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FALL 2008

Nittany NEWS

Photos courtesy of Maria Shamsi/THE TAJ MAHAL


To India and back

It’s an honor for me to be able to share in the good fortune and great opportunities this country offers me while, at the same time, know that so much of who I am and what shaped me lies in the heart of India.


aria Uzair Shamsi is a great example of an energetic, intelligent, young American woman studying at Penn State. In most respects, she’s very similar to many of her friends, classmates, and neighbors. However, there’s one aspect of Maria’s life that sets her apart; since childhood she’s explored her family’s roots through biennial trips to India.

Maria, left, with her cousins Aroosha and Misk and her brother Harris.

“Almost every single one of my relatives lives in India,” Maria said. “When I visit, it’s a family reunion for all of us. My mom’s first cousin lives in California and my dad’s brother lives in Toronto, Canada. Everyone else is home in India, so we’re somewhat spread out.” During her latest trip, Maria visited New Delhi, India’s capital and one of its CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

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Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Fall 2008

A Message from Chancellor Keefer B

As we tell our prospective students, when you combine the reputation of Penn State with our network of loyal alumni, a Penn State degree gives our graduates a distinct advantage when beginning their job search.

eaver campus enrollment continued to climb this fall with a final official count of 845 students. That’s an increase of 50 students since last fall and an increase of 200 when compared with 2005. In fact, this year’s enrollment is the highest we’ve had since 1995. This dramatic increase in students has led to a more vibrant campus environment, both in and out of the classroom. It’s also given us additional budget flexibility to better serve our students. I believe there are several reasons for the enrollment turnaround. First, we’ve been consistent in presenting our message of “the power of the Penn State degree” to prospective students. Given today’s economy, college graduates will need every possible advantage when they enter the workplace. Employers nationwide as well as globally recognize the academic quality of Penn State. As we tell our prospective students, when you combine the reputation of Penn State with our network of loyal alumni, a Penn State degree gives our graduates a distinct advantage when beginning their job search. We’ve also enhanced the campus “curb appeal” with the construction of the Ross Administration Building, the demolition of the old administration building and maintenance facilities, the redesign of our main entrance road, and the renovation of the General Classroom Building plaza. Frequently the first comment made by vis-

Jamie Silicki poses on the set of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” with David Newell, who played Mr. McFeely on the television program. Jamie served her internship at WQED last summer.

itors is how attractive the campus is. Currently, we’re working with a landscape architect to develop a long-term plan to enhance the academic core of the campus, including relocating sidewalks, creating additional plaza areas, and providing new trees and other landscaped areas. We also plan to construct a new Wellness Center addition to the gym as well as renovate the Brodhead Cultural Center. This is an ambitious agenda, but one that must be pursued to keep Beaver campus strong and competitive. During the last several years, 50 to 100 high school students per semester have taken classes on campus through our Dual Enroll-

ment Program. Working with the Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit, which received a federal grant to provide tuition funding for area school districts, our Admissions and Academic Affairs staff have done an excellent job of providing a college experience for these high school students. The feedback we’ve received has been very positive as students experience both challenges and rewards in the classes. Another reason for our success lies with the Student Affairs staff members who continue to refine campus programming for students. More and more students are becoming engaged in student government, clubs, service activities, and other programming. Students who are active in extracurricular activities are more likely to stay at Beaver campus, so the strategic strengthening of student programming continues to play a part in our student body growth. We face difficult economic times ahead, and the number of high school graduates in our service area is expected to decline, but I remain very optimistic about the future of our campus. Our students are learning what many of you already know, i.e. their time at Penn State Beaver is shaping and preparing them for the future.

Gary B. Keefer, Chancellor


Last spring Jamie Silicki, a senior communications major, received the prestigious 2008 Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award which is Penn State’s highest student honor recognizing achievement in and out of the classroom at every campus. The award was one more feather in her cap. Jamie’s active college career has included a wide range of honors and experiences, both in and out of the classroom, including an internship

in Congressman Jason Altmire’s office and writing for the campus student newspaper, The Roar. Her latest internship was spent at WQED Pittsburgh, where she worked closely with Rosemary Martinelli, WQED’s executive director of marketing. Martinelli is also a member of the Penn State Beaver Communications Advisory Board. “Ms. Martinelli chose me to par-


Fall 2008

New faces on campus This fall Penn State Beaver welcomed eight new campus members.


Dr. Clare Conry-Murray is an assistant professor of psychology. She holds a Ph.D. in human development and education from the University of California, Berkeley; a master’s degree in secondary education in urban schools / English from Boston College, and a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in humanities from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She has also taught at Berkeley, the University of Rochester, and the University of Massachusetts. Abhijit Dutt is an instructor in information sciences and technology. He is holds a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Tulsa and a master’s degree in physics from the University of Calcutta, India. He also taught at Edgewood College in Wisconsin; the University of Wisconsin; Milwaukee School of Engineering, and Shepherd University in West Virginia. Other jobs included working for Motorola, Cabletron, Tellabs, and Putnam Investments.


Mona DeLisio is the staff assistant for the Office of Residence Life in Student Affairs. Before coming to campus, she was a teacher assistant at Center High School, an administrative assistant at Copperweld Corp., and a staff administrator for MCI Telecommunications. She holds an associate degree in business from Robert Morris University. Kelly Marcello is the new director of Housing and Food Services. Previously she was the restaurant manager for the Eat’n Park Hospitality Group in Chippewa and manager


of the Beaver County Fruit and Garden in Center Township. She holds a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from Robert Morris University. Jennifer McGrenehan is the new, parttime staff assistant in the Office of Housing and Food Services. Previously she worked for the Center Area School District. Rebecca Mulholland has been appointed part-time adult and transfer admissions recruiter on campus. In the past, she served as a case manager for Pittsburgh’s Ursuline Senior Services and worked for the Allegheny County Elder Abuse Hotline. She also taught middle and secondary school in Illinois and was a teaching assistant at the University of Rhode Island where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology. Judson Sammons is the coordinator of residence life. Before coming to Beaver, he was senior admissions counselor, resident director, and resident assistant at Toccoa Falls College, Georgia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the college. Dana Winters has been appointed educational counselor for the Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) of Southwestern Pennsylvania which has its office at Penn State Beaver. EOC is a federal TRIO program designed to provide information and counseling to adults hoping to attend college or other post secondary education institutions. Winters was also the adviser to provisional students at Lock Haven University’s Clearfield Achievers Program as well as coordinator of student life and resident manager. She holds a master’s degree in student affairs in higher education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Saint Vincent College.

