Jill Craven

  • MU joins Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Millersville University recently joined the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities – a distinction representing only 17% of all higher education institutions nationwide. “This association will contribute to the overall success and sense of belonging for our Hispanic students,” explains Dr. Gail Gasparich, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at Millersville University. To become an associate member, you must show that you have at least 10% Hispanic students. Using Fall 2023 data, Millersville’s undergraduate Hispanic enrollment was 10.71%. Gasparich says joining the association will help promote a sense of community for Millersville University students. “We will be in a community of members focused on Hispanic student success, which benefits all.” Part of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ mission is to help improve Hispanic students’ access to post-secondary educational opportunities and share resources, information and expertise. “As the demographics shift in the region, the Hispanic population in the Lancaster region is growing (especially K-12), and these students will be Millersville University students in the near future,” says Gasparich. “We want to belong to an institution that provides support and allows us to better learn about best practices to support the success of these students.” Gasparich also notes that the association is the only organization that, in their words, “champions Hispanic student success in higher education.” “They provide professional and institution development, conferences, government relations (lobbying on behalf of HACU institutions), student internships through their National Internship Program and student scholarships,” she explains. One of these student resources includes STEM Summits, which regionally brings STEM majors and employers together to help students prepare for their future careers and connect them to internships. The association also organizes several career readiness programs. The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities also provides professional opportunities for faculty and staff in higher education, including La Academia de Liderazgo (Leadership Academy), a program designed to help culturally diverse educators prepare for executive and senior-level positions. Being a member opens up some external funding opportunities that Millersville University plans to pursue to enhance best practices on campus. For more info […] “MU joins Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities”

    • Thank you for your unwavering commitment to making a difference in the lives of others, Janet! Your kindness and generosity are truly making the world a better place, one vacation at a time!

    • Dr. Bertoni has an unwavering commitment to individuals with disabilities and their families.

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 4 months ago

    What is Equity and Justice in Education? Interested in learning about equity and justice in education? The community will hear from three local experts and participate in engaging activities to learn about important issues facing the Lancaster community. The Engage for Change Community Forum is a part of the public series of events focused on equity and justice in education. The Engage for Change event series will take place on March 14 from 4 – 6 p.m. in the Student Memorial Center’s Reighard Multipurpose Room. The event is organized by Dr. Kerrie Farkas, professor of writing studies, and Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol, undergraduate research & instruction librarian. The forum aims to answer the question, ‘What is equity and justice in education?’ The Community Forum is free and welcomes MU and community members to discuss equity and justice issues affecting the local educational institutions. “Each featured presentation will be followed by a community engagement activity, which engages participants to grapple and dig deeper together into educational issues,” says Pashkova-Balkenhol. The event features notable guests such as Stacie Blake, CEO of the YWCA Lancaster; Keith Miles, superintendent of the School District of Lancaster; and Ty Bair, co-founder of Advantage Lancaster, Reynolds Middle School social studies teacher. “Students will have unique opportunities to share their lived educational experiences and listen to understand others,” says Pashkova-Balkenhol. “By attending the Forum, students will also benefit from identifying root causes of educational issues and creating collaborative writing partnerships to advocate for change to create equitable learning spaces in schools.” This event was started to generate robust, thought- and action-provoking representation of issues facing PA and Lancaster County education. “In the upcoming Engage for Change Journal issue, we are organizing a series of public events, including the Community Forum and Writing Workshops, ” says Pashkova-Balkenhol. “The Engage for Change Journal, which we co-edit, is a newly emerging community-based journal that aims to contribute to public knowledge and public engagement by harnessing the collaborative potential and expert knowledge of faculty, students and residents on social, political and economic issues affecting the Lancaster County region.” The Engage for Change journal writing workshops will focus on how to address equity and justice in education, held on Tuesdays, March 19, March 26 and April 2. The writing workshops will take place from 4 – 5:30 p.m. in McNairy Library, Room 104. “Motivated to generate discussions around current educational issues that could later be reflected in the upcoming journal issue, Dr. Farkas and I reached out to local experts to envision and plan the public series events,” says Pashkova-Balkenhol. “Our goals were to create an engaging environment that brings together MU and community members from diverse backgrounds to discuss the most pressing issues in equity and justice in education.” Pashkova-Balkenhol and Farkas initiated the Forum and partnered with the Carter Woodson Lecture coordinator, Dr. Caleb Corkery, to offer the series of public events focused on equity and justice in education to the MU and community audiences. “The Carter Woodson Lecture on Feb. 27 addressed the question ‘Why is equity in schools so difficult to address?’ says Pashkova-Balkenhol.” Pashkova-Balkenhol and Farkas created a format for the Forum that provokes thoughts and insights about educational issues through the featured presenters, and then allows attendees to discuss the issues and create partnerships around the community tables. The Journal is currently seeking collaborative submissions from faculty, students, and community members. For more information regarding journal submissions, click here. For those interested in registering for the Engage for Change Events, click here.     […] “What is Equity and Justice in Education?”

