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‘The Conflict Minerals Project’ comes to Beaver campus

Filmmaker Mike Ramsdell will present "The Conflict Minerals Project," 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 14. The film, which is free and open to the public, will be shown in the auditorium of the Student Union Building.

Last year on campus, Ramsdell presented his award-winning documentary, ‘Anatomy of Hate: A Dialogue to Hope.’ He returns this year to discuss his project on the world’s conflict minerals, including tungsten, tin, tantalum, and gold, which are used to make most modern electronic devices ranging from cell phones to aeronautics systems.

The term "conflict minerals" is used most of them come from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which is widely considered to be the home of the worst human atrocities since World War II. In the past 15 years, the DRC has witnessed the brutal death of 6 million, hundreds of thousands of women raped, and the displacement of millions of children and adults.

For more information about Ramsdell and conflict minerals, go to http://underthehoodproductions.com/. For other information, contact Robin Schreck, coordinator of student activities and residence life, at ras62@psu.edu or 724-773-3947.

Beaver students raise more than $7,100 for THON

Penn State Beaver students celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) by raising $7,131.30 for the event held February 17-19 at Penn State University Park’s Bryce Jordan Center.

Beaver campus freshman Angelique Matthews and sophomore J.J. (James) Figas completed the 46-hour, no sitting, no-sleeping marathon “For the Kids” which raised a record-breaking overall total of $10,686,924.83.

Matthews, from Cypress, Calif. and Figas of Beaver, Pa, are enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate Studies. Sophomore Lydia Moon chaired this year’s Beaver campus THON Committee. She is a health and human development major from Prosperity.

Money raised by THON goes to support the Four Diamonds Fund and its pediatric cancer patients, families, and researchers at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital who are working to find better treatments and, ultimately, cures for forms of cancer that afflict children.

Beaver campus fundraising projects for THON included personal solicitations from students, a blood drive, and “canning” outside on designated weekends at area intersections and retailers. In addition, Beaver students raised more than $500 with a Date Auction held February 10 in the Brodhead Bistro.

THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world and engages more than 15,000 student volunteers.

THON has partnered with the Four Diamonds Fund since 1977 and, to date, as raised more than $89 million.
For information about THON, contact Robin Schreck, coordinator of student activities and residence life, at ras62@psu.edu or 724-773-3947.

Benscoter wins CUPPIE Award

Cathy Benscoter, marketing and Web specialist, webmaster, and lecturer in communications at Penn State Beaver, received a Gold CUPPIE Award.

CUPPIES are the highest awards given by CUPRAP, a voluntary organization of 400 communications professionals from 100 higher education institutions across Pennsylvania. The CUPPIES will be awarded later this month at CUPRAP’s Annual Spring Conference at the Hotel Hershey.

Benscoter received her award in the Public Relations/Media Relations/Feature Article category for "An Eye for News,” an article she wrote and photographed for the spring 2011 edition of the Nittany News, Beaver’s biannual news magazine.

She used a “day in the life” structure for the story, following Beaver campus alumnus Chris Bowyer who, at the time, was a cameraman with CBS 21 News in Harrisburg. In a single day, she traveled with him and his colleagues to various assignment sites as they set up interviews and live remotes, taped sound bites, and prepared pieces for the evening’s news broadcasts at 5:30, 6:00, and 11:00 p.m.

This award marks the second time CUPRAP has honored Benscoter’s work. In 2010 she was one of three Beaver campus members to win a Gold CUPPIE Award in the Advertising Campaign category for “Get In On The Secret,” a promotional campaign that featured personalized postcards and T-shirts packaged as books that were sent to prospective students.

Last fall she served on the Video and Photography Panel at CUPRAP’s annual Fall West Workshop in Cranberry Township. Panelists discussed and demonstrated ways that CUPRAP members can use video and photography to maximum effect on a budget.

Benscoter is a member of the Penn State Web Standards and Design Committee which developed and redesigned websites for the Commonwealth College website last year.

Prior to joining Beaver campus full-time in 2009, she was an adjunct lecturer in communications at the campus. She spent 18 years working in newspaper design and editing at the Jacksonville Journal-Courier in Illinois and the Beaver County Times and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Drake University.

In addition, Benscoter has completed coursework in web design at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and is currently working on a master’s degree in media arts and technology at Duquesne University.

‘Fire and Rain’ slam poetry presentation is open to the public

The public is invited to attend a free presentation of slam poetry at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 15, in the Penn State Beaver Student Union Building auditorium.

Joaquin Zihuatanejo and Natasha Carrizosa will present ‘Fire and Rain,’ a program of poetry that allows the poets to perform original work, individually or as part of a team. Manner of presentation and enthusiasm are important as well as content of the work.

In their poetry, this duo captures their dual heritage while seeking to educate, enlighten, and entertain. Born of mestizo, or mixed blood, Joaquin and Natasha have fallen victim to the question, ‘What are you?’ Their poems aim to answer that question by giving identity and voice to those born of two cultures as different as ‘Fire and Rain.’

