News@Gettysburg Latest news coverage from Gettysburg College Remembering the battle and a new birth of freedom <p>&ldquo;Oh, you dead, who at Gettysburg have baptized with your blood the second birth of freedom in America, how you are to be envied,&rdquo; wrote New York Times war correspondent and grieving father Samuel Wilkeson.</p>
<p>Wilkeson knew that his son, 19-year-old lieutenant Bayard Wilkeson, had been injured and captured during the three-day long Battle of Gettysburg. It wasn&rsquo;t until the Confederate retreat, however, that Wilkeson came across his son&rsquo;s body on the battlefield and wrote those lamentations as much to help a distressed nation as to help himself find solace amidst profound anguish.</p>
<div style="float: left; margin-right: 10px; width: 50%;"><img src="" alt="LincolnValentine" title="LincolnValentine" /><br />
<p><b>Lincoln states, &ldquo;This is like a Dream I once had in Illinois,&rdquo; while opening a Valentine from Columbia that contains broken chains and the 13th Amendment.</b></p>
<p>President Abraham Lincoln echoed these words in his Gettysburg Address, with some historians arguing that Lincoln was inspired by them when writing his address.</p>
<p>&ldquo;We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain &ndash; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom &ndash; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,&rdquo; Lincoln declared.</p>
<p>Such prophetic words have forever defined the battle, mixing the religious zeal of the era with democratic ideals in an attempt to maintain the righteousness of the Union cause. How else could the American people interpret nearly 51,000 casualties during the three days of fighting that devastated both the North and South?</p>
<p>Less than two years later, the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered to Union forces at Appomattox Court House, marking the virtual end of the war and ushering in a much less studied period of history: Reconstruction &ndash; the second birth of freedom that so many had been hoping for.</p>
<p>The nation ended its 150<sup>th</sup> commemoration of the Civil War by celebrating the anniversary of the peace agreement with <a href="">Bells Across the Land</a>. Our own Glatfelter bells rang for four minutes &ndash; one minute to recognize each year of the war.</p>
<p>However, just because the 150<sup>th</sup> commemoration of the Civil War has formally ended does not mean that public interest in the legacies of the war has passed.</p>
<p>&ldquo;The Sesquicentennial has raised a legion of new issues, especially about the continuity of the war and Reconstruction, which are going to be the fuel of inquiry and self-examination for a long time to come,&rdquo; said Allen Guelzo, the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and Director of the <a href="">Civil War Era Studies</a>. &ldquo;The great figures of the war -- Grant and Lee, for instance -- will always attract interest, but I expect there will be a lot of curiosity over the next few years about their roles in Reconstruction, which were just as crucial as their roles as battlefield commanders.&rdquo;</p>
<p>Recently, the <a href="">National Park Service</a> has <a href="">committed itself</a> to studying and raising awareness about Reconstruction.</p>
<p>Around campus, Gettysburg College&rsquo;s <a href="">Civil War Institute</a> will be focusing on the impact and legacies of Reconstruction Era as well, and will use its annual summer conference to create a unique dialogue around that time period.</p>
<p>&ldquo;We should take great satisfaction in the educational richness of this commemorative period,&rdquo; said Executive Director of the Civil War Institute Peter Carmichael, &ldquo;but we need to look beyond the 150<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the Civil War in order to advance the public discussion about Reconstruction. Gettysburg College&rsquo;s Civil War Institute will continue this conversation with our audiences as we look beyond Appomattox and explore the revolutionary legacy of the Civil War.&rdquo;</p>
<p>Students will have the opportunity to engage in those themes in and out of the classroom, as well. Both the Civil War era studies minor and the <a href="">public history</a> minor offer courses examining the Civil War and its legacies, while the CWI offers students the opportunity to gain practical experience interpreting history through the <a href="">CWI Fellowship</a> and the <a href="">Pohanka Internship</a>.</p>
<p><a href=""><b>Check out our media coverage from the 150th Commemoration of the Civil War:</b></a><b> </b></p>
<p><a href="">Allen Guelzo interviewed by CBS on anniversary of Lincoln's death</a></p>
<p><a href="">Allen Guelzo interviewed by WITF Smart Talk radio on the anniversary of Lincoln's assassination</a></p>
<p><a href="">Peter Carmichael hosted on WITF Smart Talk Radio to discuss Bells Across the Land</a> </p>
<p><a href="">Allen Guelzo published in Washington Post about what might have happened if Abraham Lincoln had not been assassinated</a></p>
<p><a href="">Allen Guelzo mentioned in NY Times piece on Dedication Day</a></p>
<p><a href="">College mentioned in WITF article about preservation of Lee's headquarters</a></p>

<p><em>Special thanks to Musselman Library's Special Collections for all of their help with research and artwork for this story.</em></p>¿

Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:05:24 EDT
Embracing challenges: Rick Edwards '78 discusses his career with Lockheed Missiles <p>As the Executive Vice President and chief executive for Lockheed Martin&rsquo;s Missiles and Fire Control division, Richard Edwards &rsquo;78 understands the high-quality demand for the products he develops every day.</p>
<p><img style="float: right; margin: 10px; width: 50%;" title="Rickheadshot" alt="Rickheadshot" src="" /></p>
<p>One of the world&rsquo;s largest defense contractors, Lockheed Martin plays an integral role in American national security and is a top contractor for the federal government. Edwards&rsquo; own division &ndash; Missiles and Fire Control &ndash; has created major products for the U.S. and allied military, including Air and Missile Defense systems, the Hellfire Missile, the Javelin Missile, and the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, a <a href="">potential successor to the Humvee.</a> </p>
<p>&ldquo;We can&rsquo;t have a bad day at work,&rdquo; Edwards often says. &ldquo;When we have a bad day at work, there is the possibility that one of our service members won&rsquo;t come home.&rdquo;</p>
<h3>High Stakes, High Reward</h3>
<p><a href=";FORM=VIRE4#view=detail&amp;mid=83A9420CFB7A5661126283A9420CFB7A56611262">A CNN newscast</a> from 2003 illustrates the importance of Edwards&rsquo; work.</p>
<p>Edwards had been travelling with the then-president of Lockheed Missiles, Gulf War veteran Admiral Stanley Arthur, when news coverage of the War in Iraq caught their attention.</p>
<p>American soldiers were pinned down by gunfire from tanks guarding the Iraqi stronghold of the Saddam &ndash; now Baghdad &ndash; International Airport. One of the soldiers had been ordered to shoot a Javelin missile at an Iraqi tank that had them trapped along the roadside.</p>
<p>&ldquo;I had been working on the Javelin missiles for over five years at that point. I had devoted many hours and worked through many issues on that project, and here I was watching an American soldier use it on the news,&rdquo; Edwards stated. </p>
<p>At first, the missile locked up &ndash; the soldier had taken too long to engage the target, causing the cooling system to kick in.</p>
<p>&ldquo;Admiral Arthur, a very formidable man, leaned over to me at that moment and said in his four-star commander&rsquo;s voice &ndash; &lsquo;That missile better work.&rsquo; Of course, I knew it would, but standing next to Admiral Arthur in that moment was a very uncomfortable thing!&rdquo;</p>
<div style="float: left; margin-right: 10px; width: 50%;"><img src="" alt="Rickjltv" title="Rickjltv" /><br />
<p><b> Rick Edwards, center, views a new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle with members of his team at one of Lockheed Martin&rsquo;s factories.</b></p>
<p>Moments later, the soldier was able to launch the missile, taking out all three tanks that had pinned down the American soldiers and ensuring their safe entry into the airport. </p>
<p>&ldquo;Watching that exchange on the news, knowing that something I had spent so much time on had saved a whole squad of American soldiers, was a very satisfying moment for me,&rdquo; Edwards explained. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a highly demanding field, but it is also highly rewarding, which is why so many people dedicate their careers to national defense.&rdquo;</p>
<p>In fact, Edwards has learned to embrace the challenges during his 32 years working in national defense. It is a mentality that has served him well, not just as a professional, but as a student at Gettysburg College as well. </p>
<p>&nbsp;&ldquo;Sometimes people shy away from tough assignments,&rdquo; Edwards explained. &ldquo;You&rsquo;ll get a reputation much faster if you volunteer to fix a problem than continue to operate on something that runs well.&rdquo;</p>
<h3>Embracing Challenges</h3>
<p>A <a href="">business management</a> major from New Jersey, Edwards was engaged in many activities on campus. He was attracted to Gettysburg for the small class sizes and the challenging curriculum.&nbsp; However, it was his affiliation with the <a href="">Phi Kappa Psi fraternity</a>, he claimed, that served as his greatest preparation for life after college.</p>
<div style="float: right; margin: left; 10px; width: 50%;"><img src="" alt="Ricksmss" title="Ricksmss" /><br />
<p><b> Rick Edwards with Lockheed Martin&rsquo;s Squad Mission Support System (SMSS), a robotic vehicle that U.S. troops have used to carry packs and equipment during field testing in Afghanistan. </b></p>
<p>&ldquo;I was very involved in my fraternity and took on a few leadership positions,&rdquo; Edwards recalled. &ldquo;When you are running a house of 50 members and are leading fund raising, alumni engagement, and recruitment efforts, you really get the opportunity to utilize some of the business practices that you learn about in class. It really balanced out my college experience.&rdquo;</p>
<p>Of all of the practical experience Edwards gained from his fraternity affiliation, the one he is able to recall most vividly is his fraternity&rsquo;s spring formal during his senior year. With less than 24 hours until their biggest social event of the academic year, Edwards had been informed that they had no one to prepare dinner.</p>
<p>&ldquo;I was one of the few guys in the house who actually knew how to turn the stove on,&rdquo; Edwards explained. &ldquo;So much to my date&rsquo;s dismay, I spent that evening with another brother making the only dish I knew how to make &ndash; beef stroganoff &ndash; for almost 80 people. And by some miracle, it turned out okay." </p>
<p>It is a similar willingness to tackle challenges and find a solution that Edwards has built his career upon. In fact, it was a fraternity brother familiar with Edwards&rsquo; reputation who recommended him for his first post-collegiate job with Fairchild Aircraft.</p>
<p>Edwards very quickly built up a reputation as a problem-solver, making him stand out from his colleagues. He was promoted four times over three and a half years. When Fairchild Aircraft announced that they were going to close their Maryland facilities, Edwards already had another job offer lined up with Martin Marietta, which later became Lockheed Martin.</p>
<p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think there is any substitution for hard work,&rdquo; Edwards said. &ldquo;If you seek out hard problems and are involved in the process of fixing them, management will take notice.&rdquo;</p>
<h3>Taking Risks</h3>
<p>Since 2012, Edwards has been the Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin&rsquo;s Missiles and Fire Control division. In addition to the projects his division is responsible for, Edwards oversees the work of nearly 17,000 people. </p>
<p>His advice to young professionals and recent college graduates is what one would expect, given the reputation he has built for himself over the course of his long and distinguished career:</p>
<p>&ldquo;If you want to stand apart from your peers, you have to show that extra initiative and bring creative solutions to the table,&rdquo; Edwards said. &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t be afraid to take risks &ndash; you&rsquo;ll find more often than not, it is rewarded.&rdquo;</p>

