Susquehanna Currents: Fall 2017

Page 1


fall 2017 · vol 85 · no 3




4 A Historic Occasion for a Contemporary Vision




22 People & Places

Not Your Grandmother’s SU... Or Is It?

16 Alumni Engagement and Support Spell Success for SU Students

First Word

26 Scoreboard 30 The ’Grove

Q&A · Syllabus · Forward Thinking · Kudos

48 End Notes ALUMNI NEWS

34 Class Notes

Message Board · Regional Chapter News · Weddings & Gatherings · Deaths

Director of Digital and Print Communications BETSY K. ROBERTSON Assistant Vice President, Alumni, Parent and Donor Engagement BECKY BRAMER ’92 DEITRICK Editor VICTORIA KIDD Associate Director, Advancement Communications

4 A HISTORIC OCCASION FOR A CONTEMPORARY VISION Coverage of the inauguration of Susquehanna's 15th president, Jonathan D. Green.

Class Notes Editor JODI SWARTZ Administrative Assistant, Alumni, Parent and Donor Engagement Contributing Editor ANGELA BURROWS Contributing Writers EMILY GIBBS ’18 AMANDA O’ROURKE Digital Communications and Media Specialist HOPE MARTIN ‘19 KELLY VERGIN Director, Athletics Communications Graphic Design AMANDA LENIG ’07 Creative Director ERICA HOOVER Graphic Designer Contributing Photographer GORDON WENZEL Copy Editor KATHLEEN LARSON FLORIO

16 A LUMNI ENGAGEMENT AND SUPPORT SPELL SUCCESS FOR SU STUDENTS A look at how alumni played a role in the lives of students in 2016–17.


Susquehanna University is a proud member of


WAYPOINTS Inauguration Day Check out the story, photo gallery and video from the big day! The Newbies Relive Move-in Day with the Class of 2021. Coverage includes videotaped advice from our new parents. The Big 5-0 Read all about WQSU's 50th anniversary celebration during Homecoming-Reunion Weekend.

comprising approximately 130 leading national independent liberal arts colleges that have similar interests and concerns centering on the values of liberal arts education that inform their missions. The Annapolis Group provides a forum for member institutions to share best practices, seek higher levels of excellence, and advance the cause of liberal arts education on a national scale.

R e f l e c t ing o n t h e Pa st , L o o ki ng to t h e Fut u re dear susquehannans I have the great privilege of beginning my service as a college president here at Susquehanna University, one of the leading higher education institutions in the United States. All objective measures confirm that a college education remains the best investment in an individual’s long-term financial success, but we are confronted with daily news stories that question the value of a college degree, usually reported by a successful college graduate. There is also a growing ideological divide about whether colleges and universities have a positive impact upon our society. We have a lot of work to do. At Susquehanna, “We educate students for productive, creative and reflective lives of achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, dynamic and interdependent world.” What could be a better goal for our nation and world? To this end, as Lynn and I meet with alumni and friends of Susquehanna, we have focused on four pillars:

“One of our most important aspirations is to make a Susquehanna education attainable for all deserving students.” —JONATHAN D. GREEN

1. Citizen Leadership Residential liberal arts colleges are a uniquely American form of higher education. The Founding Fathers helped sponsor these colleges to prepare citizen leaders to foster the new republic. Benjamin Franklin’s essay Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania (1749) outlined the educational experience he anticipated at the budding University of Pennsylvania: The Idea of what is true Merit, should also be often presented to Youth, explain’d and impress’d on their Minds, as consisting in an Inclination join’d with an Ability to serve Mankind, one’s Country, Friends and Family; which Ability is (with the Blessing of God) to be acquir’d or greatly encreas’d by true Learning; and should indeed be the great Aim and End of all Learning.

This is an ideal time for us to recapture Franklin’s message and its myriad implications.

2. Global Citizenship As Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in Letter from Birmingham Jail, “In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

2 · Susquehanna Currents · fa l l 2 0 1 7

Do You … • Wear your orange and maroon to high school sporting events? • Volunteer in your community? • Tell your SU story to future college students and their families? • Share your business card for campus display, or offer career advice to current SU students? • Make an annual gift, of any size, to your alma mater?

If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re well on your way to becoming a Champion for Growth. It’s easier than you might think! And now there are more ways than ever to become a champion!

L E A R N M O R E AT W W W. S U S Q U. E D U / C H A M P I O N S . Our Champions receive recognition in Susquehanna publications and on the Web, and are invited to a premiere VIP event in their honor during Homecoming–Reunion Weekend.

How can we be effective global citizens? We must engage each other and learn to appreciate the credo of Roman playwright Terence: “I am human, I consider nothing that is human to be alien to me.”

to engage in truly transformative experiences on and off campus must continue to be our top priority.

A truly cosmopolitan person has developed the capacity to recognize and celebrate the humanity in others. Through the GO program and throughout our curriculum, we strive to foster a sincere appreciation for the true richness of human diversity.

4. Engagement

3. Access One of our most important aspirations is to make a Susquehanna education attainable for all deserving students and to provide those students access to the most enriching opportunities we can. As we cultivate philanthropic support for the University, the ability of meritorious students to graduate and to be able

Universities have many constituencies. Dr. King’s “network of mutuality” applies to all of them. Each group has a different relationship with the university, but all groups benefit from the enhanced engagement of others in support of the institution. We will continue to enhance our shared understanding of the ways in which the collective Susquehanna community can be strengthened by elevating each group’s participation in the life of the university and in connection with each other.

Yo u r s e v e r ,

Jonathan D. Green President fa l l 2 01 7  · Susquehanna Currents · 3

A Historic Occasion for a

The Inauguration of

P R E S I D E N T J O N AT H A N D. G R E E N BY VICTORIA KIDD History and tradition, forward thought and future promise were interwoven during the Oct. 20 ceremony officially installing Jonathan D. Green as Susquehanna University’s 15th president. Delegates from more than 90 colleges, universities, and learned and professional societies joined Susquehanna students, current and emeriti faculty and board members in a formal procession to begin the ceremony. Of the delegates, six were presidents of their institutions, representing Augsburg University, College of St. Benedict, Elizabethtown College, Gustavus Adolphus College, Juniata College and Walsh College. In addition, the president emerita of Kenyon College participated. Also in attendance were former Susquehanna presidents and first ladies L. Jay and Marsha Lemons (2001–2017) and Joel L. and Trudy Cunningham (1984–2000).

In her welcome, Trustee Chair Signe Gates ’71, who served as chair of the Presidential Search Committee, pointed to the rarity of a presidential inauguration at Susquehanna and assured the audience of more than 1,000 people that Green is indeed worthy of carrying on the legacy of “this special place.” She praised him as a “collective problem solver” who believes that liberal arts education, one in which we gain “a perspective broader than ourselves and a vision beyond the here and now,” is needed today more than ever. A series of greetings were offered on behalf of students, faculty, staff, alumni, the church and the Selinsgrove community, ending with Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. She described Green’s reputation among his peers as that of “… a gifted administrator, but first and foremost, he is a teacher and mentor.” She added, “I cannot wait to see the heights to which the River Hawks will rise under his continued leadership.”

LIBER AL ARTS EDUC ATION : YE STERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW Following his formal installation, Green took the podium and recognized his beloved wife, Ms. Lynn Buck, adding they have a “full partnership and she’s the better part of the package.” His acceptance speech, titled The New American Scholar, began with a quote he would revisit several times during his remarks. Attributed to local attorney Joseph Casey from the Sept. 1, 1858, cornerstone-laying ceremony for the Missionary Institute (now Selinsgrove Hall), the quote reads: “Education, in its legitimate sense, includes not only the cultivation of the mental powers, but the proper training and development of the moral sentiments and faculties, and its true object is to ‘make us not only wiser but better.’” Citing the “four pillars” of his educational philosophy— engagement, citizen leadership, global citizenship and access, Green said, “Truly these are four perspectives on the same fundamental objective of Susquehanna University: helping students to be not just wiser, but better.” Green pointed to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s now-famous address, The American Scholar, to the Phi Beta Kappa Society in Cambridge, Mass., 22 years before Susquehanna’s founding. He explained Emerson’s three tenets of a scholar’s work: First: The scholar is our most attuned observer and interpreter of the natural, physical world. Second: The scholar interprets the past and the works of the past to help inform our understanding of the present world. Third, and this is where Emerson was seen as 6 · Susquehanna Currents · fa l l 2 0 1 7

revolutionary: The scholar must be a person of action. The scholar must proclaim his observations. He must report his analyses so that they may be applied to the pursuit of a greater good. Despite Emerson’s revelation, Green said liberal education has been rooted in application since ancient Greece. In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle explored applied skills, practical wisdom and theoretical wisdom. “We can think about these as skills, problem solving and understanding universal truths. What is true, what is good, and why,” explained Green. “This kind of thinking is our contemporary world’s greatest want, and it is what liberal education makes possible. The Stoics, in a prescient nod to the Enlightenment, declared that this intellectual endeavor is what truly made one free.” “The spirit of the Enlightment ,” he continued, “found fertile soil in the American colonies. The Founding Fathers were keenly aware of the relationship between liberty and knowledge. … They knew that their inspired experiment to create a democratic republic would require broadly educated citizen leaders to foster and develop this revolutionary form of modern government.” Now, 241 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence and 180 years after Emerson’s address, Green said we find ourselves in a nation “starved for citizen leadership” and “perilously divided not over competing social philosophies of left and right, but quite literally over issues of right and wrong.” He derided today’s anti-intellectual climate, as well as the divisive and sometimes racist rhetoric of the times, saying: “Spewing hate speech is not an exercise of civil liberties; it is a mockery of them, and denying social justice for any of us diminishes justice for all. We must do better.” In order to do better, Green tells students “we are here to learn how to have difficult conversations.” Like Emerson’s scholar who rises above private considerations, Green said, “we must rise above the noise that distracts our public discourse from the fundamental aims of responsible action, compassion and human decency. We must be the world’s eye, we must be the world’s heart, and we must be the world’s voice. “This was our calling in 1858, and it remains our calling today. We must not only be wiser, we must be better. This is what we are called to do.”


President Green’s installation ceremony was the culmination of inaugural celebrations that began with a student musical showcase on Oct. 19, and a pre-ceremony luncheon and panel discussion on liberal arts education on Oct. 20. Inauguration events were followed by a weekend of homecoming revelry, including an all-day music festival on Oct. 21 affectionately dubbed “Greenstock” in honor of President Green and Ms. Buck.

Speaker of the Faculty David Steinau, associate professor and chair of the Department of Music, noted that Green’s inauguration was only the seventh since 1905 and only the sixth to be illuminated by electric light. “That’s how rare presidential inaugurations are at SU.” Seniors Eyana Walker, president of the Black Student Union, and Jeremy Witter, a student representative on the Presidential Search Committee, delivered greetings on behalf of the student body. Presidents Emeriti L. Jay Lemons and Joel Cunningham joined President Green for his inauguration. Susquehanna's new first lady, Ms. Lynn Buck (at left), with her sister, Jennifer Tillotson, and her niece, Elizabeth Tillotson.


R E F L EC T IONS ON 6 0 Y E A R S AT S US QUE H A NN A By Victoria Kidd

NOW IN ITS 160TH ACADEMIC YEAR, SUSQUEHANNA HAS CERTAINLY SEEN ITS SHARE OF CHANGES THROUGH THE GENERATIONS. ONCE AN EXCLUSIVELY WHITE, MALE-DOMINATED CAMPUS COMPOSED PRIMARILY OF PENNSYLVANIA STUDENTS, THE UNIVERSIT Y HAS GROWN INTO A COSMOPOLITAN CAMPUS REPRESENTED BY A STUDENT BODY WITH MORE WOMEN THAN MEN, FROM DOZENS OF STATES AND COUNTRIES. The baby boom of post-WWII America and social justice triumphs of the mid-’60s resulted in larger and more diverse campuses across the country. By 1968, when SU’s first African-American student graduated, the student body had increased 150 percent in just 10 years. But while strides were made in the overall population, it would take decades for diversity within the student body to reach critical mass. After some decline in the early 2000s, SU more than doubled its percentage of U.S. minorities and international students between 2005 and 2015, from 6.5 percent to 15.1 percent. Since then, it has jumped another seven points to nearly 22 percent. That’s a 45 percent growth rate in just two years—and given national projections on high school graduation rates through 2032, growth in the number of U.S. minorities and international students at Susquehanna is expected to continue. As it does, we examine how the student body has changed and how, at its core, it remains the same.

