Employees benefit from Educational Alliance

Corporate partners receive tuition discount

Visit calu.edu/alliance to learn more.

Higher education is the key to building a competitive 21st-century workforce.

Now businesses, nonprofit organizations and other corporate entities can partner with Cal U to give their employees the knowledge and skills they need to advance their careers.

When an organization becomes a Cal U Educational Alliance partner, its verified employees save 20% on the in-state tuition rate for eligible on-campus or online programs.

Depending on the partnership agreement, employees may take specific courses, earn a career-focused certificate, or enroll in an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree program.

Employees from partner organizations who enroll at Cal U also receive personal attention and paper work assistance from a designated Educational Alliance liaison who can guide them from application to graduation.

Research shows that tuition assistance programs are powerful tools for building employee engagement and loyalty. Whether a business is large or small, the Cal U Educational Alliance can make higher education more affordable and attainable for its most important assets – its employees.  

Staff members honored for superior service

Two Cal U alumni have been named recipients of the spring 2020 Vulcan Staff Awards.

Dr. Karen Amrhein ’88, ’98, a director in theOffice of Academic Success, received the President’s Vulcan Circle Award for outstanding job performance.

Barry Bilitski ’07, an assistant director of Admissions, accepted the Vulcan Exceptional Service Award for exemplary customer service.

Nominators praised Amrhein for collaborating across departments to create the Peer Mentoring program, theSummer Success Academy for at-risk students, and a new initiative to support foster youth, among other endeavors.

Bilitski, who earned his master’s degree at Cal U, was credited with “making outstanding customer service a part of every interaction,” particularly when engaging with current and future students.

TheVulcan Staff Awards are presented at faculty-staff convocations held near the start of the fall and spring semesters. Recipients are nominated by members of the campus community and selected by a seven-member committee.

Digital badges signal data science skills

Students who complete Cal U programs in statistics and data science can earn digital badges from SAS®, a leading developer of analytics software and solutions.

Cal U has partnered with SAS to develop 100% online programs that build expertise in SAS analytics, one of the most valuable career-focused skills in today’s job market.

Students in Cal U’s B.S. in Statistics and Data Science program can earn the SAS badge for Statistical Analysis. SAS-verified badges also are awarded for successful completion of Cal U’s graduate or undergraduate certificate programs in SAS Data Science.

Students in these programs manipulate real-world data utilizing the same SAS software found in 80,000 workplaces in Pennsylvania and around the world.  

Students who earn the digital badges may use them in their email signatures, online resumes and social media profiles.

“Digital badges are an easy, portable way to convey competence in multiple skills with one image,” says Dr. Melissa Sovak, professor of data science at Cal U. “One little badge can convey a wealth of information to potential employers, industry partners and colleagues.”

THIS intern gains capital experience

Psychology major Chelsea Fullum served in the office of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman this spring as part of The Harrisburg Internship Semester.

THIS gives students from Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education the opportunity to work in state government while earning a full semester’s worth of credits. Students receive a $3,500 stipend to assist with expenses while they live in the Harrisburg region.

Fullum’s duties included handling constituent services, attending state Senate sessions and giving office tours to visitors. Her research project focused on criminal justice reform, one of Fetterman’s top concerns.

Fullum is a member of Student Government and the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society, and recording secretary for the Phi Sigma Sigma social sorority.

June session offers grad school details

Would a master’s degree or doctorate help to advance your career? Then bring your questions to the Convocation Center on June 24 for a free graduate school information session.

Faculty, financial aid staff, current grad students and alumni will be on hand to discuss the benefits of aCal U graduate program, provide free applications and share details about graduate assistantships.

“Many of our degrees and certificates are 100% online, which gives working students options to hone their expertise at a pace and delivery of their choice,” says Dr. Yugo Ikach, dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research. 

Cal U offers a variety of master’s degree programs in education, healthcare, science and technology, and professional studies. Career-focused certificates, certification and licensure programs also are available, along with doctorates for leaders in educational administration, exercise science and criminal justice.

