| ||Sciota, Pa||Kutztown University of Pennsylvania||Communication Design||Senior|
From the electronic drawing board of Matt Alaio come designs that spread KU pride across campus and throughout the community. Posters, artwork, Web pages and more flow from his desktop and into the world, announcing everything from campus events to volunteer opportunities.
This Communication Design major said he derives his inspiration from the many extracurricular activities that fill his schedule. He starts the year as a member of KU’s CONNECTIONS orientation program creating announcements and maintaining the web content as the program’s technology coordinator and graphic designer.
“Being able to learn from individuals from a variety of backgrounds is a tremendous part of my KU experience,” he said.
For special campus events, Alaio dons a suit and tie to represent the university as a Presidential Ambassador, an elite group of students whose presence and service is one of the first impressions visitors have of KU.
“It’s fun. You get to see the inner workings of the university and meet many of our wonderful alumni,” he said.
Alaio also finds time to act as president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, a fraternal organization. And he volunteers for the Communication Design Department’s annual Designathon, a non-stop, 24-hour event where students apply their artistic and copy-writing skills to create advertising campaigns, websites, and more for dozens of local charities and nonprofit organizations.
“The Designathon is a great way to meet working business professionals and get hands-on experience,” he said. “Plus the work we do is very appreciated by the community.”
Alaio said this kind of holistic approach to the graphic arts field was what he was seeking when he decided to select KU to prepare him for his career.
KU’s comprehensive Communication Design program combines all the best elements of an art school and provides me with a well-rounded education.
| ||Philadelphia, Pa.||Cheyney||Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Managment||Senior|
Cheyney University senior Eric Parker is a Keystone Honors Academy scholar from Philadelphia. He transferred from Northwestern University to be closer to home. In addition to his major is hotel, restaurant and tourism management, he is minoring in political science. Eric maintains high academic standards while participating in a range of extracurricular activities.
He is currently serving as the student member of the Cheyney University Council of Trustees. Eric represented the university at the Honda Campus All Star Challenge, a fast-paced academic competition among the nation's historically black colleges and universities. He was the Cheyney University team's top scorer.
Eric has already applied his strong analytical, research and problem-solving skills in the professional realm, working as a sales manager with Ecolab. With a strong interest in legal studies, he plans to attend law school upon completion of his baccalaureate degree from Cheyney University in 2011.
I'm glad I transferred to Cheyney University because this campus is incredibly supportive, from my professors to my fellow students and university staff. Even my fellow Council of Trustees members make sure I get the guidance I need to successfully compete.
| ||Beaver, Pa.||Slippery Rock||Environmental science||Senior|
There is big money in drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania and other states. Lisa Andresky, a Slippery Rock University environmental science major, has been researching the potential environmental impact of drilling by participating in a National Science Foundation-funded research project. She has been examining the chemical content of the Marcellus shale, a massive rock formation and large source of natural gas that stretches from New York to West Virginia.
Andresky was accepted into the Ecosystem Restoration through Interdisciplinary Exchange Research Experience for Undergraduates program hosted by the University of Buffalo. She collaborated with Tracy Banks, a University of Buffalo geology professor.
“I looked at the mineralogy and trace element chemistry of the Marcellus,” Andresky said. “Basically, people want to know what is really in the Marcellus.” The entire Marcellus shale formation could contain up to 490 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to 2009 study by the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Pennsylvania State University. The study shows that the Marcellus gas industry in Pennsylvania accounted for 29,000 jobs in 2008 and $240 million in state and local taxes.
For her research, Andresky said she traveled several times to western New York to examine outcrops of shale. Working with Banks, the pair hopes to prove that uranium is being mobilized in the Marcellus when it interacts with drilling fluids.
Geology is a discipline that requires going out and seeing things. It is hard to learn everything from a book because you need to see the rocks and the processes outside to truly understand what’s going on. The experience you gain from research helps prepare you for graduate-level work or a real job.
| ||Slippery Rock, Pa.||Slippery Rock||Environmental Studies||Senior|
Chris Abbott said his research in San Salvador has been a highlight of his academic career. Abbott studied the spatial characteristics and land ownership history of San Salvador between 1760 and 1919.
Abbott spent much of his time at the Watling Castle Plantation region on the east side of the island. He examined land ownership boundaries, plantation ruins, period roads and agriculture plots to determine changes in parcel size over the years and learned more about land-ownership trends during the slavery and post-colonial period.
“I spent three days hacking, crawling, bleeding and pushing GPS buttons,” he said. “I cut a trail to the newly discovered slave quarters, delineated many more plantation boundaries and uncovered the original driveway to the oldest port on the island – and got poisonwood on my arms and feet.”
When he returned to campus, Abbott created maps of the island based on his findings, collaborating with Jack Livingston, SRU professor of geography, geology and the environment.
“The colonial period was such a dynamic era in world history,” Abbott said. “San Salvador’s island history is survived by a one-year journal, and many present-day Bahamians still bear the last names of their ancestral masters.