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 4 months ago

    Conference Tackles “Matters of Marginalization” The 11th Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference, Millersville University’s annual event that centers on examining social, economic and environmental injustices, will take place Friday, March 15. This year, the conference will focus on marginalization and will host a series of locally-based presenters. Each year, the annual conference provides a platform for experts to share their knowledge and training for agents of social change. It brings together faculty, students, staff and community practitioners across disciplines to discuss ways to advance global social justice and human rights. This year’s conference will focus on how to use a social justice advocacy approach to enhance global connectedness, as we navigate an evolving world and analyze the consequences of marginalizing certain populations. The keynote speaker, Vanessa Philbert, is the CEO of Community Action Partnership of Lancaster City. CAP is Lancaster County’s largest anti-poverty organization, committed to creating person-centered initiatives to support their continuing anti-poverty programs. Other notable speakers include Lancaster County Representative Ismail Smith Wade-El, Dr. Lara Willox, dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Millersville University, Dr. Carrie Snyder, director of disability resources and services at Temple University and more. While each speaker will bring their own unique perspectives based on their varied professional experiences, they hope to challenge attendees to consider the actions they can take to inspire and lead efforts of local and global positive change. The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. in Stayer Hall. University faculty, staff and students are all welcome and encouraged to attend, along with other community members. General admission is $40, while non-Millersville student admission is $10. Millersville University students can register at no cost. If interested, click here to register. For questions about the event, email karen […] “Conference Tackles “Matters of Marginalization””

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 4 months ago

    New Penn State Health Clinic Near MU A newly relocated Penn State Health Medical Group practice near the campus of Millersville University is giving patients more convenient access to primary care in a brand-new facility. Penn State Health partnered with Student Lodging, Inc. to build a new outpatient clinic near Millersville University to serve the Millersville community and the surrounding region. On March 12, leaders from Penn State Health, Student Lodging, Inc., Millersville University and Highmark Health celebrated the opening of Penn State Health Medical Group – Millersville with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Student Lodging, Inc. is thrilled to partner with the Penn State Health Medical Group to build this state-of-the-art facility for the benefit of the Millersville Community. Through projects like this, Student Lodging, Inc. continues its long history of enhancing the Millersville University experience and strengthening our community,” said Geoffrey Beers, CEO, Student Lodging, Inc. Penn State Health Medical Group – Millersville, located next to the campus of Millersville University, provides primary care, sports medicine and on-site lab services. The new 11,000-square-foot building features 19 exam rooms, two specialty treatment rooms, ample parking and a student health suite. It is staffed with nearly two dozen providers and support staff relocated from the former Penn State Health Medical Group – Manor. Future plans include offering Millersville University students, faculty and staff convenient walk-in services through a separate, dedicated entrance. “The health of our students, faculty and staff is of utmost importance,” says Dr. Daniel A. Wubah, President of Millersville University. “Having a facility within walking distance that is accessible to the entire campus community will benefit both our students and employees.” This marks another step in the Penn State Health and Highmark long-term goal of ensuring that everyone in the communities it serves is within 10 minutes of a Penn State Health primary care provider, 20 minutes of its specialty care services and 30 minutes of a Penn State Health acute care hospital. Penn State Health Lancaster Medical Center opened in 2022 and complements the health system’s other efforts to provide care for residents of Lancaster County close to where they live. “We’re excited to open our first outpatient clinic this close to a college campus,” said Ruth Gundermann, senior director for ambulatory services at Penn State Health. “Making it easier for students to access healthcare is part of the promise we made together with Highmark Health to bring our care closer to where our patients work, live and learn.” In December 2017, Highmark and Penn State Health announced a joint investment of $1 billion in the health and well-being of central Pennsylvanians to keep healt […] “New Penn State Health Clinic Near MU”

  • Marauder Fund Continues to See Success The Marauder Fund is continuing to see success as the spring semester kicks off and new student officers take on their roles. Millersville’s student-run investment portfolio allows students to gain hands-on experience working with the stock market. The fund began with an initial $190,000 investment in the fall of 2017 and is currently sitting at $314,232. This is an increase of approximately 65% overall, and 1.16% since last year, despite the uncertainty of the current economic climate. During the fall 2023 semester, the fund held five Buy/Sell pitches, four of which were successful. Plans for the spring are being discussed and finalized. Based on the current state of the stock market and the expectation that the Federal Reserve has finished raising interest rates, the Marauder Fund is expecting positive growth in 2024. Invested funds are a small portion of Millersville’s endowments and increases from the fund are used toward scholarships. The fund is overseen by Dr. Ron Baker, associate professor of economics. Alongside hands-on experience, being involved with the Marauder Fund allows students unique opportunities to learn from financial professionals. “We will continue our professional seminar series where we invite local financial professionals to speak to the students about their career path,” says Baker. Some of these individuals are alumni of Millersville and the Marauder Fund. The organization is comprised of three groups of students: Junior Analysts, Senior Analysts, and Executive Committee Officers. Analysts are involved with research and creation of pitches and are divided into five sectors of economic interest including; technology, industrials, finance and real estate, consumer and healthcare, with a Vice President overlooking each. Senior student Leah Miksa is taking on the position of CEO for the spring 2024 semester. The Marauder Fund accepts new members at the beginning of every semester and interested students can find more information here. Miksa joined the Marauder Fund during her sophomore year and has worked her way through student positions as part of the industrial sector. After one semester as a Junior Analyst, Miksa was promoted to Senior Analyst before running for a Vice President position, which she held for three semesters before earning the CEO position. “I have come to learn that a good leader is not necessarily the one who knows the most, but someone who knows how to bring everyone’s individual skills together,” says Miksa. In the position of CEO, Miksa can view the fund from a new angle. “Instead of being concerned primarily with my sectors’ performance, the CEO gets to view the portfolio holistically and compare individual sectors’ trajectory for the semester,” says Miksa. This opportunity allows for a deeper level of understanding of the fund and investing. “I expect to learn a lot about both the market as a whole and the other sectors in the fund that I was not previously a part of,” says Miksa. Miksa feels as though she has gained more than just investment experience being a part of the organization. “Being successful in the association requires skills such as teamwork, data analytics, presenting and leadership, all of which are areas that employers look for in prospective emp […] “Marauder Fund Continues to See Success”

