Site-Wide Activity

  • Sarah Burns Alumni Success Story Written by: Kayla Mitchell Sarah Burns graduated from Millersville University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications with a […]

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 1 week, 2 days ago

    MU Helps Girls on the Run Reach Their Goals On Sunday, Nov. 19, over 500 third to eighth graders gathered on Millersville University’s campus to run a 5k together. The participants were part of Girls on the Run Lancaster-Lebanon, and they celebrated the hard work they’ve put in over the past two months. Girls on the Run is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to motivate young girls by combining physical activity with motivational lessons. Throughout the 10-week program, girls meet for these lessons while steadily building up the physical endurance to run, jog and walk a 5k, which takes place at the end of the 10 weeks. Dr. Gail Gasparich, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost of Millersville University, is a member of the board for Girls on the Run Lancaster-Lebanon. She explains that Girls on the Run is unique in its focus on both physical and socio-emotional development for its two age groups, 3rd-5th grade and 6th-8th grade students. “The real goal of Girls on the Run stems from the fact that at this age, self-confidence begins to erode. This is a way to get in front of that,” she says. “The girls really build a strong cohort. They look out for each other, build friendships and skills they can take beyond the program, and everybody’s learning together.” “Physical activity is so important for mental health, and being physically active in a group setting can really bring about a positive mental health change for these girls at such a crucial time in their lives,” she adds. “This is a way to make exercise and learning a more fun experience.” The Lancaster-Lebanon Girls on the Run 5k events take place twice a year, with Millersville University hosting the race each fall. The runners began the race at Pucillo Gymnasium to kick off one of the largest 5ks in the area, one which celebrates each individual runner regardless of their finishing placement. Gasparich notes that these kinds of events that bring in the surrounding community are beneficial for the University. “Our students come from our community, and being able to contribute is really important,” she says. “It aligns with the University’s goals to help students develop and to help inspire students to change the world.” Additionally, Girls on the Run is a meaningful organization for Gasparich. “When I first came to Millersville University, I really wanted to find an association that I could get behind,” she says, “My whole career has been spent trying to get women involved and empowered, and this program is a perfect fit.” “The organization is really focused on bringing together the community and helping these young girls discover their own superpowers,” […] “MU Helps Girls on the Run Reach Their Goals”

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 1 week, 2 days ago

    Advocating for Undergraduate Research Ensuring that policymakers and leaders understand the importance of undergraduate research and scholarships is essential to all college students. This is why it’s important that Dr. Carrie Smith and Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol, along with five students at MU, were accepted to be part of the Council of Undergraduate Research’s Scholars Transforming Through Research program. The program allows participants to learn and understand how to communicate to stakeholders the importance of their research and scholarships through both virtual and in-person events. As team leaders, Dr. Smith and Pashkova-Balkenhol represent MU through two programs, the Center for Public Scholarship & Social Change and the McNairy Library Music Research Fellows program. They offer guidance to their students, Tehya Walters, Ty Geiger, Sydney Rauchut, Sarah Qundes and Julissa Rodriguez to actively engage in the Scholars Transforming Through Research activities. In order to be part of the program, teams had to submit an application that was reviewed against others from across the country, making for a competitive application process. Each application discussed how team members have been impacted by undergraduate research. Smith, coordinator of the Center for Public Scholarship & Social Change at MU, explains why she wanted to be part of the program. “I work with and mentor students in conducting community-engaged research. For community-engaged research to be truly effective, it requires an understanding of how to explain sometimes complex and obtrusive findings to various stakeholders.” The students involved in the program have completed research or are in the process of completing research. The program will allow them to learn how to communicate with leaders. “The STR program is focused on enhancing undergraduate students’ communication and advocacy skills so that they can convey the value of their undergraduate research experiences to various stakeholders, such as funding agencies, elected officials, future employers and community members,” Pashkova-Balkenhol explains, an Undergraduate Research & Instruction Librarian. The students will present their research at Made In Millersville. Pashkova-Balkenhol notes the connections between Scholars Transforming Through Research and Made in Millersville. “Both STR and Made in Millersville are focused on promoting the undergraduate research experience. Both encourage students to translate their research projects into comprehensive and accessible summaries and communicate the value of their projects to diverse audiences.” Recently, both teams attended the in-person training event where they participated in networking events with faculty and staff from other universities. They also visited Capitol Hill to meet with staffers from Senator Bob Casey, Senator John Fetterman and Representative Lloyd Smucker’s offices where the students put their training to work,  advocating for funding undergraduate research, university-community partnerships, arts and humanities and youth mental health. Pashkova-Balkenhol understands the importance of undergraduate research and the skills students gain from engaging in it. “Students who participate in undergraduate research opportunities are better prepared for graduate schools or professional careers. Students improve transferable skills, such as critical thinking, presentation and written communication and time management skills. They build overall confidence in their abilities and create communities of practice where they learn with and from each other.” By completing the program, Pashkova-Balkenhol hopes to accomplish one main goal. “Upon the completion of the program, we will be able to put our advocacy skills into practice by advocating for sustainable funding to support the future students’ participation in the library’s research fellows’ program,” Pashkova-Balkenhol says. Overall, Smith hopes to create new policies to help make a change by completing the program. “I hope that we will come away with valuable skills in learning how to communicate community-engaged research to various stakeholders. In particular, I hope that we will learn how to translate our work into concrete policies and change on the […] “Advocating for Undergraduate Research”