Abbott said he conceived the project for SRU’s “Field Studies” and “Oceanography” classes, which require independent, original and extensive research. When Livingston told him that large parts of the island were void of comprehensive stonewall mapping data he was off and chopping.
The experience helped me grow as a geographer. I learned how to do fieldwork. I literally ran around in the scrub forest finding walls that are buried under tropical growth.
| ||Brookville, Pa.||Slippery Rock||Athletic training||Senior|
Michelle Park has learned valuable information about concussion prevention, treatment and education at SRU. She was involved in the creation of a new concussion policy at the university, which mandates that athletes not return to play the day they suffer a concussion.
Park also counsels athletes about the health dangers of a concussion. She meets one-on-one with athletes before the beginning of each season to conduct a baseline evaluation. Should an athlete suffer an injury, Park uses the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 2 method for assessing the damage.
“I have been able to examine a student who is actually recovering from a concussion, which is invaluable experience,” Park said. “I have also presented posters at a health fest event on campus and participated in awareness events at local high schools to increase awareness. Slippery Rock University and the department of athletic training take a practitioner approach to education.
“It is an important topic because of how prevalent they are becoming. My hope is that more research is done, and people will realize how serious concussions can be,” said Park, who plans to attend graduate school in the fall.
Slippery Rock University gave me opportunities to explore my interests and get a great education.
| ||Pittsburgh||California University of Pennsylvania||Business Administration, Marketing Concentration||Senior|
California University senior Matthew Roos is completely sold on his major — and on his university.
“I realized my freshman year that I have a passion for marketing and truly enjoy every aspect of the marketing spectrum,” says Matt, the executive vice president of Cal U’s nationally ranked Student Marketing Association (SMA).
At the American Marketing Association's 26th annual International Collegiate Conference, Cal U’s SMA was named an Outstanding Collegiate Chapter for the second consecutive year. Matt’s eagerness, teamwork and determination helped to propel Cal U’s marketing club to the top 25 among more than 200 student groups entered.
Matt’s leadership in the club has not gone unnoticed. Faculty adviser Dr. Shirley A. Lazorchak and club President Katy Ostronic have nominated him for the AMA International Outstanding Student Marketer of the Year award.
In addition to his work with the SMA, Matt is a member of Cal U’s Rainbow Alliance, an organization dedicated to promoting awareness, education, and discussion for a diverse student body.
”Being comfortable with myself helped me break out of my shell and has contributed to my current success,” he says. "I have built close friendships with other students that I know will continue throughout the rest of my life. I love the personal experiences shared in my classes, and I love learning more about things that I am passionate about.”
I want to set the bar high. The pride I take in successfully completing my goals motivates me to set more goals and achieve more success.
| ||Quarryville, Pa.||Lock Haven||Biology||Junior|
At the end of his sophomore year, Christopher W. Smyth received the prestigious Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which will provide him up to $16,000 for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, plus a summer internship in marine biology during the summer of 2012.
Chris received the LHU Department of Biology's Marine Biology scholarship this past summer to study at the Marine Science Consortium at Wallops Island, Va. He then participated in a multi-disciplinary study-at-sea cruise aboard the Flagship Niagara. His summer 2012 internship will be at the SCRIPPS Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, California.
Chris presented a paper/poster for the North East Regional Honors Conference in Portland, Maine, earlier this year, His presentation focused on the use of DNA techniques as a conservation and research tool in fisheries and ichthyology.
Chris is AmeriCorps Community Service Liaison to the Honors Program, vice president of the Marine Science Club and treasurer of the Biology Club.
Lock Haven University has provided me with many outstanding opportunities that many larger institutions do not offer. Thanks to the Biology/Marine Biology Program at LHU, I feel as though I am fully prepared to enter graduate level studies in other institutions.
| ||Pennsburg, Pa.||Bloomsburg||Telecommunications||Senior|
From the moment Tim Hipszer could walk, he has been an entertainer. Coupled with a gregarious personality, the Pennsburg native seemed ready-made for work behind the camera before ever reaching the Bloomsburg University campus. Since then, Hipszer has helped create a landmark campus television show while being a student employee of the BU Sports Information Department, which is responsible for marketing and coordinating media coverage of the university’s 18 sports programs.
Hipszer’s work with Tom McGuire, BU’s sports information director, led him on a path to creating Jock Talk Sports with fellow students, Justin Teles and Jesse Betar, on BUTV Channel 8. The student written and produced show covers the national sports scene, as well as local Huskies sports, including on-set interviews with BU athletes.
According the Hipszer, the show has given him a unique inside look at television production that he never thought he’d get in college. Jock Talk Sports, which has branched out into social media networking and campus advertising, has given BUTV a model to produce more shows for its growing audience.
On upper campus, Hipszer is one of six sports information workers who help set the stage for game day coverage of Huskies sports and assist with media coverage afterward. Among the most exciting responsibilities, according to Hipszer, is helping record in-game statistics that turn into stat packets, which are given to the respective coaching staffs and media.
Hipszer says his work with sports information has been another rewarding real-life experience he’s received at BU. The hope, Hipszer says, is to find an opportunity after graduation where he can mold together the on-the-job training he's received from Jock Talk Sports and BU’s sports information — of course, as entertaining as possible.
