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Orion program orients freshmen
Camera provides X-ray view of universe
Associate dean sought
ICDE speaker offers possibilities
Memorial service planned
|Penn State news bureau|
The Ciletti Memorial Library at Penn State Schuylkill, which opened in 1994, is in the process of adding to its collection of resource materials as a result of the merger.
By Kimberley Yarnell Bierly
Live at home ... get a college degree ... spend less money. That may sound like a dream, but the concept will become reality for students when the redesign of Penn State Harrisburg, Capital College and Penn State Schuylkill, Capital College is completed this fall.
"It will be one college geographically distributed," explained John Bruhn, provost and dean of The Capital College. "The redesign is geared to allow each location to better serve its community. The merger will allow students to continue to live at home while getting a four-year degree, thus costing them less money for their education. It will offer more educational opportunities for that student who makes a conscious choice to stay at home.
"Also, distance education, in which Penn State is already a major player, will begin to fill an even bigger role in the local communities," he added.
The redesign of Penn State, approved on Jan. 14 by the state secretary of education, calls for Penn State Harrisburg to merge on July 1 with Penn State Schuylkill -- which is just 55miles northeast of the Harrisburg campus. With the merger of these two Penn State entities, the Capital College becomes a four-year baccalaureate and graduate college, with a wider regional presence. This merger and the development of select partnerships with other institutions will provide many new opportunities to expand the college's mission in Pennsylvania, regionally, nationally and internationally.
A committee comprised of members from both locations developed a strategic plan with an overall theme of "Building Partnerships in Learning" and established four major goals for the next five years:
-- Provide a quality educational environment and experience;
-- Develop high-quality strategic educational linkages to the state, region, nation and world;
-- Plan for and use information technology effectively; and
-- Enhance the college's cultural environment through diversification and attention to quality.
Driving time between Middletown, where Penn State Harrisburg is located, and Schuylkill Haven is one hour and the merger will affect everything from "academics to grounds care," Bruhn said.
Penn State Harrisburg, Capital College, which is located on 218 acres in Middletown, approximately 20 minutes from downtown Harrisburg, currently has an enrollment of 3,500 students in upper division and graduate-level courses offering 25 baccalaureate, 17 master's and two doctoral programs. Continuing Education at Penn State Harrisburg also delivers two associate degree programs. The Penn State Harrisburg commitment to the Commonwealth's capital also features two Harrisburg centers -- Eastgate and Downtown -- which are locations for classes, non-credit offerings, lectures, forums and other community outreach services.
Founded in 1966, Penn State Harrisburg is the largest University location outside of University Park. In addition to the wide variety of academic programs, the college also offers more than 40 clubs and social organizations, 14 professional and honor societies, lecture series, cultural events and intramural athletic teams.
It is positioned near Harrisburg to serve the economic and cultural infrastructure of the greater Capital region. The combination of its doctoral prepared faculty, the resources of the second largest library in the University's system and its growing network of linkages with other educational institutions has strengthened the college's mission and its ability to serve a growing and diverse constituency.
Students come from the University's other locations, community and junior colleges and other colleges and universities to attend Penn State Harrisburg. Between 500 and 600 students live on campus, while the others commute from nearby communities.
Students, faculty and staff at Harrisburg are anxiously awaiting the construction of the 115,000-square-foot, $17.3 million library in 1998-99, Bruhn said. Currently, the library is located in 100,000 square feet of space in Olmstead Building, which also serves as the administration building and main classroom building at Harrisburg. The new library will be able to serve nearly 1.5 million potential users.
In addition, another study is under way to replace outdated housing units that during the 1950s were used as an Air Force base. More than $16 million has been designated for this project.
Penn State Schuylkill is one of the oldest locations in the Penn State system, having continuously served the academic needs of the region since 1934. Academics at Penn State Schuylkill include the first two years of most of the University's four-year majors and several associate degree programs. Typically, at the end of two years, baccalaureate students may choose to complete their degrees at University Park, Penn State Harrisburg, or Penn State Erie, Behrend College.
