kmadas

  • kmadas wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 10 months, 1 week ago

    Largest Campaign in State System History Tops $110M Millersville University’s “Imagine the Possible” fundraising campaign to support student success reached a record-breaking $110,056,873 on June 30. Not only was “Imagine the Possible” the largest fundraising campaign in University history, the campaign is the most successful fundraising effort in the history of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. “As the first campaign in Millersville University history focused entirely on students, fundraising priority areas included Scholarships, Student Learning Experiences, Marauder Athletics and Campus Revitalization,” says Dr. Daniel A. Wubah, president of Millersville University. “Because of the phenomenal success of the “Imagine the Possible” campaign, thousands of Millersville University students are achieving their dreams.” The accomplishment is the culmination of a six-year fundraising campaign that surpassed a $90 million goal in March 2022 and topped $100 million in January 2023. The total of $110M+ exceeds the overall campaign fundraising goal by more than 22%. “Donors to the campaign established 118 new scholarship endowments and 112 new named annual scholarship awards. This, coupled with contributions to existing scholarships, totaled $31,051,928 with $9,440,416 in scholarship dollars awarded to Millersville University students during the six years of the campaign.” “When the “Imagine the Possible” campaign began with a three-year goal of $32 million in July 2017, attaining this remarkable fundraising success was beyond expectations,” says Wubah. “It is through the tremendous generosity of the entire Millersville University community that the campaign was able to set a record for private support at Millersville University.” “With the outpouring of support from many generous donors, whose gifts of all sizes contributed to the campaign’s amazing results, the “Imagine the Possible” campaign celebrated incredible campaign milestones,” says Victor Ramos, Vice President for Advancement at Millersville. “The gifts will continue to make a legendary impact for future generations of students by providing transformative experiences.” Timeline for “Imagine the Possible” campaign: July 1, 2017 – Three-year campaign begins with a $32 million goal June 11, 2020 – Campaign reaches $44.8 million (140% of goal) and is extended for three years March 31, 2022 – Campaign tops $92 million January 23, 2023 – Campaign exceeds $100 million June 30, 2023 – The campaign concludes with a historic total of more than $110 million To learn more about the “Imagine the Possible” campaign, visit https […] “Largest Campaign in State System History Tops 0M”

  • kmadas wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 11 months ago

    Millersville Grad Student talks Y2K Fashion Out with the old and in with the older – Gen Z is bringing back Y2K fashion. Wide-legged pants, cropped baby tees, butterfly and claw clips and other early 2000s fashion staples are making their way into young adults’ closets. Millersville University’s Yasmeen Bekhit, a graduate student in the school psychology program, was recently featured in an article from the Associate Press about the topic. Bekhit shared her advice and expertise, and since then, the article has been shared in numerous online publications. “I feel super excited to be featured in publications,” Bekhit says. “As a woman who wears the hijab, I value representation of different cultures and backgrounds in the media.” “I remember seeing women wearing the hijab in a Target ad a couple years ago and thinking it was the coolest thing,” she continues. “The opportunity to bring light to my style and the way I wear the hijab was very special to me.” Bekhit shares that early on, her mother inspired her fashion sense. “My mom was the first influence I can remember inspiring me to always dress how I want. The Y2K fashion style influence comes from the nostalgic feelings of the shows I used to love on Disney Channel, music I would listen to and now social media posts on TikTok and Instagram.” Social media has encouraged the style’s return, with #y2kfashion and #y2kaesthetic having 1.7 million and 1.6 million posts on Instagram, respectively. On TikTok, videos marked #y2kfashion have racked up over 2 billion views. “Social media has surely influenced the wave of Y2K, but in general, I think fashion trends never truly die out. It’s more of a cycle, and when more and more people are rotated back in the cycle, we see the fashion styles get labeled as trends until they’re cycled out again,” says Bekhit. “That’s why I wear what I want. Whether it’s ‘trendy’ or not, if I like it, it’ll never be out of style.” When assembling an outfit, Bekhit has a logical first step: she checks the weather. “When it’s warmer out, mesh tops are my go-to piece, because they’re lightweight and easy to pair with other fabrics,” she says. “During colder days, I love oversized pieces such as crewnecks and cardigans to pair with flared or baggy jeans or pants.” “Accessories are a big factor in my style as well, so I go for more colorful tote bags and jewelry to add to the look,” she adds. For those who are looking to start getting into Y2K fashion, Bekhit says that buying second-hand, whether in person or on websites like Depop, is helpful for finding one-of-a-kind pieces. “Flea markets and vintage shops are another great source to finding unique pieces,” she shares. “I also love supporting small businesses that I find through TikTok and will purchase items through sellers on there.” “My advice is to pick out an outfit or two the night before you have somewhere to be,” she concludes. “Make your life a little easier by doing this to find more joy in putting your outfit on and walking out your door with confidence. Most importantly, wear wha […] “Millersville Grad Student talks Y2K Fashion”