8 · Susquehanna Currents · fa l l 2 0 1 7

CHANCE ENCOUNTER REFLECTS SHIFTING DEMOGRAPHICS For 82, Lynn Hassinger ’57 Askew gets around quite well. She still drives. She’s in pretty good health, and she loves to “come down the hill” from her house to visit her alma mater. It was here on a sunny September afternoon—smack dab in the middle of the entrance to the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center—that Askew met Randy Gibson ’20. He was walking in to the campus center as she was walking out, followed by a Latina student and a white male student. “Hi, who are you?” she asked, stopping to look up at the kind African-American student holding the door open for her. The Latina and the white student behind Askew, one of our oldest living alumni, politely acknowledged her before excusing themselves to go on about the day’s classes and activities. The foot traffic didn’t rattle Askew, though. Aside from giving the students a smile and a nod, she seemed largely


W ’5 7

unconcerned with anything except getting to know Gibson in that particular moment. Gibson, she learned, is a graphic design major from Morgantown, Md. Her husband, the late Gilbert Askew ’61, was from Baltimore, she tells him, as they moved to the side of the entryway to continue their conversation. It was one of those picture-perfect moments when the past meets the present in an image that defines history. In this case, Susquehanna’s history: What’s changed and what remains the same? If judged by demographics alone, the university is a vastly different place than when Askew arrived on campus. But scratch the surface and you find more in common among the generations than you might think. Askew has learned this from countless encounters like the one she had with Gibson. She’s been engaging students like that for years. “It keeps you in touch with what’s going on with the younger generations,” she says, before greeting an Asian student walking by in ripped skinny jeans and a vintage concert tee.

*Figures based on enrollment for academic calendars ending in the years indicated above.

WAY BACK WHEN During Homecoming–Reunion Weekend in October, Askew and her classmates celebrated their 60th class reunion. Needless to say, it was a different world during their college years. (There were no ripped jeans hanging in storefronts, for example.) The daughter of a school custodian and a milliner from Sunbury, Pa., Askew says she rode the bus to campus for about 10 cents a day. There were separate dorms, as well as commuter “day rooms,” for male and female students. Chapel attendance was mandatory among the student body of about 500. Women needed permission to be out after 11 p.m., and it would be another decade until SU would graduate its first AfricanAmerican student, Trustee Emeritus Bill Lewis ’68, J.D. In 2014, Lewis wrote in Susquehanna Currents that he loved the university from the moment he set foot on campus. “One administrator noted to me years later that it must have been ‘really tough’ to be [here] during that time. Well, truth be told, it was not rough at all.

“Walking on campus as a first-year student that fall, it seemed like every student I encountered had a friendly greeting or smile. It was a very different experience for this new student from Philadelphia, where my high school alone had twice as many students … I found it to be a very pleasant change from big-city living.” Askew had a similar experience, wearing her nametag and “dink” around campus her first semester. Not to be confused with the disparaging uses of the term through the years, or even the modern-day D.I.N.K. (Dual Income, No Kids), “dinks” were small caps that freshmen (i.e., first-year students) wore on campus during their first semester to signify they were new students. “When I was here, it was an unspoken rule that you smile and say ‘hi’ to everyone you meet. It’s something that largely continues at SU. It’s the Susquehanna way,” she says. And this “Susquehanna way” is welcoming more students from more diverse backgrounds than ever before.

Sources: Susquehanna University 1858–2000: A Goodly Heritage, by Donald D. Housley, 2007; Susquehanna Currents, Fall 2014, Vol. 82, No. 2.

fa l l 2 01 7  · Susquehanna Currents · 11

THE TIMES, THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’ (Bob Dylan) Trustee Bruce Ficken ’70, J.D., remembers SU as “a pretty isolated, white-toast community of about 1,200 students” when he arrived in 1966 as the anti-war movement was heating up. Everything was about the Vietnam War, or more precisely, the draft. It was a time when all institutions were suspect, including Susquehanna, Ficken says. The peak of the baby boom generation reached college age the same year, and there was a far higher number of college applicants than there were available spaces in the mid-to-late ’60s. “It was the biggest sellers’ market in history,” he says. “The result was that most students were not attending their first choice for college.” Now the population is shifting again, and it’s, quite literally, changing the face of higher education. Last December, The New York Times reported that the U.S. population was growing at its slowest rate since 1937. “The sluggishness is nothing new,” wrote Times reporter Niraj Chokshi, in the Dec. 22, 2016, article. As he explained: The American population entered a period of slow expansion in recent years, with growth averaging just over 0.7 percent in the 2010s … With birthrates generally low and members of that outsize boomer generation entering their 60s and 70s, growth may continue to slow for years to come. Madeleine Rhyneer, vice president for enrollment and marketing at Susquehanna, explained it like this: Slow growth in the population means fewer prospective college students in the future. That, coupled with flat family incomes since the Great Recession, is having a profound impact on how universities do business. “These are incredibly challenging times for higher education in terms of meeting enrollment goals,” says Rhyneer.

LOOKING AHEAD Not only are there fewer students, particularly in the Northeast, but the demographics of the traditional collegeaged student are changing as well. In December 2016, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), reported that the number of high school graduates had reached a plateau. “After steady increases

12 · Susquehanna Currents · fa l l 2 0 1 7

in the overall number of high school graduates over the last 15 years, the U.S. is headed into a period of stagnation,” explains WICHE in its ninth edition of Knocking at the College Door: Projections of High School Graduates, covering the academic years 2000–01 through 2031–32. After reaching a high of nearly 3.5 million in 2012–13, following more than a decade of steady growth (from about 2.8 million in 2000–01), WICHE projected that the greatest decline in public high school graduates would be this year. The downward trend is expected to continue through 2023, and aside from growth years between 2024 and 2026, WICHE predicts the average size of graduating classes to again decline through 2032. Even more telling are the demographics of those students: From 2013–14 through 2031–32, WICHE says the share of Caucasian public high school graduates is expected to drop by six percentage points. Add to that historical data dating back to the 2000–01 academic year and WICHE’s projection drops to 19 percent for Caucasian students. “Between now and the early 2030s, the number of Black, non-Hispanic public high school graduates is projected to gradually decline by about 6 percent,” the report says. The projected 30 percent increase in Asian/Pacific Islander students between 2013 and the early 2030s, while significant for that segment of the population, will only increase overall figures by about 58,000 students. The biggest growth rate is in the Hispanic and Latino population, which is projected to increase by 50 percent between 2014 and 2025, when WICHE estimates a total of 920,000 high school graduates from this segment. Many of these students will be the first in their families to attend college. As more Hispanic and Latino students pursue college degrees, universities are challenged by the financial aid needs that may exist for first-in-family attendees, Rhyneer says,

LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER By Vi ctor i a Ki d d Susquehanna may not look much like the campus your grandmother remembers, but sometimes, in the most unexpected ways, it does look a lot like your mother’s SU. At least that is the case for Carolina Nicholson ’18. Although it’s a more cosmopolitan campus than her mom, Melissa Himmelreich ’89 Nicholson, remembers, they’ve found several parallels in their Susquehanna experiences. Both got that “right-fit” feeling when they visited campus for the first time. Both took writing classes with Professor Emeritus Gary Fincke, and both needed help to put Susquehanna within their reach. Melissa grew up in a blue-collar household with five siblings in rural Millersburg, Pa. Neither of her parents finished high school. “I knew that the only way out of that small town was to go to college,” she said during her remarks at the annual Celebrating Scholarship Luncheon held in April. She also knew her family could never afford to send her to Susquehanna. Surely, they thought, it would be more expensive than the large state school she was accepted to during her junior year of high school. “When I got my scholarship notifications from SU, I was stunned,” Melissa recalled during the luncheon. “It cost me less to go to SU than it would have been to go to the big state school everyone seemed to be pushing on me.” Among Melissa’s scholarship awards was the Douglas ’49 and Lucille Arthur Scholarship. Imagine her surprise when the same scholarship showed up in her daughter’s financial aid package.

daughter as they had helped her as a high-need, first-generation student. “My husband and I chose a profession in the nonprofit sector, and while it is very rewarding and fulfilling work, it does not give us big paychecks,” explains Melissa, the executive director and co-founder of Gamut Theatre Group in Harrisburg, Pa. That’s where generous benefactors like the late Doug ’49 Arthur and his wife, Lucille, come in—and that’s expressly whom the Nicholsons came to thank at the 2017 Celebrating Scholarship Luncheon. “When I was a student here, we didn’t have any events where scholarship recipients could meet the people responsible for their awards. I love that 32 years later, I finally get to say thank you,” Melissa said, addressing Lucille Arthur directly in her remarks. Taking the stage after her mother, Carolina summed up her family’s gratitude this way: “As my senior year approaches, I think about how different my life would be without scholarships,” she said. “I watch my peers from my hometown dropping out of community college and struggling to make ends meet with minimumwage jobs, and I know I’m one of the lucky ones. “Thanks to Lucille and this amazing institution, I can afford to get my degree and make something of myself, just like my mom did. As I follow in her footsteps, I can only hope I’ll be half as successful. But with a Susquehanna education under my belt, it feels more like a reality every day.”

Although shocked by the overall increase in college tuition, Melissa was hopeful that SU scholarships could help her




fa l l 2 01 7  · Susquehanna Currents · 13


14 · Susquehanna Currents · fa l l 2 0 1 7

noting Susquehanna’s long and proud history of serving first-generation college students. “At the same time, universities are grappling with stagnant family incomes, rising student debt and increasing college costs. This confluence of events has resulted in many schools, both private and public, falling short of enrollment goals,” she explains. “Fortunately, Susquehanna has bucked the trend with three years of record enrollment.” But what the future holds will be determined largely by how well SU can meet the financial needs of its students while also distinguishing itself from its current competitor set.

RAISING THE STAKES “We’re competing with places like Gettysburg, Muhlenberg and Franklin & Marshall, so we’re attracting more academically talented students,” Rhyneer says. Unfortunately, we lose more than we gain against schools with better name recognition, higher college rankings and larger financial aid packages in some cases. “We don’t want to ‘win’ students by being the least expensive school on their list, because we cannot afford it,” Rhyneer explains, “but at the same time, because we serve so many students who are firstgeneration college students and from underrepresented groups—young men and women of incredible promise—we need to find a way to provide assistance to these families.” Oftentimes at private colleges and universities, this assistance comes in the form of institutional scholarships, which allow them to make tuition more affordable for the most-needy students with the highest potential for success. For Susquehanna, that means doing what it’s always done—just with a larger, more diverse student body. As far back as the ’50s (at least), first-generation college students like Askew received scholarships created by generous alumni and friends. Unfortunately, as Scott Heller ’82 found after joining the Alumni Association Board last year, “I recently learned that only about 12 percent of

alumni give even $1 to SU each year. That’s an increase from 10 percent in 2015, but still only half the percentage of alumni donors at our peer schools.” The revelation seemed to fly in the face of news this summer that SU had its best-ever fundraising year. (See related story, pp. 16) While that’s true—donors contributed a record $16.2 million to a variety of student-centered programs and activities, including scholarships—alumni participation in annual giving remains much lower than that of our competitors. Making financial donations is not the only way to make a difference in the lives of today’s Susquehanna students. There are numerous opportunities for alumni to mentor and engage with students each year, but the fact remains: Low alumni giving rates negatively impact the university’s rankings and reputation, which impact our attractiveness to prospective families and therefore, our future viability. It can also make SU ineligible for grants that would “allow more prospective students to be the first generation in their family to go to college, like many of us,” Heller explains. When asked why she is such an ardent supporter of scholarships, Askew echoes the sentiments of many alumni who are asked the question: “Because I needed it when I was here.” For alumni like Ficken, who did not connect with the university for two decades after graduation, it’s also about honoring inspiring faculty mentors like the late Gene Urey, a political science professor for whom he and college friends established the Urey competition and prize. “It wasn’t that I was hostile toward the university,” Ficken says of the years he was not engaged with his alma mater. “It just wasn’t on my agenda at the time.” But today, armed with an insider’s view of university costs versus net tuition revenue, he finds plenty of reasons to sing Susquehanna’s praises. “The product is quite different today,” Ficken explains, pointing to the university’s widely talented faculty and its commitment to cross-cultural learning as just two points of pride. “SU has upped its game in every respect I can think of,” he says. “Today this is an institution where students are expected to overachieve, and they do.” And that, he adds, is a product worthy of investment for students, parents and alumni alike. Victoria Kidd is associate director of advancement communications and editor of Susquehanna Currents.




+ $12,090 (ROOM AND MEAL PLAN)


– $36,552





ENGAGEMENT AND SUPPORT SPELL SUCCESS FOR STUDENTS 16 · Susquehanna Currents · fa l l 2 0 1 7

Our alumni play a key role in the success of Susquehanna and our students. They strengthen the SU community with their service, advice, student recommendations, school spirit and monetary donations. And as the university’s reputation grows through alumni support, so too does the value of a Susquehanna degree.

“These are remarkable investments and endorsements of the meaningful work we do to prepare students for lives of achievement, leadership and service,” said President Jonathan D. Green when the news was announced on Aug. 1.

BEST-EVER FUNDRAISING YEAR The 2016–17 fiscal year, which ended on June 30, was Susquehanna’s most successful fundraising year ever.

Annual cash donations to Susquehanna included nearly $64,000 from 304 alumni on #GivingTuesday, the international fundraising day following Thanksgiving; and more than $43,000 from 491 alumni for the annual, monthlong 30 Donors in 30 Days campaign.