  • MAPACA Recap  by Mary Miller As someone who had never presented at (or even attended, I think) an academic conference, it’s been really ex […]

  • Taking Advantage of Academic Opportunities- Mary MillerOne of the aspects of higher education that I was underprepared for was the opportunity to apply myself outside of the classroom. […]

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 1 week, 2 days ago

    Grant Donation Brings New Equipment to the ‘Ville Millersville students studying automation and robotics engineering technology will soon have access to new equipment, thanks to a grant donation from Phoenix Contact. The Automation and Controls Lab in Osburn Hall will receive new equipment. Phoenix Contact donated close to $50,000 worth of hardware to Millersville as a part of their EduNet educational partnership. This includes industrial-grade computer systems used to digitize and control industrial processes. The equipment is being installed this semester and will be available to students starting in January. The new equipment is an upgrade to previous equipment in the lab. “Our previous equipment was almost 15-20 years old, and while it’s still valid as industry grade, it is becoming technologically ‘old,’” says Dr. John Haughery, assistant professor in Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology at MU. This updated hardware will allow students to get hands-on practice with equipment that is relevant to their education and future careers. The new technology will allow students opportunities to develop and work with Industrial Internet of Things for local and remote connectivity and control. Internet of Things is an industry term that refers to collective networks of connected devices and the technology that facilitates communication among itself. It’s especially relevant to students looking to be automation engineers, controls engineers and manufacturing engineers. “Individuals in these careers are becoming more and more valuable to the industry, as they have the skill set to solve some of the toughest engineering problems facing the industry that supply essential and non-essential products,” says Haughery. Phoenix Contact aims to prioritize sustainability through its business practices and with its equipment. Millersville’s own emphasis on sustainability is supported by the use of this new equipment. “This hardware provides students opportunities to gain experience using technologies necessary to control environmental and industrial systems efficiently with a mind to sustainability,” says Haughery. This includes consideration of lowering energy consumption, using less materials and tracking system health proactively. Click here for more information on Millersville’s Automa […] “Grant Donation Brings New Equipment to the ‘Ville”

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 1 week, 5 days ago

    Education and the Environment at the ‘Ville Millersville students and local educators will soon have the opportunity to engage in hands-on experiences geared toward providing an education-oriented scientific background. Millersville’s Watershed Education Training Institute is offering an environmentally educational workshop this fall semester. The GLOBE Workshop focuses on effective methods to educate students about water quality and will be held on Nov. 18 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. It is free to all participants and is open to all STEM BSE students, as well as formal and informal educators. Another workshop, Project WILD, was canceled and those who were interested are encouraged to attend the GLOBE Workshop. 30 spots are available for the workshop. Those interested in participating can sign up here. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the workshop. “Having these certifications shows that you’ve already put in some time in your undergrad to commit to professional development,” says Liz Rickrode, a graduate assistant for Educational Foundations professor Dr. Nanette Marcum-Dietrich. GLOBE certification allows future conducting of GLOBE related activities in the classroom, as well as permission to input findings into their database of ongoing research of water quality across different areas. “These workshops are very much designed to give you a hands-on experience working with a lot of environmental education aspects,” says Rickrode. Dr. Marcum-Dietrich co-founded WETi in 2016 alongside recently retired biology professor Dr. John Wallace. The institute currently aims to hold at least three workshops per semester but is working toward garnering more involvement. It is also available to rent for programs and is used to host local school districts in order for K-12 students to participate in hands-on, outdoor experiences. For more information on current and future WETi events, please visit: https://www […] “Education and the Environment at the ‘Ville”

