News@Gettysburg Latest news coverage from Gettysburg College What can you do with a Psychology degree? https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=6b10863f-d6a1-48cb-a608-c4b7c7cda780 https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=6b10863f-d6a1-48cb-a608-c4b7c7cda780 Psychology majors have more career options than ever before — ranging from traditional graduate programs, to criminal justice, to the world of business.

Gettysburg’s psychology department prepares graduates for these varied careers, with a comprehensive curriculum combining classroom work with two advanced laboratories. The lab requirement is unusual even among peer institutions, said Prof. Kathy Cain.

“At Gettysburg College, psychology majors receive extensive research experience both in their traditional classes and through opportunities beyond their classes,” Cain said. “Our faculty are dedicated and excellent teachers, and they are also active scholars who are committed to involving students in research.”

Graduates find themselves prepared to succeed in an ever-changing job market. And their career paths are as diverse as they are, taking them to the halls of government, the boardrooms of major corporations, and some of the nation’s premier hospitals.

Here’s a look at the ways in which Gettysburg psychology grads contribute to society.

Sara Cooney ’18, Ipsos NYC Marketing Research

Sara Cooney ’18

“My curiosity in people and in the field of psychology existed before Fall 2014 when I began attending Gettysburg College, but it absolutely flourished as a result of taking psychology courses. The psychology professors at Gettysburg were a large reason that I declared my major and so enjoyed my four years. The professors were not only full of knowledge but were also available, passionate, patient, and kind. Their genuine commitment to my success, as well as that of my classmates, was clear and a big part of what motivated my interest in psychology. They guided me and helped me to reach my full potential while ensuring I gained experiences to enrich an analytical and curious mind, as well as foster collaboration and presentation skills.

“Another thing that is so special about Gettysburg is the network of like-minded individuals one becomes naturally connected to. One of the most noteworthy parts about this connection is that it extends well beyond graduation day. Gettysburg College’s psychology department is a generous network of individuals who are willing to share their time and knowledge with fellow Gettysburgians. In fact, when applying for my job, I had access to two Gettysburg psychology alumni at the company, and they were instrumental in my application process! With the extraordinary professors, peers, and alumni of the psychology department, a Gettysburg psychology degree prepares one for a variety of interesting and promising careers.”

Mary Beth Bielicki ’18, PhD program, Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Delaware, graduate student and research assistant

Mary Beth Bielicki ’18

“When touring colleges, the psychology program at Gettysburg College immediately stood out to me. It was distinctive to me that the major requires a balance between both science-based and humanities-based classes, providing students with unique knowledge in the various facets of psychology: clinical, social, neuroscience, cognitive, etc. Psychology majors at Gettysburg also participate in two advanced laboratory courses. In these courses, I developed and conducted independent research projects and presented my findings in a poster presentation at Gettysburg's annual Celebration Colloquium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity. These opportunities to plan and organize your own research projects as an undergraduate student are not often found in programs at other institutions.

“Furthermore, my neuroscience minor integrated coursework from the psychology, biology, and philosophy departments to advance my scientific knowledge in the field of neuroscience and provided me with hands-on opportunities to utilize the scientific method, analyze current literature, and conduct animal research within the classroom. Finally, as a psychology major I earned the opportunity to enroll in honors research during my senior year. This required me to establish my own research question and experiment, collect and analyze data, and present that research to faculty and students. These characteristics of the major not only guided me in determining which sub-disciplines of psychology I was interested in, but also gave me the opportunity to strengthen my critical thinking, enhance my research skills, and to present and communicate scientific research to the community.”

Doug Kowaleski ’18, PhD program, Social Psychology, SUNY Albany, graduate student and teaching assistant

Doug Kowaleski ’18

“My psychology degree from Gettysburg College has undoubtedly prepared me for a successful career in academia by thoroughly preparing me for graduate school. It has provided me with the skills and knowledge necessary to complete coursework, conduct research, and teach at the graduate level. In particular, I have found that earning my degree from Gettysburg has given me an advantage over other graduate students in the realm of research experience.”

“At Gettysburg, I was given the opportunity to not only run participants in a lab, but to also design experiments, compile and analyze data, write manuscripts, and disseminate research in conference presentations and published journal articles. These opportunities are what make Gettysburg’s psychology department special: it affords students with numerous hands-on experiences that are essential for succeeding in one’s chosen field – all while challenging them in the classroom as well. My psychology degree from Gettysburg College has prepared me to be the best graduate student I can be. Simply put, with the knowledge, skills, and experiences I gained at Gettysburg, I am well on my way toward a successful career in academia.”

Janet Morgan Riggs, ’77, Gettysburg College president

Janet Morgan Riggs ’77

“My psychology major at Gettysburg prepared me exceptionally well for graduate school, especially since I had far more hands-on research experience—from designing experiments to data analysis to scientific report-writing—than many of my graduate school peers had. The education I received at Gettysburg provided a tremendous foundation for a career as an academic social psychologist. But my psychology background also prepared me for administrative work in ways that I would not have imagined.”

A psychology major provides you with an understanding of human behavior, strong writing skills, an analytical approach to problem-solving, and an understanding of statistics—all of which I’ve found to be enormously useful. I never intended to become an administrator, much less a college president, but over the years administrative opportunities kept presenting themselves and I kept taking them. As I did, I found those basic skills I acquired continued to serve me well. As a college president I often say that I am now an applied social psychologist!”

]]>
On Rome: Francesca Costa ’19 explores archaeology in ancient Italy https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=d6323bb2-97d1-4ad8-bada-b6a7f1811df1 https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=d6323bb2-97d1-4ad8-bada-b6a7f1811df1 Gettysburg students are passionate about the world, with curiosities that lead 60 percent of students to study abroad during their college careers. From the study of foreign languages, politics, and society, Gettysburg students look inquisitively at our planet’s most pressing issues. And in search of solutions, they often look to history.

Such is the case for Francesca Costa ’19 whose global study took her to Italy. Like so many of her peers who fan out across the world each semester, Costa immersed herself in the land and the language. And she fueled her interests in anthropology with a spectacular archaeological experience – studying ancient artifacts at the Colosseum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Did you exchange a backpack for a hardhat when you arrived in Rome? Tell us about your incredible internship.

