spr i ng/su m m e r 2 022 · vol 9 0 · no. 1
RISKS & REWARDS
Unlocking the mystery of cryptocurrency and finding its place in business education
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE » STUDENTS, ‘WE GOT YOU’ » LESSONS & CONNECTIONS
spr i ng/su m m er 2 02 2 · vol 90 · no 1
RISKS & REWARDS AS CRYPTOCURRENCY AND BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY CHANGE THE WAY PEOPLE DO BUSINESS, A STUDENT, DEAN AND ALUMNUS OFFER INSIGHT ON EDUCATION, RISKS AND REWARDS.
SEC TIONS DEPARTMENTS
2 First Word 16 People & Places 22 Scoreboard 26 The ’Grove Q&A • Syllabus • Kudos • Bragging Rights
46 End Notes
ON THE COVER: Back cover photograph by Gordon Wenzel
32 Message Board 33 Class Notes Message Board • Class Notes • Alumni Profiles Deaths & In Memoriams
VICE PRESIDENT FOR MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS AARON MARTIN EDITOR JENNIFER YURICICH ’00 SPOTTS Director of Strategic Communications EDITORIAL ADVISORS MELISSA KOMORA Vice President for Advancement
4 STUDENTS, ‘WE GOT YOU’
At Susquehanna, a team is committed to aiding students in need of intervention, connecting them with resources and restoring their mental health.
BECKY BRAMER ’92 TOTH Associate Vice President for Advancement CONTRIBUTING WRITERS JAMIE CHAGNON Director of Athletic Communications CLAIRE CURRY AMANDA O’ROURKE Public Relations Manager JODI SWARTZ Class Notes Coordinator LOGAN SWEET ’15 Associate Director of Advancement Communications ALAINA URICHECK ’24 DESIGN JOSIE FERTIG Director of Design and Digital Marketing ERICA HOOVER Graphic Designer
12 LESSONS & CONNECTIONS
In its first decade, thousands of students have connected with alumni at Break Through, the annual conference designed to bring them together and help students navigate life after Susquehanna.
COPY EDITOR BETSY K. ROBERTSON CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS BLUE DOG IMAGING GORDON WENZEL
WAYPOINTS Susquehanna Awarded $625,000 from Richard King Mellon Foundation susqu.edu/FRI-grant President Green Named to Statewide Ranking of Higher Education Leaders susqu.edu/president-state-ranking
Accounting Seniors Poised for Success with 100% Post-Graduate Placement
Spring/Summer 2022, Vol. 90, No. 1 ©2022 All publication rights reserved. Susquehanna Currents is published twice a year by Susquehanna University, University Marketing & Communications, 514 University Ave., Selinsgrove, PA 17870.
susqu.edu/accounting-placement Printed by Brilliant in Exton, Pennsylvania
Vendor to place certified appropriate FSC logo.
First Word A Message from the President
dea r fr ien ds, Lately, it seems that everywhere I go, conversations move to the topic of turning a corner. We are ready to put the past two and a half years behind us, but even while what comes next provokes excitement, it is also filled with uncertainty and challenge. This issue of Currents lifts up the cutting edge, the compassion, the tragedy, and the promise of what is already coming around the corner. Our students and faculty are venturing into the world of cryptocurrency, which to some of us is just cryptic. Maybe after you read this story it will all make sense. I know it does to many of our students. A major focus of our strategic plan is to maximize graduation rates. We have seen meaningful improvements in retention against the backdrop of the pandemic. Much of this success has been a university-wide effort. We are committed to helping as many students as possible complete their degrees. It is how we live our mission most fully.
“THE BENEFIT OF A LIBERALARTS EDUCATION IS THAT IT IS FUTURE-FACING.” — JONATHAN D. GREEN
A point of distinction at SU is our Break Through program that fosters networking and coaching opportunities between current students and alumni and friends of the university. This program is celebrating its first decade and has become a hallmark of how we prepare our students for professional life. As a campus community, we have watched the war in Ukraine with heavy hearts. Professors Andrea Lopez and Lyudmyla Ardan have helped us to understand what is happening and why. The benefit of a liberal-arts education is that it is future-facing. It prepares us to make sense in the face of senselessness, to be prepared for an evermore quickly changing world, and to be agents of change for the good. At this year’s commencement, I told our graduates: I am more optimistic for the future because of you. I believe you are capable of relegating our worst times to the past. I believe this because I have seen what you are capable of doing; I believe this because I know what you have learned; and I believe this because I have witnessed your kindness, your compassion, your passion, and your goodness countless times as we have journeyed together. Susquehanna graduates are ready to make the most of what’s around the corner.
yo u r s e v e r ,
Jonathan D. Green, President 2 · Susquehanna Currents · spring/summer 2022
PACK YOUR BAGS
and spend some quality time with your favorite SU student!
Bring the family and join us on campus for
FAMILY WEEKEND 2022!
Visit sualum.com for travel information, health and safety plans and schedules.
STUDENTS, ‘WE GOT YOU’ By Amanda O’Rourke
SUSQUEHANNA RESPONDS TO RESTORE MENTAL HEALTH
Across the United States, more students are manifesting signs of emotional and psychological distress, commonly caused by the Covid pandemic. At Susquehanna, the confluence of external and internal stressors on students has been met with a countersurge of equal force: enhanced services and increased restorative support. Recent national headlines — from stories about the declining mental health of college students to suicides of several high-profile college athletes — bring into stark relief the challenges universities are facing.
Our students came through it, but you can’t ignore that,” Salerno says. “And all of those things that our students from underrepresented groups experience every day before the pandemic are ongoing during and after the pandemic.”
“Our students are a microcosm of what is happening in the country at large, and our students are struggling,” says Stacey Pearson-Wharton, dean of health and wellness at Susquehanna and director of counseling and psychological services. “We are seeing a lack of self-efficacy among our students, as well as increased depression, anxiety and social anxiety.”
“It is noteworthy that at the height of the pandemic — fall 2020 and spring 2021 — our student scores on frustration/anger scales and the academic distress scale were higher than they have ever been,” Pearson-Wharton says. She adds that this past academic year, their scores returned to typical levels.
While these problems were on the rise prior to the Covid pandemic, its onset and prolonged lifespan — combined with heightened political divisions — have exacerbated the issues many students were already facing. Dena Salerno, senior director of inclusion and diversity, has seen the impact on Susquehanna’s students from underrepresented groups. “At the same time a global pandemic was happening, the U.S. also was going through a racial reckoning.
4 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
Concurrently, all student visits to CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) have risen 58% over the past two years. CAPS saw 409 unique new clients in 2019–20. That rose to nearly 600 in 2021–22. Susquehanna’s students’ struggles are not unique, as data from the 2021 Healthy Minds Study, produced by the nationwide network, shows 34% of U.S. college respondents struggle with anxiety disorder and 41% with depression — rates that have risen in recent years.
MORE SERVICES … FASTER In facing these increasing needs, Susquehanna dedicated significant financial resources toward supporting the mental health care of its students. Former part-time staff are now full-time employees, nearly doubling available office hours with licensed professional therapists. With the addition of a new external partner, CAPS also can connect students to one-on-one virtual appointments from wherever students are, anytime throughout the year. Residential and commuter students can connect in this way, and students who are on a study-away experience can see a therapist in person or through telehealth without worry of international calling charges, in-person co-pays or insurance. The way in which a student first meets with a therapist also has sped up. Whether they call for an appointment or drop in, their needs are assessed during a 20-minute triage appointment. Together with the therapist, they build a plan to decide which type of service will help them best: individual, in-person or telehealth counseling, and/or group therapy. Students can also select which therapist they would like to see and usually have their first full session within a day or two. Students who are in crisis can be seen immediately.
Religious and Spiritual Life; Residence Life; Student Financial Services; Student Health; and Student Life. Various CARE Team members say students are struggling with the isolation of the pandemic and how to negotiate a return to existence that is normal. “We can’t overstate the impacts the pandemic has had and continues to have on our students,” Pearson-Wharton says. “We have students coming to us who haven’t experienced a normal school year or home environment for the past two years, so they’re scared and uncertain. Some of them have experienced the loss of a parent or close family member due to Covid, or their financial situations have changed because of Covid.” Chaplain Scott Kershner, who joined the CARE Team at the pandemic’s start, agrees that students’ connection to others still remains concerning. “I think there is an increased sense of students feeling socially isolated and not feeling connected to the larger community,” he says. “We continue to ask ourselves, ‘Are things going to bounce back?’ I haven’t seen the bounce back yet.” Susquehanna’s CARE Team is unique from other university models in that it has representation from Student Financial Services in Director Katie Erdley.
FRAMEWORK OF CARE AND SUPPORT Once a week, the university’s CARE (Concern, Assessment, Response, Evaluation) Team gathers around a table to evaluate and address students who may be displaying behaviors that interfere with their education or may reasonably pose a safety threat to themselves or others. Serving as a case management collaborative, they coordinate appropriate resources to intervene or make referrals to university or community services to provide necessary support.
WHEN A STUDENT IS BROUGHT TO US, WE PUT OUR ARMS AROUND THEM AND LET THEM KNOW THAT, ‘WE HEAR YOU.’ — Katie Erdley
Students in need of intervention pop onto the team’s radar via a CARE report, which sets support in motion that can help a student persist and go on to earn their degree from Susquehanna. CARE reports can be made by any faculty or staff member, friend or peer who believes a student may be in need of assistance. The reports are triaged as they are received by CAPS, and some are marked as urgent. Gina Bavero, assistant director of CAPS and member of the CARE Team, says, “There is no limit to what we are willing to do and what we have done to help a student. If a student is failing or hasn’t been to class, we do as much as we can to get that student back on track.” CARE reports that do not require immediate actions are referred to the CARE Team, which is a model Pearson-Wharton says resulted from the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech. Susquehanna’s team, originally her and a few other members, has grown under Pearson-Wharton’s leadership to include 13 staff members from offices that support students: Center for Academic Success; the Center for Diversity and Inclusion; Admission; Athletics; Global Opportunities;
“We know a lot about our students and their families, so it makes sense for us to be at the table to give some context to any problems a student may present,” Erdley says. Each member of the CARE Team performs case management responsibilities. For Erdley, that might mean she is assigned as the lead for a student who is experiencing significant financial distress. Kershner also assists with financial issues through two donor-supported funds to address acute student needs — from medical emergencies or unforeseen travel to food insecurity.
“I make it known to students that these funds are available to them because there is a community of people extending themselves to support them,” Kershner says. The imagery of arms wrapping around students comes up again and again among CARE Team members. As Erdley talks about her work with the team, she lights up. It’s clear she perceives her work on the team as much more than the team’s financial representative. “When a student is brought to us, we put our arms around them and let them know that, ‘We hear you,’” Erdley says. She encourages everyone on campus to feel empowered to walk a student to the Counseling Center or to talk to them about the clubs they can join if a student looks lonely. “We seek to include every facet of the university so we can wrap our arms around students to ensure not only that they don’t fall through the cracks, but also that they don’t find a crack and stay there,” Pearson-Wharton adds. “We tell them, ‘We got you.’”
spr i ng/su m m er 2022 · Susquehanna Currents · 5
UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY OF CRYPTOCURRENCY AND FINDING ITS PLACE IN BUSINESS EDUCATION BY CLAIRE CURRY When rap artist Meek Mill announced he was going to release his next mixtape as a non-fungible token, Craig Lyttleton ’24 decided he was definitely going to buy it. He read up on NFTs — one-of-a-kind digital assets that can be bought and sold. While they are similar to collectibles, they have no tangible form. Lyttleton, a computer science major and student-athlete, set himself up to make the purchase but, to his dismay, his favorite rap artist never released the album. Still intrigued by what he was learning about NFTs and cryptocurrency, Lyttleton decided to test the waters and invest in them. “I figured I was already in to buy the album, so I might as well see what else I could do,” he says. “I saw a few videos and read a few articles and thought I knew it all, but I realized quickly that I made some bad investments.”
spr i ng/su m m er 2022 · Susquehanna Currents · 7
Fortunately, he didn’t lose a lot — Lyttleton was careful to invest only as much as he could live without. But the experience inspired him to take a deeper dive and learn everything he could about digital assets. “I took the perspective of trying to figure out as much as I could because the next time I reentered the market, I had to do it in a more informed way,” he explains. “So, I went in on the crypto side, the decentralized finance, the blockchain … I went down a rabbit hole.”
