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Nice Guy Rewarded

I always look in the 1970s section to see what my fellow IUP grads have accomplished. It was great to see an article about Jim Anderson. I also went to the Alumni Extra section to read more and to see Jim’s picture.

Jim looks great. He hasn’t changed in appearance much over the years, and I’m sure he’s still a nice guy. Nice guys are supposed to finish last, but I’m sure Jim’s not finished yet. He has been a juvenile advocate ever since leaving IUP. Jim always treated them with respect and compassion, just like he did with all his friends. It’s wonderful to see a nice guy rewarded by his peers and to get nationwide recognition for a job that he is so passionate about.

Connie Sablofski Farmer ’72
Easton, Pa.

Hooked on History

I was so thrilled to read in the latest issue of IUP Magazine that Dr. Charles Cashdollar was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award. I was privileged to be a student of Dr. Cashdollar in the late 1970s. I was a Special Education major, and I did not understand why I had to take a history course. History had never been interesting to me. I took History of the United States and Pennsylvania from 1865 to Present. I went the first day, thinking, “This is going to be the most boring class ever.”

Boy, was I wrong! Dr. Cashdollar presented history to us in such a way that I was mesmerized by his storytelling eloquence and passion for the subject. From then on, I was hooked on history and his class. In my teaching career, I have had the opportunity to teach history and social studies. I have talked about Dr. Cashdollar many times to my students.

My son will be attending IUP in the fall, and I was so hoping he would have the pleasure of taking one of Dr. Cashdollar’s classes. I was so upset to hear that he is no longer teaching at IUP. I cannot wait to read his history of IUP.

During my four years at IUP, I had many wonderful professors. There are three that continue to be vivid memories for me: Mrs. Marie Bahn of the Education of Exceptional Persons area, who taught me that every child can learn; Dr. Edward Wolf, who was my work-study supervisor at Stabley Library and who understood why I wanted to become a special education teacher; and Dr. Charles Cashdollar, who taught me to love my country, to love history, and to love knowledge. Thank you.

Jo Ann Calafiore Doughty ’80
Hartsville, S.C..

U.S. Army captains Stephen Mihalacki ’01, left, and Kevin Fromknecht ’02

U.S. Army captains Stephen Mihalacki ’01, left, and Kevin Fromknecht ’02 were ROTC classmates at IUP. Today, they are serving in Iraq.

Greetings from Iraq

I just wanted to say a quick hello to all my IUP family and friends. I am in the middle of my second tour to Iraq. This time, though, I have an IUP flag with me, thanks to the generosity of the IUP Alumni Association. (Thank you all.)

I appreciate all the support and well wishes from everyone, especially from some of my former Economics professors like Dr. Jozefowicz and members of the Robert E. Cook Honors College. I look forward to coming home soon and visiting campus again. I hear the new residence halls are beautiful. I am sending a picture of me and Captain Kevin Fromknecht, Class of 2002 (and fellow ROTC classmate), holding my new IUP flag outside of our living quarters at Camp Taji, Iraq.

CPT Stephen Mihalacki ’01
Camp Taji, Iraq

Monumental Reflections

Thanks so much for the impressive reference to John Updike in the recent issue of IUP Magazine. Your coverage was well done and has elicited much response; I commend both your timeliness and your recognition of the magnitude of IUP’s association with Mr. Updike. While all of us were excited to have him lecture at our campus and provide a workshop, too, we probably didn’t realize at the time how significant these events were: As it turned out, this was the only workshop he ever held on writing. Thus, his reflections were monumental, as was the documentary that grew out of the IUP-sponsored event.

Image enhancement accrued to IUP for this event which, in my humble opinion, remains a real gem in the IUP crown. Now that Mr. Updike has passed from the scene, it’s good to reflect on his genius and our treasured moments with him; thanks, through this edition of IUP Magazine, for helping us do that so tastefully.

Ron Shafer ’68, M’70
University Professor
Kittanning, Pa.


Surely IUP has enough impressive achievements, alumni, students, faculty, and administrators that it does not have to dedicate the cover story of its magazine to a paid campus visit by a political agitprop like Donna Brazile. Let’s feature IUP people in the IUP Magazine and list campus visitors like Ms. Brazile in an appropriate forum in the magazine.

Bob Marchesani ’83

The Music Didn’t Die

On my way to Dan DiCicco’s viewing a few minutes ago, something occurred to me. His passing on Tuesday, February 3, 2009, came fifty years to the day following the Iowa plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. Richardson, “The Big Bopper.”

February 3, 1959, was also a Tuesday. The event became memorialized in 1971 by Don McLean as “the day the music died.” But the memory of the friendship and professional artistic excellence brought to us by Dan DiCicco in everything he did will never die.

That music lives on.

Jack Reefer ’69
Indiana, Pa.

‘Right Culture’

After graduating from IUP in December 1974, I found a job working as a programmer analyst in downtown Pittsburgh. I worked in Western Pennsylvania over the next three decades in a variety of IT positions, which culminated in a career move into academia as an assistant professor at California University of Pennsylvania in 2005. As I reflect over my career for the past thirty-plus years, many thoughts continually come back to mind, and generally, most of them always come back to my days at IUP.

The move from my hometown, New Castle, to IUP in the fall of 1970 was a truly exceptional time. I lived in Leroy Hall with friends to this day, David “Rock”DiPetro ’74, John “Gio” Giannone ’74, and Bob “T…” Duff ’76. While balancing the delicate line of studying and the social side of student life, lifetime friendships evolved even more strongly as a member of the Theta Xi fraternity (Beta Lambda 260) with brothers such as Pat “The Lip” Lanigan ’72, my cousin Dennis DiLorenzo ’74, Leonard “Punky” Bubri ’74, Ken “Tabs” Tabish ’74, Jim “Jonesy” Jones ’75, and Rick “Woody” Woodring ’75 and the other brothers from the ’75 class, and many more brothers not noted here but always in my heart. We had a lot of fun (dude ranch party, Fiji party,Wednesday Night Mixers) just hanging out. While we enjoyed ourselves, somewhere deep inside, we kept the eye on the ball for after graduation—at least we thought we did.

After graduation, we moved into various career paths, with some attaining fairly impressive positions in industry. Some of us met our wives at IUP, where we celebrate our marriages of over twenty-five to thirty or more years. So, my thanks to IUP for providing the “right culture” for us back in the 1970s, where we all grew as individuals for life’s challenges ahead.

On the academic side, special thanks to the late Professor Les Spencer, an IUP faculty member who helped groom me for the computer information systems profession. I have spent a lifetime enjoying the work that he mentored while I try to emulate his teaching style in my classroom at Cal U. Kudos to IUP and a warm hello to my current and past IUP friends. It has been a wonderful ride for me over the past thirty-plus years, and the bulk of it all started in rooms in Leroy Hall, Regency Apartments, and 234 South Seventh Street.

Gary DeLorenzo ’74
Monroeville, Pa.