Blue Bell Pa.—To encourage and inspire students to become part of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society for two-year colleges, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) President Karen A. Stout has generously pledged $30,000 to establish a Phi Theta Kappa Annual Challenge Fund through the College’s Foundation.
Phi Theta Kappa membership offers students a significant advantage when it comes to college success and completion. In fact, a recent national study reveals that PTK members in Pennsylvania have an overall success rate of 92 percent—that’s four times higher than the success rate for all of the state’s community college students.
However, despite the documented impact, only 14 percent of PTK-eligible students nationally join the organization. With a current membership fee of $60, cost is a likely barrier for many eligible students.
The Karen A. Stout Phi Theta Kappa Challenge Fund will support qualified students by defraying half the cost of a PTK membership, while challenging students to match the remaining cost. Students must be eligible for Pell Grant funding and PTK membership to qualify. Members of PTK must maintain a 3.5 GPA and must have completed at least 12 credits.
As a member of MCCC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapters—Alpha Kappa Zeta at the Central Campus in Blue Bell or Beta Tau Lambda at the West Campus in Pottstown—students are afforded the opportunity to grow as scholars and servant leaders. By working with their peers and faculty advisors, PTK members examine real-life issues facing their communities, while gaining leadership skills through the organization’s Honors in Action programming.
For example, this year’s PTK chapters collected more than 500 pairs of shoes for the community organization In Ian’s Boots; cleaned up a portion of the Schuylkill River; and partnered with Theatre Horizon and the Coordinated Homeless Outreach Center in Norristown on a community education/public art project. In addition, both of MCCC’s chapters achieved the distinction of Five Star Status—the highest level of national recognition possible—for progressing through the organization’s Five Star Chapter Development Plan.
PTK members also have access to exclusive transfer scholarship information and opportunities, which will help them continue their education after graduating from MCCC.
The Karen A. Stout Phi Theta Kappa Challenge Fund is part of the Foundation’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, “Futures Rising: The Campaign for Montgomery County Community College,” which looks to raise $9 million for student scholarships. To learn more or to get involved, visit http://www.mc3.edu/futures.
Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College is pleased to announce the appointment of Anisha Robinson Keeys, of Norristown, to its Board of Trustees by the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. The 15-person Board of Trustees is the policy and governing body of Montgomery County Community College.
With 18 years of fundraising and marketing experience, Robinson Keeys serves as Chief Executive Officer of Lance + Lee Planning. She advises corporations and philanthropists on how to make the largest impact with their money. She also helps organizations and thought leaders with corporate fundraising and organizational development.
In addition to operating a consulting practice, Robinson Keeys has held leadership roles with a variety of organizations, including the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and Teach For America.
Robinson Keeys is a frequent speaker at conferences and leadership retreats across the country.
She is also the author of the book and curriculum “Get Corporate Sponsorship: A Step By Step Guide To Securing Funding From Corporations” and “51 Retailers That Want To Help You Raise Money.”
Robinson Keeys holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Chestnut Hill College. She is also a member of the institution’s Woman Donors Network, where she serves as an advisor for the Reflective Democracy Initiative. She also serves on the board of directors for the Columbia North YMCA, Rosebug 1919 Foundation, Livingbattlefield and the Solomon Principal Group.
West Goshen Township, PA – Two people were killed when the small plane they were flying in crashed in the 1000 block of Saunders Lane, near Andrews Drive, in West Goshen at 1:34 p.m. Sunday afternoon, county officials said.
Dispatchers said two people were found dead following the crash. An official said they were the only people on board.
The aircraft, a single-engine Piper PA28, had taken off from the Brandywine Airport and flown over Route 202, before it went out of control and crashed in a field about two miles away from the airport, officials said.
Emergency crews reported that the plane burst into flames following the crash.
WILKES-BARRE, PA — A city police officer sustained a possible broken nose and another officer was punched in the face while arresting a suspected drunken driver early Sunday morning.
The incident happened on South Main Street near Ross Street when officers Daniel Roper and Erica Oswald stopped Steven Santiago, 33, for driving a vehicle without headlights.