“ ... the next internet, the next Google, the next wave of opportunity and a shift in how we see things, such as interconnectivity and access to various financial services.” – CRAIG LYTTLETON ’24
8 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
Not only has Lyttleton been educating himself in this increasingly popular area of finance and investing, but he’s also helping his peers at Susquehanna University learn about it as well. After doing research on student crypto clubs at other colleges, he reached out to faculty, and with their help, launched the CryptoHawks Club. Open to all, the club is already 50 members strong, with an established executive board and five faculty advisors, including Matthew Rousu, dean of the Sigmund Weis School of Business. Lyttleton also credits his football coaches and teammates for their encouragement. “They’ve played a big role in the club’s success,” he says. “When I approached my head coach about wanting to start CryptoHawks, he immediately voiced his support and recommended that I speak to Dr. Rousu. Many of my teammates also wanted a space on campus to learn more about crypto, and they are now among our most active members.” Throughout the spring semester, the club held five meetings and one seminar on topics including the basics of blockchain, cryptocurrency terms and digital investing concepts. “I think a lot of people who are passionate about crypto and Web3 would point
to the potential of it all,” says Lyttleton, who is also the club’s president. “This is kind of like the next internet, the next Google, the next wave of opportunity and a shift in how we see things, such as interconnectivity and access to various financial services. All of that sounds pretty cool to me.” Lyttleton is quick to emphasize that the mission of the CryptoHawks Club is to help people learn about cryptocurrency, not to persuade anyone to invest in it or provide any sort of investment advice. “One of our goals is to address information objectively and help everyone reach their own conclusions.” An interest that Lyttleton stumbled upon unexpectedly has since inspired him to assume a leadership role on campus, to dabble — albeit conservatively — in cryptocurrency investing, and to build his résumé and professional network in preparation for a future career in blockchain development and financial technology.
“I’ve found that there is a wealth of people who love this space and love collaborating with others to help it grow,” he said. “I’m excited to apply my passion to this and contribute to this innovative space.”
information and transactions. Each block in the chain is secured and the codes are so random and complicated that the blockchain can’t be hacked. It’s also transparent, so everyone involved in a transaction can see the records.
What exactly is crypto and why all the hype?
Today, most cryptocurrencies use blockchain to record transactions. However, blockchain technology offers even broader potential to streamline many types of business transactions because of its ability to secure important data. Some of the possibilities include recording real estate transactions, protecting and securely sharing healthcare information, and copyrighting music, photography and literature by “tokenizing” artistic works in the form of NFTs.
When you consider the history of bitcoin, a type of cryptocurrency, you can see why such investments might be attractive to risk-tolerant investors. In 2008, bitcoin was launched mysteriously by an anonymous programmer under the pseudonym Satoshi Nokamato. Some consider it to be the first true execution of blockchain, the underlying concept behind digital currency and NFTs. In simple terms, blockchain is a “decentralized ledger” that uses cryptography, or codes based on complex mathematical algorithms, to record and permanently secure
Bitcoin didn’t actually have value until 2010 when someone traded 10,000 bitcoin for two Papa John’s pizzas. It hit $1 on Feb. 9, 2011, and ever since, its price has increased and fluctuated widely, spiking at an all-time high
Clarifying Crypto CRYPTOCURRENCY CAN BE CONFUSING. HERE ARE SOME KEY WORDS AND PHRASES TO HELP BUILD A BASIC UNDERSTANDING. ■ block Groups of data within a blockchain that are made up of transaction records as users buy or sell coins. Each block can hold only a certain amount of information. Once it reaches that limit, a new block is formed to continue the chain. ■ blockchain A "decentralized ledger” that uses cryptography to record and permanently secure information and transactions. They are also transparent, so everyone involved in a transaction can see the records. ■ decentralization The principle of distributing power away from a central point. Blockchains are traditionally decentralized because they require majority approval from all users to operate and make changes, rather than a central authority (e.g., The Federal Reserve System).
■ NFTs Or non-fungible tokens, are a type of currency that’s digital and decentralized. They are unique cryptographic tokens that exist on a blockchain and cannot be replicated. ■ wallet A place to store your cryptocurrency holdings. Wallets may be hot (online, software-based) or cold (offline, usually on a device). ■ WEB 3 An idea for a new iteration of the internet driven by the cryptocurrency-related technology blockchain, which can store data and software code that can self-execute under certain conditions. Also referred to as Web 3.0 and web3. Associated Press Stylebook (2022) Haar, R. (2022, May) Cryptocurrency Terms to Know Before You Invest: A Beginner’s Guide. NextAdvisor
spr i ng/su m m er 2022 · Susquehanna Currents · 9
north of $68,000 and dropping and rising by tens of thousands — sometimes daily and weekly. As of this writing, one bitcoin is worth $20,021. Since bitcoin and other even earlier forms of cryptocurrency hit the scene, many new cryptocurrencies have emerged. In fact, there are about 4,500 today, including the popular ethereum and cardano and “memecoins” like dogecoin and shiba inu. While some people are funding their IRAs with cryptocurrency — and roughly 59.1 million Americans own some form of it, according to a 2021 Finder survey — the number of people investing in it is still fewer than one in four. Those who don’t invest say it’s because of cryptocurrency’s volatility, lack of sufficient regulation or that they simply don’t understand it enough to take the risk.
Education is key In terms of business, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are already
changing the landscape. To ensure that Susquehanna’s business students are well prepared to enter tomorrow’s workforce, the Sigmund Weis School of Business has modified the curriculum to include issues related to cryptocurrency and the impact of blockchain across many different areas of business, according to Dean Rousu. “We’re integrating it into the coursework and staying ahead of it,” he says. “For example, if you’re an accountant, how do you treat the purchase and sale of cryptocurrency as an asset? Legally, that’s a major issue. Then there’s the question of how firms can use the blockchain to track products. For example, for a company selling lettuce, the blockchain would make it easier to trace products if there were an outbreak of food poisoning.” This fall, the business school is launching a new course, FinTech, Institutions and Cryptocurrencies. It will overview financial markets, institutions and technology, and cover
10 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
how emerging technologies are used in the financial services industry and how they impact the delivery of financial products and services, such as insurance, investment advising and wealth management. Students will also manage a simulated cryptocurrency portfolio, getting a firsthand look at how such investments work.
Proceed with caution While cryptocurrency, NFTs and blockchain technology have already attracted a fan base, there are many who express concerns around sustainability, security and valuation. Some cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, use vast amounts of energy for computing power and have a high carbon footprint. Other cryptocurrencies are more sustainable. There is also no central authority or regulatory body overseeing them. In fact, there are even entire countries, such as China, Nepal and Nigeria, that
“You can make money in the cryptocurrency market. Can you become a billionaire overnight? Nothing’s that easy.” – CHARLES BARLEY JR. ’99
have completely banned or tightly restricted cryptocurrency-related activities. “What really backs the value of cryptocurrency? I would say that, unlike the FDIC — which backs our major financial institutions — nothing much, as it is just unregulated bits and bytes,” says Charles Barley Jr. ’99, a security and privacy principal at the global professional services firm RSM US LLP.
“While the companies themselves that govern the financial asset classes have the ability to be valued as companies, the valuation of cryptocurrency could disappear overnight if they have a security breach.” Barley said that for some, investing in cryptocurrency can be considered analogous to day trading, which became popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“The cryptocurrency model is similar in terms of the open consumer-driven trading model. You can find thousands of videos telling you how to get rich quick. And they’re not incorrect," Barley adds. "You can make money in the cryptocurrency market. Can you become a billionaire overnight? Nothing’s that easy.”
spr i ng/su m m er 2022 · Susquehanna Currents · 11
LESSONS & CONNECTIONS BY LOGAN SWEET ’15
SINCE 2013, BREAK THROUGH BOASTS …
10 YEARS OF
IF REPEATEDLY SHATTERING ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION RECORDS IS AN INDICATION OF A PROGRAM’S SUCCESS, THE ANNUAL STUDENT-ALUMNI CONFERENCE IS ONE OF SUSQUEHANNA’S BEST.
Hundreds of entry-level, middle management and senior executives converge on Susquehanna’s campus — hailing from around the world and across various professions and industries — to serve career and life lessons to their future alumni community. The recipe for Break Through is simple: multiply students’ eagerness to learn by an insanely devoted alumni base.
UNIQUE ALUMNI PANELISTS
12 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
Now in its 10th year, what is now Break Through didn’t just happen overnight. Its inspiration came from departmental and major-specific career days with little cross-campus collaboration and promotion. This often resulted in high alumni attendance with small numbers of students participating. “I was a member of the Sigmund Weis School of Business Student Advisory Board when we developed an earlier version of a networking conference for business students,” says Kyle Robertson ’11, a vice president for J.P. Morgan
“I love that my conversations with students range from technical industry topics like the future of cryptocurrency to general life queries like living in New York City or navigating international work visas.” – KYLE ROBERTSON ’11
160 STUDENT PARTICIPANTS HAVE BECOME
DIFFERENT TOPICS HAVE BEEN DISCUSSED
« KYLE ROBERTSON ’11, BREAK THROUGH 2013
Asset Management Solutions. “Our objective was to provide opportunities for both intentional discussions on topics beyond the classroom and also casual interactions between students and alumni in an environment that was comfortable for students.” He says they quickly realized it needed to expand. “While this was a great opportunity for the business students who attended,” Robertson adds, “the event had the potential to be much more impactful.” Alumni participants provided similar feedback, saying they were sometimes disappointed with the turnout. The university heard its student and alumni community and decided to make a change.
“We designed events that were informative, collaborative and beneficial to individuals of diverse backgrounds, fields and philosophies,” Chan says. “We created opportunities to explore various topics, connect with peers and experienced professionals and to grow through shared experiences. Most importantly, we aimed to inspire individuals to be active participants in their futures and to envision their own definitions of success.”
“I hope Break Through reminds all of us to do just that – break through.” – STEPHANIE CHAN ’13
In 2011, the Office of Alumni Relations — in partnership with the Career Development Center and Sigmund Weis School of Business — formed a planning committee with students, alumni, faculty and staff. The committee was tasked with developing a campuswide event with relevant and engaging programming that would lead to more student attendees. After meeting several times, the committee’s research identified that better naming and marketing of the event, involving faculty and opening attendance to all majors would be key to increasing participation. Stephanie Chan ’13, now a vice president for JPMorgan Chase & Co., was a student volunteer on the committee. “Break Through is not your traditional networking event, nor was it ever intended to be,” she recalls. STEPHANIE CHAN ’13 AND PATRICK MCELROY ’07, BREAK THROUGH 2013
spr i ng/su m m er 2022 · Susquehanna Currents · 13
“Once everyone began to collaborate, our original concept really became the exciting event we know today,” Robertson adds. “I believe Break Through has become one of the university’s marquee events, demonstrating the passion that Susquehanna alumni have for supporting current students and the reciprocal commitment students have for self-development and their futures after graduation.” At Break Through 2022, nearly 200 alumni gathered virtually and in person — with approximately 700 students and 40 different panel discussions — during the six-day event.