Bloomsburg offers some great opportunities. Where else can you go where you can do your own television show from the ground up and experience every level of video production, even as a freshman.
| ||Stroudsburg, Pa.||East Stroudsburg||Psychology||Senior|
Christopher James is one of those students who makes the most out of every aspect of his student experience. A native of Stroudsburg, Pa., Chris credits his experiences at ESU with empowering him to achieve things he couldn’t imagine possible.
In addition to excelling in the classroom, Chris took advantage of the opportunity to study abroad last summer in Oxford, England, and become enriched by the cultural differences he encountered. He also was invited to participate in a semester-long internship with the Internal Revenue Service’s Human Capitol Office in Washington, D.C. The internship was liberating for Chris and helped him to gain confidence and technical knowledge that will surely allow him to excel in his chosen professional field.
Chris’ academic performance, coupled with the experience of studying abroad and interning with the IRS, have helped him to hone his leadership skills. He has been a driving force relative to several campus initiatives to benefit organizations close to home and internationally, too. Just last year, Chris created a community service organization on campus that was able to provide money to the Haiti Relief Effort, the American Cancer Society, and assist with local causes.
Some of the best and most rewarding experiences he’s had at ESU have come in the form of peer education. At the start of his sophomore year, Chris became a mentor to fifteen peers. He was able to help them by sharing his knowledge, experiences and vision to assist them in developing their future. Additionally, Chris plays an important role on ESU’s orientation leadership team and has been acknowledged for his exceptional student involvement by being awarded the President’s Outstanding Service Award in 2010.
“ESU has helped me to become a true warrior,” he says. “It has given me a solid foundation that I can now take with me to graduate school and life in general.”
One of the most exciting adventures I took as a student at East Stroudsburg University was the semester-long internship with the Internal Revenue Service’s Human Capitol Office in Washington, D.C. That internship allowed me to take the textbook knowledge I gained in the classroom at ESU and apply it to a real world work experience.
| ||Philadelphia, PA||West Chester||Political Science||Senior|
Ashley Super, who transferred to West Chester in her sophomore year, says the environment makes one of the university’s strongest impressions. “There’s diversity, understanding and approachable professors, the community is nice. Everyone says ‘hi’ to you – that was one of the first things I noticed.”
Civility wasn’t something she encountered much in her youth. Abused as a child and shuffled from home to home as a ward of the state, Ashley initially put education on the back burner. In high school she was transferred to Three Rivers Youth (TRY), a Pittsburgh shelter program where she learned the value of education and where it could take her. By her senior year she was taking college-level classes.
Her experience as an at-risk youth determined to succeed brought her to the attention of the local United Way, which, like TRY, features her in an online video testimonial. On behalf of United Way, she also gives motivational speeches about her tumultuous past, educating community and business leaders on the value of supporting social programs, often for at-risk youth.
At West Chester, Ashley found her passion in international relations. She promotes the diversity of language and culture on campus as executive board member and cultural liaison for Alpha Mu Gamma, the national collegiate foreign language honors society. Her goal is to attend Harvard Law School and become an advocate for people who don’t have a voice, both within the United States and in third world countries.
Her concept of success? “When you can take everything you’ve learned and hold onto it, apply it in everyday situations and in every opportunity you are given. You have to be dedicated. Use what you learn and don’t be afraid to represent where you come from.”
There’s diversity, understanding and approachable professors, the community is nice. Everyone says ‘hi’ to you – that was one of the first things I noticed.
| ||Philadelphia, Pa.||Bloomsburg||Interpersonal Communications||Junior|
Even a shy 4-year-old, Christina Kim Davis knew the spotlight was tempting. Now 20, the junior Bloomsburg University student has flipped the script to turn the temptation into a blossoming future.
As a youngster, communicating her talent and colorful personality through dance quickly became a passion for this Philadelphia native, who now has the world at her finger tips after winning BET’s Lens on Talent dance competition and the hearts of the BU community.
National fame wasn’t quite apparent for Davis when she arrived on campus three years ago as a timid freshman with no affiliations, although those who knew her then would argue. Since then, she has left an indelible footprint on BU as a high-achieving communications student, orientation leader, aspiring model, dance teacher and friend to seemingly every student across campus.
In addition to dance, Davis may be best known and recognized as an Orientation Workshop Leader (OWL). It’s a role Davis says allows her to make an immediate impact on new Huskies, which often evolves into a lasting influence.
Davis connects with students through several other student leadership roles, including Vice Versa (a student modeling group) and Dance Ensemble (the largest student organization on campus). Davis is a modern Hip Hop and Urban African Dance teacher for the Dance Ensemble, helping to choreograph routines much like the one that thrust her into BET fame.
It’s these student groups, among BU’s more than 200 student groups, that enabled the shy Davis to come out of her shell. Now, she is among the biggest endorsers of student organizations as a way for students to find their own niche in college.
