Janet Kacskos

    • I can attest that my daughter had a GREAT experience! She really loved swimming with the sharks and participating in the coral nursery. I’m very appreciative as a parent that she was able to experience all that she did and have an outstanding faculty member to lead the group. ~Debbie

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 1 month ago

    Millersville University Receives Two New Grants Millersville University has recently received two different grants to provide students with opportunities to further their education. Special Education Grant The Pennsylvania Department of Education has awarded $1.5 million in grant funding to 15 universities, and Millersville will receive $100,000. The universities awarded all partner with school districts that expedite the process for students to become special education teachers. This grant will help expand Millersville University’s online post-baccalaureate teaching certificate in special education. The University plans to commit 80% of the funds to scholarships and financial assistance for deserving candidates, making the certification more accessible to aspiring educators. The rest of the grant funding will be used for instructional materials and faculty development to improve the program further. “We are immensely grateful to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for their generous support of Millersville University’s accelerated, online special education certification program,” said Dr. Deborah Tamakloe, associate professor of special education at the University. “This funding allows us to expand our reach and improve the educational experiences of individuals with special needs. We are committed to preparing highly skilled and compassionate educators who will positively impact their students’ lives.” The grant is a part of the Department of Education’s efforts to recruit and retain teachers. Millersville University offers a variety of post-baccalaureate teaching certifications, including a certificate in special education, which made the University eligible for the grant. Interested students can visit the University’s website or contact the graduate admissions office. Interested in studying special education at Millersville? Click here for more information. Manufacturing PA Grant The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development announced $2.1 million in grants last April as a part of the Manufacturing PA Initiative. Millersville University is one of 19 Pennsylvanian colleges and universities to receive between $20,000 and $70,000 in grant funding. Millersville’s portion of the grant is $68,860. The Manufacturing PA Initiative approved 31 student research projects focused on developing new technologies and advancing manufacturing innovation. Since its inception in 2018, the program has awarded over $11.9 million to 475 students across the commonwealth, providing them with hands-on research experience and assisting 142 companies. Four Millersville University chemistry students will work with the locally owned Fontana Candle Company, providing technical assistance and researching how the ingredients of environmentally friendly candles interact to optimize production. Dr. Jeremiah Mbindyo, professor of chemistry at the University, is the principal investigator for the grant. “Students will have the opportunity to see the real-world application of classroom knowledge and learn about sustainable practices from a frontline, reputable product manufacturer,” he explains. Because the Fontana Candle Company uses all-natural ingredients to make their clean burning candles and other products, the students will gain hands-on chemistry experience by studying how the different ingredients blend. Based on their findings, they can then recommend how to streamline the manufacturing process and reduce defects in the production lines. This is not the first time Millersville University has received a grant from the Manufacturing PA Initiative with the help of Mbindyo. In 2022, the University was the first school in the PASSHE system to receive this particular funding. These students “will have a unique opportunity to apply skills and knowledge learned in class to solve real-world problems of interest to industry,” Mbindyo concludes. For more information about the Manufacturing P […] “Millersville University Receives Two New Grants”

  • Janet Kacskos wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 1 month ago

    CollegeFest Welcomes Students University College will host its 2nd annual CollegeFest on August 29 to welcome students back to campus. The fair engages students with the college’s free services and resources. This year’s event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Student Memorial Center Promenade. Last year’s event had over 700 attendees. The University College is committed to inclusive student success, engagement and achievement, agency in student learning and ongoing professional and personal development for sustained academic excellence. At CollegeFest, students can connect with all of the 12 departments and centers of University College: Center for Public Scholarship & Social Change Center for Civic Responsibility & Leadership The Career Center McNairy Library & Learning Forum Academic Advising & Student Development University Honors College Starfish University Writing Center Success Coaching Office of Learning Services Several other departments will also be present, including: Office of Financial Aid Student Accounts CHEP Counseling and Human Development Registrar’s Office Starting in the SMC Atrium, students can pick up a passport and visit all of the department stations between the SMC, Huntingdon House and McNairy Library. By getting a passport stamp at every station, students can then enter to win a grand prize. Each stop along the way will have games, giveaways and information on how students can engage, achieve and succeed at Millersville University. Dough Head Waffles food truck will also be on-site for the event, and the first 500 students to pre-register on GetInvolved will receive a meal ticket for one free regular-sized wocket and a drink. CollegeFest is free, but the number of Dough Head Waffles meal tickets is limited. Students should sign up early on GetInvolved, and they can pick up their meal tickets in the SMC Atrium during the event. Students who cannot pre-register for the event are still encouraged to attend and complete a passport for the grand prize dra […] “CollegeFest Welcomes Students”