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Dr. Clare Conry-Murray

Abhijit Dutt

Mona DeLisio

Kelly Marcello

Jennifer McGrenehan

Rebecca Mulholland

Judson Sammons

Dana Winters

Students hit Manhattan for a quick tour More than fifty Penn State Beaver students traveled to New York City in October for a whirlwind tour of the city in a little over a day. Students were accompanied by Dan Smith, instructor in business, and John Hall, lecturer in music. The trip’s highlight was the students’ visit

to the New York Museum of Finance on Wall Street, where they received a 90-minute guided tour and talked with employees about the stock market, commodities, bonds, the currency market and the country’s current economic crisis. Other stops included Trinity Church and


Cemetery, burial place of Alexander Hamilton; the World Trade Center Memorial and new construction site; Battery Park and Central Park; Tavern on the Green; Tribeca, Soho, Chinatown and Little Italy; the Empire State Building; Broadway; Times Square; and Macy’s.

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Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Fall 2008

Although I don’t think I’ll ever be able to live permanently in India, I do want to keep going back. If I have children and grandchildren, I’ll want them to visit India, too.


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 largest cities. “I also visited Aligarh, where Mom was born, and home of one of India’s biggest universities, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU),” she said. “I went to Rampur, where Dad was born, and also to Agra, which is where the Taj Mahal is located.” Maria’s parents attended AMU. Her mother holds a master’s degree in geography and her father earned a degree in civil engineering. “My parents met and married in India,” Maria said. “Then they moved to the United States when Dad was accepted into the graduate program at the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his Ph.D. “He’s now a civil engineer and also teaches part-time at Youngstown State University, and Mom is an eye surgeon’s assistant,” Maria said proudly. Dr. Shamsi has also taught at Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh, and West Virginia University. “We moved from Moon Township to Hopewell about six years ago,” she said. “I graduated from Hopewell High School, and this fall I began my third semester at Penn State Beaver. I live at home, which I enjoy, and I’m considering a career in business, which my Dad and I have talked about a lot. There are so many career opportunities when you have a business degree.” There’s no doubt that Maria’s life is busy, not only with travel but with campus activities. “My interest in business prompted me to run for my current position as treasurer and business manager of the Student Government Association,” she said. “I’m also going to be a new resident assistant in Harmony Hall next semester. It’ll be a challenge, but I welcome that.” One of the things that struck Maria especially hard on her most recent trip to India was the extreme difference in the cultures of India and the United States. “There’s a lot of poverty and a tremendous over-population problem in India,” she said quietly. “When I go there, I get tears in my eyes every time I see people in terrible distress. They’re sick with no food and some are without shelter or housing.”

Above, Maria’s family gathers for lunch at her Aunt Wajeeha and Uncle Umair's house. The main dish was haleem, which is a wheat porridge.At left, vendors make grilled kabobs on the streets of Aligarh, India

Fall 2008

“But in India, people my age, as well as adults, are so used to the poverty that they don’t do anything about it. It’s not a willful ignorance of the problem,” Maria said. “There’s no question that Indians are very aware of the issues of poverty, overpopulation, and sickness that surround them. It’s not that they don’t care or don’t want to help. I think it’s simply a fact of life that many Indians just don’t have the money or means to support or help people who are less fortunate.” The overcrowding was especially hard for Maria during her recent visit. “The day we were leaving India, there were literally hundreds of people swarming around me at the airport, and the lines for luggage, immigration, and customs were huge. It didn’t help that there was also construction going on, either. But as a foreigner, which is what

Penn State Beaver Nittany News Page 5

is also great beauty. Frankly, I think some of India’s cities are more modern and often more beautiful than some of the cities in the United States.” Maria was raised in a fairly religious Muslim family but doesn’t mind talking with people about religion in India. She’s also answered many different versions of the same question. “Yes, cows do roam the streets in some places because the Hindu religion worships cows,” she said. “It doesn’t offend me if people ask me about this, and I try to explain that it’s part of the Hindu religion. “I’m not Hindu,” Maria said, “but no matter how you worship or what culture you’re from, there should always be sensitivity on the part of both the person asking the question and the person answering it.” As for her future, Maria’s not sure what

Yes, there are extremely poor conditions in India, but there is also great beauty. I really am when I’m in India, I felt uncomfortable with so many people pushing and shoving. I’m just not used to it.” “Another difference between India and this country is the focus on cleanliness,” Maria said. “I had to watch my step, literally, to avoid piles of garbage or animal droppings. Keeping the streets clean doesn’t seem to be as big a concern as it is in many parts of this country.” Maria is emphatic, however, about the fact that the differences between India and the United States don’t mean that this country or its residents are any better or more intelligent than India’s citizens. “As I’ve said before, and using the knowledge base I have, I don’t think most people in India can do all that much about the overpopulation and poverty they see every day. It’s overwhelming but, sadly, something many live with throughout their lives in very difficult circumstances.” Maria also stressed her opinion that many films, TV shows, and the media in general portray the wrong view and a very negative perspective of India. “What Americans see is what they tend to believe, which is natural,” Maria said. “Yes, there are extremely poor conditions in India, but there

lies ahead. “I’ve become very interested in psychology,” she said, “and might major in it. I hope to continue on at Penn State to earn both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees and, hopefully, my Ph.D.” “Although I don’t think I’ll ever be able to live permanently in India, I do want to keep going back. If I have children and grandchildren, I’ll want them to visit India, too, with or without me. They need to learn about the richness of their ancestors’ culture and roots.” In some respects, Maria felt that her recent visit was her most powerful. “My parents took plenty of time to show my younger brothers and me the houses where they grew up. They made sure we met all our relatives and experienced as much of the culture and traditions of India as possible within a 2½ week visit.” “Looking back,” Maria reflected, “I feel like this visit was one of the most meaningful I’ve ever made to India. It’s an honor for me to be able to share in the good fortune and great opportunities this country offers me while, at the same time, know that so much of who I am and what shaped me lies in the heart of India. It’s an unusual situation for many people my age, and it’s one that I’m grateful for every day.”


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 ticipate in a “WQED Changes Lives” spot,” Jamie said. “She wanted someone with a genuine story about how WQED impacted their life, and she also wanted a younger person in the spot to give a clear message that WQED has a very wide audience.” “During filming,” Jamie said, “I talked about the ways in which this internship challenged me professionally as well as my time at Penn State Beaver, my goals, and my achievements.” Portions of the spot that was filmed have already aired, but other segments of the interview might air in the near future. “It was really a great experience for me, and I’m very grateful for the opportunities I had at WQED,” she said.

