News@Gettysburg Latest news coverage from Gettysburg College Impacting national elections: Three alums work for the RNC When envisioning a dream career, most college students have one thing in common: they want their work to matter.

They want to have an impact, speak up about causes that are important to them, and stand for something meaningful—no matter if it helps one person or one million.

So imagine being fresh out of College and having the ability to impact millions, if not billions, of people through a cause that is important to you.

For three Gettysburgians, that is exactly what they are doing. Harry Fones ’15, Liz Oberg ’15, and Mia Phillips ’16 are currently working for the Republican National Committee (RNC), creating media strategy and analyzing data for political races at the national level.

 Harry Fones, Liz Oberg, and Mia Phillips pose together outside of the RNC.

Working in the field

Both Oberg and Fones work in the same department as research analysts. It was Oberg who connected Fones with his position after bumping into him on the Metro.

“So much of D.C. is being in the right place at the right time,” Fones said.

No two days are the same, he explained, as breaking news and developing events can shift their priorities in an instant.

The excitement of working at the RNC during a presidential election year is contagious, too.

“The Convention in Cleveland was hands down the thing I enjoyed the most,” Oberg said. “Not only was it a remarkable experience to be part of, it was also a total blast.”

Phillips works as a data analyst, and while she loves her day to day routine, the aspect of her work that appeals to her the most is the organization she is a part of and the values it represents.

“Everyone at the RNC is working towards the same goal, and everyday, I am surrounded by passionate, intelligent, and very hard working people,” said Phillips, who works as a data analyst. “It’s such an awesome environment to work in, and it’s what really drew me to working for the RNC after my internship.”

Personalizing politics

While their studies varied, they all cite the political science department as being instrumental in expanding their civic activism.

 “I always had an interest in politics, and had volunteered on campaigns in high school, so I jumped at the opportunity to take Dr. Shirley Anne Warshaw’s American Government course my freshman year,” said Oberg.

“From there, I was hooked.”

The political science major and Spanish minor took every course she could, avidly supplementing her classroom learning with programming offered by the Eisenhower Institute.

“The caliber of the professors that students are fortunate enough to interact with on an “open door” daily basis is incredible,” Oberg said. “They are dedicated to connecting students with alumni who work in DC to be sure that they leave the College ready to understand their options after school.”

Mia Phillips with a sorority sister.

In addition to holding a leadership position with a Greek organization, Mia Phillips ’16 (right) participated in the Institute’s Inside Politics program, was an active member of College Republicans, and was a political science Peer Learning Associate.

Phillips agrees, citing the commitment of her professors to her educational and professional success as nothing short of transformational. Her advisor, Prof. Bruce Larson, was particularly influential, helping her to pursue new opportunities and tackle new challenges.

“Dr. Larson really encouraged me to go after what I wanted,” the history and public policy double major and political science minor said. “I would talk to him about the opportunities I would find online or through the Gettysburg network, and he would share ideas for how we could turn that work into research for my classes. It really shaped how I ended up at the RNC.”

For Fones, his professors became his greatest mentors—not because they shared similar political beliefs, but because they disagreed—respectfully—more than they agreed. In fact, his greatest mentors at Gettysburg—Profs. Don Tannenbaum and Ken Mott, to name a few—all fell on different ends of the political spectrum. Some of his favorite moments were the debates they would get into.

“No one cared what I thought as long as I could explain why,” Fones said.

It’s that foundation that Fones has found the most useful when speaking with voters, political field organizers, and more. A history and political science double major, Fones is not only familiar with the issues, but he also knows their historical roots, can look at them from multiple perspectives, and can explain why they are important, too.

“Iron sharpens iron,” Fones explained. “I’ve been able to put the knowledge and the skills I’ve learned to practical use.”

Enhancing their experience

Of course, there is so much more to a Gettysburg education than what takes place in the classroom.

Both Phillips and Oberg participated in the Eisenhower Institute’s Inside Politics program with renowned political expert and Bush speechwriter Kasey Pipes. Oberg calls her involvement with the Institute the “best decision I’ve ever made.”

“For me, it was more than just panel discussions, experts in residence, fellowship opportunities and networking,” said Oberg, who later became one of the Undergraduate Fellows and headed up the Campus Communications team at the Institute. “Having the opportunity as an undergraduate to see projects through with a team of motivated peers under the leadership and guidance of the Institute’s Executive Director Jeffrey Blavatt ’88 makes it a treasure for students.”

