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Special Topics in Field Geology

Their textbook was Lake Michigan.

And for the group of Bloomsburg University students who spent two weeks this summer in the field exploring different geoscience and environmental aspects of the Michigan Basin, they wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

“My biggest take away is the picture this trip painted for me,” said Mitchell Lenker, a junior geology major, professional track. “I have learned so much in the classroom. This however only goes so far for someone's understanding of the topics at hand. This trip helped tie the topics in the classroom into real world applications.”

The unique summer course, Special Topics in Field Geology, was led by faculty Matt Ricker, Jen Whisner and Chris Whisner, of the Department of Environmental, Geographical and Geological Sciences faculty. During their two-week field experience students learned field study techniques and how to analyze field observations that culminated in student-directed field presentations.

“The experiences on this trip were once-in-a-lifetime opportunities,” Lenker said. “Getting to be in the field with a professor for one day is one thing, but being about to spend two full weeks with three amazing professors you not only gain great field skills, you also make some pretty great friends and connections that could help you in the future.”

Deadline nears for PEG applications

Professional U

Consideration is currently being given to Professional Experience Grant applicants seeking financial assistance to help with expenses for Winter Session or Spring Semester professional experiences. The preferred deadline for best consideration to submit a PEG application for winter or spring is Oct. 30. Applications will be accepted until award decisions are made on Nov. 30.

A PEG is a monetary award, similar to a scholarship, that students may use for expenses, such as program fees, tuition and fees, personal expenses or employment stipend, associated with a professional experience. Any degree student in good academic standing planning to engage in study abroad, an internship, faculty mentored, research, field experience and other career-related experiences may apply.

Soil judging team wins bid to nationals

Soil Judging Team

A team of students from Bloomsburg University recently won the Northeast Regional Collegiate Soil Judging Contest hosted by Pennsylvania State University, qualifying to compete in the National Soil Judging Contest at Northern Illinois University in the spring.

BU entered two teams, led by Team A that finished first overall with 3,271 points and fifth in group judging with 570 points. Only the top four teams from the Northeast region qualify for nationals, so joining BU will be the University of Maryland, University of Rhode Island, and Delaware Valley College.

Four BU students also placed individually in the top 10 out of 84 competitors. Eric Franz placed second place with 918 points, Joshua Prezkop placed seventh with 892 points, Daniel Steinhauser tied for eighth with 891 points, and Ryan Sullivan placed tenth with 890 points.

“In the EGGS department soils lab, we were trained on the basics of how to determine the texture of the soil by hand and also the methods soil scientists use to describe the color,” said Steinhauser, describing some of the training prior to competition day.

CAS presents Ruby McCollum film

Bloomsburg University's Celebrity Artists Series will continue its “Mostly Mondays at the Movies” series with the film, “You Belong to Me — Sex, Race and Murder in the South.” The film will show on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. in Carver Hall, Kenneth S. Gross Auditorium.

The film follows the case of Ruby McCollum, the wealthiest black woman in Suwannee County, Fla., who shot state Senator-elect Dr. Clifford LeRoy Adams on Aug. 3, 1952, in the heart of Jim Crow South. This bizarre murder case turned a light on the blind indifferences and humiliations of the old South. Sixty years later, the scars and divides of McCollum’s case are still felt in Live Oak, Fla.

After the screening, there will be a discussion with producer Jude Hagin. Tickets are $3.50 in advance or $4 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at the Haas Center box office, 570-389-4409.

Partnering with On Screen/In Person, a Mid-Atlantic States independent film festival, the Celebrity Artist Series is showing six independent films accompanied by one professional involved in the film on Mondays or Wednesdays throughout the year.

Art exhibit helps open regional LGBTQA Conference

LGBQT Art Exhibit

This group exhibition of 13 artists from across the United States, will open in support of the ninth annual Mid Atlantic LGBTQA Conference. The show opens Nov. 4 and runs to Dec. 5 in the Greenly Gallery, 150 E. Main St, Bloomsburg. There will be an opening reception on Friday, Nov 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

The show explores the topic of (de)construction of complex personal identities within the diverse LGBTQA community. It investigates gender, personal, religious, and cultural identity and how all facets of a person’s character impact their lived experiences as members of LGBTQA communities. The artists were curated by Dave Kube, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design in collaboration with students from the Exhibitions course at BU, and their faculty advisor, and were chosen based on their interpretation of the Conference theme.

This year’s Mid-Atlantic LGBTQA Conference focuses on intersectionality and how identities are constructed and deconstructed. The focus of intersectionality is about how different identities of oppression experience the world in different ways based on each individual’s multifaceted experiences and compiled identities. To accomplish this, the conference will feature a series of panels by numerous scholars, activists, artists, students, and professionals. These panelists will look at queer histories, sub-cultures, as well as provide various opportunities for discussing these complicated ideas.

