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SPRING 2009 danieL J. pincHot

Both the men and women were determined to go the distance this season, and that’s exactly what they did.

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ou can sum up Penn State Beaver’s 2008-09 basketball season in superlatives. Amazing. Unbelievable. Incredible. History-making. Both the Nittany Lions

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and the Lady Lions won the Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) Championship, the first time a campus has brought home both men’s and women’s trophies in the same year. And both teams made it into the Final Four of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Tournament, where the men finished sec-

ond and the women finished fourth. Especially noteworthy was the fact that this PSUAC Championship was the Lady Lions’ second in as many years. Women’s basketball had been absent from the Beaver campus for decades but came back last year under the leadership continued on page 11

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Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Spring 2009

A Message from Chancellor Keefer Survey results indicated that ... we have committed, engaged, and happy faculty and staff. I believe these strengths are evident to our students and serve as the bedrock for the public’s view of Penn State Beaver as a strongly student-centered campus.


ast fall Penn State Beaver implemented a new strategic plan that is serving as a guide for the campus through 2013. For a plan to be meaningful, it must be viewed as a living document that’s used as the primary blueprint for operations. To that end, our campus leadership conducts a semiannual review of our plan’s progress. As we move toward the close of the 20082009 academic year, I’d like to share with you some of the strategic initiatives that have been completed. We’ve developed proposals to offer two new baccalaureate programs in nursing and administration of justice. The nursing program will be offered through a partnership with Penn State Shenango and is specifically designed for RNs. Our two campuses will work with a local health care provider on this program. The administration of justice degree will be a joint offering by Beaver, Shenango, and New Kensington campuses. Continuing Education has expanded its health care portfolio by being approved through the School of Health and Human Development to offer the Health Care Management Certificate. To enhance the appreciation of other cultures, many of our students, faculty, and staff have attended a variety of multicultural programs, including a concert by Taikoza, a Japanese drum music group that provided a fascinating combination of percussion and martial arts. The campus was also privileged to host Mr. John Bul Dau, known as one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan” who was featured in a documentary by the same name. The audience was riveted by his stories of the atrocities he and others faced during their childhoods in and escape from Sudan. These and other events on campus are part of our ongoing initiative to expand our appreciation of other cultures and ways of life that are new to us. Penn State is becoming a leader in exploring and resolving environmental issues, a process which included the completion of the Guaranteed Energy Savings Program at

Beaver campus. Through this yearlong initiative, lights were upgraded and automatic shutoff switches were added, faucets with timed shutoffs were placed in restrooms, flow minimizers were placed on other fixtures, and programs were installed in our computer labs which automatically turn the units off when the labs are closed. These combined efforts will continue to result in significant energy savings for our campus. This year the pool of scholarship funds dramatically increased through the generosity of many donors. These scholarships continue to help students in need afford a Penn State education. Particularly gratifying to me was the commitment of campus employees to establish the Penn State Beaver Leadership Endowed Scholarship which has already gathered more than $50,000 in gifts and pledges. It’s a powerful message to potential donors to note that many campus employees have made such a significant financial commitment to help our students. The literature tells us that students who are employed on campus are much more likely to persist in their studies. With that in mind, we set aside more than $30,000 in additional funding for student workers this year. Not only does this help our students, but we enjoy the opportunity to interact with them

in our offices. The strategic plan also made a commitment to continue to enhance athletics. Our teams have been very successful this year, highlighted by both our men’s and women’s basketball teams winning the Penn State University Athletic Conference Championship, a first for the conference. As a result of their conference titles, they both received automatic bids to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Championship Tournament, where the men finished second and the women finished fourth. Recently I received the Beaver campus results of the 2008 Penn State Faculty/Staff Satisfaction Survey. One of our strategic plan’s main objectives is to promote studentcenteredness at the campus, and I don’t believe that’s possible without faculty and staff who are satisfied and fulfilled in their jobs. Survey results indicated that our employees have a very strong affinity for Penn State. There were 45 questions on the survey. Of those, the positive responses from our faculty and staff exceeded the overall University average for all but seven of the questions, a fact that tells me we have committed, engaged, and happy faculty and staff. I believe these strengths are evident to our students and serve as the bedrock for the public’s view of Penn State Beaver as a strongly student-centered campus. Those of us at Beaver campus are appreciative of the fact that we’ve certainly enjoyed a very positive and productive year. I look forward to continuing to share our good news with you. Your support of what we do for our campus and community is extremely important to us, and with your help, we can look forward to many productive years ahead. If ever I can be of assistance to you, please contact me at Best wishes for a safe and happy summer.