During the traffic stop, Santiago exhibited signs of intoxication and was asked to exit his vehicle. While standing near the back of his car, Santiago refused to submit to a breath test, according to the criminal complaint.
Santiago admitted he consumed alcoholic beverages before he was stopped by police, the complaint says.
The Bethlehem Parking Authority is moving forward with a study for a new South Side parking garage despite any concrete plans for the major buildings for which the garage is supposed to be needed.
Authority Executive Director Kevin Livingston said the authority can’t wait for developer Dennis Benner to have signed tenants for his planned South Side buildings because the authority could lose the state grant funding set aside for the garage.
Bethlehem has filed for an extension for the $5.2 million in state grant funding but isn’t sure if the extension will be approved, Livingston said.
“We’re obviously afraid of losing it,” he said.
AeroFarms, an aeroponics company that was started in 2004, is bringing what is soon to be the world’s largest vertical farm to a former steel factory in Newark, New Jersey’s Ironbound community.
The vertical farm will manufacture short, leafy green vegetables grown in vertically stacked trays that will fill 69,000 square feet of the former Newark factory.
In Hays there will be no eaglets. Late Friday the Western Pennsylvania Audubon Society confirmed that the second of two eggs laid a month ago was no longer viable. The first broken egg was pushed out of the nest March 14.
“We’ve been watching all day — their behavior seemed unusual, kind of baffling,” said Audubon executive director Jim Bonner. “A screen shot from 10:25 a.m. looked conclusive to me. It looked like a broken, flattened egg being lifted out of the nest. I doubt that the first broken egg would look that intact after two weeks. We are unfortunately at this time saying the egg looks to be lost.”
It was a disappointing conclusion to the bald eagles’ third breeding season. The 6 1/2-year-old female laid the first egg Feb. 17 and the second Feb. 20, to the glee of thousands of eagle watchers in Pittsburgh and beyond watching streaming video from a wildlife camera mounted near the nest.
This is the second year the state Game Commission has permitted the camera system, donated by the Murrysville-based PixController security camera company, and this year managed by the local Audubon chapter.
HAZLE TOWNSHIP, PA — Heroin packets were found on dough being processed on a production line at Aryzta, a commercial baker of breads and donuts, earlier this week, state police at Hazleton said.
State police in a news release said an employee checking dough on a production line to a sheet dough machine found a suspected heroin packet at about 6 p.m. Monday.
The employee notified a shift supervisor as production was stopped and inspected. Other suspected heroin packets and drug paraphernalia were found inside the dough machine, state police said.
State police said Aryzta, based in Zurich, Switzerland, stopped production on the dough machine and destroyed all the products.
Discount grocer Aldi said Friday that it will reopen 30 of the 66 former Bottom Dollar stores it took over in Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and northeast Ohio after the previous owner, the Delhaize Group, shut Bottom Dollar last year.
Five ex-Bottom Dollar stores in Philadelphia and 14 in the suburbs will reopen. Four Philadelphia stores will stay shut, along with 13 in the suburbs.
Aldi, an Illinois-based U.S. arm of Germany’s Albrecht family grocery conglomerate, said in 2013 it planned a $3 billion expansion, and Friday’s announcement is part of that effort.
Additional article about Lehigh Valley locations:
THREE-FIFTHS OF Chris Aschman’s jazz quintet managed to fit onto the tiny stage upstairs at Jose Pistola’s, where the crimson glow makes musicians look like they’re playing in Amsterdam’s red-light district.
Aschman, a 29-year-old trumpet player, stayed on the floor, next to the saxophonist.
Then, the bassist reached overhead and turned off the TV and the audience of 20-somethings switched their attention from NCAA basketball to a funky, odd-time-signature groove driven by a young drummer in a Phillies cap who stomps on the kick drum like he’s got something to prove.
The song, called “UCB,” short for “Undercover Brother,” is an Aschman original, as were nine of the 11 songs his group played at the Center City bar earlier this month.
Allentown, PA — Muhlenberg College dancers tell their stories through movement, as the Muhlenberg Theatre & Dance Department presents “Dance Emerge,” a showcase for dance works created by emerging choreographers, April 16-18 in the College’s Baker Theatre. Jeffrey Peterson is the artistic director for the concert.
