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December 2010

Heading into the new year, Jim Shillemm thinks the economy and the community are looking up. The owner of Julie’s Coffee on West Third Street sees hopeful signs, but he admits 2010 was a little rocky. ‘It’s been a very challenging year for many people because of the high level of unemployment,’ he said. The Indiana University of Pennsylvania alumnus said the discontent of 2010 was shown by the recent changes of political power both at the national and state level. However, he also believes the majority of people are hopeful about what will come in 2011.

—“City Businessman Optimistic as 2010 Fades into History,”
Williamsport Sun Gazette, Dec. 27, 2010

With the struggling economy and holiday spending, it’s no surprise that donations are down to many nonprofit organizations. The Allegheny Valley chapter of Habitat for Humanity has seen fundraising slow in recent months. And that, in turn, has slowed construction of a home. But organizers are determined to continue work on their 19th house. Student groups from Valley High School, the University of Pittsburgh and Indiana University of Pennsylvania and employees from Curtiss-Wright Corp. recently joined regular volunteers to work.

—“Habitat Group Determined to Build,”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dec. 23, 2010

Greg Joseph thought something was different that summer night almost 25 years ago. He sensed the music he was playing with three fellow students from Indiana University of Pennsylvania was unlike any he’d made before. While Joseph’s presentiment proved true, the bassist couldn’t have expected he, singer Scott Blasey, drummer Dave Minarik and guitarist Rob James would reach a rare milestone, playing their 2,000th show Wednesday at Stage AE on the North Shore. Wednesday is also Clarks Day in Pittsburgh, with the band being honored by Pittsburgh City Council. The group also will perform a few days later at the Winter Classic, the hockey game between the Penguins and Washington Capitals on Jan. 1.

—“The Clarks Still Going Strong, Ready for 2,000th Show,”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Dec. 23, 2010

Jason Dow, 34, is the new pastry chef at the Penn Wells on Main Street in Wellsboro. Dow has been a member of this community since 1990, moving here when he was just 14 years old. When he entered his mid 20’s, Dow decided to make being a chef his career. He attended the Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Academy of Culinary Arts in Punxsutawney. There, he earned a Culinary Arts degree in 2004 with high honors and made the dean’s list. He went on to earn a Baking degree and a Pastry degree in 2005, the very first year separate degrees were offered by the university.

—“Penn Wells’ New Pastry Chef Serves Dessert Delicacies,”
Wellsboro Gazette, Dec. 21, 2010

Indiana also enjoys a reputation for fine art. For the culturally minded, Indiana University of Pennsylvania hosts wonderful theater and music events while the local theater troupe, the Indiana Playhouse, is open for business.

—“‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ in Indiana, Pa.,”
Washington Examiner, Dec. 18, 2010

An Indiana University of Pennsylvania alumnus has donated $1 million to be used by the school’s Eberly College of Business and Information Technology. The gift from Pittsburgh resident Terry A. Serafini will be used to renovate the Eberly building’s atrium, which will be renamed the Serafini Atrium. The gift will also establish the Serafini Outstanding Scholars Program to provide scholarships to students in the Eberly College as well as those in math education in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Serafini is a 1961 education graduate of IUP.

—“Pittsburgh Man Donates $1 million to Indiana University,”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Dec. 16, 2010

The photo of the twinkling-eyed, beaming young woman in the sorority sweat shirt says it all about Karlene Bilger, who was remembered Tuesday as always smiling, always happy, always brimming with life.  ‘I can’t tell you how much we loved Karlene,’ said Betsy Sarneso, assistant director of the Center for Student Life at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where Karlene was a senior and at one time part of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. ‘She was just really a beautiful person, inside and out,’ said Sarneso, who’s also IUP’s Greek adviser. ‘Warm, outgoing, caring to everybody she met, just very easy to be with.’  Bilger, 21, of Mifflinburg, died in a car accident Monday as she traveled south along Interstate 99 in Centre County.