Chancellor Gary B. Keefer

Spring 2009

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Life is a big picture, and there are puzzle pieces to collect along the way. My life goal is to collect those pieces so I can step back and see the big picture.

all roaDs leaD to beaver H

e moved away from home when he was 14 years old. At 19, he traveled around the world. He’s published two books and is on his way to number three. He now attends Penn State Beaver. Meet Kyung Min Kim. You can call him Kim. Born in Seoul, Korea, Kim grew up with his parents and younger sister. With his father being a politician and his mother running a meat company, he comes from a well-to-do family. In hopes to challenge himself and gain a better respect for others and the world around him, Kim decided to enroll in the International School Bangkok. “I was only 14, and I had to learn to speak Thai. Of course I was afraid to leave,” Kim said. “People don’t like fear, but fear actually makes you humble. I chose to cope with my fear and gain confidence.” After five years of schooling at ISB, Kim decided to take a year off and travel the world. On his own. Visiting countries such as Laos, Brazil, Paraguay and South Africa, he mentally prepared himself to continue his education. For his college, Kim searched among the top psychology schools in the country. Enter Penn State University. “I didn’t know that Penn State had over 20 campuses,” Kim said. “It has a

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Kyung Min Kim was given the option to attend any of three penn State campuses. “i chose Beaver because it had a cooler name,” he says. great psych major program, so I knew it was a good idea to apply.” Kim was originally accepted to Penn State Erie, but there were no dorm rooms available. Fate? He was given the option to attend three other Penn State campuses: Beaver, Greater Allegheny or Mont Alto. Beaver was his ultimate choice. “I knew nothing of each individual campus,” Kim said. “I had never seen or toured any of them. I chose Beaver because it had a cooler name.” Like any other obvious challenge, Kim’s transition to a completely different culture left him fearful, yet excited. Not to mention he needed to learn to speak English. But those aren’t the only reasons college has been an interesting experience for him. “There is much more freedom

here,” Kim said. “But with more freedom comes more responsibility. This was the first time I’ve ever had to go food shopping, or even do my laundry. I didn’t even know how to do laundry!” Simple chores weren’t the only setback Kim has faced during his stay here. In his first semester, various problems with his roommate led Kim to move. After a night involving a broken microwave, smoke, a blaring fire alarm and the campus police, Kim called it quits, requesting a new roommate for the spring. Kim was paired with his new roommate, sophomore Chris Reasner. “The past few weeks of living with Kim have been interesting,” Reasner said. “He spends most of his time continued on page 5

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Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Spring 2009

beaver stuDents abroaD N

ine Penn State Beaver students traveled abroad over spring break with Dr. Juliette Storr, assistant professor of communications, and Dr. Kay Wijekumar, associate professor of information sciences and technology (IST). Storr took five students from her Intercultural Communications class to Trinidad and Tobago, where they spent time at the University of the West Indies (UWI) discussing cultural differences with UWI students. UWI Professor Tia Cooper invited the Beaver campus students to discuss American media and its influence on Trinidad and Tobago’s youth and culture. While at UWI Storr delivered a guest lecture on her research about the media and its evolution in the Caribbean. One of Storr’s goals was to allow her students, four of whom are white, to experience what it feels like to be part of a minority in Trinidad and Tobago, where the majority of the population is black or Indian. “Here, we are the minority, and it’s noticeable,” said sophomore Lisa Schnelbach. “It is not something that you can tell; you have to live it yourself.” The students toured Trinidad, visiting historic landmarks and churches, the zoo, the botanical gardens and a newspaper and television station. In

top left, the aquarium and Science center in Barcelona features a fish-shaped right, Kay Wijekumar and her iSt students nate campbell, deric Bolland, Jessica d’amico and paul James in Spain. above, Juliette Storr’s students Joe carpenter, Lisa Schnelbach, Kellie Morrison, alexa Farrell and Joshua Bernhardt with a local student in trinidad. Tobago the students hiked to Argyle Falls on the edge of the rainforest and snorkeled on Bocca Reef. As part of her IST 440W capstone course, Wijekumar took four of her students to the International Technology, Education, and Development Conference 2009 in Valencia, Spain, where the students conducted research and presented their findings on low-fidelity prototypes. The research project is part of an ongoing initiative in IST to provide students with experiences abroad, where they learn how to communicate, solve problems, and interact with people from other cultures and countries. Wijekumar requires her students to synthesize the skills they’ve learned through coursework to solve a real-life

problem. This semester’s themes were local and international. The local group designed, developed, and will install a complete web portal for the Friends of Beaver Creek State Park. The international group worked on pilot testing measurements for diversity disposition among local and German students. While abroad, the students explored their surroundings by visiting the old town of Valencia as well as the coastal beach and the new Aquarium and Science Center. In Barcelona, they saw the famous sights of the Sagrada Familia, La Rambla, Mountjuc, and the Olympic Stadiums. penn State Beaver Roar staff writer alexa Farrell and dr. Wijekumar contributed information for this article.