“Choreographers in this year’s ‘Dance Emerge’ are honoring their own unique voices as they create personal dances which celebrate the joys of life and unearth the depths of their souls,” Peterson says. “The journey for the audience will undoubtedly juxtapose the human experience with quirky character-driven studies and more intimate work — all blending physical skill with choreographic imagination.”
“Dance Emerge” will showcase 12 choreographers and 60 dancers from the department’s dance program, which is among the most highly regarded programs of its kind. The concert features costume and lighting designs by the department’s acclaimed professional staff.
The 12 original dances include contemporary jazz, dance theater, and modern works that investigate such topics as platonic love, the grieving process, and the individual vs. the whole. Choreographers drew inspiration from such diverse sources as dance history, travel, personal relationships, and college experiences.
Muhlenberg College’s Theatre & Dance Department offers one of the top-rated college performance programs in the county, according to the Princeton Review rankings. Muhlenberg is a liberal arts college of more than 2,200 students in Allentown, Pa., offering Bachelor of Arts degrees in theater and dance. It has been named annually among The Fiske Guide to Colleges’ top 20 small college programs in the United States, and the American College Dance Festival Association has consistently recognized dances premiered on the Muhlenberg stage for excellence in choreography and performance.
“Dance Emerge” runs April 16-18 in the Baker Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown.
Performances are April 16-18: Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 12, at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for patrons 17 and under, and $8 for students, faculty and staff of all LVAIC colleges.
Tickets and information are available at 484-664-3333 or muhlenberg.edu/dance.
http://flymagazine.net/ is a great site to visit if you live in or visit Lancaster, York or Harrisburg. Keeps you up to date on what’s going on, events, dining, music and arts and culture. Happy Friday!
A lot of people in this part of the nation swore they’d move south during this year’s harsh winter. It appears many of them already have.
According to estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, warm regions regained population growth momentum last year that was lost during the recession. But population fell in the area comprised of Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming counties.
Fourteen of the 20 fastest-growing metropolitan areas were in Florida, Texas or the Carolinas, led by The Villages near Orlando, which grew by 5.4 percent between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014. In contrast, the fastest-growing metro areas in Pennsylvania grew by 0.6 percent.
The bureau estimated that the population in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area fell by 2,159, or 0.4 percent over the year. Within the three-county region, Lackawanna County lost the most, 1,115, or 0.5 percent. Luzerne County’s population declined 1,033, or 0.3 percent, and Wyoming County’s was relatively unchanged.
For more than a decade, Virginia Summers anticipated the day she could gaze across the street from her Donora home and see – nothing.
She is about to get her wish.
The borough on Thursday began demolition of the century-old building known as Fifth Street School. The structure, located at the intersection of Fifth Street and Allen Avenue, has been deteriorating for years and had become a safety issue.
“It’s been a pest,” Summers said. “… It is unsafe and everybody knows it. You could see bricks falling down. We’ve been troubling council for 10 years asking to please get it down, get it down. And I’m grateful they were finally able to make it happen.”
The hearts of the families of two missing Pittsburgh men were broken Thursday when they learned that bodies recovered from the Ohio River in West Virginia last week were those of their loved ones.
The deaths of Andre Gray, who had been shot to death, and Paul Kochu, who might have drowned, “are not related” and are being investigated separately, city police Cmdr. RaShall Brackney said at a news conference Thursday night.
“I’m thankful to God for bringing my son home,” said Gray’s mother, Victoria Gray-Tillman, as she and other family members stood next to Brackney. “Now I can have closure. … I knew all along the Lord had my son.”
City Public Safety Department spokeswoman Sonya Toler said Hubert Wingate, 30, who has been in the Allegheny County Jail since Feb. 21 on unrelated fugitive from justice charges, has been arrested for the slaying of Gray.
