Letters to the Editor

Energy and the Environment

Shock. Disgust. Shame.

These were the emotions I experienced as I read the cover story, “ On Top of Marcellus: IUP Lends Expertise to Energy Industry,” in the Spring 2013 issue of IUP Magazine.

In the 1970s, IUP taught me to value the natural environment and to conserve it. My M.S. (SUNY at New Paltz) includes a concentration in environmental science. I have been working to prevent hydraulic fracturing here in New York state. I support 350.org, an organization that strives to get colleges and cities to divest their fossil fuel stocks.

And then I read this article. When did IUP become a tech school for the fossil fuel industry?

Already we are seeing the deadly effects of climate change. We have exceeded carbon dioxide levels of 400 parts per million, another sign that our dependence on fossil fuels is out of control.

The only way to get back to a safe level is to immediately transition the global economy away from fossil fuels and into renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable farming practices in all sectors (agricultural, transport, manufacturing, etc.). I expected IUP to be a leader in this transition.

Please remove me from the IUP Magazine mailing list and do not ask for donations until the university separates itself entirely from the fossil fuel industry.

I am ashamed of what IUP has become.

—Pat Turicik Dinges ’79
Salt Point, New York

Editor’s Note: Pat Turicik Dinges’s letter was forwarded to the leadership of the IUP energy team. Steve Hovan, of the Geoscience Department, provided the following response on behalf of this faculty group:

The energy issue is one of the most challenging issues facing our society—not simply how and where can we generate enough, but how can we safely generate energy while protecting our natural environment. Too often we see this as a black and white issue when in fact it is much more complex. For example, every form of energy we develop and use, whether carbon fuels, nuclear, wind, hydrothermal, or solar, has environmental cost. There is no energy source that is environmentally neutral. While energy conservation and increased energy efficiency are most certainly part of the solution, these alone cannot resolve the energy issue. This is why it is vitally important that environmentalists and the energy industry work closely together to understand how we can best move forward with energy development.

It’s in this role that IUP is leading the way to resolve our energy issue. Our work with shale gas industries is providing current and accurate information to monitor, assess, and minimize impacts on the environment related to natural gas development. An important goal of this work is to make this information publicly available and understandable, a task that scientists have not always been very good at doing. This is especially true when working with issues related to Marcellus shale because scientists lack a complete understanding of some important aspects of it. By working with a multidisciplinary team of scholars, we are able to better synthesize the broad issues of energy and environment related to Marcellus shale development and make sense of the sometimes confusing array of information presented about it.

I am proud of IUP’s work with the Marcellus shale. Not only does it provide our students with invaluable experience, but also we are generating important scientific data and knowledge. Good scientific information is the basis for making good decisions, and our work with Marcellus is helping to make all of us good “decision makers” about energy.

—Steve Hovan
Professor and Chair, IUP Geoscience Department

Thanks and a Bit of History

As an alumna (1994), I wanted to thank you for the mention of the Pennsylvania Senior Environment Corps (PaSEC) on page 10 of the current issue. The SEC is actually coordinated statewide and nationally by my organization, Nature Abounds, a national 501c3 that my husband and I co-founded.

Also, since I have you here, I thought I’d share a few IUP photos from when my grandma, Elba McLain Hughes, was there. She graduated in 1928. Clark Hall was her dorm. Her dorm actually outlasted mine, which was torn down. My brother, Mike Hughes, actually just went back to college and chose IUP. He started this semester.

—Melinda Hughes-Wert ’94
DuBois

Editor’s Note: Lawrence Hall, where Melinda Hughes-Wert stayed in the 1990s, was razed in 2009 as part of the Residential Revival. Andrew W. Stephenson Hall is in the former site of Lawrence Hall and the rest of the Governors Quad.

Melinda Hughes-Wert ’94 shared this photo of her grandmother, Elba McLain Hughes ’28, with a group of her friends.

Melinda Hughes-Wert ’94 shared this photo of her grandmother, Elba McLain Hughes ’28, front and center, with a group of her friends from Indiana State Teachers College. They’re posed on Vinegar Hill, along Oak Street in Indiana, just west of North Seventh Street.

Memory Serves

A friend of mine from IUP pointed out this photo and said I should know folks in it. I do. As an introduction, my official IUP name is William G. Stout, Class 1973, 2002 Distinguished Alumnus, majors: International Relations and Classical History and Political Science. I was president of the International Relations Club (and of the Foreign Students’ Club) in 1972 and 1973.