Understanding the refugee experience

Empathy and cultural awareness are important, even in the clinical atmosphere of a hospital emergency room.

Dr. Azadeh Block is helping personnel at Jefferson Hospital gain a deeper understanding of the refugee experience.

Block, an associate professor in Cal U’s Social Work Department, recently presented face-to-face cultural humility training to personnel in the hospital’sEmergency Department. 

She focused primarily on the needs of immigrants from Bhutan and Nepal who have settled in Pittsburgh’s South Hills, an area served by Jefferson Hospital.

“It builds empathy to understand what it’s like to be forced to leave your country, only to eventually make it to the United States and not be welcomed,” Block explains.

“Being a refugee can impact things like access to nutritious foods for a period of time. Knowing that can inform some of the issues that people might see in the Emergency Department.”

About60 hospital employees attended the training, and online training modules are being developed.

The project is part of the hospital’s Front Door Initiative for Social Emergency Medicine, which received a four-year grant from theJefferson Regional Foundation.

Dressed for success

Students at the Nassarawo-Koma Secondary School in Nigeria wear 2008-2010 soccer jerseys donated by the Cal U women's team. Head coach Pete Curtis led the initiative, in collaboration with professor Buba Misawa of Washington & Jefferson College, who regularly collects books, clothing and school supplies for communities inNigeria, Senegal and The Gambia. Curtis came to Cal U after 11 years as head women’s soccer coach at W&J. He says ‘it warms the soul’ to know ‘that across the fields of Africa, Cal U jerseys are being worn with pride.’

Musicians tune up for springtime event

The clock tower’s chimes weren’t the only musical notes in the air on campus this spring.

For the third time in its history, Cal U played host to the Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Band Festival. It was the festival’s 73rd annual performance, making it the oldest continuous band festival in the nation.

Student musicians from Cal U and 21 other colleges rehearsed and performed with guest conductor Dennis Fisher, a professor emeritus at the University of North Texas. His conducting credits include appearances across the UnitedStates and in Europe, Asia and South America.

In all, more than 100 student performers and 26 band directors took part in the festival. Cal U also hosted the event in 1987 and in 2012.

Your name here

Current and former presidents of the Foundation for California University present a plaque to University President Geraldine M. Jones. Now on display in Old Main, the plaque honors past foundation presidents and recognizes the organization’s role in supporting the University and its students since 1986. On hand for the presentation were (from left) Dr.Charles S. Pryor ’73; Dr. David L. Amati ’70; Dale L. Hamer ’60; Dr. Harry E.Serene ’65; first gentleman Jeffrey Jones; Linda H. Serene ’64; andWilliam R. Flinn II ’68. Other past presidents are the late William Boyd Jr.; Dr. Homer R. Pankey; Dan Altman; Paul R. White;Richard C. Grace ’63; and Steven P. Stout ’85.

Athletic trainers honor professor

Dr. Linda Platt Meyer, a professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies, has been inducted into the Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association’s 49 Club – the “hall of fame” for athletic trainers. 

Formed in 1949, theEATA consists of more than 8,000 athletic trainers and athletic training students from Maine to Delaware. The ’49 Club recognizes members who demonstrate sustained leadership and reflect positively on the association and their home districts.

Meyer teaches in Cal U’s online master’s degree program in exercise science and health promotion. She was a member of the state Board of Osteopathic Medicine and is involved with the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society.

For30 years she has volunteered as an athletic trainer for Special OlympicsPennsylvania, and since 1990, she has been the medical coordinator for SOPA’sState Winter Games.

Through her efforts, an interdisciplinary sports medicine team is on hand at all state-level SOPA events. Over the decades, she has recruited hundreds of athletic trainers and athletic training students to volunteer for the Special Olympics Winter Games at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Champion, Pa.