  • Non-Verbal Play Wins Award at South African National Arts Festival It starts so simply: A balloon drifts through the window of a lonely old man’s home.  And then something seriously silly happens – then something kooky, wonderful, and so blissfully fun that you barely notice you’ve learned something about friendship and the power of play along the way. “BALLOONACY,” a play by Barry Kornhauser, assistant director of Campus & Community Engagement at Millersville University, recently won a Fringe Ovation award at South Africa’s National Arts Festival. The production of the play by the National Children’s Theatre of South Africa received the award on July 1 in Makhanda, South Africa. “As a non-verbal play, it can be enjoyed by deaf audiences and those with language barriers,” says Kornhauser. Throughout the festival, Standard Bank Ovation Awards are given to productions on the Fringe programs that are noticeable for being a cut above, well received by audiences, and that leave a lasting impression. Ovation Awards are awarded by a panel of anonymous reviewers who see every show on the Fringe and meet daily to discuss the awarding of winners. “To be selected for inclusion in the festival is itself an honor for which I’m very grateful, and to be recognized there with the award broadens the possibility of further productions by theatre companies elsewhere in the world, while already leading to an extended run by the National Children’s Theatre to reach more children in South Africa, including those in orphanages and other transitional living situations,” says Kornhauser. Because of the success of “BALLOONACY,” Kornhauser has been asked to send in more of his works by the National Children’s Theatre. “BALLOONACY” had already won an American Alliance for Theatre & Education “Distinguished Play” award and has been produced across the USA and in locales as diverse as Albania, Australia, and Singapore. In addition, Kornhauser just completed running two arts programs, the Arts Smarts camp and the M-Uth Theater program at the Ware Center. The Arts Smarts camps instruct kids in grades K-5 in music, theatre, and visual arts. Of the 308 camp enrollments, 130 were via scholarships that serve kids of mixed abilities and all backgrounds. The scholarships were made possible by the continued support of Rick and Jessy Rodgers who have done so for several years. M-Uth Theater program serves teens who face various life challenges. This summer’s ensemble included three youths who are homeless, one from juvenile probation, another with a pacemaker, and eight living with cognitive and sensory disabilities, including three deaf teenagers. Kornhauser is also currently preparing another of his TYA plays for publication later this month by the publisher Plays for New Audiences, a work called “Recipe for Disaster” that was co-commissioned and premiered […] “Non-Verbal Play Wins Award at South African National Arts Festival”

    • Barry is one of the people who makes MU great. Not only is he smart, talented and compassionate, his plays have brought well deserved recognition to the university. He inspires creativity and exemplifies the spirit and practice of inclusion in the arts. Congratulations and thanks for encouraging all of us to do better.–Dennis B. Downey, emeritus professor

  • Connecting the Millersville ComMUnity Since 2019 The third annual ComMUnity Fest has bridged the gap between MU students and the Millersville community since 2019. This year’s event is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 13, beginning at 3:30 p.m. It is open to all students, faculty and staff and will be a fun opportunity to get to know local businesses and organizations. ComMUnity Fest is an event that lets MU students learn about what the Millersville community and the Lancaster area offer. Restaurants, businesses and other organizations will gather outdoors on the Student Memorial Center promenade and share their services. The first ComMUnity Fest in 2019 brought in about 40 different vendors, with over 500 students, faculty and staff in attendance. Last year’s event brought in 35 vendors and over 900 attendees. After taking a short hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual event will return for the third time. There will be free food, live music, yard games, giveaways and more at the event. Vendors who have already signed up include Lancaster Cupcake, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Giant Food Stores, Tropical Smoothie Café, Sheetz and others. Information for Vendors ComMUnity Fest is the only opportunity for local businesses, organizations, nonprofits and vendors to market their products and services to the nearly 8,000 students, faculty and staff at MU in an organized event of this capacity. This will be an especially great opportunity to reach out to students new to the Lancaster area who may be otherwise unaware of their services. Vendors are encouraged to bring coupons, free giveaways, product samples and information about services to distribute to students who visit their table. Registration can be found here. Any questions can be sent to smc@ville.edu, or feel free to contact the Student Memorial Cen […] “Connecting the Millersville ComMUnity Since 2019”