Spring 2009

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

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Amanda Brobeck ’08 Com is a layout editor for the Beaver County Times, designing the Tuesday through Saturday editions of the Ellwood City Ledger, which is owned by The Times. Cynthia Hamlin ’95 Bus, a resident of Toronto, Canada, is a fraud investigator, consultant, auditor, and financial accountant. She served two terms on the Penn State Alumni Council, chaired the group’s Diversity Committee, and led the Metro Washington, D.C., Chapter of the African American Alumni Organization for seven years. Hamlin is also an alumni volunteer for Penn State Undergraduate Admissions. Eric Mamajek ’98 Sci is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Rochester in New York. In 2008 he married Eleonora Canales in Santiago, Chile. Cheryl Ann Mandia ’93 H&HD is director of case management at Professional Case Management in Denver, Colo. Brian K. McClelland ’70 Sci is semi-retired from teaching and serves as an adjunct instructor in astronomy and geology at the College of Eastern Utah. He is married with two daughters and four grandchildren. Andrew Michael ’08 Com is marketing manager for Allfon, where he conducts research and assists with the design, implementation, and communication of clients’ marketing campaigns. Susan Grau Orochena ’79 A&A is a loan officer assistant for SunTrust Mortgage in Rockville, Md. She lives with her husband

Editor amy M. Krebs Designer cathy Benscoter Portraits graule Studios Phone 724.773.3815 Fax 724.773.3578 Email AOL IM Bradmissions

and three sons in Potomac, Md. Heather Papinchak ’07 Ag, Bus is in the Master’s in Public Health program at the University of California Berkeley, with a concentration in environmental public health and an emphasis in industrial hygiene. She plans to pursue the M.D. /Ph.D. program associated with U.C. Berkeley and U. C. San Francisco with residency in environmental medicine and occupational health. Dr. Joseph Polifroni ’78 Lib is principal member of the research staff, Nokia Research Center Cambridge (US), Boston, Mass. Jamie V. Silicki ’08 Com is an assistant director of admissions at the Education Management Corporation (EDMC), Pittsburgh. Roseann M. Simoni ’75 Com is a retail advertising representative for the Beaver County Times. Previous positions at The Times included working as a columnist and in the legal/national advertising department and library. David Walker ’03 IST and Lauren (Wilharm) Walker ’04 Com recently moved from Apalachin, N.Y., to Beaver, Pa. David is a senior systems engineer for Lockheed Martin Corporation. Lauren was a public relations specialist for Guthrie Healthcare System in Sayre, PA. They’ve been married since 2005. Dr. Elizabeth (Foley) Zona ’02 Sci is a third-year resident specializing in anesthesia at UPMC - Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh. Her husband, fellow Beaver alum Chris Zona ’03 Bus, is a logistics representative for Bayer MaterialScience. They were married in 2005.

office of campus and community Relations Ross administration Building, Suite 201 100 university drive Monaca, pa 15061 The Nittany News is a publication of the Penn State Beaver Office of Campus and Community Relations. Please direct all inquiries about this newsletter to 724.773.3815 or This publication is available in alternative media upon request.

U.Ed. BR 09-09

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Kim continued FRoM page 3 studying and reading books in the room.” Kim is experienced at adapting to his surroundings. He has already been exposed to enough cultures to rival an international spy. Others haven’t. “He has strange things in our fridge, like squid and other Korean dishes,” Reasner said. “But he also likes to sing a lot. I don’t really understand what the songs are about, mostly because they’re in Korean. “Did I mention he does Tai Kwon Do? It’s pretty cool.” Kim has always gotten along well with his instructors, and that hasn’t changed at Beaver. Of his instructors here, Kim mentioned two in particular, art instructor David Todd and philosophy instructor Irene Wolf. “I’ve never taken an art class before or even engaged in painting or drawing,” Kim said. “I love Professor Todd’s class and his instruction. We get along very well.” Kim works hard at his studies, but his hard work extends far out of the classroom. Having published two poetry books already, Kim is setting out to publish his third book, which is written in prose. “With this book, I hope to write more about human emotions,” Kim said. “People become unstable because they can’t express emotion. I want to break that habit.” Kim expects to have his new book published in Korea by this summer. Following the two-year Penn State campus program, Kim will transfer to University Park in the fall of 2010 to continue his studies toward a psychology degree. “Being a psych major, I want to use that degree in the future to become a clinical psychologist,” Kim said. “I intend to write books about psychology.” Kyung Min Kim is a student of Penn State Beaver with a unique story to tell. “Life is a big picture, and there are puzzle pieces to collect along the way,” Kim said. “My life goal is to collect those pieces so I can step back and see the big picture.” this article, written by freshman communications major ian Sweeney, originally appeared in the Roar, penn State Beaver’s student newspaper.

