Transformation: Phase One of the Punxsutawney Campus’s transformation began last fall with groundbreaking for a new residence facility. Located on university-owned property adjacent to the existing campus, the three-story, 194-bed building will offer a variety of living options, including suites, and is expected to be occupied next fall. Phase Two will begin this spring, when ground is broken for a new academic building and commons facility. “Within the mission of offering a first-year experience, the Punxsutawney Campus has been successful in increasing enrollment from 158 in Fall, 2000 to 309 last year,” according to Valarie Trimarchi ’87, M’91, dean of the campus. “The community—especially the Punxsutawney Trust and State Representative Sam Smith—have been extremely supportive of our goals and planning process.”
A new exchange agreement between IUP and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the University of Ghana will open opportunities for faculty members and students from all three universities.
The program is projected to begin formally next fall. Students will pay their home university’s tuition to study at either university, allowing them to experience firsthand African ecosystems, political systems, and cultures. While students of any major might participate in an exchange experience, the agreement was made on IUP’s behalf by the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
Instruments for All
When members of the IUP Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota caught wind of the plight of the Duquesne City High School music program, they marched into action.
The school’s program had to turn away students who wanted individual music instruction, because it lacked the instruments to lend them. The school’s band, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, had shrunk to just eighteen members.
Sigma Alpha Iota to the rescue: The IUP chapter of the women’s music fraternity started an instrument drive that as of mid-November had netted more than forty used instruments and supplemental monetary support.
“To know that every donation will impact a life is a great incentive. I guess we felt compelled to help because we want to give the students the opportunities we as musicians have had,” said Jamie Sirgey, a music major from Connellsville, Pa., who is president of the IUP chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota. “Music has opened many doors for us, and we hope to give these students the ability to share the joys and lifelong benefits of this art.”
A New Turn
The new Center for Turning and Furniture Design is expected to open in time for classes next fall. When it does, the university to be the first to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in fine arts with a combined studio emphasis.
Funded by a $510,000 grant from a private foundation, the center will feature new machinery in expanded studio space in Sprowls Hall. Offerings will emphasize recycling, renewal, and reinvention and will connect the disciplines of furniture design and wood turning, providing students the opportunity to retain traditional values and skills while advancing into new areas of materials, process, and form exploration.
As part of the grant, a professional furniture artist or wood turner will be invited to IUP each semester to teach an advanced course and conduct personal creative research and studio development. This position will be filled by a different artist each semester, giving students a chance to study with several masters as well as with veteran IUP art professor Christopher Weiland, the center’s principal faculty member.