Thu, 02 Jul 2015 09:52:40 EDT
VIDEO: International students share what they love about Gettysburg Coming from over 38 countries around the world, our students have their own unique reasons for falling in love with Gettysburg College. What ties them together is that they’re joining a rich and diverse community that’s focused on preparing them to be active and global leaders and citizens.

This year, 60 international students will join our community, an increase of 50 percent from last year’s record number. Below, two international students share what originally drew them to Gettysburg and how their experience has been integral to their personal and professional growth.


Meet Amy Yangbing Yang ’17

Yang is a Chinese international student majoring in Mathematics and Philosophy. She fell in love with the beauty of the campus, but—as her double major indicates—Yang is here for Gettysburg College’s focus on a multifaceted liberal arts education in a small campus setting.

Watch Amy Yangbing Yang's video


“[At Gettysburg College] you always have the choice to take a smaller class. My smallest class last year was a group of eight people. Your professors get to know you very well and you develop a closer relationship with everyone else in the class.”


Meet Tigran Aslanyan ’18

Aslanyan is a Mathematical Economics major from Armenia. He chose Gettysburg for its close proximity to major cities on the east coast and the connection he made with the people on campus. In his first year on campus, Aslanyan was able to visit New York City with his first-year seminar class and travel to South Carolina on a trip with GRAB.

Watch Tigran Aslanyan's video


“The first time I came here it was such a big culture shock, but there were some people who gave me lots of hope and encouraged me to keep looking until I found my people. When I came here, I really liked the professors and the facilities and the opportunities. I found two jobs and am involved in clubs and planning to do more next year. This is my place, and I’m happy to be here.”

Like Yang, Aslanyan is hoping to take advantage of his liberal arts education and attain minors in Spanish, Business and Math. He also enjoys singing in the choir.

Learn more about our international students

Mon, 29 Jun 2015 04:22:41 EDT
Making tangible connections from thin air Joshua Ginder ’15 merged his passion for the outdoors with his coursework in Anthropology and Globalization Studies, and applied for the International Bridge Course (IBC) program to study the economic and environmental impacts of the mountaineering industry on the Sherpa community. 

An avid outdoorsman, Ginder first became interested in Sherpa culture after reading about Sherpa mountaineers in Jon Krakauer’s bestseller, Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster. His interest in mountaineering and the Sherpa people quickly deepened, and Ginder found himself reading additional literature and taking coursework in ethnographic film, South Asian religion and culture, and anthropological theory and fieldwork methods.

Receiving IBC funding to actually go to the mountains gave Ginder the opportunity to learn firsthand about Sherpa culture and meet with Sherpa youth who have left their native Solu-Khumbu region to pursue a university education or venture into other careers.

“What I’ve been able to bring back to campus is more confidence that I have a better idea of where my place is in the world,” said Ginder. “[I’ve learned] that I am a very singular individual in the grand scheme of things—that although I can be very important and I can make changes for people, it’s also a collective effort.”

Working with his faculty mentor, Associate Professor of Anthropology Matthew Amster, Ginder produced an ethnographic film capturing the sentiment of these Sherpa youth.

“The film, I titled it We are Sherpa, and it was the culmination of the International Bridge Course research scholarship that I received. It started out with the intention of exploring how mountaineering has impacted Sherpa culture,” he said. “[But] after I got there and started speaking with the younger Sherpas I realized it was more so about what these younger Sherpas were doing to progress their culture—to save it in some ways—and in other ways just how important their language and cultural traditions played in their lives.”

Next, Ginder looks forward to piecing together this research and the work he completed for the video as part of his Anthropology Honors’ thesis.

“The film was a great opportunity for me to explore that academic topic, use my interests creatively in producing a film, and then last semester—when I was working on it—it was a great reflective experience.”

You can learn more about Ginder’s semester abroad—and view some of his incredible photography—on his blog.

