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October 2010

This month, Wolfe, 62, of Johnstown, competed in an orienteering championship meet in a state park near Glens Falls, N.Y. During the two-day competition, he completed two 5.5-kilometer courses, coming in 15th among the 27 people in his age group. Now retired, Wolfe said orienteering is one of his main hobbies. He first encountered the activity in 1978 when he was living in Massachusetts. When he moved to Western Pennsylvania to work as a professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, he became the faculty adviser to the college’s orienteering club. As student interest declined, he expanded the group in 2003 to include anyone in Western Pennsylvania, and the club was formed. Now the group has about 45 members, some of them IUP graduates who have stayed in the area, including Jennifer Livingston, 36, of Beaver. A high school cross country runner, Livingston first heard about the IUP club at a college activity fair. ‘This sounded like something that would be more of a challenge,’ she said. ‘Not just plain running, but figuring out where to go.’

—“Orienteering With Map, Compass May Sound Old-School, But It's Mostly About Discovery,”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 31, 2010

Amid all the Lady Gagas and Chilean coal miners knocking on our doors Halloween night, there are sure to be some girls wearing pointy black hats and brandishing brooms. But for some real-life witches, aka Wiccans, the public holiday ritual is largely over — and it didn’t involve any midnight flights, bubbling caldrons or eye of newt. A study at Indiana University of Pennsylvania estimated that there are more than 750,000 Wiccans in the United States. But they’re a long way from total

—“So What Does a Witch Do on Halloween?”
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, Oct. 31, 2010

One-party control ‘would take an obstacle out of the path,’ said David Chambers, a political science professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. But chief executives often have trouble selling ideas to their own party, he said. Another hurdle: the $4 billion to $5 billion state deficit looming in 2011. When a governor needs legislative votes on tough budget proposals, securing them becomes more difficult if eliminating perks is involved, Chambers said. ‘There’s only so much persuasive power an executive has,’ he said

—“Can Pennsylvania's Next Governor Cut Legislature?”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Oct. 29, 2010

‘Compared to the presidential election, most of the people barely even know there’s an election happening, let alone who the candidates are,’ Julie Ventura, president of the College Democrats group at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, said in a phone interview when asked about the level of involvement on campus compared to two years ago. Ventura, a 22-year-old political science major remained optimistic about the Democrats’ chances, even though interest among younger voters may not be as high. ‘During the presidential election, it was a huge deal. There were these groundbreaking things coming through in having a woman candidate, having an African-American candidate,’ she said. ‘It was so new and different than before.’

—“Campaigns Seek Young Voters in Key Pa. Races,”
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader, Oct. 27, 2010
(from an Associated Press news story)


There’s a special dialect we yinzers speak, and you might be surprised by the results of a new study on our Pittsburghese. Dr Shari Robertson, an IUP speech pathologist, and her daughter Brianna, talk to Larry and John about the results of their study of Pittsburghese, and what people inside and outside of Pittsburgh think about it.

—“Yinz Proud of Speaking Pittsburghese?”
KDKA-AM Radio (Larry Richert and John Shumway show),
Oct. 26, 2010

Not-so-strange dialect: The next time yinz git in trouble fer not tawlkin’ right, tell the complainer that you’re simply celebrating your Western Pennsylvania heritage. According to researchers at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, ‘Pittsburghese’ is a recognized regional dialect as ‘official’ as Cajun is in New Orleans and actually gives young people a sense of attachment to our area and culture. So quit yer whinin’ fer cryinoutlaad.

—“Tuesday Takes,”
Tarentum Valley News Dispatch, Oct. 26, 2010

Brianna Robertson, 22, a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s speech language pathology program, researched the dialect while an undergraduate. Her mother, Dr. Shari Robertson, 52, IUP professor of speech language and pathology, was her faculty adviser. The two presented ‘Convergence and Divergence Trends of the Western Pennsylvania Dialect’ at a national convention last year.

—“Pittsburghese a Source of Pride for ‘Yinzers’,”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Oct. 24, 2010

Five writers whose work focuses on the environment will lead a day-long program Friday at Chatham University that highlights the school’s graduate writing program. ... participants include:  James Cahalan is ‘a noted scholar who has written an award-winning biography of Edward Abbey (‘Edward Abbey: A Life,’ in 2001), a writer whose words and actions have had a huge effect on contemporary nature writers.’ He is professor of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

—“Chatham Seminar Focuses on Nature, Environmental Writing,”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Oct. 21, 2010

On too many occasions, neither parents nor clinicians are told what the diagnosis means in a child's everyday life or how it affects behavior or success, said Cynthia Richburg, PhD, CCC-A, FAAA, associate professor in the Department of Special Education and Clinical Services at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She and colleague Lisa Price, PhD, CCC-SLP, are proponents of an interdisciplinary approach to diagnosis and treatment for APD.

