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IUP News: August 2011

More news also may be found at our main News and Events page and on our Campus Bulletins page.

End-of-Life Care to Be Focus of Nursing Workshop

(Academic Programs, Events, Student Opportunities) Permanent link

The Department of Nursing and Allied Health Professions is partnering with Indiana Regional Medical Center and Windber Medical Center to present a workshop on end-of-life care.

The workshop is October 21, 2011, from 7:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex. It is $35 for members of the community and free to students and faculty members in the Nursing and Allied Health Professions Department. The fee includes a continental breakfast and box lunch.

Continuing education units and End of Life Nursing Education Certification are available for nurse attendees.

Topics for the program include palliative nursing care; pain management; symptom management; ethics; cultural considerations in palliative care; communication, loss, grief and bereavement; and final hours.

For more information or to register, contact Edie West, Nursing and Allied Health Professions, at or by mail at Johnson Hall, Room 231, 1010 Oakland Avenue, Indiana, PA 15705. Registration deadline is October 4.

Colatrino Receives Bridging Scholarship for Study Abroad in Japan

(Academic Programs, Arts and Culture, Student Opportunities) Permanent link
Marc Colatrino, winner of Bridging Scholarship for study abroad in Japan

Marc Colatrino, a senior Asian Studies major from Leechburg, is one of only eighty-five students in the nation and one of only three in Pennsylvania selected for a Bridging Scholarship for study abroad in Japan.

Colatrino is the first IUP student to win one of these competitive awards. The scholarships are offered by the U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation, an independent federal agency promoting mutual understanding between the United States and Japan.

Colatrino will do his yearlong study at Nagoya Gakuin University in Nagoya, Japan, a partner university with IUP. He will leave for Japan on September 10.

“My goal is to become an interpreter or translator for government or for a private corporation, but I am also looking at teaching opportunities, including teaching opportunities in China to allow me to learn Chinese,” he said.

A nontraditional-age student, Colatrino grew up in Illinois. He is the son of Philip and Jody Colatrino, of Edmund, Okla., and is a graduate of Antioch Community High School in Illinois. He is a dean’s list student at IUP.

Biology Research Project on Effects of Nitrites on Zebrafish Earns Students a Society of Toxicology Award

(Academic Programs, Student Opportunities) Permanent link

Posing in the laboratory were, from left, Ida Karimi, Alison Simmons, and Tom Simmons, advisor on the students' research project. (Keith Boyer photo)Two Indiana Area Senior High School students are getting a head start on their academic careers.

Ida Karimi and Alison Simmons, students at IUP during the summer, won the 2011 Mary Anne Stock Student Research Award from the Allegheny-Erie chapter of the Society of Toxicology for their research project “Effects of Nitrite on Development of Embryos and Early Larval Stages of the Zebrafish (Danio rerio).”

The proposal, reviewed by toxicologists, was praised as “a very cogent and well-written proposal with high and direct relevance to environmental toxicology.”

Karimi, the daughter of Roya and Majid Karimi, and Simmons, the daughter of Anne and Tom Simmons, will return to Indiana Area Senior High School in the fall to complete their senior years.

“We were lab partners at Indiana High School in Mr. [Bill] Warwick’s class for Advanced Placement biology in eleventh grade, and we decided we wanted to do something more this summer with a biology research project,” Simmons said. Both plan to major in biology after high school.

To complete the project, they studied under Simmons’ father, Tom, a faculty member in the Biology Department. Karimi’s father, Majid, is a faculty member in the Physics Department.

The project, which met all requirements of an IUP research project, including guidelines of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, was designed to see if nitrites in high concentrations, which are known to cause human infantile methemoglobinemia (also known as blue baby syndrome, a condition resulting in oxygen deprivation in newborns) would cause malformations in developing zebrafish. The students chose zebrafish for the study because they are the standard vertebrate models for studying those issues.

Nitrate, which is converted into nitrite, is a compound found throughout the environment, and humans are exposed via ingestion of water and food. The students found that there are no published studies on the direct developmental effects of nitrites.