Thanks to a partnership between IES Abroad in Rome and the Colosseum, I had the opportunity to complete an archaeological internship specializing in the digital recreation of ancient sites. It was so eye-opening!

Francesca Costa outside Colosseum

Who led you in pursuit of this work?

My professor in Rome, Daira Nocera has done work on Hadrian’s Villa and the Roman Forum. She is close friends with the head of the Colosseum project, who reached out asking for a helping hand on his work. And she in turn asked me.

What was it like being an intern at the Colosseum?

It is as fantastic as it sounds! Every time I went, the view got me as giddy as the first time.

I did have to go through a lengthy orientation, and in doing so got to meet the engineer who invented the Colosseum’s security system and also who was able to reconstruct the animal trap-door system that was used during shows over 1,500 years ago.

Our work was open to the elements and most of the staff spoke only Italian. It was a whole lot of fun to navigate such an awesome space, and one interesting part of the work was getting strange looks while riding on the train with a hard hat and steel-toed boots!

What was your area of study?

The focus of the internship is on the fragments of marble that are unique from the other samples found at the Colosseum. These fragments often have a more ornate design and possibly indicate that they were used in an area for the elite, or the Imperial Box.

Interior of the Roman Colosseum

What equipment did you use? What was the process?

Equipment was pretty standard for an archaeology site: hard hat, steel-toed boots, gloves, water buckets, brushes to wash marble, pen and paper for recording information, lamp for the dark section we are nestled in, and a waterproof jacket (because it gets messy). The digital part of the project included the use of floor plans, details of different sculpted marble, and a bit of hard work.

What about the internship surprised you?

I was surprised by how enjoyable it was to do archaeological tasks such as washing and digging. My fellow interns and I all felt relaxed while washing the large chunks of marble that were given to us and taking the time to look at each piece as an individual artifact. Our work recording information was similarly rewarding, and learning to identify different structures is always fascinating. Archaeology can connect the Italians and Americans while we swap vocabulary terms for different parts of a column, or regional names for the marbles we find.

Learn more about careers and outcomes at Gettysburg College.

]]>
https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=8e3d4b25-22a7-4ef5-8642-cd88503c4e09 https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=8e3d4b25-22a7-4ef5-8642-cd88503c4e09 For Morgan Flagg ’16, a hands-on summer internship led to a career with a prestigious investment firm.

Flagg, who studied economics and business at Gettysburg, works for Cambridge Associates Investment Advisors in New York City.

Her ascent to the financial consulting world from a liberal arts college may seem unconventional. Yet it precisely reflects the intellectual and human makeup of today’s finance professionals. Flagg credits a portion of her success to the interdisciplinary nature of her coursework at Gettysburg College. The blend of soft and hard skills taught at Gettysburg translated well to the investment arena.

Unconventional but Awesome

Flagg’s unconventional career outcome is now an exceptional opportunity. It’s a success story shared by countless Gettysburg graduates. Over the years and across many different industries, Gettysburg alums boast a wealth of diversity in their lives and their academic experience. Their inherent human curiosity and exploratory spirit lead to new areas of growth.

For Flagg, her inquisitive nature led to a rich internship experience with Cambridge that stoked her curiosity about finance.

“One of the best things about Cambridge is that it gives you a great introduction to all types of investment,” she said.

Today, Flagg is an Investment Associate and services clients nationwide. Cambridge is a global investment firm that provides services to endowments and foundations, healthcare institutions, pensions, private clients, and government and insurance companies.

Career Advising

Flagg, who had impressively secured the job by the beginning of her senior year at Gettysburg, knew Cambridge would be the right fit for her. She credits her Gettysburg education for giving her the tools to succeed.

“Your professors are just as dedicated as you are to your learning,” Flagg said.

To secure her internship, Flagg also worked closely with the staff of the Center for Career Engagement.

“The career counselors were there from start to finish of the process and I was lucky enough to get advice from almost all of them,” Flagg said.

Diverse Curriculum

At Gettysburg, students pursuing business-related majors encounter a thoughtful, interdisciplinary curriculum rooted in the liberal arts. Within the variety of majors and minors that train students for these business-oriented careers, course offerings include accounting, finance, marketing, business law, entrepreneurship, financial regulation, and corporate strategy.

Majors include economics, mathematics, mathematical economics, and organization and management studies. Within the Management department, business is offered as a minor.

Visit our YouTube Page to hear Flagg talk about her internship experience. Learn more about studying Management and Economics at Gettysburg College.

]]>
https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=5b8a3e91-a103-4fc2-bcfd-a0af0a46572e https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=5b8a3e91-a103-4fc2-bcfd-a0af0a46572e “What are you passionate about?” asks John Hope Bryant.

Under the late winter sun outside Stevens Hall, he’s surrounded by three Gettysburg students from different majors who share a common interest in entrepreneurship. They’re curious about his views on economic inclusion, social justice, and how they can make a difference in the world.

Philanthropist investor John Hope Bryant answered student questions Feb. 26 during a campus visit. He was the featured speaker at the Economics Finance Symposium.

Jean Dorelus '22, from Chicago, asks him about the job market today, noting he dreams of being an independent investor. He points out to Bryant that racial bias still exists in the hiring process at many companies. For that reason, he wants to be his own boss.

In response, Bryant offers encouragement, which he’ll do many times before this day ends: “African Americans should have a bias towards excellence.”

Bryant’s core message cuts across race and class. His candor stems from a desire to talk openly about the more urgent questions of our day: income inequality, climate change, and racism. These themes were at the heart of his Feb. 26 lecture at the annual Economics Finance Symposium, presented by Gettysburg’s Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation Initiative and the Hanson Lecture Series.

Entrepreneur John Hope Bryant spoke Feb. 26 on Abraham Lincoln’s Reconstruction-era economic inclusion work. He drew parallels between Lincoln’s era and the modern day.

Bryant’s talk offered a fresh perspective on Abraham Lincoln’s Reconstruction-era economic inclusion work via the Freedman’s Bureau, which some consider America’s first financial literacy program. It provided critical aid to freed slaves in the wake of the Civil War.

