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Award-winning faculty member writes book on globalization

JoAnn Chirico, senior instructor in sociology at Penn State Beaver, is the author of “Globalization: Prospects and Problems,” a new book published by SAGE Publications Inc. The text provides a comprehensive and enlightening overview of globalization, emphasizing the theory and methods that social scientists employ to study globalization.

Chirico explores the myriad of globalization topics, debates, theories and empirical data, and encourages readers to relate their personal experiences to globalization processes. Chirico is a longtime campus advocate of outreach, service learning, and diversity programs and opportunities. In 2010, she received Penn State’s Multicultural Resource Center’s Faculty/Staff Diversity Recognition Award in honor of her work in consistently promoting multiculturalism and demonstrating concern for and sensitivity to the needs of multicultural students above and beyond her job responsibilities. Chirico’s involvement in initiating and implementing service learning projects for Beaver campus students has won recognition for her across the campus and the University.

Chirico has been a member of the Beaver campus Climate and Diversity Committee and helped to develop the campus Reach Out Program, which placed more than 100 students in community service positions. She also chaired the Educational Equity and Campus Environment Team for two years and was a member of the Penn State Commission for Women. She is a member of the Voices Against Violence Group that was formed by faculty and staff members at Beaver campus two years ago in an ongoing effort to bring issues of sexual and domestic abuse to the forefront. In addition, Chirico received the Penn State Beaver Advisory Board Sky Bank Excellence in Service Award, the Penn State Commonwealth College Service Award and the Penn State University Vice President for Student Affairs Award for Outstanding Program in the Diversity Speakers Series. She holds a doctorate in sociology and education, and a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Chirico can be contacted at jxc64@psu.edu or 724-773-3846.

Campus will host 12th annual Beaver County College Fair on Oct. 2

Penn State Beaver will host the 12th annual Beaver County College Fair, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 2, in the campus gymnasium. Prospective students of all ages are encouraged to attend the event, which is free and open to the public and cosponsored by Beaver campus and The Times.

Representatives from more than 100 colleges, universities, technical schools and the military will be on hand to answer questions and provide information. The event is recognized as the premier college fair serving Beaver County students.

Ample free parking will be available.

For information, contact the Penn State Beaver Admissions Office at br-admissions@psu.edu or 724-773-3800, or visit www.beaver.psu.edu.

Beaver campus Penn State Day celebration is Oct. 25-26

Penn State Beaver’s annual Penn State Day celebration will be held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25 and 26. All events are free and open to the public.

The following is the schedule of events:

Friday, Oct. 25 - Blue and White Spirit Day Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to wear blue and white and/or Penn State apparel. A bonfire will be held at dusk behind Harmony Hall residence hall. Free s’mores and hot apple cider will be provided.

Saturday, Oct. 26 Admissions Open House, 9:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Student Union Building - Prospective students and their families will learn about academic programs, extracurricular activities, financial aid, and the application process.

Intramural Flag Football Championship Game, 10 a.m., Intramural field behind the gym

Campus Carnival, noon - 3:30 p.m., lawn, center of campus (In the event of inclement weather, all events will be held in the gym.) - Inflatable games, cotton candy, kettle corn, and novelty attractions will be featured.

Cornhole Tournament - 3:30 - 5:30 p.m., lawn, center of campus (In the event of inclement weather, the tournament will be held in the gym.)

Beaver alumni vs. Beaver men’s and women’s varsity basketball teams, gym - Men begin play at 5:30 p.m., followed by the women.

Blue and White Tailgate, 7 p.m., Brodhead Bistro Courtyard, followed by the Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Ohio State

Buckeyes football game, 8 p.m., Brodhead Bistro Courtyard (Check back here for an indoor location in the event of inclement weather.) Free stadium foods will be offered before and during the game for all in attendance.

For information about the Open House, contact the Admissions Office at br-admissions@psu.edu or 1-877-JOIN-PSU. For information about the weekend activities, contact Jennifer Toof, coordinator of student activities and residence life, jlt46@psu.edu or 724-773-3947.

50 years of Beatles: Meet the Gleeks!

Kenneth Womack's new essay series during his year as Penn State laureate kicks off with a look at the Fab Four's connection to its latest generation of fans.

by Kenneth Womack, Penn State laureate

For the two-part season premiere of the popular Fox television show “Glee,” the series’ producers have chosen to showcase the time-tested music of the Beatles. As with “American Idol” and “The Voice” before them, the creators of “Glee” know a thing or two about turning the ratings knob for their vast teen and pre-teen viewing audience. That’s right: when it comes to tugging at the heartstrings of Generation Y, the Fab Four are contemporary television’s go-to band.

