Janet Kacskos

  • 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”

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 3 months ago

    Spring ‘24 Environmental Workshops at the ‘Ville The spring semester is bringing more opportunities for environmental education through Millersville’s Watershed Training Institute. Workshops are being offered in January and March. The Project WET Climate, Water, and Resilience Educator Workshop will be held virtually on Zoom on Jan. 23 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. This workshop is designed to provide tools for educators to teach middle and high school students about climate change and sustainability. Instruction will be provided for interactive, science-based activities that are student-centered. This event is open to all educators teaching students in grades 6-12. This event is free, and participants are asked to sign up here. Participants will receive a download code for Project WET’s “Climate, Water, and Resilience Educator Guide,” as well as free one-month access to Project WET’s WELL Portal for Educators. This portal provides digital teaching tools like interactive e-books, eLessons and videos. This workshop can be applied to two Act 48 hours. The Project WET Educator Workshop will be held on March 16 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the WETi on Millersville’s campus. This workshop offers education on water and is fit for Common Core Standards and applicable to grades K-12. Activities in this workshop provide teaching methods, assessment strategies and essential tools necessary to integrate water education into all school subjects. This workshop will not have the climate focus of the preceding virtual event. This event is free and participants are asked to register here. There are 30 spots available. WETi workshops provide unique opportunities for professional development. “These workshops provide teachers with a hands-on experience that is not necessarily found in other workshops and professional development days,” says Liz Rickrode, a graduate assistant for Educational Foundations professor Dr. Nanette Marcum-Dietrich. WETi events often include outdoor experiences with the intent of encouraging teachers to consider the value of outdoor education. “This outdoor experience can then be brought to the classroom and use […] “Spring ‘24 Environmental Workshops at the ‘Ville”

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 3 months ago

    Grant Addresses Food Insecurity on Campus Millersville University is the recipient of a $40,000 Hunger-Free Campus Grant, as one of 30 institutions to receive support from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. These grants, originating under the Wolf Administration and continued by the Shapiro Administration, are awarded to help schools address food insecurity on campus and create initiatives to expand awareness of the issue. With the 2022-23 grant, the University was able to renovate space at the HUB, which allowed it to expand its kitchen, the Campus Cupboard, and the facilities’ restrooms for ADA compliance. The HUB provides four hot meals each week for free, along with free grab-and-go breakfast items and snacks daily. The Campus Cupboard allows students to “shop” for grocery items once a week at no charge, including fresh food and even personal hygiene items. To build off the progress made by last year’s grant, part of the funds this year will be used to create a “Sub-HUB Station” in the Student Memorial Center. Currently, unopened food items are collected in boxes by the Food Recovery Network near the Galley and the Anchor and then delivered to the HUB. The Sub-HUB Station would provide a more prominent space with refrigeration and shelving, so more students are aware of the resource. Additionally, the funding will be used to further expand the HUB’s outreach. Dr. Mary Beth Williams, vice president for student affairs, explains that more students are utilizing the HUB now. “The HUB currently serves around 350 students per week, and the student use of the Campus Cupboard continues to rise,” she says. “With this grant, MU will provide funding to The HUB for expanded meal programming and funding for increased advertisement about HUB services throughout campus.” She continues, “Having a wonderful community partner like The HUB is essential to serving our food insecure students, and finding ways to communicate with students about the resources is vital to that success.” A third goal is to use the grant to provide students with hot meals and distribution of food items during the holiday break. “Many students, primarily our international students, LGBTQ+ students and students who were raised in the foster care system, do not have another place to go during the break when the campus dining facilities are not regularly open,” says Williams. “These weekly meals and food distribution points would allow students who stay on campus to be fed, take food with them, and connect with faculty, staff and students on the Hunger Free Campus Task Force who want to support and help them during the long break,” she continues. “During the meal, there will be fun programming for these students that will help them build trust with the faculty, staff and students on the Hunger Free Task Force. At the end of the meal, fresh and non-perishable food will be distributed to each student.” Ultimately, these initiatives are another way to showcase the University’s commitment to its EPPIIC Values. “At its heart, this grant proposal is about sharing,” says Williams. “Students want to share food they have with other students in need, and Millersville faculty, staff and the HUB all want to support students in any way they can. Together, with this funding, our community can come together and help feed students in need.” All grant recipients are members of the Hunger-Free Campus Initiative, a coalition of Pennsylvania institutions of higher education focused on addressing hunger and other basic needs for their students, creating opportunities for connection among student hunger advocates, providing resources and strategies for campuses, and supporting opportunities to apply for grants related to addressing food insecurity. You can see all of the 2023-2024 PA Hu​​nger-Free Campus Grant Awa […] “Grant Addresses Food Insecurity on Campus”