  • University Theatre Season Starts with “The Complete Works of Shakespeare” Millersville University theater-goers will get a crash course in William Shakespeare this spring. University Theatre is producing “The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) (revised) (again),” a play which condenses all of The Bard’s 37 plays in 97 minutes. Performances run Thursday, Feb. 22-24, and Feb. 29-March 2. The performances will take place at Rafters Theatre in Dutcher Hall from 7 – 9 p.m. This year’s production will have a cast of only six actors. Jonathan Strayer, director of dramatics and assistant professor, says while the cast of actors is only six, there are typically 40-50 people working on productions, without whom there would be no production. Strayer says this production came together with help from the plethora of students stemming from all different backgrounds and majors, such as theatre and entertainment technology majors, music, education, biotech, English and many more. “The students are the highlight of this production. The performance ensemble has over 100 hours of rehearsal and the production team has put in countless hours of technical work on this production.  With so many moving parts, teams and individuals our students are the highlight of this project,” says Strayer.   Faculty and staff have also worked on the production, including Strayer, production manager Harry Schueren and assistant professor Adam Boyer. Strayer’s inspiration for this year’s production stemmed from the fact that this is the “Year of Shakespeare” at MU Theater. “2023 marked the 400th anniversary of the First Folio, a remarkable publication which includes the plays generally thought to be written by William Shakespeare.  According to the Folger Library, ‘out of the 36 plays included in the First Folio, 18 had never been published before’ including ‘The Comedy of Errors,’ ‘Cymbeline,’ ‘Julius Caesar,’ ‘Macbeth,’ ‘The Taming of the Shrew,’ ‘The Tempest,’ and ‘Twelfth Night.’” He continues, “Without the First Folio these plays might have been lost forever. ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (revised) (again)’ is an homage to these immortalized plays that Shakespeare disciples love and anti-Shakespeare activists love to hate.  ‘Complete Works’ is a love letter written for anyone who loves or hates Shakespeare – showcasing both the beauty and the beast of the Bard’s oeuvre in a hilarious, over-the-top performance.” Although, nothing comes without a challenge. “The most challenging part of every production is pulling all of the various elements together into a cohesive production.  Bringing the actors, props, costumes, lights, sounds and set together requires a great amount of collaboration on the part of each person involved,” says Strayer.    “The rehearsals and design process for this production started in December. As I mentioned before, each production department has put in countless hours or intricate work to bring their specific elements to the stage so we can pull them all together into one cohesive production,” he continues.   Strayer also notes, “Live theatre is at its core a unique shared human experience.  Because this play is an over-the-top comedy, my hope is that audiences experience a joyous, shared experience – perhaps over literary material like Shakespeare that is often perceived as stuffy and antiquated.”   Tickets are now available for “The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) (revis […] “University Theatre Season Starts with “The Complete Works of Shakespeare””

  • State of the Art Consoles from Clair Global Clair Global, a leading international provider of live audio equipment, recently delivered three state-of-the-art consoles to Millersville University. These high-end consoles will be on loan for a month, further strengthening the deep partnership between Millersville and Clair Global. Clair Global and Millersville University have a partnership that allows their consoles to be on loan for very short periods to further student learning. The arrival of these consoles brings incredible opportunities for Millersville University students. The Tell School of Music school is dedicated to providing its students with cutting-edge resources, and this opportunity is a testament to that commitment. “It signifies a significant milestone for the Music Industry program and its concentration in Live Audio, and it showcases our faculty’s commitment to cultivating a dynamic and innovative learning environment that offers exceptional professional and career preparation for our students,” says Dr. Ieva Zake, the dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. These consoles on loan from Clair Global, Digico SD12, Digico Q225 and Digico SD5Q are renowned for their exceptional quality, versatility and advanced features. Millersville University helps ensure its graduates are a cut above others when entering the competitive and growing audio production and engineering field by offering students the chance to work with this industry-grade equipment. “These consoles are some of the top consoles in the live audio field and are some of the most used consoles that Clair Global uses in their national and international touring shows,” says Dr.  Jennifer Jester, assistant professor of music business technology, instructor of tuba/euphonium and director of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Center. “Access to consoles is powerful as these are rare, and this provides a significant opportunity for our students to be exposed to this equipment for career preparation as part of their degree coursework.” Jester, the Tell School of Music’s Live Audio program coordinator responsible for organizing this equipment loan from Clair, organized an overview session led by Millersville alumnus Sam Kelly. The session was an opportunity for live audio students to gain insights into the consoles’ functionalities and expand their knowledge in the field. Additionally, a workshop for orientation to the boards was held, specifically tailored for students who have completed the Live Audio 2 course. “Students will use these in conjunction with Live Audio classes, and as part of special projects and independent study during the month,” says Jester. This collaborative effort with Clair Global is a monumental step forward for Millersville University’s Tell School of Music. “It firmly establishes our music industry program as a pioneer in live audio education,” says Dr. Houlahan, the Tell Sc […] “State of the Art Consoles from Clair Global”