  • kmadas wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 11 months, 1 week ago

    MU Alumna Creates a Lovely Series about Rom-Coms Jennifer Silliman graduated from Millersville University in 2002 with a degree in speech communication and a concentration in broadcasting. Now, her degree is put to good use by creating her very own series “Hearts of Stars,” which she hosts and produces. “Hearts of Stars” began as a podcast about romantic comedy films, where Silliman would interview actors and actresses who star in them. After being picked up by Reveel, a free streaming network, “Hearts of Stars” is now an on-location show where the audience can watch Silliman interview the celebrities and get to know them for more than just their films. “I started the podcast because I really wanted to get to know these rom-com stars outside of their on-screen performances,” Silliman explains. “Most of the interviews I found were about their films, but I wanted to know more about them and their passions.” Silliman says that it’s been exciting to have the opportunity to expand the show. “I remember the day I was offered the television show, and it was very surreal. It’s been a dream since I was little to have my own talk show, so I was thrilled. I wanted the show to be unique, so it was decided early on that it would be an on-location tv series that would film in the celebrity’s home.” “This was a huge transition from my podcast,” she continues. “It’s easy to schedule a Zoom call and send a link, never needing to leave your home. It’s an entirely different ballgame to coordinate travel and a film production crew. I mean, this was a full-scale show with graphics and music. Thank goodness for my team!” When filming a new season, Silliman explains that she can schedule filming around her family life. She’ll travel to a few locations with production lasting about three days, typically Friday through Sunday, and she’s back home by Monday. “An average day while filming for a new season is still pretty average,” she says. “Our shoots last about 3 hours, so we’re in and out quickly. My crew and I have it down to a science. All the footage is then sent to my team at Reveel, who edit and produce the show.” Some notable names Silliman has interviewed include Ryan Paevey, who was a series regular on “General Hospital” and has since starred in several Hallmark movies, and Cindy Busby, who along with several Hallmark credits has also guest starred in quite a few shows for the CW network. Silliman says that her time at Millersville University helped prepare for her work on “Hearts of Stars.” In addition to her coursework, Silliman also gained plenty of experience working at WGAL-TV. She worked there from before her time at the University until she graduated and ultimately became a production assistant for the nationally syndicated show “Wild Moments.” “My time at Millersville prepared me for this adventure in many ways,” Silliman says. “First, the hands-on experience that’s part of the broadcasting option was pivotal in understanding all the aspects of television and film production. Coincidently, I preferred being behind the camera, not in front of it, and that’s still true today. I’m a producer and director at heart.” The best part of the show for Silliman is that it helps make her dreams come true. “The most rewarding part of this experience is just the literal fact that I’m living my dream. This is what I’ve wanted to do my entire life, so to be able to do this show the way I want to do this show has been a true blessing,” Silliman concludes. “Now, the most exciting part is getting to know all the actors and actresses that I love watching on television and really becoming friends with them. I’ve been lucky enough to interview the nicest stars you’ll ever meet.” As for her favorite rom-com? “‘He’s Just Not That Into You.’ A 2009 classic.” “Hearts of Stars” is streaming exclusively on Reveel. For more information about the show, @HeartsofStarsTV is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Interested in Media Arts Production at Millersville University? Visit he […] “MU Alumna Creates a Lovely Series about Rom-Coms”

  • kmadas wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 11 months, 1 week ago