But why do the Beatles still matter? And what could the music of four pre-Baby Boomers have to say to Millennial culture? The answer, as always, lies in the music. Even in the age of iTunes, Spotify and YouTube, the echo of the Beatles’ achievement continues to resound beyond the grave. With an embarrassment of artistic riches that includes "Rubber Soul," "Revolver," "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band," "The White Album" and "Abbey Road," the Beatles fashioned an enduring legacy based upon our intrinsically human needs for hopefulness and reconciliation.

“I’m really glad that most of the songs dealt with love, peace, and understanding,” Paul McCartney later recalled. “There’s hardly any one of them that says: ‘Go on, kids, tell them all to sod off. Leave your parents.’ It’s all very ‘All You Need Is Love’ or John’s ‘Give Peace a Chance.’ There was a good spirit behind it all, which I’m very proud of.”

But trying to understand the essence of the Beatles’ greatness? — well, that’s another matter altogether. They loom so large in our collective global consciousness that we have become impotent in our efforts to comprehend, much less explain in words, the measure of their majesty. Leave it to Kurt Vonnegut — a 20th-century master in his own right — to capture the essence of their virtuosity. “The function of the artist is to make people like life better than they have before,” Vonnegut observed. “When I’ve been asked if I’ve ever seen that done. I say, ‘Yes, the Beatles did it.’ ”

In the case of the Beatles — with John Lennon and George Harrison having long since died and McCartney and Ringo Starr moving into their sunset years — the music is what matters. It is the only genuine record of their attainment, the only meaningful representation of the realization of their artistic vision — from the simple ebullience of “She Loves You” and the gentle nostalgia of “In My Life” to the bone-crushing terror of “Helter Skelter” and the cultural apocalypse of “I Am the Walrus.”

But what makes all the difference, what really matters in the grand sweep of time, is the insight that the Beatles derive from their backward glances into the hearts and minds of humankind — from their first-generation fans in the 1960s right on through Generation Y. In such provocative, self-critical songs as “Eleanor Rigby,” “A Day in the Life,” “Blackbird,” “Revolution,” and the “Abbey Road” medley, the Beatles mine the inherent truth in Socrates’ famous dictum in the “Apology” that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” By sharing our journeys of the self, the Beatles urge us to embrace the restorative powers of love, friendship and a universalizing belief in a redeemable past — a past to which, if our aim is really true, we can get back to where we once belonged.

* * *

Kenneth Womack is the author of numerous works of nonfiction, including "Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles" (2007). He has also written three novels, including "John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel" (2010), "The Restaurant at the End of the World" (2012), and "Playing the Angel" (2013). A Professor of English and integrative arts at Penn State Altoona, Womack was selected in April 2013 to serve as the sixth Penn State laureate.

Beaver students elect SGA officers and THON chair

The Penn State Beaver student body has elected Student Government Association (SGA) officers and the THON chair for 2013-14.

Sophomore Nicholas Masci of Wexford, Pa., was elected president and is an information sciences and technology major. Sophomore Bryan Magee, a liberal arts major from Sewickley, Pa., was elected vice president. Senior communications major Amanda Polombo, Aliquippa, Pa., was elected secretary. Nooeree Samdani of Mars, Pa., and a major in the Division of Undergraduate Studies, is treasurer. Freshman education major Nicole Nuske, Baden, Pa., was elected chair of the Beaver campus THON Committee.

The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, known as THON, is a yearlong effort to raise funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer at all Penn State locations. Last year students raised a record-breaking $15,000 for THON at Beaver campus. For more information about SGA programs and operations, contact Jennifer Toof, student activities and residence life coordinator, at jlt46@psu.edu or 724-773-3947, or visit www.beaver.psu.edu.

Campus community, public urged to register for free PSUTXT service

Penn State Beaver students, faculty, staff and the general public are encouraged to register for PSUTXT, an emergency notification text messaging service that allows Penn State to send messages to your cellphone in the event of a campus emergency, such as weather-related school closings, delays and other news alerts.

Subscription is free for the service, but individual phone plans may charge for receiving text messages. Check with your cell service provider for details.

To register for PSUTXT, visit http://psutxt.psu.edu and follow the instructions. To verify that you have subscribed, you will receive a text message at the cellphone number you provided. Then follow the instructions you receive in order to validate your subscription. You can also subscribe to receive these messages via email using the same website referenced above. If you have difficulty subscribing to PSUTXT, contact the Beaver Office of Campus and Community Relations at 724-773-3815 or rxm70@psu.edu.

Penn State alumni, students invited to attend WestPACS Job Fair

Penn State alumni and Penn State Beaver students are encouraged to attend the Western Pennsylvania Career Services Association (WestPACS) Collegiate Job and Internship Fair, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Monroeville Convention Center, Monroeville.

The WestPACS event is the Pittsburgh region’s largest job fair for alumni and college students. Stephanie DeMaro, regional job and internship developer for Penn State’s western campuses, encourages students and alumni to the event to find internships and post-graduation employment.