  • There’s a Difference Between Equity and Equality in Education Recent headlines have extensively covered the pressing issue of inequity in education and the ongoing discourse on potential solutions. Millersville University is set to host a pivotal discussion on this very topic. Renowned University of Illinois at Chicago professor Dr. David Stovall will serve as the keynote speaker at the 56th Annual Carter G. Woodson Lecture. The event is scheduled for Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Student Memorial Center Multipurpose Room. This year’s lecture is a collaborative effort with the Engage for Change Journal, contributing to a broader series addressing equity and justice in Education. The lecture is open to the public and there is no need for registration, though early attendance is advised due to limited seating. Stovall and respondents Keith Miles, superintendent of the School District of Lancaster and Kareena Rios, school board member for the School District of Lancaster, will discuss the question: “Why is inequity in our schools so hard to address?” The Carter G. Woodson lecture is the first part of a three-part series that includes a forum (March 14) on “What is equity and justice in education?” and an Engage for Change Journal writing workshop (March 19) on “How to address equity and justice in education in the publication.” Currently, Stovall is a professor in the departments of Black Studies and criminology, law & justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his bachelor’s degree in history, his master’s degree in educational policy studies and his Ph.D. in educational policy studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Stovall’s contributions led him to play a pivotal role as a member of the design team for the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School for Social Justice. Expanding his commitment to community engagement, students and educators, his impact is evident in his participation in the Peoples Education Movement. This movement brings together classroom teachers, community members, students and university professors in Chicago, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area to collaborate on community projects and develop relevant curricula. Alongside his role as a professor at UIC, Stovall dedicated his time as a volunteer social studies teacher at the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School for Social Justice from 2005 to 2018. The Carter G. Woodson Lecture series has been a part of Millersville University since the early 1990s and continues to bring African American activists to the University. It is named after Carter G. Woodson, an acclaimed writer and African American activist. For more information, contact Dr. Caleb Corke […] “There’s a Difference Between Equity and Equality in Education”

  • MU's Crisis Communications PlanMillersville University’s Crisis Communications Plan provides procedures for notifying appropriate personnel in the event of a crisis, emergency, or disaster situation and outlines the procedures to determine messages for internal and external audiences. The overarching elements in Millersville’s crisis plan will be communicating within the framework of our EPPIIC values. The number one message is that the safety of the campus community is paramount. The underlying principle in any crisis, including emergencies and disasters, is to responsibly communicate relevant information to key audiences. The message should avoid over-reassuring the recipient about the nature or impact of the situation while at the same time, giving the recipient an accurate description of the hazard and guidance on how to protect themselves. Effective communication strategies, both internal and external, are key to successful crisis management. The University’s primary message is always that our first concern is for the safety of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, partners, and participants in our programs. Communication During a Crisis At the onset of a crisis, emergency or disaster situation, appropriate initial contacts will be made. Only designated spokespeople for each situation will communicate with the media, under the guidance of University Communications. See Appendix A for identifying a crisis. Telling our story involves framing. A frame can be a statement of values or beliefs, a narrative story or even a metaphor. At Millersville University our EPPIIC value of compassion will guide us in how we demonstrate that we care about our students, faculty, staff and the public. In addition, our values of integrity and inclusion will come through in our messaging during a crisis. Framing using the EPPIIC values will maintain and strengthen our reputation and relationships with alumni, friends, partners and the communities we serve. In the event of a campus emergency or disaster, this plan will be used as part of the overall Incident Command System (ICS) of the MU Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). The MU ICS for an emergency or a disaster is: Incident Commander (Emergency Coordinator) – University Police Chief or designee Safety Officer – Director of Environmental Health and Safety or designee Public Information Officer – Director of Communications or designee Liaison Officer – University Police Officer or designee Step 1: Implement Millersville Call Tree See Appendix B:  Millersville Call Tree, for names and numbers. In the event of a student death, please see appendix C for guidelines pertaining to that situation. The Incident Commander should immediately contact their Vice President to provide details of the That Vice President in turn, needs to immediately contact the President. If the President doesn’t answer, a message should be left and if an acting President has been appointed, then the acting President should be called. The President (or his designee) will decide how best to inform the Chancellor and COT. The Incident Commander and/or Vice President aware of the situation should then contact the director of University Communications. In certain situations, other personnel may be contacted (to be determined by the President, Vice President and Incident Commander). Step 2: Determine key messages/talking points, deadlines Media training is available through University Communications & Marketing for all spokespeople. The number one priority in a Crisis is showing compassion and empathy for those impacted. The message must be timely, and the messenger must be empathetic foremost in the delivery. To frame the response, those involved, see Appendix A:  Millersville Call Tree, need to answer these questions: What would reasonable people expect a responsible organization to do in this situation? What was the nature of the event, what happened? Who was involved and affected? When did it happen? Where did it happen? How did it happen? If it is known, why it happened – this may not be able to be answered initially. Which safety/government agencies are involved (if any)? What type of follow-up is necessary? Do people need to evacuate campus? If we evacuate campus, which (if any) employees need to stay? Will there be a reunification area set up? Where? Should campus be closed? Classes cancelled? What is being done to manage the crisis? Is the D.A’s office involved? If so, do we need to provide messaging for Crime Watch? If the D.A.’s office is involved have they okayed us giving the all clear? Messages normally include: A statement to distribute to media or a prepared statement to have on hand in case of a media Statements for key publics (e.g., students, parents, supporters, neighbors, legislators and internal audiences). Messages to be shared on social networks (e.g., Facebook, Twitter). Messages to be sent through MU Alert. Step 3: Implement communications response, always keeping in mind Millersville’s EPPIIC values. Specific roles include lead communicator, spokesperson and POI, although one person may fulfill more than one role. Lead communicator: Coordinates all aspects of communication about the crisis for internal and external audiences, with guidance from the President and Incident Commander. Primary spokesperson: Assists in crafting and implementing external/internal messages; oversees the implementation of the media strategy; maintains an open dialogue with the media; and coordinates communications to additional audiences. Others:  In addition, web content specialists, photographers, videographers and others may need to assist with getting the message out to internal and external audiences. In an emergency or disaster, the Director of Communications will also serve as Public Information Officer (PIO) as defined by the Incident Command System (ICS) in the MU EOP. Communications responses will be updated on a timely basis, as needed. Step 4: Methods of Communication Overseen by Director of Communications, with assistance from Social Media Editor and designated IT representative as needed. All communication coming from the University needs to be consistent. MU Alert Messaging System – Provides rapid notification via text and email messages to alert students, faculty and staff, as well as others signed up, of an emergency situation that requires them to take immediate action to preserve their safety and security. Participants must sign up to receive messages at https://mualert.millersville.edu/index.php?CCheck=1. ‘Ville Bulletin, ‘Ville Notice or ‘Ville Daily – A mass email can be sent to all faculty/staff and students through their Millersville email account. These messages may also be forwarded to impacted alumni, or other specific groups. Web Page Message IT and University Communications can place emergency messages on the home page (www.millersville.edu) during emergencies. Social Media Millersville University’s social media tools can be useful in disseminating important information to large numbers of individuals, almost instantaneously, and tracking what others are saying about a crisis. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the main tools that can be used. Not all crises will warrant a social media presence. Millersville University’s social media channels are an important tool for shaping the University’s brand and care must be taken to determine whether an announcement is warranted. Any posting during a crisis, disaster or emergency must be approved by the Director of Communications or their designee. Once information about a crisis is distributed, it must be updated in a timely and consistent fashion throughout the remainder of the event, to include additional updates as to what members of the community impacted should be doing. Social media should also be closely monitored for indications that messaging is having the desired impact. Flexibility in messaging is key if feedback is trending negatively. Depending on the incident, University Communications may provide speaking points to the Information Desk at SMC, 717-871-4636 and to the non-emergency line for University police, 717-871-4357. Both may be alerted to transfer calls on a certain topic to communications or another appropriate office. When necessary, an email from the president will be sent. If appropriate, the President, the Chief Diversity Officer, or another VP may hold a listening session on the crisis during the following com […] “MU’s Crisis Communications Plan”