Forest Easter Egg Hunt MOVED TO SUNDAY DUE TO WET CONDITIONS
Families can stop by any time between 1pm to 4pm
For children ages 4 to 9
$2 donation per child
Date: Sunday, March 29th, 1pm-4pm
Join us for the Arboretum’s first ever Easter Egg Hunt! Find hidden eggs along the trail. Bring the eggs back for prizes!
Althouse Arboretum website: https://althousearboretum.wordpress.com/
SAVE THE DATE!
FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2015
GAME @ 6:30 P.M.
The Foundation for Pottstown Education is hosting a fundraising event in the Strom Gymnasium at Pottstown High School on Friday, March 27, 2015. The HARLEM WIZARDS Basketball Team is coming to town!
Members of our staff, alumni and students are being recruited to play against the Wizards. There will be plenty of fun, food, and prizes!
The elementary school that sells the most tickets to the event (over 200) will receive $1,000 from the Foundation! Either the Middle School or High School will receive $1,500 from the Foundation for selling the most tickets (over 250)! The checks for the winning two schools will be presented on Friday, March 27 at the game!
Please click on the links below to see what the evening will be like. Schools from Ohio, Red Lion, PA, and Ardmore, Pa are represented.
We will have food trucks as well as food sold at the concession stand. Come and eat your dinner and then enjoy the game!
We hope to see you there!
Trappe, Pa.—This summer, students don’t need to travel far to gain world-class archaeological field experience. In fact, students who participate in the Archaeology Field School at The Speaker’s House in Trappe, Pa. can earn up to six college credits through a unique partnership with Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) while they get hands-on experience at an active archaeology site.
In its seventh year, the Archaeology Field School is comprised of two intensive three-week sessions led by archaeologist Dr. Lydia Garver at The Speaker’s House, which was the home of Frederick Muhlenberg, first Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and first signer of the Bill of Rights.
The program runs Tuesdays-Saturdays from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The first session is held May 26-June 13, and the second session runs from June 16-July 3. No previous experience is necessary, and the program is open to anyone age 15 or over. The Field School is ideal for students who are interested in studying anthropology, history or museum studies, as well for students who enjoy working and learning outdoors. To learn more, visit http://www/speakershouse.org/fieldschool or contact Lisa Minardi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participants will receive training in excavation techniques, record keeping, artifact identification, processing, cataloging, and classification. This summer, excavation in the first session will focus on a large pit feature filled with 19th-century kitchen artifacts and the remnants of an 18th-century smokehouse, along with another small outbuilding. During the second session, students will complete closing excavation tasks and learn to curate, analyze and research artifacts found during the first session. Field trips and guest lectures will also be offered.
Students can earn three college credits per three-week session for their participation in the Field School by enrolling through MCCC. To enroll as a guest student, visit mc3.edu/admissions, select course selection and registration, then follow the instructions for guest students. Current MCCC students and alumni should register through Web Advisor by logging into the MyMC3 Portal. The course titles are Archaeology Field School I (ANT 120) and Archaeology Field School II (ANT 121).
Enrollment is limited to 20 participants per session, and preference will be given to students taking the course for credit through MCCC. Students will pay standard MCCC tuition and fees. Tuition information is available at http://www.mc3.edu/admissions. All participants will receive a complimentary 2015 student membership in The Speaker’s House.
Built in 1763 by German immigrant John Schrack, The Speaker’s House was owned by the Muhlenberg family from 1781-1803. Other notable owners include Charles Albrecht, a piano maker; Dr. Lewis Royer, physician and legislator; and Ursinus College, which used the house as a dormitory from 1924-1944. The property is also the location of a general store, built in 1782 by Frederick Muhlenberg, and is one of the few archaeological sites in the region that yields information on commercial as well as domestic activities.
Blue Bell, Pa.—Eleven students enrolled in Dr. Lynn Swartley O’Brien’s Honors Cultural Anthropology course at(MCCC) recently participated in a service learning project in partnership with the (CCATE) in Norristown.
“I wanted to give [the students] an immersive experience in another culture,” O’Brien said. “I wanted them to experience culture shock and look at others, and ultimately themselves, in a new perspective.”