  • Jaylen Hodge Alumni Success Story   Written by: Kayla Mitchell Jaylen Hodge is a 2022 Millersville University Alumni originally from Carlisle, PA. Jaylen graduated […]

  • Megan Rapone Success Story Written By: Kayla Mitchell Megan Rapone is a current junior here at Millersville University originally from Bensalem, PA. Megan is a […]

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 2 weeks ago

    Glorious Sounds of the Season Returns for Its 18th Year Join Millersville University’s Tell School of Music for its annual holiday concert! The popular Glorious Sounds of the Season concert will return for its 18th year with three shows in the Clair Performance Hall of the Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center on campus. The three performances will take place on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m. The concert is a popular event, so get your tickets early. Glorious Sounds of the Season is an annual scholarship fundraising concert held by the Tell School of Music. Dr. Jeffrey Gemmell, assistant professor/coordinator of choral studies and founder of MU’s Glorious Sounds of the Season concert talks about the event, “The concert includes over 30 individual musical acts representing every facet of the Tell School of Music. Over 300 students and faculty perform, including singers, instrumentalists, large ensembles, small ensembles, commercial groups, solo acts, and everything in between.” “Selections are presented in a ‘surround sound’ format with performers positioned throughout the hall. The music is continuous, with rapid-fire seamless transitions between numbers, and all are controlled with lighting cues and feature continuous motion for momentum. With no intermission or applause between selections, the total length of the show is usually less than 90 minutes,” Gemmell explains. Gemmell predicts everyone will leave the show ready for the holidays. “A strong Millersville tradition, this concert always sells out as people return year after year to recharge their holiday spirit. The energy and pacing, delightful selections, and quality performances will inspire everyone and provide hope for a brighter future.” The preparation for this event begins in the summer when Gemmell begins researching music to include in the show. He then incorporates student-led groups throughout October, including a cappella ensembles like Chromatic and VilleHarmonics, as well as various instrumental groups. The final show is a mix of choral numbers and performances by the school’s wind bands, orchestra, jazz, and other instrumental ensembles. The show also includes solos by students, faculty, and rock bands from the school’s commercial music programs. Gemmell looks forward to the production and witnessing the audience’s joy throughout the concert. “This year’s GSS promises to be ‘glorious’ on every level, especially with a large variety of music from many different holiday traditions. The audience sing-alongs are always my favorite. It’s so much fun to hear the audience sing out with such gusto.” All profits from the show benefit the students directly through student scholarships in the Tell Sc […] “Glorious Sounds of the Season Returns for Its 18th Year”

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 2 weeks, 1 day ago

    MU Continues to Combat the Teacher Shortage Millersville University is committed to combating the current educator shortage in a variety of different ways, including expanding its online course options and publicly sharing the possible causes of and solutions to the shortage. This summer, the University hosted the Future Educator Academy to recruit high school juniors who are interested in education and provide a residential college experience. During July, 14 students from five school districts were able to experience what it’s like to be a college student, all while learning more about what their future as an educator could look like. “The ultimate goal is to recruit more students, especially students of color and first-generation students, into the field of education,” explains Dr. Miriam Witmer, associate professor of educational foundations and coordinator of the Color of Teaching program at the University. Witmer facilitated the academy alongside Dr. Jeffrey Wimer, professor of wellness and sports sciences. “Scholars have the opportunity to see what college life is like,” Witmer adds. “They also did a lot of self-reflection and learned about careers in education, so we hope they are motivated to pursue a college degree and to consider becoming an educator. Scholars from different schools were able to bond, so new friendships were made.” This was the first year that the academy was open to students outside of the School District of Lancaster. Other schools represented include York City, Penn Manor, Manheim Township and Ephrata. Students began the week with a low-ropes course team-building activity. This first day focused on good communication and problem-solving between the scholars. After that, the students were able to attend various classes offered by MU faculty, so they could experience a typical college classroom. Supplementary sessions on financial aid, student success, and building friendships were included during the week. A closing ceremony was held on the last day with families. Additionally, each student received a copy of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Sean Covey. “Reading this book and having group discussions about its content promoted a deeper sense of purpose and sense of community for the scholars,” says Witmer. Millersville University continues to address the educator shortage in other ways as well. In a recent survey sent out to 16 Central Pennsylvanian school districts, it was discovered that while many students have high respect for their teachers, they are uninterested in the profession due to their perception of low wages in the education field. “We need to educate high school students on the realities of the teaching profession through programs like the FEA and future teaching clubs in high schools,” says Dr. Lara Willox, dean of the College of Education and Human Services. “The starting salary may be less than in other careers, but there are many opportunities to increase salaries.” As for other strategies, Willox explains, “We have started a fully online early childhood program to allow working adults to earn teaching certification. We also have an emergency certification program that will enable teachers teaching on emergency licenses to get certified in less than 18 months.” Overall, the University is tackling educator shortage in many ways, but the academy in particular is an important tool for easing anxieties students may have about higher education and for recruiting more education students.  “It will be imperative for high school students to be exposed to teaching as a career choice,” Willox says. “Through the FEA, high school students are getting excited about becoming teachers.” “Future Educators Academy is one component of a comprehensive approach that Millersville University is undertaking to combat the pK-12 educator shortage in Pennsylvania,” explains Wimer. “Historically, these types of early college programs in education are called ‘Grow-Your-Own’ or ‘pipeline programs,’ because they increase student awareness and demystify the college experience. They also create enthusiasm for education as a career choice because of the possibility to return to the student’s home community for employment following college.” “Although the teacher shortage is far from over, and fixing it is slowly taking shape, the Future Educator Academy is supporting high school students by bolstering their career preparation and readiness for college,” says Wimer. Interested in becoming […] “MU Continues to Combat the Teacher Shortage”