MAXIMIZING IMPACT AND MAINTAINING SUCCESS “We’ve found success because we really listen to students and give them the programming they want and need,” says Allie Grill, director of the university’s Career Development Center. “We pay attention to the topics being brought up by students in advising appointments, in classrooms, in meetings, etc., and then we find alumni who can speak to those topics.” Susan Kreisher, associate director of alumni relations, notes that strong relationships with faculty partners have also contributed to Break Through’s success. “Our faculty understand the importance of Break Through and the impact it can have on a student’s experience at Susquehanna,” she says. “They are our biggest advocates in encouraging students to attend the on-campus conference. And, they are able to identify qualified panelists —and are willing to serve as moderators in their sessions — ensuring that strong connections are made between alumni and student participants.”
management and personal branding, and how to pivot when a first plan doesn’t work out. Additional conference programming includes a career expo with regional and national employers, résumé review, mock interviews, affinity group networking, free LinkedIn headshots and more.
CONTINUING TO EVOLVE As the university prepares for the next decade of Break Through conferences, Michaeline Shuman, assistant provost for post-graduate outcomes and civic engagement, sees evolution as a recipe for continued success. “Our faculty partners continue to adapt their curriculum to meet the needs of the professional world,” Shuman says. “This is why our students can now study things like arts administration or sustainability management or luxury brand marketing.” “Likewise, we will continue to evolve and offer Break Through programming that meets the needs of an ever-changing world,” she adds. Future panel discussions could explore topics like managing mental health in the workplace, maintaining civic engagement throughout one’s lifetime or deciding when to move on from a professional opportunity. “More and more, graduates are not just looking for a job. They are hoping to answer their calling and to be a part of something that they are passionate about,” Shuman says. “They want to work for employers that are socially conscious, that care about the environment and sustainability, and that are invested in diversity and inclusion.”
In addition to career-specific panel discussions, alumni panelists also present general sessions on topics like money
» ADRIANA DINENNO ’04, BREAK THROUGH 2022
PRICELESS ADVICE, IMMEDIATE RESULTS The most significant outcomes of each Break Through conference are the connections formed by current students and alumni. Sometimes those connections lead directly to internships and job offers, though more often they give way to invaluable mentorships that shape a student’s experience in myriad ways. “I participated in the most recent Break Through and connected with Adriana DiNenno ’04,” says
Alaina Uricheck ’24, of New Freedom, Pennsylvania, who is majoring in advertising and public relations.
template and following her advice in internship applications, I began getting more interview requests.”
DiNenno is a product manager for Infor People Solutions, which provides industry-specialized HCM software for human resources, talent and workforce management professionals.
One of those interview requests led to Uricheck accepting an internship with Orion Strategies, a strategic communications and public relations firm whose clients wish to affect public and/or political opinion. She plans to stay connected with DiNenno on LinkedIn and says that she looks forward to continuing to grow their professional relationship.
“Adriana really helped me revamp my résumé,” Uricheck adds. “She knows what résumé-sorting software can and can’t read. As soon as I started using my new résumé
14 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
Craig Stark and Dawn Benfer pose with Professor Emeritus of Communications Larry Augustine at the dedication of the WQSU radio station studio in his name. MORE ON PLACES & SPACES, PAGE 21
PEOPLE & PLACES
PEOPLE & PLACES
THE WHO, WHAT AND WHERE FOR ALL THINGS SUSQUEHANNA
The War in Ukraine Professors share professional, personal opinions More than four months into the Russia-Ukraine war, Lyudmyla Ardan’s emotions have dulled from horror, to helplessness, to the sad resignation that the fighting will likely last a long time. Ardan, assistant professor of economics and native Ukrainian, has lived in the United States for more than 15 years, but her father and other relatives still live in the relatively untouched western Ukrainian city of Kolomyia. She also has a cousin who lives in the eastern city of Dnipro where conditions are considerably more dangerous. “I fear that war in Ukraine will just become a reality of life and will be reduced to brief daily news coverage, pushed aside by other mundane events,” Ardan says. “I believe people may become numb to it.”
That the war will devolve into a long-term conflict is something that Andrea Lopez, associate professor of political science, believes is likely — one marked by continued military buildups on both sides, with ongoing guerilla warfare. When war first erupted in February, Lopez anticipated Ukraine would quickly fall to Russian forces but questioned the communist country’s ability to hold such a large territory. However, military fumbles, intelligence lapses and heavy losses have exposed deep challenges within the Russian military. While Russia has spent significant funds on its military and learned lessons from its wars in Chechnya (1994, 1999) and Georgia (2008), Lopez says it appears there was little attention paid to things like logistics or the development of a functioning corps of noncommissioned officers. “The Russian military remains a very hierarchical organization, relying on decisions — even dealing with the smallest units — being made by generals and other highlevel officers. This slows responses and prevents forces from responding rapidly to changing situations on the ground,” Lopez explains. “The Ukrainian forces, on the other hand, focused heavily on the development of trained personnel who were authorized to act autonomously on the battlefield, changing tactics on their own. This has allowed them to create havoc for the Russian military, especially in the early part of the war.” As Russia struggles to achieve its strategic objectives in Ukraine, its invasion triggered a groundswell of support from the West and historic moves by Finland and Sweden to join NATO, the exact thing Russia is fighting against.
16 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
“I FEAR THAT WAR IN UKRAINE WILL JUST BECOME A REALITY OF LIFE AND WILL BE REDUCED TO BRIEF DAILY NEWS COVERAGE, PUSHED ASIDE BY OTHER MUNDANE EVENTS. I BELIEVE PEOPLE MAY BECOME NUMB TO IT.” — LYUDMYLA ARDAN
“The unity of the West — of NATO and the EU — has been impressive, not least of all the fact that the European Union is working to ban Russian oil imports, which are important for the countries’ economies,” Lopez says. “While there are some divisions, the organizations have managed to maintain and deepen sanctions and separation from Russia.”
UNCERTAIN ROAD AHEAD As for what is to come, Lopez says it is still difficult to predict. Russia could, having gained control of the land bridge between Crimea and the Donbas, declare its “special military operation” successful and return the country to the low-level conflict it’s seen since 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea. A second option includes the above and could also encompass a move to gain control of the seaport city of Odesa, which Lopez believes would be a challenge for Russian military given losses to its navy. The third option is that Russia, if it can claim a decisive victory in the East, continues its attempt to take all of Ukraine.
What’s nearly certain, Lopez says, is that the Russia-Ukraine war is likely to be a long one.
“The key question, and one I have no answer for, is whether the Russian population — as body bags return and the economic sanctions really begin to bite — will eventually start to oppose the war,” she says. “During the Afghan war (1979– 89), there were numerous protests in the then-Soviet Union, and it became harder and harder to get conscripts to go fight. They were increasingly dodging the draft, protected by family and neighbors. As the contract forces take increasing casualties, the Russian government will have to rely on conscripts and that will likely harm public opinion.” For now, Ardan watches the news and raises money to support the military and refugees in Ukraine. “Russia is erasing entire cities from the map, deporting civilians to Russia, stealing and plundering, torturing civilians and committing other war crimes on a massive scale,” Ardan says. “My greatest fear is that atrocities like this will continue unless Putin is stopped.”
spr i ng/su m m er 2022 · Susquehanna Currents · 17
PEOPLE & PLACES
Celebrating the Class of 2022 At its 164th Commencement, Susquehanna conferred degrees on 520 graduates during a ceremony also marked by an alumna keynote speaker and surprise faculty awards. 2021 Principal of the Year by the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals, NBC’s Once in a Lifetime Principal and National Principal of the Year nominee Taiisha Swinton-Buck ’08 returned to campus to deliver the keynote address. “Class of 2022, don’t apologize for doing the right thing in the face of adversity; don’t look for a seat at the table, create your own, and use creativity, imagination and innovation in service to others,” Swinton-Buck told the graduates. “Whatever you choose to do, wherever you plan to plant your feet, I want you to always be authentic in your service to others because that is how you create your own table. Be bold. The world needs you now more than ever.” Sharing in the recognition were four faculty members who were named award recipients for teaching, research and advising. Awards were presented to Emma Fleck, chair and associate professor of marketing and management, and Shari Jacobson, associate professor of anthropology, the Lawrence A. Lemons Distinguished Academic Advising Award; Martina Kolb, associate professor of German studies, the John C. Horn Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Creative Activity; and David Richard, presidential professor of biology, the Donald D. Housley Teaching Award. The presidential professorship was bestowed upon Richard during the ceremony, with President Jonathan Green citing the ways Richard helped lead the university through the Covid pandemic.
18 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
Taiisha Swinton-Buck ’08
Read and see more about Commencement and the Class of 2022 at susqu.edu/class-of-2022.
spr i ng/su m m er 2022 · Susquehanna Currents · 19
PEOPLE & PLACES
Susquehannans Performed To Remember ‘Cy’ Alumni spanning nearly 50 years and 2,000 miles returned to Susquehanna’s campus to celebrate the life and legacy of the late Cyril “Cy” Stretansky, professor emeritus of music/ director of choral activities, with a performance of Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem in Weber Chapel Auditorium. The concert was conducted by Stretansky Distinguished Professor Amy Voorhees. David Steinau, chair and associate professor of music, describes Stretansky as a “force in choral music" throughout Pennsylvania and the Northeast. “He saw the potential in students that maybe they didn’t see in themselves, and also he always wanted them singing with their real voice,” Steinau says. “He wasn’t after a choral sound where everybody sounded like the person next to them, and I think that’s what made the sound of his choirs so special.” Stretansky joined Susquehanna in 1972 and retired as professor of music and director of choral activities in 2008. During his tenure at Susquehanna, his choirs recorded 18 volumes of choral literature. In 1987, Stretansky was awarded
20 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
the John C. Horn Award for distinguished scholarship and service to the university. His legacy and dedication to his students and the university are memorialized with The Cyril M. Stretansky Distinguished Professorship in Choral Music, endowed in 2001, and Stretansky Concert Hall, dedicated in 2003. He died on June 13, 2021, at the age of 86. “It was important for us to honor Cy’s memory in a manner that was consistent with everything that he stood for, so of course it had to involve singing, it had to bring the Susquehanna community together and it had to be excellent, which I think it was,” Steinau says. “It was amazing to see so many alumni here to pay tribute to Cy’s memory and interact with our current students. For our current students, it’s important for them to see something of the tradition that they have become a part of.” Enjoy the university choir performance at bit.ly/SU-stretanskyconcert-01 and the Requiem performance at bit.ly/SU-stretanskyconcert-02.