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 5 months ago

    Black Heritage Month Remains Essential Written for LNP Published Feb. 11, 2024 As we celebrate Black Heritage Month in 2024, there are groups of people who are trying to sugarcoat and erase African American history to promote patriotic education. Black Heritage Month — also known as Black History Month — is an opportunity for us not only to remember and reflect but also to educate our youth. If we allow groups to ban or erase our history, this will twist the truths of America. I struggle with that. When you promote your values over truth, it diminishes the struggles of Black America and all of America. Those struggles are what this country was built upon. America needs to be held accountable for what happened in the past and understand how a generational gap was created on the sweat and toil of stolen labor to build a nation. New technology magnifies the reality that racism still exists. Attempts to limit the teachings of African Americans show how insecure Americans are about exposing the truths of the present and past. Every day, I think about the privileges I have that people before me didn’t. I think of Madam C.J. Walker, an African American who was born as Sarah Breedlove to her formerly enslaved parents. In 1908, she opened a factory and hair school in Pittsburgh. Through the vast growth and success of her beauty empire, she became America’s first recognized self-made female millionaire. She did all of that without a chemistry degree or formal education. I think of Garrett Morgan, an African American inventor who only attended school through sixth grade. As Scientific American magazine wrote, Morgan saved “countless lives” by inventing the gas mask (which he called a “safety hood”) in the 1910s and the three-way traffic signal in 1923. Just imagine what Walker and Morgan could have done with a formal education. Black Heritage Month helps us to remember and reflect on the important events in our history and our impact on this country. It celebrates our heritage, our fight, our adversities. It’s essential that the truths are told about our history, regardless of the insecurities of others. If we don’t expose the truths of African American history, we’re doing a disservice to Latin history and to the history of the LGBTQ+ community, too. This is about our lived experiences, the role we had in building this country and the hopes and dreams that our ancestors had. Black Heritage Month is how we lift each other up. It’s important that our youth understand how we got here through centuries of free labor. If you strip a group of people of their identity, their culture, their languages, it makes it easier to forget. It’s important to know where you came from. The political dynamics unfolding around education in Florida shine a light on how groups of people are trying to stop our youth from learning about our history. That’s the reason it’s so important to celebrate Black Heritage Month. We can’t worry about other people’s insecurities. I can’t help that people feel badly about what their ancestors did. We need to know what happened so we can build a better future. Pennsylvania can do better. A couple of years ago, while driving, I pulled up next to a police officer who was turning left, and I was going straight. Instead of turning, he moved his vehicle behind mine and pulled me over. He wanted to see who was driving the nice rental car. He seemed to be upset that I was driving a pricey rental, even though I had all the paperwork. There are areas that African Americans know aren’t safe places to stop (like some areas of York County where racist incidents have occurred). It’s a shame we still have to think about these things. State Sen. Art Haywood, a Philadelphia Democrat, recently released a report on the experiences of Black and Hispanic students in Pennsylvania state system universities. The report underlined just how pervasive racist hate speech and harassment continue to be in 2024. I’ve talked to Black and Hispanic students who don’t feel safe on a college campus because of the color of their skin. If something goes missing, or the smell of marijuana is detected in the air, suspicion immediately falls on Black and Hispanic students. This impacts these students mentally. They’re fighting to get a college education and get ahead, and they have to fight even more just because of the color of their skin. While movies and TV shows have done a better job of depicting successful African American families, the key is getting a good education. We need to invest in our schools at the elementary, secondary and postsecondary level. No one is pushing African American kids to go to a four-year college. We need to work with youth at the middle school level to help them see college and education as a possibility. When I was growing up, the only people I saw outside my home who looked like me were cafeteria workers or the employee working the counter at the neighborhood store. We must offer our youth other aspirations: in medicine, the military, business, technology and so on. We need to give them the opportunity to dream and to achieve those dreams. We can do that through education. Black Heritage Month should be about educating our youth about the past to help build the future. We need to show our Black and Hispanic youth that they are crucial pieces of the puzzle of America. At Millersville University, I’m doing that by bringing middle school and high school students to campus for events that will expose them to possibilities for their future. One of our students, Jordan Branch, held a fair on campus to introduce Black and Hispanic kids to engineering. If we expose kids at a younger age to careers that they might see themselves in, it will help grow our community. When you expose them to all the areas that are possible, you give them the opportunity for a brighter future — a future that will help […] “Black Heritage Month Remains Essential”

