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What They Said: December 2008

Penn State playing in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day is icing on the cake for West Leechburg resident Harley Perri. She already was going to Pasadena, Calif., to play in the Tournament of Roses parade as part of the Bands of America National Honor Band. Now she has a reason to watch the game, too. Her clarinet will be one of the 300 instruments in the prestigious high school ensemble that will include woodwind and percussion instruments and a flag and dance team. It’s a far cry from the 55-person band of which she is a member at Leechburg Area High School. The parade will be, too. The National Honor Band is one of 19 in the parade. Perri’s introduction to the clarinet in third grade started the path toward her planned career. After involving herself in music theory, concert band and the marching band, she has decided to pursue a music education degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

—“Leechburg Student to Play Clarinet in Roses Parade,”
Valley News Dispatch, Dec. 30, 2008

Newsmaker: Debra Valentine-Gray Age: 53; Residence: Chartiers City; Family: Son, Joshua Gray, 13; mother, Lillie Valentine; two brothers, Donald and Alfred Valentine; and a sister, Pamela Valentine; Education: Bachelor’s degree in journalism and communication from Point Park University; Background: Valentine-Gray was senior director of development of Junior Achievement of Southern California before she returned to Pittsburgh. She previously worked as development director of Pilgrim School of Los Angeles and director of resource development for United Way Inc. of Los Angeles.; Noteworthy: Valentine-Gray was named director of regional advancement at Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s new Downtown office in the National City Building on Stanwix Street. ; Quote: ‘Indiana is opening this office because it is investing in the Pittsburgh area. We have over 12,000 alumni just in the Allegheny County area. It’s important that we stay connected to our alumni.’ 

—“Newsmaker: Debra Valentine-Gray,” 
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Dec. 30, 2008

Most graduate school students need a job to pick up some extra income, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduate student Matt Gallagher is no exception. But Gallagher doesn’t have the type of job you would expect for a student, such as working at a restaurant or a retail store. He is a professional hockey player. Gallagher, a native of Murrysville in Allegheny County, is a forward for the Indiana Ice Miners, who have been dominating the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League with a 15-1-0 record.

—“Ice Miners’ Gallagher Balances Grad School With Pro Hockey,”
Blairsville Dispatch, Dec. 28, 2008

WEST KITTANNING — Some class projects disappear after a grade is rendered. But Michele Cogley of West Kittanning wanted more out of a Web site she designed for a class at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. A Web site for West Kittanning Borough was made ‘live’ on Monday, the same day Cogley turned the assignment in for grading. After talking with council members and the borough’s mayor, Bernie Bowser Jr., Cogley said, she recognized a need in her town and worked with her professor to go a step beyond turning in the assignment. ‘I asked (my professor) if I could actually make a site for my community,’ she said. Cogley is a senior majoring in business technical support and training at IUP and is set to graduate next December. She hopes to eventually earn her doctorate and become a professor. Allegheny Graphics in West Kittanning donated space to host the site, Cogley said. ‘Although the site is live ... it’s still a little bit under construction,’ she said. Cogley will be the administrator of the site, she said, and will continue to update information as it is provided by the borough. The site currently offers basic information on the borough, elected officials, various departments, photos and space for community events. Council president Cliff Neal said borough ordinances will eventually be updated on the site. ‘It gives all residents of West Kittanning immediate access to pertinent information on the borough,’ he said of the site. Neal and Bowser have worked with Cogley, making suggestions and continuing updates. ‘It’s been a two-way street,’ Neal said. ‘It’s going to be a work in progress.’ 

—“IUP Senior Designs Web Site for West Kittanning,” 
Kittanning Leader-Times, Dec. 11, 2008

In his videotaped confession to the police, the eight-year-old boy sits in an overstuffed office chair and calmly describes how he shot his father and his father's roommate to death with a rifle. At one point, he buries his head in his jacket and says, ‘I’m going to go to juvie.’ A peak in juvenile crime in the early 1990s, followed by a wave of school shootings, helped drive support for a crackdown. For example, in the mid-1990s, after two boys in Chicago dropped five-year-old Eric Morse to his death from an apartment window, Wisconsin lowered the age limit for trial as adults to 10 from 12. The boys who dropped Eric, then 10 and 11, were given the maximum five-year sentence in juvenile court. The juvenile justice system stresses rehabilitation and social services. Young defendants whom prosecutors decline to charge can benefit from a judge tracking their progress. ‘If we look at the foundation of the court, it’s not designed to punish but to help,’ says Alida Merlo, professor of criminology at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

—“Eight and on Trial: Young Defendants Throw Criminal Justice Into Confusion,”
Wall Street Journal, Dec. 10, 2008

That kind of easy balance is hardly the rule for parents of children with autism, developmental disorders and other deficits, said Laura Marshak, a Pennsylvania psychologist who’s focused on disability-related issues for two decades. ‘Mothers deal with much more additional guilt when they have a kid with disabilities than other mothers in terms of doing anything that’s not child focused,’ said Marshak. ‘That includes taking time for yourself, taking time for your marriage - or, sometimes, to go to work.’ Many working mothers are already struggling with the guilt that they’re taking away from their child’s needs, especially if it’s a chronic disorder, she said. ‘Within themselves, they have to struggle with not feeling selfish for wanting to tend to their career.’ Marshak, a professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, who wrote ‘Married With Special-Needs Children: A Couples’ Guide to Keeping Connected’ with co-author Fran Prezant, said the stress involved with caring for a special-needs child can have a corrosive effect on marriages and other relationships. ‘As a general principle, one of the points I make is that all lives in the family matter - every individual in that family matters,’ Marshak said. Parents also have to consider that if you give up everything, you’re susceptible to becoming so angry and resentful it ‘can really create more of a poisonous atmosphere in the home,’ she said.

—“Striking the Special Needs Balance of Child, Family, Work,” 
Buffalo (NY) News, Dec. 8, 2008

Naomi Tutu, daughter of Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, will be the guest speaker for Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Kwanzaa celebration from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Hadley Union Building’s Ohio Room. She will be joined by guest performer Toby Foyeh and Orchestra Africa, the IUP Voices of Joy Gospel Choir and IUP African Dance Ensemble. The event is free and open to the community. Participants are asked to bring a prepared food item to share with those attending. Reservations are requested and can be made by calling (724) 357-2455.

—“Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Daughter at IUP Saturday Night,” 
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, Dec. 5, 2008

The smoking ban on the 14 campuses of the State System of Higher Education has brought visible changes on some campuses, including new signs and fewer students clustering in groups to smoke. At Indiana University of Pennsylvania, spokeswoman Michelle Fryling looked out her window and didn’t see anyone smoking in the Oak Grove. Signs are up, and cigarette receptacles are gone.

—“State System’s 14 Universities May Ease Outdoor Smoking Ban,” 
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dec. 4, 2008