Places & Spaces
A SPOT TO DO OUR PART Susquehanna’s commitment to providing a safe campus was recently enhanced with an established haven for students. Just inside the entrance of the Blough-Weis Library is a colorful, comfortable space dedicated to advancing the university’s bystander intervention program. “The Green Dot Spot is a reminder for everyone to do their part in the permanent reduction of power-based personal violence on campus, including sexual assault, dating/domestic violence and stalking,” says Tyler Cox, director of violence prevention. The Green Dot Spot opened in November 2021 through collaboration among the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center, Blough-Weis Library, Advancement and Facilities Management. “It was introduced as a place for students to use, and I see them eating, doing their work and hanging out,” says Brianna Tapia ’22, a library employee. Sam Hoffman ’23, also employed in the library, says students find the Green Dot Spot a “comfy corner to chill.” He adds, “It’s one of the ways we are reminded of our responsibility to help prevent, intervene or stop a situation from worsening.” Prior to launching Green Dot Bystander Intervention in fall 2020, several faculty and staff upskilled to become certified trainers. They now lead workshops that provide participants with an overview of interpersonal power-based violence and opportunities to practice bystander intervention techniques. In 2021, Susquehanna was recognized with the Campus Prevention Network Seal of Prevention for demonstrating its commitment to programs tied to student safety, well-being and inclusion. Specifically, SU was distinguished for taking action through comprehensive, evidence-based digital prevention education on issues such as sexual assault, alcohol misuse, mental health and discrimination.
RADIO STATION STUDIO NAMED IN HONOR OF 50-YEAR FOUNDING GM If ever there were a name synonymous with WQSU, it would be Larry Augustine. He had served as the founding general manager of the university’s radio station for 50 years since it hit the airwaves in 1967. At an event to surprise its namesake, the Larry Augustine Studio at WQSU was dedicated in January 2022. In addition to the unveiling of the plaque bearing his name, the station’s recent exterior makeover was also shared with those in attendance. In the naming of the studio, Augustine’s leadership at WQSU was recognized along with his work in establishing and expanding Susquehanna’s communications and theatre programs. He was hired as a debate coach in 1966 and was promoted to chair of the speech and theater department — a position he held for 35 years. Before his retirement in 2016, he oversaw its restructuring, which led to an eventual separation into two distinct departments: communications and theatre. Current WQSU General Manager Dawn Benfer says Augustine has been her mentor since she joined Susquehanna. “Professor Augustine is always ready to lend an ear and give some advice,” she says. “He gave 50 years to the university and the radio station. It wouldn’t be here without his dedication to Susquehanna.” Credited with helping establish the nationally award-winning radio station, Augustine will be a name familiar to Susquehanna students for years to come.
spr i ng/su m m er 2022 · Susquehanna Currents · 21
NEWS FROM SUSQUEHANNA ATHLETICS
Raising the Bar
Coach inspires, pushes student-athletes Susquehanna’s Head Strength and Conditioning Coach David Kitchen ’14 chose his profession because of the valuable life lessons the weight room taught him as a Susquehanna football player — lessons he hopes to pass down to the student-athletes he coaches today. The strength coaches, led by Coach Kitchen, typically arrive in the Chris Vialonga Sports Performance Center at 5:30 a.m. each day for the first team lift at 6 a.m. They spend the remainder of the day coaching, programming and running reports until the last team lift concludes at 7 p.m. “They’re long days but every day is different, and you get to spend time with the student-athletes,” Kitchen says. “The majority of your day is spent coaching kids and that’s the fun part.”
David Kitchen ’14
Head Strength and Conditioning Coach
THE STUDENT-ATHLETES HERE ON CAMPUS ARE REALLY UNIQUE. THEY ARE SO COACHABLE AND SMART, AND THAT’S A TESTAMENT TO THE ACADEMIC STANDARDS HERE.
An essential function of a strength coach is programming workout plans for teams. “Every team has an annual plan that’s broken up into different structures, then we reverse engineer the process. If we want strength and power to be our strongest qualities at a certain date, then we need to break down what qualities go into making those strength and power gains most evident at the end,” Kitchen says. Last year’s Landmark Conference Field Hockey Defensive Player of the Year Annalee Smith ’22 has made the transition from athlete to coach, interning as an assistant strength coach. Going from an athlete to a coach has shown Smith all the work that typically is unseen. “We meet weekly to discuss different aspects of this job and what it entails, which is more than I ever thought. It is challenging to learn all the very important details and planning behind what needs to happen for this program to function,” she says. Smith admits one of her favorite parts about her internship is working with athletes from Susquehanna’s women’s teams. “I enjoy working with all student-athletes, but many times, female athletes are overlooked and are put on the back burner when it comes to strength and weight training, but I think Coach Kitchen does a great job pushing his women’s teams to become stronger every day,” she says.
22 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
HAWK TALK One example of a Susquehanna woman succeeding in the weight room is Olivia Brandt ’22, a 2022 All-Landmark Second Team women’s basketball player who was named a National Strength and Conditioning Association All-American in early April for her dedication to effort and excellence in off-the-court workouts.
Lukas Yurasits ’22 was named a CoSIDA
Nominated by Coach Kitchen, Brandt says she was not aware of the award prior to receiving it, but claimed it was an honor to be recognized. “I contribute a lot of my success on the court to the work I put in in the weight room and the mentors I had that pushed me in strength and conditioning,” she says.
Landmark Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete
Third Team Academic All-American, posting a 3.94 grade point average as a double major in chemistry and physics. He was named the
According to Brandt, Coach Kitchen and strength coaches pushed her to work as hard as possible each day she stepped into the weight room. “Coach Kitchen’s best quality is that he will never let someone take a day off. If the weight on the bar or in your hand looks too easy, he calls you out,” she says. “The student-athletes here on campus are really unique. They are so coachable and smart, and that’s a testament to the academic standards here. They want to understand why we’re doing what we’re doing. I can talk about the ins and outs of the program, I can also talk about leadership and accountability, and they just soak it up,” Kitchen claims. Coach Kitchen and his staff have contributed greatly to the success of so many teams and, at the same time, implemented important life values through the strength and conditioning program. — Ben Shaffer ’22
of the Year and tabbed as a D3hoops.com Region 5 Third Team.
Danny Frauenheim ’22 was tabbed as an NABC Third Team All-American while also garnering All-District 5 First Team honors. Frauenheim also grabbed D3hoops.com Region 5 First Team honors.
Olivia Brandt ’22 and Erin McQuillen ’21 both collected All-Landmark Conference Women’s Basketball Second Team honors. Brandt was also tabbed as an NSCA All-American recipient.
Bryce Ellinger ’23 competed in the high jump at the Division III NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. Ellinger tied for eighth place to collect All-American honors.
In the pool, All-Landmark First Team honors were collected by Jack Imburgia ’23 for the 100 freestyle, and Brendan Alvino ’24, Conor McManus ’22 and Richard Thomas ’22 for the 200 free relay. On the women’s side, Haley Muth ’23 picked up All-Landmark First Team honors in 50 freestyle, while Julia Romano ’25 took All-Landmark First Team honors in one-meter diving.
Olivia Brandt ’22
Annalee Smith ’22
spr i ng/su m m er 2022 · Susquehanna Currents · 23
1 Day, 3 Titles: A Saturday To Remember In February, three different Susquehanna University athletics programs captured Landmark Conference titles — on the same day and on SU’s campus. The men’s and women’s track and field squads earned the 2022 Landmark Conference Indoor Track and Field titles in the afternoon, and the men’s basketball team finished off the day with a 76–68 win over Drew University. The men’s indoor track and field squad pulled away from the rest of the conference thanks to its depth, earning its second all-time Landmark Conference Indoor Track and Field title with nearly 200 points for the day and 83 points clear of second-place Elizabethtown College.
For the women, the squad collected its first title in program history with an emphatic victory at the 2022 Landmark Conference Championships, as the River Hawks posted 144 points as a squad, edging Moravian University and its 98 points. Later in the evening, in front of a packed Orlando W. Houts Gymnasium, the men’s basketball team earned its second Landmark Championship. They dominated most of the match against defending conference champion Drew University, who never got closer than seven points behind SU. This marked only the second time that Susquehanna took three championships in one day — and what a day to remember.
MEN’S AND WOMEN’S TRACK AND FIELD
24 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
Susquehanna Awarded the Landmark Conference Presidents’ Trophy
Susquehanna won the Landmark Conference President’s Trophy for the best overall athletics program, based on conference regular-season and postseason competition. The River Hawks won six Landmark championships: women’s cross country, men’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, men’s outdoor track and field, and softball. It was the fifth time Susquehanna won the trophy, making SU one of two teams to most often win the conference trophy since it started in 2008.
Caroline Chase ’22 was tabbed as the Landmark Conference Women’s Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Year. Chase ranked in the top 10 nationally in assists, assists per game, points and points per game, while leading the conference in all four of those categories.
Brennan Lorence ’25 picked up Landmark Conference Men’s Lacrosse Rookie of the Year after leading the River Hawks in scoring with 56 points.
Softball collected a bevy of Landmark Conference awards, highlighted by Katie Murphy ’22 and Kiara Bryant ’22 being named Softball Pitcher and Player of the Year, respectively. Erin Bean ’22 and Zoe Bork ’24 picked up All-Landmark First
3 Coaches Earn Special Milestones
Team honors, while Ashley Warner ’23, Morgan Henry ’23 and Gabby Bubba ’21 were tabbed
The 2021–22 season was a special one in many ways for the Susquehanna University coaching staff, highlighted by three head mentors earning milestone victories.
as Second Team players.
Women’s Volleyball Head Coach Kuuipo Tom eclipsed the 400-win mark in October. The winningest coach in program history, Tom is ranked No. 50 on the active NCAA wins list with 414. He also ranks in the top 50 in all of NCAA Division III in winning percentage.
Susquehanna collected multiple coaches of
In the spring, Women’s Lacrosse Head Coach Randall Swope earned her 100th career win. Swope earned her 23rd victory as the head coach at Susquehanna that day, earning 26 wins at Franklin & Marshall College, while also picking up 51 victories in eight seasons as the head mentor at Bucknell University.
all collected honors.
Head Baseball Coach Denny Bowers ’01 also earned his milestone victory in the spring season, collecting his 300th career win. Bowers went on to lead the River Hawks to the Landmark Conference championship game in 2022.
the year as Frank Marcinek, men’s basketball, Ethan Senecal, men’s and women’s indoor track & field, and Brad Posner, softball,
STORIES FROM AROUND CAMPUS AND AROUND TOWN
Q&As Q: What drew you to Susquehanna and how have your prior experiences prepared your role as dean? A: That first day I strolled onto campus, I felt a sense of peace. There was an energy, a synergy that made Susquehanna University feel like a true academic home. My evolution in academia and every experience I’ve had, the ones I’ve celebrated and the ones I’ve weathered, have prepared me for the role of dean of the School of the Arts and School of Humanities. My military career has given me the ability to problemsolve, to see clear through to the mission and how to strategize. Most importantly, it also taught me how to lead others and how to be led. Q: How would you describe your vision as the university’s new dean of the arts and humanities?
Dean, School of the Arts and School of Humanities
MY VISION FOR THE SCHOOLS OF THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES IS THAT WE WILL BE SEEN AS TRENDSETTERS, LEADERS, ACADEMICIANS WHO HAVE STUDIED OURSELVES AND LEARNED THAT THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES ARE NECESSARY FOR A LIFE WELL LIVED.