As founder and chairman of Atlanta-based Operation HOPE, Bryant speaks worldwide on what he calls the “Power of Doing.” It’s a business philosophy driven by a passion for social justice—a message that aligns perfectly with the spectrum of courses offered by Gettysburg’s economics and organizational management studies departments.

Entrepreneurial thinking at Gettysburg

Economics Prof. Drew Murphy looks on as investor John Hope Bryant talked with students Feb. 26th. Murphy leads Gettysburg’s Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation Initiative.

Entrepreneurship’s appeal at a liberal arts school may seem unorthodox to some observers, but it makes perfect sense at Gettysburg—where students from all majors can begin their exploration of the subject in Econ 463, Business and Entrepreneurial Thinking, led by Prof. Drew Murphy.

“E-SII captures the power of youth, the focus and methodology of critical thinking, and the discipline of our diverse range of majors to make Gettysburg students uniquely prepared for the world,” Murphy said.

Raven Waters ’19 is one such student. She said Bryant’s visit during Black History Month underscores the College’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, a value reflected in coursework related to entrepreneurship.

“I think Gettysburg doesn’t get enough credit for how open the College is in listening to student perspectives,” she said. “For Gettysburg to bring a man of color to talk about race and economics is really significant in itself.”

Jen Flores ’19, from New York, said Bryant’s message is impactful because it encourages a spirit of civic duty. The economics major has already put those ideas in action, most recently as a finance intern for a housing nonprofit in Washington, D.C.

“Before Gettysburg, I lived in this bubble and thought all of America was like New York City,” she said. “Gettysburg has changed my life tremendously. My economics research has given me so much perspective.”

Engineering innovative entrepreneurship

Back outside Stevens Hall, as Bryant regales students with advice on credit scores and banking, Dorelus thinks about the future.

He’s the sole freshman participating in the Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation Initiative (E-SII). The program engages students with both academic and experiential learning. That methodology allows students to think innovatively and apply what they learn in the classroom to real world problems. The end goal is to create solutions that effect positive change.

“Gettysburg allows me to be entrepreneurial as I choose my curriculum and courses,” he tells the group of assembled students as Bryant listens intently. “And it’s fantastic to be able to hear from speakers who agree that entrepreneurship is one way to end poverty.”

Those lessons endure at Gettysburg, where Lincoln’s spirit lives on.

“It gives me hope to be here at Gettysburg College,” Bryant concludes. “Lincoln was brilliant—way ahead of his time. His body died but his ideas are alive here, now more than ever.”

]]>
Entrepreneur Lionel Hong '12 on finding one's true path https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=63b10299-f639-41ce-950f-dfdd4431b23f https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=63b10299-f639-41ce-950f-dfdd4431b23f Lionel Hong ’12 is the definition of someone who prizes fearless inquiry of the self—a key Gettysburg College value. After graduating, he spent months studying and meditating in the mountains of China and has since developed a company in Beijing. The company designs and manufactures sports apparel for outdoor sports enthusiasts such as himself.

As an entrepreneur, Hong prizes authenticity, integrity, and innovation above all else. “I learned those core principles as a student at Gettysburg,” he said. “The care and community I felt there inspired and deeply impacted my personal and professional growth.”

Hong was born in Beijing to a family of humble means, but his ability to imagine a vastly different path and future brought him far from China. While in high school, he met an American exchange student from The Hotchkiss School, a Connecticut boarding school. They became language buddies, each teaching the other their native languages. Through their friendship, Hong became intrigued by the idea of becoming an exchange student himself.

Hong worked overtime to put himself in the way of opportunity. “I was listening to TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) tapes while I slept in hopes I would have dreams in English,” said Hong, laughing. “There was no good reason why Hotchkiss would accept me. I didn’t have the best grades at the time.”

Lionel Hong

Hong organizes The Hotchkiss School annual community service event in Beijing, a day of activities for migrant worker children to bring joy and inspiration into their lives.

Yet, rising above the naysayers, and there were many, Hong applied. Though not the strongest student academically, Hong had something special about him that persists—and is surely amplified—today: a drive to inspire others and change the world for the better, while deeply appreciating those who do the same. Against the odds, Hong traveled to America, graduated from Hotchkiss, and found the environment he craved at Gettysburg College.

“I believe one’s life is measured by his or her contributions to their community or the world. All my life, I’ve been seeking out experiences that will ready me to commit to a selfless journey—to wear my heart on my sleeve and make a positive impact. It frees you up from the burden of personal loses and gains,” explained Hong, who raved about the deep, persisting relationships he built at the College. “Gettysburg absolutely encouraged me in that process.”

Hong made a number of treasured connections at Gettysburg College, including his freshman resident adviser Sam Sack ’09, now a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, and his mentor Bill Heyman ’74, President & CEO of Heyman Associates, an executive recruiting firm in NYC.

Hong first bonded with Heyman over their shared love of the College. When Heyman helped prep Hong for a presentation on Get Acquainted Day, the relationship grew stronger. Today, their relationship spans more than eight years and remains close. In fact, Heyman had hoped to hire Hong in one of his Asia offices after graduation. Unfortunately, Beijing—where Hong wanted to settle—did not have a branch.

When reflecting on what impressed and continues to impress him about Hong, Heyman said, “As a junior, Lionel addressed a group of 600 people with such ease and authenticity. Now, as an entrepreneur in Beijing, he is demonstrating the best of himself and the best of what he gained at Gettysburg College. I am proud of him and thrilled that we have remained close.”

Lionel Hong with faculty

Reunion with Economics Prof. Baltaduonis and English Prof. Fee in Beijing in 2018. “It’s family time whenever Gettysburg College people visit China,” said Hong.

Like building lifelong relationships, global study is an integral part of the Gettysburg College academic experience, embodying the goals of engaged learning and global citizenship. In any given semester, Gettysburg students are on six continents, representing all majors and disciplines. While a student, Hong studied in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“Gettysburg students from all majors are encouraged to study globally, and students like Lionel take the learning from their courses at Gettysburg and expand on them while abroad,” Rebecca Bergren, Dean for Global Initiatives and Director of the Center for Global Education, explained. “Lionel took great classes abroad, including European Business Strategy and Dynamic Leadership, and he lived with a host family—the entire experience enhanced his education and broadened his view of the world. I am so proud of Lionel; he is the quintessential Gettysburgian.”