CAS screens Love Thy Nature

Continuing the Celebrity Artist Series’ “Mostly Mondays at the Movies,” the third film in the yearlong independent series, “Love Thy Nature,” will be screened Monday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. in Carver Hall, Kenneth S. Gross Auditorium.

“Love Thy Nature” tackles the relationship between humans and nature through a cinematic journey of the natural world. Narrated by actor Liam Neeson, the film immerses viewers through cinematic artistry on how our renewed connection with the environment is key to our wellbeing and to solving environmental crises. The film explores how nature nourishes humanity and how a new era of connectedness could bring about a biological revolution.

After the film, there will be a discussion with the director, Sylvie Rokab.Tickets are $3.50 in advance and $4 at the door. Tickets are available at the Haas Center box office, 570-389-4409.

Poetry slam comes to Multicultural Center

Gabriel Ramirez

Gabriel Ramirez, a writer, actor, poet, playwright, and past poetry slam champion, will perform slam poetry on Monday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. at Bloomsburg University’s Multicultural Center.

Gabriel Ramirez is a 20-year-old lover of all things love and author of his Chapbook, “Praise Love.” Ramirez is the 2012 Knicks Poetry Slam Champion, a member of the 2012 Urban Word NYC slam team that placed sixth in the international Brave New Voices Festival. He was featured in a production of one man shows titled, “Black Ink,” where he debuted “Sankofa,” a one man show he wrote and acted. Ramirez has performed on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre, New York Live Arts, Lincoln Center, Apollo Theatre and other venues around the country.

Ramirez was featured on twice and at a TEDxYouth Conference. He ranked second in New York City in Youth Slam and won the 2013 National Youth Poetry Slam Championship in Boston. Ramirez’s visit is presented by the Student Organization of Latinos and is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Weeklong honor of our military

Veterans Day will be recognized with a full week of activities starting Monday, Nov. 7, with yellow ribbons on the Academic Quad, and extending to Friday, Nov. 11, with the Veterans Suicide Prevention Walk. According to Bob Heckrote, academic adviser for military and undeclared students, 437 military students attend BU. “Military students” are defined as current and former military personnel, their spouses and dependents, and participants in Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, known as ROTC.

  • The Nov. 7 ribbon display will be a visual representation of the number of students, faculty and staff who served or are serving in the military, said Matt Haberle, president of the Bloomsburg University Student Veterans Association (BUSVA). Also planned for Monday, Nov. 7, is a military information panel at 3 p.m. in McCormick Center, room 1303, with Brigadier Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania adjutant general, and other armed forces representatives. Adjutant general is a cabinet-level position with the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, headquartered at Fort Indiantown Gap, responsible for command, control and supervision of the commonwealth’s National Guard units, state-owned veterans’ homes and programs for Pennsylvania’s veterans.
  • Poster-sized photographs from the Vietnam War will be displayed Tuesday, Nov. 8, in the lobbies of the Warren Student Services Center and Kehr Union. Blaine Cooper of Danville shot the 35mm slides during his tour of duty in Vietnam and conferred rights to BUSVA in exchange for digitizing the images. A larger display of Cooper’s photos will be exhibited within the next year, Heckrote said.
  • Military vehicles and gear will be featured in a daylong “Touch a Truck” display Thursday, Nov. 10, near the Academic Quad. The event may include a Kiowa helicopter landing on the quad. The Marine Corps birthday also will be observed on Nov. 10.

    Events on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, will begin with a free breakfast for military students, faculty, staff and supporters followed by the Veterans Suicide Prevention Walk at the Academic Quad. Haberle, a junior accounting major from East Stroudsburg, said an average of 20 veterans commit suicide each day.

Members of BUSVA, BU military faculty and staff, military supporters and Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) brothers will walk to raise suicide awareness and funding for the National Alliance to End Veteran Suicide. Participants will walk a mile for every $20 raised, with a goal of $3,500.

Alumna to speak about MBA program

Gloria Gerrity

Gloria Gerrity, vice president at Geisinger Medical Center, will speak about Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s MBA program on Monday, Nov. 7, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Centennial Hall, room 170.

An alumna of BU’s MBA program, Gerrity’s talk is the first in a planned series of “MBA Storyteller” talks that are free and open to the public. Gerrity is vice president of operations for the pediatrics’ service line and Janet Weis Children’s Hospital for Geisinger Health System in Danville. She also serves on the Bloomsburg University College of Business Advisory Board.