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 3 months ago

    Chef’s Table Continues at the ‘Ville Millersville Dining is giving students the opportunity to learn from and be heard by the staff through an event called Chef’s Table. The event allows Millersville students to have an intimate dining and learning experience with executive chef John Johnson. Students are served a three-course meal prepared by Johnson while participating in a discussion about Millersville dining, nutrition and food. The event is held at the Upper Deck on the last Wednesday of every month during the spring and fall semesters. Before the event, students who eat at the Upper Deck can fill out a ticket to be entered into a raffle to secure a spot. Students must have a meal plan to enter. Winners are invited to bring a guest of their choosing. The deadline to enter January’s drawing is Jan. 19, with the dinner on Jan. 31. Another drawing will be held in February. The event is intended to be a learning experience for attendees. Johnson focuses on food pairings to introduce students to new ways of enjoying the Upper Deck. “I’ll take what’s on the menu that night and cook it and pair it the way I would do it and let [students] see how it looks,” says Johnson. “I try to look at nutrition and fun and how I can mix and match.” The goal is to enlighten students about what the dining staff do, how and why they do it and how the different foods offered can be utilized. Chef’s Table is also designed to serve as a way for dining staff and students to connect, and Johnson often invites a member of his staff or the executive offices to join in. The event allows students to voice their concerns about dining directly to staff members rather than sending an email or talking to an administrative assistant. “I want students to know that they’re being constructively heard and listened to,” says Johnson. “They actually get to sit down with me and learn who I am, learn about me, have good conversations about dining and know that I’m listening.” The Chef’s Table dinners for the spring semester will be held Jan. 31, Feb. 28, March 27 and April 24. All dinners will begin at 5 p.m. Click here for more information about Millersville dining. […] “Chef’s Table Continues at the ‘Ville”

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 3 months ago

    ‘Ville Professor Wins Counselor Educator of the Year Millersville Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Richard Joseph “Joe” Behun was awarded Counselor Educator of the Year for 2023 by the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association. Nominated by a former student, Behun was chosen for the award among over 50 other Pennsylvania school counselor educators. “I feel very honored and humbled to have won,” says Behun. An awards ceremony was held on Dec. 7. The Pennsylvania School Counselors Association recognizes winners for several categories relevant to school counseling every academic year. The association aims to educate and empower PA-based school counselors through professional development, support of programs and providing a voice to professional school counselors. Behun didn’t start out working toward the school counseling profession, nor was he expecting to end up there when he first began his higher education. During his undergraduate years at California University of Pennsylvania, he studied political science and criminal justice with the intent of attending law school afterward. During his senior year, he volunteered to be a peer mentor for a first-year student, which changed the trajectory of his professional endeavors. “I was already accepted to law school, and I woke up on a Saturday morning and I just thought to myself, ‘I think that I’d see more life satisfaction out of working as a school counselor,’” says Behun. Behun says the school counseling profession has long been largely misunderstood, previously thought of as strictly an academic resource for students. On the contrary, school counselors are responsible for much more, including managing the mental health of students. Professional school counselors are educated in therapy practices in order to appropriately handle issues that students may have. “There is no better person in the school system to deal with student mental health than the school counselor,” says Behun. As an ever-evolving profession, school counselors are facing and adapting to new challenges constantly. Notable adaptations have been alongside the ongoing change in schools due to COVID-19. While schools were closed, school counselors faced issues with having to navigate their profession digitally. “No one knew what Zoom was, and we certainly wouldn’t ever counsel someone over the phone or through a computer,” says Behun, regarding counseling prior to the pandemic. Nonverbal communication accounts for a large portion of what someone is saying, making counseling difficult through a call. As issues like poor mental health continue to rise in schools, education and training of future counselors are also adapting to appropriately handle future matters. Behun believes himself to be a counselor first, and educator second in terms of his profession. He encourages his students to ponder this themselves. “I ask my students in the very beginning to think about when they’re organizing their own philosophy— Are they a counselor who educates or an […] “‘Ville Professor Wins Counselor Educator of the Year”