    Millersville Alumni Awarded for Bloody Mary Mix Bloody Marys might be just an occasional treat for some, but Millersville University alumni Collin and Annie Dawkins have worked hard to perfect the art of the tomato-based drink. The couple founded and own Sunday’s Best LLC, where they sell their special Bloody Mary mixes and garnishes, along with other merchandise for their brand. Since 2021, the Dawkins’ Bloody Mary mix recipe has consecutively been awarded the platinum metal at the Drunken Tomato Awards, the highest award the international competition bestows. Along with being internationally recognized, Sunday’s is currently the most-followed Blood Mary mix on Twitter. Collin and Annie attended the University together, with Collin graduating with a degree in business administration in 2017, while Annie graduated in 2018 with a degree in psychology. Despite holding different jobs before their entrepreneurial efforts began, the two founded Sunday’s with the desire to keep some of their family traditions alive. “Annie’s dad, Pat, introduced us to Bloody Marys when we were in college,” Collin explains. “His Bloody Mary was the first one either of us had ever tried. It took me a while to get used to the taste of Bloody Marys, but I fell in love with them.” “After we had Pat’s Bloody, we would try to find one that could compare to his in Lancaster or any other cities we traveled to. We never could. So, in 2020 we wanted to start an ecommerce business of some kind, and we decided that we could be the ones to show people what an amazing Bloody Mary tastes like.” The two agree that they knew they had something special with their recipe, but the journey from starting the business to being awarded and praised has been exciting. “We have really taken our time building Sunday’s,” says Collin. “It feels like everything has happened like it was supposed to. We knew that we had a great mix, and that people love it, but getting validation from the judges was really cool and humbling.” “It feels really exciting to have this little tradition that my dad started shared with everyone who gets our mix,” Annie adds. Furthering their entrepreneurial experience, the couple recently opened the Lancaster Beignet Company, a local café located on N Prince Street in Lancaster. The two were again inspired by family traditions. “My Dad’s side of the family is from Picayune, Mississippi. My whole family would drive down every Summer, and when we were there, we would go to New Orleans,” says Collin. “Café Du Monde was always a stop while we were there.” “We would order dozens of beignets and eat every single one, and we would also make beignets at home for special occasions. It was something that I grew up with but could never find outside of home. So, kind of like the Bloody Mary Mix, we wanted to bring something new to Lancaster.” Lancaster Beignet has been open for about nine months, and during that time, the two have been developing their business model and working on growing and expanding their team. As they grow, the couple is looking to potentially franchise the company throughout the northeast. “We would love to hear from possible MU alumni who can help us out there!” Collin says. The best aspect for the two has been forming real relationships with their customers and their employees. “The most rewarding part has been creating a space in our community where every person who walks through the doors instantly feels welcomed and that they belong here,” Annie says. “And, of course, feeding them delicious food. It’s always exciting to see the reactions to a plate of six hot beignets or a beignet sandwich coming out.” As for Sunday’s, the two are looking to expand that venture as well. Currently, all their mixes and orders are processed and packaged by hand, but they explain that they’re looking to keep up with the demand they’ve created. Working with third-party logistics and a co-packer are the first steps. “With all those things coming together we can really focus on finding new wholesale partners– restaurants, bars, breweries, shops, and now grocery stores,” Collin says. “Until now, we have done everything ourselves and we just weren’t able to create enough inventory to scale the business. All of that is changing and it’s super exciting.” The couple attributes their time at Millersville to helping with the skills they’ve needed in founding and maintaining their businesses. “I took a lot of great entrepreneurship classes at MU. I was always interested in entrepreneurship, but the classes I took with Dr. (Michael) Douglas specifically really helped me dive deeper into that world,” says Collin. “I also played football my freshman year, and learned what hard work looked and felt like.” Collin also participated in the 30-second pitch competition during his time at the University and moved on to the PASSHE level. “That was the first business that I created, and incorporated, and tried to grow. It wasn’t successful by any means, but it was a fun learning experience.” “Millersville helped me learn and grow in many ways,” says Annie. “I would say my time in the psych department deepened my understanding of how different and unique people are, it gave me tools to help when I’m training, managing and interacting with employees and guests.” Annie also notes that Millersville allowed her the opportunity to develop lifelong friendships. “The friends that are in my life the most are relationships that developed during my time at Millersville.” The two note that entrepreneurship can be intimidating but rewarding. Collin acknowledges the importance of learning from others and listening to feedback. “We’re still at the very beginning of our entrepreneurial journey. As we continue to build and grow, we’d love to talk with people who have done this before and learn from them.” “Taking chances by putting yourself and your business out there for the world to see can come with a scary feeling,” concludes Annie. “Trusting in yourself and remaining authentic are really important pieces to hold on to. That scary feeling might always be there, but it turns more into excitement, and the feeling of being received positively by the commu […] “Millersville Alumni Awarded for Bloody Mary Mix”