The Institute’s unparalleled networking opportunities did more than just provide Phillips with an insider’s look at the complexities of policy making. It was also how she first learned of the internships that would propel her political career.

“I had connected with Matt Kirincic ’13 and Jim Fellinger ’14 at an event held by the Institute,” the Tri Sigma sister and active College Choir member explained. “After my first internship with the Republican Party of Pennsylvania during the midterm elections, I wanted to expand my experience working with campaigns. They were able to connect me with the program at the RNC.”

Phillips’s connections to the Republican party extended beyond her state- and national-level internships, though. She also served as the Gettysburg College Republicans secretary her junior year—an organization that Fones was deeply committed to during his collegiate years as well.

“College Republicans was one of the biggest things that I was involved in at Gettysburg. It really meant a lot to me,” the Lambda Chi Alpha brother said.

Harry Fones with fellow Gettysburgians at CPAC.

Harry Fones ’15 (center) with fellow Gettysburgians at CPAC.

Through the College’s support of College Republicans, he was able to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)—the “birthplace of modern conservatism” and one of Fones’s more formative experiences as a student.

“That’s where I really started to dip my toe into the political arena,” Fones said. “I got to meet all of the big names—Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, FOX News personalities and presidential candidates—and that’s when I really started to get involved.”

Just a few short years later, Fones is doing more than rubbing elbows with the “big names.” Instead, he is working on the strategy that advances their party.

“If you had told me when I first got to Gettysburg that I would end up working for the RNC, I never would have believed you,” Fones said. “Now, I get to do what I love. And that’s a really neat feeling—to be 23 and to be doing something I love.”

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 04:56:26 EDT
Cordell Boggs ’17, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, and Football When asked about being named a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy—one of the most prestigious academic-oriented awards in college football—Cordell Boggs ’17 smiles and modestly deflects. Instead of talking about the award, he tells a story.

“Last year, I was a junior and [my teammate] Pierce was a senior. We were both tackles on offense, and we weren’t having the best first half of the game,” Boggs said.

“At half time, it was just me and him in the locker room, and he said, ‘I’m challenging you to a tackle battle in the second half. You and I are going to compare who did better, and whoever wins gets bragging rights’—you know, that sort of thing.”

Boggs said the friendly competition helped both him and his teammate perform much better in the second half. More importantly, he learned an important lesson in leadership.

“Neither one of us was doing great. [Pierce] held himself accountable while also holding me accountable, and it brought us both up and made us both better,” Boggs said. “That’s the kind of thing I like to try to do—challenge not only other people but also myself to raise my game and to work a little harder, to be a little smarter. It just breeds competition and makes everything better.

Cordell Boggs ’17 on the fieldThe Campbell Trophy recognizes one player annually for his academic standing, football performance, and community leadership, and it’s not hard to figure out why Boggs was named a semi finalist. He’s humble and self-reflective. As an offensive lineman and the co-captain of the football team, Boggs helped the team lead the Centennial Conference in passing yardage in 2013 and in rushing yardage in 2015. This year, the team currently leads the league in rushing yardage.  In addition to being named a semi finalist for the Campbell Trophy, he is also a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team selection. Off the field, Boggs excels as a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) major.

“Cordell exemplifies everything we want a student athlete to be. He is an exceptional student and an exceptional football player,” said Coach Kevin Burke, the offensive coordinator for the football team. “More importantly, he is an exceptional person. He is proof that you can excel in many different areas as long as you budget your time well and are committed to the task at hand. And as talented as he is in so many areas, I have never heard him be boastful in anyway—he is universally respected by his peers and the entire campus community.”

Teamwork of a different sort

Before Boggs came to Gettysburg, he knew he wanted to play football. He also knew he was interested in the sciences but wasn’t sure what to major in. Boggs only knew he liked that science helped make sense of the world, starting with its smallest pieces. Ultimately, he chose to major in BMB because of its interdisciplinary focus on biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics.

“It’s a way to explain how the world works,” he said. “[Science] can make a connection between everything from a tree to a sky-scraper and helps you see the common thread that holds things together.”

Boggs became particularly interested in synthetic organic chemistry through chemistry Prof. Donald Jameson. After taking Jameson’s general chemistry and organic chemistry course, Boggs became a Peer Learning Associate. This past summer, he worked in Jameson’s lab with a team of three other students on enzyme kinetics research. The project focused on making new organic molecules and determining whether they’d act as inhibitors for enzymes.

