Spring 2016

Issue Archives


Voices for Empathy and Education

Do we want a color-blind society or one in which we acknowledge our differences? Renowned journalist and human rights activist Charlayne Hunter-Gault asked this question of a packed house in Degenstein Center Theater on Jan. 25. The occasion was her keynote address during Susquehanna’s 2016 winter convocation and Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration. Within a few weeks of her appearance, the university welcomed home Garrett Thompson ’00 and Baktash Ahadi ’05 for lively and thought-provoking interactions with the campus community. Embodying the rich diversity of the Susquehanna family, they are inspiring a new generation and connecting them to the wider world, much like Hunter-Gault has done in her career.

The Perpetual Proponents of Winter

Spring is in full force here in the Northern Hemisphere, where the winter blahs have given way to brighter days and a lighter step to our walks. But for the Gilson Boards (GB) “tribe,” as they call themselves, the warmer temperatures mark a time of mourning. Winter is long gone in the Susquehanna River Valley where they make their home, leaving the tribe to “struggle for survival” in a land devoid of snow. Or so says the documentary-style “wildlife” video that the snowboard manufacturer created to poke fun at their location.

A Family Affair

They each chose Susquehanna for different reasons. The small-school atmosphere, an academic track with close guidance for undeclared students, an AACSB-accredited business program in the top 5 percent worldwide, and a Division III school with a gorgeous campus and a great soccer program. It was just an added bonus that by selecting Susquehanna, the four Bolger siblings from Hopatcong, N.J., would spend their college years together.

Also in this issue

Last fall, Christie Kräcker stepped into a new role leading a new campus life structure that is reimagining the student experience. Susquehanna Currents recently caught up with Kräcker and asked her to reflect on her first year at SU.

The managerial aspects of marketing require a surprising amount of innovation. Just ask students taking Marketing Strategy and Management, the capstone course for the newly created marketing major taught by Robert Williams Jr., assistant professor of marketing in the Sigmund Weis School of Business.
Two seniors in the Sigmund Weis School of Business finished in the top 25 in a worldwide investment competition sponsored by ETF Global, placing Susquehanna University among the top 25 universities in the competition.

Susquehanna University’s new head strength and conditioning coach, Tony Decker, has made a lot of progress since starting the position last fall. But Decker, the entire athletics department and the student-athletes are most excited for what the future holds.

It had been 15 years since the Susquehanna football program accomplished what it did this past fall-that is, winning both of its rivalry games in one season. Not a bad way for first-year head coach Tom Perkovich to start his tenure.
The 2015-16 men’s basketball season started out with a win. And then another. And another. In fact, the season opened with 15 straight wins, marking the best start in program history.
When a small group of Susquehanna students left for what is now an annual Global Opportunities (GO) trip to the Philippines in 2010, they had no way of knowing they would change the trajectory of several young lives.
As part of an ongoing effort to increase dialogue around issues of race and identity, Susquehanna brought the interactive Race Experience Kiosk to campus this spring. The kiosk encourages users to reflect on the factors in our society that perpetuate racism and discrimination by enabling them to literally see themselves in a different skin. The hope is that users will realize that there is only one race—the human race.
In 2010, Cheryl Stumpf combined her passion for running and her commitment to empowering young women to form a small but enthusiastic council of Girls on the Run (GOTR). A national nonprofit organization, GOTR partners with school districts to provide after-school youth development programs, integrating physical activity, to girls ages 8 to 14.
The earthquake that struck Nepal last spring hit close to home for some in the Susquehanna community, particularly Nirvana Thakur ’18, who was born and raised in the country until the age of 13. Even before the earthquake, Thakur knew she wanted to work in Nepal someday. The earthquake just bumped up her plans.

From Our Own

First Word

By now, most of you have heard that I will conclude my service as Susquehanna’s 14th president on June 30, 2017, at the end of my current contract. It is a bittersweet decision for Marsha and me. On one hand, we’re excited about adventures that lie ahead. On the other, it pains us to think about leaving this special calling, which we have cherished and loved. We are grateful to the Board of Trustees for creating a continuing connection for us to this place we’ve come to call home, so know that I plan to teach from time to time and to assist wherever possible in advancing the university in the years ahead.

End Notes

On Nov. 7, 2015, President L. Jay Lemons convened the Nickname/Mascot Special Committee (NMSC), following an Oct. 26 decision by the university’s Board of Trustees to accept a recommendation to change the longstanding Crusaders nickname. Composed of 23 people who broadly reflect the alumni, students, faculty and staff of the SU community, the NMSC was charged with identifying no more than three, but no fewer than two, recommendations for new nicknames capable of generating widespread support by mid-February.