News and Events

News and Events

News and Events

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Educator to headline Sankofa

Educator and motivator Jamal Johnson will be the keynote speaker at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s annual Sankofa Conference. Presented by BU’s Multicultural Center, the conference will take place on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in KUB Ballroom. Also, a “Survivor’s Guilt” workshop will be presented by Muhibb Dyer.


Working in the field of education for the past 16 years, Johnson serves now as the Assistant Director for Mentoring and Retention at his alma mater. After graduating from the College of New Jersey in 2001, he began his career as an elementary school teacher in the East Orange and Plainfield Public School Systems. In higher education, he has worked in Residential Education, Admissions, and Multicultural Recruitment.

Dyer, a community activist, poet and co-founder of Flood the Hood Dreams, has performed throughout the United States and was a finalist in 2002 at the National Poetry Slam.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs’ Sankofa Conference, grew out of the need for students to learn, understand, and appreciate the rich cultural heritage of people of African descent. It has developed as a way to promote unity and understanding among students, providing a forum for discussion and learning.

Are you the next student trustee?

Carver Hall

Bloomsburg University's Council of Trustees is accepting applications for the position of student trustee now through Feb. 17. Students applying for the position should be a full time undergraduate student who is at least a second semester freshman and no more than a second semester junior. Candidates must be in good academic standing and be able to serve through May of 2018.

As a student trustee, the selected student has a unique opportunity to represent his/her peers in all Council of Trustees meetings and Community Government Association, executive and senate, meetings. The student trustee aids the Council of Trustees, President, and Chancellor in making decisions regarding the University’s student life, academic programs, admissions, budgets, and university relations.

Katherine Mullen, the outgoing student trustee, is a junior chemistry major. As the student trustee for the last two years has provided Mullen with many experiences, connections, networking opportunities, and privileges that has helped her grow, not only as a BU student but as a person as well. Student Trustees have opportunities to speak at graduation ceremonies, attend donor dinners and award ceremonies that add to their college experience.

Mullen says about her fellow trustees, “I personally love listening to fellow trustees ask questions at meetings,” said Mullen. “All of them have years of professional experience that I, as a 21-year-old, cannot relate to. However, I am able to gain bits of wisdom by recognizing the experiences behind the questions they ask. Each time I interact with the trustees I walk away smiling. They are excited about the path I have chosen in life and are supportive of what I intend to do after I graduate.”

Students interested in being a student trustee should contact Jennifer Williams in the President’s office at (570) 389-4523 or Applications are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb.17.

Gain a professional edge through the Husky Summit

Husky Summit

From participant to a presenter, senior Sarah Bartra has worked towards becoming a professional through the annual Husky Student Leadership Summit. Bartra, a dual communication studies and biological allied health major with a Spanish minor, is an active leader as vice president of Community Government Association (CGA).

Bartra first attended the Husky Summit her sophomore year and this year she will be presenting a panel alongside her fellow CGA student leaders. Besides having the honor to present, she wants to use all the tools available from the Center for Leadership and Engagement (CLE) and the Center for Professional Development and Career Experience (CPDCE) to students at the summit.

During her experience last year, Bartra had a more workable resume and utilized the networking and professional opportunities available at the summit. Being able to mock interview with alumni in her prospective field and receive their feedback was beneficial to Bartra. Networking with student leaders and BU alumni was also helpful. Last year’s keynote speaker Hoan Do, motivational speaker from American Ninja Warrior, was a memorable moment for Bartra.

“His speech was energizing,” Bartra says. “It set the tone for the rest of the day.”

The 11th annual Husky Student Leadership Summit is Saturday, Feb. 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring BU alumni David Williams, president and CEO of the Make-A-Wish foundation, as the keynote speaker.

11th annual Husky Student Leadership Summit

This free day-long student leadership conference with alumni is sponsored by Alumni and Professional Engagement, CLE and CGA. This year’s theme is “Leaders United.” Keynote speaker — David Williams, president and CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation — is a 1981 accounting graduate and former member of the men’s tennis team.

Throughout the conference, students are encouraged to attend various CLE leadership certification program workshops, roundtable discussions with alumni, the leadership networking luncheon and CPDCE, where they can get a professional headshot taken, engage in a mock interview, have resumes reviewed, discuss post grad opportunities and learn ways to brand themselves as a leader and a rising professional. To register, visit the Husky Summit portal on Husky Sync!

Job shadow brings career options into focus

Catherine Garrity

Catherine Garrity loves the creative edge marketing brings out in people and saw that firsthand through her recent job shadowing experience at Altitude Marking, an integrated B2B marketing agency in Emmaus.

