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April 2009

PITTSBURGH — Saturday marks four weeks since three Pittsburgh police officers were lost in the line of duty. On Friday, there will be a special tribute to all three men, as well as to an FBI agent who was lost in November. On April 4, officers Paul Sciullo, Eric Kelly and Stephen Mayhle were shot and killed at a home in Stanton Heights. On Friday evening the Fraternal Order of Police will hold a candlelight ceremony in which their names will be added to a memorial wall in Pittsburgh. Also being added to the wall is the name of FBI special agent Sam Hicks, who was shot and killed while serving a warrant in Indiana Township in November. Mayhle will also get another special honor on Friday. The trustees of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania will present a resolution in his honor. Mayhle graduated from the school in 2002.

—WTAE-TV (Pittsburgh, Pa.), April 30, 2009

INDIANA, Pa.-The trustees of Indiana University of Pennsylvania are honoring a slain Pittsburgh police officer who graduated from the state-owned school in 2002. The trustees will present a resolution in the memory of Officer Stephen Mayhle (MAY’-lee) to his widow and children on Friday at the trustees’ regular public meeting. Mayhle and two other Pittsburgh officers were slain April 4 by an armed man who police say was laying in wait after the man’s mother called police to report a fight with him. Indiana University of Pittsburgh is located about 45 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Associated Press, April 28, 2009

INDIANA - IUP's Council of Trustees will present the parents, widow and children of Stephen J. Mayhle with a resolution his memory. Mayhle, a 2002 graduate of IUP, was one of three Pittsburgh police officers killed in the line of duty April 4.
The presentation will take place at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the Blue Room on the first floor of IUP’s Sutton Hall. The trustees, the university’s governing body, will present the resolution during their regular public meeting, which is open to the public.

—“IUP Will Honor Slain Police Officer,”
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, April 28, 2009

The board also agreed to enter into a mathematics education partnership with the Center for Statistics Education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania at an estimated cost of $26,000. The partnership will allow the district and the university to develop a graduate-level math course specifically for the district’s teachers.

—“Indiana High School Turf to Cost $616K,”
Blairsville Dispatch, April 24, 2009

YouTube was founded by three former employees of PayPal, including Chad Hurley, a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. They cashed in three years ago when Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock. The site initially was envisioned as a place for people to share content like home movies and vacation videos with family and friends. ‘They wanted to create a destination where people could sit down and easily share clips with each other,’ said company spokesman Chris Dale.

—“In 4 Years, YouTube Succeeded in Catching World’s Eye,”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 20, 2009

Dr. Edward P. Mulvey, professor of psychiatry and director of the law and psychiatry program at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, will present ‘A Longitudinal Study of Serious Adolescent Offenders’ Wednesday at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The free program will be offered at 10:10 a.m. in IUP’s Eberly College of Business Auditorium, on the first floor of the building. The program, based on Mulvey’s ‘Pathways to Desistance Study,’ is sponsored by IUP’s department of criminology. It is free and open to the community. The ‘Pathways to Desistance’ study examines how serious adolescent offenders make the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

—“IUP Department Hosts Program,”
Kittanning Leader-Times, April 18, 2009

Indiana University of Pennsylvania has received a $1 million gift from Edward K. Bratton of Indiana for the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex. Construction of the $53.49 million center began Feb. 16. It is expected to be completed in summer 2011.Mr. Bratton is the owner of the Giant Eagle store in Indiana.

—“IUP Gets $1 Million Gift for Convention/Athletic Center,”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 12, 2009

Two years ago, at age 52, Stephanie Urchick, an educator with a doctorate and 30 years of experience in administration, found herself without a job. Today, despite a tough economy, she operates two businesses out of her Canonsburg home: Stephanie Urchick and Associates, an organizational consulting firm, and PlatformPoise, a coaching business for public speaking. For Dr. Urchick, who holds a doctor of education degree in leadership from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, relocation following the loss of her job was unlikely due to her ties to the region. ‘So I quickly had to decide what to do to survive. I formed a consulting business because of my background and because I could do it immediately,’ she said.