With her success from Lens on Talent, an honor she hopes will spur momentum to someday launch her own dance studio, Davis is quick to point out there’s much more work still to do at BU, including another class of freshmen to orientate and becoming the first in her family to earn a college degree.
It’s a script that continues to get better with age, she says.
Having so many opportunities to get involved and be a student leader, Bloomsburg University has really shaped me into a mature, well-spoken woman equipped to make good, informed decisions.
| ||Reading, Pa.||Clarion||Political Science||Senior|
Elizabeth Torres arrived at Clarion University of Pennsylvania four years ago, armed with determination and direction. Growing up she witnessed injustice, and she wanted to become a lawyer to help right wrongs.
Clarion’s diversity appealed to her. Having taken part in a leadership program through the university while she was in high school, she knew about the campus, its academics and its opportunities. Torres, who said she was shy and reserved in high school, felt that Clarion would be the perfect place to develop educationally and socially.
“I stepped outside my comfort zone to find myself and find different organizations that I knew would enable me to help other people,” Torres said. “Because Clarion University is very diverse and has so many different organizations, I found the perfect organizations to display my leadership skills and to make my mark on campus. I learned I was more outgoing than I thought."
Since then, she has emerged as a leader, which was recognized by The Student Leadership Development Institute of the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education. Her experiences have reinforced her decision to pursue a law degree and have helped her to develop essential skills for her career and life.
Torres is the youngest of five children. Her family emigrated from Puerto Rico when she was a toddler. She grew up speaking English and Spanish, and she also is fluent in French. When she graduates in May with a bachelor’s degree in political science, she will be her family’s first college graduate.
Because Clarion University is very diverse and has so many different organizations, I found the perfect organizations to display my leadership skills and to make my mark on campus.
| ||Manitou Springs, Colo.||California||Political Science||Senior|
Walter Harris wants to change lives, both at Cal U and in the courtroom.
President of the Student Government Association and a board member for the Student Association Inc. (SAI), he has his sights set on a career in law.
With that in mind, he’s studying political science with a minor in theater. Harris is president of the Peace Studies Club and a member of Students Taking a New Direction (STAND), University Players, the Ultimate Frisbee Club and the Black Student Union.
Harris says the combination of his coursework and his extracurricular activities has allowed him to grow as a leader, and the size of the campus allows for important personal interactions.
“The relatively small community at Cal, compared to other universities, allows each student increased opportunities for leadership on campus,” he says.
“I make it a goal to connect and collaborate with other students in each of my classes. Working in groups increases accountability and fosters integrity. These relationships also have allowed me to acquire leadership roles in extracurricular programs.”
Harris wants to use his various positions on campus to help future students at Cal U.
“I hope to leave a lasting imprint on my university and to develop a legacy that will influence and help students for years to come.”
During my time here, I have developed valuable strategies that have helped me to become an influential student. I recommend Cal U to anyone seeking leadership development.
| ||Philadelphia, Pa.||Millersville||Psy./Criminology||Senior|
Natasha Wilson considers herself an active member of the Millersville University community as a student leader.
Wilson, a senior psychology major with a minor in criminology, currently serves as vice president for the NAACP College Chapter at Millersville University, treasurer for the Black Student Union, a chairperson on the Campus Safety Committee with Student Services, Inc., and a chairperson on the Senior Gift Committee. On top of all that, she is a member of the Multicultural Outreach Team (designed to assist with student panels and tours for perspective freshmen) and the Collegiate Leadership and Development Program – all while managing five on-campus jobs.
Once in the “real world,” Wilson has her sights set on law school. She even has plans post-law school, which include establishing herself as an attorney, using her experience in the field of psychology, while working with criminals for analytical purposes and compiling the data into a published book.
“I was once told ‘people would rather hear about finding yourself than how you lost yourself. Realize who you are and your PURPOSE.’ These words have been the driving force behind my success at Millersville University. I appreciate each word from the quote and apply them to my every day journey,” said Wilson.
During my time at Millersville, I have been exposed to many opportunities to learn and grow as a businesswoman. I have gained knowledge in various aspects of the ‘real world,’ such as attire, dining etiquette, language and even handshakes.
| ||Strasburg, Pa.||Shippensburg||Accounting||Senior|
Richelle Groff isn’t afraid of a challenge. An accounting major, with a minor in international studies, she has experienced a lot a Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.
Richelle has participated in the marching band and both the concert band and brass ensemble. She is a member of the Accounting Club and was treasurer of the Institute of Managerial Accountants.
She’s been just as busy outside of the normal classroom, studying abroad in Australia, where she visited, among other cities, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and even had the opportunity to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef. “It was the most incredible experience of my life. I learned so much about myself while learning and traveling in Australia. It was truly the opportunity of a lifetime and Ship helped me through the entire process,” she said.
Last summer Richelle completed an accounting internship where she learned even more about what it will take to make it in the real world. “I’m not a serious person at all, but I am very focused on my goals. I love having fun and don’t enjoy being stressed out and Ship has let me have it all."