A: Susquehanna University and those in its community have a clear sense of who they are and who they want to be. My vision for the schools of the arts and humanities is that we will be seen as trendsetters, leaders, academicians who have studied ourselves and learned that the arts and humanities are necessary for a life well lived. I believe my initial charge in the role of dean is to listen and learn so I can gain an even clearer vision of Susquehanna University. Only then can I incorporate any vision that I have for an already established and accomplished university. Q: What are you most looking forward to as a member of Susquehanna’s community? A: Community, not the competition you often find in institutions of higher learning, but a true community of colleagues who work collaboratively to meet and exceed expectations and visionaries who challenge each other in respectful and empowering ways. I’m looking forward to being challenged and made better by the impressive faculty. In my eyes, Susquehanna is the standard for liberal arts institutions across the globe, and I am looking forward to meeting and rising above that standard as we evolve and grow together. Q: What role do the arts and humanities play in the complicated world we live in today? A: In placing the arts and the humanities at the forefront of its curriculum for all students, Susquehanna University poses important questions. What are we without the songs that comfort during difficult times, the visual works that speak our pain in images when we have not the words? How do we understand the world in which we live when the logical answers lead to more questions and all we have to lean on is our faith and our understanding of histories attached to worlds that have weathered similar, and in some situations worse, storms? Covid-19 didn’t change the world into something we didn’t know; it required us to relearn what matters. In many ways, I see the arts and the humanities as holding limitless blueprints for those yearning to reclaim joy and their voice after having lost so much in a world forever changing.
26 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
In 2021, Susquehanna restructured its schools into the School of the Arts, School of Humanities, School of Natural and Social Sciences and the Sigmund Weis School of Business. After national search processes were conducted, Laurie Carter was named dean of the School of the Arts and School of Humanities, and Kathy Straub was promoted to dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences. Matthew Rousu remains dean of the business school.
Q: Why did you want to become dean after serving in the role of professor for many years? A: My background as an earth scientist is interdisciplinary, so I knew it would be fascinating as dean to interact with and advocate for faculty and students in natural and social sciences. As a Susquehanna faculty member, I was fortunate to have leadership opportunities: head of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences; and director of SU’s Center for Environmental Education and Research, during which time I oversaw our Freshwater Research Institute and established our Office of Sustainability. I really enjoyed the responsibilities within these roles, the ability to innovate and create new programs and seeing how my work impacted students. Q: What leadership style will you bring to Susquehanna’s School of Natural and Social Sciences? A: My leadership style is relationship-centered and inclusive, and I always try to lead by example. I strive to understand the experiences of faculty and students and to change institutional structures to allow everyone to most effectively use their own individual strengths to fulfill our institutional mission. I truly enjoy new challenges and am always looking ahead with excitement to the next project, the next grant, the next new program. I hope my innovative spirit inspires others to think creatively and boldly about Susquehanna’s future.
Dean, School of Natural and Social Sciences
Q: What are the benefits of pursuing a science education at Susquehanna? A: At Susquehanna, students learn by doing — whether that’s through field or laboratory experiences, simulations, internships or project-based learning — and they do so with close faculty mentorship and support. Students can get involved in research as early as their first year and can spend summers doing research with a faculty member on campus or working at an internship. Our students graduate with the knowledge, skills, experiences and professional connections necessary to pursue a wide range of careers. Q: How will you assist the university in evolving to meet students’ and faculty’s needs? A: Although a university is organized into academic departments, real-world problems like climate change or the pandemic response are inherently interdisciplinary. Some of our most exciting new majors and minors exist in spaces between departments, like ecology, public policy, neuroscience, environmental studies, sustainability management and museum studies. As a new dean, it is my responsibility to collaboratively develop a strategic vision for the School of Natural and Social Sciences that supports faculty and students in pursuing their scholarly interests. I am thrilled to begin this journey with our talented and dedicated faculty and students.
I TRULY ENJOY NEW CHALLENGES AND AM ALWAYS LOOKING AHEAD WITH EXCITEMENT TO THE NEXT PROJECT, THE NEXT GRANT, THE NEXT NEW PROGRAM. I HOPE MY INNOVATIVE SPIRIT INSPIRES OTHERS TO THINK CREATIVELY AND BOLDLY ABOUT SUSQUEHANNA’S FUTURE.
spr i ng/su m m er 2022 · Susquehanna Currents · 27
THE ’GROVE KUDOS
Georgetown Report: SU Ranks in Top 11% Nationally for Graduate Earnings Susquehanna University ranks among the top universities in the U.S. for career-long earnings, according to a report from Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Susquehanna ranks No. 509 among 4,500 colleges and universities nationwide for salary earned over the 40-year length of a career, placing it among the top 11%. The university ranks No. 16 among private, liberal arts universities in Pennsylvania on the same metric, which includes the University of Pennsylvania and Carnegie Mellon, Lehigh and Duquesne universities. Specifically, the report found that by the end of their careers, Susquehanna graduates could expect to earn an additional $1 million in today’s dollars than if they had not gone to college. “There are few, if any, investments that have a greater impact on our nation, our economy and our fellow citizens than that of a college education,” says Susquehanna University President Jonathan Green. “College graduates earn significantly more over their lifetimes than those who do not complete college degrees, and a Susquehanna education also prepares its students for productive lives of achievement, leadership and service in a diverse and interdependent world.” Using new data from the College Scorecard, Georgetown used the same methodology in its 2019 “A First Try at ROI” report to rank 4,500 colleges and universities by return on investment. Private colleges that primarily offer bachelor’s degrees lead the list of institutions that provide the highest returns on investment 40 years after enrollment, just as they have in earlier versions of the College Scorecard. To measure ROI, the study uses net present value, which estimates how future earnings are valued in the present. The measure, calculated using data from the College Scorecard, a website run by the federal government, essentially weighs the cost of paying for college against what students could potentially earn later.
28 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
Recent Alumna Wins Fulbright Award to Spain Olivia McGaw ’22 has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award in Spain. “When I got the notification from Fulbright that I was a finalist, I was ecstatic,” McGaw says. “I had been waiting so long for this decision — since October when I submitted my application — that when it finally came, it didn’t feel real.” Each year, the Fulbright Commission receives approximately 10,000 applications and presents an average of 2,000 awards for students to conduct research, study or teach abroad in more than 160 countries worldwide. McGaw, from Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, will use her Fulbright to build upon her recent study-abroad experience in Spain. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish studies at Susquehanna and plans to pursue a master’s degree in teaching English as a second language as preparation for a career working in migrant education. McGaw says her interest for migrant education began when she volunteered to teach English-as-a-secondlanguage classes at the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit. Almost all her students were Spanish speakers. “I realized that I could make a real difference with my Spanish skills if I go into a field that works with individuals whose first language is not English,” McGaw says. “I was so inspired by all my students and the hard work that they were putting in to learn English.” McGaw plans to teach Spanish as a second language to immigrants in Spain as her Fulbright service project. “This experience next year will further strengthen my foreign language teaching skills and my understanding of the experiences of immigrants in a cross-cultural context,” McGaw says. Karol Weaver, professor of history, leads Susquehanna’s program that is dedicated to nurturing potential scholarship applicants and supporting them through the application process. McGaw also received support throughout the application process from education and Spanish studies faculty, as well as SU’s Career Development Center.
Spanish Students Translate The Story of Ruby Bridges for Scholastic For nearly 30 years, The Story of Ruby Bridges has been a children’s literature staple — but one for English readers only. Now, thanks to a group of Susquehanna University students led by Mirta Suquet, assistant professor of Spanish studies, Spanish speakers will be able to read about the little girl who was the first African American student to integrate an elementary school in the South. Suquet’s class, Spanish for Heritage Speakers, translated the book at the behest of Scholastic Corporation. As the first to translate Robert Coles’ children’s book, Suquet’s class receives credit for their translation inside the book’s cover. Suquet described the translation of The Story of Ruby Bridges as a learning process, beginning with learning about Ruby Bridges using Spanish resources. Then, they workshopped the book as a class, debating which Spanish words would best suit the original English text. The class had to decide whether to use Standard Spanish, or to embrace colloquialisms — a move they ultimately decided against. They also had to transform punctuation to convey the original emotional tone of the story.
“I think the most challenging part about translating anything is the aspect of losing the message because certain words don’t translate directly,” says Yasira Tejeda ’23, a Spanish studies major from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. “Being an Afro Latina, bringing this story to Spanish Americans is very important and has made me really proud of myself. This project has taught me that even when things seem small, they can have a very big impact.” One of the ways Suquet uses translation is to introduce her students to the opportunities available to them in language studies. “Some students may be interested in creative writing but they don’t see themselves creating in Spanish,” she says. “Translation is a good opportunity to spark interest in that. If you are creating — whether you are writing something original or translating someone else’s words — you find yourself connected to language in a more emotional way.” Suquet plans to translate additional Scholastic titles in the future.
“IF YOU ARE CREATING — WHETHER YOU ARE WRITING SOMETHING ORIGINAL OR TRANSLATING SOMEONE ELSE’S WORDS — YOU FIND YOURSELF CONNECTED TO LANGUAGE IN A MORE EMOTIONAL WAY.” — MIRTA SUQUET
spr i ng/su m m er 2022 · Susquehanna Currents · 29
Bragging Rights! Help us CELEBRATE THE EXTRAORDINARY by spreading the word about SU’s achievements and successes.
94% OF GRADUATING STUDENTS FINISH IN FOUR YEARS OR LESS
OF STUDENTS ARE EMPLOYED OR IN GRAD SCHOOL WITHIN 6 MONTHS
» NO. 80 IN SOCIAL MOBILITY
Continues to excel in social mobility (ability to improve one’s socioeconomic status) — U.S. News & World Report, 2022
O. 81 OVERALL AMONG NATIONAL N LIBERAL ARTS UNIVERSITIES In top 30% for social mobility — Washington Monthly, 2021
NO. 117 ON NATIONAL LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGES LIST
AMONG BEST IN U.S.
— U.S. News & World Report, 2022 For student success and learning, ranked annually since its inception — Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education, 2022
EARNINGS THAN NATIONAL MEDIAN FOR 4-YEAR COLLEGE GRADS
(6 years after graduation)
» TOP 11% NATIONALLY FOR GRADUATE EARNINGS
— Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 2022
» TOP 14% OF U.S. COLLEGES
The Best 387 Colleges, Best Northeastern Schools — The Princeton Review, 2022
» TOP 16% BEST SMALL COLLEGES IN AMERICA
— Niche.com 2022
» BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK —
AMONG TOP COLLEGES IN THE NORTHEAST For helping lower- and middle-income students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices — Washington Monthly, 2021
» AMONG BEST COLLEGES FOR YOUR MONEY
» TOP 300+ IN GLOBAL LISTING
» AMONG 400 BEST COLLEGE VALUES
» NO. 12 IN U.S. AND NO. 1 IN PA FOR STUDY ABROAD
» ONE OF AMERICA’S TOP COLLEGES
» TOP 10 COLLEGE IN PENNSYLVANIA
» AMONG NATION’S MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY
» TOP 50 BEST PRE-COLLEGE SUMMER PROGRAMS
A quality education at an affordable price that helps students launch promising careers — Money Magazine, 2020 Defined as a high-quality education at an affordable price — Kiplinger, 2019 (latest report) A Top 25 private university in Pennsylvania — Forbes Business Magazine, 2021
One of 420 colleges based on sustainability-related policies, practices and programs — Guide to Green Colleges, The Princeton Review, 2022
Susquehanna University is a proud member of The Annapolis Group, comprising approximately 130 leading national independent liberal arts colleges.
For challenging academics, small class sizes, internship and research opportunities, competitive athletic teams and more — Fiske Guide to Colleges, 2021 95% of SU students study in another country — Open Doors, 2020
Specifically recognized for Global Opportunities program — College Magazine, 2020
Recognizing our residential summer programs for high school students — Value Colleges, 2021
The Sigmund Weis School of Business is among the top 5% of business programs worldwide — and one of the few undergraduate-only programs — to have earned AACSB accreditation, a mark of excellence.