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Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Spring 2009

I know that the high standards I was held to in the classroom and in athletics at Beaver led me to develop a strong sense of leadership.

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t’s hard to believe, but when you talk with Michael A. Mooney ’76 H&HD, he’ll tell you he was a complete knucklehead (his word) when he entered Penn State Beaver. Today everyone can tell you that’s not true and that’s not the person they know as executive vice president and chief lending officer of Fidelity Bank, a position he’s held since 1991 at the $750 million financial institution. “I say that about myself because I came to Penn State Beaver not knowing what I wanted to do,” Mike laughed. “I didn’t understand what it would take to be truly successful and I felt like I was drifting. I really didn’t know what college was all about.” But he learned, and quickly. Upon graduating from Penn State, Mike decided to begin a career in banking and became a management trainee at Equibank. He left there as an assistant vice president of community banking to move to Landmark Savings, where he was vice president of retail banking for 34 branches. From there, he moved into his current position at Fidelity. Mike’s mom encouraged him to attend Penn State. “She told me I’d get a great education close to home at Beaver campus,” said Mike, a native of Bellevue. “She was right. My experience at Beaver was outstanding. I had great fun and adventures every day, and

catHy BenScoteR

Mike Mooney talks with junior communications major Jennifer Hain after speaking to prospective students at an admissions event in February. made lifelong friends. The academic as well as athletic programs were incredible and really shaped who I am today.” “I knew Penn State was my home away from home,” Mike said. “I felt safe and welcomed and enjoyed tremendous social opportunities, but also found the academic side of the house to be especially demanding.” In his freshman year, Mike played varsity basketball and also enjoyed playing intramural sports, including football, softball and basketball. He noted that intramural sports were very competitive during his time at Beaver. “I was constantly challenged in the classroom as well as on the playing fields,” he said, “and I welcomed that because I knew that the professors and coaches were there to ensure that I succeeded, no matter what ups and

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downs came along. That’s a great feeling because you know that these people, these mentors, are as anxious for you to succeed as you are.” “I know that the high standards I was held to in the classroom and in athletics at Beaver led me to develop a strong sense of leadership,” Mike said. “In addition to establishing a great rapport with my professors and coaches, I began to realize that I should have confidence in myself and my work, and that I could do anything that I really wanted to do if I worked hard enough.” Mike fondly remembers Dr. Jack Ciciarelli ’67 MS, ’71 Ph.D. EMS, retired assistant professor of earth and mineral sciences as well as retired coaches Eldon Price ’61 H&HD, ’67 continued on page 7

Spring 2009

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

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Gifts big and small help students Donors and their gifts vary greatly, but every single penny is counted and welcomed. No matter what the amount, your gift counts.


espite the difficult economic times we currently face, I’m happy to report that Penn State Beaver is pleased with the success we’ve had to date with our development campaign, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. Our campaign is still in the “quiet phase,” which means we’re actively discussing the campaign with donors, alumni, and friends as well as soliciting and receiving gifts as we seek to make people aware of how greatly their financial support is needed to help us reach our goal. In April 2010 the campaign will go public with a kick-off celebration at Penn State University Park, and Beaver campus will host its own kick-off in May 2010. I’m proud to announce that so far in this 712⁄ -year campaign, Beaver has raised almost $1 million, not an easy feat in these challenging times. The generosity of alumni, donors, and other campus friends will continue to make our dream for the betterment of our students a reality. This campaign focuses on our current and future students’ needs, including scholarships, global involvement, academic opportunities, and enriching the overall student experience. As part of educating our campus friends about the need for financial support, we hosted an informal meeting in April designed to provide information about the campaign in a personal, friendly, one-on-one atmosphere. I’d like to take a moment to thank just a

