Mentors

IUP’s president, Tony Atwater, was the subject of a six-page portrait in last September’s edition of Pittsburgh Professional Magazine. The story and photos are not available on the publication’s website but can be read and downloaded at the president’s website. A print copy is available from Media Relations Director Michelle Fryling, 316 Sutton Hall, 1011 South Drive, Indiana, PA 15705 or 724-357-2302.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation broke ground last fall for the Pennsylvania Wilds’ Elk Country Visitor Center near Benezette. Expected to open at the end of this year at a cost of $5 million, it will be the largest elk-watching and conservation education center in the East. The state’s elk herd already attracts more than 75,000 visitors to north-central Pennsylvania each fall, most to look and some to hunt. (Estimates are about one elk for every 100 visitors.) Research performed by IUP Biology professor Jeffrey Larkin and his graduate students in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Game Commission helps keep the herd healthy and growing. According to commission elk biologist Jon DeBerti, quoted in the Centre Daily Times, “These types of studies have never been done in Pennsylvania before, and there has not been much done on eastern elk habitat in general. Our elk habitat is not typical for elk—no large expanses of open area and a very different deciduous tree component.”

The Point of Pittsburgh is the role of labor, in the opinion of Charles McCollester, who in November published a 456-page book with that title on the occasion of the city’s 250th anniversary. As the IUP Industrial and Labor Relations faculty member told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “For fifty or seventy-five years, this city was one of the most productive places in the world. Just as production was impressive—in diversity and amount of goods—the labor struggle was just as intense.” McCollester effectively begins the book in 14,000 B.C. (but arrives in 1740 by the end of the first chapter) and emphatically ends it on October 13, 1960—the date of Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off home run in Game 7 of the World Series. That, according to the author, was “when Pittsburgh was at the height of its happiness, its industries strong and vital, its people generally prosperous and optimistic.” Information about the book and a related CD of Mike Stout ballads can be found at Point of Pittsburgh.

In October, the IUP Center for Northern Appalachian Studies sponsored a symposium on “The Future of Energy in the Northern Appalachian Region.” The all-day program included presentations by faculty members, researchers, legislators, and energy executives. Among them was Irwin Marcus, IUP emeritus professor of history, whose topic was “Energy, Extraction, and Exploitation in the Appalachians, A Historical Perspective.”

A former president of IUP, Robert Wilburn, is leaving his most recent post as president and CEO of the Gettysburg Foundation. He had announced his departure would occur with the opening late last year of the new museum and visitor center, for which he had been instrumental in raising $103 million. In his syndicated column, Washington Post columnist George Will wrote from Gettysburg in October: “Ten years ago, this column asserted that disrespect for the national patrimony of Civil War battlefields should be a hanging offense, and said: ‘Given that the vast majority of Americans have never heard a shot fired in anger, the imaginative presentation of military history in a new facility here is vital, lest rising generations have no sense of the sacrifices of which they are beneficiaries.’ Today, at an embarrassing moment of multiplying public futilities, private efforts, in collaboration with the National Park Service, have done something resoundingly right that will help a normally amnesiac nation to long remember.”