  • Millersville Club to Host Inaugural Career Carnival To learn more about professional development while getting up close and personal with STEM and safety equipment, look no further: the Millersville University student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers is set to host its first-ever Career Carnival. This event aims to establish an interest in engineering-related fields in the local community. The Career Carnival will invite local STEM-related companies to showcase their demo equipment, safety equipment, trucks, vans, off-road vehicles or cars to demonstrate and share about their fields and work. The event will be held on September 16 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the McComsey parking lot. Jordan Branch, senior manufacturing engineering technology major and president of the NSBE Millersville student chapter, is responsible for creating the Career Carnival. Branch says he took inspiration from the Touch-a-Truck event held annually by the nonprofit organization Family to Family Connection – but with a twist. “I wanted to ask the companies who participate to be representative of minority or underrepresented communities,” he says. “By doing so, I’m hoping to show kids engineering and STEM possibilities at a very young age.” The event is free and open to the public, and families with children are highly encouraged to participate in this learning opportunity. Families can touch, climb on and ask questions about their favorite trucks in a safe and supervised environment. The event is also encouraged for Millersville students interested in seeing what a career in STEM can offer. Branch’s goal is also for the carnival to be a student networking opportunity. “Not only are companies able to show their equipment to younger kids, it’s also an opportunity for them to showcase to high school and college students,” says Branch. “By doing so, they can also recruit students as well.” Other attractions at the carnival will include drones, a virtual reality tour of a live construction site, food and games. The event is a collaboration between the NSBE Millersville student chapter, the department of Applied Engineering, Safety and Technology and multiple clubs on campus related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Companies who are interested in learning more information about the Career Carnival can contact Jordan Branch at jlbranch@millersville.edu More information on attending University clubs and programs of study, as well as a sign-up form for interested c […] “Millersville Club to Host Inaugural Career Carnival”

  • Honors College Announces New Director Since 2015, Dr. Charlton Wolfgang has held a variety of responsibilities and positions as a part of the Early, Middle and Exceptional Education Department at Millersville University. Now, he says he’s excited to step into his new role as director of the Honors College. Wolfgang says that his professional experiences from before and during his time at the University provided him with the necessary expertise for this new position. “My teaching experiences helped me to understand how students learn and how gifted and high-ability students learn,” he says. “Most of my time in K-12 education was spent as a gifted support teacher and gifted education coordinator for the school district. During this time, I wrote over 1000 Gifted Individualized Education Plans, which helped me to expand my teaching ‘toolbox’ to better help my students in all content areas.” “Starting in my first semester at MU, I served as the graduate coordinator for the Gifted Education programs, a role in which I will continue to serve,” he adds. “We are the largest graduate gifted education program in the state, which enables me to network with hundreds of gifted education and general education teachers across the region to spread the word about our Honors College.” Wolfgang also administers the Gifted Education Listserv for Pennsylvania, a tool that puts him in contact with over 100 gifted education teachers and administrators in the state. Additionally, he served on the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education board and continues to work with the organization today. “These partnerships enable me to connect with educators and school districts across the state and will help recruit potential students to MU and our Honors College,” says Wolfgang. Wolfgang will take over for Dr. Elizabeth Thyrum, who previously served as director for six years. Thyrum will continue in her position as an associate professor of psychology at the University, as well as assistant chair. She says that she values her time as director of the Honors College, and it comes with many fond memories of events, bus trips, thesis defenses and connections with students. One of the most rewarding aspects of her time as director includes serving as a mentor and leader throughout her students’ academic careers, including “helping students grow from their first year, become involved with the Honors College, spread their wings to be part of their majors and with campus clubs and activities, attending their thesis defense, then presenting their honors medal at the Honors College recognition banquet in front of their parents and faculty.” “I feel so fortunate to have been able to give back to a program that I graduated from in 1986,” Thyrum says. “I truly believe in the benefits and strengths of this program. It made a difference in my MU education and helped set me on a path to my future career!” “I plan to build upon the exceptionally strong foundation laid by my predecessor, Dr. Thyrum, and those who came before her,” says Wolfgang. “The Honors College has an excellent reputation on campus as well as throughout the PASSHE system; my hope is to continue to build our programs and expand opportunities for our students.” Wolfgang says his goals for the Honors College include increasing its campus visibility and connections to University faculty members and local organizations. Another goal is to increase the number of opportunities for international students. “Increasing the diversity of the student body in the Honors College will benefit everyone,” he notes. A related goal is to increase the number of opportunities students can have to study abroad. In May, Wolfgang traveled to Latvia, Estonia and Sweden through a pilot study trip for the Honors College. “I am working on developing next year’s trip, focusing on international organizations,” he says. “The plan is to establish a rotating set of study abroad opportunities for students, helping to broaden their perspectives and experiences.” Overall, Wolfgang is looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead. “I am thrilled to be in this new position,” he concludes. “I look forward to meeting all the Honors College students and working with them during their time at MU! Interested in the Honors College at Millersville Universit […] “Honors College Announces New Director”

