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Students, faculty, staff visit Navajo Nation and Berlin during spring break

During the recent spring break, eight Penn State Beaver students, faculty, and staff traveled to Tuba City, Arizona, where they lived and worked with the Navajo Nation while a second group of students and faculty gave a presentation at an international conference in Berlin.

The group in Arizona spent a week with the Navajo Nation where they tutored classes in the local boarding school, served Meals on Wheels for the Senior Center, worked at the Boys and Girls Club, and cleaned Navajo residents’ homes.

Evenings were focused on learning about Navajo Nation culture, including creation stories, dances, and ceremonies. In addition, the group visited several famous sites, including the Grand Canyon and the Painted Desert. The trip was led by JoAnn Chirico, senior instructor in sociology; Irene Wolf, senior instructor in philosophy, and Robin Schreck, student activities and residence life coordinator.

A second group of seven students traveled to Berlin, Germany with Kay Wijekumar, associate professor of information sciences and technology, where the students gave a presentation at the International Association for Development of the Information Society (IADIS) Conference, 2012 Information Systems. The conference was attended by more than 120 technology professionals from around the world. The IADIS Information Systems Conference is designed to provide a forum for the discussion of information sciences taking a socio-technological perspective.

The students’ presentation was delivered as part of Wijekumar’s capstone course, Information Sciences and Technology Integration and Problem Solving.

For information about the Arizona trip, contact Schreck at ras62@psu.edu or 724-773-3947. To learn more about the Berlin conference, contact Wijekumar at kxw190@psu.edu or 724-773-3814.

Chapin coauthors article on relationship violence

John R. Chapin, professor of communications at Penn State Beaver, is the coauthor of ‘Optimistic bias about dating/relationship violence among teens’ which appears in the current edition of The Journal of Youth Studies. The article was co-written by Grace Coleman, executive director of Crisis Center North, Pittsburgh.

The Journal of Youth Studies is an international scholarly journal devoted to a theoretical and empirical understanding of young people's experiences and life contexts.

The article, published by Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group, can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/. Chapin can be contacted at jrc11@psu.edu or 724-773-3877.

Beaver alumnus Julian Gray is spring commencement speaker

Penn State Beaver alumnus Julian E. Gray, certified elder law attorney, will be the speaker at Beaver’s spring commencement ceremony, 7 p.m., Friday, May 4 in the auditorium of the Student Union Building.

Gray is the founder and managing attorney of Julian Gray Associates with two offices located in Moon Township and the South Hills of Pittsburgh. His firm is the largest elder care law practice in western Pennsylvania.

Gray is one of only nine Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in Allegheny County. The designation, which is conferred by the National Elder Law Foundation, is the only Elder Law certification accredited by the American Bar Association and recognized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

For more than 17 years, his firm has provided aid to a variety of clients and their families in the areas of Medicaid planning, veterans’ benefits, special needs planning, and related estate planning and tax issues.
Gray has been recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer and as one of the Best Lawyers in America for five consecutive years.

A native of Center Township, he attended Beaver campus and received a bachelor’s degree in pre-law from Penn State University Park in 1991. He holds a law degree from Duquesne University in 1994.

For information about commencement, contact the Office of Academic Affairs at djm5@psu.edu or 724-773-3571.

Public invited to learn about careers with Homeland Security agencies

The public is invited to attend a free information session about available careers with Homeland Security agencies, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, April 25, in the Lodge of the Penn State Beaver Student Union Building. The program is sponsored by the Beaver campus Office of Continuing Education.

Employment opportunities open in a variety of agencies will be presented, including the Transportation Security Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Citizenship Immigration Service, Customs and Border Protection, and the United States Coast Guard.

For more information, contact the Office of Continuing Education at 724-773-3700 or BeaverCE@psu.edu, or visit www.beaver.psu.edu.

Freed death row inmate will speak at Penn State Beaver

The public is invited to attend a free presentation by Juan Melendez at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 28 in the auditorium of the Penn State Beaver Student Union Building.

Melendez was imprisoned on death row in Florida for almost 18 years until his conviction was overturned and he was released in 2002. Upon his release, Melendez became the United States’ 99th death row inmate to be exonerated and released since 1973.

In his presentation, Melendez will discuss his story of injustice and wrongful imprisonment on death row as one of many problems pervasive throughout the nation’s legal system and will describe the high rate of wrongful convictions based on poverty, race, and ethnicity.