—“Auditory Processing Disorders,”
Advance (national speech-language pathlogy and audiology bi-weekly journal), October, 2010

Going to kindergarten for the first time can be an intimidating experience. Even if your child has already been in a preschool or day-care setting, the environment was probably more homelike than the typical kindergarten classroom will be. He has to adjust to a new place, away from family or familiar caregivers, and he may be frightened by the strange surroundings. Your own thoughts may be more abstract, wondering, for example, whether your child is going to be a good student, while she is simply worrying about where she's supposed to go to the bathroom. ‘Children are really facing the same fears that all of us encounter when we go someplace new or make a transition-fears about getting basic needs met,’ says Mary Ann Rafoth, dean of the College of Education and Educational Technology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. To make that first day go off without a hitch, here’s a rundown of what most children want to know up front and what you can do to ease their fears.

—“Kindergarten From the Kids’ Point of View,”, October 2010

An art teacher at North Hills Junior High School has been named the 2010 Outstanding Middle School Art Teacher by the Pennsylvania Art Education Association. Matt Simon will be recognized during the association’s annual conference Oct. 28-31 in Pittsburgh. ‘Mr. Simon’s artistic ability, creativity, personality, past experiences, eagerness to grow professionally and drive to achieve continued success as an educator are attributes commensurate with the expectations for the Outstanding Middle School Art Educator recognition,’ said John Kreider, principal of North Hills Senior High School and former junior high principal. Mr. Simon holds a degree in fine arts from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and certification in art education from Carlow University. He is a resident and graduate of the North Hills School District and previously worked as a graphic designer. In addition to teaching, he has helped with curriculum development. He serves as the fine arts department representative on the district grading committee and collaborates with arts colleagues for community events that feature the arts, such as the annual Arts Alive and Empty Bowls programs. Artwork designed by Mr. Simon was selected this year for the Pennsylvania Art Education Association 2010 conference logo. 

—“Art Teacher is Outstanding,”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 14, 2010

Just over four years ago, wrecking crews arrived at Indiana University of Pennsylvania to begin knocking down outdated dormitories to pave the way for new residence halls. On Friday, the university community celebrated the completion of the $245 million Residential Revival project, which replaced 11 residence halls with eight modern suite-style buildings that embrace a new ‘living-learning’ philosophy.

—“IUP Dedicates Last of 8 Buildings in Huge Residential Revival Project,”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Oct. 9, 2010

Many colleges and universities have opened support centers for their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students. Kenn Marshall, spokesman for the State System of Higher Education, said most of the 14 state-owned universities offer such services. For example, Indiana University of Pennsylvania offers the ‘Safe Zone’ designed to improve visibility and support to GLBT students and employees. Since 2005, Kutztown University has operated its own GLBT Center. Penn State University has a 16-year-old center to ‘create and maintain an open, safe and inclusive environment’ for GLBT students, faculty and staff.

—“It’s Time to Stand Against Hatred,”
Harrisburgh Patriot-News, Oct. 10, 2010

PITTSBURGH — An agent who received commendations in 1994 for investigating a plot to bomb several New York City landmarks is the new Special Agent in Charge of the Pittsburgh field office of the U.S. Secret Service.  Special Agent Eric Zahren graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and began working for the Secret Service in the agency’s Newark, N.J. field office in 1991. He has also worked overseas in Berlin, and at Secret Service headquarters in Washington, D.C. Zahren has worked at the Pittsburgh field office since August 2009 and was named Special Agent in Charge on Thursday.

—“U.S. Secret Service Office Get New Pittsburgh Boss,”
Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.), Oct. 4, 2010

‘A consensus is building that the traditional nine-month school year might be a relic of the 20th century that has no place in an increasingly competitive global work force Our students have a significant amount of time that they are not in a structured learning environment, but we haven’t decreased expectations, we’ve increased them,’ said Shirley Johnson, a professor in the school of professional studies in education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  Sue Rieg, a professor in IUP’s professional studies of education department, said special-education students aren’t the only ones who need that kind of help. ‘I think that would give them the opportunity to go deeper into topics and have a richer experience,’ she said.

—“Nine-Month School Year Could Become a Relic of 20th Century,”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Oct. 4, 2010

‘Onorato has been playing catch-up, and Corbett has set the tone of the election,’ said David Chambers, a political science professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Both camps say independent voters, who make up about 10 percent of the electorate, could swing the election in a close race.

—“GOP Turnout Key in Pennsylvania Governor’s Race, Experts Say,” 
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Oct. 3, 2010