The campus sits on 70 acres and has eight buildings, including a new library. Enrollment is at 1,014 and there are three apartment complexes on campus. An additional unit of student apartments is currently under construction and will bring the number of residential students close to 250, according to Wayne Lammie, campus executive officer. About 20 clubs and student organizations, including intramural sports are offered for students.
The housing is owned by the Schuylkill campus advisory board which is a separate non-profit corporation. "The land was donated to the University by the county and the apartments are being financed through bonds or tax-exempt bank loans which are guaranteed by the county," Lammie said. "This allows financing at a very low-interest rate and the rental income is used to pay off operating and amortization costs. It doesn't cost the county any money -- they are just lending the University their credit. If we had to go out on the market for a loan, we could not have gotten an affordable interest rate."
The merger was an on-going, yearlong effort to integrate two autonomous locations into one, and the faculty senates from each location are working together on the transition to make it as smooth as possible, Lammie explained.
"Everyone is working hard to make sure the first two years at Penn State Schuylkill dovetail into the Penn State Harrisburg program. In addition to the faculty, all the support units have been meeting and planning for the past year," Bruhn said.
"One of our major concerns as we looked at reorganization choices was how to quickly provide the community with baccalaureate programming that has been requested for a very long time," Lammie said. "There is no other comprehensive post-secondary institution in our area. Most of the people in this area are location bound and can't drive an hour to get to an institution comparable to this one."
The merger is not only a partnership between the two campuses but also a merger between the two respective communities, he said, explaining that select four-year programs will be offered at Penn State Schuylkill -- but only after the community has voiced a need for them. The redesign is geared to have each respective location better serve its community.
Even though the merger is not in effect for another few weeks, Bruhn said he has already seen teaching and research links between the two locations. In addition to being able to complete their baccalaureate education at or near home, there are other academic benefits for students. For example, Penn State Harrisburg will extend the criminal justice program to Penn State Schuylkill, which will give students the opportunities for internships at the three prisons in the Schuylkill area.
Degrees in criminal justice, education, general business and psychology were some of the key areas identified in a Schuylkill market survey. We have been sensitive to the program needs of the community and the wish to retain the Penn State Schuylkill identity at that location which has a long history within the University. The original campus was in Pottsville and it was later moved to its current site in Schuylkill Haven," Bruhn said.
To the Harrisburg community, the merger will open the door for people to think of the institution as a regional college, which fits with the already established pattern of outreach and partnership.
By July 1, Penn State Schuylkill faculty who are in the tenure track or who have tenure will have a choice of keeping their tenure at University Park or transferring it to Penn State Harrisburg.
Bruhn sees this merger as a positive for both locations, but cautions faculty at Penn State Schuylkill not to allow it to stop them from working with colleagues at University Park, while also encouraging them to work with their new colleagues at Penn State Harrisburg.
"The Faculty Senate is the first merger success story," Bruhn said. "The two agreed to merge and have completed a new constitution to be voted on before July 1. The members decided to rotate the Senate presidency between faculty at the two locations.
"The Capital College has to respond to changing and growing needs of the region or our competitors will rush in and fill the voids. I think this merger answers those needs for the residents of the region," Bruhn said.
John Bruhn, provost and dean of The Capital College, has
worked to develop partnerships
with other institutions -- a practice that has helped location-bound students to earn a Penn State degree.
By Steve Hevner
Penn State Harrisburg
When John G. Bruhn came to Penn State Harrisburg after many years of academic leadership at the University of Texas at El Paso, he brought with him a "howdy partner" philosophy.
In a time of limited resources and rapidly increasing and aggressive competition, Bruhn's vision for the Capital College quickly became one of linkages and partnerships to strengthen both the institution and the communities it serves.
"For a long time, universities and colleges have been competing among themselves, each attempting to have more and better programs and taking pride in their uniqueness. But times have changed," Bruhn said. "The public, lawmakers and benefactors are asking for greater accountability, elimination of duplicative programs and demanding long-term productivity of tenured faculty.
"In higher education, we are supposed to have a common goal of educating people who are rich in talent and energy and lead us into the next century. But, let's face it, in the past we worked better at being competitors than partners.