Congratulations to the Class of 2022 — welcome to the Susquehanna alumni family!
ALUMNI NEWS CLASS NOTES
Dear Alumni & Friends, I am honored to be writing to you as the president of the Alumni Board. In the last issue of Currents, Matt Curran ’92 introduced the Alumni Board, and I hope to further the conversation by outlining our purpose and highlighting some of our priorities. Our board is composed of 25 members who provide diverse perspectives based on their individual experiences, having graduated in classes spanning 40 years and who now live anywhere from California to London. My time at Susquehanna included many formative life experiences, from helping Sigmund Weis School of Business students as a business statistics tutor and global business perspectives coach to performing a senior clarinet recital, and of course meeting my fiancée, Amy Tritle ’11. These experiences, along with the internships and full-time job I secured through the SU alumni network, developed my passion for SU and a drive to give back to the community that has supported me. All alumni have their own SU story, and it is our mission to amplify the collective voice of the alumni community, while being stewards of the university to elevate SU for future generations. To accomplish this, we work with the Alumni Office to set tangible goals that support the objectives of the Office of Advancement. An ongoing priority for the board is increasing alumni engagement, both in the percentage of alumni who participate in university events (e.g., Break Through, chapter events, virtual speaker series, etc.) and the percentage of alumni who donate financially to SU. Both alumni participation and donation rates are important for the reputation of the university, as they feed ranking metrics in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, and represent alumni affinity with the university. We also focus on initiatives that bring students and alumni together in meaningful ways to empower students, prepare them for life after graduation and convey the significance of a culture of philanthropy. Championing students’ success increases retention and graduation rates, which means more students are enjoying the same influential personal, academic and professional experiences you and I had while attending Susquehanna. The Alumni Board continuously strives to meet the needs of our ever-growing community of alumni, and we are joined in this effort by groups of dedicated alumni leaders, including the Regional Chapter Boards, Alumni of Color Advisory Council and the Student Alumni Association. Together with many other passionate alumni, we give our time, talents and financial resources to help give rise to a bright future for SU. Thank you for supporting our alma mater and for carrying on the legacy of Achievement, Leadership and Service.
cheers to the or ange & maroon, Kyle Robertson ’11
32 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
Russell F. Brown ’48, who turned 95 on Feb. 13, is hoping to visit campus during Homecoming–Reunion Weekend this year.
Share your life news with us. Submit your class note to sualum.com/classnotes under ‘Get Involved.’
Dr. Robert C. White Jr. ’58 retired from The Juilliard School in June 2021 and has been named professor emeritus of vocal arts. Dr. White continues to maintain a private teaching studio in Manhattan.
Share your life news with us. Submit your class note to sualum.com/classnotes under ‘Get Involved.’
Richard Spotts ’68 and his wife, Beverly, celebrated their two-year, Covid-delayed 50th anniversary with a 12-day tour of France in September. The highlight of the trip was their reaffirmation of their wedding vows on board the SS Catherine riverboat while docked in Avignon, with the ship’s captain and main staff participating. (Photo below, left.)
Share your life news with us. Submit your class note to sualum.com/classnotes under ‘Get Involved.’
Fred Hershey ‘64 had his article on his blind upland bird dog, Honey, an English setter, published in the nationally recognized Pointing Dog Journal (Sept./ Oct. issue). Retiring at the age of 83 and after 34 years in Telephony, he guides for two Pennsylvania hunt clubs that include hunts for Wounded Warriors. His grandson, Mason Hershey ’25, is a member of the SU football team.
length, it reads quickly as it covers many topics in American history. Visit millennialhistory.com for more information.
Steve Jackson ’73 self-published his book, Millennial History, a concise history of the United States. The book begins with the dawn of man and ancient civilizations that contributed to the modern world. The emphasis of the book is on the establishment of the American nation, from its inception to the Biden Administration. Although it is 490 pages in
Lambda Chi Alpha Class of 1975 and their spouses enjoyed its annual reunion weekend in September at the country home of Dean Bowen in Milford, Mass. The group enjoyed a guided tour of the Boston Aquarium and a walk-through history on the Boston Freedom Trail, and ate clam chowder in Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Pictured below (right), L to R, are, back row: Ray Wanger, Tony Miscavige, Dean Bowen; front row: Susan Heyde Wanger, Joanna Miscavige, Deb Levesque, Ginny Yenkner, Bob Yenkner.
Five members of the Class of 1976, all music majors and Sigma Alpha Iota sisters, attended their SU 45th reunion in October. Pictured at the top of page 34, L to R: Jamie Forman Dougherty, Janet Gump Beck, Charlene Everett Olcese, Sherry Sheaffer Breton and Debby Gaydosh Zalonis.
Share your life news with us. Submit your class note to sualum.com/classnotes under ‘Get Involved.’
cl ass note s · Susquehanna Currents · 33
Jenelle Anthony ’09 Downs, Matt Kelchner ’82 and Jessica Weiss ’08 attended the NCAA Field Hockey Tournament in November at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va. Matt was the tournament director, Jessica was the NCAA representative and Jenelle was coaching. Matt is the associate athletics director and former head football coach at Christopher Newport University, where he led the team to NCAA playoffs 10 times in his 16-year career. Jessica is the head field hockey coach at Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Va. This season they broke the school record for most All-Conference ODAC players all-time. Jenelle is the head field hockey coach at Centre College in Danville, Ky., and her team reached the program’s fourth Sweet 16 in the tournament. Pictured above (right), L to R: Jessica, Matt and Jenelle
The Class of 1985 had an overnight reunion at the Breakers in Spring Lake, N.J., in December. Cocktails, dinner, dancing and a breakfast rounded out the weekend. The group plans on making it an annual tradition. Pictured below are, L to R, front row: Amy Junger, Tracy Akner, Glenda Rennie, Pete McQuaid, Cindy Luer, Patty Garrity, Colleen Sullivan, Tracy Bellantoni, Sally Amick and Andrea Carol. From left, second row: Ann Hubley, Carin Oberg, Karen Keenan, Lori Ciarrocca, Shereen Bowes, Elissa Carol, Kristen Schriber, Kathy Palmer, Suzanne Dudley and Nancy Morris. In attendance but not pictured was Kricket von Horn.
Share your life news with us. SSubmit your class note to sualum.com/classnotes under ‘Get Involved.’
Share your life news with us. Submit your class note to sualum.com/classnotes under ‘Get Involved.’
Share your life news with us. Submit your class note to sualum.com/classnotes under ‘Get Involved.’
Alton Crooks ’98 was voted CFA Society of New York’s Volunteer of the Year. This award honors respected and distinguished CFA NY members/ volunteers who have demonstrated extraordinary service and continuing devotion to the society and who have shown continued dedication to achieve CFA NY’s goals, especially in the past calendar year. Alton has been a guest speaker for past Sigmund Weis School of Business and alumni events.
34 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
Courtney M. Brenner ’99 earned a graduate certificate in real estate investment from Harvard Extension School. She is a realtor with Keller Williams and remains CEO of C. Brenner Enterprises LLC, a real estate investment and property management company in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
OPERA COMPOSER PIVOTS FROM STAGE TO SCREEN As a teenager, David T. Little ’01 knew that he wanted to be a composer but wasn’t sure how that desire would transition into a career.
PHOTO BY MATT ZUGALE
“Initially I thought I wanted to write for film,” Little says. “But in my first year at SU, I quickly discovered 20th-century music and was hooked. After that, I began to see my professional pathway as rooted in classical and concert music — my interest in story-telling and theatre eventually brought me to opera.” After graduating from Susquehanna, Little earned a Master of Music in composition from The University of Michigan. In 2006, he earned a Master of Fine Arts in composition from Princeton University, and in 2011 he earned a doctorate. As part of his dissertation, he composed his first opera, Soldier Songs — and its cinematic adaptation received acclaim from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Philadelphia Inquirer and was nominated for a 2022 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. “One of the big things to emerge from the pandemic was the surge in creation of opera films,” he adds. “So far, I’ve been involved in three: Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera, with Houston Grand Opera; Soldier Songs with Opera Philadelphia; and Black Lodge with Beth Morrison Projects, which will premiere this fall.” Many of Little’s major compositions have been operas, including Dog Days, JFK, Black Lodge and What Belongs to You. His work has been performed throughout the world — in London, Milan, Montreal, Singapore, Los Angeles and beyond — and has been commissioned by The Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The London Sinfonietta, Opéra de Montréal, Carnegie Hall and several other companies, venues and festivals. “I’ve always appreciated that Susquehanna gave me space to cause trouble,” Little says. “Founding and running SU New Music Ensemble gave me a good road map for starting my own.” In addition to his work as a composer, Little is the founding artistic director and drummer for Newspeak, a not-for-profit arts organization and music ensemble that performs contemporary political music and encourages younger composers to consider and create works that define their own view of social engagement.
David Little ’01
I’VE ALWAYS APPRECIATED THAT SUSQUEHANNA GAVE ME SPACE TO CAUSE TROUBLE.
“I also have very fond memories of being part of many theatre productions at SU,” he adds. “I draw on those experiences every day in the work I do now.”
cl ass note s · Susquehanna Currents · 35
Laura Williams-Burke ’06 published her first children’s book, A Friend for Milton. This picture book about friendship tells the heartwarming true story of how two cats came to live together like brothers. A Friend for Milton, limited edition merchandise and giveaways and signed and “pawtographed” copies are available on Laura’s website at LauraWilliamsBurke.com.
Share your life news with us. Submit your class note to sualum.com/classnotes under ‘Get Involved.’
Adam Summers ’01 joined the music therapy faculty in the School of Music at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., in August 2017. He was promoted to the rank of instructor in August 2021. In addition to teaching various core music therapy courses, Adam coordinates all clinical placements for students in the degree program and supervises a number of those placements in a children’s hospital and an assisted living facility. Adam and his husband, David, live in Nashville with their dogs, River, Nya and Shiloh.
Share your life news with us. Submit your class note to sualum.com/classnotes under ‘Get Involved.’
Blake Middendorf ’13 (pictured left, top) is a police officer working to deter crime and drugs on the streets of Wilmington, Del., busting down doors with SWAT and keeping President Biden safe at home.
Share your life news with us. Submit your class note to sualum.com/classnotes under ‘Get Involved.’
36 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
Lauren Fitzgerald ’14 married Michael Allen at The Mansion at Mountain Lakes in Mountain Lakes, N.J. on Sept. 3. It was a beautiful day spent with friends and family. In Lauren’s senior year at Susquehanna, she took a road trip to North Carolina with Emily Kreyling ’14 and Sofia Diecidue ’14 to interview at an education job fair. She was offered a first-grade teaching job at Bunn Elementary in North Carolina. Four years later, she became friends with a colleague, Natalie Bell, who introduced her to Michael, who attended Bunn Elementary as a kid. They met on selection Sunday for NCAA March Madness at Buffalo Wild Wings and the rest is history. Pictured above, (right) from L to R: Michael Brown ’14, Sara Sahaida ’13, Sofia Diecidue ’14, Michelle McGinniss ’14, Michael and Lauren, Emily Kreyling ’14, Lisa Lim ’14 and Jared Pahl ’14. Katelynn Ondek ’14 (pictured left, bottom) graduated from an eight-year dual degree program at the University of California, Davis, completing a veterinary medical degree and a doctorate in neuroscience. She is excited to be moving back to the East Coast this summer for a 13-month internship at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls, N.J. Katelynn has research interests in epilepsy and other translational neurological diseases and clinical aspirations in veterinary neurology/neurosurgery. Karen Stewart ’14 married Danny Duhaime on Oct. 10, at Lavender Oaks Farm in Chapel Hill, N.C. Pictured L to R: Hanh Tran ’14, Maureen Bunn ’14, Karen and Danny, Jordan Cole ’14 and Chelsey Flaherty ’14. (Photo on page 38.)