  • kmadas wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 1 year ago

    Faculty & Students Research Unhoused People in Lancaster Park Millersville University faculty members and graduate students from the Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change and the School of Social Work recently released a report on the use of Lancaster’s Binns Park that is sparking conversations around the county. The report, titled “People & Places: Community needs and the use of public space in Binns Park,” is a 31-page paper that reflects 18 months of research and takes a closer look at the populations who frequent the Lancaster County park located in the heart of the city.  Graduate students in the social work program Jenna Graeff ‘22, Rachel Preibisch and Dawn M. Watson conducted much of the research through interviews, observation, creation of the survey and qualitative data analysis. The team looked to Dr. Mary H. Glazier, professor emerita of sociology, and Dr. Jennifer Frank, associate professor in the School of Social Work, for guidance as they began and implemented their research.  According to the report, unsheltered homelessness in Lancaster City, particularly manifested by people sleeping in Binns Park, has received increased attention recently. Stakeholders cited a number of concerns about the public space, including drug use, drug sales, overdoses, violence, and the welfare of those who congregate there, especially individuals struggling with their mental health. The report states that “Binns Park has become a de facto space for the homeless community, a situation recognized by all stakeholders and the community at large.” This study attempted to understand the complexities of the issues that comprise the Binns Park problem through observation, interviews and surveys. The lack of public restrooms in the park contributed to other issues identified by stakeholders in the community. The research team also discovered that some congregants were not, in fact, homeless. Violence and conflict among participants were also not frequent occurrences. This and more leads to what the report describes as “congregants conducting their private lives in public spaces.” The most pressing issues were:  Developing more accurate information regarding Binns Park and its congregants  Identifying and promoting effective approaches to engage congregants   Finding common ground between formal programs and informal efforts   Honoring the needs of congregants for human connections  Implementing a people-oriented approach  Guest speaker Dave Costerella sparked ideas for the project in a class when he shared his personal experiences doing street outreach. “It started in the homelessness class, which turned into class research and then community engaged research,” shares Graeff. “The suggestion that we have to do something,” says Preibisch. “When Dr. Frank hears those words, watch out because you’re going to do something,” explains Graeff.  With that, the team got to work. “Social work is not just talking about things and saying, ‘Oh, that’s sad.’ It’s doing something about it,” says Watson. After the initial idea was sparked, they secured a Community Engagement Grant and collaborated with the Center for Public Scholarship to design a new and more in-depth research strategy.  According to Glazier, this park points to a shortage of affordable housing and to inadequate resources for people in need. “The presence of unsheltered homeless residing in public places is an indication of the significant lack of affordable housing. It is essential that community leaders and elected officials work cooperatively to ensure that shelter is available, and that people receive the assistance that they need to secure permanent housing. Our research has also indicated that many of the people congregating in public spaces have experienced difficulties accessing the services that they need.” One of the ways to do this is by reducing barriers that discourage people from accessing services.   Both Frank and Glazier jumped at the chance to work with students on the project. “The graduate students have been phenomenal partners in this research,” Glazier says. “They have technical skills that facilitate data collection and analysis and are also able to build rapport with people from diverse backgrounds. This research project would not have been possible without the work of the graduate students.” Frank echoed her sentiments, saying, “I adore collaborating with students on research. Often students don’t see themselves as researchers at first and they’re even intimidated by the notion. But once they learn the basics of social research, and gain a bit of confidence, they find that they become naturals. This group of students are some of the most intelligent, inquisitive, and engaged scholars that I have worked with […] “Faculty & Students Research Unhoused People in Lancaster Park”