“I love working with others to combine interests and ideas,” explained Garrity, a junior business management major with a minor in marketing.

Garrity was introduced to Altitude Marketing through her dad, owner of Compass Point, a consulting company for small businesses. Altitude Marketing was a past client of his, so she reached out to Andrew Stanten, president of the company.

“He spoke very highly of his business and employees, and I could feel his passion for both,” Garrity said. “This was my first experience shadowing with an advertising agency, so it was something I was particularly excited about.”

According to Garrity, the job shadow actually opened her eyes to an added career aspect to marketing. After speaking to Altitude’s public relations team, she began to envision a career path involving PR. She spent the day around several projects the team had worked on, including social media and writing.

Through BU’s business program and the American University of Rome, a study abroad program, Garrity believes the courses she has completed have challenged and prepared her for the future in more than one way. She has developed strong writing and creativity skills, and has learned new limits.

“This program has required me to step out of my comfort zone and do things I didn’t think I could do, such as creating marketing plans and advertising products for different companies,” said Garrity, adding through job shadowing her future career path is coming into focus.

FOCUS celebrates Black History Month with campus visit

Bloomsburg University’s Office of Cultural Affairs/ Student Support Services will be hosting Martin Harris, Sr., pastor of F.O.C.U.S. Young Adult Ministry at Bethel Deliverance International in Philadelphia, for an on-campus church visit on Sunday, Feb. 19, at 11 a.m. in the KUB Multicultural Center for fellowship and blessings in honor of Black History Month.

Through culturally relevant activities and events, and biblical discipleship F.O.C.U.S. promotes Godly unity amongst young adults. In addition to activities and events such as F.O.C.U.S Friday (monthly Bible Study) and “Keeping it 100” (a group meeting and safe space for young adult men). F.O.C.U.S is also actively involved in community service and outreach initiatives.

Free breakfast starting at 10:45 a.m. If you would like to take part in the program please contact Marcei Woods, coordinator of minority affairs, at 570-389-4091 for details.

CAS to begin spring performances

Music’s biggest night of the year, The Grammy Awards, aired live last night on CBS. Bloomsburg University's Celebrity Artist Series congratulates upcoming campus performer Blind Boys of Alabama on their two Grammy nominations.

One of the most recognized gospel roots music groups in the world, The Blind Boys of Alabama have been performing for 70 years and have already won five Grammy’s. Their current song “Mothers Children Have a Hard Time” was nominated for Best American Roots Performance. They were also nominated for Best Roots Gospel Album for their contributions to the various artist album, “God Don’t Ever Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson."

The Blind Boys of Alabama will take the stage for CAS on March 25. Preceding them on Sunday, Feb. 26, will be the Houston based ‘fusion-funk’ band; The Suffers along with opening artists; Ballroom Thieves.

Tickets are available online at, at the Haas Center Box Office or by calling 570-389-4409.

FDI hosts “Dare to Ask” founder to speak

Phillip Milano, founder of Y? The National Forum on People’s Differences, will present “Dare to Ask”, a lecture on how to love and respect others by learning everything about them on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. at Bloomsburg University’s Kenneth S. Gross Auditorium in Carver Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Milano believes, curious students are better students, and encourages people to ask unflinching, politically incorrect questions about racial, cultural, and sexual differences. This helps individuals overcome fears of offending and gain greater understanding of one another. Milano, a 30-year journalist and 25-year newspaper veteran, has been featured on CBS, CNN, BET, BBC, and numerous newspapers such as, The Washington Post, New York Times, and USA Today. He is the author of the book, “I can’t Believe You Asked That!” and a writer for the newspaper column, “Dare to Ask.”

The, “Dare to Ask” lecture is sponsored by the Fredrick Douglass Institute for Academic Excellence.

A memorable learning experience for Douglass LC

Learning Communities foster a unique learning environment for students with similar majors, interests and goals living together on campus and experiencing a variety of learning opportunities in and out of the classroom.

One of the more active communities is the Frederick Douglass LLC, which regularly takes educational trips. This past fall, they traveled to Virginia to visit Belle Grove Plantation — an authentic late 18th-century plantation house and estate. For one student with a special connection to the LLC, the overnight trip left a lasting impression.

“My uncle did research and found out we were related to Frederick Douglass,” said Marqueshay Tomlinson, a freshman nursing major, admitting she really wants to learn more about her ancestry.

Tomlinson said this trip stuck out to her the most when she saw the list of LLC activities early in the semester given to her by her advisor, Brian Johnson, director of BU’s Frederick Douglass Institute for Academic Excellence. Tomlinson’s initial reaction was, “Wow… a slave plantation, oh my goodness!”