+ $7.1 MILLION

All told, the university received gifts from 2,351 Susquehanna graduates—an increase of 300 from the previous year and 500 from two years earlier.

to establish the new Susquehanna University Service Leaders program, which supports community service organizations by providing them with dedicated, trained student volunteers.


+ $1.3 MILLION, RAISED BY MORE THAN 1,000 SUSQUEHANNANS, to establish a permanent, endowed scholarship fund honoring Susquehanna’s 14th president, L. Jay Lemons, and his wife, Marsha.

Overall, more than 4,500 alumni engaged with Susquehanna in some fashion during the year, from participating in careerand job-related activities with students, to new-student recruitment and retention efforts, to community service and event attendance.

+ NEARLY $500,000 FROM THE SHERMAN FAIRCHILD FOUNDATION for a suite of new science equipment.

+ BEQUESTS AND ESTATE COMMITMENTS TOTALING $2.2 MILLION in support of scholarships, student-faculty collaborative research, student life programs, career and professional preparation for students, our signature Global Opportunities (GO) program and more.

Highlights include our Break Through programming, for which hundreds of alumni volunteered their time to share their experience and career advice with students. The program included fall “career treks”—free, daylong bus trips to visit alumni at their workplaces and attend student-alumni networking receptions in Philadelphia and New York City. In all, nearly 70 students and more than 100 alumni participated, including 30 graduates who hosted small student groups at their places of employment. Additionally, 100 alumni returned to campus in February for the annual Break Through student-alumni networking conference attended by 552 students.



+ 710 BUSINESS CARDS for a campus display of what’s possible with a Susquehanna education.

+ 134 STUDENT REFERRALS to our admission office.

+ 81,880 SERVICE HOURS TO 872 COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS, demonstrating our longstanding tradition of service.

+ 212 PHOTOS of how Susquehannans demonstrate their Orange and Maroon pride.


+ Writing welcome notes to the Class of 2021.

+ Hosting job-shadowing opportunities for students.

+ Returning to campus for classroom visits.

+ Attending welcome events for President Green and his wife, Ms. Lynn Buck.

+ And much, much more. It is engagement activities like these, coupled with annual giving and major gift commitments, that make Susquehanna better, one student experience at a time.

Amanda O’Rourke, digital communications and media specialist; Kelly Bugden ’02 Breckenridge, former manager of alumni, parent and donor communications; and Victoria Kidd, associate director of advancement communications, contributed to this story.

THANK YOU! See a list of our 2016–17 donors and top volunteers in the Honor Roll of Donors insert, included with this issue of the magazine.

Matthew Curran ’92 and Jane Petersen ’92 Curran

chose to take their annual giving to the next level. They designated SU a beneficiary of their estate plan.

“WE REGULARLY SUPPORT SU AND WANTED TO BE A BIGGER PART OF THE SUSQUEHANNA LEGACY. PROVIDING A PLANNED GIFT IS EASY AND ALLOWS US TO PLAY A ROLE WE OTHERWISE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO WITH OUR ANNUAL DONATION.” Their gift will go toward supporting career development, the Global Opportunities (GO) program, and the L. Jay and Marsha Lemons Scholarship Fund.


Learn more about the legacy you can leave at Susquehanna University: Visit WWW.SUSQU.GIFTPLANS.ORG. Or contact Tamara Ozlanski ’06, director of gift planning, at OZLANSKIT@SUSQU.EDU or 570-372-4618.

Departments PEOPLE & PLACES



Students work at the campus garden during SU GIVE in August. The annual service day introduces new students to our proud tradition of service. Harvests from the campus gardens are donated to the local senior center and a summer food program for area children. MORE ON THE CAMPUS GARDEN AND SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS, PP. 31.



the who, what and where for all things susquehanna

Retired Registrar Recognized for National Archives Work Registrar emeritus Alex Smith was awarded the Citizen Archivist Award from the National Archives earlier this year for his work transcribing more than 15,000 historical documents. The National Archives created the Citizen Archivist transcription project as a means of increasing public access to the records of the federal government.

Alex Smith

Registrar Emeritus

“Shortly before I retired, I read an article in the New York Times, which said that the National Archives have tens of millions of documents stored in obsolete technology,” Smith says. “It has turned out that, for me, this is an ideal retirement project.” Since beginning his work in 2015, Smith has transcribed 15,400 documents, including: • IInsurance • nsurance claims from passengers on the Titanic. • World World War I draft registration forms for, • among others, poet Robert Frost, dancer/ actor Fred Astaire and actor John Barrymore. • A • A 1935 1935 letter letter from from the the coach coach of of the the Green Green Bay Packers offering Gerald Ford a position on the team. • Telegrams Telegrams congratulating John F. Kennedy • on receiving the Democratic presidential nomination, including one from comedian Harpo Marx asking, “Do you need a harp player in your cabinet?” • A from Soviet Soviet Premier Premier Nikita Nikita A letter letter from • Khrushchev to President Kennedy on the occasion of the first manned space launch. • A from the the mayor mayor of of Kent, Kent, Ohio, Ohio, • A telegram telegram from asking the Ohio National Guard to quell the 1970 Kent State protests (that included the unfortunate wording, “I leave the mode and means of execution to your discretion”).

“I am always learning something new, and since the volunteers get to choose the documents on which they work, I can exclusively pursue topics that interest me,” Smith says. "A lot of the material is fascinating to me.” The process is simple. Smith logs in to the National Archives’ Citizen Archivist dashboard and searches for a topic of interest. The system then generates a list of documents that require transcribing, and Smith reads and transcribes old documents, many of them written in curling script. “When I am finished, every word in that document is accessible for modern search techniques,” Smith explains. “People searching the transcribed documents will be able to draw on any word in the document, which greatly increases the ease and flexibility of research.”


Alumnus Mentors Junior Intern at Penn Museum After transferring to Susquehanna from a Maryland college, Julianna Whalen knew she wanted to minor in museum studies to complement her major in communication studies. Zachary Clinchy '18 at his summer internship in Australia, an opportunity he found through Lindsay Simoncavage '09.

Chance Alumni Connection Lands Senior an Australian Internship

“I’ve always been interested in museums,” she says. “I went to museum camp at the Reading Public Museum when I was little. On family vacations, we always went to at least one museum.” A junior from Shillington, Pa., Whalen experienced a museum from behind the scenes this summer when she did an internship at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, known as the Penn Museum. She secured the opportunity with the help of Tom Stanley ’07, whom she met at Break Through, Susquehanna’s annual student-alumni networking conference.

When senior Zachary Clinchy, of Macungie, Pa., arrived in Australia for his semester-long Global Opportunities (GO) experience, he and his classmates used iVenture cards to experience some of the tourist attractions around Sydney. iVenture Card International provides travelers with flexible, prepaid destination attraction passes to make international sightseeing more convenient. Curious if the company, which is based in Sydney, had any internship opportunities, Clinchy did some research and discovered a Susquehanna alumna within iVenture’s ranks.

“During my own undergraduate career at SU, I did not seek out any internship opportunities—which, in retrospect, was a mistake,” Stanley says.

Lindsay Simoncavage ’09 also traveled to Australia for her GO experience and ended up making the country her home.

“Julianna approached me after a panel discussion at Break Through. I was impressed with her initiative. Her résumé was icing on the cake; she’s a communications major with minors in anthropology and museum studies—a combination of emphases that could not possibly be a better fit for an internship in my office.”

“I contacted Lindsay, introduced myself, and after a series of interviews with her and the group executive director of marketing, I secured my internship,” says the strategic communications major. At iVenture, Clinchy’s responsibilities included revamping website content, creating blog posts about destinations and developing content for social media and promotional purposes. He also interned with Indago Digital, which handles digital marketing for iVenture. At Indago Digital, Clinchy wrote search engine-optimized (SEO) copy for iVenture’s tourist guides. An avid outdoorsman, Clinchy hopes to land a marketing or advertising job with an outfitter in the outdoor industry. “My internship with iVenture and Indago were amazing experiences,” Clinchy says. “It gave me a better understanding of the marketing industry and how those within the industry work.”

During the internship, Whalen’s primary focus was Penn Museum’s social media platforms, for which she wrote posts for Facebook and Twitter, and took photographs and prepared posts for Instagram under the close mentorship of Stanley. It was an eye-opening experience for her. “It’s so rewarding to see the posts on the museum’s social media pages and to know that I helped to create that,” she says. “You encounter social media in daily life, but working with Tom has taught me so much more about the strategy behind it.” When she wasn’t working directly with Stanley, Whalen participated in the museum’s summer lectureship program, learning about topics such as object conservation, archival record-keeping and public programming.

fa l l 2 01 7  · Susquehanna Currents · 23

BRAGGING Rights As Susquehanna’s reputation grows and awareness spreads about this “hidden gem,” the university is finding itself on a number of “best colleges” lists. Here are a few of the most recent:


Based on how many low-income students were propelled into the upper middle class over the past 20 years (MONEY MAGAZINE)


and No. 9 nationally for getting a job (ZIPPIA INC.)



• No. 15 among the top 30 most affordable colleges with the best study abroad programs in the nation (Great Value Colleges)

• No. 9 for Best Colleges with Publishing Degrees in the United States (

• 2018 Fiske Guide to Colleges, highlighting the nation’s “best and most interesting” colleges and universities

• No. 9 among Top 20 Most Popular Study

Abroad Programs in the nation, No. 20 for Best Science Facilities and listed as one of the “Best Northeastern Schools” in the country (The Princeton Review)


Senior Star-Struck, Inspired at Cannes Film Festival Samantha D’Amico ’18 has some big dreams—namely, making it as a television writer. Her summer internship will go a long way toward helping her get there. D’Amico, a broadcasting major from Middletown, Del., interned at the Cannes Film Festival, held in May on the French Riviera. While there, she handled sales and acquisitions for TriCoast Worldwide Entertainment, a production company based in Culver City, Calif., deciding which movie pitches or scripts to forward to TriCoast. “It was kind of a big job,” D’Amico says. “It was nice they trusted me enough to have that responsibility.” She spent most of her time at the Cannes festival at Le Marché du Film, the marketplace for film professionals to buy and sell film distribution rights. Her Marché badge got her into all of the red carpet premiers and parties. “You just never knew what to expect. Every day was a new surprise,” D’Amico says. “You could walk down any avenue and see celebrities. If they knew you were an intern, they invited you into their party or onto their yacht.” Among the slew of celebrities she spotted were Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Vanessa Redgrave, Marion Cotillard and Jessica Chastain. However, it was a chat with actress Nicole Kidman, whom D’Amico encountered on a red carpet, that she will always remember. “She asked me about why I was there. We talked about the industry and I told her that I can’t wait to see her new movies— she had four premiere at Cannes,” D’Amico recalls. “And then she said, ‘If I'm ever doing TV when you’re there, I hope to be in one of your projects.’ “Being there makes you feel like you made it. Even if you’re a lowly intern, it gives you the motivation to go for it.” D’Amico’s experience in Cannes has given her a new focus for her career trajectory. She is currently writing for the independent entertainment website After graduation, she plans to sign with a talent agency and head to Los Angeles to find work as a writer.

Sophomore biology major Shaneeka Emile contributed to research about the carcinogenic properties of diesel exhaust during her internship this summer at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Research Internship Paves Way to Career in Medicine When gas prices peaked in 2008, diesel fuel, with its higher efficiency and lower cost, became more attractive to consumers. But studies have found diesel exhaust to be carcinogenic to humans. Sophomore Shaneeka Emile contributed to this research through her summer internship at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Emile, a biology major from East Orange, N.J., studied how the particulate matter in diesel exhaust (small particles and liquid droplets that get into the air) affects the cells that line the bronchial tubes in the lungs.

emphasis on sex differences and the role of sex hormones. Her lab uses a combination of molecular biology, immunology and endocrinology to study the cellular response to environmental exposure. Emile says she had “many aha moments” during the internship and credits Professor of Biology Margaret “Peg” Peeler for teaching her the skills necessary to embark on this early research experience.

Emile conducted her research under the mentorship of Patricia Silveyra, assistant professor in the College of Medicine at Penn State University.

“There are definitely lots of projects revolving around genetics,” Emile says, “and in my biology class we’ve covered so much material involving RNA and DNA. Dr. Peeler definitely prepared me.”

Silveyra’s research is primarily focused on the study of lung inflammation associated with air pollution, with particular

After graduation, Emile hopes to pursue a career in medicine either as a physician or as a researcher.

“There are definitely lots of projects revolving around genetics … and in my biology class we’ve covered so much material involving RNA and DNA. DR. PEELER DEFINITELY PREPARED ME.” —SHANEEKA EMILE ’20


news from susquehanna athletics

MEN’S SOCCER PROGRAM BREEDS SUCCESS It is often said that success breeds success, and Head Men’s Soccer Coach Jim Findlay is a believer. In his 20 seasons as head coach of the men’s program (he also coached eight seasons for the women’s team), he has seen more than a few quality assistant coaches come through the program. “Of the last nine assistant coaches that have been here at Susquehanna, eight of them are still involved in college soccer and seven are still coaching,” Findlay says. “I think that says a lot about the tradition of excellence that we strive for here. A lot also has to do with the amount of time we spend stressing the fundamentals of the game with our players.”