“We were really surprised to win the award, especially because we were competing against undergraduate and graduate students,” Karimi said.

The students were responsible for all aspects of the research project, including establishing a breeding zebrafish colony in an IUP laboratory.

“We didn’t count on the project being so time consuming,” Alison Simmons said. “There was a lot of cleaning when we first got started, and it was hard to get the environment exactly right for the fish.”

“At first, the fish kept dying, but eventually, we actually got more eggs than we expected, almost three hundred to four hundred eggs a day from each tank.”

The students then gradually exposed the fish eggs to increased concentrations of nitrites to determine when the larvae were affected by the toxin.

After six weeks of twenty hours a week of research, documentation, and study, the students found that nitrite exposure to the fish larvae was just as damaging in terms of developmental abnormalities as ethanol (alcohol), which, at high levels, has been documented as causing birth defects in humans.

“The students did a great job on the project,” Tom Simmons said. “It’s definitely a study that other researchers can use as a basis for ongoing research. The next step is determining if the concentration of nitrites that caused the developmental abnormalities in the zebrafish is a realistic model for humans. More study also needs to be done to analyze longer exposures to nitrites at lower concentrations and its effects on the zebrafish larvae.”

As part of their award-winning proposal, the students will present their findings at the spring meeting of the Allegheny-Erie chapter of the Society of Toxicology.

West Nile Virus Control Program to Spray on Campus

 Permanent link

Spraying for mosquitoes will take place on the IUP campus between the Robertshaw Building and the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex after mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus were found in a trap in that area.

The Indiana County West Nile Virus Control Program plans to spray between 7:30 and 9:00 p.m. Thursday, August 25, 2011. During the spraying, the R&P parking lot (where the marching band practices) and the walking trail that extends from that lot to South Thirteenth Street will be closed.

Spraying will occur in three main areas:

  • the walking trail
  • a wetland along the trail
  • a stormwater retention pond near the Kovalchick Complex

Indiana County’s West Nile virus program, based out of the Penn State Cooperative Extension, has advised nearby residents to remain indoors, close windows, and avoid hanging laundry outside during the spraying. Food and water bowls for animals should be emptied and cleaned after the spraying.

According to a story in the Indiana Gazette, mosquitoes carrying the disease have been found in other parts of the county as well. 

Those affected by the West Nile virus can develop an inflammation of the brain, though the likelihood of catching the virus is very low, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information on the spraying, see the Indiana Gazette story “West Nile Found Locally.” Learn more about virus control on the Pennsylvania West Nile Virus Control Program website.

Snavely Starts as Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

(Academic Programs, Student Opportunities) Permanent link
Deanne Snavely, dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Deanne Snavely, who was appointed dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in the spring, began work at IUP on August 1, 2011.

She brings to IUP twenty-five years of experience from Bowling Green State University. Most recently, she served as interim associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and interim dean of the graduate college and vice provost for research.

“I am excited to be selected as the new dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics,” Snavely said. “The faculty, students, and staff of the college have created a strong, vibrant educational environment in science and mathematics. I look forward to continuing and building the college and its programs to provide excellent learning opportunities for our future students.”

At Bowling Green, Snavely, a physical-analytical chemist, rose through the faculty ranks in the chemistry department to the rank of professor with tenure. She also served for four years as chemistry department chairperson.

As a faculty member, Snavely taught a full range of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, from freshman general chemistry to advanced graduate courses in quantum chemistry. She has mentored twenty-five undergraduate students on research projects and has supervised seven master’s theses and seven doctoral dissertations.

Her research interests focus on the study of polyatomic molecules through the use of vibrational spectroscopy and the kinetics of reactions by laser vibrational overtone activation. Having published thirty-six peer-reviewed journal articles, she has secured nearly $1 million in external funding in support of her research and has presented her findings at more than thirty-five national and international scientific meetings. She was a principal in the Center for Photochemical Sciences at Bowling Green.