Cordell Boggs ’17 with chemistry Prof. Donald Jameson“The process was really interesting because it was the first time I had the chance to do original research and solve a problem that no one knows the answer to,” said Boggs. “When you’re writing papers, you’re finding literature and sources to cite. But this was an opportunity to become the literature—to become the people and research that someone else looks up to cite.”

As part of their research project, Jameson asked Boggs and another research student, Julia Harper ’17, to make a series of new organic molecules, which they completed with several weeks still left in the summer.

“So, I thought let’s try to see if they are good enzyme inhibitors,” said Jameson. “I’m a synthetic organic chemist—I can make molecules. But the enzyme inhibition experiment is a biochemical experiment that I have never done.”

Although Jameson had never done the experiment, he knew Boggs and Harper would know how to complete it, having both taken the biochemistry course.

“So, I told Cordell and Julia to figure out how to do it with our molecules and the enzyme we wanted to study,” said Jameson. “They had to work out quite a few kinks in the experiment before it worked really well, but eventually they got some really good data.  And with very little guidance from me.”

For Boggs, who enjoys being a member of a team, a major worry was that working in a lab would feel isolating. But through his summer research experience, Boggs learned the opposite was true.

“Before this summer, I thought research was one person doing one thing and another person doing another—you’re there together, coexisting, but you’re not really working together,” Boggs said. “In reality, we collaborated, came up with ideas together, and designed experiments together. The ability to rely on those other people and work together to solve this problem—it was a big thing I wasn’t expecting.”

A family for life

As a senior, Boggs is leaving his career options open but is interested in potentially pursuing pharmaceutical research. He also plans to marry his high school sweetheart next year.

“I don’t know what I would have done without that support network of the football team,” Boggs said. “I say support network, but I should probably say family. The upperclassmen took me under their wing and showed me how to lead and how to play football. The underclassmen provided me with the opportunity to mentor. And the seniors now, my class, are some of the best friends I’ve ever had. I’m sure some of them will be at my wedding because it’s that kind of crazy connection that you always hear about. It’s a lifelong connection.”

Watch Boggs speak on Facebook live for the preseason football preview.

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 04:36:24 EDT
Studies in Conflict: Laura Bergin ’17 follows her own path Laura Bergin ’17 had never curated an art exhibition in her life. In fact, she wasn’t even an art history major. Yet that didn’t stop her from proposing and then curating a powerful exhibition on conflict over the course of 10 weeks as an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Summer Scholar.

Bodies in Conflict: From Gettysburg to Iraq,” features photographs, scrapbooks, lithographs, and posters from the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, and the War in Iraq.  It is on display until Oct. 22 in Schmucker Art Gallery.

View photos from the Gallery Talk on Flickr.

Bergin always held an interest in photojournalism, art, and museums. But coming to Gettysburg, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to study.

“I heard about the option to design my own major and thought that was a great possibility for me,” said Bergin. In her sophomore year she was approved through the Interdisciplinary Studies program for a self-designed major called “Images of Conflict.”  Her major combines classes in journalism; Cinema & Media Studies; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Globalization Studies; Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies; and Anthropology.

“Through that process I learned to think critically about what I’m truly passionate about and to understand that passion from different perspectives,” said Bergin. “I believe this has made me a much more open-minded person, as I bridge disciplines with differing methodologies and theories each day.”

The exhibition was inspired by a course she took with her advisor, Prof. Amy Evrard, during the fall of her junior year about the anthropology of violence and conflict. That same semester, after a class with Art & Art History Prof. Shannon Egan, director of the Schmucker Art Gallery, Bergin asked if she could create something in the gallery around the topic of conflict.

With Egan’s guidance, she applied for the Mellon Summer Scholarship while studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain. Over the summer, Egan served as Bergin’s faculty mentor for the project.

“I learned an extraordinary amount this past summer in a short time period,” said Bergin. “Prof. Egan constantly pushed me to better myself as a researcher and a scholar. She has been an amazing mentor to me.”

“Bodies in Conflict: From Gettysburg to Iraq” utilizes art & artifacts entirely from Gettysburg College’s Special Collections, including Iraqi artist Wafaa Bilal’s Chair, from The Ashes Series. The piece was acquired through the Michael Birkner ’72 and Robin Wagner Art and Acquisitions Fund, with additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the Middle East and Islamic Studies program at Gettysburg College. Bilal came to campus on Oct. 18 for a gallery talk about his work.

“All of the works in the exhibition reflect American influence, whether they were made by Americans, depict American bodies, or were created in opposition to American influence,” said Bergin.

