Terry Appolonia, the Punxsutawney campus’s new dean, believes the experience his students receive is special. He wants to make it even more so. The following is his wish list.
“We want to provide an experience that students will seek rather than feel they’ve been assigned.” Appolonia referred to “The Debt Dilemma,” a story that appeared in the summer edition of IUP Magazine. The article reported the average IUP student graduates with more than $26,000 of debt. “Of course, there is plenty of need here and on any campus,” he said. “When we talk about a student whose transition to higher education is significant, certainly economic need factors into that.” Appolonia believes it is critical to defray the tuition of students who demonstrate potential.
Strengthening the Curriculum
“We want to broaden our curriculum in creative ways, with appropriate regard for our resource challenges. We want to offer additional discipline-specific courses so that the transition to the Indiana campus is a seamless one.” Appolonia said private resources would enable academic departments to identify and refer available faculty members to IUP Punxsutawney to teach those courses.
“Physical health and emotional health depend on recreational outlets. We can’t ask students to spend nine months here and not offer them recreational opportunities.” The campus has organized recreational activities now, Appolonia said, but the students must borrow facilities from the community. While a basketball court is in the works, Appolonia hopes in the future to offer students an outdoor recreation commons—a sand volleyball court, an outdoor pavilion for study and socializing, and a walking trail.
Student Site Experiences, Expert Residencies, and Faculty Development Opportunities
Appolonia wants his students to have curricular-based exposure to architecture, museums, and live theater and then use those experiences to spark classroom discussion. Likewise, he would like to continue sponsoring expert residencies on the campus—Michael Stadler ’03, M’09 from the IUP Center for Turning and Furniture Design is currently interacting with students as a guest resident expert. Finally, he wants to be able to fund professional development for faculty members dedicated to the campus’s special mission.
Help Punxsutawney Now
Readers interested in discussing how to assist students who attend IUP Punxsutawney should contact Bill Speidel, associate vice president for Development, at 724-357-2324. To have an immediate impact, visit the IUP Online Gift Form to make a gift to the Punxsutawney Dean’s Innovation Fund.