—“Mifflinburg Grad Was ‘Ray of Sunshine’,”
The Daily Item (Sunbury, Pa.), Dec. 15, 2010

Clay Yeager spent two decades in America’s criminal justice system getting more disillusioned every day as children who had been alienated, disturbed and living in households too poor to do anything about it ended up lining the juvenile courts of Pennsylvania where he worked as a probation officer. Supporting young people out of the justice system. 

Education Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (Master of Science).
The Guardian, United Kingdom, December 2010


A new local history book goes from bloody battles to brand-new breakers and everything in between. Harrison Wick’s latest book, ‘Luzerne County,’ coming out in January, is a pictorial history of the county from its 18th century founding to the present. He has been in Pennsylvania for six years. He spent time as Misericordia University’s archivist and is now at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

—“History Lesson,”
Citizen’s Voice (Luzerne County), Dec. 12, 2010


Undergraduates these days aren’t studying much — at least compared to their predecessors. That is the conclusion of two University of California economics professors who analyzed student survey data spanning five decades. They say the average study time for full-time undergraduates nationally at four-year colleges has fallen dramatically, from 24 hours a week in 1961 to 14 now. ‘People will always say, ‘Oh, students don’t know grammar. They can’t write,’’ said Mary Ann Rafoth, dean of education and educational technology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. ‘Yet they have acquired a whole bunch of skills that people didn’t have — the ability to research and digest information quickly and problem solve. There’s a lot more emphasis on collaboration.’ ‘I get the same breakdown of good writers, average writers and then some poor writers. The curve hasn’t changed,’ she said.

—“Study Finds Undergrads Hitting the Books Less Often,”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dec. 12, 2010

People around the community will be receiving some Christmas spirit in a very tasty and artistic form during the coming week as students at Kittanning Junior High School have put the finishing touches on their gingerbread houses for their family and consumer sciences class. Since last Thursday, December 2, the students taking KJHS Teacher Barb Patton and Student-teacher Mackenzie Yantos’ family and consumer sciences class have been preparing dough, baking, assembling, and decorating the gingerbread houses. Yantos, a consumer science education major from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), has been working with the students in Patton’s class for the past semester. She plans to graduate from IUP on December 19, and will spend her last day as a Student-teacher with the kids at KJHS today. ‘The students get to decide where they would like to donate them to,’ said Yantos. ‘A lot of students are taking them to the hospital and nursing homes. I know one student is taking it to a lady, that she knows, who is ill from cancer. So, this is basically what we want to do to bring Christmas spirit to Kittanning and Armstrong County.’

—“KJHS Students Construct Christmas Spirit,”
The Kittanning Paper, Dec. 10, 2010

In the late 1960s, Mrs. Corna began work toward a teaching degree in Indiana University of Pennsylvania, figuring the profession would allow time with her family. She taught middle school math for most of her career in the Jeannette schools. She retired in 1984.

—“Annabel Corna Answered Country’s Call During World War II,”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Dec. 6, 2010

Perception vs. reality. Reading’s gangs are not as organized as many perceive. That’s the assertion of Reading police and Indiana University of Pennsylvania criminologist Dr. Christian Bolden. A self-described city gang member agreed with them.  

—“Gang Member Says Realilty of City Crime Doesn’t Match Perceptions,”
Reading Eagle, Dec. 5, 2010

A new community group in Homer City is drawing attention to the value of literature, literacy and libraries while offering its members a unique opportunity to learn about other countries in a social setting. Some doctoral students from Indiana University of Pennsylvania have partnered with the Homer-Center Public Library in Homer City and Burrell Township Library in Black Lick to offer Community Connections, a discussion group that focuses on studies of postcolonial nations and cultures in print and films.

—“IUP Students, Book Lovers Make Cultural Connection Through Library Group,”
Blairsville Dispatch, Dec. 2, 2010