Melendez will also share how he survived his experiences while imprisoned and how he maintained his spirit while he and others worked to free him.

Since his release, he has spoken here and abroad about the crisis of wrongful imprisonment, especially on death row, and his story has been reported in French, Spanish, Italian, and Arabic.

The administration of justice program and the Beaver campus Student Activity Fee are sponsoring the presentation as part of the Unique Perspectives for Selecting Your Career Path Speaker Series.

For information, contact Larissa Ciuca, student personal and career counselor, at lbm12@psu.edu or 724-773-3961 or LaVarr McBride, instructor in administration of justice at Beaver, Penn State New Kensington, and Penn State Shenango, at lwm13@psu.edu or 724-773-3866.

Snakes Alive™ exhibit will visit Beaver campus on April 20

The Penn State Beaver Office of Student Affairs and Student Activities will present ‘Snakes Alive™,’ 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Friday, April 20 in the lower lobby of the Student Union Building. The program is free and open to the public.

Snakes Alive™ is a national touring program that offers a hands-on, educational experience by allowing visitors to interact with a variety of reptiles, or visitors can choose to view them from a distance.

Herpetologist Tom Kessenich will encourage visitors to touch and hold these friendly reptiles as he explains their role in nature. In addition, he will also discuss whether these reptiles should be kept as pets and if so, how to care for them.

Kessenich was the head zookeeper at the Wisconsin Dells renowned Serpent Safari Reptile Zoo from 12 years.
For more information, contact Robin Schreck, coordinator of student activities and residence life, at ras62@psu.edu or 724-773-3947. For information about the program, visit http://www.snakesalive.info/.


Penn State Beaver announces winners of annual Forensics Tournament

Penn State Beaver announced the winners of the Twelfth Annual Penn State Beaver Forensics Tournament held in March. A total of 128 students from Beaver Middle School, Beaver High School, Freedom Middle School, Freedom High School, Hopewell Middle School, Hopewell High School, Quigley Catholic High School, and West Allegheny High School competed in six events. 

Twenty-one teachers and parents from area schools served as judges for the competition, and 31 Beaver campus students and faculty members served as judges and volunteers. First through third-place winners received trophies, and fourth through sixth-place winners received certificates.

‘Forensics allows students to face fears of public speaking and builds confidence,” said John Chapin, associate professor of communications at Penn State Beaver and coordinator of the Annual Forensics Tournament. ‘The tournament also provides an opportunity for schools to encourage academic growth and competition in a non-athletic forum.’

Categories and winners follow:

Oral Interpretation for Middle School: Students performed humorous or dramatic short stories from published books or plays. 
First Place - Jordan Miller, Beaver
Second Place - Alexis Schoedel, Freedom
Third Place - Deja Braggs, Hopewell
Fourth Place - Victoria Ingram, Hopewell
Fifth Place - Miranda Lapson, Hopewell
Sixth Place - Bethany Schwartz, Hopewell

Dramatic Interpretation for High School: Students performed short stories or cuttings from published books or plays.
First Place - Maura Vulakovich, West Allegheny                                                             
Second Place - Nick Core, Quigley Catholic
Third Place - Brittany Renkin, Beaver
Fourth Place - Andrea Cary, Freedom
Fifth Place - Macy Jaskiewicz, Quigley Catholic
Sixth Place - Deanna Edwards, Freedom

Humorous Interpretation for High School: Students performed humorous short stories or cuttings from published books or plays.
First Place - Kaye Burnet, Quigley Catholic
Second Place - Breanna Renkin, Beaver
Third Place - Anthony Kuntz, Quigley Catholic
Fourth Place - Hadley Neish, Beaver
Fifth Place - Emily Smith, Quigley Catholic
Sixth Place - Jacob Stumm, Quigley Catholic          
Original Oratory for High School: Students delivered memorized original speeches to inform the audience about a topic or to persuade the audience regarding an important issue.
First Place - John Paul Lisella, Quigley Catholic
Second Place - Gigi Deweese, Freedom
Third Place - Dom Mastroianni, Quigley Catholic
Fourth Place - Richie McEwen, Freedom
Fifth Place - Alaina Lisanti, Quigley Catholic
Sixth Place - Ellen Kruczek, Quigley Catholic