SGA officers elected

Senior Stephanie Shearer is president of the 2008-2009 Student Government Association, and senior Justin Lyons is vice president. Junior Abe Atallah is secretary and sophomore Maria Shamsi is treasurer and business manager.

Student receives scholarship

Zhe Hu, a sophomore business major, is one of only two recipients of the prestigious, newly established Penn State Faculty Trustee Scholarship. Earlier this year the University Faculty Senate announced the $50,000 endowZhe Hu ment as a way to assist academically talented students. This year the scholarship is awarded to only two students selected from the entire University student population. The Trustee Matching Scholarship Program aims to ensure that a Penn State education is accessible to qualified students, regardless of their financial means. Implemented in 2002 upon approval by the University’s Board of Trustees, the program is unique in that the University matches 5 percent of the principal of each gift annually and combines these funds with income from the endowment to effectively double the financial impact of the scholarship.

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Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Fall 2008

The odyssey of his life The best advice I can give to anyone is to pursue something you love doing and have fun with it.



hile many of his colleagues spend their days in deep water, Penn State Beaver alum Jay A. Nudi ’85 Bus works to keep his company’s financial dealings strictly above board. Jay is chief accounting officer and controller for Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. in Tampa, Fla., which is in the business of shipwrecks and sunken treasures. The company, which employs approximately 50 employees and numerous contractors, including technicians, researchers, translators, archaeologists, and other specialists. is engaged in the archaeologically sensitive exploration and recovery of deep water shipwrecks throughout the world. Odyssey uses innovative methods and state-of-the-art technology to conduct extensive deep ocean search and recovery operations around the world. Odyssey was founded in 1994 by industry pioneers John C. Morris and Greg Stemm. Currently, Greg Stemm is the company’s chief executive officer, following John Morris’ retirement in January 2008 “This is a publicly traded company committed to following the highest professional standards of archaeologically sensitive shipwreck exploration,” Jay said. “Concurrent with Odyssey’s goals for exploration is the organization’s dedication to protecting the cultural heritage found in deep ocean shipwrecks.” So how does a former Penn State Beaver student end up in a job with such an extraordinary company? “I found out about it through a national networking group for finance professionals called the Financial Executives Network Group,” Jay said. “My wife, Beth, and I were moving back to Tampa from Atlanta, and I had several job opportunities, but frankly, this one really piqued my interest.” In May 2005 Jay became the corporate controller at Odyssey, and in January 2006 he was named chief accounting officer. “As you can imagine, there aren’t many shipwreck exploration companies,” he noted. “They’re few

Photo courtesy of Odyssey Marine Exploration

Gold coins glittering on the ocean floor are just a few of the treasures often found by Odyssey Marine Exploration. and far between, but Odyssey is recognized internationally as the world-leader in deepocean shipwreck exploration. I am so fortunate to have the chance to work here.” Jay said that the company’s business plan is built on the premise that ships have been lost for centuries in deep water with valuable and fascinating artifacts and cargo. “The technology now exists to find and recover

these lost artifacts and cargo in an archaeologically sound manner,” he said. “Odyssey believes these historical and economic treasures should be shared with the public.” Odyssey currently has numerous shipwreck projects in various stages of development around the world. “For security reasons we can’t reveal these locations,” Jay said. The company also generates revenue

Fall 2008

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beneficial in several ways. It gave me a finanthrough the sale of artifacts to collectors, alcial advantage because I could live at home though a careful distinction is made between culturally significant artifacts and trade goods. while receiving a quality education with a lot “When we recover artifacts that are one-of-a- of one-on-one attention from my professors. kind, unique, or culturally significant, we keep But I also began to understand the impact a Penn State degree can carry in this world.” them in our permanent collection,” Jay said. At the time Jay attended Beaver, the cam“Then they’re available for study by repus didn’t offer baccalaureate degrees. (Beaver searchers, archaeologists, and academics.” now has five bachelor’s degrees, including Odyssey often discovers items that were business.) So why did he decide to move on mass-produced, including pottery, coins, to University Park to complete his degree ingems, bottles, coal, and bricks. stead of attending another school closer to “We keep a permanent reserve of a reprehome? “What can I say?” Jay laughed. “We sentative sample of these items for study, but are ... PENN STATE! I knew I couldn’t get there is no reasonable scientific or cultural the education and value in retaining all accounting perspecof these duplicate tive I needed anyitems in storage where else. Penn rooms in a museum,” State was a natural Jay said. “It’s more choice for me all the practical to offer way.” them for private Jay also credits ownership to a colhis Penn State delector who takes gree with putting great pride in and him ahead of the care of his or her crowd when he gradcollection.” uated and began Odyssey also Photo courtesy of Jay Nudi looking for work. sponsors exhibits Jay Nudi poses with his dogs, Max, left, and “Penn State was around the world Shiner. known as one of the and sells books and DVDs of its adventures. Jay said that when people learn where he works, they immediately think of pirates, danger, and lost treasures, but these adventure-laden images are quite different than the actual operations of shipwreck exploration. “This is a constantly evolving, state-ofthe-art industry that depends on advanced technology, a well-organized business plan, and sound international relationships,” Jay said. Jay has great memories of Penn State Beaver. A graduate of Freedom High School, he spent his first two years of college at Beaver campus, then moved to Penn State University Park to complete his degree. As a commuter student at Beaver, Jay loved attending events and meeting up with friends in the Student Union Building. “One of my best memories is seeing The Silencers perform in concert at Beaver,” he said. “They were one of Pittsburgh’s top bands in the ’80s, and it was so great to see them on campus because I was such a big fan.” Jay chose Penn State for the academic advantage he knew he’d have when he graduated. “Beginning my college career was

top non-Ivy League schools when I was there. To this day, I know with 100 percent certainty that I made the right choice.” “I also found out that wherever I went, I ran into Penn State alumni,” he added. “We’re everywhere, whether it’s at work, in the grocery store, restaurants, or professional sports. Jay’s wife, Beth, graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in English and now works in the insurance industry. “One time Beth commented that Penn State alums are everywhere because we have a campus on every corner in Pennsylvania,” Jay laughed. “I couldn’t help myself when I answered, ‘Hey, it’s supply and demand, baby!’” When asked what career advice Jay could give to current students or graduates, he replied that the world holds many fascinating employment opportunities. “The best advice I can give to anyone is to pursue something you love doing and have fun with it. As far as working at Odyssey, well … turnover is minimal here, but who knows, send me your resume!” To learn more about Odyssey or contact Jay, visit or email