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 5 months ago

    Secretary Mumin Visits Millersville On Feb. 9, 2024, Pennsylvania Department of Education Secretary Dr. Khalid N. Mumin and Deputy Secretary Dr. Kate Shaw joined Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Chancellor Dan Greenstein and Millersville University President Dr. Daniel A. Wubah at Millersville University. The visit highlighted Governor Shapiro’s proposed investments in higher education and how Pennsylvania’s public postsecondary system is preparing students to be workforce-ready upon graduation. Governor Shapiro’s blueprint for higher education says it will help Pennsylvania’s public universities build on areas of strength and address the challenges caused by a 30-year disinvestment in higher education by the Commonwealth, such as competition between universities that results in higher costs and lower enrollment. Governor Shapiro says his blueprint will ensure better coordination across PASSHE universities and community colleges to expand access to affordable, workforce-ready credentials and degrees across Pennsylvania – including in areas that currently lack access. “Our Commonwealth’s institutions of higher education, like Millersville University, do an incredible job preparing students for the future and connecting them with future opportunities,” said Secretary Khalid N. Mumin. “Governor Josh Shapiro’s new blueprint for higher education will end the era of disinvestment in our higher education sector, make postsecondary education more accessible and affordable to more Pennsylvanians, and allow these schools to continue to do what they do best—educate learners.” During a tour of the Weather Information Center , recycling plastics area, and robotics lab, state officials learned how Millersville students are leaving the university with an array of job opportunities in high-paying, high-demand careers. Millersville Meteorology is a nationally recognized flagship program of the university, with an innovative curriculum in space weather, air quality, water resources, data analytics, and emergency response and disaster preparedness. In 2020, Millersville became the seventh university in Pennsylvania to be designated as a StormReady University. “We are grateful for Secretary Mumin’s visit to Millersville University and the opportunity to showcase our premier programs in meteorology, life science, and applied engineering that focus on building career-ready skills,” said Dr. Daniel A. Wubah, president of Millersville University. “We have industry partnerships in our region’s growth sectors where students receive hands-on learning experiences and internships and have direct avenues to careers.” “Gov. Shapiro’s proposed funding increase for a new public higher education system that includes PASSHE universities and Pennsylvania’s community colleges as co-equals, presents a great opportunity for the state,” said Chancellor Dan Greenstein. “Millersville works closely with HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, as all PASSHE universities do with community colleges in their region, to expand access to a valuable education. The governor’s proposal is an opportunity to build on the strengths of our PASSHE universities and the state’s community college, and to do more together.” For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, please visit the website or f […] “Secretary Mumin Visits Millersville”

  • Pie Day, President's Day and other Holidays Holidays, in their diverse forms, offer unique opportunities for reflection. From federal and religious observances to those that bring simple joy, each has its own significance. Consider moments like National Pie Day (Jan. 23) or National Sticky-Bun Day (Feb. 21), which may seem lighthearted, yet they provide occasions for people to share in common pleasures. “In addition to the 11 annual federal holidays, Inauguration Day is a 12th holiday designated by Congress for observance every four years on January 20 following a U.S. presidential election,” says Dr. Robyn Lily Davis, associate professor and chairperson for the History Department at Millersville University. President’s Day is a federal holiday but is officially designated as Washington’s Birthday since, the Congress, according to Davis, has never gotten around to changing the name formally. Washington’s birthday is the 5th federal holiday created in 1879. Originally established to honor George Washington’s birthday on Feb. 22, the holiday is now viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents, both past and present. Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras, while widely celebrated, are not official public holidays and do not include paid time off from work. Both events trace their origins to the Christian calendar. Valentine’s Day commemorates the martyrdom of St. Valentine, a third-century Roman figure who ministered to persecuted Christians and ultimately met his demise for his actions. Over time, his legacy became intertwined with the concept of courtly love, leading to the contemporary commercial celebration of love and romance observed globally. Mardi Gras, translated from French as “Fat Tuesday,” is an annual celebration held on the day before Ash Wednesday. This tradition stems from the practice of indulging in foods that would be restricted during the subsequent Lenten season, a period of fasting and reflection leading up to Easter Sunday. The festive atmosphere of Mardi Gras is characterized by vibrant parades, lively music and a spirit of revelry, offering a last opportunity for indulgence before the observance of Lent begins. A little-known fact about holidays: Recently freed Black men and women held a 10,000-person parade in Charleston, SC, on May 1, 1865, to honor several hundred dead Union soldiers. The freedmen reburied these soldiers in proper graves (they had been placed in a mass grave) and decorated the burial ground with flowers. According to Davis, many historians like to think of this as the first Memorial […] “Pie Day, President’s Day and other Holidays”