Through everything I have done at Ship, I have learned that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. I’ve also learned how important time management is when being involved in many activities and clubs.
| ||Mifflintown, Pa.||Shippensburg||Psychology||Senior|
Sara Wagner made an important discovery while taking a class in animal behavior at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. She found out she loved doing research.
“At times it can be hard, like going into the lab at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night after an all-day track meet,” she said. “However, when the project is over and the results are analyzed, a significant result reassures that all your hard work and dedication paid off.”
Research is a big part of Sara's academic life at Ship. She has been working with Dr. Robert L. Hale since her junior year, studying heart rate variability in correlation to binge drinking. Last summer, she completed an internship at Penn State Hershey College of Medicine, where she participated in a research project evaluating the effects of diabetes in rats.
Sara’s experiences at Shippensburg include much more than spending time in the lab. She is a member of Psi Chi, the Psychology Club and United Campus Ministries. She also participates in the heptathlon as a member of the track team, and, last summer, completed a triathlon. She has gone to North Carolina on two separate mission trips to repair houses affected by hurricanes and floods.
After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to pursue a doctorate in behavioral neuroscience or neuroscience.
I realized that through one of my classes, I know what I want to do for the rest of my life.
| ||Lancaster, Pa.||Shippensburg||Criminal Justice||Senior|
Mark Schilthuis has learned about police work up close and personal while at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.
As a junior, he served an internship with the Chambersburg Police Department, where he was assigned to a squad and assisted the Special Emergency Response Team or SERT in their training and in being familiarized with police weapons and tactics. Last summer he served a second internship with the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center, a shelter and detention center for juveniles.
“I was able to observe juvenile court hearings and was exposed to the duties of a juvenile probation officer and his involvement with youth. I was also able to engage in the juveniles’ daily routines,” he said.
At Shippensburg, Schilthuis is a member of the Criminal Justice Club, club tennis, Christian Fellowship and the Mock Trial team, an experience that has enabled him to apply what he has learned in the classroom. “I played the role of a prosecuting and defense lawyer. Through my mock trial experience, I was able to build public speaking skills, a healthy work ethic, good communication and lifelong friendships.”
During one of his spring breaks, Mark traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, where he volunteered at "Safe House Outreach" a homeless outreach center, where, he said, he “was exposed to true poverty and homelessness while serving those in need.”
My favorite thing about Shippensburg is its size. It’s big enough to walk around and see different faces yet at the same time come across friends throughout the day.
| ||Philadelphia, Pa.||Indiana||Finance||Sophomore|
As a future leader, Ethan Wang has it going on.
The finance major from Philadelphia chose IUP over several schools in the eastern part of the state because he thought IUP would offer him everything he needed—the right major, an honors college that teaches him how to think and not what to think, and a bounty of student activities to keep him busy.
“Going into IUP, I was a little nervous about the sheer size of the student body, having come from a small prep school that had about 500 students total,” he said. But after his arrival, he discovered a network of friends through Phi Delta Theta, a fraternity that a group of students had chosen to revive.
“This group has provided me with the small-school atmosphere and a tight-knit group of friends that I was afraid I wouldn’t find in a large state university setting,” Wang said. “Joining has helped me become a well-rounded individual, and it has given me the opportunity to meet new people, build lasting friendships and positively contribute to the IUP community.”
Through the fraternity he has clocked countless hours of community service, helping at activities on campus such as blood drives as well as events in the local Indiana community. Wang also has served as the fraternity’s treasurer and vice president.
When he’s not conducting fraternity business, Wang turns his attention to the study of business. In addition to being enrolled in IUP’s Robert E. Cook Honors College, he also is enrolled in the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology honors program and is among his cohort’s leaders. That means he serves as a liaison between the students and the college’s administration.
Always seeking opportunities and experiences, Wang spent spring break during his freshman year volunteering at a meditation center in Vermont through IUP’s Alternative Spring Break program. He already has completed two internships, in the business office at Freeman’s Auction House in Philadelphia and with ARAMARK’s corporate office, and currently is seeking another in Philadelphia.
His career aspiration is to work in corporate law.
When I graduate, I want to pursue a law degree and get my MBA. I want to show that with state undergraduate education, it is possible to achieve at a higher level.
| ||Newburgh, N.Y.||Mansfield||Broadcasting||Senior|
Anthony Dario is a busy person with an upbeat, energetic personality. He discovered his talent for editing video when he was a sophomore at Newburgh Free Academy where he won the Liberal Arts House of Broadcasting Scholarship. He knew his love was broadcasting.
He chose Mansfield because of the broadcasting program, where he began working with production equipment the first day he walked into a classroom. Dario joined eight organizations his first semester, and remains part of three: the Student Government Association, the campus radio station and MUTV.
Becoming involved with the campus radio station helped him the most, especially with raising his confidence level, he says. He became the sports director for three semesters and broadcast all basketball games, home and away. Dario interned with the Hudson Valley Renegades, a minor league baseball team of the Tampa Bay Rays, where he did marketing promotions, charity events and on-field entertainment for the crowd. “I love making people laugh on camera,” he says.