fers to our students who, in turn, engage other students. Because of their relationships with the children, our students realize they’re doing something important, something bigger than themselves.” The Blue and White Society is a new campus volunteer group established this semester by students with the guidance and oversight of Christina Winniewicz, external relations assistant in the Office of Development. There are 44 students in the Blue and White Society, which is the student membership group of the Penn State Alumni Association. Blue and White Society members support local communities, the Alumni Association, and Penn State through social service, networking, and volunteer projects. Beaver campus students also spent time volunteering with Habitat for Humanity of Beaver County. In September, student-athletes worked on a local Habitat project under the guidance of Bert DeSalvo, head coach of the women’s basketball team. In October, a different group of students, many of whom were members of the Business Club, spent a day on a Habitat build with members of the Beaver Valley Area Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association. “Working with the students is a wonderful way to enhance alumni relationships with them,” said Eric McIntosh ’05 Bus, a member of the Alumni Chapter Board of Directors and a recruiter for UPMC International and Commercial Services, who sees great value in student volunteerism. “These projects provide students with a tremendous opportunity to build relationships with potential employers while proving themselves to professionals who might be able to help them with job opportunities after graduation,” McIntosh said. “More importantly, the students realize the value of stepping outside of themselves to help other people. I’m always willing to support our students in any way possible, and events like this Habitat build are a big reason for that.”

For more information about student volunteer or community projects, contact Jessica Jackson, student activities and residence life coordinator, at or 724-773-3947.

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In Memory of Thomas A. Gilchrist Tom’s gracious manner, kindness, and gentle sense of humor came through in everything he did and said. Those attributes were part of what people loved and admired about him.


hen Tom Gilchrist ’41 Agr (Dairy Husbandry) passed away at the age of 88 on May 18, 2008, our Beaver Valley Area Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association lost its longest-term treasurer and member of the Board of Directors. Most of all, we lost our friend and leader. Tom and I met when we became involved in the formation of the Alumni Chapter about 25 years ago. He was energetic and organized, and the group quickly realized that if we wanted someone to watch every penny, we could count on Tom. He held the treasurer’s office until 2007. His dedication to and enjoyment of that job were apparent to all. Tom’s love of and pride in the University were impossible to measure. For decades he cheered on the Nittany Lions, and loved to tell stories about the culture of Penn State in, as he called them, the “olden days.” It was a pleasure to hear him speak so fondly of a place that meant so much to him. Tom was also known as “The Ice Cream Man” because for decades he coordinated and helped Chapter members with the sale of Penn State Creamery ice cream in our community. Tom and other Chapter members sold ice cream to audiences at the Brodhead Cultural Center’s shows, and t he tradition continued this year in his honor. He also organized the purchase and distribution of Penn State Creamery ice cream half-gallons sold by the Chapter every fall. Tom made arrangements to have a Turner’s Dairy truck pick up, store, and deliver the ice cream so that people from miles around could pick up their favorite treat close to home. Tom’s interest in dairy and ice cream began when his parents owned the Alps Ice

Cream store and wholesale business in Beaver Falls. Eventually Tom and his brother took over the business, and his children, Jane and Tom, still claim that the ice cream made there was the best, bar none. When the brothers closed the business in 1962, Tom worked for several commercial dairies in the Pittsburgh area. He later became a Pennsylvania state dairy and farm inspector until he retired. As I grew to know Tom, I realized he defined the word “gentleman.” His gracious manner, kindness, and gentle sense of humor came through in everything he did and said. Those attributes were part of him and part of what people loved and admired about him. Tom was a tremendously devoted husband, father, and grandfather. When his beloved wife, Ibby, passed away in 1997, I saw the sadness and empty space her loss left in his life after their 53-year marriage. But Tom never let that change define or reshape him in

a negative way. He remained upbeat and kept his sense of humor as he quietly dealt with the loss of his partner and best friend. I was lucky to call Tom my friend. His grace, patience, and strength supported me in many ways through the years, and he always had time to talk with me. Those are times I’ll always treasure. I think fall was Tom’s favorite season, as it is mine, and this fall I’ve thought of him frequently. He baked pumpkin pies for friends and made peanut brittle with his church crew that found its way into many area kitchens, including mine. Last fall Tom’s health began to fail, and in December he moved into Franciscan Manor in Patterson Heights. I visited him in his light, pleasant room one beautiful Saturday, and he proudly showed me around his new home and talked of the estate’s history. He was more relaxed and happier than I’d seen him in months, and I drove home that day knowing that Tom had found the right place. The Alumni Chapter continues on with new members and projects, but Tom’s presence will always be felt. There’s a Chinese saying that I think applies to Tom: “The sound stops short, the sense flows on.” Tom’s gone from us, but his spirit and grace remain, and for that, I’ll always be grateful.

Amy M. Krebs Director, Campus/Community Relations Campus Liaison, Beaver Valley Area Alumni Chapter

Golf outing raises $15,000 for campus signs This fall the Penn State Beaver Alumni Society’s Eighth Annual Golf Outing raised more than $15,000 and drew a record number of 112 players. The Beaver County Times foursome won first place, followed by the Morrow Team in second place and

LaQuantra Bonci Associates in third. Proceeds will fund new campus signs and wayfinder maps. The Golf Committee was chaired by Norman Kraus ’77 Com. Committee members were John Hertneky ’79 Eng, Jeff Bauman ’92


Lib, Joe Trgovac ’80 Bus, Don Veri ’72 Edu, Tom Jurkowski ’75 Bus, Diana Patterson, campus director of development, and Christina Winniewicz, development external relations assistant.