JIM FINDLAY Head Men’s Soccer Coach

The most recent assistant to continue his career is Brandon Kates ’13,who recently accepted a position as assistant coach at NCAA Division I Lafayette College. Kates, however, is just one of many former Susquehanna players taking what they learned and extending their coaching career. Several former players were assistant coaches under Findlay before moving on. Justin Makar ’08 went from Susquehanna to Lafayette, and is now the director of soccer operations at the University of Michigan. Nick Hoover ’06 moved from assistant coach under Findlay to the head coaching position for the women’s team, and BJ Merriam ’08 took his knowledge and talents to the administrative side of athletics to become director of compliance at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).

T he Athletics Hall of Fame, which inducted its first class in 1967, now has 239 members.

26 · Susquehanna Currents · fa l l 2 0 1 7






New Members Inducted Into SU Athletics Hall of Fame Five new faces were added to the Athletics Hall of Fame wall in James W. Garrett Sports Complex. The class of five former athletes includes Joe Farley ’97 (baseball), Joel Patch ’09 (men’s basketball), Mike Marr ’08 (track & field), Colin Howlett ’90 (football) and Lindsay Nevins ’05 Gaines (women’s soccer). Farley was one of the most decorated pitchers in school history and went on to a professional career after being drafted by the Chicago White Sox. He is among the school’s leaders in career wins, career strikeouts and career earned run average. He is also the record holder for wins in a season for the Class A Hickory Crawdads of the Chicago farm system. Patch was the Landmark Conference Player of the Year in 2008–09 and an AllRegion selection. He remains the only player in Susquehanna history to score at least 1,000 points, grab more than 700 rebounds and record over 120 steals.

HAWK TALK Senior Tommy Bluj was selected as a nominee for the Allstate Goodworks Team for college football. The award is given annually to the nation’s top football players who combine athletic skill, academic success and commitment to serving the community.

Senior Ashlee Weingarten collected numerous awards following the women’s swimming & diving team’s seventh consecutive Landmark Championship. She was named the Landmark Conference Senior Scholar-Athlete award winner and was selected as a national Scholar All-

Marr was one of the best jumpers in school history, earning All-America honors in 2007. He was the Landmark Conference high jump champion, triple jump runner-up, and took fourth in the long jump at the conference championships.

American by the swimming coaches association.

Women’s swimming & diving also earned

Howlett is considered one of the best offensive linemen in school history. He was a two-time All-Conference selection in the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC) and the 1990 Blair Heaton Award winner. Gaines was a rare four-time All-MAC selection, the 2001 MAC Rookie of the Year, and remains among the top five in nearly all of the major offensive school records for career and season marks.

national team academic honors. The team has earned the recognition in each of Jerry Foley’s eight seasons as head coach.

Seniors Gabrielle Alguire and Amy Kaschak reached the pinnacle of success in the spring when they received the College Sports Information Director Association (CoSIDA) Academic All-American award. The award is voted on by the nation’s sports information directors and honors the top athletes who also have achieved great academic success.

BECOME A MEMBER OF THE ORANGE AND MAROON CLUB, FORMERLY VARSITY CLUB, AND HELP ENHANCE THE COLLEGIATE EXPERIENCE OF SUSQUEHANNA’S STUDENT-ATHLETES! You are eligible for Orange and Maroon Club membership when you support the unrestricted athletics fund or any of our sports programs. Make a gift today at

Jamie Fesinstine ’18

Emily Stankaitis ’13

Softball Team Pulls Off the Unexpected After falling in the first game of the 2017 Landmark Conference Softball Tournament, Susquehanna softball reacted with a never-give-up attitude. The River Hawks needed four consecutive victories in the double-elimination tournament to achieve an unthinkable conference tournament title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The team had lost its tournament opener, 8–2, to Catholic University and was trailing 1–0 to Juniata in the fourth inning before senior Lauren Creamer started a rally that would lead to a come-from-behind victory over the Eagles. Three victories the next day, including two over top-seeded Moravian, propelled the River Hawks to the Landmark Championship win. “I’m pretty sure not a lot of people gave us much of a chance to come back and win the championship,” says Head Softball Coach Brad Posner. “I was a little worried myself after losing the opener, but after beating Juniata, I thought we had some momentum.” The River Hawks jumped out to a 3–0 lead in the top of the first inning in their first matchup against Moravian,

28 · Susquehanna Currents · fa l l 2 0 1 7

and despite allowing a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning, they held on for an eventual 4–2 win to force a final championship game against the Greyhounds. Moravian took the lead early in the second game, but Leigh Ann Greenwald ’18 started a two-out rally with a run-scoring single, followed by senior Kelly Miller’s RBI single to tie the game 2–2. Junior Jill Ahrens’ two-run double capped a four-run inning, giving SU a 4–2 lead. Creamer then connected on a two-out run-scoring single in the fifth inning to pad the lead to 5–2 and set up a dramatic end to the tournament. Moravian started the final inning with a solo home run to trim SU’s lead, and Moravian’s top hitter lifted a long fly ball to the warning track, but centerfielder Kasandra Bost ’20 made the catch, ending the game. Jamie Fesinstine ’18 was selected as the tournament MVP after pitching every inning of every game in the tournament for SU. She threw more than 500 pitches and managed to get key outs in the final four-game run for the River Hawks. “I’m proud of how everyone contributed to the wins and the championships,” Posner says. “I knew Jamie was going to have to pitch great for us to win, and her senior leadership came shining through.”


HAWK TALK The softball field is undergoing a facelift with

Emily Stankaitis ’13 had the opportunity of a lifetime over the summer. She was selected as one of two goalies to represent the New Zealand national team at the 2017 Women’s Lacrosse World Cup Tournament in Guilford and Surrey, England.

the addition of new dugouts. A campaign to

Stankaitis and the New Zealanders were a perfect 3–0 in the pool play round with convincing wins over Ireland, Sweden and Colombia. After winning its first championship round game, New Zealand dropped a pair of games and finished in eighth place for the tournament, which featured the top 25 teams in the world.

new scoreboard for the swimming pool in James W.

fund a new scoreboard for Sassafras Fields is also underway, as is an ongoing campaign to fund a

Garrett Sports Complex.

Every member of the men’s tennis team

Stankaitis was an All-America selection as well as the Connie Harnum Award winner in 2013. She was also the Landmark Conference Senior Scholar-Athlete Award winner that year.

achieved national academic honors from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association by maintaining at least a 3.2 grade point average.

New Position, Head Coaching Vacancies Filled The summer months in the athletics department are usually a time for recovery, rest and recruiting—and a little quiet in Selinsgrove. That wasn’t the case this summer, as the department worked to fill key positions for the start of the fall season.

Men’s and women’s golf teams for Susquehanna began play in the Landmark Conference this year. The men’s team had been a member of the Centennial Conference, and the women’s team played as a member of the Empire 8 conference until the Landmark Conference added the two sports to its list of championships for the

Crystal Gibson was hired for the newly created position of associate athletics director/compliance officer and senior woman administrator. She was hired with the help of an NCAA Division III Strategic Alliance Matching Grant, designed to offset the salary of the new position for three years. Gibson was the head women’s basketball coach and assistant athletics director at St. Mary’s College in Maryland before joining Susquehanna. New head coaches for field hockey, cheerleading and women’s golf were also selected. Former Assistant Field Hockey Coach Allison Fordyce took the helm of the program, after a search revealed the best candidate for the job was right here on campus. Fordyce was the assistant for field hockey and women’s lacrosse for the past three years.

2017 season.

Head Coach Bob Jordan led the men’s tennis team to eight victories in 2016–17, but more impressive was that each member of the team achieved Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National All-Academic honors, with each maintaining at least a 3.2 grade point average for the entire academic year.

Sarah Markel was named the head coach for the cheerleading program. She was the head coach at Central Dauphin East High School, where she led the team to the district championship in the 2016–17 season. Kevin Jamieson took over as head coach of the women’s golf program this fall, bringing a wealth of experience to the position. He was the head coach at neighboring Bucknell University for 16 years until stepping down at the end of last season to take on the role of club professional at the Susquehanna Valley Country Club.

fa l l 2 01 7  · Susquehanna Currents · 29

T H E ’G R O V E

stories from around campus and around town

Q&A Susan Little Lantz, Ed.D., joined Susquehanna this summer as vice president for student life. She brings extensive experience and an impressive skillset to the position, having worked as an instructor in the Higher Education Graduate Program at Pennsylvania State University, as dean of students at Bucknell University, associate dean of students for Lehigh University and director of student programs and director of Greek life and off-campus housing at Millersville University. Here’s what she had to tell Susquehanna Currents as the university geared up for the 2017–18 academic year. SC: What impressed you most about SU and made you say, “Yes, that’s the place I want to work”?

Susan Little Lantz Vice President for Student Life

SL: I was drawn to SU’s Division of Student Life due to the talented and motivated students, the dedicated professional staff members, the collaborative faculty, and the unique living-learning opportunities created for our students. My campus visit and the people I met—caring, dedicated, interested students, faculty and staff—cemented my resolve to want to be a part of Susquehanna. I have felt welcomed since my first day on campus and know I made the right decision for my next professional adventure. SC: The student life division on any college campus encompasses multiple offices and oversees scores of staff members. What is your approach to managing the interrelated but sometimes differing needs of the offices and staff reporting to you? SL: My approach in managing the different departments is to remember that we all, regardless of department and position,

Assistant Professor of Marketing Robert Williams explores the origins of marketing tactics in his new book, Vintage Marketing Differentiation.

have the same goals of supporting and challenging our students, and providing students with opportunities to engage in diverse experiences. I appreciate working with a collaborative and inclusive team, which is one of the many reasons I am enjoying working at Susquehanna. The staff members within the Division of Student Life are talented individuals who have incredible expertise in their fields. SC: What do you hope to accomplish in this first year on the job? SL: I am currently working with colleagues to create a vision and mission for student life that will direct our policies, procedures and programs. We are looking at what works well within our division and finding ways to duplicate the most exciting, engaging and effective practices. I am also committed to building additional partnerships with faculty members. It is important that academics and student life intentionally build an integrated experience for students. I am excited to work together with faculty to create more opportunities for meaningful collaborations.



Farm to Table: Students See Sustainable Food Systems Firsthand

Debut Book Explores Vintage Marketing

The earth is currently populated with 7 billion people. And by 2050, there will be 2 billion more. How will we feed all of them without overwhelming the planet? That is the question students seek to answer in Sustainable Food Systems, a fall-semester seminar led by Associate Professor of Biology Alissa Packer. Although it is an upper-level biology class, Packer says the class covers topics of interest to anyone. “This class is about understanding the full progression of the food we eat—from seed to store to plate—and everything that is involved,” she says. “We also dive into how the decisions we make as consumers affect the way food is grown.” Packer’s course also teaches students about the costs and benefits of industrial food systems, and how to identify components of sustainable food systems, as well as the costs and benefits of these alternate models. Throughout the semester, students in the fall 2016 class visited Owens Farm in nearby Sunbury, where animals are raised with no chemicals or growth hormones and are grass-fed; and Ard’s Farm in Lewisburg, Pa., which uses sustainable agricultural practices such as no-till farming, crop rotation and low-density animal farming. Students also developed a personal connection to their food by working at the campus garden, located near the Freshwater Research Initiative lab on Sassafras Street. Guest speakers instructed on topics ranging from food banking to aquaponics, a symbiotic system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by farmed fish supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically (in water), which in turn purify the water. During their final classes, students presented their own research. Eileen Gonzalez ’17, of Miami, Fla., discussed the opportunities and barriers to sustainable college campuses. She advocated for serving food that is chemical-, pesticide- and hormone-free, seasonal menus with less meat, and composting and recycling fry oil. “Colleges can foster a culture of sustainability by offering interdisciplinary courses like this one, classes that connect us to social and natural sciences," Gonzalez says. “We’ve been targeted too long as individual consumers when it’s larger organizations that can make the most impact.”