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 3 months ago

    Free Flights Transport Patients For Life Saving Treatments When Millersville University alum, Jessica Ames ’13 graduated she knew she wanted to work for a smaller grassroots nonprofit. Searching on Craigslist, she found a part-time listing at Angel Flight East becoming their first programs and events coordinator. Initially, she saw the opportunity as a stepping stone for a career change, but nine years later, Ames is now the outreach and events director and is taking flying lessons with ambitions of one day providing flights to patients in need. Ames credits Dr. Jennifer Wood for teaching her everything she needed to know as her advisor. “As a public relations major, I had the opportunity to be an intern with various nonprofit organizations and that’s how I discovered that is where I wanted my career path to take me.” Angel Flight East was founded in Pennsylvania by Harry Morales, a general aviation pilot, who wanted to help with relief efforts after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. He created AFE with the help of Jeff Kahn and Joe Staples, among others. Their vision and commitment to the “principles of public benefit flying” drove the dynamic force of what was to become AFE. Immediately, the organization began to fill the gap between the need to access crucial medical care at a distance and the high cost of transportation to get there. “We fly many patients for cancer care, rare disease treatments, clinical trials, etc.,” says Ames. AFE provides free flights for patients in need of medical treatment far from home. Volunteer pilots use their own airplanes and cover all costs of the flight. AFE covers a 14-state footprint that spans from Virginia to Ohio to Maine and for destinations outside that territory, they partner with other volunteer pilot organizations. AFE schedules close to 1,000 flights per year. Flight range is a minimum of 100 miles and a maximum of 1,000 miles. In addition to providing flights for patients, AFE also delivers supplies to disaster areas and helps reunite families during desperate times. To volunteer or find out more information about Angel Flight East […] “Free Flights Transport Patients For Life Saving Treatments”

  • Celebrating MLK To celebrate the legacy […] “”