Lionel Hong and Gettysburg staff

Hong helped to host the first Send-Off Event in Beijing for new students to Gettysburg College. From left: Economics Prof. Baltaduonis, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions Andrea Buchanan, Director of International Student Services Brad Lancaster, Dean for Global Initiatives and Director at Center for Global Education Rebecca Bergren, Lionel Hong Gettysburg’12, Tyler Mann’20.

For Hong, Copenhagen was like nothing he’d ever experienced before, but beyond the architecture and the culture, he was most moved by the kindness of people from near and far. At the time, as part of Hong’s experience, he was interning at AP Moller Maersk with Gettysburg alum Jesper Odum Rosenkrans ’07.

“My Danish and Polish friends took care of me. My boss even lent me money to pay rent and buy a ticket to get home,” he recalled. Those selfless acts of kindness inspired Hong to return home, study Buddhism, and cultivate loving kindness.

Lionel Hong

Hong shared about his Buddhism practice at TEDx Keystone Academy in December 2017.

“A great feeling of fulfillment comes from doing something for another. When you have little to none, you see things in a more simple way. Connections between people emerge and that is what brings true happiness and meaning,” Hong said.

Each one of Hong’s experiences opened him to embrace a path that felt right and that filled a need for others. Before launching his business, Hong said the market for ski and outdoor apparel was not incredibly exciting. Hong said China makes some of the best garments in the world, serving more than half of the world’s renowned brands, yet the outdoor space hasn’t enjoyed that same level of quality.

“Instead of focusing on myself, I strive to seek and understand what the people need and how I can provide for them,” said Hong. Hence, the launch of Beijing Legacy Technologies Companies four years ago. The company develops tailored gear for ski instructors worldwide. It also manufactures for brands around the world, including Canada, Finland, Japan, and Poland.

“I developed a sense of confidence through taking risks in high school, college, and through Buddhist practice,” he said. “It’s a privilege to have gone down an unconventional path—to take it slow and find my own way. Not everyone gets to do that. So I try to give back whenever and wherever I can.”

Hong said the most valuable lessons that Gettysburg College imparted was to learn to fail and to give back to community. “Gettysburg encourages students to make mistakes, which is so important, because courage comes from the support we feel from the environment we’re in. The more I failed, the more I learned how I could get better,” he said. “Gettysburg also teaches its students to give back. I see so many graduates who go on to do that. Everyone has a sense of gratitude. That humbleness allows Gettysburgians to find their own true path and change the world for the better.”

]]>
A look at Latinx House: Candice Montenegro '20 finds community by building it https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=109e14e3-7cc7-4348-8340-51d7cf11d6ac https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=109e14e3-7cc7-4348-8340-51d7cf11d6ac Candice Montenegro ’20 knows about breaking down barriers despite cultural divides.

A psychology and Spanish/Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies double major, she became involved in the Center for Public Service (CPS) because she was inspired by their commitment to creating sustained and effective social change. Through CPS, she’s been able to work with migrant communities and participate in immersion trips tracing the footsteps of Civil Rights activists.

What she has learned is that the best way to break down stereotypes is to build relationships with the people who propagate them.

While it’s a lesson with profound impact on how she views many issues, she’s found a way to put what she’s learned into action on campus as the founder and house leader of Latinx House. A College-owned theme house, Latinx House is dedicated to connecting Latinx students and building relationships based on understanding and shared interests with the rest of the campus community. They do this by creating a visible presence on campus that allows them to bring the campus community together and engage students in aspects of Latino culture in all its different forms.

“For many people, they don’t hold these beliefs out of hate. They just haven’t had the chance to learn, and that’s what we are all here in College to do,” Montenegro said. “We give people the opportunity to build those relationships, engage in each other’s culture, and hopefully—where they exist—to challenge and change any stereotypes they may have previously believed.”

Montenegro saw the need for a space to facilitate this exchange after first arriving at Gettysburg. Coming from a predominately Latino community in Los Angeles, California, Montenegro found herself experiencing culture shock during her first year.

“I worked with a college placement program that took us on tours to see East Coast colleges and really helped us get a sense of what it would mean to go to college so far from home, but I truly didn’t understand what that would mean until I arrived,” Montenegro said. “I immediately got involved in the Latin American Student Association (LASA), and that’s when I realized that while the Latino population here might be small, it is strong and it is growing.”

Students can apply to live in theme housing for their sophomore year, and Montenegro was surprised to learn that LASA did not already have one. It seemed like a logical extension for the community she had come to know and love—a physical space to welcome students whenever they felt they needed it, a place those students could make their home.

Like countless Gettysburgians before her, she saw a chance to have a positive impact on the campus community and dedicated herself to pursuing it. She sought out support from campus administrators and faculty members, who guided her as she prepared an application, and connected with students who were interested in living in a Latinx theme house.

Melanie Pangol ’21 was one of those students. Coming to Gettysburg from New York City, she was an early supporter of a space for students like herself and Montenegro to live, to engage the community, and to help Latinx students navigate the transition to college life.

“One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that they put people of color under an umbrella, but when it comes to the Latinx community, there is so much diversity that it is hard to generalize one Latinx experience,” Pangol said. “It became pretty clear in our first meeting to discuss what Latinx House could be that we wanted it to be a space where everyone, Latinx or not, could feel included. We wanted every identity and culture to be celebrated, and we wanted to share those cultures with the rest of the campus community. Doing that would give us a sense of home, give us a voice and a visible presence, and give us the space not to have to justify our identities but instead focus on our academics like we are here to do.”

Montenegro and Pangol were joined by Mariam Martinez ’21, Vanessa Martinez ’19, and Gisselle Flores '21. Their bid for a theme house was accepted, and the house launched for the 2018-19 academic year. So far, the students have focused their efforts on building their presence on campus through partnerships with different clubs and organizations, holding events to engage students, and reaching out to new students to support them during their transition to the College.

Darrien Davenport, the executive director of the Office of Multicultural Engagement, has been one of the sources of support for students in their application for and creation of the theme house. He sees this theme house, their events, and the space they are creating as an extension of the College’s work to educate engaged and informed global citizens who are committed to taking meaningful strides towards a more diverse and positive future.