BIOLOGY ALUMNA SERVES COMMUNITY AND COUNTRY While a strong science foundation at Susquehanna helped Daisy Conduah ’06 become a medical doctor, it was her participation in Susquehanna’s extracurricular activities — including serving as undergraduate representative on the Board of Trustees — that helped her become a well-rounded leader. “As a student, I had the opportunity to hold many leadership positions,” Conduah recalls. “They allowed me learn how to interact with individuals of various backgrounds, and I have applied many of the lessons learned in my duties as an officer in the Army and as a physician in obstetrics and gynecology.” After majoring in biology with a minor in health care studies at Susquehanna, Conduah completed Southern Illinois University’s post-baccalaureate medical/ dental education preparatory program. She went on to earn her Doctor of Medicine at Wright State University’s Boonshoft School of Medicine — which she completed with the assistance of the U.S. Army Health Professions Scholarship Program, in exchange for her service in the U.S. Army Medical Department. She completed a yearlong internship as a general surgery resident physician at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, before serving as a general medical officer with the 83rd Chemical Battalion in Fort Stewart, Georgia, where she provided medical care for 1,400 active-duty service members. She also served as the medical lead on a short deployment to Panama’s San Jose Island to assess hazardous World War II munitions for destruction and removal. “Working in medical missions has always been a passion of mine,” Conduah says. “I’m hoping that through my work, I can provide care to individuals who are typically unable to access or afford it.” Conduah began her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she provided care to veterans and active-duty military service members and their families. She was promoted to the rank of major in 2019, and now serves as a surgeon in gynecology and attending physician in obstetrics at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center’s Killeen Medical Home in Killeen, Texas.
Daisy Conduah ’06
ONE OF THE BIGGEST LESSONS I LEARNED FROM SU WAS THE IMPORTANCE OF GIVING BACK.
Upon completing her military service, Conduah plans to work part time as an OB-GYN in the U.S., spending the rest of her time with family and completing missionary work in Ghana. Whenever possible, Conduah assists Susquehanna’s premedical students through mentorships and by sharing her real-world experiences.
cl ass note s · Susquehanna Currents · 37
John Crowe ’16 finished the Boston Marathon on Oct. 11. Recording a time of 2:37, he finished 212th out of about 20,000 runners. John and his brother, Paul ’15, ran track and cross country for Susquehanna. He now works in Pittsburgh and represents the Pittsburgh Track Club.
Noah Diaz ’17 and Gabriele Singh ’17 were married on Oct. 17, at Beliveau Winery in Blacksburg, Va. Morgan Kutz ’17, Jess Dartnell ’17, Vickie Smith ’17, Justus Sturtevant ’17, Jenn Kuchenbrod ’17, Rob Barkley ’17 and Kevin Ryan ’17 were in the wedding party. Matt Cultrera ’16 was their photographer. Pictured (right, bottom) are: Vickie, Ali Graybill ’18, Noah, Gabby, Sarah Holland ’14, Justin Ward ’14, Matt Cultrera ’16, Rob, Nick Trotter ’19, Joanna Mizak ’17, Logan Sweet ’15, Jess, Nina Ngo ’17, Marta Mednez ’17, Tori Hogan ’17 McDonald, Morgan, Rachel Tate ’18, Gabriela Marrero ’18, Bekah Stefl ’16, Chip (Alex) Cruz ’20, Erin McKeown ’16, Justus, Devon Balent ’17, Wesley McDonald ’17, Matt O’Toole ’17, Mark Weaver ’20, Zach Bishop ’16, Miles Collins ’17, Kevin Ryan ’17 and Dylan Smith ’16.
Joseph Morante ’21 and Rob Sattler ’21 were inducted into the Ad Astra Society of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. The society recognizes the fraternity’s top student leaders for their achievement and impact within Pi Kappa Phi, on their campus and/or in the local community.
Welcome to our newest alumni! Share your life news and updates with us. Submit your class note to sualum.com/classnotes under ‘Get Involved.’
GET “NOTED”! We love hearing about what our alumni are up to! Class Notes are a great way to share your accomplishments, activities and updates with your Susquehanna family. Submit your news and updates however is easiest for you. Online: sualum.com/classnotes under ‘Get Involved’ Mail: Susquehanna University, Office of Alumni, Parent & Donor Engagement, Attn: Class Notes, 514 University Ave., Selinsgrove, PA 17870 Fall/Winter 2022 issue submission deadline: August 30 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.
38 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
ALUMNA’S YOGURT BUSINESS INSPIRED BY FAMILY FARM Stephanie Painter ’16 and her sister, Haley, recently launched a unique yogurt business: Painterland Sisters Organic Skyr Yogurt. (Haley) Painter says it is “the only single-sourced Skyr yogurt in the country and the only organic, double cream and lactose-free yogurt in the world.” At Susquehanna, Painter was a business administration major with an emphasis in marketing. She says she used the knowledge she gained from her time at SU to help launch the company and its line of Icelandic-style yogurts. “Susquehanna’s business program did help build my confidence and knowledge to accomplish my goals,” Painter says. “Writing a business plan and explaining that plan to a group of people is incredibly important, and my class with Professor (Jerrell) Habegger prepared me for it.” The Painter sisters grew up on Painterland Farms, a fourth-generation dairy farm in Tioga County, Pennsylvania. They work with a Skyr yogurt maker who has the special equipment required for the ultrafiltration process. Commonly used in Iceland, ultrafiltration pasteurizes the yogurt and adds enzymes, culture and probiotics. Because the yogurt is filtered with pressure, it loses water and lactose while maintaining nutrients. The sisters do not need to use any thickeners, avoid all nonnutritives and only add organic cane sugar to their yogurt. “We aim to preserve, showcase and utilize our family’s organic dairy and crop farm,” Painter adds, “and to help others understand and appreciate sustainable agriculture and the gifts that it provides.” With their product already on the shelves of over 70 independent retailers and nearly 200 GIANT stores, the sisters plan to go national. “Our goal is to connect the disconnected by offering consumers a direct connection to the source of their food — the American farmer,” Painter says. “We are beyond appreciative and humbled by the people we have gotten to work with on this journey. The future is full of possibilities and opportunities; we aim to fulfill our mission and create positive change in this world.” Painter also has advice for SU students considering starting their own business.
Stephanie Painter ’16
THE FUTURE IS FULL OF POSSIBILITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES; WE AIM TO FULFILL OUR MISSION AND CREATE POSITIVE CHANGE IN THIS WORLD.
“If you feel it in your gut, go for it! Don’t wait until you are ‘ready.’ There’s no such thing,” she says. “You also need to network. Just start talking to people and you will find people who naturally align with you, and then they will refer you to other people. People need people to build amazing things.” — Alaina Uricheck ’24
cl ass note s · Susquehanna Currents · 39
Your place in the Susquehanna community!
Save the date to return to Susquehanna’s beautiful campus for
HOMECOMING– REUNION WEEKEND 2022!
Visit sualum.com for travel information, health and safety plans and schedules.
SPORTS MEDIA ALUMNA WINS EMMY Within two years of graduating from Susquehanna, Kirsten Hatton ’19 landed a job at ESPN, was promoted to associate producer and won a Sports Emmy — all during a global pandemic. Hatton’s work on SportsCenter, ESPN’s daily sports news TV program, was recognized with the Emmy. She says it was a blessing to be a part of the show. “There are so many people who work hard to put the show on air, and my favorite thing was that we kept the show going during a time when there were no live sports,” Hatton says. “We had to challenge ourselves to come up with content, and it is a true testament to everyone who worked on the show. I was very lucky to be a part of the team and to learn from many great producers.” The sports media major and former track and field competitor credits SU with giving her the confidence to chase her dreams. “Through all my classes and activities, including cross country and track and field, WQSU, the Association of Women in Sports Media and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, I learned valuable lessons on how to be a good teammate and a good leader,” she says. “My professors pushed me out of my comfort zone, and that set me up for the position I am in today.” Hatton specifically recognized Dawn Benfer, general manager of WQSU, and David Kaszuba, associate professor of communications, as mentors who helped her develop the skill set she uses at ESPN. “Dawn saw something in me and pushed me to be my best. She encouraged me to take risks and pursue leadership positions at the station, which helped develop me into the professional I am today,” she says. “Dr. Kaszuba took a group of us to Major League Baseball’s winter meetings in 2016. This trip made me think differently about my goals and gave me confidence to continue to chase them.” According to Hatton, she has found an environment similar to the one she enjoyed at Susquehanna: one that is ripe with opportunity and awash in creative freedom. “I have been able to pitch ideas that make air. I pitched a Women in Media segment for National Girls and Women in Sports Day. It got reception online from my colleagues and many women featured in the piece. It was really cool to see their responses,” Hatton says. “Every day working in sports is different. I love that about the job.”
Kirsten Hatton ’19
MY PROFESSORS PUSHED ME OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE, AND THAT SET ME UP FOR THE POSITION I AM IN TODAY.
cl ass note s · Susquehanna Currents · 41
DEATHS Susquehanna University extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the following alumni who have passed away. Robert Surplus ’45 Dec. 10, 2021
Eugene Witmer ’62 Nov. 25, 2021
Thomas Voll ’83 April 13, 2022
Rine Winey ’46 Oct. 16, 2021
Cynthia Hoffman ’63 Priest July 23, 2021
Laura Bryan ’84 Zimmerman March 6, 2022
Victor Alessi ’47 Oct. 7, 2020
James B. Norton ’64 March 3, 2022
Jaymie Llewellyn ’86 Oct. 26, 2021
Augustus V. Tietbohl ’48 Oct. 22, 2021
John Rowlands ’64 March 21, 2022
Carolyn Harrison ’90 Huntley Oct. 27, 2021
Theron Conrad ’49 Nov. 13, 2021
Edith Godshall ’65 Messerschmidt Aug. 9, 2020
Mark Niness ’92 Jan. 30, 2022
Mary Dale ’49 Eck Nov. 7, 2020
James Knox ’66 April 25, 2020
Jason Milner ’96 Dec. 14, 2021
Ann Yorty ’49 Lamade April 2, 2022
William O’Brien ’66 Jan. 15, 2022
Louis Santangelo ’50 Feb. 14, 2022
Ralph Purpur ’66 Aug. 28, 2021
Mary Sarba ’50 Norwood July 14, 2020
Robert Monahan ’69 April 5, 2022
Lloyd Wilson ’50 Oct. 11, 2021
Ronald Cohick ’70 Sept. 30, 2021
Voylet “Vi” Dietz ’52 Carr Oct. 7, 2021
John Hancock ’70 April 1, 2022
Dorothy Apgar ’53 Ross March 21, 2022
Barry Boblick ’71 Jan. 8, 2022
Margaret Henderson ’54 Davenport Nov. 15, 2021
Norma McElhaney ’71 Romberger March 11, 2022
Alice Fellows ’56 Keener Aug. 7, 2021
Charles R. Piatt, III, ’72 Sept. 27, 2021
George Orren ’56 Dec. 23, 2021
Dave Salvitti ’72 August 3, 2021
Seth Wheeland ’56 March 23, 2022
Karen Woodring ’74 Eminson Oct. 17, 2021
Stephanie Haase ’60 Moore Nov. 18, 2021
Suzan Kramp ’75 Dec. 1, 2020
Jane Reichenbach ’61 Geuder Nov. 28, 2021
Vincent Mizak ’75 July 14, 2021
Robert Smith ’62 June 19, 2021
Kathleen Chadwick ’77 Erdman Feb. 11, 2022
42 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
James Smillie, emeritus librarian at Susquehanna’s Blough-Weis Library, died April 21. He was 82. James joined Susquehanna in 1970 and led the Blough-Weis Library for 34 years until his retirement in 2004. Prior to joining Susquehanna, James led libraries in Plainfield, New Jersey, and at Dickinson College. He was born June 28, 1939, and grew up in Philadelphia, graduating from John Bartram High School in 1957. James earned a bachelor’s degree from Haverford College in 1961. He then moved to New York City to study religion and philosophy at Union Theological Seminary. Shortly after, he obtained a master’s degree in library science from Rutgers University. In 1964, James married his wife, Barbara, who died in 2021. He was also predeceased by a son, Brett. We extend our sincere sympathies to James’ family. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Benjamin and Erin, and his granddaughter, Sybil.