Mooney continued FRoM page 6 MEd Edu, who was also the campus athletic director, and Jim Karwoski. “The discipline I learned from them and the expectations they had of me combined to make me want to succeed, to get ahead in every way,” he said. “Their belief in me built my own self-confidence and self-esteem. They were determined to see me succeed, and that increased my desire to achieve, to get ahead and to make them proud of me. They were wonderful mentors and teachers who helped me set

few of our donors for the gifts they’ve made to support Beaver campus students. l The Penn State Beaver Alumni Society has pledged $60,000 to be added to their current endowed scholarship. Funds from this fall’s upcoming Society Golf Outing will be used to partially fulfill this pledge. l The Penn State Beaver campus has come together to form the Penn State Beaver Leadership Endowed Scholarship, which has already gathered more than $52,000 in gifts and pledges through an ongoing faculty/staff appeal. l Beaver alumnus Scott Noxon made a stock transfer gift of $30,000 toward his $50,000 pledge for an endowed scholarship.

goals and understand what it takes to get what you want out of life.” Mike’s son, Shane Mooney, is a freshman at Beaver. “Beaver helped me prepare well for the real world,” Mike said, “and I know my son will have the same experience. He’s a great hockey player, which has taught him discipline, but I also see increasing signs of maturity and responsibility. Those will continue to bloom at Beaver campus and carry him into his future.” “I hope he’ll learn the value of independence, as I did at Beaver, and find his place in the world,” Mike reflected. “He already understands the importance of hard work so I

l Frank and Carin Batchelor, longtime campus friends and supporters, made a gift of $25,000 to provide assistance for students who want to study abroad. l Beaver alumnus Carl Bartuch made a stock transfer gift of $10,000 for a scholarship. It’s important to note that gifts in any amount are truly appreciated and gratefully received. Donors and their gifts vary greatly, but every single penny is counted and welcomed. No matter what the amount, your gift counts. Also, please note that when a gift is made to Beaver, the entire gift amount stays at Beaver. Funds are not sent to Penn State University Park or any other arm of the University. Your donations stay here to support our current and future Beaver campus students. I love meeting old friends and making new ones and I’m always happy to talk with you about the opportunities provided by Beaver campus. If I can be of assistance to you in any way, please contact me at or 724-773-3558. I look forward to working with you on this exciting campaign. With best regards,

Diana L. Patterson Director of Development

hope he has some of the same kinds of experiences I did at Penn State. If he does, he’ll come to understand that the wisdom of others often leads you to understand yourself much better than you ever thought you would or could.” Not exactly the thoughts and words of a knucklehead. Mike, who laughs at his self-description, agrees. “I’ve come pretty far, I guess,” he said. “I worked hard and played hard and I still do. It’s a winning combination that can really get you somewhere in life, especially when Penn State’s with you all the way.”

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Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Spring 2009

A sampling of faculty publications and presentations over the last year Kevin Bennett, instructor in psychology, presented a paper, “Sibling Support in the Event of an Infidelity: Brother or Sister,” at the American Psychological Society in Chicago. Dr. Cassandra M. Miller-Butterworth, assistant professor of biology, co-authored “Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci in the Japanese pipistrelle (Pipistrellus abramus)” in Conservation Genetics. She also co-authored “Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci in the long-fingered bat Miniopterus fuliginosus” in Molecular Ecology Resources and “Sequence Variation in the Primate Dopamine Transporter Gene and Its Relationship to Social Dominance” published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. Dr. John R. Chapin, associate professor of communications, had an article, “Third-Person Perception and Racism,” published in the International Journal of Communication 2 (2008), 100-107. Chapin also co-authored “Optimistic Bias: What You Think, What You Know, or Whom You Know?” for the North American Journal of Psychology, 2009, Vol. 11, No. 1, 121-132. In addition, Chapin authored “Youth Perceptions of their School Violence Risks” which appeared in Adolescence, Vol. 43, No. 17, Fall 2008. Dr. Zhongyuan Che, assistant professor of mathematics, wrote two articles, “Forcing Faces in Plain Bipartite Graphs” and “Uniquely K-Pairable Graphs,” that were published in Discrete Math. She also wrote “Odd-Angulated Graphs and Cancelling a Factor of Box Products” for The Journal of Graph Theory and gave a presentation on “Uniquely Pairable Graphs” at the American Mathematics Society in San Diego. Dr. JoAnn Chirico, senior instructor in sociology, authored a book called Observable Effects: Meaning in the Global Age, which was published by Sage/Pine Forge. She also presented a paper, “Seeking Simplicity: Society, Self, and Globalization,” at the International Sociological Association in Barcelona. Dr. Patrice Clemson, instructor in information sciences and technology, presented a paper, “Info2Go: Campus Vodcasting,” at the