“This is a wonderful continuation and growth of our Gettysburg community, and they’ve already had so many people who want to engage and collaborate with them. That’s exactly what we are here to do,” Davenport said. “The more we can connect in these different ways and can share time, place, and space with one another, means the more we can engage with healthy and positive discourse, and the more we will all grow and the better we all will be.

For Montenegro, it all started with a desire to help people who, like herself, saw a need in their community and wanted to take action. While she’s learned some important lessons along the way, perhaps the greatest is the one she’s learned about the future she’d like to have—a future Gettysburg College helped her realize is possible.

“Through my work with Latinx House and my other involvements on campus, I’ve really seen how much I want to give back to my communities, and how I want to make things better for other people,” Montenegro said. “I’m fortunate that I get to do that here on campus, and now I know I want to do that for a career, too.”

]]>
Maggie Langtry ’09 – TV Producer for Summer House, Real Housewives of Atlanta https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=7ea06719-0235-41fa-a1ac-a3d182102d93 https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=7ea06719-0235-41fa-a1ac-a3d182102d93 Eleven years after her graduation, Maggie Langtry ’09 still remembers the moment that she knew she wanted to pursue a career in film. She was seated in Musselman Library, editing a short film for an assignment in her Ethnographic Film: Theory and Practice class. As she diligently cut and arranged music files for the piece, she found herself feeling strangely fulfilled—and excited about the prospect of working in the film industry.

As an English major and cinema and media studies minor, Langtry’s courses at Gettysburg empowered her to partner with the College’s admissions office, where she edited video content for prospective students.

“Looking back, this work was a critical stepping stone toward my first job in the industry, working as a logger for MTV’s The Real World in Los Angeles,” she said.

Today, Langtry serves as a freelancer in the production and post-production side of television for Truly Original Productions. She has helped to produce several scripted and unscripted television shows, including Summer House, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Killing Fields, and Don’t Be Tardy, among others.

Langtry’s natural curiosity was only strengthened by her time at Gettysburg College, which now allows her to be agile within a career that continues to challenge and motivate her.

“My work is stimulating and frustrating and thrilling and new, every day,” she reflected. “I can’t imagine doing anything else. I’d encourage Gettysburg students to utilize the College’s alumni network and explore their own passions. You never know what opportunities you may discover.”

]]>
https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=e9d5b565-4542-4483-9e7f-d475d6c4c5a8 https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=e9d5b565-4542-4483-9e7f-d475d6c4c5a8 During the College’s fifth annual Gettysburgives Challenge on February 12-13, donations flowed in from across the country and around the world—all in support of Gettysburg students.

This year, the stakes were raised as the College set an ambitious goal of obtaining gifts from 3,000 donors to unlock $1 million in Challenge funds. These funds were provided by generous Gettysburgives benefactors David ’75 and Dorothy Brennan P’00; Craig Disher ’66; Mack ’03 and Rebecca Malinowski ’04 Farquhar; Lewis and Deborah Feldstein P’21; Bob Garthwait Jr. ’82; Bob and Doris Klimowicz P’16, P’19; Jonah Lucas ’16; Matt Nielsen ’94; Peter ’84 and Susan Pahides ’83 Schultz P’13; Joe and Maureen Shalleck P’20; Barry ’65 and Barbara Wenger ’65 Shaw; and Sheraz and Maliha Sheikh P’22.

We’re proud to announce that we’ve once again surpassed our fundraising goals, earning gifts from 3,309 donors, totaling $1,091,274 in new gifts and commitments. To help drive us past the 3,000-donor mark, we received an additional $125,000 from an anonymous donor. Add in the $1 million put forward by our loyal alumni and parent benefactors, and we raised a grand total of $2,091,274 for Gettysburg College!

As part of the Gettysburgives Challenge, we also held successful mini-challenges. For the Student & Family Challenge, our first-year class soared to victory. Meanwhile, football and women’s golf gained the edge in the Bullets Team Challenge, earning $2,500 for their sports teams.

Many of this year’s donors gave in honor of President Janet Morgan Riggs ’77 and her exemplary leadership and dedicated service to Gettysburg College—a touching tribute to a truly beloved Gettysburgian.

A special thank you to all who made this giving event such a great success! Every gift advances our mission, strengthens our College, and empowers our students.

]]>
College celebrates 15th President, new beginnings https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=970cf663-e5da-419f-bcaf-7c69ca6462d6 https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=970cf663-e5da-419f-bcaf-7c69ca6462d6 At Gettysburg College, we honor tradition yet push ambitiously into the future. Together, we embrace change that sparks progress—on our campus, across our nation, and throughout our world.

On February 8, the College community celebrated its new beginnings by welcoming President-elect Bob Iuliano and his family with two campus receptions in the College Union Building (CUB) Ballroom.

President-Elect Iuliano at podium

“As Gettysburg looks to its future, it does so with an unwavering commitment to the importance of a residential liberal arts education,” said Iuliano at the opening reception before a crowd of Trustees, Presidential Search Committee members, faculty, administrators, and staff. “That commitment shines through all that the College does and is deeply grounded in its founding principles. I see it in the stories I’ve read about this place and its students. I see it in the impact Gettysburg graduates have in this world. Stories I know have been building for generations. Stories that I am excited—and proud—to continue and be a part of.”

In addition to Iuliano’s address, David Brennan ’75, P’00, chair of the Board of Trustees, offered welcoming remarks; Charlie Scott ’77, P’09, P’12, chair of the Presidential Search Committee, reflected on the College’s national search; and President Janet Morgan Riggs ’77 shared a celebratory toast with the College’s 15th President.

Pres. Iuliano and Pres. Riggs share a toast

“I cannot tell you how honored I am to pass the Gettysburg College torch to you in July. I know you’re going to take very good care of it,” said Riggs to Iuliano on stage. “I want to extend you, Bob, and Susan, and the Iuliano family a very warm welcome into our community. It is a wonderful community to be a part of and we are so pleased to have you as members of it.”

Later in the evening, hundreds of Gettysburg College students gathered in the Ballroom for their own special reception with the new president.