Fall 2008

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Penn State Beaver needs your support All gifts that go to University Park stay there, and all gifts that come to Beaver stay here. There isn’t any “trickle down” effect for Beaver.


must have the best job in the world! As Penn State Beaver’s director of development, I get to meet our wonderful alumni. However, in recent trips to connect with Beaver campus alumni, I was surprised by what several of them said. Here’s the story…… When I meet with an alum, I use our time together to provide campus updates, answer questions, address issues, find out how the campus can be of service, and learn more about the person with whom I’m meeting. I’ve been privileged to hear many wonderful stories about numerous positive experiences people have had at Beaver. These stories are often filled with appreciation for educational opportunities, dedicated faculty members, small class sizes, and/or friendships formed – even some that evolved into lifelong partnerships and marriages. These positive comments evoke this reply from me: “I’ve heard you speak so well of your time at Beaver campus, and I see that you financially support the University Park campus. Naturally, that makes me curious as to why you don’t support Beaver financially.” People are almost always surprised by my comment and usually say, “I thought my gift to University Park was shared with Beaver” or “I was never asked to help Beaver.” I explain that all gifts that go to University Park stay there, and all gifts that come to Beaver stay


If you have news to share, we’d love to hear about it. Fill out this form or send us email at

here. There isn’t any “trickle down” effect for Beaver. Every campus is responsible for its own fundraising goal. As the development officer, it’s my sincere hope that you’ll give back to Beaver, the place where you began (and possibly finished) your Penn State education. I’m very happy to help you do that. There are so many ways you can support Beaver, including scholarships, athletics, facilities, cultural programs, research, and unrestricted gifts, just to name a few. Last summer I visited a gentleman who previously funded an endowed scholarship at Beaver campus in his family’s name. He was

satisfied with his gift and wasn’t necessarily interested in making an additional gift — until we talked about the impact his scholarship has made. This donor learned that his gift has already touched the lives of 56 Beaver campus students who received scholarships as a result of his generosity. As a result, this gentleman and his wife pledged an additional $100,000 donation for their existing endowed scholarship. The impact those additional funds will make in the lives of countless Beaver campus students is remarkable. This year 153 Beaver campus students have benefitted from more than $450,000 in scholarships provided by donors. In today’s economy, that amount is especially meaningful. Naturally, not everyone can make a gift at that level, but the point is to give, no matter what the amount. Your direct support of Penn State Beaver at any level is essential to our continued growth and success. I welcome the opportunity to assist you in making your gift to Penn State Beaver. Please contact me anytime at or 724-773-3558. I look forward to visiting with you soon. With best regards,

Diana Patterson Director of Development

Address __________________________________________

What news do you have to share? (new job, honors/awards, marriage, birth, promotion, etc.)

Phone _____________________ Email __________________


Name ____________________________________________

City _______________________ State ____ Zip __________ Employer ___________________ Work phone_____________ Years at Beaver Campus ________ Degree/year _____________

__________________________ __________________________ __________________________

Attach additional page if necessary. MAIL TO: Alumni Update, Penn State Beaver, 100 University Drive, Monaca, PA 15061

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Fall 2008

A matter of service There’s little opportunity to do things for others while in college. When students become involved in service learning, they realize how much potential they have to create positive changes in the community, even if they’re only interacting with one or two people.



f you mention the term “service learning” at Penn State Beaver, the first person who almost always comes to mind is Dr. JoAnn Chirico, senior instructor in sociology. “I started requiring service learning, or a research project, during my first year of teaching at Beaver in 1997,” JoAnn said. “No one else was doing it on campus, so I began quietly.” Service learning is usually defined as an academic program that enables students to perform meaningful community service related to their courses. The goal is to combine community service with classroom theories to enrich students’ learning, personal growth, and sense of civic responsibility. The benefit is multiple in that students help people in the community, enhance their classroom experience, and learn about collaboration with outside agencies. JoAnn holds a doctorate in sociology and education with a minor in educational administration and a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Pittsburgh. Her bachelor’s degree in English is from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her academic background explains how she came to view service learning as such an important part of a student’s education. She became involved in sociology and service learning while working on her dissertation. “I couldn’t tackle the problem I’d outlined with the knowledge base I had,” JoAnn said. “I studied sociological theory to try to find a perspective, and I did. I became hooked on the multi-dimensional perspective of sociology, which has an ana-

lytical framework that forces one to look at a number of levels of explanation to understand any one phenomenon.” As an undergraduate, she not only took English courses for her major, but decided to take all the biology courses required of biology majors. “I thought that between the poets and biologists, I could understand social action,” JoAnn said. Her students are grateful when they speak of the unique experiences they’ve had as a result of attending a class in which service learning is required. Cyndi Brown, who will graduate from Penn State Beaver in December with a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology, is emphatic when she says that JoAnn’s influence changed her life. “During my college career, I’ve had a variety of internships and done a lot of volunteer work with social service agencies, crisis centers, and other organizations serving people in need,” Cyndi said. “But JoAnn was the person who opened my eyes to those opportunities. She taught me to think and view life in culturally diverse ways, and she also increased my awareness of social issues that affect minorities as well as other people.” While completing her degree, Cyndi is also working full-time at Adelphoi Village’s new office in Butler. Adelphoi is a private, not-for-profit agency that provides comprehensive, community-based treatment to boys and girls. “I spent two semesters as an intern at Adelphoi,” she said. “I enjoyed the work so much that the administrators asked me to become a fulltime employee. Now I work with adjudicated youth who are mandated by the courts to

attend Adelphoi in after-school programs.” Cyndi also credits Dr. Minhnoi Wroble Biglan, assistant professor of psychology, and Dr. June Fishbourne and Kevin Bennett, instructors in psychology, with playing important roles in her career choice. “The faculty here are incredibly devoted not only to what they teach, but to the success and lives of their students as well. They’ve opened my eyes to so many opportunities and new experiences. I can’t thank them enough,” she said. JoAnn’s work with her students and the community hasn’t gone unnoticed. She received the Penn State Beaver Advisory Board Sky Bank Excellence in Service Award for her work in forming student/community partnerships and her initiatives in increasing awareness of social problems and issues on campus and in the community. She is also a recipient of the Penn State Commonwealth College Service Award. In addition, she received the Penn State University Vice President for Student Affairs Award for Outstanding Program in the Diversity Speakers Series and received honorable mention in that office’s Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program. JoAnn has taught service learning, off and on, for 15 years. “I use it for a number of reasons. Some are academic in nature in that students learn more about their courses through the multi-level explorations of their subject matter. Another reason is because I believe it is a college student’s responsibility to give back to the community in which he or she is educated,” she said. “Our students use the resources of the community, so there should be some return,” JoAnn explained. Her service learning students work 20 hours at an average of $10 per hour. “That’s an average of $200 per student going back into the community.” She also believes that service learning is an excellent way for students to develop their personalities while discovering who they are

Fall 2008

Penn State Beaver Nittany News Page 11

Dr. JoAnn Chirico works with students Jamin Jackson and Kaitlin Pekular during a recent Civic Communications class.