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 2 weeks, 2 days ago

    Connection Between Fall Weather and Bird Migrations Does fall weather impact bird migrations? Millersville’s Weather Information Center Director, Kyle Elliott, provides an updated fall weather outlook, and Dr. Aaron Haines, professor of conservation biology, explains the connections between bird migration and fall weather patterns. “Overall, temperatures should be warmer than normal this fall and precipitation near average,” says Elliott. “Early-season cold shots will be few and far between, with the worst of winter delayed until later in January and February.” Haines believes there are some general trends that suggest fall weather impacts bird migration patterns. “Fall migration is related to the passage of cold fronts,” says Haines. “Migrations are heavier in northerly winds, falling temperatures, shortly after the passage of a cold front. The efficiency of downwind flight is enhanced by the facts that average winds blow roughly in the migratory directions of the birds and that the birds show behavioral selection in terms of the wind directions and synoptic weather situations in which they initiate migration.” Hains explains that synoptic weather situations are weather conditions that occur over a large area for the same time period. Thus, birds will opportunistically use cold fronts and winds coming down from the north to help in their southward migrations. Haines’ professional research interests involve identifying more effective approaches to implement on-the-ground conservation strategies to benefit species of conservation concern. Haines has studied birds for the past 20 years and believes his calling is to preserve wild places and wild things for the betterment of human society. “The fall season is so dynamic for birds because of migration activity,” says Haines. “During the fall, we still see our breeding birds leaving at the beginning of the fall on their way south. We can also see birds that breed north of us and are just passing through on their way south. These birds we only see during the migration season. Lastly, we also begin to see birds that breed north of us but will stay and spend the winter in Pennsylvania.” “This is why the fall season is such an exciting time for bird watchers,” says Haines. “The diversity and richness of different bird species in a place like Pennsylvania is maximized during the migration seasons. We see more bird migrations during the fall because there are more young birds migrating after the breeding season.” Recently, Haines was part of a group project that modeled migration pathways for birds using multiple datasets including human counts and observations, satellite tracking, and radar. A resource suggested by Haines is Birdcast which provides real-time predictions of bird migrations: when they migrate, where they migrate, and how far they will fly. Interested in biology? Click here. Interested in studying meteorology? C […] “Connection Between Fall Weather and Bird Migrations”

    • Informative and germane to our changing ecological / climatological times, well done Dr. Haines and congratulations on the Ecological Applications article cited in this text.