  • Lightbox Therapy for the Winter Months The start of a new semester, adjusting after the holiday season, colder weather and shorter days are all contributing factors to why some students find this time of year to be more difficult than others. The Counseling Center at Millersville University offers a wide range of services to help its students through difficulties, including the use of lightbox therapy. Lightbox therapy is one way to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of depression that comes and goes with the winter months. Dr. Lisa House, psychologist and professor at the University, is the director of the lightbox therapy program. She explains that while major depressive disorder is felt year-round, the symptoms of SAD can begin in the fall months and are resolved around spring or summer. The lightboxes are used to mimic sunlight, which can help boost a student’s mood while they read or complete their schoolwork. “Light therapy is a common treatment for seasonal affective disorder, regularizing the patient’s circadian rhythm and balancing melatonin and serotonin,” House explains. “When melatonin and serotonin levels are unbalanced, they can negatively impact sleep behaviors and mood.” House adds, “One benefit of light therapy is that it’s quick-acting and symptoms improve significantly after two weeks. In addition, it’s cost-effective, which benefits colleges as mental health resource demand is increasing. It is also a natural approach and research has found it to be as effective as medication.” While the “winter blues” is something that many students might feel they struggle with, they may not know they can use the resources at the Counseling Center to counteract those feelings. “SAD can profoundly impact an individual’s ability to perform simple daily tasks and often leads to low motivation, impaired concentration, fatigue, irritability, sleep difficulties, sadness and apathy,” explains House. “This can impact academics and students often find themselves less energetic, less motivated and not able to concentrate. Work piles up and students are very overwhelmed. Difficulty waking, low energy, low concentration, anxiety, weight gain and decreased socializing are other symptoms that can interfere with functioning.” House explains that students should pay close attention if they notice these traits in themselves. Additionally, if students feel sadness or hopelessness, have angry outbursts, irritability, loss of interest or pleasure in most normal daily activities, sleep changes, appetite changes, feel worthless and have unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches, aches, nearly every day, they should go to a doctor for assessment. Students interested in the lightbox services can call the Counseling Center at 717-871-7821, or they can email Dr. House with any questions they may have. The Center also offers individual counseling sessions to all students at Millersville University, virtually and in person. They can also provide recommendations for personal lightboxes for students who benefit from the service and would like to use it more frequently. For more information about counseling services at Millersville Universi […] “Lightbox Therapy for the Winter Months”

  • Congratulations to the Students on the Dean's List Congratulations to the Millersville University students who made the Dean’s List for Fall 2023. A student is eligible for the Dean’s List if they earn a semester GPA of 3.50 or higher. 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  • Expert Knowledge on Tropical Storms Millersville University has a new expert on campus who knows all about tropical storms and we recently sat down with Dr. Ellie Casas to ask her about the current news surrounding the weather throughout the oceans. Tell us about yourself I am Dr. Ellie Casas, and I am the newest meteorology faculty member here at Millersville University in the Department of Earth Sciences. This is my first year here and I am thrilled to be here! I teach Tropical Meteorology plus a variety of other meteorology courses and hurricanes are my primary area of expertise. What is your experience before MU? Before being here at Millersville, I studied several aspects of how hurricanes intensify during my graduate studies at Colorado State University. After graduating, I became a postdoctoral researcher at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where I worked with a team of meteorologists and computer scientists to develop advanced machine-learning tools that may eventually be able to help improve our ability to “see” where the heaviest rain in hurricanes are when they are over the ocean and away from radars. This is important because being able to see the “organization” of rain in a hurricane is important for forecasting how the hurricane will intensify. What notable storms have occurred in the Atlantic and East Pacific basin and which states were affected? The Atlantic and East Pacific saw some major hurricanes in 2023. In the Atlantic Basin, there were 19 named storms, and two additional unnamed storms. Surprisingly, one of the unnamed Atlantic storms occurred in January! This storm had a hurricane-like structure with high wind speeds circling around an eye-like feature, but it was classified as a “subtropical cyclone,” which means that it originated from outside of the tropics. Out of the named storms in the Atlantic, seven reached at least hurricane status, and three out of those seven hurricanes reached “major” hurricane status of at least Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. In the Atlantic/Gulf coast, the states directly affected were Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. In the East Pacific, there have been 16 named storms and an additional three unnamed storms. Of the named storms, 10 reached hurricane status, and 8 of those hurricanes reached “major” hurricane status. The National Hurricane Center issued its first-ever tropical storm warning for Southern California as Hurricane Hilary approached on Aug. 20. Why are hurricanes so rare in California? In the ocean, there are very large circulations called “gyres” that span the entire ocean basin in each hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, these gyres spin clockwise because of the direction in which the Earth spins. In the North Atlantic, the ocean gyre brings up warm, tropical ocean water along the U.S. Atlantic coast, and it is concentrated in the Gulf Stream. This warm water is generally warm enough to sustain hurricane intensification in the summer and fall. On the U.S. Pacific coast, the ocean gyres bring down cold, arctic water from Alaska. This cold water makes it very difficult for hurricanes to maintain their intensity, and hurricanes typically dissipate and are very weak if they reach California. What makes Hurricane Hilary so unusual is that it was able to move northward very quickly after it made landfall in Baja California, Mexico. Although Hurricane Hilary was in the process of weakening from the cold water, drier mid-level air, and increasing vertical wind shear, Hilary was still producing much more rain than Southern California typically receives when it arrived. Since Southern California has complex and fragile topography, flooding and landslides were of major concern. Will the Climavision radar on the MU water tower help with hurricane predictions in our area? With respect to hurricanes, the new MU radar will be most helpful for identifying imminent severe weather risks associated with storms (including decaying hurricanes) that track within the radar’s line-of-sight, which covers the general Lancaster/Millersville/York region. The radar will also be helpful for our ability to conduct local weather research, such as increasing our understanding of rainfall characteristics of landfalling hurricanes that impact the Millersville area. The new radar will be a huge benefit for the entire region, and we are very fortunate and grateful to begin this partnership with Climavision. What is the hurricane outlook? The Southern Hemisphere hurricane season is starting to ramp up. Typically in the Southern Hemisphere, Northern Australia, Madagascar, and many smaller island nations like Fiji are particularly impacted by hurricanes from approximately December to April. Interestingly, South America is very rarely impacted by hurricanes; the environment is generally not conducive to hurricane intensification. Any additional thoughts? Hurricanes can actually impact Millersville! While the winds of a hurricane typically weaken before tropical cyclones reach Millersville, we can get rain, flooding, and sometimes even tornado impacts from the remnants of hurricanes. Some notable examples include Hurricanes Irene (2011), Sandy (2012), and Ida (2021). As I have gotten to know our wonderful meteorology students here at MU, I have learned that these specific storms were formative experiences that have led many of our Millersville meteorology students toward discovering their vocations. Many of our students are dedicated to saving lives by improving our meteorological understanding, forecast accuracy, and communication of extreme weather phenomena like hurricanes. Ultimately, it only takes one hurricane landfall to make it an active season for all who are impacted. Here at Millersville, it is a good idea to keep a reserve of water, nonperishable food, and a first aid kit on hand in the summer and fall when hurricanes are most likely, and for the best hurricane forecasts, I always recommend listening to the friendly experts at the National Hurricane Center when they issue a watch or warning. They have devoted their lives to being the best hurricane forecasters they can be, and they are constantly monitoring the tropics for potential hurricane risks, even whil […] “Expert Knowledge on Tropical Storms”