He has also volunteered in events such as the Feast of Famous Faces, the International Radio and Television Society holiday benefit, and recently finished a 10-day internship in Miami with the National Association of Television Programing Executives. He was selected out of 50 interns to be one of four celebrity guests and had the honor of escorting Fox CEO Dennis Swanson. “He is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met and asked for my business card.”
Being at Mansfield has helped Dario build his confidence, understand the importance of diversity and network.
My education here has been the best. Just as important has been the encouragement from all of my professors, giving me the confidence to know that I can go anywhere and achieve any goal I set for myself.
| ||Edinboro, Pa.||Edinboro||Education (biology/chemistry)||Master's program|
After earning a bachelor’s degree and being in the workforce for several years, Jason Liebel realized he wasn’t doing what he wanted to be doing with his life. He came to realize that he actually had a passion for teaching.
In the spring of 2011, he was awarded a graduate assistantship in Edinboro University of Pennsylvania’s School of Graduate Studies, where he has been in charge of web page designs and research while learning first-hand to appreciate the level of “behind the scenes” effort it takes to run a successful institution of higher education.
While working toward the advanced degree that will take him on a new career path – one that will be a perfect fit for his professional passion – Jason also is taking advantage of all that is offered at Edinboro University, including attending musical presentations, films and art shows, and engaging in athletic programs. Recently, he took part in the creation of a men’s club lacrosse team, and hopes to help create another club sport as well.
Jason is a prime example of how “The Edinboro Experience” creates success in the lives of students.
I have lived in Edinboro for most of my life, yet it wasn’t until I began attending Edinboro University that I was able to truly appreciate the contributions and opportunities Edinboro provides. I appreciate the many extracurricular activities offered by Edinboro and enjoy giving back to the university for providing us with all of these resources.
| ||Cabot, Pa.||Clarion||Biology||Senior|
As a freshman at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Alysha Cypher took the lead on a research project, tracking a reintroduction of fishers and river otters from the 1990s. As a sophomore, the biology major worked with professor Dr. Andrew Turner, studying the chemosensory abilities in fish and the effects of pollution and pH changes on their behavior.
Now a senior Alysha has completed six of her own research projects and has assisted on 10 others. She co-founded the Center for Conservation Studies, as well as Scuba Club.
She is seeing more of her work pay off, including a partnership with biology professor Dr. Andrew Keth to develop the Amphibian Research Center on the grounds of nearby Clarion-Limestone School District. It will be a place where Clarion University and Clarion-Limestone students can learn about amphibians. These experiences have helped Cypher to develop confidence and authority to take a leadership role in her field.
"As a scientist it's my obligation to be able to talk to non-scientists, other scientists and people who want to become scientists," she said. "I like research, but I’m more passionate about teaching. I like inducing that 'eureka' moment."
I’m so glad I chose this school. There’s nowhere else that would have been the perfect sequence of events that led to who I am.
| ||Jeannette, Pa.||California University of Pennsylvania||Business administration||Junior|
Courtney Scanlon wants to be her own boss — and she’s already on her way.
Scanlon, a junior at California University of Pennsylvania, is majoring in business administration, with a concentration in marketing. And she is putting her education into practice as CEO of her own company, Color Me Courtney, a spray-tanning business she started on campus.
The business, which began as part of a school project, has become a viable enterprise. Scanlon applies more than 70 spray-on tans a month — a safer alternative to traditional tanning. Working with as many as 20 people per session, she earns about $100 per hour, she says.
Scanlon began her business after she recognized a need in the "market" she saw every day: her college classmates and friends. Now she has loyal clients on campus and as far away as Morgantown, W.Va.
Scanlon’s extracurricular activities don’t end there. At Cal U she is involved in eight clubs, from the Latin Dance Club to the Entrepreneurs Club, and she serves as vice president of Cal U’s nationally ranked Student Marketing Association.
She says being involved on campus has helped her to form lasting relationships and explore her strengths. "Definitely get involved with various clubs," she advises other students. "It’s a way to find yourself.
"Make the most of your classes and put your time into your coursework, too. Certain core courses will really ignite you, if that’s where your passion is. You’ll know that’s where you want to be."
Scanlon aid she appreciates the opportunity to work with professors who have real-world experience, especially in business. She considers her Cal U education the foundation of her future success.
"I want to have the fresh ideas. I want to be the creator," she says. "I have always been a leader, and it makes sense for me to continue my life that way."
Cal U is a great foundation. It’s small enough and big enough to get the best university experience. And it’s a career-driven university, and that is important in today’s economy.
| ||Freedom, Pa.||California||Criminal Justice||Senior|
Alexandra Brooks has blossomed into a leader at California University of Pennsylvania, where she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Student Association Inc. and president of the Student Government Association. She’s also a member of the Homecoming Committee and the Alcohol and Other Drugs Coalition, among other activities.
A criminal justice major, Brooks is working toward a career as a juvenile probation officer, and she dreams of someday running an outreach program for at-risk youths. To prepare, she volunteers with at-risk children in Monessen, helping with homework and more, as she draws on some difficult family experiences from her past to provide good advice to kids.