Mon, 29 Jun 2015 04:25:21 EDT
Reflecting on the CWI Conference <p>For more than two decades, Gettysburg College&rsquo;s <a href="">Civil War Institute</a> has inspired Americans to find deep relevance and meaning in their Civil War history. In particular, its <a href="">annual summer conference</a> has opened a dialogue among students, general audiences, and professional historians looking to better understand one of the bloodiest chapters of American history. For high school and college students, this conference serves a dual purpose &ndash; in bringing highly regarded historians and Civil War experts together under one roof, students have the opportunity for invaluable mentorship and networking.</p>
<p>Both Julia Sippel &rsquo;18 and Jennifer Simone &rsquo;18 are current Gettysburg College students who have attended the CWI Conference as <a href="">high school scholarship recipients</a>. While they were excited to engage in a subject about which they are both passionate, they didn&rsquo;t realize the transformational impact this week-long conference would have on them. As soon as registration for this year&rsquo;s conference opened, they eagerly signed up.</p>
<h3><b>Realizing a dream: Sophomore Julia Sippel&rsquo;s story</b></h3>
<p>When I applied to the CWI conference&rsquo;s high school program, I didn&rsquo;t think that I would get it. I was a high school sophomore at the time, but thanks to the encouragements of my American Cultures teachers and his promised letter of recommendation, I applied and was accepted into the program.</p>
<p><img style="float: left; margin: 10px; width: 50%;" title="CWIselfie" alt="CWIselfie" src="" /></p>
<p>Over those few days, I fell in love with Gettysburg. For the first time, I was surrounded by people who shared my passion: fellow students, adult attendees, and world-renowned historians, including Gettysburg College faculty and alumni. As I watched Mark &ldquo;Twinkie&rdquo; Grimsley cross Antietam Creek and listened to Dr. Peter Carmichael tell stories of cowardice and execution, I was enthralled by the depth of knowledge surrounding me. I returned the next summer, too, when I revisited Willoughby Run with Peter Vermilyea, dissected Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and the Gettysburg Address with Jared Peatman, met one of my best friends, and fell for Gettysburg College once more.</p>
<p><img style="float: right; margin: 10px; width: 50%;" title="CWIinteractions" alt="CWIinteractions" src="" /></p>
<p>When <a href="">first&shy; year orientation</a> finally arrived and I could return to campus again, I was in familiar territory. CWI had left me with connections to more than the landscape, though. I&rsquo;d met my summer advisor, Dr. Ian Isherwood, at CWI, and he&rsquo;d soon become my advisor for my <a href="">History major</a>. Dr. Carmichael invited me to join his Southern history course, in which I was the only freshman, and enjoyed immensely regardless. Dr. Jill Titus convinced me to add a <a href="">Public History minor</a> to my ever-growing list of programs. Because of the conference, I was involved with the College before I&rsquo;d even enrolled.</p>
<p>Perhaps most importantly, CWI is helping me to quite literally reach my dream of guiding visitors through the battlefields. Thanks to the CWI, I connected with my professors long before arriving as a student and have shared a much stronger of a bond with them. I&rsquo;ve had the opportunity to meet professionals who are now doing the work that I hope to do someday. Most importantly, it has led me to some of the best and biggest decisions of my life, and is now helping me to reach my dreams.</p>
<h3><b>Pursuing a passion: Sophomore Jennifer Simone&rsquo;s story</b></h3>
<p>Last year, only three hours after graduating high school, I hopped in the car and headed off to Gettysburg for my first Civil War Institute Conference. I attended as a high school scholarship student &ndash; a &nbsp;student who before the conference knew no more of the war than what was taught in a week-long high school lesson. I was taught of battles through charts in which I had to fill out the names of generals, the number of casualties, and the victors. Understandably, with that as the extent of my knowledge, going into the Conference was a bit overwhelming. I was surrounded by academics and enthusiasts while I was merely a beginner.</p>
<p><img style="float: left; margin: 10px; width: 50%;" title="CWIJulia" alt="CWIJulia" src="" /></p>
<p>However, instead of experiencing an atmosphere of intimidation amongst such knowledgeable experts, I found an environment that made it easy to become enthralled in the subject. It was unbelievable to see that most of the attendees learned about the Civil War as a passion, for very few of the attendees&rsquo; jobs were even related to history at all. It was so inspiring to be around people interested in a topic that most people give minimal thought to.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
<p>Once I began my first year at Gettysburg College, I knew that I wanted to make the most of the amazing opportunities provided by the Civil War Institute. I enrolled in Dr. Isherwood&rsquo;s <a href="">first-year seminar</a>; I joined the <a href=";crumbTitle=26th+Pennsylvania+College+Guard&amp;pageTitle=26th+Pennsylvania+College+Guard">Pennsylvania College Guard</a> and through them have participated in my first reenactment; I applied for and was accepted into the <a href="">Pohanka internship program</a>; and this fall, I will be working with the Institute as a <a href="">CWI Fellow</a>, where I can research and <a href="">blog</a> about the Civil War. I never could have imagined the opportunities the CWI would bring to me, and I know there are many more in the future!</p>
<p><img style="float: right; margin: 10px; width: 50%;" title="CWIsocial" alt="CWIsocial" src="" /></p>
<p>People have often asked me what I plan to do with my passion for history, and as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a teacher. That being said, I have been constantly discouraged from following my dream. Some people have even told that I should get out of the profession before I ever get in it. Fortunately, this was not the case at the CWI Conference.</p>
<p>When I was asked by another attendee about my career plan, I was receiving words of encouragement before I could even complete my sentence! Hours later, that same attendee approached me and handed me a two-paged explanation entitled &ldquo;Why I love teaching and you will too!&rdquo; He explained how he has been teaching for 31 years and enjoys every minute that he can share his enthusiasm for history with others. I have never been so touched &ndash; reading his words brought tears to my eyes. This one moment really demonstrates the spirit of the Conference and the impact that it has had on my life. I am so grateful to have had the chance to attend once again.</p>

Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:03:10 EDT
Salty and Fatty How do the fields of physics and chemistry combine to answer questions about DNA and cell membranes? Easily, according to Chemistry Prof. Shelli Frey and Physics Prof. Kurt Andresen, who worked together this past spring to teach a lab course focused on biophysics and biochemistry called “Chem/Phy 358: X-Lab: Salty and Fatty.”

The course is part of the Cross-Disciplinary Science Institute at Gettysburg College (X-SIG), which is funded in part by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Frey and Andresen planned the course as part of the initial grant application, combining their research interests and disciplines to create an interdisciplinary laboratory course addressing cutting-edge topics.

Andresen’s research makes up the “Salty” portion of the course - his background focuses on how DNA packs into our cells, which has implications for how genes can be turned on and off to prevent inherited diseases. For example, if someone discovers they carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, it is indicative that they have a higher risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer in their lifetime. Turning the gene off could potentially lower their risk of getting breast or ovarian cancer.  Andresen’s research investigates the physical forces that contribute to the packing (or turning off) of these genes.

Frey’s research makes up the “Fatty” portion of the course – which addresses how macromolecules, essentially biologically relevant large molecules, interact with cell membranes. Her research has implications for anything the cell comes in contact with ranging from nanoparticles found in sunscreen to proteins that contribute to neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington’s.

Salty and Fatty Lab Course


Consisting of twelve students majoring in physics, biochemistry & molecular biology (BMB), or chemistry, the course focuses on gaining hands-on experience by replicating research to learn advanced laboratory skills, exploring techniques outside of their own discipline, and ultimately designing a new biophysical research project with a goal of obtaining data suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

“You won’t typically find an upper level science course that encompasses such a diversity of disciplines, especially in the laboratory,” stated Frey. Traditionally, undergraduates wouldn’t have this exposure to a problem-based approach across scientific fields until graduate school or later.  Frey and Andresen modeled the course after what students experience during the first six months of graduate school.  

“I saw the class as an opportunity to explore an area of physics (biophysics) that was not taught in the traditional curriculum,” said physics major Sarah Hansen ’17. “In all of the sciences, it is almost impossible to do any research without connecting it to other sciences.  In this class, we were able to connect physics, biology, and chemistry to look at different problems and systems from differing vantage points.”

Salty & Fatty Lab CourseInitially students were responsible for teaching mini lessons on all the major topics and techniques that were studied throughout the semester. After that, six weeks of the course were conducted as a “Biophysics Bootcamp.” This was an opportunity for students to learn how to read scientific papers, use biophysics techniques and design protocols, perform data analysis, and gain the tools necessary to work independently in the lab. Working in pairs from different disciplines, the students recreated three experiments to refine their skills.

“We want students to learn how to interact as a working scientist too,” said Andresen. “It’s one thing to excel at presenting a PowerPoint, it’s another to be able to have an intelligent informal discussion amongst your peers. Your scientific reputation is based on being able to talk about your research in this way.”

David Van Doren ’16, a BMB major, was excited about the independent research opportunity that encompassed the second half of the course, “We were able to research a biophysics related topic and design a set of experiments that have not been performed before.”  Each experiment went through a peer-review process in the class where students had to explain and defend their proposal.

