People & Places

Spring Summer 2024 Issue

Bridging Generations in Science

It’s not exactly like going back to science class — it’s better.

Two emeriti professors reminisce with current students about teaching “in those days.” Produced entirely by a team of WQSU student staff, this podcast brings to life their shared appreciation for science, research and Susquehanna.

Recalling what the science equipment, research opportunities and grant funding were like decades ago, the professors recounted details so specific that time didn’t seem to be a factor in the equation.

“Well, we had a pH meter and a spec 20. That was our equipment,” Thomas McGrath remembers. “But I went off to work for Gulf Research one summer and brought back a gas chromatograph.”

In addition to physics, Fred Grosse also taught computer courses for 15 years. “The first thing we got was a key punch with a Hollerith code. We didn’t have a printer here at all,” he recalls. “We had five big trays, maybe four feet long of cards” to haul to another university and print the day before Commencement. “They went perfect,” he says as he leads into the joke he played on his colleagues.

The significance of undergraduate research and how it can help Susquehanna students launch their careers in science with unmatched experience was a resounding theme throughout the interview. McGrath, for whom the McGrath Scholars Program is named, was instrumental in establishing summer science research at Susquehanna. In the podcast studio, he was thanked by a recent recipient.

“I think I speak on behalf of many students like us, on behalf of the many McGrath Scholars,” Samit Barua Chowdhury says. “We’re really thankful for you for this, for what you have done for the students back then, and how that tradition has carried on all these years.”

Podcast produced by WQSU Student Staff.

Listen to the podcast

Five people sitting around a table with microphones recording a podcast. Pictured above, from left to right: Fred Grosse, Professor Emeritus of Physics, 1960 through 2012; Thomas McGrath, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, 1963 through 1992; Caitlin O'Dea ’24, Physics Major in 3+2 Pre-Engineering Program; Fotoula Kolokas ’25, Biochemistry Major; Samit Barua Chowdhury ’24, Biochemistry Major

Susquehanna Dedicates Erynn E. Reiss LGBTQ+ Resource Center

Pictured L to R: Ana Endrusick, Nico Endrusick, Jeff Endrusick, President Jonathan Green, Andrea Licciardello '72 Endrusick, Lucas Endrusi Pictured L to R: Ana Endrusick, Nico Endrusick, Jeff Endrusick, President Jonathan Green, Andrea Licciardello ’72 Endrusick, Lucas Endrusick and Jay Endrusick ’72.The LGBTQ+ Resource Center at Susquehanna University was dedicated in memory of Erynn Reiss and in recognition of the philanthropy of her parents, Jay ’72 and Andrea ’72 Endrusick.

Located in the university’s Scholars House and adjacent to the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center, the Erynn E. Reiss LGBTQ+ Resource Center was established in 2023 to empower, support and give visibility to the university’s growing population of LGBTQ+-identifying students.

“After discussing the feasibility of a resource center for many years, talks really began in earnest when we had nearly a third of a recent incoming class tell us that they identify as queer in some way,” said Dena Salerno, senior director of inclusion and diversity.

The Endrusicks’ philanthropy will immediately support student programming, guest speakers and the center’s capital improvement expenditures. In addition to programming opportunities, the Reiss Resource Center provides specialty housing for LGBTQ+ students, and their gift also will eliminate financial barriers for students seeking those accommodations.

It was the physical location of the resource center that drew special attention from the Endrusicks. When they were students at Susquehanna, Jay and his fraternity brothers lived in the building that now supports LGBTQ+ students. Andrea remarked how it was the “very same place” she and Jay started their lives together 55 years ago.

“Last September, Jay and I spotted a communication from the university that cited the opening of an LGBTQ+ resource center on campus,” said Andrea. “Jay’s old Lambda Chi Alpha house now had private rooms for students who identify as LGBTQ+ and had been transformed to a place of solace and security for students who are travelling on paths that parallel our daughter’s.”

Inspired by the creation of the new LGBTQ+ Resource Center, the Endrusicks contacted the university to express their interest and support.

“This safe place continues to give meaning to our Erynn’s life, and it brings the connection Jay and I have to Susquehanna full circle,” Andrea added.

A portion of the Endrusicks’ gift will establish the Endrusick LGBTQ+ Resource Center Endowment Fund, which will support the resource center in perpetuity.

“We are deeply grateful for Jay and Andrea’s philanthropy and the ways in which it will benefit our LGBTQ+ community and the university as a whole,” said Susquehanna President Jonathan Green. “We are honored to be a part of Erynn’s legacy.”

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