“You don’t have to repeat the cycle,” she says. “You can be that person who says, ‘Enough is enough; this isn’t what I want for my life.’ You can move past this."
As a criminal justice major, she needs a lot of different kinds of real-world experiences, and volunteering is a great way to achieve that, she says. Brooks also has volunteered with AmeriCorps, which provides service opportunities and helps students pay for school.
She credits Cal U for honing the skills she needs to succeed in the classroom and beyond. Her advice to other students?
“Get involved. Don’t discount any opportunity with things like clubs and organizations, because you never know how that might benefit you someday. Volunteer, even if you’re not sure, and even if it doesn't seem like something that is directly related to what you want to do as a career. You never know who will be on that committee or forum who may provide a great professional network.”
I have received so much professional development and leadership development at Cal U that I don’t think I would have gotten anywhere else.
| ||Philadelphia||Clarion||Senior||Communication Studies|
Kevin Easley reflects Clarion University of Pennsylvania’s core values of learning, accomplishment, encouragement, diversity, civility, civic engagement and public higher education. He’s worked as a teaching assistant and orientation leader for incoming students, community assistant at his housing complex and dispatcher for Public Safety.
As a senior, he’s polishing his resume for applications to graduate programs in screenwriting and directing. He recently ended two years with the Clarion University Activities Board to work with campus radio, where he plans to develop his own show about movies. And he’s script supervisor for the Clarion Short Film Club, which he co-founded.
The Philadelphia native chose Clarion University to experience a different lifestyle, explore new settings and meet different people. Clarion also met his criteria of being academically challenging. He earned a PASSHE Board of Governors Scholarship in his sophomore year.
Involvement in campus activities is as much a part of his education as his class work. “It bettered my communication skills, improved my leadership, strengthened my ambition and made me a well-rounded person,” he said.
He takes pride in helping incoming students, and in the two years of homecoming events he planned as UAB special events chair. “When I ride down Main Street (during the Autumn Leaf Festival Parade), I see so many smiling faces and the hard work that has paid off. It’s a great feeling,” he said.
I like having something to do, making a difference.
| ||Hatfield, Pa.||Millersville||Meteorology and physical oceanography||Junior|
Sabrina Fehr wants to help people prepare for severe weather and teach people about the world around them. Fehr is looking forward to learning more about meteorology and oceanography. She cannot wait to go on research cruises around the world and experience extreme weather in person.
Fehr, a junior meteorology and physical oceanography major, is involved in the Millersville University Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (MU-AMS) and the Ocean Science Club. MU-AMS also offers a program for incoming meteorology majors called Met-Mentor. Fehr was part of this program as a mentee and mentor. She found Met-Mentor very helpful in adjusting to college life and helping others grow.
Fehr decided to attend Millersville because it was one of the only two schools in Pennsylvania that offered meteorology as a major. The fact that Millersville also offered oceanography was a deciding factor for her as well. Fehr is hoping to go on to graduate school to earn her master’s degree in either meteorology or oceanography, pursuing a career in one of these fields.
Millersville has given me more opportunities than a larger university would. Due to its smaller size, I have been able to be more involved in clubs and activities. I also like how my professors are able to work with me one-on-one and are easy to get in touch with if I have questions.
| ||Springfield, Pa.||Millersville||International Studies with a minor in German||Senior|
Since high school, Paul McGonigal has loved the German culture and language. He wanted to study abroad as soon as he could. While enrolled at Millersville, McGonigal was given the opportunity to attend Marburg, the university he attended while abroad. His studies consisted of intensive German classes for half of a semester and then normal classes with German students for the second half. This allowed for a more relaxed feeling, which enabled him to travel extensively around Europe.
McGonigal, a senior international studies major with a minor in German, decided to attend Millersville upon discovering its international studies program. He originally chose Millersville for the reasonable tuition and great reputation. McGonigal has since fallen in love with the school.
“Have no doubt in your mind that studying abroad will be the most amazing time of your life. Even if it may seem daunting in the beginning and scary the first days there, if you stick it out it will leave you with such memories you will never forget,” said McGonigal.
Since being at Millersville I have been able to get to know myself. High school left me with my core personal values, but Millersville has allowed me to refine them into something that I can market. Not just in the job sense, but also the personal skills needed in life in general.
| ||West Chester, Pa.||Shippensburg||Finance and Management||Senior|
Isabel Scott knows how important internships can be to her future career as a financial analyst for an international company and is taking advantage of them while studying at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.
Her first internship as a sophomore with the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union was so successful she eventually worked her way up to assistant manager. “I was able to work on campus and helped to assist students in opening savings, checking and credit accounts. Through the internship I was able to gain a lot of knowledge involving banking systems, which enhanced what I learned in the classroom.”
She subsequently was a materials intern for Volvo Construction Equipment at its headquarters in Shippensburg. Isabel also had a study-abroad experience in Shanghai, China, where, she said, what she already had learned at Shippensburg often surpassed what students from "top-name" universities had experienced. She is also involved in the university annual student-faculty research program.