Annual Conference of the American Library Association in Anaheim. Dr. W. Timothy Few, assistant professor of business, presented “Competitor Identification: Integrating the Categorization, Economic, and Identity Perspectives” at the Academy of Management in Anaheim. Dr. Talha Harcar, associate professor of business, wrote “Lifestyle Orientation of Rural U.S. and Canadian Consumers: Are Regio-centric Standardized Marketing Strategies Feasible?” for the Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics. His work, “Foreign Products Images and Ethnocentrism Among Consumers in Five Latin American Countries: An Analysis of Their Similarities and Differences,” was published in the Business Review, Cambridge. Dr. Kristen Olson, associate professor of English, wrote “From Margin to Milieu: The Authorship of Le tombeau de Marguerite de Valois, Royne de Navarre” which was published in a journal, New Ways of Looking at Old Texts: Papers of the Renaissance English Text Society. Dr. David Paoletti, assistant professor of computer science, received an in-kind gift of $67,635 in software, hardware, and licenses from Altera Corporation, San Jose, California. The gifts, a Quartus II Design Suite v8.0 and an Altera DE2 Development and Education Board, will be used in computer engineering classes. Paoletti also presented a paper, “Inferring the Number of Contributors to Mixed DNA Profiles,” at the Seventh Annual Science of DNA Profiling Conference in Dayton, Ohio. Dr. Carol Schafer, associate professor of theatre, integrative arts and women’s studies, received the Achieving Women Award from the Penn State Commission for Women. The award recognizes Penn State women who have shown leadership, supported the University’s diversity and equal opportunity efforts, and contributed to human causes and public service. Schafer also directed a play, The Funeral, by Cory Tamler for the Pittsburgh New Works Festival. Dr. Juliette Storr, assistant professor of communications, wrote an article, “Gender Switching — Repositioning the Distaff: A History of Women in Bahamian Media,” for

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the Journal of Caribbean Studies. She also wrote “Cultural Proximity, Asymmetrical Interdependence, and a New NWICO: A Case Study of Bahamian Television 1977-1997” that was published in the International Communications Bulletin. Dr. Robert Szymczak, associate professor of history, authored “The Vindication of Memory: The Katyn Case in the West, Poland, and Russia, 1952-2008” in The Polish Review published by The Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America. He also gave a presentation, “The Quest to Keep the Katyn Case Alive, 1951-1990,” at the 66th Annual Meeting of the Institute in Philadelphia. Dr. Kay Wijekumar, associate professor of information sciences and technology (IST), has received a $3 million grant for four years from the U.S. Department of Education for a grant titled “Efficacy and Replication Research on the Intelligent Tutoring System for the Structure Strategy: Rural and Suburban Schools Grades 4, 5, 7, and 8.” Wijekumar will be working with approximately 30 school districts and over 10,000 children from 2009 to 2011 to improve reading comprehension by using the Web-based Intelligent Tutor System built at Penn State Beaver. Former Beaver campus graduates working on the project include James Spielvogel ’05 IST, Lori Johnson ’04 IST, Kathryn McQuade-Shurmatz ’04 IST and Dustin Felix ’03 IST, consultant. In addition, Wijekumar presented a paper, “Improving Reading Comprehension in Middle School Students Using a Web-based Tutorial System for the Structure Strategy,” at the world conference of Educational Multimedia, Hyper Media, and Telecommunications in Vienna, Austria. Irene Wolf, instructor in philosophy, gave a presentation, “How to Walk in Beauty and Live a Virtuous Life According to Greeks, Navajos, and Buddhists” at the International Conference of Arts and Humanities in Honolulu. Courtney L. Young, associate librarian and associate professor of women’s studies, was elected to a three-year term on the American Library Association Executive Board, effective July 2009.

Spring 2009

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

“ the kuwait connection

They’re just starting to shape their identities, and it’s fascinating to have them do this with another culture that is so stereotypically opposite of western culture.

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tudents are seated at their desks sharing gossip and venting about history homework. A girl is brushing her hair while another applies more powder. Two boys are turned around in their seats, laughing. When the bell rings there is a shift in the room. Hair brushes and Cover Girl compacts are replaced with pens and notebooks. The two boys face forward at their desks. For the next 42 minutes this is college, not high school. Kristin Oberg, Penn State Beaver lecturer in English, is standing at the front of the room, ready to begin her lecture. The students seated before her are juniors and seniors at Riverside High School in North Sewickley Township. These students are enrolled in Oberg’s English 15 course. Students enrolled in the class must take entry exams and provide teacher recommendations. “I wanted to take the class to see what college would be like,” said 18year-old senior Chloe Bartell of Beaver Falls. Oberg said she enjoys teaching the class because the students want to be there. “I’m glad I took it. It’s a lot of work but I think the experience is worth it,” Bartell said. Unlike the classes Oberg teaches on campus, the Riverside classes are more culturally diverse, and not be-