Impromptu Speaking for Middle School: Students were given a topic, then required to deliver a 3-5 minute speech with only 1-2 minutes of preparation. In a twist on traditional forensics competitions, this tournament used fortune cookies to determine the topics.
First Place - Lois Dubori, Freedom
Second Place - Jordan Miller, Beaver
Third Place - Carly Park, Freedom

Impromptu Speaking for High School: Students were given a topic, then required to deliver a 3-5 minute speech with only 1-2 minutes of preparation. In a twist on traditional forensics competitions, this tournament used fortune cookies to determine the topics.
First Place - Josi Sinagoga, West Allegheny
Second Place - Kaye Burnet, Quigley Catholic
Third Place - John Paul Lisella, Quigley Catholic
Fourth Place - Kristen Rohm, West Allegheny
Fifth Place - Kate Straatman, Quigley Catholic
Sixth Place - George Burnet, Quigley Catholic

Dramatic Duo for Middle School: Partners performed dramatic or humorous cuttings from published plays.
First Place - Becca Ray and Daria Fratangeli, Beaver
Second Place - Aaron Scheider and Emma Cumberledge, Freedom
Third Place - Sydney Caruso and Haley Henry, Beaver
Fourth Place - Emily Monit and Lexi Teny, Beaver
Fifth Place - Hannah Cain and Abbey Sheasley, Beaver
Sixth Place - Shannon Shango and Lauren Trimber, Hopewell

Dramatic Duo for High School: Partners performed dramatic or humorous cuttings from published plays.
First Place - Zach Malinak and Alec Zindren, Freedom
Second Place - Taylar McCoy and Nate Kusich, Freedom
Third Place - Robbi Rasso and Nathan James, Freedom
Fourth Place - Brittany Renkin and Breanna Renkin, Beaver
Fifth Place - Carli Cardillo and Angela Klayko, West Allegheny
Sixth Place - Katherine Loza and Katie Stark, Beaver

Wretched Interpretation for High School: A novelty event in which students perform intentionally bad (melodramatic) interpretations of the material of their choice.
First Place - Kaye Burnet, Quigley Catholic
Second Place - Anthony Kuntz, Quigley Catholic
Third Place - Kate Straatman, Quigley Catholic
Fourth Place - Raylen Shannon, Freedom
Fifth Place - John Paul Lisella, Quigley Catholic
Sixth Place - Gabrielle Lisella, Quigley Catholic

Teams earned one point for each student or duo that placed and one additional point for each first- place finish.
First-Place Middle School: Beaver
First Place High School: Quigley Catholic

For information about the annual competition, contact Chapin at jrc11@psu.edu or 724-773-3877.

Registration is open for Alumni Society's 12th annual Golf Outing

Registration is open for the Penn State Beaver Alumni Society’s 12th annual Golf Outing on Monday, Sept. 10, at Seven Oaks Country Club in Brighton Township. Event proceeds will benefit the society’s endowed scholarship for Beaver campus students. The public is invited to participate.
Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. followed by a shotgun start at 11 a.m. Entry fee includes continental breakfast, lunch, dinner, and silent and live auctions. Registration is now under way, and sponsorships are available at a variety of levels.
For more information, visit www.beaver.psu.edu and click on ‘Alumni,’ or contact Diana Patterson, Beaver campus director of development and alumni society liaison, at dlp25@psu.edu or 724-773-3558.

Penn State Beaver Sports Scoreboard: March 18-25, 2012

Sunday, March 18
Baseball – Notre Dame College 5, Penn State Beaver 4

Monday, March 19
Softball – Chatham University 5, Penn State Beaver 3
Softball – Chatham University 6, Penn State Beaver 0

Wednesday, March 21
Baseball – Penn State Beaver 6, Geneva College 4
Softball – Carlow University 4, Penn State Beaver 0
Softball – Carlow University 7, Penn State Beaver 5

Friday, March 23
Softball – Penn State Beaver 3, Southern Virginia University 0
Softball – Penn State Beaver 10, Southern State Community College 0
Softball – Briarcliffe College 3, Penn State Beaver 1

Sunday, March 25
Baseball – Penn State Beaver 3, Penn State Brandywine 2
Baseball – Penn State Beaver 6, Penn State Brandywine 2

For games scores and play-by-play details or for any information about Beaver athletics, visit www.psubeaverathletics.com, or contact Andy Kirschner, athletic director, at ack121@psu.edu or 724-773-3826, or BJ Bertges, assistant athletic director, at bjb36@psu.edu or 724-773-3845.