  • New $1M Grant to Help Post-Baccalaureate Education Scholars Thanks to a $974,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education, scholars who are dually enrolled in the Special Education Post-Baccalaureate K-12 Certification and the Early Childhood, M.Ed. programs will have access to financial assistance. Millersville University received one of just 13 national awards made by the U.S. Department of Education and is the only regional public school funded. Dr. Elizabeth Powers-Costello, associate professor, was instrumental in securing this grant as project director. Dr. Deborah Tamakloe, associate professor and Special Education graduate coordinator, was also instrumental as co-project director. Other faculty and staff who assisted with securing the grant include Josh Belice and Drs. Rich Mehrenberg and Susannah Boyle. “This distinction means a lot considering that MU was up against research-intensive universities. It sets us apart as a regional public university and places us on the national map,” says Tamakloe. Tamakloe explains why this grant is so important, especially for those studying special education. “Special education has always been a national area of need, and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this problem,” she says. “We need to train personnel with the knowledge and skillset to implement evidence-based practices that improve outcomes for all students and their families, particularly students with disabilities.” “Recruiting and supporting more students in the field of special education means addressing the national shortage and improving outcomes for the vulnerable population we serve,” she adds. These funds will be available to scholars beginning next fall. In addition to providing financial assistance to ease any challenges associated with program costs, the funds will also be available to pay honorariums for mentors, offer professional development and support scholars during field placement and student teaching. Students must be enrolled in both the Early Childhood, M.Ed. and the Special Education Post-Baccalaureate K-12 Certification programs to apply for this financial assistance. “This award is a win for both the early childhood graduate programs and special education programs. It is a win for the College of Education and MU as a whole. This shows the hard work MU professors and administrators working within graduate programs put in to support our students and strengthen our programs,” she concludes. A full list of schools to receive this award can be found below: More information about the grant can be found […] “New href=”https://blogs.millersville.edu/news/?p=32423″M Grant to Help Post-Baccalaureate Education Scholars”