"The issue is not to keep asking faculty and staff to continue to do more and more with less and less -- certainly quality will suffer at some point -- but rather do things we need to do in new, more efficient ways," he said.
The cornerstone of Bruhn's philosophy of quality is linkages among institutions
so they can become more effective by working as partners. It didn't take
long for him to put this plan into practice. Just three months after he
took the reins of the 3,500-student Capital College, Bruhn replaced the
key Harrisburg Area Community College articulation agreement -- which for
years had informally allowed HACC students to transfer credits to Penn State
Harrisburg --with a dual enrollment pact. Under the dual enrollment agreement,
students are able to choose a Penn State Harrisburg/
HACC path as early as their senior year in high school. Immediately successful, the program involved more than 200 HACC students within one year, allowing a seamless transfer from one institution to another.
But the HACC pact was only the beginning of a partnership venture which has now reached as far as Mexico. In quick succession came joint programs which offer:
* A Ph.D. in pharmacology from the College of Medicine at Hershey and an MBA from Penn State Harrisburg; and
* A law degree from The Dickinson School of Law and a master's degree in public administration from Penn State Harrisburg.
Next came an agreement which eases the transition into the Penn State Harrisburg MBA and master of science in information systems programs for Elizabethtown College students.
Dual enrollment agreements have been initialed in the past several months with Hagerstown Junior College in Maryland and the nearby Reading Area Community College. Several more such pacts are scheduled for the near future as the college continues to foster and welcome educational partnerships.
The most distant partner for Penn State Harrisburg -- Pachuca, Mexico -- has very rapidly become one of its most vibrant with a number of cultural and educational opportunities already under way. An outgrowth of the City of Harrisburg's "sister city" arrangement with Pachuca, Penn State Harrisburg has become a major player in the ongoing relationship with a number of educational institutions in the State of Hidalgo, of which Pachuca is a part.
Beginning with a visit from 30 Mexican school children to the Penn State Harrisburg summer "Kids College" last year, the Hidalgo partnership has already reached a faculty exchange stage and will soon include students.
This summer, two faculty members from the Penn State Harrisburg School of Science, Engineering and Technology will spend up to a month on an exchange at a technological university in Hidalgo with two Mexican faculty members slated for a return visit in September.
Other plans include:
-- Offering special seminars on public administration with the Hidalgo Institute of Public Administration;
-- An agreement with the Public Education System of Hidalgo which will open the way to a variety of cultural and educational activities for both locations;
-- Faculty and student exchanges with three Hidalgo universities;
-- Internships and individual study opportunities;
-- Programs in Hidalgo and Pennsylvania for American teachers of children of Mexican migrant workers; and
-- Satellite or interactive video delivery of public administration, business management, engineering and engineering technology, agricultural sciences and other programs between Hidalgo and Pennsylvania.
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Dr. Burke A. Cunha, chief of the Infectious Disease Division at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., has been named the 1997 Alumni Fellow of the College of Medicine. He will visit the college in September to present a lecture titled "On Work, Wisdom, Passion and Virtue."
Cunha, who received his M.D. degree in 1972 from Penn State, also is hospital epidemiologist and vice chairman of the Department of Medicine at Winthrop-University Hospital. He is a professor of medicine at the State University of New York School of Medicine at Stony Brook, N.Y., and is editor-in-chief of three medical journals. Cunha is one of the few non-Harvard faculty members regularly invited to participate in the Harvard Medical School's Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease Continuing Medical Education Programs. In addition to directing his own Internal Medicine Board Review course for the past 17 years, he is a frequent participant in board review courses and has been a visiting professor at several medical schools. At Winthrop-University Hospital, he also coordinates the Arts and Humanities Program and the History of Medicine lecture series.
Cunha serves on 25 editorial boards and is a reviewer for 26 medical journals. He has written eight books and more than 50 book chapters.
The Alumni Fellow Award, presented by the Penn State Alumni Association, is administered in cooperation with the academic units. The Board of Trustees has designated the title of Alumni Fellow as permanent and lifelong.