and what the world means to them. “There’s little opportunity to do things for others while in college,” JoAnn said. “When students become involved in service learning, they realize how much potential they have to create positive changes in the community, even if they’re only interacting with one or two people.” JoAnn went on to explain the impact a student can make. “If a student delivers Meals on Wheels, the person to whom they’re delivering food usually greets them as though that student is the most important person in the world. For the food recipient, it’s true. That student might be the most important part of that person’s day. It’s truly an eye-opening experience for our students. It shows them how they can make a positive difference in someone else’s life.” JoAnn teaches basic sociology courses, which can be challenging since many of the students aren’t majoring in the field. One of her goals is to make sociology and service learning real to her classes. “I use a variety of mini-research exercises in class, which give students practice in thinking like a scientist, the same way that natural scientists use lab experiments,” she said. “However, these exercises aren’t controlled like natural science lab experiments. Students gather data from surveys, observations, experiments, and content analysis, and then we apply theory to interpret the results.” JoAnn is quick to point out that other Beaver campus faculty are deeply involved in service learning projects, including Dr. John Chapin, associate professor of communications; Dr. Patrice Clemson, instructor in information sciences and technology; James Hendrickson, instructor in engineering; and Dr. Irene Wolf, instructor in philosophy. “It’s such a rewarding experience for both faculty and students,” JoAnn said, “and a great motivator in class.” She also uses service learning so that her students gain a clearer understanding of the important role a strong social fabric plays in the health of a society. “The social world is the laboratory of the sociologist,” she said. “I’ve worked hard to integrate international issues and perspectives into all my courses.” “As a discipline, sociology isn’t understood very well,” JoAnn said. “If a student decides to major in sociology, I think it’s because she or he is drawn to the richness of the theoretical perspectives. Using sociological theory is like CONTINUED ON PAGE 12


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Penn State Beaver Nittany News


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11 holding a prism to light. When you hold the prism to a white light, the colors that were invisible become visible. When you hold sociological theory to human action, the forces of culture, social structure, personality, and even biology become visible. That’s the multi-layered analysis.” JoAnn has taught a variety of courses covering many topics, including social theory, marriage, sex roles, the family, societal beliefs and value, racial and ethnic minorities, and religious movements. She’s certified by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to conduct Gender Equity Training using their model, has published several books, and has written a new online manual, Observable Effects: Meaning in the Global Age, for Pine Forge Press. JoAnn’s passion for service learning and sociology has influenced her daughter, Casey Miller, a Penn State senior mechanical engineering major with a passion for politics. This fall Casey registered about 1,100 people to vote through, a nonpartisan student coalition. Casey’s work earned her a feature role in an episode of “This American Life,” a nationally syndicated radio show produced by Chicago Public Radio that aired earlier this fall. “I’m proud of Casey’s commitment to helping people realize the effect they can have on society,” JoAnn said. “I’d be honored to think that my passion for service leaning and working on behalf of a cause has influenced her. She’s done a tremendous job by becoming involved in the most historic election in our nation’s history. I’m in awe of her dedication.” JoAnn isn’t surprised when she hears someone say that sociology sounds like a true science. “I compare sociology to physics. You don’t see gravity, but you see the apple fall from the tree. If we don’t understand how a force like gravity works, it remains meaningless, but if you master that force, you can fly. “The same theory holds true with social forces,” JoAnn said. “If we don’t analyze and understand them, we remain victims of them. Once we understand these forces and theories, then we can use them to make better lives for ourselves, society, and the world.” To learn more about JoAnn’s work, contact her at or 724-773-3846.



Jessica Jackson, campus residence life coordinator, was appointed coordinator of residence life and student activities in the Office of Student Affairs. Jackson continJessica Jackson ues to hold several primary responsibilities within the residence life program, but at least half of the new job will focus on enhancing activities and services for the support and development of campus social, recreational, cultural, wellness, and educational programs for students and student organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in community counseling from Lynchburg College, Virginia. Denise Turyan was appointed staff assistant for the Office of Student Affairs. Since 2005 she has been a staff assistant for Beaver Denise Turyan campus residence life and the office assistant for the campus Reach Out program. Turyan also worked in the campus bookstore for a year and served as a staff assistant in the Office of Housing and Food Services for four years. Prior to joining the campus, Turyan worked in public reception, sales, customer service, and support.


Debbie Haddad, staff assistant in the Office of Student Affairs, and Carl Miller, director of the Office of Housing and Food Services, retired from Penn State on June 30, 2008. Both were Penn State employees for more than 20 years. Haddad joined Beaver in 1980 as a parttime employee in the Maintenance and Security Department and remained there until 1983, when she began full-time employment in the campus bookstore. In 1988 she moved to the Finance Office, where she worked until 1992, when she became the Student Affairs staff assistant. Miller began his University career in 1978 at Penn State Erie, The Behrend Col-

Fall 2008

lege, in the Office of Housing and Food Services. Several years later he moved to Beaver to serve as assistant director of Housing and Food Services and was promoted to director.

United Way Volunteers

Seven members of the campus community comprise the 2008 United Way of Beaver County Fundraising Committee. Co-chairs are Dana Alvetro, program aide, Office of Continuing Education, and Denise Turyan, staff assistant in the Office of Student Affairs. Other committee members are Carol Pistachio, library assistant; Christina Winniewicz, external relations assistant, and staff assistants Darlene Mancini, Housing and Food Services; Renata Shaw, Chancellor, Campus and Community Relations and Brodhead Cultural Center; and Jennie Ward, Registrar and Division of Undergraduate Studies. Fundraising activities this semester include a Silent Basket Auction and Campus Luncheon, selling gourmet food and Beaver campus apparel, and soliciting employees one-on-one and with individual mailings. The committee hopes to raise $5,000 for the United Way which is the University’s only designated charity.

Funds Awarded

Dr. Chris Rizzo, director of Student Affairs; Martin Goldberg, associate librarian; and the Office of Student Affairs received $6,000 to implement a proposal, Enhancing Cultural Competence through Campus Activities Programs. Funds were awarded by the Penn State Equal Opportunity Planning Committee to encourage diversity and cultural competence in campus and community members through outreach, awareness, training, and co-curricular programs. Marian Vendemia ’04 MEd, director of continuing education, received an Award for Excellence in Marketing and Promotions Campaigns for Summer Camps from the University Continuing Education Association Mid-Atlantic Region for her partnership with McDonald’s. In addition, Vendemia received $3,000 in support of the Personal Care Home Administrator Training program from the Professional and Organizational Development Roundtable of the Penn State Office of Continuing and Distance Education.