Early in her career, she received the prestigious Naval Young Investigator Award in Chemistry and the Bowling Green State University Chapter of Sigma Xi Distinguished Young Scientist award. She has also been selected to serve on national review panels for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and agencies of the Armed Forces.

A native of Ohio, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Ohio State University and a doctorate in physical chemistry from Yale University. After completing her doctorate, Snavely held postdoctoral appointments at Yale University and Stanford University before joining Bowling Green.

At Bowling Green, she had many administrative and committee assignments, including chairing the committee that drafted the Gender Equity Plan for Intercollegiate Sports and facilitating the President’s Advisory Council Steering Committee.

IUP Feels Earthquake Effects, Campus Safe

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An earthquake in the Richmond, Va., area, magnitude of 5.9, shook campus buildings shortly before 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 23, 2011.

Campus safety officials have said that, unless occupants are notified to evacuate, campus buildings are safe. The smells reported in Pratt Hall were solvents being used; there was no damage. 

Campus emergency officials may be reached at 724-357-2141.

Faculty Promotions for Fall 2011 Announced

 Permanent link

The Office of the Provost has announced the promotion of several faculty members, effective the Fall 2011 semester.


Those promoted to the rank of professor are as follows:

Associate Professor

Those promoted to associate professor:

Assistant Professor

Promoted to assistant professor was Steven Schroeder of the History Department.

Faculty members must apply for promotion to the Universitywide Promotion Committee. Candidates are judged on effectiveness in teaching, scholarly growth, and service.

Computer Science Languages and Systems Track Accredited

(Academic Programs) Permanent link

The Computer Science Department’s degree program in Computer Science/Languages and Systems Track has been recognized with accreditation by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).

Accreditation is a non-governmental, peer-review process that ensures the quality of the education students receive. Representatives of educational institutions or programs volunteer to undergo this review periodically to determine if certain criteria are being met.

In addition to the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science/Languages and Systems Track, the department offers three other degree programs: the Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science; Bachelor of Science in Computer Science/Applied Computer Science Track; and the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science/Information Assurance Track. There are approximately 240 students in these majors.

Move-In, Other Events Mark Start of 2011–2012 Academic Year

(Events, Student Opportunities, Residential Revival) Permanent link
Students and their families move in to IUP residence halls during the start of the Fall 2009 semester

As the start of the Fall 2011 semester approaches, IUP is gearing up for student move-in and other events that celebrate the new academic year and welcome new students into the community.

The move-in process will begin with smaller groups of students in mid-August and reach its highest volume August 26–28.

Moving into their residence halls during the week of August 15 will be community assistants, cheerleaders, marching band participants, and members of the volleyball, field hockey, and football teams. Practices and rehearsals for these groups are ongoing.

On August 20, more than six hundred new students participating in the College Undergraduate Success Program (CUSP) Early Entrance Experience will move into their residence halls. CUSP, sponsored by the Department of Developmental Studies, is a pre-college program designed to ease the transition process and promote college success.

On August 22, approximately 225 new international students will arrive at the university. Each semester, IUP hosts more than six hundred international students from more than seventy countries. New international students have orientation activities before the beginning of classes.

New and transfer students who are living in university-owned residence facilities will move in August 26 and 27. All eight of the residence halls constructed as part of the university’s Residential Revival, a $245-million project that was the largest of its kind in the nation, were completed and ready for students in August 2010.

The remainder of students living on campus will move in August 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

More than 3,500 students live in the new residence facilities, and 664 will be in McCarthy, Elkin, and Whitmyre halls. Nearly 130 upperclassmen will live in University Towers.

During move-in for freshmen and transfer students, a number of bottled water stations will be set up for students, parents, and move-in workers. Water is being provided by IUP Greek organizations and St. Thomas More University Parish.

For motorists’ convenience, Sam Clutter, interim director of Public Safety, recommends they avoid the campus area during the move-in dates by using Philadelphia Street and the Rose Street Extension.