For information about the event, contact DeMaro at 724-773-3953 or saw163@psu.edu. Information about the West PACS Job and Internship Fair is available at http://www.westpacs.org.

Continuing Education Office offers courses for CPAs, tax practitioners

The Penn State Beaver Office of Continuing Education is offering a series of courses designed for certified public accountants (CPAs) or tax practitioners, which will enable participants to broaden specific areas of study and explore new professional developments. Nine courses on different topics are available in October, November and December. Each course is three hours and offers timely information and the opportunity to qualify for continuing education credits. The fee is $298, regardless of how many classes are taken.

Continuing education credits are awarded based on one credit for every 50 minutes of classroom attendance. Upon completion of the courses, each participant receives a record of the continuing education credits earned.

Registration is open for the following classes, all of which will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. in Room 106, Beaver campus Ross Administration Building.

Tuesday, Oct. 8: Emerging Cyber and Exposure Issues and Other Insurance Issues
Tuesday, Oct. 15: Identity Theft, Prevention and Detection
Tuesday, Oct. 22: IRS Audits, Updates and Appeals
Tuesday, Oct. 29: Tax Professionals' Duties and Responsibilities (two hours - tax, one hour - ethics)
Tuesday, Nov. 5: Applying Specialized Expertise to Solve Client Issues
Tuesday, Nov. 12: Pa. State and Local Tax Update
Tuesday, Nov. 19: Individual Tax Update
Tuesday, Nov. 26: Accounting and Auditing Update
Tuesday, Dec. 3: CPA Ethics Overview

To register or obtain more information, contact the Continuing Education Office at 724-773-3700, beaverce@psu.edu or visit www.beaver.psu.edu.

Assisted Living Administrator training to be offered on campus

The Penn State Beaver Office of Continuing Education will offering a 15-hour Assisted Living Administrator training program designed to enhance the 100-hour Personal Care Home Administrator training programs that are currently offered. According to 55 PA Code Chapter 2800, prior to employment as an assisted living administrator, individuals must enroll in this 15-hour training, in addition to the Personal Care Home training.

An Assisted Living Administrator Orientation will be held 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31, in Room 16, Beaver campus Student Union Building. This orientation program is designed specifically for new assisted living residence administrators. A current personal care home administrator may attend this orientation if his/her personal care home intends to apply for an assisted living license within the next six months. There is no fee to attend the orientation, but preregistration is required.

Highlights of the orientation training will include an overview of Act 56 and the development of the Assisted Living Residence regulations; the application process; the licensing inspection process and instrument; discussion of key regulations and the differences between personal care homes, assisted living services and special care units as well as other relevant topics.

Fee for the 15 hours of coursework is $235. The course schedule follows:

8 to 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 1
Neurological Impairments (one hour - $16)
Overview of Brain Injury (two hours - $32)

noon to 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1
Infection Control (two hours - $32)

2:15 to 4:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1
Informed Consent (two hours - $32)

8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 2
Assisted Living Resident Composition (four hours - $64)

1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2
Person-Centered Care (four hours - $64)

To register or for more information, contact the Continuing Education Office at 724-773-3700, beaverce@psu.edu or visit www.beaver.psu.edu.

New members join Advisory Board for first meeting of the semester

Last spring five new members were elected to serve on the 2013-14 Penn State Beaver Advisory Board, which held its first meeting of the year at 7 a.m., Friday, Sept. 27, in the campus’ Special Events Room. The Board meets five times throughout the academic year.

New Advisory Board members are Ptoshia Burnett, Monaca site director, BASF Corp.; Thomas J. Day, CEO, West Point Products; Marianne LeDonne, director, Regional Choice Initiative through the Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit; Donna Nugent, superintendent, Big Beaver Falls Area School District; and James Stewart, Penn State professor emeritus, professor of labor studies and employment relations, African and African-American studies, and management and organization and Penn State’s first vice provost for educational equity.

Advisory Board officers are President John J. Feraco, manufacturing leader, NOVA Chemicals Inc; President-Elect Greg Cerminara, assistant vice president, Michael Baker Jr. Inc; Vice President Carolyn Renninger, CEO, C3 Controls; and Secretary Gary B. Keefer, chancellor, Penn State Beaver.

