Fall 2015

Issue Archives


Netting Electric Results in River Research

One late August morning, biology major Desmond Edwards ’16 donned waders to go fishing in a small creek two miles south of Selinsgrove. But instead of using rod and reel, the senior from Carbondale, Pa., was “electrofishing.” Strapped to his back was a $10,000, 20-pound battery pack sending 200 volts through the water via a coiled wire trailing behind him and a diamond-shaped metal wand he waved underwater in front of him.

A Grad’s Dream Job Opens Doors for Susquehanna Students

When Sarah Myers ’12 first came to Susquehanna University, the history major imagined a career as a professor or teacher. But an internship at the National Archives and Records Administration during her junior year completely changed her outlook.

History in the Unmaking

From University Avenue, passersby would have never guessed what was hidden under the pale green siding and black-shingled roof of the house that, in recent years, was home to Susquehanna’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI), the international music fraternity for women. No one could have imagined the history and culture buried beneath the 1970s façade—no one except Frank Stroik ’75, owner of the Kreamer, Pa.–based historic restoration firm Country Homestead, who was hired to dismantle the 200-year-old structure this past summer to make way for a new $7 million admission house and welcome center, funded by gifts from university trustees.

Also in this issue

At Susquehanna, Rick Dorman ’75 fell in love with the liberal arts. Now, as president of Westminster College, a highly-regarded liberal arts institution in New Wilmington, Pa., he is one of the field’s greatest proponents.
Peter Arduini ’86 learned a lot about business and leadership at Susquehanna—both in his business classes with such professors as Larry Isaacs and as a discus thrower and shot putter with former longtime track and field coach Jim Taylor.
For Michael Kling ’80, serving others is a no-brainer. A volunteer firefighter since the age of 22, Kling has rescued people from burning buildings, tunneled through World Trade Center rubble searching for 9-11 survivors, and helped both vehicular accident and flood victims.
When Jeff Morgan ’82 became involved professionally with nonprofit groups that, at least in part, relied on volunteers, he, too, began volunteering. That impulse led the Annapolis, Md., resident to become an elder at two different churches and get involved with Susquehanna’s Alumni Association.
Few people could quickly switch from being The Crusader’s editorial page editor and studying creative writing to designing graphics for Pixar Animation Studios and some of the world’s best-known brands. But that’s not the case for Cassandra Smolcic ’06, who views her graphic designs as a visual extension of the reporting, research and storytelling skills she honed at Susquehanna.
Before travelling to Australia this summer through Susquehanna’s Global Opportunities (GO) program, Michelle Barakat ’16 already had a good idea of where she was headed in life.
Building model rockets seems like the sort of project you’d find in a typical science class, right? Not exactly.
Like many women of the human variety, female wolf spiders step up their game when their targeted mate just isn’t paying attention. That’s according to research published last spring by Professor of Biology Matt Persons and 2008 grads Jamie Havrilak and Kristin Shimmel while they were sophomores working in Persons’ spider lab at Susquehanna.
Three faculty members were honored with awards during Susquehanna’s 157th commencement ceremony in May.
Men’s lacrosse is a relatively young program in comparison to other sports in Susquehanna’s athletics program. Its first varsity season was in 2000. Compare that to the 116-year history of the football program.
Brad Posner has been named head softball coach, taking over for longtime head coach Kathy Kroupa, who has accepted the position of associate director of athletics at The Citadel.
September marked 10 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. Four months later, Susquehanna sent its first team of students, faculty and staff to Louisiana to aid in the clean-up efforts. These hurricane-relief trips over winter break transitioned into GO (Global Opportunities) New Orleans a few years later when the university started requiring all students to have a cross-cultural experience off campus.
Former Susquehanna women’s lacrosse player Ellie Rosenblum ’15 was named to the Israel women’s national lacrosse team. The 18-player team competed at the 2015 ELF European Lacrosse Championships, held at Sportovní Centrum in Nymburk, Czech Republic, this past summer.
Last spring, 20 young women studying in the Sigmund Weis School of Business were inspired to do much the same thing with their careers: Take a deep breath. Hit the “up” button and don’t look back until you have a seat at the top.
Susquehanna marked the 10th anniversary of the Gundaker and Summers Enrichment Funds during Homecoming-Reunion Weekend with a celebration of the individuals who made the funds possible.
Susquehanna students will travel to vastly different corners of the world this winter on two of the university’s newest Global Opportunities (GO) programs. Students will usher in 2016 with cultural immersions in Israel and Puerto Rico. 

From Our Own

First Word

The magazine you have in your hands has existed under the name “Currents” since 2008, owing to the university’s proximity to the Susquehanna River. This issue of Currents spotlights the spectacular waterway from which our university’s name is drawn.

End Notes

We started our science careers studying Pennsylvania lakes and streams that feed into the Susquehanna River with Professor of Biology Jack Holt. Little did we know that our work on diatoms (single-cell phytoplankton often used to assess a body of water’s health) in the freshwaters of central Pennsylvania would lead us to monitoring the health of the nation’s largest and most productive estuary. After earning our biology degrees from Susquehanna, we both continued to study algae during graduate school at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. Today we comprise the phytoplankton monitoring team for the Chesapeake Bay Monitoring Program, a federal initiative that has been monitoring water quality, phytoplankton, zooplankton and fisheries health throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed for more than 40 years.