Fall 2008

Penn State Beaver Nittany News Page 13

In Memoriam: Dr. John Simpson Doc was the best teacher I ever had. His faith in me far exceeded my faith in myself, and he’s the reason I’ve gotten this far. When I doubted myself, he pushed me forward.


r. John Simpson ’71 Ph.D. Sci, associate professor emeritus of chemistry at Penn State Beaver, died unexpectedly at the age of 63 at his home in Wakefield, R.I., on June 16, 2008. A native of Providence, he was married to Renny (Pudussery) Simpson for 39 years. Their son, Dan, and his family live in Indianapolis. John taught at Beaver from 1970 to 2005. He held a doctorate in organic chemistry from Penn State and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Rhode Island. When John retired, he was awarded emeritus status by Penn State President Graham B. Spanier, who wrote to John, saying, “This University is grateful to you and proud that you contributed to the great purposes of Penn State.” John’s colleagues and former students agreed with President Spanier. “He achieved so much professionally and academically, and his long tenure and service to his campus, department, and students were remarkable,” said Dr. Donna J. Kuga ’78 H&HD, director of academic affairs. “John’s accomplishments were stellar,” she said. “He was recognized throughout the University for his scholarly activity conducted with chemistry students.” Faculty, staff, and students agree that John was dedicated to the success of his students. Described as personable, open, and challenging, he had the ability to explain chemistry without intimidating students. “He was committed to teaching well and being a leader in his field while encouraging the same in his colleagues,” Kuga said. “He emphasized the importance of undergraduate research and often mentored stu-


dents in honors options or research projects.” In 1997 John received the Penn State Beaver Advisory Board’s Excellence in Teaching Award, which is awarded annually to only one campus faculty member. In 1999 he received the University’s Star Projects Award for his use of teamwork and technology in his classroom. The award, given by the Penn State Center for Learning and Academic Technologies, honored John’s shift from a traditional instruction to a team-based concept. In 2000 he mentored two Beaver campus students who received first-place honors in the Physical Sciences Division at the University’s Annual Undergraduate Exhibition at Penn State University Park. At the time it was very unusual for sophomores from a campus other than University Park to receive such high honors in the competition. In 2001 John received one of Penn State’s most prestigious honors, the George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Anyone wishing to honor John by making a memorial gift to the Beaver campus is asked to contact Diana Patterson at or 724-773-3558. Renny welcomes hearing from John’s students, friends, and colleagues and can be reached at

the Division of Undergraduate Studies, Master’s of Education, and registrar. ——— Dr. Kay Wijekumar, associate professor of information sciences and technology, and Amy Gartley ’90 Com, associate professor of

student affairs, were honored as nominees at the Beaver County Women of the Year Awards Dinner. The annual event is sponsored by the Beaver Valley Business and Professional Women’s Club.


Jennie Ward received the 2008 Penn State Beaver Advisory Board/ESB Bank Staff Excellence Award. She is the staff assistant for the offices of

He was one of only four University faculty members chosen from across all Penn State locations. After retiring, John and Renny established the John and Renny Simpson Annual Scholarship for Beaver campus students in the Eberly College of Science. In addition, they established the Dr. John and Renny Simpson Endowed Scholarship through their estate for students enrolled or planning to enroll in the Eberly College of Science. John enjoyed sailing, fishing, traveling, making wine, and spending time with his family. He and Renny stayed active in community projects, visited Dan and his family often, and planned to travel extensively. Dr. Elizabeth “Liz” (Foley) Zona ’02 Sci, a third-year resident specializing in anesthesia at UPMC-Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh, recently attended a campus dinner with Renny and Dan where the Simpson’s scholarship was awarded to a Beaver campus student. “Doc was the best teacher I ever had,” Liz said. “His faith in me far exceeded my faith in myself, and he’s the reason I’ve gotten this far. When I doubted myself, he pushed me forward. He created opportunities that helped me build my resume, open my mind, and expand my horizons.” “ I know absolutely that he changed my life,” she said. “Doc was a wise, kind, generous, and honorable man. I thank God that I was blessed to have known such an amazing person. He’s deeply missed.”

Page 14 Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Fall 2008

Teresa Baumgardner

Dr. Minhnoi Wroble Biglan

Dr. Zhongyuan Che

Dr. Michael Hay

Dr. Kay Wijekumar

Dr. Juliette Storr

Dr. Robin Bower

Courtney Young

Dr. Cassandra Miller-Butterworth

Dr. Clare E. Conry-Murray

Dr. John Chapin

Dr. Carol Schafer


Five Penn State Beaver faculty members were honored at the annual Awards Banquet. Teresa Baumgardner, instructor in communications, arts, and sciences, received the Penn State Beaver Advisory Board/NOVA Chemicals, Inc. Faculty Excellence in Service Award. Dr. Minhnoi Wroble Biglan, assistant professor of psychology, received the Penn State Beaver Advisory Board / Bayer MaterialScience, LLC Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Zhongyuan Che, assistant professor of mathematics, received the Penn State Beaver Advisory Board/Michael Baker Corporation Faculty Excellence in Research Award. Dr. Michael Hay, associate professor of chemistry, received the Club Advisor Award, and Dr. Kay Wijekumar, associate professor of information sciences and technology, received the Academic Advisor Award. These awards are given by the campus student body. ——— The University appointed Dr. Juliette Storr, assistant professor of communications, to the 2008-2009 Executive Committee of the Penn State Commission for Women. The group identifies areas of concern for the University’s female employees and students and provides a forum for exchanging ideas that can translate into improved practices to Penn State women. ——— Dr. Robin Bower, associate professor of Spanish, will serve as a visiting professor in

the Department of Romance Languages at Duke University during the 2009 spring semester. She will teach an upper-level undergraduate seminar and a graduate seminar in medieval Spanish literature. In addition, her article “Remembering Things Past: Reading History, Writing Memory, and the Poetics of Agency in Ernesto Cardenal” was published in the refereed journal, The Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Vol. 85, Issue 3, 2008. ——— Courtney Young was promoted to associate librarian in the University Libraries. She is also a reference librarian and associate professor of women’s studies and Honors Program Coordinator. She provides reference assistance, teaches course-related library instruction, and is responsible for Diversity collection development across the University Libraries. In addition, Young was elected to two three-year term positions (2008-2011) in the American Library Association (ALA). She is councilor-at-large to the ALA Council and vice president/president elect of the New Members’ Round Table (NMRT) which is the ALA’s second largest round table. ——— Dr. Cassandra Miller-Butterworth, assistant professor of biology, presented “Illuminating the Darkness: The Upside Down World of Bat Research” which focused on Miller-Butterworth’s 10 years of research on bat genetics. The presentation was given at the Penn State Department of Forestry, Uni-