  • Millersville Honored with Top Awards Millersville University received five top-ranked awards for 2024 from the higher education resource guide, Intelligent.com. In their recent 2024 online report, Intelligent.com, a resource for program rankings and higher education planning, took a comprehensive analysis of over 3,000 colleges and universities nationwide. Each program was evaluated based on academic quality, graduation rate, cost and return on investment and student resources. Millersville was featured in rankings on Intelligent.com for: Best Online Doctorate in Social Work Degree Programs of 2024 | #12 Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania | #24 For the following rankings, Millersville is the only PASSHE school to receive the honor: Best Online Master’s in Emergency Management Degree Programs of 2024 | #14 Best Online Social Work Degree Programs of 2024 | Ranked #18 Best Online Master’s in Gifted and Talented Education Degree Programs of 2024 | #20 For explanations on ROI and other quantitative measures, click here. To see more awards and recognition Millersville has received, check out this lis […] “Millersville Honored with Top Awards”

  • Millersville University Serves a Slice of Policy Here’s some food for thought: The Center for Civic Responsibility and Leadership welcomes Pennsylvania State Senator, Scott Martin, for the Pizza, Policy and Pizza event. The event will take place on Monday, Feb.12 in the SMC atrium from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Participants will discuss current events in Pennsylvania and learn more about the legislative process. Pizza and soft drinks will be provided, and attendees are encouraged to RSVP through Get Involved. “Senator Martin was chosen to speak at this year’s event because he represents the Millersville area in the state senate, so he is a logical choice,” says Dr. Laura Granruth, faculty coordinator of the Center for Civic Responsibility and Leadership and an associate professor in the School of Social Work. “Martin is an ’02 alum of Millersville and stays in close contact with the University.” As a lifelong Lancaster County resident, Martin has deep roots in the community.  He was elected to his first term representing the 13th Senatorial District in November 2016 and re-elected in 2020. Martin serves as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which plays a crucial role in negotiating and developing the state budget and reviews all legislation for its fiscal impact. Martin previously served as chair of the Senate Education Committee and Senate Local Government Committee. Graduating from Millersville with a degree in sociology/criminal justice, Martin was also a three-time 1st Team Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference defensive tackle and two-time All-American. Martin was named one of the 150 greatest players/contributors in the history of the PSAC, one of 10 Millersville Marauders to earn that honor. Martin has been inducted into the Lancaster Catholic Athletic Hall of Honor, the Millersville University Athletic Hall of Fame, the Lancaster-Lebanon League Wrestling Hall of Fame, the District III Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Lancaster County Sports Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, Susquehanna Valley Chapter. “The University often invites legislators to campus, but the Center for Civic Responsibility and Leadership wanted to make this a standing event after the pandemic, so students have a chance to meet local legislators in an informal environment,” says Madison Wenig, graduate assistant at the Center for Civic Responsibility and Leadership. State Representative for House District 49, Ismail “Izzy” Smith-Wade-El spoke at last year’s Pizza, Policy and Pizza event. Smith-Wade-El was the President of Lancaster City Council on which he had served since 2017. During his four years on Council, he helped secure the largest investments in affordable housing and lead removal for the City of Lancaster in its history. Smith-Wade-El is the son of longtime faculty member Dr. Rita Smith Wade-El, so he also has close ties to the University. “Smith-Wade-El spoke about why he is called to public service through elected service, why it’s important for students to be civically engaged through, at a minimum, voting and in getting involved in community service,” says Wenig. “He also spoke about some of his priorities, such as addressing the affordable housing crisis.” The next election in Pennsylvania is on Nov.7, and the last day to register to vote in this election is Oct.23. If you are registering where you live while attending college in PA, you can use either an on-campus or off-campus address. Students can also register and vote where they live while attending college in PA or at their prior home address, provided a family member or guardian still resides there. It’s important to note that individuals can only be registered in one place at a time. Whatever option you choose, individuals must register to vote at least 15 days before the election. Prior to the election, students will have a chance to meet with Senator Ryan Aument, who will be coming to campus in April. Aument has sponsored and helped pass proposals, like his bill to establish a commission to redesign the state’s education system to better prepare students for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Before representing Senate District 36, Aument served as a U.S. Army captain in Operation Iraqi Freedom. For more information regarding voter registration at Millersville University, click here.     […] “Millersville University Serves a Slice of Policy”