Following opening remarks by Lauren Wise Bright ’90, a member of the College’s Board of Trustees, Presidential Search Committee, and President of the Alumni Board of Directors, Sarah Tokar ’19—the student representative on the Search Committee—offered Iuliano a gift of a Gettysburg sweatshirt, which he promptly put on among roaring applause.

“At the end of the day, this institution’s defining strength is its people,” Iuliano concluded. “Let us promise to work together, to support one another, to teach one another, to learn from one another, and to do so in the spirit of generosity and openness.”

Pres. Iuliano with students

To learn more about President-elect Bob Iuliano, visit www.gettysburg.edu/president-elect. For more information about the Presidential Search Process, visit www.gettysburg.edu/search.

]]>
Announcing the 2019 Lincoln Prize Winner https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=dc7d86e7-6469-4e23-ad19-c3366383bc37 https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=dc7d86e7-6469-4e23-ad19-c3366383bc37 David BlightGettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History announced today that David Blight, author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (Simon & Schuster), is the recipient of the 2019 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize. A noted Civil War historian, Blight is Class of 1954 Professor of American History at Yale University and directs the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University.

He will be recognized during an event hosted by Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History at the Union League Club in New York City on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. The award includes a $50,000 prize and a bronze replica of Augustus Saint-Gaudens' life-size bust “Lincoln the Man.”

Blight’s nearly 900-page Prophet of Freedom tackles Frederick Douglass’s complex history and his legacy as an abolitionist.  The prizewinning historian’s research for the book spanned nine years.

“David Blight is the foremost expert on the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass,” said James G. Basker, President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, “and this is a brilliant culmination of his life's work. Every American who cares about the future of our country should read this book.”

Basker is one of the six Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize Board members who decided this year’s winners. In addition to Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman, principals of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York and co-creators of the Gilder Lehrman Collection, other board members include Gettysburg College President Janet Morgan Riggs, Trustee Larry D. Walker, and Trustee Emeritus H. Scott Higgins.

“Each year, it is remarkable to see the creation of so many new and exceptional scholarly works that illuminate the Civil War era, a period that forever shaped Gettysburg College and our nation,” Riggs said. “In his enthralling biography of Frederick Douglass, Blight captures both the complexity and courageousness of one of the most important American voices of the 19th century.” 

The laureate was one of those recommended to the board by a three-person jury: John Stauffer, Sumner R. and Marshall S. Kates Professor of English and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University; Barbara A. Gannon, Associate Professor of History at the University of Central Florida (UCF); and Elizabeth R. Varon, Associate Director of the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History and Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History at the University of Virginia.

“This is the most comprehensive and multi-dimensional biography of Frederick Douglass ever written,” wrote the jury in their report to the board. “Mr. Blight, a professor of history at Yale, recovers for the first time Douglass’s full significance to America’s historical experience…It is an absorbing and moving book that speaks to our time as well as Douglass’s, with new insights on almost every page.”

The jury also selected four other finalists from 102 submissions: Richard J. M. Blackett, The Captive's Quest for Freedom: Fugitive Slaves, the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, and the Politics of Slavery (Cambridge University Press); William W. Freehling, Becoming Lincoln (University of Virginia Press); Joanne B. Freeman, The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Diane Miller Sommerville, Aberration of Mind: Suicide and Suffering in the Civil War–Era South (University of North Carolina Press)

The Prize has been awarded annually to a work that enhances the general public’s understanding of the Civil War era. It was co-founded in 1990 by businessmen and philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman, co-chairmen of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York and co-creators of the Gilder Lehrman Collection.

Lincoln Prize

About the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize

Founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, visionaries and lifelong supporters of American history education, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to K–12 history education while also serving the general public. The Institute’s mission is to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational programs and resources. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is supported through the generosity of individuals, corporations, and foundations. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Organization of American Historians, and the Council of Independent Colleges.

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the leading American history nonprofit organization dedicated to K-12 education. With a focus on primary sources, the Gilder Lehrman Institute illuminates the stories, people and moments that inspire students of all ages and backgrounds to learn and understand more about history. Through a diverse portfolio of education programs, including the acclaimed Hamilton Education Program, the Gilder Lehrman Institute provides opportunities for nearly two million students, 30,000 teachers and 16,000 schools worldwide. Learn more at gilderlehrman.org.

]]>
Networking to NASA https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=a37e13f2-d08b-49c1-8d8b-996f5f7d012e https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=a37e13f2-d08b-49c1-8d8b-996f5f7d012e As a student at Gettysburg College, you gain access to internships and other experiential learning opportunities that help you make intellectual and professional connections.

A perfect example: Abigail Major '19 interned at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a result of following her natural curiosity and using connections she made through The Gettysburg Network.

Major became seriously interested in Gettysburg College during her junior year of high school, when she attended a Gettysburg College summer camp offered by The Eisenhower Institute. She visited campus several times after that experience, including a day visit where she attended classes. Major found the campus genuine and welcoming, and applied early decision.

“The community is driven and motivated, and when you see that it's contagious,” said Major.

She jumped into campus life, working with the Civil War Institute and the Eisenhower Institute. Through the latter, she had the opportunity to visit Washington D.C., where she met Brandon Tower ’14, who worked as a legislative affairs specialist for NASA.

“I always thought if you worked at NASA you had to major in science or math. Meeting Tower made me realize there were other positions available that could use my skillset,” said Major, a Classics and history double major with a minor in environmental studies. “The Eisenhower Institute provided me with the opportunity to connect and network with others.”

Major kept in touch with Tower over the years, and when she found out about the summer internship available at NASA, she reached back out for some words of encouragement.

He obliged—staying connected to the College is important to Tower, who got his start at NASA when he interned in the department of another Gettysburg alum, Seth Statler '83.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without tremendous support from former Gettysburg grads. That first step in your career after leaving undergrad, regardless of occupation, is a tough one,” said Tower. “Just as someone took a chance on me and gave me an opportunity that started my career, I think it’s critical to do the same for current students or younger grads in a similar situation.”

Major applied and received the internship (in the astrophysics division—a different department than where Tower works), using writing samples from some of her environmental studies classes.

“My job was to communicate to the public about science through press releases, social media posts, blog posts, and more,” said Major.