  • Honorary Degree for President Wubah On Saturday, July 29, Dr. Daniel A. Wubah, president of Millersville University, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. Wubah received his bachelor’s with Honors in botany and Dip. Ed. in education from the UCC. In addition to President Wubah, Ehunabobrim Prah Agyensaim VI, Dr. Kofi Koduah Sarpong, the Honorable Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Prof. Harold Stewart Amonoo-Kuofi, Dr. Deborah Ross and Dr. Yaw Adu-Agyei Gyamfi received honorary doctorates. UCC is the topmost-ranked university in Ghana and West Africa, the 4th in Africa and among the 400 topmost-ranked universities worldwide. You can watch the entire ceremony here – […] “Honorary Degree for President Wubah”

  • 'Ville Partners with Academic City University Millersville University has a new partnership with Academic City University in Ghana, thanks to the recent work of Dr. Daniel Wubah. President Wubah and Dr. Fred McBagonluri, president and provost of Academic City University, signed a memorandum of understanding in Ghana. The MOU will open doors for short-term programs and academic and professional growth opportunities for our students and faculty. “The agreements demonstrate Millersville’s commitment to international collaboration and academic excellence,” says Wubah. “Forging partnerships with international institutions are a win-win for our students. Millersville students meet and attend classes with international students and faculty, which allows them to learn about different cultures. Students from abroad are introduced to U.S. students, faculty, and all of our country’s opportunities.” The MOU prioritizes exchanging scholarly materials, cutting-edge research development, student partnerships and sharing best practices […] “‘Ville Partners with Academic City University”

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

    Making a Difference Through Satellites Whether it is an internship or a self-led project, gaining real-world experience throughout your college career is a great way to apply the information you learn in the classroom. Nick Elzer, a senior manufacturing engineering technology major from Manheim, Pennsylvania, understood this when he decided to work for the company, Quub (pronounced cube), where he gains experience creating satellites that launch into space. “Quub is an innovative company focused on gathering valuable information for a better world,” says Elzer. “We use a network of small satellites to keep an eye on important resources like water, coastlines and forests. By providing crucial data to governments and private organizations, we help them tackle climate change and its effects.” As a child, Elzer constantly wondered how things function. Because of this, he knew from a young age what he wanted to do. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been fascinated by how things work. I grew up doing things from watching ‘How It’s Made’ on the Science Channel to taking apart Transformers to figure out how they work. Since then, I’ve pursued an understanding of how the world works and what can be done to improve existing technologies. Majoring in manufacturing engineering technology will allow me to turn this passion into a career.” Elzer heard of the company and the work they were doing and was immediately interested. By reaching out to the CEO, Elzer landed himself a spot within the company. “I heard of our CEO, Joe Latrell, and what he was doing about a year and a half ago. Back then, he was operating out of a garage, and I was extremely intrigued by what he had going on. I reached out to him, offering to help out simply because I loved his goals and strategy for getting them done. He brought me in after an interview, invited me to join the team, and we have been growing ever since.” He notes that Quub has provided him with mentorship and experience that helps keep him engaged in his work. “Working for Quub has been a great experience overall. Since I started there, I have had a lot of individual hands-on experiences and one-on-one mentorship from some great minds. It is a really great work environment with a close-knit team. We take ourselves not too seriously, but our work seriously.” “On Friday afternoons, everyone works on fun personal projects that help develop our skills and keep us engaged. I’ve made an online puzzle game and am currently working on a rover that will roam the office,” Elzer says. Elzer explains that MU has been a major factor in his success at Quub, and in return, Quub has helped him succeed at MU. “Millersville helped me find my passions and what I really wanted to do with my life. I came in only really knowing that I liked to make things and problem solve, but Millersville and the MFET major helped me refine my interests and find the best field for me to explore.” “Quub has helped me find a balance in my school and work life. They made sure that I had the time that I needed to continue working through school to allow me to still get my degree while still working at Quub as much as I can. They really helped me prioritize and learn how to work towards two goals at once,” Elzer says. Throughout his time with Quub, Elzer has found two main aspects of Quub that help to continue moving forward. “The first one is knowing that the hardware and code that I have worked on goes into space. There really is no feeling like watching the first launch with a satellite on it that you have helped build, and it really will never get old.” “The other aspect has to be contributing toward what Quub stands for. Being able to help monitor the climate and get ahead of things like forest fires and water quality is a huge aspect of why I wanted to work at Quub, and I cannot wait to help make some changes,” Elzer s […] “Making a Difference Through Satellites”