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Five University faculty and staff members have been named Fellows to the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Academic Leadership Program. The CIC is the academic consortium of the Big Ten universities plus the University of Chicago. Through this program, the CIC is helping to develop leadership and managerial skills of faculty and staff on CIC campuses who have demonstrated exceptional ability and administrative promise. Those selected because of their past contributions and potential to undertake key leadership responsibilities at Penn State include:
* Michael J. Dooris, director of planning and research assessment, Center for Quality and Planning
* Sarah G. Wayman Kalin, acting assistant dean, University Libraries; and librarian, Division of Collections and Reference Services
* R. Scott Kretchmar, professor of kinesiology and immediate past chair of the University Faculty Senate
* Susan B. Shuman, 1997-98 Administrative Fellow in The Office of the President; and senior research project manager in Continuing and Distance Education
* John W. Tippeconnic II, director, American Indian Leadership Program and professor of education. Robert Secor, vice provost for academic affairs and personnel, continues to serve as the Academic Leadership Program liaison for Penn State.
The 1997-98 Fellows will be participating in three seminars during the academic year. One of those seminars, "The University of the Future: Motivating Change," will be hosted by Penn State on April 16-18, 1998. For more information on the CIC, visit the Web at http://www2.cic.net/cic/.
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The new Penn State DuBois associate degree program in occupational therapy has been granted full accreditation status by the Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). The accreditation comes nearly a full year earlier than anticipated. AOTA is the regulatory body of the occupational therapy profession.
The Occupational Therapy Program helps prepare students to enter the health care profession as certified occupational therapy assistants. Working under the direction of a registered occupational therapist, these skilled clinicians help individuals of all ages overcome various physical, mental and emotional challenges so they can live their lives to the fullest. The program includes classroom, laboratory and field work components.
Twenty students are currently enrolled in the DuBois program's inaugural class. The second class is fully enrolled with 34 students scheduled to begin studies this August.
DuBois initiated the occupational therapy program in 1996 as a complement to the three other associate degree health care programs offered by the campus -- human development and family studies, medical laboratory technology and physical therapist assistance. Components of the DuBois Occupational Therapy Program parallel those of successfully established programs at Penn State's Mont Alto and Berks campuses.
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A series of open sessions to keep the University community informed on the progress of the University Park Campus Master Plan process is scheduled, beginning this month.
On June 18 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in 110 Wartik Laboratory and from 7:30 to 9 p.m. the same day in the Patton Township Municipal Building, Johnson, Johnson & Roy, Campus Master Plan consultants, will present conceptual options for the campus-wide opportunities plan.
This session is the first in a series of four public meetings scheduled on the topic. Future meetings will be held Nov. 12, April 22, 1998, and Aug. 26, 1998.
Because of the July 4 holiday, the Intercom staff has scheduled an early deadline for the July 10 issue. Instead of the normal Wednesday deadline for copy, Tuesday, July 1 at noon will be the cutoff time for submission of information to appear in the July 10 issue. Anyone interested in submitting information should send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The publication schedule for the remainder of the summer follows:
June 26, with a deadline for copy submission of June 18 at noon; July 10, with a deadline of July 1, noon; July 24, with a noon copy deadline of July 16; Aug. 7, with a deadline of July 30; Aug. 21, with a noon deadline of Aug. 13.
This month marks the beginning of a new era for payroll with the implementation of new payroll distribution methods and new payroll forms for both the payroll check and the remittance advice forms -- which are sent to employees who have direct deposit, itemizing taxes and deductions for each pay period.
The new checks will more closely resemble the new remittance advice forms. However, the new checks will be green and the new remittance advice forms will be blue.
The new format will allow more flexibility in regard to the types of information supplied to the employee. The forms will be printed on a laser printer, which will make them easier to read.
There also are new procedures for paycheck distribution. Checks that were previously available for pickup from the Bursar will now be distributed via interoffice mail. In addition, employees who receive their direct deposit stubs via U.S. mail will now receive them through interoffice mail. These changes will save the Bursar's office roughly $12,000 per year.
Please report any problems to your financial officer.