Kristin oberg, left, created a virtual discussion forum that connects her english students with the class of Hanan Muzaffar, an english professor at Kuwait university, who is shown with her children. cause of the enrolled students. Recently Oberg has added a twist to her syllabus. Students enrolled in the Riverside courses are required to post comments and discuss literature on a virtual forum with students from another school. The forum’s content is a combination of posts from students at Riverside High School and Kuwait University. Oberg has partnered with Dr. Hanan Muzaffar, an English language and literature instructor at Kuwait University. Muzaffar and Oberg met at Indiana University of Pennsylvania while they were graduate students. The two have remained friends since their time

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at IUP. “We have very similar interests in literature,” Oberg said about herself and Muzaffar. “I thought it would be great if we could somehow work together, and this just fit.” Muzaffar was already using a forum when Oberg approached her with the idea of bringing their classes together. The theme of Oberg’s English 15 class is identity. “They’re just starting to shape their identities, and it’s fascinating to have them do this with another culture that is so stereotypically opposite of western culture,” Oberg said. Students are required to make six continued on page 10

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Spring 2009

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if you have news to share, we’d love to hear about it. complete this form and mail it to the address below or email us at:

name ________________________________ EMILY CICCONI


Penn State Beaver recently hired new staff members to fill vacated positions. Emily Cicconi ’05 Sci was hired as a multi-campus career services specialist with an office at Beaver campus, but also will work with Penn State Shenango, Greater Allegheny, New Kensington and Fayette campuses. Previously she was a university events coordinator at Carnegie Mellon University and an assistant director of career services at Penn State Altoona. She is a member of the American College Personnel Association. Cicconi holds a master’s degree in student affairs in higher education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Penn State, where she attended the University Park and DuBois campuses. Anthony Budris ’03 Lib, ’04 MEd and Jennifer Sharp were


hired as police service officers. Prior to his arrival at Beaver, Budris was a police services officer at Penn State Mont Alto, a response team member for Securitas Security Services, Shippingport, and a security officer for Allied Security, Pittsburgh. A graduate of the IUP Police Academy, he holds a master’s degree in education in teaching and curriculum and a bachelor’s degree in history from Penn State. Sharp, who was previously employed as a part-time police services officer at Beaver campus, was also a police officer for the Grove City Police Department, a Lawrence County corrections officer, and a representative for Keefe Commissary Network in the Lawrence County Jail. She is a graduate of the IUP Police Academy and holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology and an associate’s degree in sociology from IUP.

s ta F F e u p dat

Oberg continued FRoM page 9 posts to the forum throughout the semester. Students can post new comments and respond to posts made by other students. Oberg said her students were pleasantly surprised that the students from Kuwait had similar ideas to their own. “They expected bold commentary, and that’s not what they got.” “It’s really neat,” said 18-year-old senior Veronica Umstott of Beaver Falls. “It’s cool to

address ______________________________ city ______________ State ____ Zip _______ phone ________________________________ email _________________________________ employer ______________________________ Work phone____________________________ years at Beaver campus ___________________ degree/year ____________________________ What news do you have to share? (new job, honors/awards, marriage, birth, promotion, etc.) _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ _____________________________________ attach additional page if necessary. MAIL TO: alumni update, penn State Beaver, 100 university drive, Monaca, pa 15061

see how they view the same piece of literature that we’re reading.” “I think it’s really cool. It’s fun to talk to kids from another country,” Bartell said. While most students have already posted several comments, Oberg has found that some are less eager than others. “I haven’t used it yet,” said 18-year-old Jonathon McElwain of New Brighton. “It’s not that I don’t want to. I’m just lazy.” Oberg is confident that the students are learning about themselves through this experience. Riverside High School English teacher Charlotte Householder agrees that

the forum is a great learning tool. “I think it’s fantastic,” said Householder. “It’s promoting literature and the use of technology. It’s totally 21st century,” she said. Oberg has no definite plans to implement an international forum in any of her Penn State Beaver classes, but she’s open to using more international contacts in the future. “It’s fun to go down an unexplored avenue,” Oberg said. “This is just the tip of the iceberg.” this article, written by angela adams ’08 com, originally appeared in the Roar, penn State Beaver’s student newspaper.