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

    What Playing with Barbies Can Teach Us For over 60 years, Barbie has not just been a staple in toy stores all around the world but has since become a cultural icon. Despite this, the doll hasn’t been without its critics, and with the new movie “Barbie” hitting theaters this weekend, those critics are reviving these conversations on the internet. With all the discourse (and memes) about the upcoming film on the web, Dr. A Nicole Pfannenstiel, professor of English at Millersville University, discussed all things Barbie. The idea of Barbie is to teach young girls that they can do and be anything. While other dolls on the market were primarily baby dolls, Barbie was designed to let girls imagine themselves as something besides a mother. “I played with Barbies growing up, and I still have a couple ‘collector’ Barbies in their boxes,” says Pfannenstiel. “I never had the Dream House, but I vividly remember building structures to be houses, offices, schools. I learned to hand sew so I could craft outfits for Barbie.” “My brother was a fan of G.I. Joe, so we would incorporate his toys into our imagination world. I absolutely think Barbie allowed for creativity and skill development and was never a gendered toy in my childhood – which was the intention. I learned to incorporate action, fights and car chases when my brother and his friends joined us. We all found ways to play with Barbies, and I learned so much more than just the skills we typically associate with girls. I used tools to construct structures so I could play Barbie!” In addition to her work as a digital rhetoric scholar, Pfannenstiel studies play theory, and how play can be incorporated in the classroom to assist learning. Drawing from critical play – the idea that play is an important tool to question social rules – Pfannenstiel explains that what makes Barbie special is that the toy allows children to break out of the gender norms and restrictions we begin to recognize and enforce with age, without children even recognizing this. “In its simplest form, Barbie is a girl playing with a doll. With the variety of options available, and the ever-increasing inclusive nature of Barbie across jobs, cultural representation, disability representation and so much more, Barbie as a company continued to make money while simultaneously offering up material goods that could increase critical play for those playing,” Pfannenstiel explains. “That is what I think is so unique about Barbie. There is absolutely a capitalist drive to produce a product and accessories that will sell well. In this case, the increase in product offerings increased the ideological explorations possible.” “The doll as material artifact offers a way for dolls to aid young girls to explore rule breaking, embodiment and cultural ideologies long before they have sophisticated language to explain the work of their play,” she continues. However, Barbie has also been criticized for contributing to the negative self-image that many young women grow up experiencing, particularly regarding their body shape and size. Pfannenstiel argues that this view must be put into a larger overarching context regarding how society has perceived Barbie and assigns measures for women. “Prior to Barbie, rags were made into dolls. At the time, culture wasn’t measuring rag dolls and comparing them to feminine body expectations of the time. Society chose to measure and compare Barbie’s build to women,” she explains. Pfannenstiel adds that this comparison certainly impacted generations of women, and should not be devalued, but Barbie should not be blamed. “Barbie became the material good used to discipline female bodies to fit societal norms and expectations. Honestly, Barbie is a victim here alongside people from these generations, in my opinion. She served as one more way for society to discipline female bodies.” Along with the other conversations about gender that Barbie encourages, the upcoming film is advertising itself with the tagline, “She’s everything. He’s just Ken.” All the women in the movie’s fictional world of Barbieland hold positions of power, while Kens are another one of Barbie’s accessories. Pfannenstiel shares that she’s most excited to see how the film handles this subversion of gender norms. “Myself, my sister and most of my friends maybe had one Ken doll within a household. Some families had no Ken doll. Ken was not required for play. Given that Barbie has been used as a tool of the patriarchy through clothing and body sizing, I find it so powerful that the male doll is so easily dismissed, and honestly ignored by girl players.” “I am finding it very easy to explain how Barbie has been culturally analyzed as serving patriarchy and capitalism, as long as we ignore play,” she continues. “As soon as we consider what girls gain from play, how girls form communities through cooperative play with Barbie and how play then operates to help players understand themselves, I’m really struggling to see why we’ve ‘read’ Barbie as patriarchal for so long.” “Saying all that, I also want to offer that my 11-year-old son wants to see the film with me in theaters. Men and boys are not being left out because the focus sheds light on the value of women and girls playing, and playing in spaces where the male is an accessory.” Pfannenstiel concludes by saying that she hopes “Barbie,” and its depiction of Ken, will allow for cultural conversations about the important effects of playing with Barbies and what this type of play can teach us. “As a society, we should value the work of play and the work of play with Barbies for how it allows girls to imagine and understand themselves as cultural actors in their everyday life. So much of that work happens without Ken, without a male figure. That should be instructive for what girls need as they grow and matur […] “What Playing with Barbies Can Teach Us”