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 2 weeks, 3 days ago

    Toys for Tots Returns to MU Millersville University is bringing back its annual Toys for Tots donation drive, but this year, there’s a twist: faculty, staff and students who donate will have the opportunity to win a parking permit. Two students will have the opportunity to win a full-year MU parking permit, commuter or residential when they donate a toy.  And, faculty and staff will be eligible to win a reserved parking pass. Toys for Tots, a not-for-profit charity, collects and distributes toys to children in need throughout the country. This is the 11th consecutive year for the toy drive, organized on campus by University Police. Last year, the Lancaster Toys for Tots program distributed 75,220 toys, supporting 12,109 children. Each student who donates an unused, unwrapped toy will have their name entered in a drawing for a free parking permit. The police will be collecting toys up until Friday, Dec. 22, when the students’ names will be drawn at 3 p.m. These permits have been donated by an anonymous staff member and Student Services, Inc. Faculty and staff who donate a toy will also have the opportunity to win a reserved parking pass. One faculty/staff name will be drawn on the same day at 3:15 p.m. You can donate toys at the following locations: Dilworth Hall – Human Resources Lyle Hall – Financial Aid Office Boyer Building – University Police Palmer Building – Facilities Management Office Gordinier Hall – Dining Services Office Student Memorial Center – Student Affairs Office Brookwood Apartments – Main Office The organization recommends that those interested in donating consider what they think would be appropriate for their own child or a young relative, as they do not publish a list of donation ideas. This helps provide a more varied collection to distribute to children. Donations that involve any food products or realistic-looking weapons will not be distributed. Toys for Tots also accepts volunteers interested in helping to hand out the toys and volunteers who can pick up/drop off toys. For more information, visit the Lancaster Toys for Tots website here […] “Toys for Tots Returns to MU”

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 2 weeks, 3 days ago

    CHAMPIONS! Men's Soccer Wins PSAC For the fourth time in the last five seasons, the Millersville men’s soccer team won the PSAC Championship. The Marauders captured the title Sunday in Erie with a 1-0 win over PSAC East rival West Chester. A streak of three consecutive PSAC titles from 2018-21 was broken up by missing the postseason entirely in 2022, but the Marauders triumphantly reclaimed that championship–the fifth in program history–using a goal from Aaron Maynard in the 16th minute of play and an outstanding defensive effort in which Travis Holiday made four saves for a fifth-straight shutout. Fittingly, Steve Widdowson, the Marauders’ coach for all five of their conference championships, earned his 200th victory on Sunday as well. The two familiar foes were scoreless until a pair of senior defenders combined for the game-winner. Christian Vorchheimer drew a foul on a hard tackle 40 yards from the goal. Mike Kreider took the free kick, and PSAC East Defensive Athlete of the Year Aaron Maynard sprinted into the center of the box, out-leaped his defender and placed a header just under the crossbar. With the championship in the balance, the second half was played with even more intensity than the first. West Chester applied heavy pressure on Millersville’s end of the field with six shots, but the Marauder defense and Holiday remained dominant, preventing the Golden Rams from finding their way on to the board. Holiday made three saves in the match’s final 20 minutes. For the second time in his career, Bob Hennessey was awarded PSAC Tournament MVP after tallying four goals in the semifinal victory over Seton Hill. The win secures Millersville an NCAA Tournament berth, and the Marauders will find out their seeding on Monday during the NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Selection Show at 7 p.m. on POSTGAME REACTION FROM HEAD COACH STEVE WIDDOWSON • On the team’s play throughout the tournament: “Obviously the semifinal I thought we were absolutely dynamic, superb, and put on a great show and really represented what Millersville soccer is about. As expected the final was lot closer, more physical and more competitive, as these two teams who know each other very well. I think we played well and we showed enough to get our noses ahead and then defended like warriors to make sure we could see the game out. Overall, I think we deserved it just slightly. West Chester was great, and they pushed us all the way, and I could not be prouder of the two performances we put on this weekend.” • On moving on to the NCAA Tournament: “I mean, I think we would get a home game. We are hot right now and defending superbly, which always gives you a chance. We got the one we wanted and now we can celebrate, get a good week of training in, and then see where the journey takes us.” INSIDE THE BOX SCORE • Millersville out-shot the Golden Rams 15-8. • The Marauders had six corner kicks while West Chester had four. • With three shots a piece, Maynard and Hennessey led the Marauders offense. Kreider and Zander Leik recorded two each, and Connor Fiadino, Brendan Corpus, Jake Altimore, and Haven Thomas contributed with shots as well. NOTES •  Millersville has won their last nine matches entering the […] “CHAMPIONS! Men’s Soccer Wins PSAC”

  • The Set-Up As a journalist, the easiest way to do my job and recordings stems from having a well-put-together setup. I encourage everyone who […]

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