Four centuries of black history

Cal U reflected on 400 years of history – and looked to the future – during February’s Black History Month celebration.

Sheleta Camarda-Webb, director of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Education, described the range of programming as “poignant, informational and also very captivating.”

“We’ve tapped into our on-campus resources, because this is an ideal time to use their scholarship to go back and talk about some historical perspective – and also to acknowledge what can happen in the next 400 years.”

Events included a special four-part “What’s the T? Thoughtful Discussions About National Narratives”series; presentations by Cal U’s Frederick Douglass Institute scholars, Jessica Spradley and Rodney Taylor; and a panel discussion about civil rights and social justice led by first gentleman Jeffrey Jones.

The annual Martin Luther KingJr. Day of Service kicked off the celebration, and meals featuringSouthern-style soul food recipes and African-inspired dishes both nourished and educated Gold Rush diners.

School color

Workers add a touch of Cal U red to an entrance at Washington Hospital, where a new awning and interior signage identify the Cal U School of Radiologic Technology at Washington Health System. The two-year program prepares radiologic technologists – also known as radiographers or X-ray technicians – for high-demand careers in healthcare. Cal U students in the program attend classes and learn diagnostic imaging skills at Washington Hospital, gain hands-on experience at other clinical locations, and graduate with an associate degree from the University. 

 

Food drives fill the Cupboard

The campus community continues to battle food insecurity by stocking shelves at the Cal U Cupboard, the on-campus food pantry for students.

During national Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, the Office of Parking andTransportation placed collection boxes in Vulcan Flyer shuttles and organized two “fill a parking space” food drives to stock the Cupboard’s shelves.

To honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Black Student Union encouraged faculty, staff and students to Feed Your Soul by donating non-perishable food items to fill a Kia Soul that was parked on campus.

The Center for Volunteer Programs and Service Learning operates the food pantry, which is open to students throughout the academic year. Donations are welcome; contact the center at calucupboard@calu.edu.

 

Musicians tune up for springtime event

The clock tower’s chimes weren’t the only musical notes in the air on campus this spring.

For the third time in its history, Cal U played host to the Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Band Festival. It was the festival’s 73rd annual performance, making it the oldest continuous band festival in the nation.

Student musicians from Cal U and 21 other colleges rehearsed and performed with guest conductor Dennis Fisher, a professor emeritus at the University of North Texas. His conducting credits include appearances across the UnitedStates and in Europe, Asia and South America.

In all, more than 100 student performers and 26 band directors took part in the festival. Cal U also hosted the event in 1987 and in 2012.

 

Farmhouse retreat re-energizes writers

For anyone who needs to write, uninterrupted time can be a precious commodity. More than a dozen faculty members took advantage of a writers’ retreat to pour some coffee, open their laptops and focus on writing before the spring semester began.

Syllabi and dissertations, research articles and grant applications, manuscripts and creative works – all were on the table during the day long session at SAI Farm, on Cal U’s upper campus.

The retreat was organized by the Frederick Douglass Institute at Cal U and supported by the College of Liberal Arts.

“The intention of the retreat was to foster a culture of collegiality among academic departments,” said lead organizer Rodney Taylor, an FDI scholar in the English Department.

“While each discipline is unique, we all have to write.”

Competition promotes financial literacy

This spring Cal U partnered with the Pennsylvania Council on Financial Literacy to sponsor stock market competitions for middle school and high school students in Allegheny, Fayette,Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

Open to public and private school students, the Stock Market Challenge is designed to teach students and teachers how to invest and trade in stocks, analyze markets and build aportfolio.

More than $2,800 in prizes were at stake in the five-county region.

“It’s never too soon to begin building financial literacy,” says Dr. Paul Hettler, chair of Cal U’s Department of Business, Economics and Enterprise Sciences.

The council’s mission is to provide the state’s K-12 students with economic, personal finance and entrepreneurship skills. More than 10,000 students in 45 Pennsylvania counties participate in financial games and programs sponsored by the organization.