  • kmadas wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 1 year ago

    Alum Talks Life in the South Pole Living in the South Pole certainly isn’t for everyone. In many ways, it’s nearly inhospitable for humans. That didn’t stop Mark Dellandre. This 2019 graduate of the meteorology program recently spent 10 months living and working in one of the coldest and most remote parts of the Earth. In the summertime, the highest temperatures reach around -20 degrees Fahrenheit. “The lowest I experienced was -100 degrees Fahrenheit. Triple-digit cold!” says Dellandre. So how did he end up at the South Pole? “About a month after graduation, I saw a link to Antarctic contracts in a Facebook group,” says Dellandre. He explains that getting to Antarctica was time-consuming, but “After 3 years, I finally got the call that I would be spending a winter at the South Pole.” Dellandre’s role at the station was to record weather observations and other meteorological services, like weather balloon launches. The balloon launches would collect temperature, dew point, wind direction and speed, and pressure. This would make a vertical profile of the atmosphere or sounding, which is useful for forecasting, climatology and modeling. “Observing requires a person going out and looking at visibility and clouds,” he explains. “This isn’t difficult when the sun is up, but when it’s dark out, vision is much more difficult, as you can imagine.” The South Pole is dark for six months out of the year. “To counter this, we’d have to wait in a vestibule and let our eyes adjust to the dark for about 10 minutes,” explains Dellandre. “It was a little easier to see the markers then.” In order to go outside, you must wear extreme cold weather gear. “Every month I would be out in the cold for more than an hour, but the ECW Gear protected me. However, if there’s a bit of exposed skin somewhere, like the neck or chest, you run the risk of frostbite after 5 minutes.” As long as you’re cautious, Dellandre notes, it’s perfectly safe to go outside. Life at the South Pole comes with other challenges aside from the cold and the long months of darkness. Water is limited. “That means we only get two 2-minute showers a week,” he says. “As you can imagine, there are challenges that grow from this scenario, but you get used to it.” There are other tasks they have to tend to, like sorting their garbage into different bins, including food waste, metals, and biological refuse. Getting online isn’t always possible. “The internet is sporadic, and days could go by without access to it. Many of our personal comforts are stripped away down there, but it’s amazing how quickly a person can adapt to these changes,” he shares. Despite the extreme temperatures and remote location, Dellandre says that the Pole is a very active community. “We had events every weekend as well as routine everyday meetups. For instance, every Tuesday, a group would get together to practice speaking French, and every month we meet for a trivia match.” There are always events happening to help stave off any feelings of stir-craziness, he shares. There are typically around 40 to 100 people living at the station at any given time. Dellandre has plans to return to the South Pole for 14 months this September and says that he’s grateful for the experiences at Millersville. “This was an amazing experience, and it wouldn’t have been possible without my degree from MU. Plus, a lot of the tools and skills necessary for my job I had already learned from our great staff of professors.” He also encourages students to seek opportunities like this. “There are hundreds of memories I forged from the Pole, and I stress to new graduates that an opportunity like this may seem strange, but it’s worth keeping an o […] “Alum Talks Life in the South Pole”

  • kmadas wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 1 year, 2 months ago

    While May is honored as Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month, May is a short month on Millersville University’s academic calendar. To truly honor the voices celebrated during APIDA month, the U […]

  • kmadas wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 1 year, 3 months ago

    One Day Give Raises More than Half a Million in 24 Hrs The final number is in for One Day Give 2023, Millersville University’s online day of giving. This year, MU raised $582,465 from 2,026 gifts!   This impressive amount will support student scholarships, Millersville athletics, the EPPIIC Student Compassion Fund that assists students facing undue financial hardships who need emergency assistance, and so much more. Additionally, 15 new scholarships were created during the 2023 One Day Give. The valuable funds contributed during the One Day Give event will directly impact the student experiences of thousands of Millersville University students. “I am so grateful to our community for once again showing support for our brilliant and deserving students here at Millersville University during the 2023 One Day Give event,” says Dr. Daniel A. Wubah, president of Millersville. “Words cannot express how appreciative the entire University and I are for the thousands of generous gifts made yesterday. Thank you to each and every person who made a gift.”   To learn more about One Day Give and to save the date for next year’s event, visit https://www.m […] “One Day Give Raises More than Half a Million in 24 Hrs”