IUP officials have worked to make community residents and merchants aware of move-in day and the expected traffic associated with it.

Parents received staggered times for move-in, so that it is spread throughout the day. As in past years, arriving students and their families are directed to a staging area in the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex parking lot, and they will be released from there to the appropriate building. More than one hundred student workers and volunteers from a number of student organizations, along with all university police officers, will be on duty all or part of the two major move-in days.

In addition, about 120 community assistants; PACERS (Peers Assisting the Community Education of Residents), formerly known as peer mentors; and graduate and professional residence hall staff members will be working inside the residence halls to greet and assist students and family members.

Professionals from the areas of Housing and Residence Life, Public Safety, and Student Life begin developing move-in day procedures, signs, work schedules, and publications during the Fall semester of the previous year, according to Clutter. “We have put in many, many hours of planning and work, but the ongoing cooperation and understanding of the Indiana area community continues to be key to a successful move-in process.”

Aside from move-in, a number of events are planned to mark the start of the academic year.

On August 26 at 9:00 a.m., David Werner, interim president, will preside over the “Opening of the Academic Year: 2011–2012” in the Performing Arts Center’s Fisher Auditorium. The program, which is open to the community, will include remarks by IUP leadership. A reception in the Oak Grove will immediately follow.

Freshman Convocation, the formal welcome to new students, will be August 28 at 5:00 p.m. in Fisher Auditorium. The event, which is free and open to the community, will feature Jack Stamp, director of Band Studies, Music Department chair, and the 2008–2009 University Professor, as the keynote presenter.

The University Professor award is designed to recognize, reward, and encourage IUP faculty members who are actively engaged in research and scholarly activity that advance their discipline or the teaching of their discipline.

The convocation program also will feature the 2011–2012 University Professor, Lynn Botelho, as master of ceremonies and remarks by Andrew Longacre, of Danielsville, a junior Safety Sciences and Political Science major who serves as the student member of the university’s Council of Trustees.

President Werner will host a cookout in the Oak Grove immediately following the Freshman Convocation ceremony.

Classes for the Fall semester begin August 29 and end December 12.

Forbes Magazine “Top Colleges” List Includes IUP Again in 2011

(Student Opportunities) Permanent link
Forbes magazine cover

IUP has been recognized, for the second year in a row, as one of “America’s Top Colleges” by Forbes magazine.

IUP is one of only twenty-three Pennsylvania colleges and universities chosen for this fourth annual listing. There are 6,600 accredited postsecondary institutions in the U.S.

“America’s Top Colleges” includes 650 institutions. Magazine editors chose colleges and universities for the listing “based on the things that matter most to students: quality of teaching, great career prospects, graduation rates, and low levels of debt.”

The rankings are based on five categories:

  • student satisfaction (judged by surveys on the Rate My Professor website and freshman-to-sophomore retention rates)
  • postgraduate success (assessed through alumni surveys and alumni inclusion in “Who’s Who in America” and the Forbes corporate officer list)
  • student debt load after graduation
  • four-year graduation rate
  • national competitive awards received by students

In the last decade, IUP students have won ten Fulbright scholarships, five Goldwater awards, and seventeen international study-abroad awards from the Freeman-Asia and Gilman foundations.

The Forbes listing follows IUP’s selection, for the seventeenth year in a row, as one of the nation’s top doctoral universities by U.S. News & World Report. IUP is included in the magazine’s 2011 edition of “Best Colleges” and is one of its top 262 national doctoral universities.

In July, IUP celebrated its eleventh consecutive year of inclusion in the Princeton Review’s Best Colleges guidebook.

Also receiving ongoing recognition from the Princeton Review is the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology. It was one of fifteen graduate schools of business in the nation named to the Princeton Review’s 2010 “Student Opinion Honors for Business Schools.” It also gained national prominence in the Princeton Review’s inaugural edition of The Best Business Schools in 2005 and has continued to be selected annually by guidebook editors.

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