Celebration w/ Van Doren & HansenVan Doren worked with Hansen to investigate the properties of pH-sensitive liposomes, which could potentially function as a drug-delivery system. “Liposomes can release their internal contents when they are exposed to an acidic environment,” said Van Doren. “They show promise in the field of drug- delivery, as they can be constructed to release their drug contents at very specific locations of the body as long as they are more acidic than the surrounding environment.”  Their research has the potential to work as a cancer treatment by eradicating cancer cells, as tumor regions are often more acidic than the rest of the body.

“Working across disciplines and making these connections changes the types of research questions you can answer,” stated Andresen. “We wanted the students to have the opportunity to research a new question, something that has never been explored before, that they could potentially submit for publication.”

Van Doren agrees, “Many professional labs are moving towards interdisciplinary collaboration to begin solving problems that have not been solved using single-disciplinary approaches.”

This is the first science course in a series that utilizes multiple disciplines in a laboratory setting. The next course, “X:Lab: Drugs and Cells,” will focus on the intersection of biology and chemistry, taught by health sciences Prof. Josef Brandauer and chemistry Prof. Tim Funk. 

Tue, 23 Jun 2015 03:05:12 EDT
Alums celebrated for career, service accomplishments Over Commencement and Reunion Weekend, 10 alumni were recognized for their service and career accomplishments. The awards were distributed by the Alumni Association in four categories: Meritorious Service, Young Alumni Achievement in the areas of Career Development and Service to the College, and Distinguished Alumni.

“These are the highest awards given by the Alumni Association,” explained Susan Pyron ’83, Associate Vice President for Annual Giving, Alumni and Parent Relations. “It is a wonderful opportunity to lift these shining alumni up for their service and career achievements.”

The alums recognized this year join the ranks of other distinguished alumni like Three-Star General and Judge Advocate General Flora Darpino ’83, Executive Director of UNICEF Carol Bellamy ’63, NAACP president Bruce Gordon ’68, and founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Conservation Fund Patrick Noonan ’65.

Get to know this year’s award recipients and their accomplishments:

Robert S. Jones Jr. ’65

F. Barry Shaw ’65

Sarah Calhoun ’00

Susan L. Useem ’05

Melissa Cook Kiehl ’00

Marna Suarez Redding ’00

H. Scott Higgins ’67

Kathryn Morris ’92

Orin S. Levine ’88

Sandra Berlin Walker ’78

Robert S. Jones Jr. ’65, 2015 Meritorious Service Award

As an undergraduate, Jones was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and played varsity football. He graduated from Gettysburg College with a B.A. degree, majoring in Economics. He later earned his CLU designation in 1971, ChFC degree in 1982, and finished the Advanced Management Program at Harvard’s Graduate School of Business in 1987.

Jones joined AXA Equitable in 1965 and served as the Executive Vice President, Head of Retail, and Chairman of AXA Advisors. In this position, Jones had overall responsibility for the management of the company retail field force, including its 6,000 financial professionals and 54 branch offices nationwide and in Puerto Rico.

He has served Gettysburg College on the Board of Trustees from 1988 to 2000 and was elected Trustee Emeritus in 2001.  He has served on the National Campaign Steering Committee, Campaign Executive Committee, and New York Regional Committee during the Unfinished Work Campaign, as well as the Trustee Gifts Committee, Board of Fellows, and Residential and Social Life Advisory Committee.  In addition he has served on his class Reunion Committees and chaired his 40th Reunion Committee.

An ardent philanthropic supporter of the College, he established the Robert S. Jones Endowed Scholarship.  In support of Bullet Athletics, he has served on the Orange & Blue Advisory Council and financially supported Bobby Jones Softball Field and facilities in the Jaeger Center.

F. Barry Shaw ’65, 2015 Meritorious Service Award

As a Gettysburg College undergraduate, Shaw played on the varsity football team and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. He graduated in 1965, majoring in Business Administration.

Shaw has made a tremendous professional impact as Chairman of the Board for Wenger’s Feed Mill, Inc. Under his leadership, the company grew from one feed mill to eight, and developed one of the first amino feeding programs for commercial egg laying in the United States.

He has served Gettysburg College on the Board of Trustees from 1987 to 2000 and was elected Trustee Emeritus in 2002. He has served as Annual Fund National Chair, Board of Fellows Chair, on the Alumni Executive Board, Class Reunion Committees, Trustee Gifts Committee, and National Major Gifts Committee. He was a member of the Commission on the Future and Gift Recognition Task Force.

Shaw was instrumental in organizing the 1964 Football Reunion in September 2010. He replicated these efforts in September 2014 when, at the Hall of Athletic Honor induction ceremony, the team was recognized as a Team of Distinction in Bullet Athletics.

In recognition of their philanthropic support, Shaw and his wife, Barbara ’65, are members of the College’s Benefactors Circle.

Sarah Calhoun ’00, 2015 Young Alumni Achievement Award for Career Development


Calhoun has nearly two decades of leadership experience in both the non-profit and small business sectors, working in the outdoor education industry before founding Red Ants Pants in 2006, a company based in Montana that makes high-quality work pants for women. In 2011, she established her own nonprofit, the Red Ants Pants Foundation, which focuses on women’s leadership in rural areas. The foundation hosts an annual music festival that has attracted a variety of high-profile performers.

Calhoun has been featured in more than 20 publications, including the Boston Globe and the cover of Country Woman magazine. She was invited to the White House in 2011 to attend the Business Leaders’ Forum on Jobs and Economic Competitiveness. Closer to home, she was named 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year for the State of Montana.

As a Gettysburg student, Calhoun participated in the Gettysburg Recreational Adventure Board (GRAB) and volunteered for the Center for Public Service. She graduated with a B.A. degree, majoring in Environmental Studies. In 2012, she returned to campus to speak with current students and deliver a TEDx talk.

Susan L. Useem ’05, 2015 Young Alumni Achievement Award for Career Development


Useem is the founder, director, and producer of Spotted Frog Productions, a nonprofit documentary production agency dedicated to increasing awareness about conflicts and social issues around the world. Her first documentary, Which Way to War?, details religious conflicts and terrorist attacks in Poso, Indonesia, and their aftermath. It premiered at the Action Film Festival in Pasadena, California, in 2009, where Useem won the Best Female Filmmaker Award. Spotted Frog Productions also won the Award of Excellence in Documentary Film at The IndieFest Competition in La Jolla, California, in 2009.

Now living in Bali, Indonesia, Useem is working on a feature-length documentary, The Peace Agency, about a woman named Lian Gogali who has created a grassroots interfaith movement to bring peace and inter-religious tolerance to the region. She also owns Frozen Yogi, Indonesia’s first self-serve frozen yogurt restaurant, and is the founder and director of PT. Sinar Susu Murni, a foreign investment company based in Bali.

Useem graduated from Gettysburg College Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. degree, majoring in Philosophy and minoring in International Relations. As an undergraduate, she participated in the GRAB Experiential Education Program, lead and organized the Artistic Mind Theme House, and studied abroad in India.

Melissa Cook Kiehl ’00, 2015 Young Alumni Achievement Award for Service


As a Gettysburg College student, Kiehl was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, the Owl & Nightingale Players, and Skyptical Chemists. She graduated from Gettysburg with B.S. degree, majoring in Chemistry, and then earned a Master’s in Teaching from Towson University and a Doctorate of Education in Science Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Maryland College Park.

Kiehl currently oversees the Gifted and Talented Students program at Mt. Hebron High School in Maryland. She instructs research-based courses and oversees an intern/mentor program. She is also an adjunct faculty member at McDaniel College, where she teaches graduate-level education courses.

As an alumna, she has shared her professional talents, engaging with students through the Center for Career Development as a Career Connector and has served on her 5th, 10th, and 15th Reunion Committees.  She’s a K.A.R.E. (Admissions) volunteer and has served as co-Chair of the Baltimore Alumni Club.  She recently completed two terms of service on the College’s Alumni Board of Directors, serving on the Campus Programs and Nominating Committees.

Marna Suarez Redding ’00, 2015 Young Alumni Achievement Award for Service


As an undergraduate at Gettysburg College, Redding was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, CHEERS, and interned with the Office of Residence Life. She graduated with a B.A. degree, majoring in Psychology before going on to earn a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from Miami University of Ohio in 2002.