  • kmadas wrote a new post on the site Millersville News 1 year, 4 months ago

    10 Years of Giving: Meet 10 People Impacted by One Day Give One Day Give is Millersville University’s annual online fundraising event. Each year, the Millersville community supports the University’s students, athletic teams and more. To celebrate the 10th year of this event on February 23, 2023, here are 10 people who’ve directly benefited from or contributed to the One Day Give over the last 10 years. Want to make a gift? Click here to donate now.   LAUREN COCA ’23: Environmental and Spatial Sciences major with a minor in Environmental Hazards and Emergency Management In 2020, many donors gave to the EPPIIC Student Compassion Fund, which assists vulnerable students with funding for food, water, housing assistance, medicine and more. Lauren Coca is just one student of many to benefit from those gifts. “I benefited from the EPPIIC Student Compassion Fund by being able to pay for rent and meals as I pursued an internship on campus. Having those necessities taken care of allowed me to excel in my experiential learning co-op as a garden assistant, growing food for the Campus Cupboard during the summer sessions and tackling food insecurity on campus.”  As a recipient of the fund during the throes of the pandemic, Coca says she understands why it’s important to give. “It is critically important to donate to causes like the EPPIIC Student Compassion Fund, as it enables students to focus and excel in their classes,” she shares. “Finances are one of the most significant components college students must worry about as they juggle their educational needs.”  Because of the funds she received, Coca could focus on her education. Since then, she became the vice president of the Student Government Association and treasurer in MU’s Society of Manufacturing Engineers chapter. Coca has also dived into more of her passions. “We have turned trash into upcycled keychains, bottle openers, succulent pots, and so much more using industrial shredders and injection molding processes,” she shares. Once Coca graduates, she hopes to pursue work in the environmental field and, eventually, a master’s degree in microplastics research.  SPENCER SHORTT ‘23: Psychology ‘21, Sport Management ‘23 Last year, the Millersville University men’s soccer team was able to visit England because of generous donations made to the team during One Day Give. Spencer Shortt, a forward on the team, says the trip was a valuable experience for everyone. “Going to England provided my teammates and me the opportunity to learn and appreciate the cultural differences of England as well as grow and build our relationship as a team to prepare for the upcoming season,” he shares. “We made unforgettable memories that will stay with us for a lifetime.”     “Personally, the most impactful part of the trip was getting to tour different cities and interact with locals to learn about their culture and way of life,” says Shortt of the team’s travels. “I enjoyed attending the professional matches and playing against English clubs, but exploring the cities and interactions was most impactful.”  As someone who has experienced the benefits of One Day Give, Shortt understands the importance of this day and what it means to the Millersville community. “One Day Give is the easiest and most beneficial way to positively impact Millersville Athletic teams as a supporter,” he says. “Donations through One Day Give provide students and student-athletes opportunities and experiences that we would not be able to get without that support.”   After graduation, Shortt plans to move to Florida, where he will apply his undergraduate degree in psychology along with his master’s degree in sport management to work as a sport psychology/mental performance consultant with athletic teams.  3. AMBER LIGGETT ‘18, ‘20M: Meteorology with a minor in Mathematics ‘18, Emergency Management ‘20 & Donor As an alumna with multiple degrees from Millersville University, Amber Liggett can speak to the standard of education MU provides and the opportunities available to students through One Day Give.   Liggett graduated in 2018 with a degree in meteorology and a minor in mathematics. In 2020, she earned a master’s degree in emergency management. According to Liggett, MU prepared her for her career. “MU has been instrumental in giving me a detailed understanding of where all I could take my career in both the fields of meteorology and emergency management with guest speakers in seminars and in classes,” she explains. “My professors helped me get into prestigious internships every year in undergrad through letters of recommendation and set me up for success with a graduate assistantship program. Additionally, I had a plethora of hands-on learning opportunities both in undergrad and graduate school, as well, that really enhanced my resume and prepared me for my current career.” Today, Liggett serves as a contractor with the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Program Office’s Communication team.  Not only has MU prepared Liggett for her career, but the University also helped her attend the American Meteorological Society’s annual meeting twice because of One Day Give. “One Day Give provided additional money for me to attend the annual meeting when I was a junior and senior,” shares Liggett. “It also provided additional funds to the Center for Disaster Research and Education when I was a graduate assistant in that office.”   