Although it was initially challenging to learn how to simplify complex topics for different audiences, Major persevered and found she had transferrable skills from studying history and environmental studies.

“After this summer, I realized that history majors can do anything. You always hear you have transferrable skills, but then to actually apply it to something unrelated and have it work out well is a great feeling,” she said.

Learn more about the Gettysburg Network and opportunities available to current students through our Center for Career Engagement.

]]>
Environmental Studies major pilots Innovation Lab drone to conduct flood research https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=89378ec9-0a1c-4652-adb9-85a5040eeee2 https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=89378ec9-0a1c-4652-adb9-85a5040eeee2 As a first-generation college student, Alyssa Kaewwilai ’20 always dreamed of using cutting-edge technology to research the natural world. Today, through Gettysburg College’s Innovation Lab—a space designed for the exploration of bold, technological ideas—she is piloting a drone to detect flood patterns on campus.

It is a project that has far-reaching implications, most notably offering insights that may better protect the College’s iconic landmarks from costly water damage in the future.

“Over the years, we have experienced excessive flooding in certain areas of our campus,” said Kaewwilai, an environmental studies major with a concentration in GIS (geographical information systems) and computer science minor. “My project’s goal is to evaluate the terrain levels that are most prone to flooding, and hopefully leverage this data to safeguard Gettysburg’s infrastructure.”

A participant in the College’s eight-week Digital Technology Summer Fellows Program, Kaewwilai gained access to a DJI Mavic Pro Platinum Drone and earned her Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) remote pilot certification to legally fly the aircraft under the Gettysburg College domain name.

“Drones are a relatively new technology. They’re becoming a really hot topic within the science community and a powerful tool for research,” said Kaewwilai, who as a sophomore conducted an environmental study with Prof. Andy Wilson to monitor bird populations utilizing drone technology.

“For my fellowship project, I flew the drone around different areas of campus—like Stine Lake, the East and West Quads, and Quarry Pond—gathering high-quality, GPS aerial photos. Then I uploaded the images into the Innovation Lab’s photogrammetry software to make 3D interactive models of the College’s elevation levels.”

Quarry Pond virtual model.

Kaewwilai manufactured handheld replicas of her targeted locations using Gettysburg College’s 3D carver. These wooden replicas allowed her to physically touch the sloped terrain and develop a greater understanding of how various water patterns affect the College landscape.

“I’ve always thought of myself as an independent thinker, but I have never been given so much freedom with such state-of-the-art technology as I received through my Digital Technology Fellowship. I am very impressed with how much I learned,” said Kaewwilai, citing the mentorship she received from Dr. Eric Remy, director of educational technology, and other Gettysburg faculty members throughout the summer.

“I discovered that there isn’t always a black and white answer for projects like mine, so you have to figure things out, utilize your resources, and be creative to find solutions to your challenges. I think what drove me, specifically, was my determination to finish the project and do my best work.”

East Quad designed in Easel for 3D carving.

Kaewwilai’s project earned the attention of the Pennsylvania Geographical Society, which awarded her first place in their Undergraduate Student Paper Competition this fall, following a speech she delivered that highlighted her scientific findings. Her work will soon be published in the 2018-19 issue of the Pennsylvanian Geographer.

“This accomplishment is really important to me,” reflected Kaewwilai, who participated in the Gettysburg College Leadership Certificate program and now serves as the marketing and design program coordinator for the Office of Multicultural Engagement.

“As a first-gen student, my parents didn’t go to college, so in a way, my fellowship brought me back to when I didn’t know anything about the college application process and I had to figure out much of it on my own. But through experiences like these, I have discovered that the adversity I’ve faced in my life isn’t a weakness, it is actually my strength. It has taught me to overcome challenges and achieve great things that I never thought were possible.”

To learn more about Kaewwilai’s flood pattern project, read the Digital Technology Summer Fellows blog.

]]>
https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=7968c200-b858-4535-aa95-b32f4a2049fc https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=7968c200-b858-4535-aa95-b32f4a2049fc Tropical rainforest frogs in Central America may provide the latest evidence of a changing planet, according to a new paper co-authored by Biology Prof. Alex Trillo. The study received worldwide media attention, and was featured on the PBS Newshour and in the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper as well as The Atlantic, among others.

The study

Thirty years from now, 70 percent of the world's population will live in cities, according to the United Nations. Trillo, as part of a larger team at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, says that has serious implications for nature. As human settlements expand into previously forested areas, wild animals must either adapt to live among us or be displaced.

Living in urban areas, however, can have major effects on the biology of these animals. Evidence of this can be seen in the mating habits of frogs in Panama. Writing in Nature Ecology and Evolution, Trillo and fellow researchers zero in on the sounds male Túngara frogs make to attract females. Their work suggests frogs more accustomed to urban environments can adjust their calls in response to reduced risks of predation or parasitism in the city, ultimately making their calls more attractive. Frogs from the rainforest, on the other hand, lack this ability.

The conclusion

“Our study shows that urban life can affect animals in ways that aren't immediately obvious. Previous studies have shown that light pollution and noise can impact how animals communicate, but this study shows that cities can alter predator and parasite communities, allowing frogs to call in ways that are more appealing to mates,” Trillo said.

This innovative research underscores Gettysburg's collaborative approach to the sciences. Trillo's partnership for this project included faculty from Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam, Purdue University, the University of Texas, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and the University of New York at Abu Dhabi. Funds were provided by a Marie Curie grant, a Veni grant, Holland's Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as the U.S. National Science Foundation.

]]>
https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=177bf762-46f6-4a11-9e2f-a6dba12cffd4 https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=177bf762-46f6-4a11-9e2f-a6dba12cffd4 The air was electric in the Sheraton Hotel Ballroom in Parsippany, New Jersey. Democrat Mikie Sherrill—a former Navy pilot, ex-prosecutor, and mother of four—had just won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in a district held by Republicans for the last 30 years. It was a massive upset and Ben Tabor '13 had a front-row seat.

“Our district was the biggest swing of all the districts in the country at +32 percent,” said Tabor, who volunteered full-time on Sherrill's campaign. She won by 13 percent.