You know how it’s just about impossible to ignore the sweet aroma of Cinnabon no matter where you are in the mall or airport? That’s no coincidence. Cinnabon stores are designed so that the oven is built in the front of the shop. It’s called scent marketing, and it dates back to the 1850s. Assistant Professor of Marketing Robert Williams explores this strategy and others in his newly published book Vintage Marketing Differentiation, which examines the origins of marketing and branding strategies that have proven to be successful for more than a century. The book showcases Williams’ personal collection of vintage items—from Coca-Cola bottles to the first example of a moneyback guarantee on a Watkins liniment bottle—that illustrate how companies used marketing and branding to differentiate their products from those of their competitors. “It’s been a labor of love,” Williams says. He traced the beginnings of his collection—which fills his office in the Sigmund Weis School of Business—to when he first met his wife and co-author, Helena. “She gave me a Heinz pickle charm because pickles are one of my favorite snacks," Williams recalls. "Hers was from the 1964 New York World’s Fair. I later bought an antique original, circa late-1800s.” Williams and his wife share complementary professional interests, too. She is a partner at Mar-Kadam Associates, a firm specializing in the branding of service industries and entrepreneurial ventures. Today, Williams routinely brings items from his vintage collection to his classes. The very first was the Mrs. Potts sad iron, circa 1899, the design of which revolutionized the clothes ironing industry. "It’s sometimes hard for students to grasp intangible marketing strategies,” Williams says. “But if they can touch it, it becomes a clue to help them remember.” He also hopes the book gives students an appreciation of how marketing strategies and tactics are developed. “Maybe the marketing students of today will find something from 100 years ago and adapt those concepts to today,” Williams says. Published by Palgrave, his book is available in hardcover and e-book formats.

KUDOS Business Honor Society Gets Mark of Excellence Susquehanna University’s chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma received Highest Honors status among all chapters in the international business school honor society. The distinction is reserved for only the top 10 percent of chapters internationally. Beta Gamma Sigma chapters are available only to business schools with AACSB accreditation, a hallmark of excellence earned by fewer than 5 percent of the world’s business schools and even fewer undergraduate-only liberal arts and sciences universities.

Faculty Earn Awards Each year at Commencement, Susquehanna honors three faculty members for their work. This year, the John C. Horn Distinguished Service Lectureship was awarded to Mark Fertig, associate professor and chair of the Department of Art, in recognition of his leadership, his skill as a teacher, his rich record of institutional service, and his impressive professional résumé as both a practitioner and a scholar. The inaugural Donald D. Housley Teaching Award was conferred on Laurence Roth, professor and co-chair of the Department of English and Creative Writing and director of the Jewish Studies Program, for his infectious excitement, his ability to simplify the complicated, and his pedagogy that ranges from the traditional to the use of cutting-edge digital tools that he and his students use to create a voice for themselves in the virtual world. The Lawrence A. Lemons Distinguished Academic Advising Award was given to Assistant Professor of Art Ashley Busby. Busby currently advises more than 60 students, encouraging them to take on new challenges, celebrating their successes and providing a safe space for students facing challenges.

At top: Assistant Professor of Art Ashley Busby received the 2017 Lawrence A. Lemons Distinguished Academic Advising Award. At bottom: Laurence Roth, professor and co-chair of the Department of English and Creative Writing and director of the Jewish Studies Program, received the 2017 Donald D. Housley Teaching Award.

London Program Adds Internships

The new requirement of an internship means that beginning with the current junior class, one-third of the business school’s students will have completed an international internship by the time they graduate. About 20 students participate in the London Program each semester. They will be placed with different companies across London based on their areas of academic interest.

Susquehanna’s Global Opportunities–London Program, offered through the Sigmund Weis School of Business (SWSB), became even more robust this fall with the addition of 10-week London internships for all students enrolled in the semester-long program.

The business school has long had students interning in various parts of the world, but the London Program’s requirement bolsters the international exposure the school provides its students at a time when global experiences are increasingly important.

Contributing writers to the departments are Emily Gibbs ’18, a creative writing and English major from Hanover, Pa.; Hope Martin ’19, a creative writing and psychology major from Coplay, Pa.; Amanda O’Rourke, digital communications and media specialist; and Kelly Vergin, director of athletics communications.

32 · Susquehanna Currents · fa l l 2 0 1 7

Alumni enjoyed art and wine at a paint-and-sip event held during Homecoming–Reunion Weekend, Oct. 20-22.





CLASSNOTES Message Board

P r o p e l l i n g O u r R e p u tat i o n F o r wa r d

Two alumni—one from the Class of 2013 and one from the Class of 1992—recently told me how our “hidden gem of a campus,” as it’s been called, gave them the grit and know-how to stand toe-to-toe with colleagues who graduated from Ivy League and other well-known institutions. They credit their SU education as being like that of an Ivy League, only scrappier. In so many words, each told me something along the lines of, “Susquehanna may not have the name recognition of some other universities, but I’ve sat at tables with alumni from Ivy League institutions. Susquehanna prepared me to perform as well, if not better than members of my team who graduated from those schools. We are the kind of people you want on your team. We make things happen.” Testimonials like this are backed by some great independent national rankings, too. As you can see on pp. 24, our reputation is growing, and it’s due in large part to the curriculum and programming we provide to our students. Every student takes part in a cross-cultural experience in order to graduate. There are multiple opportunities for students to become leaders on campus, and service continues to be a priority during the student experience.

“You, as alumni, are the best ambassadors for Susquehanna.” —Becky Bramer ’92 Deitrick

You, as alumni, are the best ambassadors for Susquehanna. It’s your accomplishments and example that help propel our reputation forward, so please tell your story whenever you can and let people know you are a proud “Susquehanna alum.”

We are Susquehannans. We lead, we achieve, we serve. S i n c e r e ly, Becky Bramer ’92 Deitrick Assistant Vice President of Alumni, Parent and Donor Engagement

Save the Dates! V I S I T U S N E X T FA L L F O R

»» Homecoming–Reunion Weekend . Oct. 5–7, 2018 »» Family Weekend . Oct. 26–28, 2018

34 · Susquehanna Currents · fa l l 2 0 1 7

Class reunions in 2018 noted below.

1950 Harry Bobonich ’50 published his eighth book, What Really Happened? Thirteen Forgotten Mysteries of the Past.

1961 William “Bill” Ecenbarger ’61, a Pulitzer Prize– and George Polk Award–winning investigative journalist and best-selling author of Kids for Cash: Two Judges, Thousands of Children and a $2.6 Million Kickback Scheme, released his newest book, Pennsylvania Stories—Well Told, with Temple University Press this summer. In it, Ecenbarger covers everything from the history of the pencil to why the first day of Pennsylvania’s deer hunting season—the world’s largest participatory sporting event—is an unofficial state holiday. He also profiles figures such as George “Boom Boom” Zambelli, the internationally renowned pyrotechnic king, and goes driving with Pennsylvania native John Updike in rural Berks County.

1968 1973



1977 Gerald G. Huesken ’77 received a rare retirement gift from the Conestoga Valley School District in Lancaster, Pa. In recognition of his service, the district renamed its middle school after him. Huesken, who retired in June, is the longestserving active superintendent of public school districts in the country. He has worked in the Conestoga Valley district for most of his 38-year career. Originally hired as the district’s high school assistant principal in 1984, he went on to serve as junior high assistant principal, high school principal and assistant superintendent before becoming superintendent in 1998.

1978 1980


James Moyer ’80 was promoted to interim chair for the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Texas A&M International University. The department includes art, dance, music and theatre. Gail Murphy ’87 Corrigan was appointed senior vice president and assistant corporate secretary of Kearny Bank. Her expertise centers on leadership development, compensation, benefits and recruitment.

1981 Peter Cary ’81 marked his 20th year with the American Heart Association in New Jersey. He is senior director of corporate health and mission engagement. He is a two-time recipient of the national American Heart Association Rome Betts Award for Excellence, in two different functions. Given annually to the outstanding American Heart Association professional by function, it is the highest honor available to an individual employee.

1983 1988 1989



Carrie Neff ’89 Mitchell earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School on May 13. In June, she presented her thesis at the Summer Institute for Disability and Theology. Her research demonstrates more positive attitudes toward individuals labeled with a disability when they are described by a new word, “variability.”

1991 Chris Weyrauch ’91 has been promoted to executive vice president at TIAA. At TIAA, he leads Individual Advisory Services (IAS), where he is responsible

for the company’s relationships with retail clients with complex financial needs. He oversees a team of 2,000 professionals located in more than 130 communities who are responsible for client acquisition, servicing and retention, as well as product and portfolio management. Chris joined TIAA in 1991 and was part of the team that helped establish the advisory business in 2005. His passion for financial advice was the basis for the creation of IAS’s proprietary consultative planning process, an industry-recognized methodology for fostering client relationships.

1993 1995


Jeffrey B. King ’95 renewed his board certification with the American Board of Family Medicine in November 2016. He also accepted a position as a Level 1 Medical Director with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas on Sept. 6, 2016.



Born to Melissa Hahn ’98 and Matthew Davis, their second son, Peter Howard, May 8.

1999 Courtney M. Brenner ’99, Esq. and Rebecca L. Glassman-Payne ’94, president/owner and general manager, respectively, of Reruns Consignment Shop in Wyoming, Pa., recently won The Times Leader newspaper’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Clothing Store and Best Clothing Boutique. Brenner also won Best Local Antique Shop and Best Gift Shop for The Loft @ Reruns, a vintage clothing resale shop adjacent to Reruns. Reruns and The Loft opened in July 2016. Brenner is also CEO of C. Brenner Enterprises, a real estate investment and property management company. Glassman-Payne is a GPS supervisor with Luzerne County Children & Youth Services. Born to Annie Young ’99 and Andrew Cobleigh, a daughter, Diana Brynn, May 9.

fa l l 2 01 7  · Susquehanna Currents · 35

2000 Torrance Cleveland ’00 was promoted to lieutenant colonel on April 7. His family was in attendance along with classmate Rodney Moorhead ’00. They are stationed in the Netherlands, where Torrance is an operations officer for NATO. They are headed to Wiesbaden, Germany, for his next assignment. Torrance’s wife, Lisa Sangster ’01 Cleveland, works remotely for Home Depot Technology Center. Tara Laslowoski ’00 won the prestigious Balcones Prize with her short story collection Bystanders.

2001 Allyson Ringgold ’01 Sneed released a children’s book about anti-bullying. The Adventures of Super Cam is about a boy who uses his super powers to help children. Born to Eric ’01 and Melinda Mueller ’02 Marzolf, a daughter, Morgan Lynn, June 8.

Emily Torricelli ’05 was awarded a doctorate degree in theatre, film and television from the University of York in the United Kingdom. Her research is in the area of Scottish cinema, and she had an article reprinted by the British Independent newspaper.



Patrick Henry ’08 is joining the University of North Dakota’s English Department as an instructor of creative writing. Jebediah “Jeb” Ramsey ’08 graduated from Airman Leadership School earlier this year. He was named a Distinguished Graduate for his hard work. The Airman Leadership School’s mission is to “prepare Senior Airmen to be professional, war-fighting Airmen who can supervise and lead Air Force work teams to support the employment of air, space and cyberspace power.” Jeb and his wife, Ashley, live in Louisiana with their children, Sadie and Jensen. Born to Dave ’08 and Breanna Bradley ’08 Echelmeier, a son, Mac Thomas, Jan. 9.

2002 Melinda Mueller ’02 Marzolf—See 2001

2003 2004

practicing in public accounting for more than 12 years, assisting clients with an assortment of tax matters.


Born to Taray Heydenreich ’04 and Timothy Figard, a daughter, Adeline Rose, on June 14.

2005 Matt McNelis ’05 was admitted as a new partner to the accounting and advisory firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause. Matt is a tax partner in Baker Tilly’s construction and real estate group, based in the firm’s Wilkes-Barre, Pa., office. He has been

36 · Susquehanna Currents · fa l l 2 0 1 7

2009 Burr Allen ’09 joined the Darien Police Department in Connecticut this summer. Prior to that, he served with the New Haven Police Department. Before his law enforcement career, he was a psychiatric technician at Stamford (Conn.) Hospital. Richard Bittner ’09 graduated in December 2016 with a doctorate degree in plant pathology from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. On June 6, 2016, he began his career as a research pathologist for Monsanto at the company’s headquarters in St. Louis, Mo. Brandt Bowman ’09 was named to the 2017 Pennsylvania Rising Stars list, which consists of only 2.5 percent of Pennsylvania lawyers.

Zachary Fowler ’09, an associate attorney at Gross McGinley in Allentown, Pa., was also named to the 2017 Pennsylvania Rising Stars list. He also made the list in 2016. Mike Ubbens ’09 accepted a new position as supervisor of special education at East Penn School District in Emmaus, Pa. Born to Kristin Biondi ’09 and Dan ’09 Schwarz, a son, Cason Edwin, March 17. Born to Caitlin Newman ’09 and Paul ’10 Thistle, a daughter, Auden Lee, July 22.

2010 James Dunham ’10 published his first novel, The Helena Orbit, on May 1, from Lillicat Publishers. The novel uses a science fiction setting and comingof-age narrative to explore social, political and ethical themes. Yvonne Harris ’10 recently earned a Master of Science degree in social administration from Case Western Reserve University. Hailey McCord ’10, a sixth grade social studies teacher in southern Maryland, earned her Master of Science degree in middle-level education from Walden University. Brian Stern ’10 and Amy Polderman ’10 were married June 17. They met seven years ago at their Preview Day at SU! Born to Ashley Long ’10 and Mike Yocum, a son, Parker Michael, March 20. Paul ’10 Thistle—See 2009

2011 Eric Sweeney graduated from the joint JD-MBA program at Villanova University in May.

CLASSNOTES Tiffany Troiano ’08 Bard has always been a fashionista at heart. “My favorite pastime had always been drawing fashion sketches and dreaming about one day owning my own line,” Bard says. “I never would have imagined, though, that it would be in maternity wear.” But, as the business administration major quickly realized while pregnant with her firstborn, there was a definitive business opportunity in maternity fashion. Unable to find stylish, versatile and well-made maternity clothes, Bard says, “I decided to draw and develop some styles of my own.”

