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December 2009

Region II Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, which will be held Jan. 12 through Jan. 16 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, will feature film star and stage actor Bill Pullman as keynote presenter. Pullman’s address will be given at 12:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at Fisher Auditorium, IUP’s performing arts center. The festival, which is hosted by the IUP department of theater and dance, will feature performances of five festival productions at Fisher Auditorium, including an IUP production, ‘A Year with Frog and Toad.’ Region II includes more than 80 participating colleges and universities. The event is open and free to the public, but tickets are required because space is limited. Tickets for up to 300 seats will be available at 10:30 a.m. the day of the event in the performing arts center lobby. Information:724-357-2547 or visit

—“Thespian Affair,”
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, Dec. 31, 2009

Diana Saltykova won’t go home this Christmas. The sophomore at Indiana University of Pennsylvania made it back to St. Petersburg, Russia, last year, but a snowstorm during her return for classes diverted her plane, forcing her to spend 10 hours on a Greyhound. ‘Too many things can go wrong when you travel that far,’ said Saltykova, 19, an international studies and French major. ‘I just knew I didn’t want to go through that again.’ With more international students taking classes in the United States, colleges and universities increasingly need to make accommodations for them during breaks when traditional students flee dorms. Saltykova was eager to take advantage of IUP’s first-ever offer to allow students to stay on campus over the holiday break. Officials expect to house more than 100 international students in the Gealy W. Wallwork residence hall.

—“Foreign Students Often Spend Holidays a World Away from Home,”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Dec. 24, 2009

Three area college or university theater productions are among those chosen to compete in the Region II semi-finals of the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival. Region II encompasses colleges and universities in Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia, New Jersey, Western New York, Northern Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Among the nine productions selected for the regional competition that will run Jan. 12-16 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania are: Robert Morris University’s production of the musical ‘Rent’; Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s production of the musical ‘A Year With Frog and Toad;’ Washington & Jefferson College’s production of ‘Love @ 1st Plight,’ a comedy written by Washington & Jefferson College graduate Drew Aloe. The winner of the semi-final competition will perform at the finals, which will be held at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre National Festival, April 14-18 in Washington, D.C.

—“3 Theater Productions from Western Pennsylvania to Compete in National Festival,”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Dec. 24, 2009

The Pittsburgh Public Schools are partnering with Indiana University of Pennsylvania in an effort to increase the numbers of black students who attend the state-owned university. The Heinz Endowments is funding the $160,000 effort called The Promise Plus. The program will expose Pittsburgh students to IUP’s campus as early as elementary school, and will target city schools with a large percentage of black students. IUP is about 45 miles northeast of the city. The Pittsburgh Promise program awards scholarships to city school graduates who want to attend college. The program is meant to stem the exodus of students from city schools. But despite the program, just 91 black males got scholarships out of 700 awarded last year.

—“IUP Seeking More Black Students From Pittsburgh,”
Associated Press, Dec. 16, 2009

A new partnership between Pittsburgh Public Schools and Indiana University of Pennsylvania is designed to encourage more black students to go to college. School directors Tuesday approved The Promise Plus, a $160,000 initiative funded by The Heinz Endowment that will expose students to IUP’s campus as early as elementary school. The program initially will target schools with a high percentage of black students. During the Promise’s first year, 26 of the nearly 700 students who attended college on a Promise scholarship enrolled at IUP. ‘We take great pride in working with Heinz Endowment to build successful futures for elementary and high school students in the greater Pittsburgh region,’ university President Tony Atwater said in an e-mail. The program will provide early contact between Pittsburgh and IUP students and teachers. Students will learn, among other things, how to apply and adjust to college. Courses will be offered during the summer to high school students, an opportunity that intrigues Jamauri Adams, a freshman at University Prep, a magnet school in the Hill District.

—“IUP Seeks to Enroll More Black Students,”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Dec. 16, 2009


To help return educational television to its 1980s roots and traditions, Beaver County-based National Network of Digital Schools is preparing to kick off ‘Meet Me at the Great Tree,’ a daily television show to air on WPGH Fox 53 starting January 4. The program, which will be taped at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Midland, is based on the company’s ‘Lincoln Interactive’ curriculum used at more than 200 schools nationwide. The show, which will air from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, stars Miss Palomine, a teacher character who tells stories, plays games and makes recipes in Midlandia, a fictional town inspired by Midland. Miss Palomine, played by Allison Park actress and educator Angela Bloomquist (a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania) is accompanied by her sidekick, puppet Socrates the Squirrel.

—“New Children’s Television Show Ready to Air on WPGH,”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Dec. 10, 2009

Officer Crawshaw graduated in 2001 from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor of science degree in social work and a minor in psychology, Edinboro spokesman Jeff Pinski said. He later attended an 11-month program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Criminal Justice Training Academythat led to a certificate of completion in February 2004. The academy offers the program in various locations, and Officer Crawshaw attended the session at Carnegie Mellon University, said IUP spokeswoman Michelle Fryling.

—“Slain Officer ‘Felt He was Contributing’,”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dec. 8, 2009

A North Buffalo man, who is a trustee of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, will have a new residence hall at the university named for him during a ribbon-cutting ceremony today. The Sutton Suites, completed in Phase III of the IUP Student Residential Revival project opened to students this fall, will be named Gealy W. Wallwork Residence Hall. University officials say Wallwork was recognized for his commitment to IUP and expertise during a time of the university’s growth, including development of the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex, the Student Residential Revival and successful fundraising campaigns.

—“Indiana University of Pennsylvania Trustee Honored on New Building,”
Kittanning Leader-Times, Dec. 4, 2009

In the fall of 1984, right after Japanese-born fiber artist Fuyuko Matsubara completed the master of fine arts program in fiber arts at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., she started a large-scale pastel drawing, later titled ‘In the Earth.’ Twenty years later, Matsubara brought the drawing full circle, creating a complex weaving from the original drawing. She served at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as a senior restorer and taught fiber and textile art courses in numerous institutions such as Syracuse (N.Y.) University, University of North Texas, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Currently, she is teaching at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

—“"Fiber Artist Fuyuko Matsubara Weaves Imaginative, Ethereal Environment,”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Dec. 3, 2009

Many other cities have more prominent gay populations, but last weekend, Troy Smith of Connellsville put Pittsburgh on the map when he was named second runner-up at the USA Mr. Gay competition in Dallas. The 22-year-old graduate student in legal studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania was one of 30 finalists in the contest, which is in its fifth year. It was the first time Pittsburgh was represented. Smith, a graduate of Connellsville High School and Saint Vincent College, won the athletic and philanthropic categories and has been offered a modeling contract. The athletic competition was a brutal series of back-to-back 100-yard dashes, which Smith prepared for by running about 10 miles a day since May. In the process, he lost nearly 70 pounds. Smith said he was inspired to enter the competition by his sister’s struggle with breast cancer. Cameron Smith of Dunellen, N.J., had a double mastectomy and is undergoing chemotherapy. He said he was also driven by the reaction of high school friends who stopped speaking to him when he revealed his homosexuality. ‘I applaud those who disapprove,’ he said. ‘Your hate for me has driven me to do big things.’

—“People in the News,”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dec. 2, 2009