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What They Said: January 2008

Another sign of progress is the presence of the Fairman Centre, an Indiana University of Pennsylvania branch campus on West Mahoning Street. Housed in the historic J.B. Eberhart Building (erected in 1902), the school offers a freshman curriculum designed to attract rural students from across the commonwealth. IUP President Tony Atwater says the Fairman Centre is a good fit for IUP in several ways. Responding via e-mail, he says, ‘The community retains this beautiful, historic building in a restored condition that benefits the downtown district, and the university benefits through a site to offer educational activities and programs that support curricular and work force education goals. This project truly represents a partnership that will advance the university and the Punxsutawney region.’ IUP also bases its Institute of Culinary Arts in Punxsutawney. Other attractions include the Mahoning Shadow Trail, a 15.5-mile track for walkers, joggers and bicyclists that follows Mahoning Creek, and the annual Groundhog Festival, held the week of Independence Day.

—“Punxsutawney in No Hurry to Escape Phil’s Long Shadow,”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Jan. 27, 2008

When campus crimes occur, counselors report a spike in referrals and student visits. Dr. Rita Drapkin, a professor and psychologist at the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, said counselors at IUP and colleagues at other schools found that was true after the Virginia Tech slayings last year. ‘It’s a small world. We saw kids who had friends there, graduate students who went there, students who live in Virginia,’ Drapkin said. ‘When there’s that direct connection, it feels like it’s even more possible that it can happen here or anywhere.’ In recent years, IUP has had several students die as a result of murders, accidents and other causes. Drapkin said counseling does not extend to students’ parents because most college counseling centers are ‘understaffed with waiting lists.’ Drapkin said most colleges try to interact with parents when they bring their children to school as freshmen. She said it's understandably ‘very scary’ for them to drop off their children and leave. The school provides campus safety programs for incoming students who often arrive under the impression that campuses are totally safe because they are isolated. Not true, she said. ‘It’s part of the real world. Things that can happen anywhere in the real world can happen on college campuses,’ Drapkin said.

—“College Unknowns Stir Parents’ Fears,”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Jan. 27, 2008

Indiana University of Pennsylvania Research Institute, $38,700 to undertake a golden-winged warbler conservation initiative, focusing on one of the most critically threatened, non-federally listed species in eastern North America.

—“Native species get $1.2 million boost,”
PennLive, Harrisburg, Jan. 27, 2008

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. — A building in downtown Punxsutawney is getting a major renovation, thanks to Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney campus. The building, which had been a popular department store several years ago, was bought by IUP in 2006. The Fairman Centre will include an expansion of the university’s culinary program, retail space and residential space for students. IUP-Punxsutawney officials said it is important to preserve the town’s historic buildings. ‘I think it’s a real opportunity for the university and that town,’ said Valarie Trimarchi. ‘We’re really excited about it.’ Trimarchi said construction could be completed by spring 2009.

—WJAC-TV (Johnstown, Pa.),
6:00 p.m., Jan. 26, 2008

A study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers showed four of 11 area colleges posted increases in their endowments that surpass the national average. Endowments are important to an institution’s financial health because they help pay for operating costs, including scholarships for students and endowed chairs for faculty. ... Officials at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which has a $44.2 million endowment, said schools with vast endowments are better able to try investments that are riskier but offer the possibility of bigger gains. ‘When you’re dealing with $44 million, you don’t have that much latitude,’ said Bob Davies, executive director of the Foundation for IUP.

—“College Endowments Increase 18 Percent,”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Jan. 26, 2008

Indiana University of Pennsylvania is planning a program that offers advance nursing degrees. The Ph.D. will be offered for nurses who want to teach. The program may begin as early as this fall: Linda Palmer, associate professor of nursing at IUP.

—WDUQ-FM, Jan. 14, 2008

Responding to a nationwide shortage of nurse educators, Indiana University of Pennsylvania is preparing to offer a doctoral program to train new nursing faculty. The board of governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education on Thursday unanimously approved the program, which will help address faculty shortages caused by an aging work force and the continuing scarcity of bedside nurses, according to educators in the health care field. ‘IUP’s ninth doctoral program will advance the university’s graduate nursing curriculum, while responding to the state and the nation’s shortage of licensed nurses,’ IUP President Tony Atwater said in a statement. ‘This important addition to our graduate program also will contribute to scholarly research in the area of teacher education in the nursing profession.’ ... A co-author of IUP’s proposal to the state said there are only about 100 doctoral nursing programs in the country, and less than 1 percent of nurses in the region have a research degree in nursing education. ‘Access to a Ph.D. (program) is complicating the problem as well, so the fact that we can offer one in Indiana, Pennsylvania, is exciting,’ said Elizabeth Palmer, an associate professor of IUP’s department of nursing and allied health professions. IUP’s program will include 48 credits of part-time coursework and a 12-credit dissertation.

—“IUP Steps Up in Nursing Shortage,”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Jan. 11, 2008

The safety, health, and environmental profession is seeing more women achieving their Certified Safety Professional (CSP) accreditation while also, not coincidentally, taking less time to climb the proverbial ladder to assume management roles. So said presenters recently at a ‘Women in Safety’ forum hosted by the American Society of Safety Engineers student section at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the Safety Sciences Departmental Teaching Circle at IUP.

ASSE: More Women Entering, Excelling in SH&E Field,”
Occupational Health and Safety, Jan. 4, 2008