BUSVA discovers new potential via NatCon experience

Student Veterans National Conference

For the first time ever, Bloomsburg University achieved silver level as a Military Friendly School this fall from Victory Media. It’s a status the BU Student Veterans Association (BUSVA) not only takes pride in but is working to do even better.

This past winter break a group of BUSVA members started doing just that by attending the 9th annual Student Veterans National Conference — the largest annual gathering of service members, veterans, advocates, thought-leader, stakeholders, and supporters in higher education in the world.

“It is a gathering of all these individuals for the common purpose of improving the transition of students from the military to college, keeping military students in college, and creating the best possible opportunity for student veterans after college,” said Matthew Haberle, president of BUSVA, who along with fellow members were among more than 1,500 conference participants.

According to Haberle, they attended NatCon to learn how to improve veteran benefits on campus and how BUSVA can better themselves by working with other student organizations and bring in new information about jobs and post-graduate opportunities for veteran students.

"Early America" exhibit in Haas Gallery

Early America

Sculptor Lewis Colburn will launch the Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania spring art exhibition series with his work titled “Early America” at the Haas Gallery of Art from Wednesday, Feb. 8, through Thursday, March 9. There will be an opening reception on Feb. 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The show is free and open to the public.

Colburn’s “Early America” show focuses on how objects can be used to re-tell and re-interpret the past through current experience. Colburn is interested in how we choose and neglect narratives through historical replications and how the act of re-telling the past can manifest itself as the object.

Colburn earned bachelor’s degrees in studio art and Russian language at St. Olaf College and received a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Syracuse University. His work has exhibited across the United States in places like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and throughout upstate New York. Colburn is a member of NAPOLEON, an artist-run project space in Philadelphia’s Rollins Building.

Forensics Team kicks off spring season

Speech and Debate Team

Bloomsburg University’s Forensics Team kicked off its spring season with a fourth place finish out of seven teams at the Annual Collegiate Forensic Association’s Speech and Debate Tournament in Clearwater Beach, Fla.

Five of the 13 forensics competitors won speech and debate awards. Among them was Jayleen Alvarado, a senior political science major, who is also studying pre-law.

“I enjoy having a platform where I can speak professionally about issues that plague this country,” said Alvarado, adding the forensics team great fit for students who enjoy traveling, meaningful conversations, and good friends. “I enjoy hearing perspectives that I am not familiar with and may not align with my own. I do not believe ignorance is bliss, if there is an opinion that is based on reason that supersedes my own, it is worth listening to; it is worth discussing.”

Alvarado was proud of the team’s performance in Florida. According to her, the team has provided her with the professional development skills necessary to compete in highly competitive work fields upon graduation. Public speaking was never a fear — but her oral, written, and research skills have heightened substantially regardless.

Annual CFA’s Speech and Debate Tournament

  • Abbey Porambo: 1st Poetry; 1st Informative Speaking; 1st Dramatic Duo with Jayleen Alvarado; 2nd After Dinner Speaking; 2nd Best Parliamentary Debate Speaker; 5th Single Dramatic Interpretation; 3rd Pentathlon
  • Lucelis Ortega: 6th Poetry; 6th Declamation
  • Anna Scott: 2nd Persuasive Speaking
  • Jayleen Alvarado: 1st Dramatic Duo with Abbey Porambo; 5th Parliamentary debate with Tobias Sonnenberg; 6th Communication Analysis
  • Tobias Sonnenberg: 5th Parliamentary Debate with Jayleen Alvarado

Wilkes University Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament

  • Deanna Campion: 5th Parliamentary Debate with Cameron Ostrowski; 6th Prose
  • Cameron Ostrowski: 5th Parliamentary Debate with Deanna Campion; 6th Best Speaker Award in Parliamentary Debate
  • Katarina Solovey: 5th Declamation; 6th Informative
  • Amy Bitar: 2nd Parliamentary Debate with Jayleen Alvarado; 3rd Declamation; 5th Best Speaker in Parliamentary Debate
  • Jayleen Alvarado: 2nd Parliamentary Debate; 3rd Best Speaker in Parliamentary Debate

New scholarship search launched

Scholarship Application Process

Students will no longer need to scroll through a long list of scholarships and complete multiple paper applications that need to be turned into each department. Instead complete ONE application to automatically apply to multiple scholarships.

Deadline for current students to complete the 2017-18 Scholarship Application online is March 1. Incoming freshman have until April 1.

Students can find the application instructions on the scholarship website’s main page before logging in. Students can find the link to the scholarship website on their MyHusky account under the To Do List.