Redding is currently the Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement at Union College in Schenectady, New York, where she manages the Alumni Office, leads the Alumni Council, and has created new fundraising and engagement initiatives.

In her alumna service, she co-chaired her 15th Reunion Committee and has previously served on her 5th and 10th Reunion Committees.  She has been her Class Correspondent since 2002, a Class Agent, is a K.A.R.E. (Admissions) volunteer and has hosted an Alumni Send-Off for members of the Class of 2017 in Albany, New York.

H. Scott Higgins ’67, 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award


Higgins is Founder and CEO of Veterans Advantage, Inc., the nation’s leading military card program, which creates and delivers benefits to over 100 million active duty and military veterans, and their families.

He served as Trustee and Co-Chair of the New York Shakespeare Festival for 18 years, and was appointed by the New York City Mayor to Co-Chair the New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission, where he was responsible for the design, funding, and building of the memorial, as well as the publishing of bestseller Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam. He was also an active member of the Freedoms Foundation Board from 2004-10.

Higgins graduated from Gettysburg College with a B.A. in History. As an undergraduate, he was the co-founder of the men’s lacrosse team, captain of the wrestling team, and a member of ROTC and Phi Delta Theta. He served in Vietnam as an Army Lieutenant. Upon his return, he earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. As a Gettysburg alumnus, Higgins served as a member of the Board of Trustees and currently holds Trustee Emeritus status. He is a member of the Gettysburg Hall of Athletic Honor, Cupola Society, and 1832 Society.

Kathryn Morris ’92, 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award


Morris is Provost, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Professor of Psychology at Butler University. Her areas of expertise include social psychology, psychology of gender, methodology, and statistics. She previously served as Chair of the Department of Psychology at Butler.

Morris graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. degree, majoring in Psychology, from Gettysburg College. As an undergraduate, she served as an orientation leader, an intern in the Admissions Office, and a member of the German Club, in addition to being both a research and teacher’s assistant in the Psychology Department. Morris then earned a master of art and doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. Recently, she received a Certificate in Higher Education Leadership from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Orin S. Levine ’88, 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award


Levine is the Director of the Vaccine Delivery Global Development Program for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington, leading the Foundation’s efforts to accelerate the introduction of new vaccines and related technologies to improve routine immunization systems. Prior to this, he worked at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, where he lead the highly successful PneumoADIP project that accelerated access to pneumonia vaccines for millions of children worldwide. His expertise is frequently requested for appearances in print, radio, and television across the globe.

Levine graduated from Gettysburg with a degree in Management, and then went on to earn a doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. As an undergraduate, he was a member of Sigma Chi, and played on the Bullets lacrosse team.

Sandra Berlin Walker ’78, 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award

Sarah Berlin Walker

Walker is President and CEO of the Greater Cincinnati YMCA. She focuses on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Under her leadership, the Greater Cincinnati YMCA’s After School Child Care Program was selected by YUSA as the top evidence-based program in the nation. Her career with the YMCA spans 35 years, previously acting as Senior Vice President of Operations for the YMCA of Greater Boston. Locally, she serves on the STRIVE Partnership Executive Committee, focused on driving student success outcomes through collective impact. She is a founding member of the Human Services Chamber of Hamilton County and currently serves as Treasurer.

Walker graduated from Gettysburg College with a B.A. degree, majoring in Psychology, then earned a graduate degree in Counseling and Personal Services from the University of Maryland, College Park. As an undergraduate, she served as VP of Education for Delta Gamma, was an Executive Committee member of the Psi Chi psychology honorary society, and played for the Bullets women’s basketball team.

Mon, 22 Jun 2015 11:48:23 EDT
Global perspectives: Q&A with Greg Pinchbeck '90 Global crisis management. Those three words can strike trepidation into the heart of many, but for Greg Pinchbeck ’90, it’s all part of his daily job responsibilities at Citigroup. Pinchbeck, a history major, is responsible for ensuring that Consumer business and technology is operational across more than 30 countries.  As the Global Head of Business Continuity, Crisis Management and Third Party Risk Management for Global Consumer Banking at Citigroup, he also leads the crisis management function for business interruptions, as necessary.

His experience made him an ideal selection for the inaugural lecture in a series entitled, “Going Global: Challenges and Opportunities,” initiated by the Center for the Study of Global Issues (CSGI). The lecture series seeks to explore the global activities of Gettysburg alumni and bring these experiences back to campus.

Pinchbeck greets students after the lecture

CSGI Director and Political Science Professor Caroline Hartzell recently sat down with Pinchbeck for a Q&A session about his Gettysburg College experience. While on campus, Pinchbeck also had the opportunity to speak to Prof. Yasemin Akbaba’s International Relations course about his career.

Greg Pinchbeck '90CH: What drew you to Gettysburg College for your undergraduate education?

GP: It was a definitive choice- I applied early decision and got accepted. I had a great college advisor who knew a lot about Gettysburg, and of course, athletics – I knew I wanted to swim in college. I did an overnight visit and met the team and knew I didn’t want to apply to any other colleges. It was one application and done!

CH: Wow, that’s impressive! Where there any particular programs initially that attracted you to Gettysburg?

GP: The element of history around the town of Gettysburg, the Civil War, and the battlefield attracted me. I can’t think of a better place to study Civil War history.

CH: What were some of the highlights, academic or otherwise of your Gettysburg education?

GP: The history major and Prof. Charles Glatfelter’s historical methods course were absolutely highlights. I also specifically remember Philosophy Prof. Lisa Portmess’ course, Contemporary Moral Issues, for teaching how to rationalize or reason with different perspectives.  I was talking to Prof. Akbaba’s students about the value of being able to support either side of an argument, because you’re not going to always get your way in business. You have to understand the other side when decisions are made that may not support your viewpoint. 

CH: Please give a brief description of your career – how did you get into your line of work?

GP: I interned my junior year for NBC Sports. I received that opportunity through a parent of a fellow student and I leveraged it into a full-time position after college. My experience involved everything from monitoring Standards for a Letterman show or Saturday Night Live script read-through to working in the back office. 

After that, I moved to Texas to join up with a college roommate because we were offered jobs through his father, at a medical equipment manufacturing startup.  It was a Japanese-owned company that wanted more of a direct presence in North America.

Shortly after that experience, I took my first job at Bank One in risk management. When they were purchased by JP Morgan, I was offered a global role. I maintained connections in the banking industry and as people moved around, they reached back to me to ask for help in solving similar problems we faced at JP Morgan.

When I left there, I went to work for a former JP Morgan colleague at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which was an interesting job working for a foreign bank in the United States. I was offered a larger role at Citigroup, so I went to Citigroup after my time at RBS.

In my current position, I work with crisis management, business continuity, and help the Bank manage through any type of event - including natural, manmade, and technology events. I focus on trying to keep the Consumer Bank as resilient as possible. To do that, different banking channels need to be available to consumers in the countries we are in, such as the mobile application, Citibank online, the ability to pull money out of an ATM, talk to a teller or a Call Center.  We try to minimize downtime when events occur.

Third party risk management is the third aspect of my job. We have thousands of suppliers that we work with and have to manage all of those relationships as well as make sure that such things as personal information is secure externally.

CH: What are some of the major challenges you face in your line of work? How well did your liberal arts education prepare you to meet those challenges?

GP: One challenge is working across time zones with different cultures. In a company this large with so many countries, trying to remain in contact with enough people so you can make an impact within the organization is difficult. In some cases, you may never meet the people in person, and in a lot of cases, you might meet them once a year at best. How do you get things done when they don’t report to you? You may not have the same priorities. There is a lot of influencing that goes on- the ability to rationalize and present clearly, verbally or written, in email communications is critical. I draw on my liberal arts education for that every day.

I also spend a lot of time hiring the right people and the right skillsets because if you can trust the person to get the job done on time with a reasonable level of quality, you don’t have to manage as closely.

CH: How important do you think it is for students today to acquire a globally-oriented education? How do you think Gettysburg College can best help students prepare to function in an increasingly globalized environment?

GP: Take advantage of the opportunity to go abroad. Getting out of your comfort zone is very important. I think being fluent in a foreign language would be helpful, in some cases, it differentiates one candidate from the next for me during the hiring process. A lot of countries will require documents in the local language, even though Citi is a US based company, so you need to understand some of those documents.