Spring 2009

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Page 11

Teams FRoM page 1 of Head Coach Bert DeSalvo who took the team to the top in their first season. In addition, the Lions’ Head Coach Marcess Williams was named PSUAC Coach of the Year and junior Zac Fetchin and sophomore Heather Sandusky were named PSUAC Players of the Year. Fetchin was also named PSUAC All-Conference and, for the second consecutive year, was named USCAA All-American. Sandusky was named PSUAC All-Conference and USCAA Honorable Mention All-American. “I would never have guessed that both of our teams would win this year’s PSUAC trophy and then advance to and finish so well in the USCAA,” said Athletic Director Andy Kirschner. “Both teams had a core of upperclassmen to lean on, and they also had added depth with some very talented freshmen. Bert, Marcess and these students worked as hard as any group of athletes and coaches I’ve ever seen.” The men won their PSUAC championship when they defeated Penn State Dubois, 80-69, and Penn State Hazleton, 86-70, at the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State University Park. A week later, they headed to Penn State Fayette for the USCAA Tournament as the No. 2 seed. In the quarter finals, Beaver dominated Central Maine Community College, 85-76, and easily handled the University of Cincinnati-Clermont, 74-55, in the semifinals. In the championship game they faced off against defending na-

Nasser Shahin

New soccer coach hired eVan M. pincHot

tony Houghton soars for a layup during the second half of the pSuac championship game against penn State Hazleton. tional champion Williamson Trade School of Media, Pa. After trailing for much of the game, Beaver closed the gap to one point with a little over a minute left. But that’s as close as they got as they were forced to foul, and Williamson converted on many of their free throws to win the USCAA Division II Championship, 59-50. “Any team would be disappointed. We came up short,” Coach Williams said. “But we had a great season with great leadership and a lot of talent.” “Coming into this season, nobody expected us to do what we did,” freshman Tony Houghton said. “We were doubted to the fullest extent, but we did it.” The Lady Lions won their second PSUAC Championship when they easily defeated Penn State Brandywine, 91-63, and Penn State Schuylkill, 75-58, at the Bryce Jordan Center. “I felt like I was part of a dynasty,” sophomore Tasia McCargo said. A week later, the women entered the USCAA Tournament at Penn State Fayette as the No. 6 seed. They defeated Central Maine Community College, 79-53, but faced a tougher opponent in the Newport Apprentice School. The game went back and forth throughout, but the Lady Lions moved the ball the length of the

ame g e R mO N 12 pIcs O

floor with under four seconds left and won 59-58 with a 30-foot, 3pointer at the buzzer. The women’s luck ran out when they lost in their third tournament matchup against Spalding University, 63-41. “Spalding is a great team. They ended up winning it all,” Coach DeSalvo said. The women lost the consolation game to the University of Cincinnati-Clermont, 68-53. “We finished higher than we were seeded, and that’s an accomplishment,” DeSalvo said. Houghton was named USCAA All-American and PSUAC All Conference Team. McCargo received Honorable Mention PSUAC All-Conference. Sophomore Jasmine Green was named PSUAC All-Conference and USCAA Honorable Mention AllAmerican. Senior Matthew Franitti was named Honorable Mention PSUAC All-Conference. “It was great seeing both teams enjoy a special year together,” Kirschner said. “Even though the women had a great year last year, I think it was more exciting for both teams this time around because they were able to enjoy their achievements together. Both the men and women were determined to go the distance this season, and that’s exactly what they did.” penn State Beaver Roar staffwriters Brian Krobot, Josh Lemesh and teresa Fullwood contributed to this report.

Nasser A. Shahin has been named head coach of the Penn State Beaver Nittany Lions men’s soccer team. Previously Shahin was the head soccer coach at South Side Beaver High School and was also head coach for the Olympic Development Program, where he trained and promoted players to the United States Olympic Team program for regional competition. In addition, he was the North United Classic soccer coach, where he worked on technical skills with teams. In 2002 he was named the Pennsylvania West Soccer Association Boys Classic Coach of the Year. Shahin played professional soccer for the El-Tersana National Club soccer team in Egypt. He is currently enrolled in a master’s degree program in sports and leadership and holds graduate and special diplomas in education from Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. Shahin holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt.

office of campus and community Relations Ross administration Building, Suite 201 100 university drive Monaca, pa 15061

above: Beaver’s tasia Mccargo battles with Schuylkill’s Shannon Sacco. at right, Beaver’s tony Houghton takes a shot over Williamson trade School’s alex Bradley.

above: Jasmine green takes the ball down the court in the championship game against penn State Schuylkill. at left, chancellor gary Keefer comforts Zac Fetchin after the uScaa championship loss.

pHotoS By danieL J. and eVan M. pincHot

homecoming 2009 Coming October 24. Save the date.


SPRING 2009 Beaver’s 2008-09 basketball season in superlatives. Amazing. Unbelievable. Incredible. History-making. Both the Nittany Lions co...


SPRING 2009 Beaver’s 2008-09 basketball season in superlatives. Amazing. Unbelievable. Incredible. History-making. Both the Nittany Lions co...