Alumna Finds Business Niche in Most Unexpected Place and Time Tiffany Troiano ’08 Bard

“My favorite pastime had always been drawing fashion sketches and dreaming about one day owning my own line.” —TIFFANY TROIANO ’08 BARD

Hence, Tiff.Marie Maternity was born. The Chicago-based brand produces fashionable maternity clothing made for use throughout the trimesters of pregnancy, and while postpartum and nursing. Bard says her “keen eye for design” was inherited from her grandmother Rose who worked as a costume designer for 1940s figure-skating champion Sonja Henie. Yet, upon graduating from Susquehanna, Bard initially took a more traditional career path. As she explains on the company’s website,, “I spent my earlier career burning the midnight oil on Wall Street.” Along the way, she worked for companies like Morgan Stanley, BlackRock, Goldman Sachs and GE Capital. But after returning every piece of maternity wear she bought online, she decided to take the plunge and start her own business. After polling other new moms with similar frustrations and receiving positive feedback on her own fashion, she knew she’d found a viable business niche. Putting her marketing and finance background to work, she created a company website and social media presence, and found a local seamstress, manufacturer and fabric company to launch her line—all while on maternity leave, nonetheless. “By identifying and meeting a market need, my business continues to grow through word-of-mouth and social media outreach,” Bard says. Since launching the line, Bard has taken what she calls a “mom-preneurial” hiatus from the corporate world to fully dedicate herself to her company and raising her son.

CLASSNOTES Most would agree that Dillon Warr ’16 left his mark on Susquehanna. He was valedictorian of his class—the first-ever male varsity swimmer to earn the honor. He was president of Tau Kappa Epsilon. He was frequently on the university’s dean’s list and was a member of the Landmark Conference Honor Roll, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in biology. Now, Warr is making his mark on medical school. In May, just over a year after graduating from SU, he received Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine (LKSOM) Academic Merit Award for the 2017–18 academic year. Warr will receive $40,000 in scholarship funds for the first year and $20,000 per year in subsequent years. This prestigious award is renewable for each of his four years of medical school.

Young Alumnus Makes His Mark on Medical School Dillon Warr ’16

Warr, who grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, knew the Temple University Health System well, and when it came time to choose a medical school, he knew LKSOM was where he wanted to be. “I have always sought to one day give back to my community, and the Temple University Health System is as close to directly serving my hometown as I can come while being a medical student,” he says. “I also will get to experience living in Philadelphia, which I have always wanted to do!” Warr hopes to one day practice medicine in underserved areas around the world. He says LKSOM has an excellent Global Health Program that will help him achieve that goal, just as Susquehanna prepared him for his MCAT exam and gave him a firm liberal arts foundation from which to approach his future profession. “The liberal arts curriculum at SU opened my mind to perspectives outside of the realm of science and will allow me to approach future problems in more complex ways,” he says.



DEC. 5, 2017 Emily Northey ’11 and William Golihew celebrated their marriage at The Cornwall Inn in Lebanon, Pa., on April 29. Also in attendance were Kathryn Falvo ’11 (matron of honor), Gabrielle Tompkins ’12 (bridesmaid), Daniel Wilhelm ’11, Zachary Snyder ’11, Drew Kauffman ’11, Dylan Roth ’11, Madeleine Coe ’12, Geoffrey Shearer ’91, Tammy Frailey ’92 Shearer, Kristen Cuccaro ’11, Darielle Rocca ’11, Casey Phillips ’12 and Kathryn Sasala ’11.




OCT. 5–7, 2018 FAMILY WEEKEND Lambda Chi Alpha alumni from the Class of 1975 Tony Miscavige, Bob Yenkner and Dean Bowen gathered for the weekend at the country home of Lambda Chi brother Ray Wanger ’75 and his wife, Susan Heyde ’76 Wanger, in Chester Springs, Pa., this summer. Beautiful weather allowed the group to go kayaking at Marsh Creek Reservoir, attend the Phoenixville farmers market, and dine at Ray’s favorite restaurant.

OCT. 26–28, 2018

To stay connected to Susquehanna University, please consider joining a regional alumni chapter, volunteer-based organizations that build ties between alumni, students, parents and the university through professional networking, social networking, events and mentoring. There are so many ways to be involved: SU SERVE, admission events, networking trips and Break Through, just to name a few. Regional alumni chapters help keep alive those connections that made you part of the SU family in the first place. For more regional chapter information, please visit today! Courtney Lippincott ’08 married Michael Sabara at the Pen Ryn Estate in Bucks County, Pa., on March 18. Pictured are, left to right, back row: Linda Fennimore ’78 Lippincott, Jane Babinski ’78, Michael Cavallo ’07, Denise Gee ’78 Connerty, Kathy Boushie ’78, Jean Craig ’78 Hallowell, Marco ’06 and Lindsay ’08 Anskis; second row, left to right: Ashley Brooke Nichols ’08, Jessica Weiss ’08, Mary Minuni ’08 Cavallo, Danielle Kambic ’08 Pelletier, Denise Hall ’08 Loughlin, Kristen Epting ’09 and Lyndsay Meabon ’08.

Alumni chapter events throughout the year include happy hours, brunches, baseball games, tours of museums, wineries and breweries, and so much more!

fa l l 2 01 7  · Susquehanna Currents · 39




Rhiannon Basile ’12 married Daniel Kerwin ’12 in Ocean City, N.J., on Dec. 23, 2016, at the historic Flanders Hotel.



Gracie Gilbert ’13 is working at Penn State– Schuylkill as the coordinator of student life and head cheerleading coach. Kelsey Fitting-Snyder ’13 graduated with her Master of Divinity degree from Gettysburg Seminary with honors in theology, church history, preaching and practical ministry. Claudia Blackman ’13 married Ambi Caceres on May 27. The pastor who officiated was Lory Ryan ’85.

Rebecca Trenholme ’14 Moreno is attending The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education this fall to study in the reading/writing/ literacy master’s degree program.

2015 Todd Nentwig ’15 received his master’s degree in psychology from Bucknell University. He began pursuing his doctorate degree at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston this fall.

2016 Essy Dean ’16 worked at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead in Pittsfield, Mass., for the summer

doing a series of social media posts with photos and information she’s pulled from the archives of the Berkshire Historical Society. The posts will be available to read on the Herman Melville’s Arrowhead Facebook page. Jordan Miller ’16 has changed his surname and now uses his maternal grandmother’s name of Lesher. Jordan lives in the greater Philadelphia area and works for Vanguard’s Retail Investor Group, and sends his regards to his dear, fellow Susquehannans.

2017 Eric Krinick ’17 accepted an internship position at the Environmental Law Center in New York City. Alexi Mast ’17 launched a blog for amateur horse riders,

Several Susquehannans reunited at a 605 Executive meeting in Prince Frederick, Md., in October 2016. Pictured are Jim Packer ’76, Doug Marks ’76, Tal Daley ’76, Steve Peregoy H’76, Bob Hutchison ’77, Jeff Snyder ’77, Wayne Wooster ’76 and Bob Smith ’76.

Dave Echelmeier ’08 has been appointed principal of South Mountain Elementary School in Northern York County School District in Dillsburg, Pa. (Also see—2008)

40 · Susquehanna Currents · fa l l 2 0 1 7

Morgan Stall ’09 married Brian J. Ahearn ’08 on Aug. 13, 2016, in Quechee, Vt., surrounded by family and friends, including many SU alumni.

On Jan. 14 the Central PA Regional Alumni Chapter didn’t let the post-holiday blues catch up to them. They spent the evening with their families and Susquehanna friends at The Sweetest Place on Earth®. After dinner in the Power Play room, they caught a Hershey Bears hockey game together.

Joe Thompson ’08 married Victoria Sikora, June 10.

Never ones to sit still, the central Pennsylvania chapter added another happy hour in June to their already full calendar of events. They wanted to kick off the summer on the right foot with a gathering at the Center Street Grille in Enola, Pa., to celebrate everything SU! On June 10 the Pittsburgh Regional Alumni Chapter celebrated America’s favorite pastime with two events in one! For the pregame they met at McFadden’s for food, drinks and comradery. Afterward, they caught an exciting Pirates vs. Marlins baseball game, where they were treated to free T-shirts and great seats. “Susquehanna University Alumni” was even featured on the scoreboard at the end of the third inning!

On Move-in Day, we welcomed 30 new students to Susquehanna who have a parent or grandparent who also attended the university. These legacy families gathered in the new Admission House for a luncheon during which they had an opportunity to meet one another, President Jonathan Green and other members of the Susquehanna staff.

The Washington, D.C., Regional Alumni Chapter celebrated summer with two weekend brunches. The first, at the Renaissance D.C. Downtown Hotel, incorporated a Sunday brunch and a meet-and-greet with chapter leaders. The second brunch was at the Hotel Monaco Baltimore, centrally located near Inner Harbor, The National Aquarium and Camden Yards, followed by a fun-filled afternoon with the whole family.

Please send your alumni news and class updates to the Office of Alumni, Parent and Donor Engagement: SUSQUEHANNA UNIVERSITY 514 University Ave. • Selinsgrove, PA 17870-1025 • Phone: 570-372-4115 • Email:

OR SUBMIT YOUR NOTES ONLINE AT WWW.SUSQU.EDU/CLASS-NOTES. Material received on campus by January 31 will be included in the spring issue.

Susquehanna Currents reserves the right to edit class notes for space and clarity and to select the alumni-submitted photos that appear in each issue. Preference will be given to print-quality photos of weddings and other gatherings that include the most alumni.

On June 22, the Philadelphia Regional Alumni Chapter and the Susquehanna University Board of Trustees hosted the event of the summer at one of Philadelphia’s most stunning landmarks, the Franklin Institute. Many thanks to the more than 300 alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends who came to welcome President Jonathan Green and his wife, Ms. Lynn Buck! The venue, the food, the featured exhibition, and the alumni and student jazz ensemble were all perfect! It was an outstanding event made even more impressive by the outpouring of love and support from the Susquehanna family.

fa l l 2 01 7  · Susquehanna Currents · 41

DE AT H S Peggy Aston ’52, Wilkes-

in the public school system.

with a biting wit and a passion

in several roles, including staff

Barre, Pa., Sept. 29, 2016.

He was an active member

for social activism.

judge advocate for both the

Peg was a talented and gifted

of Grace Lutheran Church

28th Infantry Division and the

music teacher in Mount

and a member of several

Lynda Beadle ’73 Deutsch,

Joint Forces Headquarters. He

Carmel Area School District

professional organizations.

New Hope, Pa., July 8. Ever

also served in Bosnia as part

until her retirement. Beloved

In his later years, Paul

optimistic, Lynda lived each

of the NATO Peacekeeping

by her students, she produced

volunteered for the Red Cross

and every day to the fullest

Mission. He retired as a

amazing operettas with them

and at Center Community

and did not take a single

brigadier general with several

each year, bringing together

Hospital. Throughout his

moment for granted. She

military awards, including the

the entire school community

life he enjoyed gardening,

was a beacon of strength and

Legion of Merit. Mark was

to help in these Broadway-

hunting, games, refinishing

the definition of positivity.

active in the community and

style productions. She also

antiques and reading. He

She believed that attitude

served as a former Swatara

led concerts at Christmastime

was a man of few words but

was “the key to well-

Township, Pa., commissioner.

and in the spring. With Peg’s

respected by all, and always

being” and that one should

He was a member of St.

instruction and example, the

ready to tease and joke. He is

live a life of laughter and

Margaret Mary Alacoque

students learned how to dress

survived by his sister Mary

love. She celebrated every

Roman Catholic Church,

elegantly in gowns and suits,

Bingaman ’55 Kleintop and

occasion, large or small, with

and a graduate of Duquesne

and to behave mannerly. She

grandson Isaac Laubach ’09.

effervescence. She elevated

University School of Law.

every event she attended with

never had to raise her voice to get cooperation either.

Marge Brosius ’50 Bordner,

humor, sparkling energy and

James M. Gautsch ’87,

She just gave “that look.”

Herndon, Pa., April 23, 2016.

quick wit. She loved trips to

April 13. He furthered his

She touched thousands of

Marge was an entrepreneur

the Poconos, crazy hats at

music education and his

students’ lives in her career

who opened a diner called

Christmas, dining out with

love of music by attending

and rescued many dogs

Dew Drop Inn. Later, she

friends and a good bottle of

Susquehanna, and ultimately

throughout her life.

opened a children’s clothing

wine, Penn State football

received his Bachelor of

store in her home called the

and wrestling, and her

Music degree in 1990 from

Tip-Top Shop. She taught

flower gardens.