JAMES “JIM” HANDLAN
James “Jim” Handlan, emeritus professor of mathematics and computer science, passed away March 1, 2022. He was 81. Jim was born Oct. 18, 1940, in Wheeling, West Virginia. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech University and his master’s degree from West Virginia University before pursuing his doctoral studies at Penn State University. Jim served in the U.S. Army, in Korea, from 1963 until his honorable discharge in 1965. In 1967, he joined the faculty at Susquehanna, where he taught in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science for 39 years until his retirement. We extend our sincere sympathies to Jim’s family. He is survived by his wife, Carol, of Selinsgrove; son, James and his wife, Jennifer, of Lewisburg; daughter, Lyndy Darwicki ’88 Handlan and her husband, John, of Delaware; and granddaughter, Natalie Handlan.
cl ass note s · Susquehanna Currents · 43
JEFFREY P. WHITMAN
Jeffrey P. Whitman, professor emeritus of philosophy, died Sept. 25, 2020, at his home in Selinsgrove. A native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Jeff was born March 25, 1955, a son of the late Paul R. and Arlene (Morris) Whitman. Following his graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Jeff served in the United States Army as an artillery officer and spent a significant portion of his career in Germany. He returned to West Point in 1987 and taught philosophy and English there, while also earning his doctorate from Brown University. He retired from the Army in 1995 at the rank of major. Jeff then began a second career as professor of philosophy at Susquehanna. He served as philosophy department head from 2000 to 2010, was speaker of the faculty from 2005 to 2008, chaired the Edward S. and A. Rita Schmidt Lecture in Ethics for many years, was co-director of the Arlin Adams Center for Law and Society, and served on such committees as the Advisory Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics, University Council and the Faculty Affairs Committee. In recognition of his outstanding teaching and service, he received the John C. Horn Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Creative Activity in 1998. Jeff was a published expert in just war theory and medical ethics. He was well respected for his courses in just war theory, bioethics and resolving moral conflicts. He was the faculty advisor for Susquehanna University’s ROTC cadets for many years and served on the Geisinger Medical Center Bioethics Review Committee. Strongly supportive of diversity initiatives in higher education, Jeff led a teaching circle for pre-tenure male faculty with an emphasis on reflection about the privilege inherent for straight, white, male professors. He also used his perspective as a person living with multiple sclerosis to guide Susquehanna in improving accessibility and disability awareness. Active in the community, Jeff served two terms on the board of directors of the Selinsgrove Area School District. He was a member of Sharon Lutheran Church, Selinsgrove, where he served as the Church Council president and sang in the choir. Jeff is survived by his wife, Linda McMillin, professor emerita of history; daughter Lt. Col. Laura Laskowski, USAF, and her husband, Brian, of Columbia, Maryland; son Kevin Whitman and his partner, Kayla Witmer, of Melfa, Virginia; stepson Joseph Simon and his wife, Anne, of Louisville, Colorado; brother Bryan Whitman of Boerne, Texas; sister Paula Brubaker of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; and four grandchildren: Sierra, James, Jude and Margaret. In acknowledgment of Jeff’s deep commitment to teaching and mentoring of both students and colleagues, the family has asked that memorial contributions be directed to the Jeff Whitman Endowment in Support of Susquehanna University’s Center for Teaching and Learning that has been established in his honor.
44 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
VALERIE A. LIVINGSTON
Valerie A. Livingston, emerita faculty member, died Jan. 2. She was 85. Valerie joined the faculty at Susquehanna in 1990 and lectured and directed the Lore Degenstein Gallery for 20 years. She retired from Susquehanna in 2010. Valerie was born in Pittsburgh and grew up in Michigan. She earned her doctorate in art history from the University of Delaware. We extend our sympathies to Valerie’s husband of 36 years, Charles Lyman; her children George Miller and Debra Salvage; and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
cl ass note s · Susquehanna Currents · 45
b y s t e p h a n i e c h a n ’13
What’s in a Name? Alumna Recalls Inspiration for Break Through
WE AIMED TO INSPIRE INDIVIDUALS TO BE ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS IN THEIR FUTURES AND TO ENVISION THEIR OWN DEFINITIONS OF SUCCESS.”
It started with an idea and a committee entrusted with a pivotal task. Now a decade later, Break Through continues to provide Susquehanna students and alumni with an annual conference to explore, connect and grow. With topics ranging from how to leverage a degree to ethics and sustainability, Break Through is not your traditional networking event — nor was it ever intended to be. In fact, I can still recall moments from when the committee first gathered to plan what we hoped would become an enduring conference. To personally witness many of our ideas become reality was a transformative moment that really reinforced in me Susquehanna’s commitment to support its students and alumni. We designed events that were informative, collaborative and beneficial to individuals of diverse backgrounds, fields and philosophies. We created opportunities to explore various topics, connect with peers and experienced professionals, and fundamentally grow through shared experiences. Most importantly, we aimed to inspire individuals to be active participants in their futures and to envision their own definitions of success. Those last aspirations really resonated with me and prompted me to share my thoughts when it was time for the committee to name the conference. I wanted to break through — I wanted to explore, connect and grow alongside others who were also empowered to achieve and excel.
46 · Susquehanna Currents · spr i ng/su m m er 2022
While it may be surreal to recall how the conference’s name came to be, I can say without a doubt that Break Through is a pivotal experience for countless Susquehanna students and alumni. My interactions with Break Through as a student participant in its inaugural year — and now as an alumna — continue to enrich my professional and personal development. The panel and networking sessions I’ve attended in the past still provide me with critical insight for situations I might encounter in the future. They also encourage me to consider alternative perspectives and communication styles when collaborating with those who may be experts in fields outside of my immediate industry. The long-lasting impact of Break Through also reminds me to pass it forward — to be an individual who motivates others to dream big, to persevere, to act and to remember that one person’s potential can multiply into endless opportunities for generations to come. I hope Break Through reminds all of us to do just that — break through. Stephanie Chan ’13 earned dual degrees in finance and public relations. As a student, she was a presidential fellow and head resident assistant, and was active in SIFE, The Lanthorn, the marketing club and several honor societies. Today she is a vice president for JP Morgan Chase & Co.
spr i ng/su m m er 2022 · Susquehanna Currents · 47
LYN BAILEY ’51 D’ALESSANDRO “If fortune has smiled on you, put a smile on someone else’s face.” That is how Lyn Bailey ’51 D’Alessandro characterizes her feelings toward establishing scholarship funds at Susquehanna. When she entered Susquehanna as a first-year student in 1947, she was one of just two women entering the university’s business administration program. It has been over 70 years since Lyn graduated, and she is proud of the way the university has evolved. In 1999, Lyn established the Frank S. D’Alessandro Scholarship to provide funds to students pursuing any major within the Sigmund Weis School of Business. Lyn’s late husband, Frank, worked hard to achieve his position in the business world. Early in his career, he worked two jobs and attended college at night. Lyn felt a scholarship was an important and special way to honor him while also helping young people overcome obstacles of their own. Lyn also created a scholarship for students in the performing and fine arts to honor her mother, Marjorie Greene Bailey. As a young woman, Marjorie had been on her way to a promising career on the stage. She had been offered a role in an upcoming Broadway musical, but her parents refused to allow her to accept it because of the stigma surrounding the profession at that time for young women. Lyn never forgot her mother’s dream and established The Marjorie Greene Bailey Theatre, Music and Art Scholarship to help students realize their own dreams. The Carolyn Bailey D’Alessandro Scholarship, which she also established, commemorates her belief in the importance of education and her desire to help deserving young people prepare themselves for lives of service and achievement. In addition to her three scholarships, Lyn has also created a planned gift through her estate, ensuring that SU students will be supported by her funds in perpetuity. This combination of annual support and planned giving means that Lyn can see the impact she is having now, while ensuring that generations of future Susquehannans will benefit from her forward-thinking generosity.
Visit SULEGACY.ORG for additional stories and free planning resources. If you have designated a planned gift to the university and would like your generosity to inspire others, contact us at BUCHERJ1@SUSQU.EDU or 570-372-4449.
As we approach our historic campaign goal of $160 million – with over $155 million raised to date – there are still opportunities to support Susquehanna. Here are some examples of the extraordinary impact of gifts to Give Rise.
178 new scholarship funds have been created. Susquehanna provides scholarship support and/or financial aid to 99% of its students. Your scholarship gifts, whether for current use or as part of long-term endowments, will continue to make it possible for SU to offer educational opportunities to the best and most talented students — regardless of their financial circumstances.
LEARN MORE ABOUT GIVE RISE: THE CAMPAIGN TO ELEVATE SUSQUEHANNA UNIVERSITY AND MAKE A CAMPAIGN GIFT AT
ENDOWMENT While this campaign has already added significantly to SU’s endowment, there is still more to do. You can help us achieve our vision of increasing the endowment from $162 million to $200 million. Passing this milestone will rank Susquehanna’s endowment in the 85th percentile among our peers and, more importantly, will provide long-term financial resources that will benefit our students in perpetuity. The value of Susquehanna’s endowment has continued to rise, making the $200 million goal well within reach. To show their support for the campaign and to Give Rise to Susquehanna, a group of anonymous current and former trustees issued a $5 million challenge last fall: if alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends contribute a total of $5 million to the Susquehanna endowment by Oct. 31, 2022, the trustee group will match that with their own donation of $5 million to the endowment. The SU community has responded with $4.9 million raised to date, inspiring the Endowment Challenge trustees to announce an additional matching gift of $1 million if Susquehanna raises another million in endowment gifts before the challenge ends. IF SUSQUEHANNANS MEET THIS CHALLENGE, $12 MILLION WILL BE ADDED TO SU’S ENDOWMENT.
Dedicated in 2017, the Admission House provided the starting point for a new wave of campus enhancements. Your gifts to brick-and-mortar projects support new facilities and renovations, ultimately improving SU’s ability to attract more students while enriching the experience for current students. Join us at Homecoming– Reunion Weekend in October 2022 to dedicate and enjoy renovated spaces at: • Aikens Hall • The Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center • The Field House at James W. Garrett Sports Complex • The Natural Sciences Center • Seibert Hall • Weber Chapel Studio Your support can foster the beauty of the SU campus for generations to come, while also strengthening alumni pride and ongoing stewardship.
514 University Ave. Selinsgrove, PA 17870-1164 susqu.edu