Archive for October, 2011

BOG Chair Speaks & Jackie Torrence Lives On

PASSHE Board of Governors Chairman Guido Pichini visited MU this week to tour the campus and talk with faculty, staff and students.  He also took a few minutes for this interview in which he talks about the System, its students, faculty and alumni.

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Craig Robinson and his Nasty Delicious Band will perform here Wed., Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. in Straughn.  Robinson is best known as one of the stars on The Office.  Tickets are $20 general public.

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Just in time for Halloween (but appropriate anytime) the library staff — David Guinn and Sheila Kasperek have digitized and posted two ghost stories from storytelling great Jackie Torrence during her performance in in September 1986 as part of the Northern Appalachian Storytelling Festival.  The first story is here.  Number two is here.

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Scott DiMarco recently reviewed Climate Change and National Security: a Country Level Analysis by Daniel Moran. the premise is that people tend to “overlook the realization that worldwide climate change presents a clear and present danger to the national security of almost every nation.”

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Biology prof  Bob Maris reports that the Biology Club’s “Haunted Grant,” a fundraiser for the Biology Club,   last weekend drew some 334 people  at a dollar each.

Former FBI counter terrorist agent Ali Soufan ’94  was a guest on the Colbert Report last week and drew several rounds of enthusiastic applause during his conversation with the host.  In addition to other shows, Ali was also a guest on BBC’s Hard Talk.

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Here’s the latest news about the new suite style residence halls from Mountaineer News reporter  Kris Dumschat.

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Prediction: “Jobs-mania” will intensify over the next few weeks with the publication of his biography, Steve Jobs, even though Huffington Post has been publishing tidbits and we can now read the “11 most startling revelations in ‘Steve Jobs.’ “ Now I know the real reason my iPad won’t play Flash  video.

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10 2011

Faculty Publish: Keyboards & Zombies

Guido Pichini, chair of the State System Board of Governors, will be on campus October 26 and hold an open session with faculty and staff 10:15-11 a.m. in the Community Room, North Hall, 6th floor.

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Congratulations to Shellie Gregorich, music department chair, and Ben Moritz, on the publication of their book  Keyboard Skills for Music Educators: Score Reading, published by Routledge.   Ben  was a music professor and  Honors Program director at MU before being named director of the Honors Program at Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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‘Tis the season of the zombies.  The Walking Dead season 2 premiere episode attracted 7 million viewers, breaking cable industry records.

While most folks are obsessed with destroying zombies, English prof Lynn Pifer is keeping them alive and well (comparatively speaking).  Lynn’s essay,  “Slacker Bites Back: Shaun of the Dead Finds New Life for Deadbeats”   is included in Better Off Dead: The Evolution of Zombie as Post Human.

Lynn also talks about  zombies in the latest episode of “Conversations” and the surprising reaction students had when she  announced  she would be using “Shawn of the Dead” in her Freshman Comp course.

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Colleen Devine from our post office sent me this original poem & photos that remind us to slow down and appreciate our area’s autumn beauty.  Thanks, Colleen.

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Apple sold 4 million iPhones in in three days last weekend.  According to Wired,  this has huge implications in a very competitive industry.

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This video is making the internet rounds.    It’s cute.  It’s also disturbing.  This person is sending a clear signal that a 560-year-old method of communication is dead.  But she does it in a wordless, charming way that only a one-year-old can do.

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It’s called AcademicPub.  It’s a build-your-own textbook service that  enables professors to create their own textbooks for under $20.  Here’s the Chronicle’s take.


20

10 2011

A River of Destruction, A Flood of Help

Tropical Storm Lee in September  left thousands of people in New York and PA homeless.
But it became personal to Kris Dumschat when he learned the Athens home of  his friend and Student Government Association colleague Tom Thornton was a victim. Tom, a non-trad student and his wife have two children. They  lost their home,  two cars and Tom’s garage where he operated a small business.
Kris and Administrative Assistant Sandy Most immediately put out the call for help. President Loeschke made empty rooms in Pine Crest available for the family.  Within hours fellow students brought in food and toys.
And then things grew.  

Really grew.
Student Matt Guagliardo and  Dave Empet from admissions joined in.    Anne Lavancher and Vicki Johnson from the president’s office gave their time and skills.  MU alumnus  Kevin Abrams, executive director of the Northern Tier Regional Planning & Development Commission called to offer his assistance. Tioga County Commissioner Mark Hamilton volunteered his time and services.
Over 100 students attended a meeting of “The Mountie Family Recovery Effort,” created by Kris.
Kevin and Mark took over coordination efforts with the National Guard and Red Cross.  Benedict’s Bus Service and EMTA donated buses  to take the volunteers  to Athens and parts of Sullivan County.

First Citizens Bank offered to match the financial donations and Liberty Excavators, Inc. donated cleaning supplies.

A group of students even  traveled to Bloomsburg to help clear debris.

Within days, the project grew from a few students helping a friend to hundreds of people involved in a multi-county effort.

Edgard Domenech, his wife Maria from Admissions, and their two kids, coordinated a drive to collect food, clothing and water.  Social Work prof Mary Daly’s intro class also helped.

In total, several thousand dollars worth of cash and goods were gathered.

You can’t put a dollar figure on the physical labor.  Cleaning up after a flood is dirty, hazardous business and for people to take the time to put themselves in that situation  is a huge act of generosity.

The devastation opened students’ eyes to what it’s like in the aftermath of disaster.   It’s also been a learning experience for residents in those communities who now see Mansfield University as not only an institution of higher ed, but also a community of truly caring individuals.

It would be anticlimactic at this point to say I’m proud of everyone involved. But I’ll say it anyway.  A large group of people who were not asked and did not have to do anything, gave of their time, energy and dollars to help people they didn’t know.

They make me proud to be a part of Mansfield University.

13

10 2011

Homecoming, Marching Band & Ghosts

It’s Homecoming Weekend at MU.  It’s 70 degrees with cloudless skies and two days’ worth of activities.

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Congratulations to Adam Murtland and Jake Burdick on this outstanding video promoting Homecoming 2011 and the game against Navy.

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You can see, from this video of the Spirit & Pride of PA Mountie Marching Band,  why the Olympics are calling them.

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In this episode of Conversations, author Bill Robertson ’72 talks about his collections of ghost stories and tells some scary — and hilarious — tales revolving around his days as a Mansfield State College undergraduate.

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Every year, Sarah, the ghost of North Hall, seems to pop up in a magazine or web page somewhere.  This year she’s featured in collegexpress.com in an article on “Scary Stories.”

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A warm, light rain, leaves hinting they’re about to change, the rising mist.  I have a wonderful view from my office of a beautiful campus.

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The new suites and semi-suites residence halls continue to progress.  Students are scheduled to move in during the January 2012 semester.

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With this episode of Terry’s Take, you get the news and the beautiful view.

Are your pigs gathering sticks?  Crickets in the chimney?  Or maybe an abundance of acorns.  Here’s a Farmer’s Almanac list of folk methods of predicting a rough winter.