Westminster Choir College

Paul Bingaman ’49, State

in Princeton, N.J. While

College, Pa., Dec. 12. Paul

special education and art in

received his master’s degree

the late 1950s and early 1960s

Maurice Feldman ’56,

attending SU, he studied

in education in 1951 and

at Mahanoy Joint School

Baltimore, Md., April 5.

pipe organ with Susan

his doctorate degree in


education in 1971 from Penn

Hegberg, professor emeritus Mark Fenice ’70, Harrisburg,

of music, and continued

State University. He served

Laurie Blair ’86 Brown,

Pa., July 23. Mark was an

his study of church music

in the U.S. Army during the

March 16, Baltimore, Md.

attorney in private practice in

and pipe organ with Mark

Korean War. He retired as

Laurie worked in advertising,

Harrisburg for more than 40

Brombaugh and Eugene Roan

a secondary principal from

including time at the

years. During his 36 years of

at Westminster. He spent

State College High School in

Baltimore Examiner. She was

service with the Pennsylvania

the next 27 years serving as

1985, after serving 37 years

known to many as a blogger

National Guard, Mark served

organist and choir director

at various denominational

Genette Henderson ’66,

16 years, and was a past

Camp Hill, Pa., from 1968 to

churches in New Jersey and

Jan. 27. She is survived

president of the Pennsylvania

1975; pastor of Zion Lutheran

Pennsylvania, including 10

by her sister Margaret

Library Association and the

Church in Marysville, Pa.,

years at Christ Lutheran

Henderson ’54 Davenport.

Pennsylvania Interlibrary

from 1977 to 1981; associate

Delivery Service. Dwight is

pastor of Evangelical Lutheran

Church in Milton, Pa. For the past 13 years, James served

Kurt Hoerlein ’80,

survived by his wife of 55

Church in Waynesboro, Pa.,

as director of church music,

Freeburg, Pa., Feb. 28.

years, Sandra Kimmel ’60

from 1981 to 1986; and pastor

Huseman, a son D. Alan

of St. John Lutheran Church

organist and choirmaster for Episcopal Church of the

Dwight Huseman ’57,

Huseman ’90, and daughter

in Steelton, Pa., from 1986

Messiah in Baltimore, Md.

Gettysburg, Pa., Feb. 22.

Leigh Anne Hamilton.

until 1997 when he retired.

While attending Westminster,

A graduate of White Haven

James was a member of the

High School where he played

Marilyn Hyle ’53, Fort

St. John (Barner’s) Lutheran

highly esteemed Westminster

varsity basketball, Dwight

Myers, Fla., April 6. Marilyn

Church in Liverpool, and

Symphonic Choir under

lettered in varsity basketball

lived in Mifflinburg and

provided interim pastoral

In retirement, he served

the direction of Joseph

at SU. He was a member of

Lewisburg, Pa., before moving

services to St. Matthew

Flummerfelt. He also had

Theta Chi, Pi Gamma Mu

to Florida in July 2013. She

Lutheran Church in

the honor of singing with

and Phi Kappa Phi. He earned

was employed by Evangelical

Millersville, Pa., and

the choir in concerts and

Bachelor of Divinity and

Community Hospital in

Trinity Lutheran Church

operas at Lincoln Center,

Master of Sacred Theology

Lewisburg, Pa., for more

in Lemoyne, Pa. He served

and working with renowned

degrees from The Lutheran

than 15 years, serving as the

the Central Pennsylvania

conductors Leonard Bernstein

Theological Seminary

secretary to the director of

Synod as a member of

and Zubin Mehta, both with

of Philadelphia and was

nursing. In addition, she was

the Committee on Parish

the New York Philharmonic,

ordained in the Lutheran

a Red Cross disaster volunteer.

Life and its subcommittee

and Ricardo Muti of the

Church in 1960. During his

She also loved to travel and

on evangelicalism and a

Philadelphia Orchestra.

ministry, he was mission

volunteer, and enjoyed her

member of the Committee

developer and first pastor

two miniature Schnauzers,

on Stewardship. Peter was

Harold Greenly ’50,

of two congregations, one

Bridgett and Becka.

an active member of the

Bloomsburg, Pa., Jan. 21.

in Kendall Park, N.J., and

An Army veteran of World

one in Centreville, Va. He

Peter H. Kuebler ’63,

Ministerium, as well as

War II, Harold served in

also served parishes

Mechanicsburg, Pa., April 17.

the West Shore, Perry and

Okinawa and was among

in Riverside, N.J., and

A 1959 graduate of Summit

Harrisburg conferences.

the first occupation troops

Somerset, Pa., as well as

Hill High School, Peter

He was the chaplain

in Japan following the war.

being the interim pastor of

went on to the Lutheran

coordinator for Holy Spirit

After discharge from the

several central Pennsylvania

Theological Seminary at

Hospital in Camp Hill and

U.S. Army he attended

churches. Dwight also

Gettysburg after attending SU.

the Harrisburg (Pa.) Area

Dickinson Junior

earned a master’s degree in

There he earned a Master of

Council of Churches. He

College (now Lycoming

library science from Drexel

Divinity degree in 1966 and

served as chaplain to the

College) before coming

University and was a member

then served as pastor of Christ

Pennsylvania Farmer’s

to Susquehanna, where

of Beta Phi Mu international

(Filey) Lutheran Church in

Association, and of the

he received a Bachelor of

honor society of library

Dillsburg, Pa., from 1966

1969 Pennsylvania Legislative

Science degree in business

science. He was a librarian

to 1968; associate pastor of

Session. He was the West

administration in 1950.

at Gettysburg College for

Trinity Lutheran Church in

Shore district chair for Key 73

Camp Hill and Liverpool

DE AT H S and member-at-large of the

board chair at First Christian

he enjoyed a long career in

graduation, Ryan became

Camp Hill Citizens’ Council.

Church, a past member of the

the corrugated box industry.

a managing partner of his

He is survived by his wife,

East Pennsboro Republican

He held a number of sales

family’s business, Stirling

Judith Tuma ’63 Kuebler.

Association, a former assistant

and management positions.

Fine Wines in Stirling, N.J.

tax assessor for the township,

(Written by Tom Samuel ’63)

Ryan was a truly kind and

Lois Schweitzer ’42 Lane,

and a former member of the

Ocean City, N.J., March 25.

East Penn school board. He

Michael J. Marcinek ’70,

engaging personality, quick

A longtime resident of

was also a faithful usher at

Penns Creek, Pa., July 10.

wit and tremendous dance

Washington, Pa., she was

Theatre Harrisburg.

Mike was a history teacher at

moves lit up every room he

Shamokin Area High School

was in. He was very patriotic,

for 37 years. In retirement

and passionate about his Irish

living in United Methodist

generous individual. His

Communities at The Shores

John Luscko ’63, Mt. Ephraim,

in Ocean City, N.J., at the time

N.J., July 6, 2016. It is with

he taught history classes at

heritage as well. His infectious

of her death. A member of

sadness that we report the

Luzerne County Community

smile made everyone feel as

Presbyterian Women while

passing of John, a native of

College. He was an avid

though they were the most

attending Hickory (Pa.)

Mt. Ephraim, N.J., who fought

hunter and fisherman who

important person in the world.

United Presbyterian Church,

a long and courageous battle

was always willing to share

Lois also was an active

with colon cancer. He died

his vast knowledge of Penns

Elwood “Mick” McAllister

volunteer at Washington

peacefully with his wife, Meda,

Creek with anyone who

’49, Cary, N.C., April 29. Mick

Hospital and the children’s

and daughters Lisa Heisler,

needed advice. Recently, Mike

served in the U.S. Navy during

department of Citizens

Jennifer Elias, Christen Genga

became a founding member

World War II and was a 32nd-

Library, before her move

and Courtney Hamilton at

of Total Outdoors, a nonprofit

degree Mason. His favorite

to Ocean City in 2014.

his side. He is survived by

organization dedicated to

stories were Navy stories.

seven grandchildren. John

supporting military families

He talked about how his life

Scott Leiser ’96, Harrisburg,

captained the legendary Jim

and veterans. He is survived

was saved by his brother-in-

Pa., Oct. 1, 2016. The “big

Garrett football teams that

by his brother Stephen

law Theodore Van Kirk, the

guy” loved to cook but was

had the longest winning

Marcinek ’73.

navigator of the Enola Gay

a messy one. Scott was a

streak in the nation at the

airplane that dropped an

talented musician and artist,

end of the 1962 season. He

Richard Marcinek ’75,

atomic bomb on Hiroshima,

and he loved to golf. He was

was known for his ferocious

Shamokin, Pa., March 19.

which led to the end of the

the kindest person, with

style of play and led by that

Rick was vice president

war. He also told stories

the biggest heart, you could

example. He held down the

and treasurer of Marcinek’s

about his hospital ship, USS

ever hope to meet. Scott

hot corner for the Crusader

Inc., a beverage wholesaler

Tranquility, rescuing survivors

was a personal trainer at

baseball team and also served

established by his grandfather

of the USS Indianapolis, and was

as the team’s captain. John

in 1908. He is survived by his

which was torpedoed by

the friendly weekend ticket

was a unanimous choice for

brother Stephen Marcinek ’73.

an Imperial Japanese Navy submarine and became the

seller for the Pride of the

the SU Hall of Fame. After

Susquehanna. He was an Eagle

earning a Bachelor of Art

Ryan McAdam ’10, Far

greatest single loss of life at

Scout, a former elder and

in business administration,

Hills, N.J., June 12. After

sea in the history of the U.S.

44 · Susquehanna Currents · fa l l 2 0 1 7

Navy. Mick was a medic and

Harriet Gould ’49 Mertz,

series and creating her own

of Miami, which raised

gave the captain a shot of

Pompano Beach, Fla., May 9.

television series, “Magic

enough money to revamp

penicillin after he was in the

While studying at SU, Harriet

Music,” for two Miami

the University of Miami’s

water for three days.

was listed in Who’s Who

TV channels; teaching

School of Music. At one

in American Colleges and

conversational English at a

event, Herman ask Harriet

musician, Mick played with

Universities. After graduation,

boys’ vocational school in

to sing a medley of his songs

A former professional

various big bands of the

she married her college

Japan; serving as a member

while he accompanied her on

1940s. After 38 years, he

sweetheart, John Mertz, and

of evaluation committees

the piano. It was one of the

retired from the Boy Scouts

moved to South Florida,

for Median Centers, colleges

highlights of her life. In 2007

of America as director of

where she contributed

and universities; conducting

she moved with her husband

the international division in

greatly to cultural activities

leadership training programs

to a life-plan community in

1987. Mick became active in

in Miami. She began singing

for the departments of

Pompano Beach, where she

Boy Scouts during his youth

professionally by giving

education in Nova Scotia,

immediately became involved

in Northumberland, Pa. He

concerts at hotels, churches,

Texas, Pennsylvania and

with volunteer activities,

served in various volunteer

temples, country clubs and

Florida; and drafting Student

directing the women’s chorus

capacities as an adult before

universities. Her Master of

Performance Standards in

and working in the health

joining the organization’s

Music Education was earned

Television Production for the

center, chapel and assisted-

professional staff in 1949.

at the University of Miami

State of Florida. Harriet was

living center.

In 1985, Mick received the

in Coral Gables in 1961. In

the television and audiovisual

Baden Powell Fellow award

addition, she was awarded

media specialist/coordinator

George Moore ’61,

from King of Sweden Carl

an education specialist

at South Miami Senior

Annandale, Va., Jan. 24. After

XVI Gustaf. Mick enjoyed his

degree in communications,

High School and an adjunct

serving in the U.S. Army from

retirement years at Lake of the

curriculum studies and

professor at the

1962 to 1965, George began

Woods in Locust Grove, Va.,

television production from

universities of Miami, Florida

a civilian career in the federal

where he regularly hiked and

Vanderbilt University in

Atlantic and Palm Beach

government. For the majority

played tennis. In December

Nashville, Tenn., in 1968, and

Atlantic. She also served as

of his career, he served as

2016 he moved to Heartfields

a master’s degree in library

president of the School of

part of the Army Material

at Cary (N.C.), where his

science from Columbia.

Music Alumni Association at

Command responsible for the

zeal for walking continued

Additional education included

the University of Miami.

weapons systems that protect

on the property’s greenways

certifications of study from

and trails. He is survived

Kyoto University in Japan

her own studio in Miami

years of service as the director

by his daughter Katherine

and Chenchi University

where she had an electronic

for logistics support.

McAllister ’77 Neuhauser,

in Taiwan; postgraduate

media school and instituted

son-in-law John Neuhauser

work in administration and

the first studio production

Hubert Pellman ’40, March

’76 and grandson Thomas

supervision at Florida Atlantic

for Gloria Estefan and her

16, Harrisonburg, Va. He

Neuhauser ’06.