Isabel, who is the recipient of a PASSHE Board of Governors’ Scholarship and a H.O.P.E. Diversity Scholarship, is in the Honors Program and is active in numerous student groups including Student Senate and Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional business fraternity. She also is involved in a variety of community service projects including helping with local food pantries and animal shelters, and volunteering at King's Gap State Park.
After graduation, she plans to earn a master’s degree in economics and eventually become a chief financial or chief executive officer of a company. “Although these plans and goals may seem out of reach, I am determined to work hard to achieve them and work to constantly grow as an individual.”
I was able to demonstrate my skills that I have learned at Shippensburg University in the classrooms there and often surpassed those from top name schools.
| ||Philadelphia, Pa.||Bloomsburg||Guidance counseling and student affairs||Graduate student|
Normally kids who go to college are looked up to, but not where Rubin Rhodes is from. He says a lot of the other kids from inner city Philadelphia haven’t been as lucky as him, and they typically look down on college kids. According to Rhodes, they don’t really understand why somebody would abandon their home to go be a “college boy.”
However, for Rhodes, it wasn’t really much of a choice. He was given the option to either go to college or move out of his house. Since he wasn’t ready to move out, he packed up his things and headed to Bloomsburg.
“I didn’t grow up in a great neighborhood,” Rhodes says. “There’s a lot of street crime. On top of that, there are a lot of corrupt police officers. I was sick of seeing this, so I majored in criminal justice to hopefully someday work in an internal affairs bureau to stop police corruption.”
When he first came to BU he admits to having a pretty hard time adjusting … “typical freshmen jitters.”
“I think I was just dealing with the stress of everything,” Rhodes says. “It was kind of a culture shock. Between the stress of meeting new people, adjusting to this new area and having kids back home just waiting for me to screw up; it felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders.”
Through the many avenues Bloomsburg offers students to achieve success, Rhodes was able to quickly find his niche before the start of his sophomore year. In his four years on campus, Rhodes built quite an impressive resume.
Rhodes was a member of the criminal justice honor society, Xae Alpha Epsilon Honor Society, a Who’s Who award recipient, PASSHE Board of Governors scholar, and a mentor for the Social Justice Living and Learning Community. He also spent time working in the Office of Diversity and Retention and completed an internship with the North Central Secure Treatment Unit in Danville.
Rhodes is currently pursuing his master’s degree in counseling and continuing his summer work at camps for intellectually disabled individuals.
There are a lot of great professors here on campus who have helped me fight my way against the current, and even if they didn’t know it, it meant the world to me. It’s thanks to these professors that I am now a member of the 2012 Bloomsburg graduating class.
| ||Philadelphia, Pa.||Cheyney||Communications/ psychology minor||Junior|
Cheyney University junior Kristan Justice followed in her father’s footsteps when she chose his alma mater. The Keystone Honors Academy Scholar from Philadelphia is a non-traditional student who came back to school after working for non-profits as a career development and drug and alcohol counselor.
Kristan is majoring in communications, with a minor in psychology, and maintains a high grade point average. She is a residence hall advisor who hopes to start a group in her dorm this year to encourage young men and women to set higher standards for themselves.
The student member of the Cheyney University Council of Trustees, Kristan encourages her classmates to take on leadership roles and assume responsibility for their future. She helped found The Youth Congress in Baltimore, Maryland, which petitions for the rights of young people and serves as their voice among legislators.
A single mother, Justice had to overcome many adversities to follow her dreams. She is writing a book that would serve as a guide for at-risk youth, especially young girls, to help them deal with their problems constructively. She hopes to get involved with political campaigns upon graduation and, ultimately, be a speech writer for U.S. presidents.
Cheyney is a place that molds leaders. I adore the faculty here. It’s a good feeling to have professors who care about my success. They take time to get to know their students and invest in our future.
| ||Tannersville, Pa.||IUP||International Business||Senior|
Hellen Villagrán has such a strong desire to help people, you might think she’s pursuing a health or social sciences major. But, the Tannersville, Pa., resident who as a child came to the United States from Guatemala, is pursuing a degree in International Business.
As she was trying to determine where she would study abroad - in France, Mexico, or Costa Rica - Villagrán said lending a hand is something that has always interested her, and she has found just the right blend at IUP.
“Even though I was the second person in my nuclear family to come to college, I was very unaware and lost about many things,” she said, noting that in her first semester she joined Gamma Sigma Sigma a national service sorority. “That helped me find myself, allowed me to do things that I love, and provided me with new opportunities.”
She eventually found her way to the Center for Student Success, which sponsors a Peer Mentor Program for new students who need assistance with classwork or other issues.
“Now, I let my mentees know that they are more than welcome to ask me anything without feeling embarrassed, that we do not expect them to know everything, and that’s why we are here: to help them find the answers to their questions,” Villagrán said.
Villagrán’s ultimate aspiration is to someday return to Guatemala to use her education to help aspiring entrepreneurs start their own businesses and improve their lives.
Since I can remember, I have always loved to help others, but I was not really involved with doing community service prior to coming to IUP.
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