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

    Police and Fire Training on Campus Jan. 2 Millersville University will begin the demolition process of four houses along East Frederick Street on campus on January 15. Before the houses come down, the University has agreed to allow first responders to use the buildings for training. “It makes sense to support our community and allow first responders access to the old buildings for training,” says Pete Anders, Millersville University Police Chief. “It’s a win-win for the University and local community and enhances the strong working relationships we have with other agencies. The State Police SERT team has trained our officers and local school resource officers on active shooter response. The training on the second will benefit over 20 troopers on their team response and give them additional familiarization with our campus community.” Dauphin, Allegheny, Armstrong, and Susquehanna houses have been vacant and slated for demolition for some time. The Department of General Services finalized the demolition contract just before winter break. On January 2, crews from Blue Rock Fire and the Pennsylvania State Police Special Emergency Response Team will use the four houses for training purposes. The University has supported similar training opportunities with first responders in previous demolition projects. Thomas Waltz, associate vice president for facilities says removing the four buildings will help the University’s bottom line. “The University receives money to maintain buildings based on our enrollment and we are roughly 200,000 square feet over our allowance. Removing these four unused houses will be a savings financially and help reduce our surplus square footage.” The first responders will be on campus 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Tuesday, […] “Police and Fire Training on Campus Jan. 2”

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

    Dr. Cheryl Desmond Receives “Keepers of the Flame” Award Retired professor Dr. Cheryl Desmond is Millersville University’s recipient of the second annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Keepers of the Flame Award from Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The award recognizes an individual from each of the 14 State System university campuses for their contributions to creating and promoting diverse, equitable and inclusive environments that cultivate a sense of belonging. The award recipients were announced during PASSHE’s annual DEI Summit held at Shippensburg University. “Each recipient of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s “Keepers of the Flame” award embodies the best in humanity – demonstrating a commitment to raising awareness about important issues and advocating for ‘doing the right thing,’” said Dr. Denise Pearson, vice chancellor and chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer at the Office of the Chancellor. “PASSHE university communities have long understood the intersection between academic excellence, DEI and student success. This year, we are truly pleased to celebrate the contributions of Dr. Desmond and the other recipients, and we lift them up as role models to emulate. It is a privilege to honor them.” An educator, researcher and advocate for public education, Dr. Desmond became a tenured professor at Millersville in the Department of Educational Foundations and Educational Leadership in 1990 and retired as professor emerita in 2013. Desmond began her career in education as a teacher and principal in Kentucky, New York and Pennsylvania. After earning a Ph.D. from Syracuse University in cultural foundations of education and educational leadership, she taught at Dartmouth College, Stevens College and Dickinson College before arriving at Millersville. A noted scholar, Desmond’s research in international education and the culture of schooling has been published in books and more than 30 articles. Along with Dr. Laurie Hanich, a Millersville professor in the Education Foundations department, she recently completed “Wellness Works in Schools: The practice and research of a mindfulness program in urban middle schools,” a chapter in the “Handbook of Mindfulness-Based Programs.” Additionally, Desmond served as a program chair for the American Educational Research Association biennial conference and chair of the Biographical and Documentary Research Special Interest Group. Desmond shares her commitment to DEI in the Lancaster community, serving as an elected member of the School District of Lancaster school board […] “Dr. Cheryl Desmond Receives “Keepers of the Flame” Award”

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