University and the University

husband, Emilio. In the ’70s,

taught English at Eastern

of Missouri; and advanced

she became a personal friend

Mennonite College (now

television and film production

of Hello, Dolly! composer

University) from 1941 to

Carlisle, Pa., June 5. She is

at Redwood City, Calif.

Jerry Herman, and in 1975,

1943, and from 1947 until

survived by her husband,

she produced a fundraiser

his retirement in 1984, when

William McClure ’48.

included authoring an

with him at the new Gusman

he was awarded professor

Introduction to Music film

Concert Hall at the University

emeritus of English status.

Joyce Jenkins ’45 McClure,

Her achievements

In the 1960s, Harriet had

our nation. He retired after 39

fa l l 2 01 7  · Susquehanna Currents · 45

DE AT H S He always felt a “deep sense of

a retired systems analyst/

and doubles. His passion

a medical officer for about 10

calling to the classroom,” and

program manager with

was college football, and he

years. A highlight of his Navy

left many of his students with

Capital Blue Cross in

enjoyed traveling to Big 10

service was an assignment

a sense that literature is truly

Harrisburg, Pa., where he was

games where Penn State was

as the officer in charge of

one of the humanities. Many

employed for more than 40

playing. He was a true lover

the Deepfreeze Program

students recall his dislike

years. A devoted husband and

of animals and wildlife.

at Admiral Byrd Station in

of “shoddiness” in writing,

family man, he met his wife

combined nonetheless with

of 53 years at Susquehanna.

R. Brent Swope ’65, Lewes,

between 1960 and 1961. A

his kindly manner. His legacy

He also served his country

Del., July 6. He was a retired

glacier was subsequently

continues under the Hubert R.

as part of the Pennsylvania

lieutenant colonel in the U.S.

named after him by the U.S.

Pellman and Mildred Pellman

Army National Guard. He is

Army Reserves and operated

Board on Geographic Names.

Antarctica for 13 months

Literature Scholarship Fund,

survived by his wife, Joyce

Swope Insurance Agency. He

Dick then went to Oakland

established under the Hubert

Sheesley ’62 Shirey.

was a member of Crossroad

Naval Hospital, where he

Community Church, past

became a psychiatrist. Upon

Arthur “Cliff ” Stamfel ’54,

president of the Rockville

his retirement from the

Frances Hubler ’35

Brookfield, Wisc., March

Lion’s Club, a volunteer for

Navy, he practiced medicine

Nuernberg, Upper St. Clair,

2. After high school, Cliff

Jusst Sooup, and a school bus

and psychiatry in California,

Pa., Sept. 24, 2016. She taught

enlisted in the U.S. Air

driver for the School Mule bus

working in mental health

at Independence Township

Force, where he became a

company. He is survived by

clinics, hospitals, prisons,

High School in Avella, Pa.,

championship boxer. After

his sister, Jocelyn Swope ’61

private practice and for the

and Scottdale High School

his service, he returned to


government. He settled in

in Westmoreland County, Pa.,

Pennsylvania and graduated

until her marriage in 1942. Pat

from Susquehanna after

R. David Tohill ’06,

Edna, resided with him for

was a charter member of Bower

having played football under

Schuylkill Haven, Pa., Sept. 5,

many years.

Hill Community Church,

Amos Alonzo Stagg Jr. He had

2016. He worked as a project

where she taught the nursery

a successful lifetime career

accountant at Fortna in

60 countries, and he loved all

class; a longtime member and

with Aetna Life and Casualty.

Reading, Pa. He was a proud

types of music, particularly

Pellman Endowed Chair.

Carmichael, where his mother,

Dick visited more than

past president of South Hills

He was also a member of

member of Phi Mu Delta

classical music. He played

College Club; a member of

Elm Grove Community

fraternity. He is survived by

the piano and organ, enjoyed

Valley Brook Country Club;

Methodist Church, Tripoli

his sister Kimberly Tohill ’03.

Music Circus and Mondavi

and an early volunteer at

Shriners, Scottish Rite of

Mayview State Hospital.

Freemasonry, the American

Donald “Dick” Walk

for his great sense of humor

Legion, the Moose, the Elks

’55, Reedsville, Pa., May

and many fun parties he

Josephine Carey ’39 Raiguel,

and the Penn State Alumni

3, 2016. After graduating

hosted at his home.

Rydal Park, Pa., Jan. 26.

Association. Athletic his entire

from SU, Dick attended

life, Cliff was an accomplished

Hahnemann Medical College

William Harvey Wiest ’67,

Samuel Shirey ’63, Seneca,

tennis player who won

in Philadelphia. He joined

Sunbury, Pa., May 26. Bill

S.C., April 25. Samuel was

countless trophies in singles

the U.S. Navy and served as

was a practicing attorney in

46 · Susquehanna Currents · fa l l 2 0 1 7

performances, and was known

Sunbury from 1972 until

enjoyed passing along words

in Lawrenceville raising three

outside and conversation with

1998, when he was elected

of wisdom to friends and

children included more than

any and all. She is survived

to serve as a judge for the

family. She especially liked

a decade on Manning Lane, a

by her daughter, Marcia

Court of Common Pleas of

quotes from the Dalai Lama

small family community with

Williamson ’83 Abey P’13,

Northumberland County,

and Deepak Chopra. The

more than 25 children that

and granddaughter Allison

Pa. He loved his work and

world made more sense to

grew up together. This green

Abey ’13.

his colleagues, but without

her through their eyes.

haven nurtured play and

a doubt, most special to

friendships among parents

Robert E. Yerger ’69,

and children, with Joan an

Dillsburg, Pa., July

him was his work with

Denise believed in

“planting a seed,” whether it be

children of all ages. Bill was

a tidbit of information for a

active contributor to the

28. Robert retired from

a member of the Trinity

young mother or facilitating a

block parties, pool gatherings

the Commonwealth of

U.C.C. Church of Dalmatia,

young child discovering how

and holiday festivities. She

Pennsylvania in 2004 after 35

professional organizations

to learn and play. Her passion

especially loved summers

years of service. He worked

like the Pennsylvania Trial

was entertaining and helping

with her family at Long Beach

in public administration for

Judges Association and

children laugh and learn.

Island, N.J.

the Pennsylvania Juvenile

She was employed by SUM

Judges Association, and

Child Development, helping

attended the Presbyterian

a member of the Otterbein

cultural and community

children in several capacities.

Church of Lawrenceville.

United Methodist Church in

organizations such as Sons

She loved animals, remarking

She actively supported

Boiling Springs, Pa., where

of the American Revolution,

that “animals know stuff.” In

Daniel in his service on the

he served as a lay speaker

Pennsylvania German Society,

particular, she had a love for

Town Council of Lawrence

and choir member. Robert

the Harrisburg Consistory

cats and spent much of her life

Township beginning in 1966

was also a member of the

and as mayor in 1969. After

Franklin Township Planning

her children were of school

Commission, Franklin

the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. He was

Joan and her family

and the Northumberland

rescuing cats.

County Historical Society. He

also served many years as an

and shared her love with

age, Joan resumed her nursing

Township Emergency

Odyssey of the Mind coach.

friends and relatives. She was

career. A specialist in home

Management Agency and

He enjoyed first and foremost,

always grateful for flowers

health services, she worked

Dillsburg Kiwanis Club, and

his wife, children and

and any interactions she

for Hunterdon Medical Center

was a volunteer with the

grandchildren, but he had a

had with animals.

and Helen Fuld Medical

Caring Place in Lemoyne, Pa.

Center. She also volunteered

Robert received his master’s

Denise enjoyed camping

passion for his work and also found time for genealogical

Joan Wiant ’53 Williamson

at Princeton Medical Center.

degree from Penn State

and historical research,

Clark, Colfax, N.C., June 12.

Daniel passed away in 1985,

University. He was an avid

gardening, attendance at his

Joan completed her education

and Joan remarried in 1988

model railroad enthusiast,

children’s and grandchildren’s

at Cornell School of Nursing

to Herbert H. Clark. She

gardener and singer, and took

sporting events, and doting

in New York City, graduating

lived a full life in retirement,

great joy in his family. He is

on his beloved cats. He is

in 1954. She then worked

first in New Bern and later

survived by sons Mark ’00

survived by his daughter

as a visiting nurse, serving

Colfax, N.C. She enjoyed deep

and Drew ’07 Yerger.

Rachel Wiest ’97 Benner and

diverse communities in the

friendships drawn from her

son, Joel Wiest ’95.

Flatbush area of Brooklyn. At

and Herb’s orbits, her children,

Susquehanna, she met Daniel

seven grandchildren and her

Denise Wehr ’94 Wetzel, New

Williamson ’53, whom she

cocker spaniel, Ginger, along

Berlin, Pa., April 15. Denise

married in 1955. Their years

with games of bridge, walks

fa l l 2 01 7  · Susquehanna Currents · 47

End Notes

Free Discourse and the Responsibility It Carries

by michele demary Over a year ago, the Susquehanna community chose Conflict as the university theme for the 2017–18 academic year. Little did we know at the time how appropriate it would become. Two weeks before classes began, conflict was all over the news as peaceful protests gave way to violence and death in Charlottesville, Va. Debates were reignited across the country about a longstanding question in democratic politics: When does free speech become a danger to a democratic polity? What do we do with the inevitable conflict between unfettered speech that is important to a healthy polity and the harm that may be done by some of that same language, precluding others from participating in the polity? President Jonathan Green wasted no time in providing a venue for our students, faculty and staff to come together and discuss the issues at the heart of this debate. The President’s Forum on Free Discourse in an Inclusive Community was held during the first week of classes, and the turnout of students, faculty and staff indicated that people were hungry for conversation.

"If we really want to be the community we profess to be, we all need to engage in conversations that are difficult." — Michele DeMar y

The value of a liberal arts education in helping us process and find solutions to difficult problems was evident throughout the panel discussion that night. Composed of faculty from departments across campus, each provided a different way to look at these difficult questions. Comparative politics provided a lens into how other democracies manage these issues, and research in cultural anthropology provided a perspective on the challenges posed by language. The personal experiences presented through the art of creative writing put a very real face on the conflict, while the importance of carefully defining the term “hate speech” was presented and debated by several on the panel. Do any of these views provide concrete answers to the challenging questions posed by free speech in a democracy? No, but they give us different perspectives to understand each other and a vocabulary with which to have these conversations. This is what a liberal arts education does. The many questions and comments from students and the faculty’s responses provided a first step in conversations that need to occur on our campus in the year to come. These conversations are not easy anywhere—and perhaps particularly not at Susquehanna, a place where we can be so nice and so conflict avoidant. But the reality is that it is much easier for some of us to avoid these conflicts than it is for others. This is one of the markers of privilege.

48 · Susquehanna Currents · spri n g 2 0 1 7

" B ut the reality is that it is much easier for some of us to avoid these conflicts than it is for others. This is one of the markers of privilege." —Michele DeMary

The President’s Forum on Free Discourse in an Inclusive Community, co-sponsored by the Student Government Association, was held in Degenstein Center Theater Aug. 29. Moderated by Assistant Dean of Intercultural Engagement Dena Salerno and University Chaplain Scott Kershner, the panel discussion examined what acceptable discourse is in a community of respect, and how to respond to the conflict between freedom of speech and hate speech. In addition to Michele DeMary, faculty panelists were: • n i c k c l a r k Assistant Professor of Political Science • l a u r a d o u g h e r t y Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre

Those who are most likely to be targeted by such language can rarely avoid hearing and feeling the stings of language that excludes. If we really want to be the community we profess to be, we all need to engage in conversations that are difficult. Free speech is essential to our democracy and a hallmark of intellectual inquiry. It must be guarded carefully. However, freedom without a sense of responsibility, free speech without an awareness of the damage that words can cause, will not help us to achieve our goal of being “a learning community that values diversity.” I hope that many of us on campus will continue to meet throughout the rest of this year, in groups large and small, in an attempt to understand our differences and confront our conflicts in constructive ways, so that we may all be more prepared to live in the “diverse, dynamic and interdependent world” we talk about in our mission. Michele DeMary, Ph.D., is associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science and the prelaw program advisor.

• s h a r i j a c o b s o n Associate Professor of Anthropology • j e f f m a n n Associate Professor of Religious Studies • l a u r e n c e r o t h Professor of English, Director of Jewish Studies and Co-Chair of the Department of English and Creative Writing • h a s a n t h i k a s i r i s e n a Visiting Assistant Professor of English • a p r y l w i l l i a m s Assistant Professor of Sociology o l e e n z o l l e r • c Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy, and Director of Africana Studies

fa l l 2 01 7  · Susquehanna Currents · 49


Like What You See?


We want you, the readers of Susquehanna Currents, to weigh in. What’s your favorite section of the magazine? What topics do you like to read about? What do you find useful, and what do you not? Help us shape the future of your university magazine by taking our readership survey

—coming in January to an inbox near you!

We want as much feedback as possible, so please be sure we have your most current email address on file.


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.