—“Once Jobless, She Aids Those in Limbo,”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 16, 2009

Registrations are being taken for the Footlight Players theater for youth program hosted by Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The program will be offered June 15 through July 13 on the IUP campus. There are two programs offered: one for ages 7 to 12, and one for ages 13 to 17. The program will end with performances by the participants on July 10 and 11. Workshops and rehearsals in IUP’s Performing Arts Center will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Under the direction of professional artists, students are engaged in age-appropriate activities to explore talents for acting, singing, storytelling, dance and behind-the-scenes crafts. For information or to register, contact Brian Jones, theater professor and program director, at 724-357-2969, e-mail at, or visit the program Web site at

—“IUP Hosts Theater for Youth,”
Kittanning Leader Times, April 14, 2009

Officials at the Community College of Allegheny County, California University of Pennsylvania, Duquesne University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Seton Hill University said they have noticed an uptick in students seeking reconsideration of their financial aid packages. In the meantime, IUP Director of Financial Aid Patricia McCarthy said she's reminding students to come forward if they need help, even if it might be embarrassing. ‘I think the best message that we try to give students, whether they’re a sophomore or in high school, is, ‘Don’t feel that you’re alone,’ McCarthy said.

—“Colleges Act to Rescue Students Hurt by Recession,”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 12, 2009

For more than 20 years, Grace United Methodist Church of Indiana, Pa., and students from nearby Indiana University of Pennsylvania have partnered to spend spring break doing special projects for Bethel Bible Village. Twenty-four volunteers took part this year. Benefits: Bethel is a Christian home for children of families in crisis. Jobs completed: A new roof for the Hassler home on the Bethel campus. Volunteers moved a large section of an interior wall to provide Bethel’s Thrift Shoppe an additional 800 square feet of sales area, then built shelving for the new space. The Thrift Shoppe interior got a fresh coat of paint. Priceless donation: Bethel Executive Director Myron Wilkins said the group saved Bethel thousands of dollars. ‘What a testimony to these young Christian students who spend their spring break helping others when they could be enjoying themselves on the beach,’ he said.

—“Living and Giving: A Celebration of the Region’s Rich Legacy of Sharing,”
Chattanooga Times Free Press, (TN), April 12, 2009

A few universities have been re-established in Somalia since the year 2000 but resources are still scarce. However, experiences from the African Virtual University’s distance learning initiative in Somalia show how ICT-enhanced learning can support long-term development even in the most desolate and abandoned regions of the continent. Supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank, Somali universities were able to implement an AVU learning environment in Online Distance Learning (ODL) by providing short courses in journalism, packaged and delivered by the Indiana University of Pennsylvania; information technology, packaged by the New Jersey Institute of Technology; and language certificate courses.

—“Distance Learning in Conflict Zones: Tales from the AVU,”
African Science News, April 11, 2009

‘Civilian dispatchers have to know what to ask, and it shouldn’t be what they remember,’ said Paul McCauley, a criminology professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. ‘The call-taker asked the right questions. When the woman said, ‘Yes, they are legal,’ that’s not the issue. The issue is, what kind of guns, where are they and are they accessible?’ 

—“After Officers’ Deaths, New 911 Questions Must Be Asked,”
WTAE-TV (Pittsburgh, Pa.), 6 p.m., April 10, 2009

As principal trumpeter for Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Kevin Eisensmith doesn’t toot his own horn. Eisensmith has been with the symphony since 1998, when he first came to teach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. ‘Many other faculty members played with the symphony, and they suggested I contact Maestro (Istvan) Jaray,’ Eisensmith said. ‘I told him I was new to the faculty and available to play, and I was made substitute trumpeter my first year.’ 

—“Head of the Brass,” 
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, April 10, 2009

Indiana University of Pennsylvania has received a $2.5 million gift from Robert E. Cook to support the Robert E. Cook Honors College, the school announced yesterday. A 1964 graduate of IUP, he previously presented the largest gift in university history to establish an honors college at IUP in 1993. With his latest gift, his total giving to IUP exceeds $10 million.