Department committees will be provided with detailed instructions and training in the near future. Committee members will see a list of scholarships they are responsible for awarding upon logging on. Each scholarship will display a spreadsheet of eligible applicants including their answers from the scholarship application and data imported from MyHusky. Committee members will be able to sort and rank applicants and select recipients online.

The financial aid office and BU Foundation, Inc., will view the selected recipients online, a list of recipients does not need to be emailed or put in campus mail anymore. The scholarship awards will be posted to student’s financial aid records and the students will receive an email notification of the award.

Financial aid processing

BU’s Bursar Office will begin processing financial aid on Thursday, Feb. 2. Students who have signed up for financial aid refund direct deposit via their student account will have their refunds deposited to their designated account within two business days of the email notification from the Bursar Office.

For those students who have not signed up for direct deposit, financial aid refund checks will be mailed to the student’s registered home address. There is still time to enroll in the direct deposit option by logging into your MyHusky account.

Students will be notified by email of their disbursement.

A symbolic arrival for a final semester

Rachel Cimera

Rachel Ann Cimera is a senior Chinese major with a minor in political science who is spending her final semester as a undergraduate this spring studying abroad at the renowned Beijing Normal University, a public research university in China with strong emphasis on basic disciplines of humanities and sciences.

"My arrival will be after one of the major holidays in China, the Chinese New Year also known as the Spring Festival. This happens during what is called the春运 Chunyun period, which occurs 15 days prior to the Lunar New Year. Fortunately for all of the Rooster born individuals, their year, 2017 has come."

Discover. Explore. Experience!

  • Thinking about study abroad? — discover your path at the upcoming Study Abroad Open House on Thursday, Feb. 2, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., KUB Multipurpose B. Let us help you get started. Making the memories is up to you!
  • Celebrate the Chinese New Year — Sunday, Feb. 5, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the KUB Ballroom with food, dance and music. Sponsored by the Chinese Student Association, the Chinese Club, and the Office of Global and Multicultural Education.
  • Study in China this summer! — May 21 through June 11, explore Beijing, visit major cultural and historic sites including Forbidden City, Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, traditional and modern neighborhoods, gift stores and more. Taste authentic Chinese foods, learn Taichi, cooking and martial arts in cultural lectures. Learn Chinese and communicate with Chinese students and people on the streets! Earn 6 credits toward graduation in Chinese 101 and Chinese 211 Foundations of Chinese Civilization (carrying 3 GEPs). Both courses satisfy Chinese Minor requirement.

Travel grant scholarship for student research

BU's Global Awareness Society International is offering, on a competitive basis, $500 travel grant scholarships to students who wish to present their re-search at the 26th Annual Conference in Heredia, Costa Rica, from May 25 to 27, with optional educational programs May 28 and May 29. Requirements are:

  • Student must be a BU student or a May 2017 graduate.
  • Individual paper presentations are given top priority.
  • Paper can be in any discipline and should be related to the conference theme, Global Inequity and Human Rights
  • First time applicants are given preference.
  • Student must submit at abstract to the GASI office in 128 Andruss by Feb. 15
  • Awards are made at the Awards Dinner on May 27 at the conclusion of the conference. Contact James C. Pomfret, Andruss Library 128, at

    Wilderness First Aid Offered

    Wilderness First Aid

    Bloomsburg University’s Quest Outdoor Leadership Program is offering a Wilderness First Aid/Wilderness First Responder Recertification course. The two-day class is on Saturday-Sunday, April 29-30 at Monty’s on Bloomsburg University’s upper campus. Registration deadline is Friday, March 10.

    This introductory level course is designed to introduce first aid and patient care in remote locations for outdoor leaders, guides, hunters or anyone who spends times in the woods. Topics include, but are not limited to wound management and infection, realigning fractures and dislocations, improvised splinting techniques, patient monitoring and long-term management problems.

    Participants will receive a two-year Wilderness First Aid certification through the Wilderness Medicine Institute of the National Outdoor Leadership School after completion of the course. All levels of training and experience are welcome.

    BU Players present production of “Harvey”

    The BU Players will premiere their spring season with Mary Chase’s comedy “Harvey.”

    The play, directed by assistant professor of theatre David Miller, will run Wednesday, March 1, through Sunday, March 5, at the Alvina Krause Theatre, 226 Center St., Bloomsburg. Show time on Wednesday-Saturday is 7:30 p.m. with show time on Sunday at 3 p.m. “Harvey” follows Elwood P. Dowd and his best friend Harvey, an invisible anthropomorphic six-foot-three rabbit. Not everyone is happy to have Harvey around, including Elwood’s social climbing sister Veta Louise, who is determined to commit him to a sanitarium. “Harvey” won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1945.