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

    'Ville Receives First-gen Forward Designation The Center for First-generation Student Success recently announced that Millersville University is part of the 2022-23 First-gen Forward cohort. The designation recognizes institutions of higher education that have demonstrated a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students. Selected institutions receive professional development, community-building experiences, and a first look at the Center’s research and resources. “The Center is pleased to welcome Millersville University into the 2022-23 First-gen Forward cohort. Through the application process, it was evident that Millersville is not only taking steps to serve first-generation students but is prepared to make a long-term commitment and employ strategies that foster an environment of success for this important population,” said Dr. Sarah E. Whitley, assistant vice president, Center for First-generation Student Success. The First-gen Forward designation is an initiative of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation. “Our First-Generation program at Millersville provides support for all first-generation staff, faculty, undergraduate, graduate and alumni,” says Dr. Christina Pantoja Williams, Associate Director of Student Access and Support Services at Millersville University. “The program encompasses a first-generation yearly celebration, Tri Alpha (first-generation honor society), and First Gems of the Ville (student organization).” As a First-gen Forward Institution, interested faculty and staff will be afforded multiple opportunities to engage with peer institutions that are also creating environments that improve the experiences and outcomes of first-generation students. Selected institutions will send representatives to the First-gen Forward Workshop and will participate in monthly calls, virtual professional development, goal setting, blog development, annual reporting, and more. After two successful years in the program, institutions can apply for the Advisory leadership designation. “With the addition of the 2022-23 cohort, First-gen Forward Institutions contribute to a national movement of two- and four-year institutions dedicated to advancing the success of first-generation students, redefining student success as a movement. We commend Millersville University for their leadership and look forward to witnessing continued progress throughout their participation,” offered Dr. Kevin Kruger, president and CEO of NASPA. You can learn more about first-generation efforts at Millersville here. To learn more about the Center for First-generation Student Success, vi […] “‘Ville Receives First-gen Forward Designation”