versity Park campus, as part of her department’s Fall Seminar Series. ——— Dr. Clare E. Conry-Murray, assistant professor of psychology, presented “When Morality and Convention Clash: The Development of Reasoning about Gender and Fairness” as part of the Developmental Psychology Proseminar at Penn State University Park. ——— Dr. John Chapin, associate professor of communications and currently on sabbatical for the fall semester, was recently appointed to the Women’s Center of Beaver County Board of Directors. Chapin is working with numerous domestic violence and rape crisis centers in western Pennsylvania as part of a Western Regional Training Initiative. ——— Dr. Carol Schafer, associate professor of theatre, integrative arts, and women’s studies at Penn State Beaver, had an article published in the noted journal, Comparative Drama, Vol. 42, Summer 2008, Number 2. Schafer’s article explored the content and themes of three plays by playwright Susan-Lori Parks, the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for drama for her 2001 play, Topdog/Underdog. ——— Chapin and Schafer were featured in “The Myths & Truths of Domestic Violence” in this fall’s issue of Penn State Outreach magazine. To read the article, visit http://live.psu. edu/story/35537.

Fall 2008

Penn State Beaver Nittany News Page 15

Strong fall for varsity sports  The Nittany Lions baseball team ended the first half of their season in mid-October with a record of 9-5 when they defeated Penn State New Kensington in a PSUAC doubleheader. The team will return to action for a week of spring training in Florida from March 7-13 and will head to Waynesburg University for their first game of the spring season led by Head Coach Dave Denniston.

 Head Coach Bob Dawson led the No. 3 seed men’s soccer team to the PSUAC playoffs but the Lions lost at home to No. 6 seed Penn State Hazleton, 3-1. The team ended its second season at 8-4-1 in the PSUAC and 99-1 overall.  The Lady Lions volleyball team, led by Head Coach Dan Smith, closed its season with a third place finish in the PSUAC Championship with an 18-2 conference record and an overall record of 20-12.

Preseason poll In November the PSUAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll selected the Beaver Lady Lions basketball team as the preseason No. 1 and the Nittany Lions men’s basketball team as No. 3 following last season’s record of 7-11 in the PSUAC and 7-20 overall. The women are preparing for their second season of competition after last year’s PSUAC West Division Title, PSUAC Championship, and USCAA National Tournament appearance (16-3 PSUAC and 21-8 overall). Last season marked the return of women’s basketball to Beaver campus after several decades.

Postseason honors


Jesse Wory steals possession of the ball and clears it to safety during the soccer team’s first-round playoff game against Penn State Hazleton.

Athletics Dept. makes staff changes Bert DeSalvo, women’s basketball head coach, was recently appointed as athletic, intramural, and recreational sports (AIRS) supervisor. Duties include assisting Andy Kirschner, athletic director, with all Athletic Office operations. DeSalvo holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Rhode Island and is completing a master’s degree in sports leadership at Duquesne University. Jessica Jackson, residence life and student activities coordinator, is the new assistant

coach of the Lady Lions basketball team. Her responsibilities include on-floor coaching, recruiting, academic monitoring, and film exchange. Jackson attended Lynchburg College in Virginia where she worked with the Lady Hornets basketball team and received the Old Dominion Athletic Conference All-Academic Accolades. She holds a master’s degree in community counseling and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lynchburg College.

The USCAA recognized five Penn State Beaver athletes for their performances this fall. Sophomore volleyball player Melissa Schultz, Beaver Area High School, earned a spot on the USCAA Volleyball All-Academic Team for her academic performance. Sophomore Heather Sandusky, New Brighton Area High School, was named USCAA Volleyball All-American. She earned an honorable mention in her freshman season. Soccer team sophomores Cory Anderson, Kane High School, and Cameron Fertenbaugh, Cumberland Valley High School, as well as freshman Todd Long, Kane High School, were named USCAA Honorable Mention All-American. The men are first-time recipients of the honor.

Top student athletes

Two student-athletes were honored for their success in and out of the classroom at last spring’s Annual Athletic Awards Luncheon. Sophomore Zack Fetchin (men’s basketball) was named Male Student-Athlete of the Year. He is a major in the Division of Undergraduate Studies. Senior business major Becky Garcia (softball) was named Female Student-Athlete of the Year.

More info

Penn State Beaver is a member of the Penn State University Athletic Conference and the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. For updates and information, visit and click on Quick Links.

Office of Campus and Community Relations

Ross Administration Building, Suite 201 100 University Drive Monaca, PA 15061

Phone: 724.773.3815 Fax: 724.773.3578 Email: AOL IM: BrAdmissions

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 09-07

Newsletter design by Cathy Benscoter. Most portrait photography by Kevin R. Cooke, Graule Studios, Rochester, Pa.

Students show passion for volunteering Through their relationships with the ‘Littles,’ our students realize they’re doing something important, something bigger than themselves.



he fall semester has seen an increase in both the number of volunteer opportunities available on campus and the students taking advantage of the programs. One of the most popular volunteer activities on campus is conducted through Big Brothers/Big Sisters (BB/BS) of Beaver County. More than 30 campus students (Bigs) are providing one-on-one youth mentoring for area children (Littles), ages 8 through 14. A BB/BS staff member brings the children to campus, where each Big spends about three hours a week with his/her Little. Depending on the child’s age, activities can include tutoring, studying, technology training, playing games, athletics, or just talking one-on-one. Interest in the BB/BS program continues to grow every year, according to Dr. Chris Rizzo, director of student affairs. “The program has become part of the community service fabric of the campus,” Rizzo said. “I’ve been very impressed with Quiana Hayes, the BB/BS program coordinator for the campus. Her passion trans-


Photo by Cathy Benscoter

Sophomore psychology major Lisa Schnelbach plays a game with her Little Sister during a November Big Brothers/Big Sisters event.

Nittany News Fall 2008  

Penn State Beaver fall 2008 alumni magazine.

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