As someone who has felt the impact of One Day Give, Liggett understands why this day is so important to students. “One Day Give provides students with funding to have more enriched opportunities during their collegiate career,” she says. “Everything is becoming more expensive, including professional development and research opportunities. The money raised during One Day Give makes the difference between one and a handful of students attending conferences, or a student being funded to do the research of their dreams during their undergraduate or graduate career.”   GREGORY WELLONS ‘78: Psychology ‘78 & Donor While Gregory Wellons was a student, he joined the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity to give back. “I became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity while at Millersville,” he says. “One of our objectives is to aid downtrodden humanity in its efforts to achieve higher social, economic and intellectual status.” One of the ways Wellons has lived out that mission is by helping to create a scholarship fund specifically for African American/Latino students. “I have seen the impact that giving to the African American/Latino fund has had on students at Millersville,” shares Wellons. “I have spoken to several scholarship recipients, and they expressed how much it has helped them.”  One Day Give inspires Wellons to give back to the University, as he attributes much of his success in life to his education. “The reason I consistently give to MU One Day is my degree from Millersville has provided me with great success in my life,” he says. “I also believe you should give back to help others.”  DR. THOMAS NEUVILLE: Professor of Education, Coordinator of Integrated Studies & Donor As an education professor and the faculty administrator of the integrated studies program, Dr. Thomas Neuville understands the impact giving can have across campus. “Millersville University is a community of the true sense of community,” he says. “A community that is more than simply a group of people living in a particular place. Millersville represents diverse people interacting with a unifying common purpose.”  Neuville guides his life and decisions on the philosophy of Socrates and believes in giving back to the community. “Socrates also taught that the only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance. We profoundly know this today. Those who have been excluded and made marginalized are welcomed at Millersville and for that, giving is the least I can do.”   DR. AMBER SESSOMS 06, ‘08M: Psychology ‘06, School Counseling ‘08, Trustee & Donor As a two-time graduate and a Trustee of the University, Dr. Amber Sessoms has a deep love for Millersville and believes in giving back in many ways. “As a trustee, it’s one of my responsibilities to not only give back of my time but of resources,” she shares. “As a Black alumna, I give to the Intercultural Center during One Day Give in honor of my mentor of many years, Dr. Rita Smith-Wade-El.” As a former scholarship recipient, she also makes a habit of giving to the African American/ Latino Alumni Scholarship. “That scholarship helped me to get my books when I didn’t have enough money,” says Sessoms.  Sessoms, who served as a school psychologist for many years, now works as the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Natural Inclination LLC, which strives to “support courageous leaders in cultivating liberatory spaces for individuals to be their full, authentic selves.” She says, “My work is so attached to equity and inclusion, but we often stop at equity because we just think about access. But it’s really about affirming the work already done and recognizing that we have staff who want to create a sense of belonging for our students. When I think about being inclusive, one of Millersville’s EPPIIC Values, I want to honor people who are creating inclusive spaces, and that often takes money to sustain the meaningful work.”  JENN HOUTZ ‘18: Biology, Animal Behavior Option ‘18 & Donor When Jenn Houtz was an undergraduate at Millersville studying biology, she appeared in several promotional videos for One Day Give. In those videos, she clearly outlined her goals for the future: to become a research professor. At the end of 2022, she fulfilled that goal.   According to Houtz, it was possible because of her education at MU. “It was such a surreal experience to receive my dream job as an assistant professor of biology at Allegheny College,” she shares. “All my education and research from four years at Millersville and five years at Cornell led to this milestone. My undergrad research advisors were two of the first people I called with the exciting news.” Houtz is also finishing her doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University, where she studies how wild animals respond to stressful events like climate change. “My doctoral work aims to identify bioindicators of stress resilience in wild birds, such as hormones,” she explains.  Undergraduate research was a big part of her experience at Millersville. “When I conducted research at Millersville, I was involved in every aspect of the scientific process, including grant writing, sample collection, data analysis, and communicating my results,” says Houtz. “The small class sizes and passion of the biology faculty for student success equipped me with all the skills I needed to become an independent researcher.”   