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

    New AVP for International Programs and Global Engagement Dr. Gail Gasparich, Provost and Senior VP of Academic Affairs, has announced that Dr. Dan Kulmala has been hired as the Assistant Vice President for International Programs and Global Engagement at Millersville. Kulmala will report directly to the provost. Kulmala has been the Associate Vice Chancellor of Global Engagement at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke since 2021. There he developed and implemented comprehensive globalization strategies and recruitment and marketing strategies. He traveled nationally and internationally to represent the university, recruit students and develop partnerships. Prior to North Carolina, he was the head of strategic partnerships for Akadasia, an international consultant for Westford Education Group and VP of Academic & Student Affairs for the American University of Phnom Penh. Before that, he was in various roles with Fort Hays State University from 2001-2020. At Millersville, Kulmala will be responsible for the planning, marketing, delivery and oversight of the university’s international programs and activities, and he will provide leadership and vision to a comprehensive range of programs, services and activities for International Programs and Global Engagement. The office provides extensive global learning opportunities, advice and counsel on immigration regulations, application processing and compliance for students and scholars, international partnership development and facilitation, academic support for international students, study abroad, and on-campus global programming that helps to educate the university community and develop global cultural competencies. Kulmala has bachelor’s degrees in psychology and English from the University of Akron, a master’s in English from the University of Akron and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Kansas. His off […] “New AVP for International Programs and Global Engagement”

  • New Online Degree Programs Working individuals and those who can’t make it to campus and want to study early childhood education or public relations now have online options at Millersville University. Beginning this fall, Millersville will offer online degree programs in early childhood education and in public relations. Early Childhood Education Many professionals who work in the childcare field and as paraprofessionals in schools want to earn a degree in early childhood education, but the face-to-face commitment does not align with the other commitments in their lives. The program also addresses the current teacher shortage and provides a possible solution for the issue. Dr. Lara Willox, dean of the College of Education and Human Services, explains why this program is important to offer online. “The online program is a social justice issue. Most teacher preparation programs are geared toward traditional undergraduate students requiring someone to be able to participate fully face-to-face with little room for outside employment. By having a fully online degree program, we can market to non-traditional students who are not able to participate face-to-face because of either family or work responsibilities.” Willox also notes that the program will allow many people to further their education and careers. “There are many paraprofessionals and teacher’s aides who are working in early childhood settings and schools that need to continue working but would also like to pursue teacher licensure. Moving into a certified teaching position allows for greater benefits.” The face-to-face and online programs have the same requirements but with one main adjustment to the online program. Students who are completing their degree fully online must be employed in a setting with children for at least eight hours a week to accommodate field-related activities. This allows students to work and complete their degrees simultaneously. Additionally, the College of Education and Human Services will be launching a fully online program for a special education certification with a similar design to the early childhood education online program. The Pre-k – 12 special education program will be available in the Spring of 2024. Public Relations Public relations is a rapidly growing field. According to the US Department of Labor, there will be a 5% increase in public relations jobs in the next 10 years. In order to keep up with the demand for jobs, there need to be more accessible ways to obtain a degree in public relations. Dr. Thomas Boyle, a professor in the Department of Communication and Theatre, explains the importance of the program. “The program allows those who have professional and family obligations during the day to be able to complete a degree. It is designed to meet the needs of working professionals.” The online program has the same material, content and experiential learning that occurs in person, but it is designed to be completed in three years after transferring into the program from a community college. Classes will be taught throughout the fall, spring and summer on a part-time schedule. Boyle also notes that many of the students already have obtained their associate’s degree or have taken classes previously but may have had interruptions in their educational experience, “Along with students who are completing the online program and are new to the department, it is also an opportunity for students who have started the in-person program and have had their education experience interrupted by life events and circumstances.” Boyle explains that students will gain many valuable skills throughout the program, “Students in the program will gain theoretical foundations and professional skills required of professional communicators, especially those in the public relations field.” Interested in the Online Early Education Program?  ​https://www.millersville.edu/programs/online-early-education.php Interested in the Online Public Relations Program? https://www.millersville.edu […] “New Online Degree Programs”