In your first job, you need to find a manager who understands you may not have a lot of experience coming out of college and is interested in developing you over time.

CH: Were there any connections that you made at Gettysburg College that helped you along your career path?

GP: I absolutely leveraged connections here through people I knew and their parents. When I talk to people of my generation, they regret that they didn’t take the time to understand what peoples’ parents did or get to know them as much as they probably should have and to leverage that as part of the broader Gettysburg Network.  I learned so much at those first two jobs skill-wise that I could apply later on in my career. I view them as some of the most important jobs that I’ve had in my life for setting the tone of my career.

CH: I know you’ve been involved in mentoring Gettysburg students through the Center for Career Development – can you tell me a bit about that?

There are a number of us in the same class year who have hosted 4-6 students for a dinner in New York for the past three years. We try to let them direct the conversation when we meet. I’m interested in hearing what they want to know about, what they want to learn, what concerns them.  It provides us with access to the students and the ability to give back. There’s more pressure now than when I went to school, the parents’ expectations are higher to find jobs right away after graduation. College is supposed to equip you with skills to go out on your own and leverage a network. You don’t need an offer letter in your inbox or mailbox by the time you hit graduation.

I try to tell my nephew, a rising senior at Gettysburg, think about your lifestyle or passion as well. What do you like to do? What makes you happy? Take some time to figure out how to make money doing that. Nothing has to be forever, try it for a couple years and see where it takes you. You’re not going to be happy in the workforce if you don’t have some sort of passion.

Mon, 22 Jun 2015 09:39:17 EDT
Dave Hauser '08 explores the intersections of war, metaphor, and cancer research What if the way that we discussed and understood cancer impacted our ability to prevent the disease in the first place?

We often use metaphors like “war on cancer,” “battling the disease,” and “surviving the fight” to talk about cancer. But what if those war-like metaphors unintentionally influence how we deal with cancer?

For Dave Hauser ’08, those questions have defined his research in conceptual metaphor theory since he began to pursue a Ph.D. in social psychology at the University of Michigan.

“This is an exciting area. Outside of anecdotal evidence and speculation, there is no real evidence one way or the other,” Hauser explained. “There is speculation on both sides. That’s what makes it so interesting to do research in this area. No matter what the results will be, it will have an impact on both sides of the debate.”

After working on this research for the past few years, Hauser and his research partner Norbert Schwarz of the University of Southern California published an article analyzing their results in December of 2014.

Essentially, they’ve found that war-like metaphors have unintended negative side-effects.

“War metaphors force us to think of cancer as an enemy that we are at war with,” Hauser explained. “People don’t think of engaging in passive or even self-limiting preventative measures when they think of war, so when they think of cancer in those terms, they are less likely to engage in these tactics to lower their risk of cancer.”

Their article very quickly gained national attention – it was the subject of a podcast with On the Media, a Q&A with Cancer Today, and numerous articles published online, including coverage in The Guardian, New York Magazine, and TIME. While Hauser finds the attention a bit surreal, he is grateful for the multiple perspectives it brings to his research.

“It’s been hectic but exciting. This is the first time I’ve received this kind of feedback, and it has forced me to think about my research in different ways,” Hauser said.


These results, combined with the overwhelming reaction to them, have encouraged Hauser to build upon his research. In fact, he is already looking at new areas to focus on, like whether or not these war metaphors encourage people to volunteer for more aggressive treatment than they might actually need.

Conceptual metaphor theory has long been a research area of interest for Hauser. A psychology major, he first began to explore this area while working as a research assistant for Prof. Brian Meier.

After spending his sophomore year learning how to conduct experiments and analyze research, Hauser developed his own experiments and had even published an article on those results by the time that he graduated.

“I learned right away that Dave was very sharp, responsible, and curious, and that he could be a very good researcher in psychology,” Meier said. “By the time that he left Gettysburg, he was doing everything that most students in graduate programs are doing.”

The ability to conduct research and analyze those results really left an impact on Hauser.

“Every professor in the psychology department was incredibly influential in my research,” Hauser stated. “Having three years of hands-on experience with multiple professors isn’t something you get at a larger institution.”

Meier also noted that Hauser quickly built upon the formative experiences he had at Gettysburg when he began conducting his research at Michigan.

“He’s continued this work in a way, but he has really taken it so much farther,” Meier explained. “He isn’t just examining how we use metaphors to understand complex concepts. He is taking it a step further and trying to understand how those metaphors in turn influence our behavior. It’s fascinating.”

However, this research has come full circle for Hauser as he has begun mentoring students the way that Meier mentored him as an undergrad.

“I’ve been working a lot with research assistants on these studies, and it’s funny in that I approach working with them much in the same way that Brian has worked with me,” Hauser said.

“At Gettysburg, we would hold these round table discussions of articles and research that we would do. At Michigan, I found myself going back to those patterns. I run my labs much the same way as Brian did at Gettysburg.”

Mon, 22 Jun 2015 11:32:04 EDT
Lessons from Avatar: Media shapes (and is shaped by) the environment When you think of media, you might think of film or video games. Perhaps you think of the Internet. Newspapers. Photography. But have you ever thought about the environment? Prof. Salma Monani has helped to formalize an entire field—called ecomedia studies—that is focused on doing just that: researching and thinking about how the media shapes—and is shaped—by nature and the world around us.

“We often think of environmental issues as separate from social issues and that it’s not about people. But when you look at people and different cultures, you start to realize that the environment is very much about people,” said Monani.

The environmental studies professor recently won a fellowship for her research on Native American film from the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, which is an international center that focuses on advancing discussion about the interaction between humans and nature and strengthening the role of the humanities in current political and scientific debates about the environment.

Monani is one of only 31 recipients selected to spend a year in Germany to write and share her research. Only 7% were selected in what was the most competitive round of selections to date. Prof. Cassie Hayes of the sociology department was also awarded a fellowship, which she will complete next year.

Monani will head to Munich this fall, joining a small cohort of other environmental humanities scholars.  She has spent the last few years engaging with indigenous media, primarily analyzing Native American film for its intersections with the environment. She will spend the next academic year writing about that research.

“Film is a really powerful tool for Native Americans to use because it has the oral aspect—that old tradition of storytelling— so it’s a natural extension of thinking about how to tell their stories.”

Using examples of different types of Native American films, Monani will explore the diverse environmental messages conveyed through each film’s structure or narrative, and its cultural context, from production to reception.

Salma MonaniThat area of focus is one she also brings to her classes on campus.  For example, she shares popular examples of films like Avatar—a film about a fictional place called Pandora that humans are looking to colonize—  to make the point that movies and media are shaped by the environment, but they also have a role in doing some of the shaping.

“There was a dam that was going to be built in Brazil, and the natives there invited [Avatar Director] James Cameron to come speak on their behalf. We talk about how a fictional movie like Avatar is shaped by reality, but it also has an impact on shaping how we talk about the environment,” Monani said. “What I’d like my students to know is that the environment is everywhere, and I want them to bring that consciousness to everything they do.”

There are also many different stakeholders who decide what’s talked about, and when, she said.

“What distinguishes our environmental studies program here at Gettysburg College is that the link between the natural sciences and the social sciences and humanities is clear. We say, ‘here is how humanists approach this, but also what does it mean to understand the other side?’”

Monani grew up in India and came to the U.S. to attend college, where she fell in love with every class she took.  One of her undergraduate requirements was a geology class, which was her first formalized experience in thinking about the environment academically.

She said she sees her work at Gettysburg as a productive and invaluable intersection between a variety of disciplines.   

“It’s so cool to be in an environment where our students are challenging themselves to explore different ways of approaching the world. It’s incredible to see them making connections across disciplinary boundaries.”

Salma Monani

Monani practices what she preaches when it comes to interdisciplinary work. She’s coached students to think about the bigger picture when completing their senior honors theses, often asking how their projects link to other disciplines. She herself has a dynamic background—her Ph.D. degree is in Science and Technical Communication, but she also has an M.A. degree in creative writing and an M.S. degree in Geology.