The other members of the 2013-14 advisory board members are:
-- Tony Amadio, chair, Board of Beaver County Commissioners
-- Nick Andrews, president and owner, Andrews Industrial Controls Inc.
-- I. David Atcheson, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Atcheson Oral Surgery
-- Jeffrey R. Bauman, vice president, Bauman Office Equipment Inc.
-- Jim Christiana, Pennsylvania state representative
-- H. Scott Cunningham, executive vice president, PNC Wealth Management
-- Gregory A. Hojdila, training director, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 712 Apprenticeship
-- Teresa Krukenberg, senior vice president-business development, ESB Bank
-- Jim Marshall, Pennsylvania state representative
-- Robert Matzie, Pennsylvania state representative
-- John P. Murawski, project manager, Markwest Energy Partners
-- Dennis Nichols, Beaver County commissioner
-- Sean M. Ramaley, attorney
-- David Robbins, chief financial officer, COL-FIN Specialty Steel Corp.
-- Joseph Sawinski, assistant treasurer, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group
-- Roberta Sciulli-Carlson, senior director, Cardiovascular Services Line, Sharon Regional Health System
-- David Sebastian, manager/owner/vice president, Sebastian Enterprise Inc.
-- Donald Sheffield, president, TAME Inc.
-- Joe Spanik, Beaver County commissioner
-- Dianne J. Stoner, administrator, PA CareerLink Beaver County
-- Laura J. Tocci, attorney, McMillen, Urick, Tocci, Fouse & Jones
-- Thomas D. Trzcinski, owner/president, Kitchen & Bath Concepts
-- Nicholas J. Unis, owner/partner, Unis Dental Associates

Emeritus advisory board members are Joseph P. Giusti, former chancellor, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and former Beaver campus executive officer; Robert G. Redelfs; and Richard Shaw, chairman, board of directors, Michael Baker Corp.

For information about the advisory board, contact the Beaver Chancellor’s Office at 724-773-3553 or rxm70@psu.edu.

Professor finds Web-based tutoring system improves students' reading

Bonnie Meyer, a professor of educational psychology in the Penn State College of Education, recently published a journal article that reported how a Web-based tutoring system helped improve reading comprehension among fourth- and fifth-grade students.

The tutoring system, Intelligent Tutoring System for the Structure Strategy (ITSS), is an online computer program that provides modeling of a reading strategy, practice lessons and individualized feedback.

According to Meyer, strong skills in understanding expository texts are important for success in school and effectively coping with everyday life across the life span.

“Fourth- and fifth-grade students are expected to read their textbooks and other informational texts,” said Meyer. “Learning about how texts are organized and using text structures strategically can improve reading comprehension and learning.”

“For example, students learn that scientific articles often start with a problem and its cause,” said Meyer. “The next part of the text often provides a solution that responds to the problem and eliminates or reduces the cause.”

Positive results from randomized experiments involving many classrooms and schools—which she said are rare in research efforts like this one — are important to both students and teachers, according to Meyer.

“Structure strategy instruction is important to students because it provides an effective way to learn information needed in school across the grades and throughout life,” said Meyer. “ITSS is important to teachers because they can use it to teach about text structure that is individualized for each child.”

“I collaborated with a teacher who took the structure strategy lessons and adapted them to her classrooms and extended them to reading and writing across the content areas in very effective ways at the middle school level,” said Meyer.

Meyer added that reading from expository text is also emphasized in the newly adopted Common Core State Standards in Pennsylvania.

Meyer said she started this work because of her fascination with the big relationships among ideas in expository and persuasive texts and how that affects understanding and remembering ideas.

“I have studied how the logical structure of a text affects people’s understanding of it and their ability to remember and use the information in everyday decisions,” said Meyer.

According to Meyer, good readers are able to classify the text structure used by the authors, focus on the logical structure in the text, and take advantage of text structure to identify or construct main ideas, organize their memory and effectively produce coherent representations of the text.

“Only about half of ninth-grade students can do this,” said Meyer. “Thus, I was motivated to help these students, so my colleagues and I developed the structure strategy instruction.”

Meyer added that it has taken many years to get the attention of educators and have text structure strategy the research adopted into practice.

“The delivery of the instruction via an intelligent tutor and research support by the Institute of Education Sciences in the last 11 years have helped to let more educators know about the benefits learning the structure strategy in schools,” said Meyer.

The article, titled “High-Fidelity Implementation of Web-Based Intelligent Tutoring System Improves Fourth and Fifth Graders’ Content Area Reading Comprehension,” was co-authored with Kay Wijekumar, Penn State Beaver associate professor of information sciences and technology, and Pui-Wa Lei, associate professor of education, and was published in the journal “Computers & Education.”

Penn State Beaver Sports Scoreboard: Sept. 21 to 25

Saturday, Sept. 21
Men’s soccer – Penn State Brandywine 5, Penn State Beaver 1

Monday, Sept. 23
Women’s volleyball – Franciscan University 3, Penn State Beaver 0

Tuesday, Sept. 24
Men’s soccer – Penn College 4, Penn State Beaver 1
Women’s soccer – Penn College 11, Penn State Beaver 0

Wednesday, Sept. 25
Women’s volleyball – La Roche College 3, Penn State Beaver 0

For scores and play-by-play details or for information about Beaver intercollegiate or intramural 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.