To register for these or other Human Resource Development Center programs, complete the registration form found in the back of the Spring/Summer HRDC catalog, and fax to (814) 865-3522.
* Productivity Skills for Success in the Work Place of the Future- PRO 094
Develop skills to help you achieve quality outcomes with maximum efficiency in spite of the potentially disruptive effects of organizational change. June 30, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m., 319 Rider Building. Cost: $35.
* Communicating Under the Pressure of Changing Conditions - PRO 095
Recognize and resolve confrontation and conflict which occurs due to change in the workplace with effective daily communications. July 11, 9 a.m. to noon, 319 Rider Building. Cost: $35.
ABC-TV Sports plans to televise Penn State's 1997 season opening football game against Pittsburgh on Saturday, Sept. 6, as part of its Big Ten Conference television package. The Pitt game will be televised regionally with kickoff set for 3:30 p.m. EDT from Beaver Stadium. Penn State has met Pitt more than any other opponent and the Lions hold a 47-41-4 series advantage, winning the last four meetings. The schools have not met since 1992.
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By Karen Wagner
A few yards away from the glowing warmth of the campfire and roasting marshmallows they will scan the night sky for a glimpse of Orion, one of the most prominent constellations in the northeastern sky and the namesake of Penn State's new freshmen wilderness orientation program.
This August, up to 80 Penn State freshman will join thousands of new students across the country who are getting their orientation to college life in the outdoors. Sponsored by the Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, Continuing and Distance Education and the Penn State Outing Club, the Orion program helps new students form friendships and develop survival skills that will help them make the transition to college life. Universities across the country, from Ivy League to small private colleges and a few state universities are implementing freshman wilderness orientation modeled after programs like Outward Bound.
All Orion trips will begin and end at Penn State's University Park campus. Campers will spend five days and four nights on the trail with a final day and evening at the Penn State Outing Club cabin in the University's experimental forest in the nearby mountains. Although the destinations will vary, each trip will offer incoming freshman the opportunity to explore wilderness areas surrounding State College.
"They will meet new people and challenge themselves physically and emotionally by stepping outside their comfort zone, but we also want them to have fun," said Kurt Merrill, program supervisor for the Penn State Outing Club.
Campers are advised to break in their hiking boots and pack their water bottles. The week will include backpacking, a high-ropes course and team-building activities. And there's a bonus. Students who enroll for either the Aug. 1015 or Aug. 1722 session will receive two credits toward their general education requirements. The program will be listed as Kinesiology 297. Students will pay tuition on the two-credits in addition to a $125 program fee for meals, equipment and use of camping gear.
Similar orientation programs are fairly common among other universities and colleges. Some universities, like Princeton, run more than half of all incoming freshmen through their program. Dartmouth, which founded its program 61 years ago, attracts 90 percent of its incoming freshmen class. When Lynne Hudson signed on as Penn State's program director at Shaver's Creek, she saw great opportunity in bringing together the efforts and resources of the Outing Club, the Environmental Center and C&DE.
"We united our efforts. The Penn State Outing Club had the camping gear and knew the area's hiking trails. Shaver's Creek had the staff and facilities to train the trip leaders, and C&DE lent its expertise in program planning and implementation," Hudson said.
The group has been meeting since October, laying the logistical groundwork, leaving nothing to chance. Even the menus will have to be planned carefully.
"We can't just call catering -- it has to be hike food," Hudson said.
The constellation Orion contains some of the brightest stars -- a guide to the rest of the night sky. Organizers hope that the freshmen wilderness orientation program will similarly serve as a guide to freshmen, striking a new beginning and establishing new friendships and new directions in their academic and professional careers.
The Orion program is open to Penn State freshmen enrolling in summer session or fall semester at all campus locations.
The registration deadline for the Aug. 10 trip is July 1. For more information, contact Suzanne St. Pierre, Conferences and Institutes, at (814) 863-5140.
With more than 1,000 members, the Penn State Outing Club is one of the largest student-run organizations on campus. Its mission is to stimulate an appreciation of outdoor activities and an awareness of the need for conservation.