  • MU Students Present at National Research Conference Art and Design, Biology, Communications and Journalism, Computer Science, Earth Sciences and English and World Languages are all fields MU students presented research on at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research. The conference was held April 13 -15 at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. The conference is held annually by the non-profit Council for Undergraduate Research. It showcases undergraduate innovation, scholarships and creativity on a national stage. It also provides a professional development opportunity for the student presenters. This year’s theme is “Research at the Confluence,” representing the various fields and disciplines that are being brought together at the conference. Jeffry Porter, associate vice president for the Office of Grants, Sponsored Programs and Research, explains what students gain from presenting at the conference. “Presenting their research at a national forum can be validating, builds confidence and is one more experiential learning opportunity for them. Mingling with hundreds of other students from across the country will be an immersive networking and exchange event and can only deepen and broaden their understanding and world view.” Allison Connelly, a senior Media Arts Production major with a minor in Graphic Communication Technology, presented at the conference. She titled her research “Paper Birds,” a 25-minute documentary following Connelly’s story of navigating PTSD resulting from a traumatic event in her childhood, focusing on recovered and somatic memories. Emily Stauder, a junior Ocean Sciences and Coastal Studies major presented her research on the effects the removal of sharks has on the ecosystem in Chincoteague Bay, Virginia. Her research is titled “The Effects of Fishing Down the Food Chain in Chincoteague Bay, VA.” Abigail Breckbill, a senior Writing Studies major, presented her research “What to Watch Instead of Eating: An Exploration of Anorexia in Film and the Proana Community.” Breckbill analyzes films that are promoted by online pro-anorexia communities to trigger or encourage them not to eat. She looks at the imagery and themes that inspire pro-ana viewers to better understand why this phenomenon occurs. While at the conference, students not only presented their research to hundreds of other student researchers, but they also met peers and faculty in their field of research, learned about research in different fields from theirs, learned about graduate schools and employment opportunities and developed their presentation skills. Porter notes how proud he is of the students who presented and recognizes the importance of mentorship from MU faculty, “Our students’ excellence in research is in no small part an expression of the caliber of instruction and mentorship they receive from our faculty.” The students who attended and presented their research include: Tina Borchert, a senior fine arts major from Honesdale, Pennsylvania, presented “The Self in Rugs.” Abigail Breckbill, a senior Writing Studies major, presented “What to Watch Instead of Eating: An Exploration of Anorexia in Film and the Proana Community.” Allison Connelly, a senior Media Arts Production major with a minor in Graphic Communication Technology, presented “Paper Birds.” Daniel Foreacre, who graduated in December 2022, presented “On Building a Mind: Replicating a Neural Network Model of a Neuron.” Samantha Rey, a sophomore Ocean Science major from Lancaster, PA, presented “Preliminary Findings: Physiological Effects of Ocean Acidification on Two Species of Intertidal Snails.” Briar Sauble, senior Computer Science major from Hanover, PA, presented “Combining Unsupervised and Supervised Learning for Credit Card Fraud Detection.” Natalie Sprague Emily Stauder, junior Ocean Sciences and Coastal Studies major from Westminster, Maryland, presented “The Effects of Fishing Down the Food Chain in Chincoteague Bay, VA.” Morgan Towle, senior Communications major from Ashburn, VA, presented “Men Managing Body Image and A […] “MU Students Present at National Research Conference”

  • Future Educator Academy Aims to Recruit More Students of Color Millersville University will host the fourth Future Educator Academy for rising juniors in high school from July 23-29. The Academy is part of the Future Educator Pathway, which is a Grow-Your-Own program to recruit and retain more students of color in the field of education. The academy costs $675/scholar. However, there is a limit of 50 participants this year, so students are encouraged to register as soon as possible. “Scholars who attend the academy should be interested in a career as an educator: teacher, school administrator, guidance counselor, school psychologist, or school social worker,” says Dr. Miriam Witmer, assistant professor of Educational Foundations at Millersville University. The first FEA was held in the summer of 2017 and then in the summer of 2018 and 2019. The University was not able to host the academy during COVID. The FEA is part of the Future Educator Pathway program (formerly known as Project Teacher Development), which additionally offers interested students a college student mentor, in-school seminars focused on teaching and coaching and four dual enrollment courses. The academy originally accepted all high school-aged students who were interested in learning more about a career in education, but this year it is focused on inviting rising juniors and seniors. In the past, it only had students from the School District of Lancaster, but this year the academy offers the opportunity to students from all the local school districts. FEA is an interactive residential college experience. Scholars in the program will live in the suites and eat in the dining hall, explore various careers in education, read a common motivational book, conduct micro-teaching, establish personal and professional goals and work as a teacher’s aide to get practical experience. The academy was established by Dr. Miriam Marguerita Gomez Witmer and Dr. Jeffrey Wimer in 2017. For more information or to regis […] “Future Educator Academy Aims to Recruit More Students of Color”

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