—“IUP Honors College Gets $2.5 Million Gift,”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 10, 2009

Indiana University of Pennsylvania has received a $2.5 million gift for its Robert E. Cook Honors College from the alumnus for whom the college is named. Robert E. Cook, a 1964 graduate of the school, gave IUP the largest gift in its history to establish the honors college in 1993. Including the latest gift, Cook has given the university a total of $10 million. According to a release from IUP, the Cook Honors College enrolls 100 freshmen annually, and has a focus on so-called ‘blue collar scholars,’ students who may not have the financial means or social confidence to attend Ivy League schools.

—“IUP Alum Gives School's Honors College $2.5M Gift,”
Pittsburgh Business Times, April 10, 2009

The high school has received a book that provides one of the first detailed nonfiction accounts of Pittsburgh’s labor history over the past 250 years. ‘The Point of Pittsburgh: Production and Struggle at the Forks of the Ohio’ by Charles McCollester, an industrial and labor relations professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, was presented March 23 to the high school library by resident John Augustine. The 456-page book, published by the nonprofit Battle of Homestead Foundation, was donated by Point of Pittsburgh Book Project Committee and Pennsylvania Center for the Study of Labor Relations at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The book tells the labor history of the region from the point of view of local Native Americans and workers rather than through the eyes of industrialists such as Andrew Carnegie, George Westinghouse or Henry Clay Frick.

—“School News,”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 8, 2009

The hometown of Pittsburgh Officer Stephen Mayhle is remembering him. Mayhle is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan School just outside of Clymer. A flag there flies at half staff in his honor. Mayhle was also a criminology major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Dennis Giever was his professor. After Saturday’s shooting, he found a card that Mayhle filled out on the first day of class nearly nine years ago. On it, Mayhle wrote that he dreamed of becoming a city police officer. ‘Every time I look at a student, it’s one of those things that you just don’t know what's going to happen,’ Giever said. ‘And it’s kind of freaky for me so I just kept it out and kind of kept it with me.’ Giever says he's proud of Mayhle for fulfilling his dream and the way he served his community. ‘It really kind of hits you. I mean, it hurts no matter what - it doesn’t have to be one of my students for it to hit me,’ he says, ‘but it personalizes it. When I’m sitting here looking at his card, his handwriting, remembering him, it makes it even worse, but it’s hard anyway.’A grand funeral is being planned for Mayhle in Indiana. His casket will be taken to Oakland cemetery by a horse-drawn hearse.

—KDKA-TV (Pittsburgh, Pa.), April 8, 2009

People calling 911 can’t always get it all right. They are upset, perhaps hurt or afraid, maybe dying. The information they give may be incomplete, garbled, confusing. ‘The lifeline to everyone is the communications center,’ said Paul McCauley, a criminology professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. ‘They have to make sense out of this’ When they don’t, lives can be lost.

—“Mayor, Councilman Call for Changes in 911,”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 8, 2009

There is no such thing as a routine call, most police officers will tell you. Violence can explode anytime, anywhere. But information about possible dangers can change responding officers’ approach. Officers called for a report of a domestic disturbance might end up as referees between an angry teen and an irritated mother, said Paul McCauley, a criminology professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Or they might end up under fire, like the Pittsburgh police officers killed Saturday in Stanton Heights.

—“Domestic Disturbances Pose Risks,”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 8, 2009

Indiana University of Pennsylvania president Dr. Tony Atwater and his wife, Dr. Beverly Roberts-Atwater, hosted the second annual Legacy Gala at Carnegie Music Hall Saturday to honor IUP’s regional achievers.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 7, 2009

A native of Indiana County, Mayhle dreamed of one day becoming a police officer. He received a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dennis Giever, a former professor of Mayhle’s, once asked his students to write their goals on a note card. Mayhle’s was to become a city police officer. ‘When you know somebody, and you’re holding something in your hand that you know they filled out, it makes a little bit more personal. I was already irritated, really very mad all weekend long about this, but now I’m probably hurt more than anything because this personalizes it,’ said Giever after finding the note card Mayhle wrote his goal on as a student nine years prior. Giever described Mayhle as determined and eager to learn — an academic standout.

—KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh, Pa., 5 p.m., April 6, 2009

Officer Stephen Mayhle lived in Indiana County and attended IUP before joining the Pittsburgh police. Both his community and college mourned his loss on Monday. Mayhle’s law enforcement began at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and his professor in criminology said he was one of his best students. ‘I remember him as an exceptional student,’ said Dennis Giever, Mayhle’s IUP professor. ‘He was always a standout, a nice person. he was always there.’ Giever started pouring through old class files from fall 2000once he learned Mayhle was one of his students. ‘I do remember seeing him,’ Giever said. ‘Looking at his picture freaks me out because I remember him staring at me with the same expression — very intense, very dedicated.’ Visitation for Officer Stephen Mayhle will be Friday from noon to 9 p.m. at the John Lefdahl Funeral Home in Indiana, Pa. A private funeral is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

—WPXI-TV, Pittsburgh, PA, 6 p.m. April 6, 2009

In central Pennsylvania, however, we may wonder more than most about the amounts because we haven’t seen the gravity of the economic downturn like those in California and Michigan - where a collapse in housing construction and auto sales are devastating local economies, said David Yerger, economics professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. We’re likely to see clearer indications soon, he said. For now, the situation here is nothing like it was in the early 1980s, when Johnstown had an unemployment rate of 25 percent, highest in the nation, he said. ‘Folks look around and say, ‘It’s not great, but it’s not bad,’’ he said. It could get bad soon enough, he said, because current trends nationally mean it is likely that we will have 10 percent employment by the end of this year. If the gross domestic product doesn’t turn around by midsummer and the banking system doesn’t stabilize, we may have 12 percent unemployment nationally by the end of 2010, Yerger said. Each percentage point nationally means about 1.5 million workers, he said. Virtually all the families of workers counted in such statistics are dependent on labor earnings to make ends meet, he said. How bad could things get? While Yerger said he doesn’t see any likelihood things will get as bad as the Great Depression of the 1930s, we may get something like Japan experienced in the 1990s, when the nation had 10 years of no growth, he said. Consumers and businesses need to be confident things have reached bottom so they’ll start buying on credit again and borrowing to invest, Yerger said. ‘I hope this stuff all works,’ he said.

—“Downturn May Squeeze Region Before Long,”
Altoona Mirror, April 5, 209

Higher education choices vary from high school to high school. This list shows the school-by-school results of a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette study of the college-going behavior of more than 13,800 students for the Class of 2005 from 95 high schools in Western Pennsylvania. High schools and the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh provided information on where graduates plan to go to school based on pre-graduation surveys or lists of where final transcripts were sent. The school totals do not include the entire graduating class because some graduates joined the military, found jobs or were undecided when surveyed; answers were unclear; or information on particular students wasn’t released. The three most popular choices overall were Community College of Allegheny County, Penn State University and the University of Pittsburgh. Rounding out the top five overall are Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Duquesne University.

—“Home and Away: Where They Go,”
Pittsburgh Post Gazette, April 2, 2006

Indiana (Pa.) swimmer Dave Donovan, a freshman from General McLane, has been selected as a recipient of the Chacivity Award, which recognizes student-athletes who demonstrate behaviors that are uplifting to the university and community and show courage, civility, leadership, integrity and initiative. Donovan accepted the request of Dr. Judith Villa, an IUP English professor, to assist challenged and underprepared students in her college writing class during the fall semester. Donovan had a 4.0 GPA in his first semester and finished seventh at the PSAC meet in the 500, 1,000 and 1,650 freestyle, setting a school freshman record in the 500 freestyle.

—“Updates on Area Students,”
Erie Times News (Erie, Pa.), April 1, 2009