Throughout the fall semester, the students—all scholars in—volunteered at least two hours, one night per week as peer mentors at CCATE’s after school program. The program works to equip Norristown Latino middle and high school students with the skills needed to succeed socially and academically in American culture, while respecting their Latin roots.
O’Brien believes that service projects, particularly peer-mentor programs, are innovative because they create a mutually beneficial relationship between mentors and mentees.
“Students in CCATE had positive role models who helped them with their homework [while]…the Honors students reported that the experience was a positive one,” O’Brien said.
Cassandra Davis, one of the Honors students who volunteered at CCATE, felt culture shock in the form of a language barrier.
“My first Spanish reading session at CCATE made me feel completely isolated. All the students and even most of the volunteers could speak Spanish,” Davis said.
Davis could not speak the native tongue of many of the young children with whom she worked.
The culture shock did not last long, however. The reciprocal relationship of the mentor-mentee model was illustrated when two of the young mentees helped to ease Davis’s anxieties by teaching her some Spanish.
“I would help them with homework, then they would help me with Spanish during reading time,” Davis said.
O’Brien said that some students have reported that the experience was “life changing.”
This seems to be especially true for Davis, who still volunteers at CCATE even though the requirements of the project ended months ago.
Davis and her classmates are not the only students who have seen the value of service learning projects under O’Brien’s tutelage.
In fact, last semester, O’Brien had her online cultural anthropology students research charities that work on significant social issues outside the United States and Europe. One group of online students chose to raise money for Heifer International, a non-profit organization that works to eradicate poverty and hunger through sustainable community development.
“[The students] raised over $300—enough to buy a water buffalo for a family in need,” O’Brien said. “They learned about the sustainable gift of an animal—a gift that will keep giving and producing more for an agricultural family in need.”
O’Brien has also overseen fundraising projects that have procured money for Aid for Africa and other organizations. She has even organized a project that had students volunteer at a local excavation site as part of her archaeological anthropology course.
“Overall, I think my civic projects have been successful,” she said. “Some students have initially been resistant or indifferent, but many more students have had positive outcomes.”
Multiple Honors students reported that they have benefited from the cultural values they learned from the predominately Latino community at CCATE. For example, student Jessica Miller recognized the emphasis Latinos place on family.
“I believe there are hidden diamonds in every culture, and we need to be active in discovering them and, if appropriate, incorporating them into our own lifestyles. For example, Latinos highly value family relationships. I want to do the same,” Miller said.
O’Brien believes that anthropological studies are an important component of a liberal arts education, emphasizing multiculturalism for this very reason.
“Students in cultural anthropology learn about the endless cultural diversity that abounds in our world. It is amazing when students learn that things in their world that they take as ‘natural’ such as family, gender, and economics, can be construed and understood in profoundly different ways by different cultures in other parts in the world. I think it is inspiring,” O’Brien said.
“When we have the self-realization that our circumstances are a product of culture, we begin to understand the power we have to change them,” she continued. “As the anthropologist Margaret Mead said, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’”
These lessons seem to be firmly engrained in Samantha Smyth, another one of O’Brien’s Honors students.
“CCATE has made me understand that it is important to be involved in your community and that things are not just going to magically get better in society. We have to work towards betterment and it takes efforts like this to begin the process,” Smyth said. “I now know that all it takes is two hours a week to change a young person’s outlook on things.”
Miller also recognized how easy it was to make an impact on a child.
“Because of [those] 10 weeks, I believe that I can make a difference in the life of a child, even if I never verbally express how important they are. By taking the time to listen to their stories; by chasing them up and down the gym; by dancing with them to help them memorize their multiplication tables, kids realize that they are worth a person’s time, energy, and resources,” Miller said.
“Overall,” Miller added, “service learning has a circular effect and creates role models for the next generation.”
O’Brien is encouraged by the work her students did in the fall semester and believes that she will see the rewards of this “circular effect” in the near future.
The mere presence of college students who care implicitly communicates a very important message to the young middle and high school students—that college is an attainable goal.
“I can’t wait to see some of these students at CCATE in my classes at MCCC in just a few years. I know that what we are doing there as mentors and volunteers will help to pave the way for these young people going to college,” O’Brien said.