Her research even took her outside of the classroom and to South America. “The most valuable part of my undergraduate research was the ability to travel to Ecuador to conduct fieldwork and attend scientific conferences with professors where I could network with other scientists,” she says. “I learned that research is most productive when done in collaboration with others – a philosophy I teach my students now.”   It’s safe to say that One Day Give directly impacted Houtz, and she says that now is a great time to give back. “Millersville can change lives. My education at Millersville (including the generous research grant funds I was able to apply from various donors) set me on the path to success,” she says. “I wouldn’t trade my experience at Millersville for anything.”  8. SANTIAGO RAMOS ‘22: Manufacturing Engineering Technology ‘22 Another Millersville student who benefited from the EPPIIC Student Compassion Fund is 2022 graduate Santiago Ramos. He says the funds couldn’t have come at a better time. “It helped me to financially go through what I would say were my toughest days in the past 5 years, financially and mentally,” he shares. “It also made me feel like there were tools I could use to get through economic adversity mixed with the good feeling of knowing that there are people who are willing to help you.”  Ramos also notes that giving to Millersville students has a real impact. “You could be helping someone who is in real need. A monetary amount that may not be significant to you could greatly impact someone going through a tough time,” he says. “Your donation could be helping someone to accomplish their goals in life.”  After graduation, Ramos moved to New York City and began working as a project manager for Porcelanosa. “I’m currently being sponsored for an H1B (working) visa, and my goal is to stay in the U.S. for the next few years,” he shares. “I’m happy with where I am and who I am today, and I just want to thank Millersville University for all the support I received. It is a great community.”  SHELLY BEHRENS ‘21M: Sport Management with an emphasis in Athletic Administration ‘21M & Field Hockey Coach As the head coach of Millersville University’s Field Hockey Team, Shelly Behrens recognizes the importance of One Day Give. She says the impact has been “immeasurable.” Behrens says, “The generosity and philanthropy of so many has been such a positive for our players and field hockey program overall. It has literally changed lives and I know it will continue to do so!”   Behrens explains that the money raised for the team during One Day Give impacts the players directly. “It allows me to help our players that are here right now,” she says. “Not all of our players are on scholarships and the gifts made to the team help us to attract higher-profile academic and athletic players.”  Giving is a personal choice, notes Behrens, but one that can help students for years to come. “I hope that anyone that’s been on the receiving end of a gift or scholarship will consider paying it forward, knowing that their gift to Millersville field hockey will create a ripple effect,” she says.   Behrens says the amount doesn’t matter. “It could be $5, $20 or $125 or higher.” This year, the field hockey team is asking alumni, fans and family to give $125 over 12 months to have their name engraved on a locker as part of the Morgan Athletic Complex renovation. “That amount gives donors the ability to keep a legacy into the future,” shares Behrens. “During my time at Millersville, many players benefited from the generosity of athletics donors. I hope that these alums and families will step forward and etch their mark as legacy donors for the Morgan Athletic Complex,” Behren says. Mostly, she’s grateful for the support the Millersville community has shown the field hockey team over the years. “Somehow, thank you never seems like enough,” says Behren.  MEDERNERIS MARTINEZ NUNEZ ‘18:  Social Work ‘18 & Donor Mederneris Martinez Nunez is a graduate of the social work program who created the Rodriguez Family Award. The award encourages young mothers of color to accomplish their goals.   Martinez Nunez explains that she created the award because of her experience as a young mother pursuing higher education. “I had a difficult path to graduation as a young mother and as the first-generation college student in my family,” she explains. “I couldn’t have the traditional student’s college experience due to my responsibilities as a mother of two young children. I didn’t have the ability or time to join sports or clubs for the same reason.”   In 2017, Martinez Nunez received the Marion G. Foster Award, presented annually to a junior social work major for academic excellence under extenuating circumstances. “That award made a huge difference in my life,” she shares. “It helped me financially and encouraged me to keep going.” After receiving the award, Martinez Nunez knew she wanted to impact another student’s life the same way. “As a student, I conducted a literature review and learned through research that at the time, only 2% of young mothers of color actually graduated college.” That idea later became the Rodriguez Family Award.  Martinez Nunez understands the impact donations have on students and recognizes the importance of One Day Give. “I give to Millersville during One Day Give because I know first-hand the impact that giving to Millersville has on students. Giving to Millersville has a greater impact than words can describe,” she says. “It is an honor to give back to my community and University. A special thanks to the social work department for always being […] “10 Years of Giving: Meet 10 People Impacted by One Day Give”

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