Tabor was inspired by Sherrill's run. A true Gettysburgian, he didn't sit on the sidelines and watch, but took action. He saw an opportunity to grow through hands-on experience, challenge his own assumptions through interactions with constituents, and be a part of the change he wished to see in the world.

That drive to make change through a political campaign was seeded while a student at Gettysburg College. Tabor was inspired by a trip taken to Washington, D.C., in his junior year through an Eisenhower Institute semester-long program. “We met with a campaign consultant, and I knew immediately that working on a campaign was something I wanted to do one day,” said Tabor.

That day became the lead-up to the midterm elections of 2018. Tabor worked across all areas of the Sherrill campaign, including in fundraising, phone banking, research, policy, and ultimately, doing constituency work with veterans and unions. He also knocked on a lot of doors.

Tabor said working on the campaign re-emphasized for him the value and importance of talking to people face-to-face. “We've kind of lost that,” he said, commenting on the American political divide. “People will sit in their houses all day watching MSNBC or Fox News and get all fired up, and yet they haven't had a conversation with an actual person.”

Canvassing for Sherrill, Tabor had the opportunity to meet people he wouldn't have otherwise. Sometimes, they didn't agree. However, Tabor says, he could always find common ground and connect across disagreements, particularly when talking about his candidate.

“Sherrill is a veteran, a prosecutor, a mom. She used to ride a motorcycle. She's got so many levels from which to connect with people,” explained Tabor. “When I knock on her behalf, I may meet a veteran who doesn't agree with her political stances, but we can talk about the value of military service to this country. Sometimes, connecting with people is as simple as that. Listen. Empathize.” Through concerns about healthcare, the Kavanaugh nomination, the economy, and a breadth of other issues, Tabor says he “broke barriers,” busted stereotypes, and made real connections.

Tabor learned the art and power of connecting with people across lines of difference while taking part in Gettysburg College's global study, language-immersion program in Paris (read more about that program) and working abroad for five years in Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Kenya.

While in Tunisia, the site of the awakening of the Arab Spring in 2010, Tabor learned about the value of the youth uprisings and why revolutions occur and vary across regions. The Arab Spring would officially spread to five other countries: Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain. Yet Tabor believes Saudi Arabia is “the untold story of the Arab Spring.” Unlike the other countries where the youth revolted, “the Saudi government brought the revolution to the people,” he said.

In the wake of widespread transformation across the region, Saudi Arabia began moving towards progressive changes domestically and enlisted an army of international consultants to help. After a brief time working with NGOs in Tunisia, Tabor began working for Numu Consulting, commuting by plane from Tunisia (and later, Dubai) to Saudi Arabia to become a part of this historic moment.

Tabor initially focused on youth unemployment issues and then transitioned to work on macro-economic reforms. Specifically, he worked on energy subsidy reform, which Tabor calls “one of the largest economic reforms that Saudi Arabia has passed in the last 50 years,” with an expected savings of $30 billion by 2020. Tabor had to quickly understand the geopolitics and nuances of the region, as well as connect with diverse peoples, in order to be taken seriously. He met with hundreds of Saudis ranging in position—from minister, governor, and prince, to student, Uber driver, and the unemployed.

“No matter how remote or far away from home I traveled—and I worked in very remote areas in the Saudi Kingdom—I was able to find ways to connect with people, no matter how different,” said Tabor when talking about his time in the Middle East. “For example, people universally care about their family, access to healthcare, job opportunities. So, whether it be the Saudi Uber driver or my work colleagues from the Middle East or Europe, I could connect through those similarities right away.”

That ability to break down barriers and connect, cultivated at Gettysburg College and honed abroad, prepared Tabor well for his role in the Mikie Sherrill congressional win.

Tabor credits Gettysburg College for providing him with the opportunities and support to broaden his horizons, explore the world, and realize his passions.

“At Gettysburg, there are endless amounts of opportunity,” he said. “I was encouraged to complete an independent study on youth unemployment. I studied abroad, received funding, and was exposed to campaigning all because of Gettysburg College. I'm so appreciative of the one-on-one attention I received to reach my goals.”

]]>
https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=bc87c7fa-ea82-4f2a-836d-96c2d87cf492 https://www.gettysburg.edu/news/stories?id=bc87c7fa-ea82-4f2a-836d-96c2d87cf492 Jerry Spinelli ’63 will speak on Sunday, May 19, 2019, at Gettysburg College’s 184th Commencement ceremony.

The 11 a.m. ceremony will take place—rain or shine—on Beachem Portico on the north side of Pennsylvania Hall.

Daisy Sullivan ’19 recommended Spinelli’s name as speaker after rereading her favorite book, Crash, by the author this summer: “The book has such a strong message that I believe is important for people of all ages to hear,” she said. “I’m so excited to learn that he will be our speaker because our generation grew up reading his books. They reflect a type of wisdom that my peers and I could really benefit from as we gear up to enter the ‘real world.’”

About the speaker:

One day in second grade Jerry Spinelli dressed up in his cowboy outfit, complete with golden cap pistols and spurs on his boots. He went to school that way. It was not Halloween. When the teacher asked if he "would like to do something for the class," he got up and sang "I Have the Spurs that Jingle Jangle Jingle."

Shortly thereafter he ceased to be a singing cowboy and decided to become a baseball player. In eleventh grade he wrote a poem about a high school football game. It was published in the local (Norristown, PA) newspaper. He traded in his baseball bat for a pencil and became a writer.

The story of his life to that point is told in his memoir Knots in My Yo-Yo String. His sixth novel, Maniac Magee, was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1991 for "The Most Distinguished Contribution to American Literature for Children." His eighteenth book, Wringer, received a Newbery Honor. Stargirl will be a Disney film on the company's new streaming platform, expected to launch in late 2019.

Jerry Spinelli's books appear in more than 40 languages. Anti-apartheid forces in South Africa recruited Maniac Magee to their cause. Loser travels through rural Japan as a stage play. There are Stargirl Societies around the world.

Jerry Spinelli lives with his wife and fellow author, Eileen, in Media, Pennsylvania. They have six children and thirty-six grand- and great-grandchildren. And counting.

He received an honorary degree from Gettysburg College in 2005.

For more information about Commencement, please refer to the Commencement website. It will be updated frequently as Commencement weekend approaches.

]]>