The club offers students the opportunity to develop technical, social and leadership abilities in the out-of-doors.
Some upcoming summer activities include:
* Basic Rock Climbing Course, July 13 and July 20
* Clarion River Canoe Trip, July 1920
* West Branch Susquehanna Canoe Trip, July 2627
For more information, visit their Web site at: http://cac.psu.edu/tsn3/psoc.
The staff at Shaver's Creek Environmental Center offers science and wilderness experiences for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. The Nature Center features a raptor center for injured hawks, owls and eagles; gardens, hiking and cross-country skiing trails.
For more information about program content and registration, visit their Web site at: http://www.cde.psu.edu/ShaversCreek/
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X-ray vision beyond Superman's wildest dreams will soon be one step closer to reality with the completion of a powerful X-ray camera for viewing high-energy objects in our galaxy and beyond to the farthest reaches of the universe.
"For the first time, we will be able to view the sky in X-rays almost as clearly as we can view it from the largest optical telescopes and 10 times better than any X-ray images we have had before," said Gordon Garmire, Evan Pugh professor of astronomy and astrophysics.
Garmire is the principal investigator who conceived and designed the camera, which is in its final stage of testing at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "It has performed flawlessly, exceeding the most optimistic goals originally set for it in 1989 when NASA accepted the proposal for its flight," Garmire said.
The camera was built under Garmire's direction at the Center for Space Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The camera, the "AXAF Charge-coupled device Imaging Spectrometer" (ACIS), is one of two cameras slated for installation on the world's most powerful X-ray-astronomy observatory, NASA's Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility. It is scheduled to be launched into space on the space shuttle in late 1998. The ACIS camera will record the energy of each X-ray that it detects from the high-energy objects as a unique amount of charge, convert the charge into a signal and then send the spectral signals to scientists on Earth who will use the information to detect the presence of different elements.
"X-rays are the most useful energy band for studying high-energy phenomena associated with the most energetic objects in the universe," said Mark Bautz, a research scientist at MIT's Center for Space Research and a member of the ACIS development team. Scientists expect that the ACIS camera will reveal new information about the cycle of matter that ultimately made life on Earth possible.
The ACIS camera, when combined with the telescope's X-ray-focusing mirrors, has very high angular resolution, or sharpness of focus, which will allow it to see individual stars for the first time in regions where large numbers of stars are crowded. It also has high spectral resolution, which will give it the ability to determine the energy of individual X-rays over a wide range of X-ray energies.
"The ACIS camera is amazingly efficient in the way it responds to
X-rays," Ricker said. "It records images, photon-by-photon, in 50 X-ray colors simultaneously. In virtually no other part of the electromagnetic spectrum is it possible to do such a thing, and ACIS does so with near perfection."
Among the objects the camera is designed to see are massive black holes -- 100 million to a billion times the mass of the sun -- which are thought to be the power source at the heart of quasars, the most luminous known objects in the universe. The ACIS camera, because it is able to see very high-energy radiation, may be able to detect the early growth of the seeds of quasars in the early universe. In addition, the ACIS camera will determine the temperature and distribution of hot gas in galaxies and clusters of galaxies -- data scientists can use not only to measure their mass but also to estimate the mass of the entire universe.
Because high-energy X-rays also can penetrate through dense clouds of dust like those that hide in the center of the Milky Way, scientists hope the X-ray camera will be able to see clearly the heart of our own galaxy, which many astronomers suspect harbors a massive black hole. Scientists also plan to study the earliest and latest stages of a star's life and sun-like stars that could reveal what our own sun might eventually do in the later stages of its life. The ACIS camera also will be able to see more "colors" with X-rays -- a much broader range of different wavelengths of energy than the human eye can see.
"If we could see in X-rays, we would see a more colorful universe with many unnamed colors that you can't imagine," Garmire said.
The camera will next be shipped to a number of testing centers and then to the observatory in Redondo Beach, Calif., where NASA's Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility is located. There it will be assembled, integrated and tested. In the summer of 1998, it is scheduled to be moved to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where it will eventually be mounted into the space shuttle in preparation for its launch.
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