon, he began producing his own cartoons for the site called “Hootenanny!” about a rodeo

Virginia but pursued Kutztown University for com-

clown. One day he picked up Entertainment Weekly

munication design. Burned out on art by the end of

to unexpectedly find a review of his cartoon.

high school, though, he entered KU undeclared, moving on to major in political science. “That decision turned out to be the right one because Kutztown had a great political science program,” Cesca said. He credits retired professor Dr. Richard Close for

“My cartoons weren’t just local anymore. It received an A-. That was really exciting!” Cesca said. Cesca next started his own website and worked a brief stint with a production facility in downtown Philadelphia. With a growing list

“inspiring him to stick around.” Cesca said, “Close

of clients, he soon realized he could make a living

was a dynamic professor who really knew a lot

creating cartoons independently and exclusively.

about everything. His classes were more discussions

Cesca quit his production job to form Camp Chaos.

than deliveries of information.” Cesca feels the KU faculty gave him a lot of latitude by allowing him to apply politics to the media. “In my last year, they actually let me do an internship with 106.7 WJFK in D.C.,” Cesca said.

“I started my website and company at the right place at the right time. And the centerpiece of everything I was doing was politics. It was always in there,” Cesca said. In 2005, founding Huffington Post editor

“It was a show I’d grown up listening to, the

Roy Sekoff called Cesca to ask him to produce

‘Don and Mike Show.’ That really ignited my

political cartoons for Arianna Huffington’s

interest in talk radio.”

newly launched news and blog site. Cesca

Cesca also said Kutztown’s faculty – most notably, Patrick Duddy, professor emeritus of biology – nurtured the intellectual curiosity that is central to his current career. “Duddy applied biology on a global and personal

asked Sekoff if he could “just blog while getting the cartoon up and running.” Seven years later, Cesca still hasn’t done any cartoons but says the Huff Post enabled “a more serious turn” in his writing. His posts appear

level to communicate a personal appreciation of

on the front page every Thursday and have

life; he really opened my eyes to a broader look

accumulated a significant readership.

at the world,” Cesca said. Upon graduating, Cesca worked for WEEU

Cesca’s career has moved from a newspaper, a radio station, a presence on a website with

in Reading, Pa. He did talk radio and sharpened

a local following to posting to a worldwide

his journalistic edge by writing a weekly column

audience from Hawaii. He is now parlaying his

for the station’s newspaper owner, The Reading

Huff Post success into his weekly podcast “The

Eagle, then took advantage of an unconventional

Bob & Chez Show,” wanting his media-geared

opportunity: being a content producer for an

career to transition even more into politics,

Internet-based magazine called BerksAlive.

excluding any runs for office.

Summer Summer 2012 2011 | Tower 30 29

Oct. 11-13 ThURSDAY, OcTOBER 11


Student Recreation Center • 7 p.m. FRIDAY, OcTOBER 12

PhIlANThROPY DINNER Sponsored by the KU Foundation & Alumni Engagement.

McFarland Student Union • Room 218 6 p.m. • Invitation only SATURDAY, OcTOBER 13

ElEcTRONIc mEDIA mIxER Rickenbach Learning Center • Studio LC 4 10:30 a.m.–1 p.m.


DmZ • 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

To register, please call 610-683-4492 or email for more information.

Sponsored by the KU Alumni Association.


New to Homecoming, the KU Fan Fest is an interactive fan entertainment area located on the DMZ for all alumni, students, parents, families and community members. Highlights include giveaways, interactive games and inflatables for children, Reunion Tables*, food, the opportunity to take a tour of campus and a host of other exciting activities.

Sponsored by the KU Foundation & Alumni Engagement.

Student Recreation Center Patio 11 a.m.– 3 p.m. • $15 per person Space is limited to the first 125 guests.


University Field • 1:05 p.m. Tickets available at the gate. For the Golden Bears’ fall 2012 schedule, visit

*Please contact the KU Alumni Engagement office at 610-683-4110 to reserve your Reunion Table today!

“ThE 5Th QUARTER” AlUmNI PARTY South Dining Hall • 4–6 p.m. Sponsored by the KU Alumni Association.

KU AlUmNI BAND gET-TOgEThER & TAIlgATE lUNch If you are interested in joining the Graduate Organization of Bands as it performs with the KU Marching Unit at the football game, or simply wish to reconnect with fellow alumni, kindly RSVP at and a full description of the day’s details will be sent.







McFarland Student Union • Room 218 6:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. Discounted tickets will be available to all KU alumni courtesy of the KU Alumni Association.

Please visit to register for Homecoming 2012 events today!


15200 Kutztown Road Kutztown, PA 19530-0730 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

honorary doctorates awarded

Eric Schaeffer ’84 (L) with KU president Dr. F. Javier Cevallos and Lt. General Richard Zilmer ’74. Schaeffer and Zilmer were honored at the May commencement ceremonies with honorary doctorates to honor years of service. Schaeffer is the co-founder of the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Va., and director of “Follies,” the Broadway musical recently nominated for eight Tony Awards. Zilmer recently retired after 35 years of service to the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in operational and staff assignments throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan.

Tower Magazine  

The Tower is published by Kutztown University twice a year for KU alumni and friends of the university

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you