  • MU Celebrates Black Heritage Month Millersville University recognizes February as Black History Month, also known as Black Heritage Month and has a variety of events scheduled to both inform the community and celebrate the month. MU’s Dr. Rita Smith-Wade-El Intercultural Center for Student Engagement has various events planned throughout the month that are free and open to all students, faculty and staff. They include: Monday, Feb. 5 – Black Heritage Month Exhibit 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – SMC Atrium. The event will include informational boards of various Black historical figures. Monday, Feb. 12 – Black Student Meetup 4:30-6:15 p.m. – SMC 24 Thursday, Feb. 29 – Open Mic Night with Sir Dominique Jordan – Writing Circle – 4-5 p.m. in Campus Life Lounge Open Mic – 5-6:30 p.m. in Club De’Ville For more information on those events, please contact: icse@millersville.edu Additionally, the Black Student Union is holding the 4th annual Black Excellence Ball on Feb.17 at 5:15 p.m. in Gordinier Hall. Tickets are available at the MU ticket office. The Ware Center is also holding events throughout the month. They include: On Feb. 2, We The People First Fridays presents “Lift Ev’ry Voice”: An educational performance celebrating Black History Month including historical speeches, devotional music and heroic letters From Feb. 2 – Feb. 23, the gallery “Woke Up, Had to Get the Blockrite” will be open to the public to explore the themes from “Lift Ev’ry Voice,” including activism and the role of marginalized communities. On Feb. 16, Jumaane Smith: Louis! Louis! Louis!: Honor the history of blues and jazz music with Jumaane Smith, a jazz trumpeter, vocalist and composer. On Feb. 24, Shadows of the ‘60s: A Tribute to Motown: Pay tribute to the legacy of Motown’s stars including The Supremes, The Four Tops and Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight & The Pips and The Marvelettes. For more information on the Ware Center and the get tickets, visit: https://artsmu.com/buy- […] “MU Celebrates Black Heritage Month”

  • Millersville Prof Helps Solve 80-year Mystery Biting insects have been the bane of many people’s existence throughout the millennia, but they have allowed Dr. John Wallace to make a living through his research over the last three decades. As an expert medical entomologist, he taught students about the study of insects and researched them while he was a biology professor at Millersville University. Now, a collaborative research effort in Victoria, Australia, has been used to indict mosquitos as vectors that spread the bacterium that causes the flesh-eating disease known as Buruli ulcer in Australia. “Buruli ulcer is one of the World Health Organization’s 21 neglected tropical diseases – found in 32 countries around the world,” Wallace stated. In a major breakthrough published in “Nature Microbiology,” researchers led by the University of Melbourne’s Professor Tim Stinear, Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Mycobacterium ulcerans at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, have solved the 80-year Mystery that has baffled scientists and public health experts and has been a central question that has perplexed scientists since the discovery of M. ulcerans in the 1940s,” said Stinear. A collaborative International research team brought together partners from the Doherty Institute at the University of Melbourne, Bio21 Institute, Agriculture Victoria, Austin Health, Victorian Department of Health, Millersville University, the Mornington Peninsular Shire and others to focus their efforts on surveying more than 65,000 mosquitoes between 2016-2021, possum feces and human cases in the Mornington Peninsula in the southern state of Victoria, a region with an alarming surge in cases and one of the highest incidences of Buruli ulcer in the world. The findings of this study confirm mosquitoes are the primary vectors transmitting M. ulcerans from the environment to people in Australia. Wallace has been collaborating with the Stinear lab since 2006 on field and mosquito transmission studies and elaborated on the global importance of these findings, “By linking field surveys with pathogen genomics, we have addressed the essential criteria that support a collection of evidence implicating mosquitoes as mechanical vectors of M. ulcerans from local wildlife reservoirs to humans, in other words, we have provided valuable support for a transmission chain among mosquitoes, possums and humans – a watershed moment of sorts in disease ecology. While the mode of transmission may be different in other countries, this breakthrough moment in Buruli ulcer research provides an extensive framework to address more precisely the mode of transmission of M. ulcerans to people in other parts of the world and augment the roadmap to intervene and control Buruli ulcer in these countries,” explains Wallace. To stem the tide of Buruli cases in Australia, Professor Paul Johnson, infectious diseases physician at Austin Health in Victoria, highlighted the role of managing mosquito populations to mitigate the risk of Buruli ulcer. “Taking steps to reduce the numbers of mosquitoes and prevent mosquito bites is likely to be an effective way to control the spread of the disease,” said Johnson. “Simple actions, like applying insect repellent and removing stagnant water around the house, are a good start to protect the community and reduce the risk of Buruli ulcer.” For more information on mosquito protection, visit the Victorian Department of Health website at https://www.betterhea […] “Millersville Prof Helps Solve 80-year Mystery”

  • MU Offers New Educational Leadership Program Beginning in Summer 2024, Millersville University will offer a new post-master’s Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership. These courses have been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for the Superintendent Letter of Eligibility for those who qualify, and all courses will count toward the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University as well. Dr. Ann Gaudino, professor in the Educational Foundations department and program founder, shares, “We are thrilled to continue the long legacy of developing educational professionals at Millersville University. We will be training the school superintendents and education organization leaders of tomorrow.” This graduate certificate is a resource for the department to help the education workforce develop their skills and credentials, learning more about how to best assist today’s learners in the classroom. “Those in the education workforce, particularly K-12 educators, are facing a myriad of new challenges,” says Gaudino, “the Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership is a cutting-edge program to help educators become both scholars and practitioners with a doctoral degree.” These skills include advanced-level leadership, resource leadership, governance, instruction and learning, equity and inclusion, and facilities and technology. The program also caters to a wide variety of professionals, including school principals looking to attain their superintendent licensure, teachers, counselors, University faculty and administrators or other education professionals. While the courses will be taught online by Millersville faculty, learners will complete internship hours in person in educational institutions with mentors to gain hands-on experience. This one-year certificate program is offered during the summer, fall and spring semesters. Those who are interested may begin in any semester. For more information about the Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership, please visit https://www.m […] “MU Offers New Educational Leadership Program”

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