Fall 2016

Issue Archives


Elements of an American Dream: Success Through Access, Opportunity and Support

This summer, when Janeily Perez ’18 took the podium to address alumni, faculty and staff gathered at the Susquehanna Valley Country Club in honor of Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Thomas F. McGrath, no one could have imagined the long and winding road she took to get there. Four years ago, she couldn’t have imagined standing at that podium at all.

Informing the Vote

In what may have been one of the most polarizing presidential elections in U.S. history, voters needed accurate, unbiased information more than ever to help them make the most informed decision possible at the polls.

Also in this issue

Last year Craig M. Housenick ’98, a lighting director for NBC’s popular singing competition The Voice, won his second Primetime Creative Arts Emmy. The Emmy recognized The Voice’s lighting team, led by Oscar Dominguez, for Outstanding Lighting Design and Lighting Direction for a Variety Series. They won the same award in 2013 and are nominated again in 2016.

James Jordan ’75, Ph.D., is a GRAMMY-nominated choral conductor whose contributions to the field have earned him international recognition, including an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. The acclaim makes it difficult to imagine the accomplished musician as an unsure undergrad playing catch-up to his peers at Susquehanna.

Karen Goeringer ’61 Snider has been widely recognized for her commitment to the Harrisburg, Pa., area. In 2015, United Way of the Capital Region named her Humanitarian of the Year. Snider’s involvement with the United Way spans more than 25 years. Among other contributions, she assists with their fundraising and strategic planning.

Robert Whitmoyer ’80 recently retired from the Selinsgrove Area School District, where he worked for 36 years as a music teacher and choral director, and then as a dean of students. Living locally gives him plenty of opportunities to serve Susquehanna, though he is driven by something deeper than proximity.

In her professional life, Rachel K. Beatty ’06 aspires to address homelessness systematically through public policy. As the interim executive director of the Homeless Planning Council of Delaware, she is a leader in efforts to relieve homelessness in the state.

When Erin Wolfe joined Susquehanna’s administration in 2004, it was more of a homecoming than a new beginning. Wolfe graduated from SU in 2002, having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing. She initially joined the administration as assistant director of major and planned giving. She made the move to financial aid in 2006 and assumed the role of director in 2014. Wolfe recently talked to Susquehanna Currents about the changes both her office and the federal financial aid process have undergone in the last year.

Like many of us, Courtney Conrad has not been able to get tickets to see the smash Broadway hit Hamilton. But she’s a fan nonetheless.

Wish you could have invested in which candidate would come out on top in the presidential election?
In September, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) awarded $562,000 to the Chesapeake Conservancy for a major restoration and conservation initiative in the Susquehanna River watershed. The work involves a partnership between the Conservancy, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Bloomsburg University, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and Susquehanna University, specifically its Freshwater Research Initiative (FRI).
Division III student-athletes continue their sports at the collegiate level largely for the love of the game; there are no athletic scholarships, and few athletes get the opportunity to continue playing their sport in an organized fashion once graduation comes and goes.
The 2016-17 academic year marks the 10th anniversary of the Landmark Conference. Susquehanna has been a member of the athletics conference—for 20 of its 23 sports—since its inception.

Homecoming-Reunion Weekend, held Sept. 9-11, was especially poignant this year as we marked the 15thanniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that took the lives of two former student-athletes, Colleen Supinski ’96 and Chris Vialonga ’93.

A year full of athletic highlights was capped off by the baseball team’s dramatic run through the 2016 NCAA Tournament. A team that was picked to finish fifth in the Landmark Preseason Poll—one spot out of the playoffs—went on to not only win the conference crown but also pick up a program-record four wins in the NCAA Tournament.

Bob Pickart ’81 credits one professor in particular with inspiring him to major in physics and pursue a career in oceanography. Plus a little luck.

Greg Budd ’16, of Kennett Square, Pa., traveled to Changbuni, Ghana, this summer, with the organization Saha Global. The opportunity, suggested to him by Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Kathy Straub, brought together his interests in economics and earth and environmental sciences, his major and minor, respectively.

“You could feel the energy and emotion in the tightly packed stadium.”

The Wilson family has a long history with Susquehanna University. Bruce and his wife, Karen, met here and married in the 1980s, and their children, Jen and Daniel, graduated in 2013 and 2016, respectively.

From Our Own

First Word

This is my penultimate First Word column, yet another reminder that the end of my last year as Susquehanna’s president is in sight, and I am filled with many emotions. As the remaining calendar pages of 2016 grow short, I am beginning to accept that this year of “lasts” is moving swiftly.

End Notes

After a lonely summer interning in Chicago after graduation in 2014, I was hesitant to move to New Haven, Conn. I deeply missed the familiarity of college, and I wasn’t ready to face another new city. Fortunately, I fell in love with New Haven as I worked at a soup kitchen and lived with other young adults during a 10-month service program. I’ve stayed in the city to pursue my master’s degree at Yale Divinity School.