“I don’t think I would be doing what I’m doing if it weren’t for my interdisciplinary background. The environment is not something you can come at from one angle. The humanities side of that is understanding that there are different people involved in environmental issues, and each one comes with his or her own cultural background,” she said. “So you’ll have the scientists, you’ll have the politicians, you’ll have the citizens, and to be able to understand where people are coming from, and how their cultural backgrounds frame their ideas and actions—that’s incredibly valuable.”

To learn more about Prof. Monani’s background and research, visit her page at

Thu, 18 Jun 2015 11:43:31 EDT
The Oracle of Omaha: Gettysburgians meet one of history‚Äôs best investors “There is no big difference between watching him talk on the television and talking to him in person because he is himself all the time: funny, honest, straightforward, and thoughtful,” said Weiting Li ’16 of her experience meeting Warren Buffett, the CEO widely known for his investment and business savvy.

Smart Women SecuritiesThis past spring, Phoebe Do ’17, Li, and Sara Mater ’16 had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Omaha, Nebraska to meet the “Oracle of Omaha” personally, representing Gettysburg College’s Smart Woman Securities (SWS) organization, which focuses on investment education for undergraduate women.  They were joined by 51 members from 20 other SWS chapters across the country, including representation from top schools like Harvard and Princeton. 

During the three-day trip, they also had the opportunity to meet Fortune 500 executives and tour the headquarters of companies like TD Ameritrade and those led by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., among others.

“Buffet’s humility was amazing. He showed patience. He was humorous,” said Mater, who was the president of SWS at Gettysburg in the 2014-15 school year. “My greatest takeaway was about the importance of communication. Buffet said he invested in a Dale Carnegie class because he was shy and needed to build his communications skills. That resonated with me because we really emphasize the lifelong value of communication here at Gettysburg.”

Smart Women Securities

Echoes in Omaha

Connections to Gettysburg—authentic, and some seemingly coincidental— were evident throughout the trip. Mater shared that the group toured Gallup, which created StrengthsQuest, a tool the Garthwait Leadership Center uses to help its leaders develop and understand their talents.

“[On our tour], the first thing they asked was if we took the test. We were the only students out of the whole group to actually have taken it,” she said.

In addition to the leadership connection, the trip featured a workshop about branding yourself that referenced Gettysburg Prof. James Hamerstone’s book, A Woman’s Framework for a Successful Career and Life. Hamerstone has provided ongoing mentorship and guidance for the SWS organization on campus, Mater said, and seeing his work used in Omaha led her to a revelation about her own college experience.

“It made me realize the value of a Gettysburg College liberal arts education on a small campus—the fact that we have the ability to really get to know professors who are leaders in their fields. We have so many great professors who have done amazing things—and it shows when we go on a trip like this and see their work referenced and put into action.”

On Campus Opportunities

Throughout the year, SWS hosts a fall seminar series that addresses topics in personal finance and investing.  The group has also worked with partners on campus— including Career Development and the Eisenhower Institute— to bring in speakers. In the spring, members put what they learn into practice through participating in activities like a stock market portfolio competition and national programs, including a mentorship through JP Morgan— just one opportunity of many offered to SWS members.

Smart Women Securities

Every component of the organization’s programming is focused on helping women learn how to manage their finances and come together as part of a financial club that’s not male dominated, which is often the case for other programs on campuses across the country. Members come from different backgrounds and hold a variety of career goals.

Mater, a Biology major and Chemistry minor, plans to apply to medical school. Do—a Globalization Studies and Mathematical Economics major—and Li—a Sociology major—both have an interest in finance and business.  Do, who will serve as SWS’s chief development officer next year, said she wants more Gettysburg College women to learn about and join SWS, regardless of major.

“The sooner you start to invest, the better. College is the time to learn—when are you going to get that opportunity outside of college?” she said. “My favorite part about [my involvement] is it’s a practical experience that has helped me develop professional skills and introduce me to independent, strong ladies who share my interests.”

Next year, SWS will continue to build partnerships to increase visibility and create more opportunities for its members. For example, SWS built a partnership with Public Financial Management Group, a group of companies that provide financial advisory services to government and non-profit organizations. Uyen Le ’16, who will serve as the president of SWS at Gettysburg in the coming school year, will be interning there this summer.

“Smart Woman Securities is a great organization because everyone is going to need experience with investments and investing—everyone is going to deal with that someday,” said Mater. “The opportunities Gettysburg College has are numerous, especially getting involved with an organization like SWS that can help you learn real world skills as an undergraduate. You don’t have to wait until graduation.”

To learn more about SWS, visit

Tue, 16 Jun 2015 11:33:15 EDT
Video: Spring 2015 - The Semester in Review Watch the Spring 2015 - Semester in Review video slideshow.

From the Twilight Walk and winter snow storms to April showers and Commencement, the Gettysburg College community has kept busy over the past semester.

Students took advantage of their winter break, participating in Immersion trips, career development opportunities, and academic conferences around the world.

They spent their semester studying abroad, giving back, and making an impact. They remembered Selma and held a vigil for Nepal.

Students excelled both in and out of the classroom, and at the end of the semester, we celebrated the accomplishments of 613 graduating seniors during the College’s 180th Commencement.

Photos by the Office of Communications & Marketing and other members of our campus community.

Submit your Gettysburg photos to and they could be used as Photo of the Day.

Tue, 16 Jun 2015 11:32:49 EDT
The art of medicine: alum shares experience as nurse and doctor Athlete. Resident Assistant. Doctor. Surgeon. Mother. Registered nurse.

Those words all describe one alum, Dr. Jocelyn Idema ’99, who this past fall was named to the Becker’s Spine Review list, “38 spine surgeons under 40 to know.” When you meet Idema, it’s easy to understand why her colleagues nominated her for the honor. She has the qualities every patient wants in a doctor: she’s smart, focused, and personable, someone who makes an effort to connect with you. 

“[The award] was a complete shock to me. My husband told me, ‘look at this, you’re in Becker’s Spine!’ I was completely surprised and humbled,” Idema said. “It was very nice considering it’s a very long haul to get to this point of not only being certified, but then also being recognized by other people in your specialty.”

After over 10 years of intensive study, fellowships, internships, and residency requirements completed across the country—including Arizona, Oklahoma, Maryland and Pennsylvania—Idema is now a spine surgeon at The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics in the mid-Maryland Muskuloskeletal Institute Division.    

From biology major to nurse and doctor

Dr. IdemaA Biology major and Chemistry minor while an undergraduate at Gettysburg, Idema started her professional medical studies at the School of Nursing at John Hopkins University as a labor and delivery nurse. But after beginning the accelerated 13-month program there, Idema decided she wanted to pursue her goal of attending medical school. A few months before completing nursing school, she was accepted to both The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM).

Idema would go on to pursue a doctorate of osteopathic medicine from PCOM, choosing the program for its focus on manual medicine, which uses palpation and physical techniques to help diagnose and treat musculoskeletal issues.

“I’ve never examined a medical condition in isolation. It’s not how osteopaths look at things. If you have pain in your back, we look at the whole patient. Is it your ankle? Is it stress? That perspective allows me to draw from more tools in my arsenal to fix the problem,” she said.

Her minimally invasive spine surgery and motion preservation techniques allow Idema’s patients to recover more quickly – some even going home within 24 hours of having surgery.

Seeing the bigger picture

Idema’s well-rounded focus was perhaps most evident in her involvement on campus at Gettysburg. She was involved in drama. She became a resident assistant. She was also a talented swimmer, attracted to campus from Utah, where she graduated from high school early. She had been scouted by Ivy League and other top schools, but chose Gettysburg for its academic reputation.

Dr. Idema

“My parents grew up in York, and my grandparents grew up in Dillsburg, so I was very familiar with the area and was looking for a good swimming program. The idea of being a big fish in a small pond appealed to me,” she said. “I wanted a well-rounded education, but also a program that was recognized for the sciences.” 

As a first-year, Idema earned All-American Honorable Mention status as a member of the 400-medley relay and 800-freestyle relay.  During her time at Gettysburg, the women’s swim team won four straight Centennial Conference titles and lost just one dual meet.