Looking at the photo, the girl on the far left is Gale Zahniser [’71, deceased] from Grove City; the professor at the globe is the Hungarian Dr. Szabo from the Political Science Department; to his left is Debra Machamer [’72] from Harrisburg (currently in Orlando, Florida, and still a close friend); and at the far right, first row, is Cathy Wilson [’73] (I’m pretty sure). Others look familiar, but names escape me right now. When I was president, the academic advisor was Dr. Wilson from the International Relations Department under Dr. Robert Morris, my advisor and in whose office I worked my last two years at IUP.

If I remember anyone else, I’ll contact you. There should be in the International Relations/Political Science Department records lists of members in these groups because the groups’ presidents had to record names and submit them to the administration.

—William G. Stout ’73
Millvale

A Lasting Impression

The smell came back to me immediately when I started to read the article about George Johnson/ “ Leaving His Mark” in the Spring 2013 issue of IUP Magazine. As an undergraduate in the Art Department at IUP from 1973-77, I had Johnson as my printmaking instructor, but it wasn’t the odors from the printmaking studio that triggered my olfactory memory. As innocent, naive art students taking Johnson’s class, we had been “encouraged” to meet him at Elkin House, evenings several times a month, to work on the building’s restoration. The smell that filled my memory was of the paint stripper that we painted on the wooden window casings in the living room to remove the many layers of paint. I only stripped paint during that one semester, but my interest in Breezedale and an appreciation for restoration of older structures has stayed with me during the last 40 years. Of course I could still point out those few feet of molding that I scraped that winter in Breezedale to this day!

—Carl D. Long ’77
Ogilvie, Minnesota

More than an Artist

I was pleased to read the article “Leaving His Mark,” telling of George and Julie Johnson and both of their work on Breezedale’s restoration (where my future wife and I spent many a long hour scraping decades of paint from the woodwork) and Julie’s generous gift of so much of George’s artwork. However, there was something left unsaid. The collection of his artworks is valued in excess of $100,000; his collection of filthy limericks remains priceless.

—Charles Place ’78
Cape May, New Jersey

Alive and Well

In reply to Bill Dean’s letter, page 6 of Fall-Winter issue, there are still some of us 1955 graduates alive and well. I’m still working part-time and active. Last summer I was invited to the 55th class reunion of a local area high school where I taught (one of only two living former teachers they could locate). I’ve lived in Indiana all my life and have seen many changes at our college campus. You know you’re getting old when you see buildings with names of your former teachers on them. Also parts of buildings/auditoriums, like Stabley Library, McVitty Auditorium, and even a street, Pratt Drive, named for a president when we attended. Esch Hall (named for registrar, Mary Esch) was built and razed in my lifetime. That’s really scary! The football stadium is George P. Miller Stadium. He coached some outstanding teams, but I remember him as my golf coach. I was his team captain my junior and senior years in school, and our teams had good records. After graduation, Coach Miller and I played and talked golf often. I know it was one of his dreams for the college golf team to someday be nationally ranked, which we now are. Both he and I liked to think our team was the beginning of a winning golf tradition at what is now IUP. Now I enjoy watching my children and grandchildren continue our family golf tradition, and I have a grandson who is now a member of IUP’s golf team. Life has been good.

—Walt Wiggins ’55
Indiana

Woman behind the Outfits

What a pleasant surprise when I saw the picture of the Kaydeens in the Fall/Winter IUP Magazine.

I constructed 20 fully lined crimson wool capes and skirts. The skirts were adjustable. The fabric was purchased at Brody’s department store, located on the corner of Philadelphia Street and Seventh Street, Indiana.

When ISTC used the Indians as mascots, I constructed 20+ Native American outfits. Each outfit was constructed using rust-colored suede and comprised a tunic top and skirt trimmed with white and gold braid and hand-cut fringe.

—Marjorie Schrader Irwin Vatter ’56
Indiana

More from the Summer 2013 Issue of IUP Magazine

Back in the Force

Back in the Force

Program puts area residents on path to promising careers

Unheralded and (Almost) Unbeatable

Unheralded and (Almost) Unbeatable

Men's rugby had one of its finest seasons in program history, played out on a national stage

Message from the President

“The stories in this edition provide focus.... a snapshot of what IUP has been and what we must become next.”

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Ten alumni were honored with 2013 Distinguished Alumni Awards at an April gala.

Namedroppers| Mentors| Achievements

Photo Gallery | In Brief

Saviors at Sea

Nurse Eva Jane Savel Bolents treated survivors of the most tragic naval event of World War II

The Next Chapter

IUP celebrated the start to its new chapter with the inauguration of President Michael Driscoll

International Study: The Transformative Experience

The benefits of study abroad are vast, but the cost can be prohibitive. A scholarship fund was established to help.

Exploring the World’s End with a Nobel Laureate

IUP professors visit Guatemala City to witness the prophesied end of the world