Gerrity earned a bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in health care administration from the University of Minnesota. In her career, Gerrity has been involved in physician group practice acquisitions, developing innovative business models for pediatric specialty care and managing operations at Janet Weis Children’s Hospital.

Native American performers come to campus

The Piscataway Singers and Dancers and Mark Tayac, Native American performers, will preform on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 5 p.m. at Bloomsburg University’s Multicultural Center.

At the time of Columbus, as many as 10 million Native Americans lived in North America. A succession of Algonquian people ultimately coalesced into the Piscataway Nation of the Chesapeake and Tidewater regions of Maryland. The Piscataway were the first Native Americans to encounter Captain John Smith along the banks of the Potomac River in 1608. Today, Mark Tayac and the Piscataway Nation Singers and Dancers carry on the longstanding traditions, culture and heritage of their indigenous ancestors.

Tayac travels with the Piscataway Nation Singers and Dancers presenting a colorful, educational and entertaining pow-wow-style campus event, featuring American Indian dance, drums, and song. In addition to their many college campus appearances, the Piscataway Nation Singers and Dancers are frequent contributors to television specials on the History Channel and Discovery Channel. They also appear regularly at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C., national pow-wows, and major festivals.

The Piscataway Singers and Dancers performance is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Syed R. Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Excellence


Bloomsburg Universit deans, department chairs, faculty and staff are invited to nominate an outstanding senior for the annual Syed R. Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Excellence, sponsored by Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Foundation. Ali-Zaidi, a charter member of the State System’s Board of Governors, established the award to inspire and honor System students who excel in the pursuit of knowledge. The 2017 statewide award recipient will receive a medallion and $1,000.

You may nominate a senior no later than 4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 11. The letters should provide specific details that offer insight into the nominee’s outstanding qualities including, but not limited to, information on the student’s research and co-curricular/creative activities outside of the classroom

Nominations will be evaluated on
  • The quality of the nominee’s essay
  • Outstanding performance in the academic major and other areas of study
  • Current GPA, awards, honors projects, faculty-student research, publications, etc.
  • Evidence of distinctive scholarship and/or creative projects with impact on the community, beyond the classroom
  • Participation in co-curricular and/or creative activities during undergraduate years
  • Involvement in student or community organizations and leadership positions held

President David L. Soltz will select one nominee as the university’s representative and write a nomination letter to the PASSHE selection committee. To nominate an outstanding senior, send (e-mail, mail or hand deliver) the completed nomination packet to Ali-Zaidi Award Committee, Attention: Jessica Beaver, Office of Planning and Assessment, 2203 McCormick Center,

BU ranks among "Best Bang for the Buck"

Bloomsburg University was recently named among the top of Washington Monthly’s list for Best Bang for the Buck in the Northeast.

BU ranked at 125 out of 386 colleges and universities on the list, and was the second highest PASSHE school. Washington Monthly ranked their list based on best overall graduation rate, Pell Grant performance, First-generation student performance, earnings performance, and net price in the Northeast schools. Making it the best education for the best price.

BU ranked ahead of Millersville, Shippensburg, East Stroudsburg and Slippery Rock. BU was also listed higher than Temple University, Philadelphia University, Johns Hopkins University, Drexel University, and University of Connecticut. The complete list of rankings are available on Washington Monthly.

Is the Air Force in your future?

Air Force ROTC

Due to the shortage of USAF officers over the next two years, AFROTC is now instituting an unprecedented nation-wide new 18 month accelerated AFROTC program for college seniors and graduate students. Students completing the program will have a guaranteed full-time career as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force in a field of their choosing.

Students enrolled in this program will receive a tax free stipend of $450 per month for the first semester, then $500 per month for subsequent semesters.

Contact for more information.

BU named one of the "Best Value Top Colleges"

Bloomsburg University recently made the ranks of the ETC College Rankings Index designating Bloomsburg as a one of 2017 Best Value Top Colleges. Bloomsburg University is ranked 123 out of 1,195 in ETC rankings and the Best Value Top Colleges out of the first 398 colleges.

ETC College Ranking Index ranks the colleges not the students. Other college rankings list usually focus on Colleges academic achievements, which means the students rank high and not the school. The ETC College Ranking Index ranks use data and analytics in methodology to see what colleges will give students the best experiences.

The ETC College Ranking Index base their rankings off the added value schools bring to their graduates that increase employability and earnings. To guarantee neutrality, ETC do not accept data from colleges and retains a third party who produces the index that receive their information from publicly sources.

BU being ranked 123 exceeded several larger universities, such as Villanova, Robert Morris, Temple, Notre Dame and West Virginia. BU also ranked higher than several other Pennsylvania schools, such as West Chester, Neumann, Shippensburg, East Stroudsburg, Bucknell and California University of Pa.