Zihuatanejo is the No. 1 ranked slam poet in the world as well as an award-winning teacher, and Carrizosa is the current Slam Champion of the Austin International Poetry Festival. Both performers have shared the stage with a variety of poets and performers, including Maya Angelou, Billy Collins, Alicia Keys and Erykah Badu.

The program is sponsored by the Offices of Student Affairs and Student Activities. For information, contact Robin Schreck, coordinator of residence life and student activities, at ras62@psu.edu or 724-773-3947, or visit www.beaver.psu.edu.

McBride was guest speaker for Rotary Club of Beaver

LaVarr McBride, instructor in administration of justice at Penn State Beaver, was the featured guest speaker at last week’s luncheon of the Rotary Club of Beaver. McBride is also the program coordinator and internship supervisor for the administration of justice program which is delivered jointly with Penn State New Kensington and Penn State Shenango.

In his presentation, ‘How to Avoid the Harms of Social Media,’ McBride discussed potential dangers of modern technology, including sharing personal information and photos online. He also emphasized the importance of being aware of cyber bullies and threats as well as avoiding the misuse of texting, cell phones, and other social media.

McBride has more than 30 years of experience in criminal justice and has been a state and federal law enforcement officer on several task forces involving sexual predators, violent crime, drugs, and the Internet.

In addition, he has served as a training specialist with the Office of Defender Service, Washington, D.C., pre-sentence investigator for federal courts, probation officer, parole officer, correctional officer, and consultant as a Defense Initiated Victim Outreach Specialist for federal and state cases. He consults as an expert in violent crime and death penalty cases.

McBride holds a master’s degree in sociology from Utah State University and a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Weber State University.

He can be contacted at lwm13@psu.edu or 724-773-3866.

St. Luke's Steel Drum Band will perform at Penn State Beaver

St. Luke’s Steel Drum Band will present a free concert, open to the public, at 5:15 p.m. Friday, March 16, in the auditorium of the Penn State Beaver Student Union Building.
The band was formed in 1999 when Father Victor Rogers and a group of supporters from New Haven's historic St. Luke's Episcopal Church purchased a set of used steel drums from a band in Brooklyn. Since then the group has attracted a dedicated membership of 25 players of all ages. Many of the members and/or their families are from the West Indies and natives of Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago are represented in the ensemble.
Under the direction of coach and arranger Debby Teason and assistant director Donna Johnson, St. Luke's Steel Drum Band has gained a reputation as one of the country's most exciting performing ensembles. The band's achievements were recognized in 2003 when it received an Artist's Award from the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. They've also won two gold medals at the PANorama Caribbean Music Fest in Virginia Beach.
In 2008, the band performed with tenor pan virtuoso Liam Teague for a standing-room-only crowd in New Haven. In April 2009, they were featured in a concert with the renowned Positive Vibrations Youth Steel Orchestra from Washington DC. After a highly successful performance in the Yale School of Music's Duke Ellington Concert Series with composer and performer Andy Akiho in April 2010, St. Luke's Steel Drum Band was invited back to perform again with Akiho in November 2010.
The program is presented by the Office of Student Affairs and Student Activities. For more information, contact Robin Schreck, coordinator of student activities and residence life, at ras62@psu.edu or 724-773-3947, or visit www.beaver.psu.edu.

Student’s photography is on display in Student Union Building

A photography display entitled ‘Standing Still; behind solitude’ by Kyung Min Kim is on display in the lower lobby hallway of the Penn State Beaver Student Union Building. Kim, a native of Seoul, South Korea, is a sophomore psychology major at Beaver. Later in March, he will exhibit some of his paintings in the same location. The public is invited to view the exhibit.

Kim’s work is part of an integrative arts independent study course that allows students to participate in creative projects, including research and design, which are supervised on an individual basis and fall outside the scope of formal classes.

For more information, contact Carol Schafer, associate professor of theatre, integrative arts, and women’s studies, at cas33@psu.edu or 724-773-3591, or contact Kim at kik5129@psu.edu.

Softball and baseball teams head south for spring training

Penn State Beaver’s softball and baseball teams are spending spring break in the south for a week of training prior to the start of their seasons.

The women are in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and the men are in Vero Beach, Florida.

The women’s first game of the season will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, March 17 when the Lady Lions travel to take on the St. Vincent College Bearcats in Latrobe.

The men, who are training in Vero Beach, Florida, will play the Point Park University Pioneers at noon, Wednesday, March 14, at Greentree Park.

For more information and a complete spring schedule for softball and baseball, visit www.psubeaverathletics.com, or contact Athletic Director Andy Kirschner at ack121@psu.edu or 724-773-3826, or contact the Office of Student Affairs, dxt24@psu.edu or 724-773-3951.