An education for the future

Between her activities and studies, it all “clicked” for Idema at Gettysburg.

“When you swim, you pull [muscles] every once in awhile, so that played a role in it,” Idema said, explaining how she became interested in medicine. “Taking anatomy and physiology classes [at Gettysburg] felt right. When I was a student, there was also a mobile RV they used to treat people in the area for free, and I volunteered for that my sophomore through junior year. I loved being able to interact with people and help them feel better.”

Idema said Gettysburg had everything she needed to successfully apply and prepare for medical school. She attended lectures from visiting doctors—first hearing about and becoming interested in osteopathic medicine from one of those sessions. She was able to shadow doctors at the nearby hospital. She excelled in the biology and chemistry program, developing the intellectual stamina needed to excel in the medical field. Perhaps most importantly, she learned the people skills needed to help her connect with her patients—what ultimately separates the “good” doctors from the “great” ones.  

“Not every patient who walks in is going to be a cookie cutter of the last person you saw. Everyone comes from a different background and culture. Having a liberal arts education gave me well-rounded tools to draw from.” Idema said. “The art of medicine has largely been lost through the technical age. A lot of my success is due to what I learned about communication from my time on campus—I engage people. I communicate. I listen.”

Read more about Dr. Idema on her website,

Mon, 15 Jun 2015 04:27:36 EDT
Building a Bond to the Past An assignment in one of his history courses helped give Gettysburg College swimmer and history major Jason Lamoreaux ’15 a whole new perspective on the impact of World War II and the veterans that fought to preserve peace and justice.

Jason Lamoreaux '15Tasked with conducting a 90-minute oral history with someone born before 1930, Lamoreaux chose to interview his maternal grandfather, Herb Levy, a veteran of WWII. In addition to the assignment, Lamoreaux traveled with his grandfather to the 70th anniversary of the Allied landings at Normandy, also known as D-Day.

“Many students find this project to be a meaningful experience,” stated Professor Michael Birkner, who issued the assignment. “I’d say interviewing a grandparent who was involved in something as important as the Normandy invasion takes that experience up a notch.”

Lamoreaux had heard snippets about his grandfather’s experience throughout his childhood, but his assignment and subsequent trip to Normandy opened a whole new door.

Levy“I saw a side of him I had never seen before,” said Lamoreaux. “I think he likes to conceal that and I don’t think he likes to talk about that time of his life because of the death and destruction he witnessed.”

Levy, a native of Philadelphia, had spent just one semester in college when he was drafted into the Army in 1943. He was 18 years old without a driver’s license and had never picked up a rifle. Just days after the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, he landed on Utah Beach. Levy helped dispose of the dead bodies littering the beaches before beginning his duties as a member of the Army Corps of Engineers.

For the next 18 months, Levy was charged with building bridges and airways throughout France and Europe, allowing the Allied forces to push back the Germans and eventually win the war. After more than two years in the military, he was discharged a week shy of his 21st birthday.

Seven decades later, Lamoreaux walked the same sandy pathways and streets alongside his grandfather as the world celebrated the efforts of everyone involved in the invasion.

“It was the first time he’d gone back to the actual beach,” recalled Lamoreaux. “He had been back in there area since then, but that was the first time he’d been back on that particular beach. I could see his eyes tearing up a bit. Everyone treated him like a superstar; they definitely appreciated what he did.”

Veterans and their families were invited to ceremonies and events connected to the D-Day anniversary. Many of the world’s leaders were in attendance, including Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, and Queen Elizabeth.

It was at one of these ceremonies that Lamoreaux came face-to-face with the reality that was his grandfather’s time in the war.

“At the Sword Beach ceremony, there was a presentation and a video,” said the Wayne, Pa., native. “I think it was there, seeing these heart-wrenching images in the video, that it hit me what my grandfather had gone through. He wasn’t even my age when he went through all of it. It woke me up to what he went through and it’s something he never really talked about before.”

An architect who worked at the White House during his post-war career, Levy was treated like a professional athlete by the native people according to Lamoreaux. Everywhere he went, he was met with appreciative smiles and questions about his contributions.

Some of those contributions are still being actively used today. During their trip, Lamoreaux and his grandfather came across a pair of Bailey Bridges the latter had built during the campaign. They watched as cars continued to cross the still-sturdy construction.

At the conclusion of the trip, Lamoreaux gained an entirely new perspective about both his grandfather and every veteran of World War II.

“I saw how important everybody who participated in that war really is to how the world is today,” said Lamoreaux. “If it wasn’t for them, who knows what the world would look like today.”

Wed, 10 Jun 2015 10:36:28 EDT
Exploring the unknown: Students conduct innovative research with Tim Funk '00 Getting hands-on experience is an attractive reason for many students to pursue a degree in the sciences at a small liberal arts institution like Gettysburg College. Those who are interested can get so much more than that, though – a select group have been working with chemistry professor Tim Funk '00 to tackle some of the unanswered questions and unexplored areas of chemistry. 

Thanks to the Cross-Disciplinary Science Institute at Gettysburg College, which is funded in part by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, students can spend their summer “hanging out and doing science,” as Funk describes it.

For students, there are no classes to worry about, no papers, tests, or assignments. Instead, they spend forty hours a week for eight to ten weeks completing intensive scientific research in one of the specialized labs on campus.

“Science is a very collaborative field,” Funk explained. “Experimental work of this nature requires a team. We need to work together in order to conduct our research.”

One of several research opportunities available, Funk and his students are actually researching how to develop new iron-based compounds that would more affordably and more sustainably catalyze chemical reactions.


Currently, there is little research done using iron to catalyze common chemical reactions. If they are successful, they will be opening doors for companies who use these common chemical reactions to create commercial goods that are non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and less expensive.

“Learning and understanding how these catalysts work will enable more research on how we can take advantage of this new reactivity,” said Daniel Kim ’12. A chemistry major, he participated in Funk’s summer research lab during the summer before his junior year. Now in his third year of a graduate program at the University of California, Irvine, he is pursuing a Ph.D. while continuing his study using metal-catalysis.

“Research in a small school like Gettysburg was really invaluable, primarily because of the emphasis on one-on-one mentorship,” stated Kim. “Funk gave me the opportunity to learn more about transition metal-catalysis and how they work. This hands-on experience made me a more attractive graduate school applicant, and has helped me be a more successful graduate student.”

That, according to Funk, is the second goal of his summer research lab; he wants to help students become better scientists by gaining an understanding of how to explore some of the less-traversed areas of chemistry.

Chemistry major Kathryn Fodale ’16 worked in Funk’s lab during the summer before her junior year and has continued some of her research during the academic year. One of the things that she enjoys the most, besides the ability to have a significant impact on this research, is how she has learned to think through various obstacles in order to conduct her research.

“The nice thing is that Dr. Funk works very hard with us,” explained Fodale. “He doesn’t tell us what to do. He talks us through these problems and guides us as we try to figure it out.”


Kim would agree, noting that his more memorable moments conducting research stemmed from the mistakes that he made and how he learned from them.

“I’ve caught things on fire,” Kim explained. “I love that Tim gave me the chance to practice using reagents that you learn about in your textbooks. However, writing things down on paper is a lot different than doing the reaction in your fumehood.”

He continued, “Some reagents are extremely sensitive to the moisture in the air. I wasn’t careful with my reagent and it ended up catching my reaction on fire. It was an experience that reminded me about the reactivity of molecules and how special care needs to be taken when setting up a reaction.”

Another practical skill students learn during their summer research program is how to communicate.

“Every Tuesday we would have to present our research,” Fodale recalled. “Not only were we in the lab learning hands on, but we were then learning how to communicate what we were finding. We learned how to discuss it in a science-oriented way, but also in a way that other people can understand.”

So far, the six-year venture has had a few tangible outcomes – Funk and his students have co-authored two scholarly papers on their findings. Other students have presented their research at the regional and national level.

“Ultimately, my goal is to prepare my students to be successful modern chemists,” Funk explained. “Since we’ve received the Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant, we’ve been able to create a full-blown summer research institute. We’ve created a community of students doing science, and they have gained so much from the experience.”

Mon, 08 Jun 2015 09:27:08 EDT