A challenge for Bergin was creating the catalog and digital version of the exhibition, which includes a virtual walk-through of the show. She researched primary sources from each historical time period, as well as the theories and ethics behind creating representations of the body in conflict.

“It’s a difficult exhibition to see – it’s a sensitive topic,” said Bergin. “I hope when people go to this space, they’ll have intellectual debates about the pieces and think about the reasons why certain artists decided to use that medium, that brush stroke, those colors, or that style, and how it makes the viewer feel.”

Laura Bergin '17 on the volleyball courtBergin credits the lessons she’s learned as a student-athlete on the volleyball team to helping her stay organized and proactive. This season she passed a milestone by becoming the 12th member of the 1,000 career kill club at Gettysburg College.  She was also named the Centennial Conference Co-Player of the Week in volleyball.

Looking forward, Bergin is keeping her options open. She’s interested in applying for a Fulbright to Chile or Argentina, working in the museum field, and eventually attending graduate school for conflict studies.

“So far, I’ve found many employers are interested and intrigued by the idea of an individual major, setting me apart from others with traditional majors,” said Bergin.

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 02:01:08 EDT
From application to interview: how our students find (and thrive in) internships At Gettysburg, 80% of students complete at least one internship or intensive career exploration experience by the time that they graduate. Obtaining an internship isn’t only an integral part of developing a successful career plan, but many students use these experiences to launch their first job post-graduation.

So how do they do it?

We’ve asked a few students who’ve held internships this past summer to walk us through their internship process: from the application to the interview, the first day to the last.

Check out their responses for yourself. And to learn more about how to find an internship, stop by the Center for Career Development and start your career plan today.

Finding an internship

Student networking

“I wanted to work in museums, so I began by researching museums with internship programs in Washington, D.C. That’s how I came across the Smithsonian internship program. Their application process is very intense. I used the Career Development Center a lot to make sure my resume was updated and to check over my essays to see if they made sense. I also spoke to my professors about my application and had them proof read the essays before submission.” – Danielle Jones ’18

“I joined the Center for Career Development’s Siegfried Fellowship to help with the process of finding an internship that was right for me. Being a junior, I wanted to get hands-on experience in a career that I can see myself doing in the future. Throughout the application process, it is important to be patient, but to stay on top of research and deadlines. The process can be long for some and become discouraging, but you have to put in a lot of work to get where you want to go. –Yasmine Perry ’17

“I wanted to develop my skillset in journalism, so I took Journalism 203 to gain more insight into the field. The professor shared that his first experience was writing for his local newspapers, which encouraged me to reach out to some of my local newspapers. Eventually, I got a response from a paper that was close to home. I have learned that there are many opportunities to develop your skillset if you are direct in your search and are not afraid to email or call the guys at the top of a company or organization.” – Andy Milone ’18

“I found out about an internship with the Gettysburg National Military Park through the Civil War Institute. I applied because I was confident that I wanted to go into the field of public history, but had no prior experience with it and doubted whether I could succeed in this field. Through the Pohanka Internship Program, Gettysburg College students have the opportunity to intern at different Civil War sites while gaining knowledge about public history.” – Savannah Rose ’17 

Preparing for an internship

Students in a classroom

“I interned in my local Congressman’s district office, and I prepared for the internship by familiarizing myself with the Congressman’s positions on different issues. I knew I would be expected to speak about them intelligently on a daily basis. I also read the news every day, both in newspaper and social media, in order to be up to date on current events happening in Washington D.C. that may affect the Congressman.” – Aubrey Silverman ’17

“Once I got my internship, I did a lot of research on grant writing. When working for a non-profit, advertising the organization is key to grant writing because it is how the organization is funded. It’s important to understand the skills needed for the job, while also not being discouraged by things you don’t know how to do. In order for you to gain skills, you have to go outside of your comfort zone and learn new skills that will be very helpful for you in the future.”  – Yasmine Perry ’17

“I communicated with my boss about what I should be expecting in the internship and did research on both the Smithsonian as a whole and the Smithsonian Archives.” – Danielle Jones ’18

Succeeding in an internship

Students touring the AT&T office

“My main accomplishment was completing casework for my Congressman. It was a great feeling to be able to call one of our constituents and let them know that we successfully upgraded their VA benefits or helped to advance their social security hearing. A lot of these people are in a dire need situation, so to be able to help them and to hear how grateful they were was such a rewarding accomplishment.” – Aubrey Silverman ’17

“I worked closely with a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA), classroom teachers, and supporting staff members to complete administrative duties, gain practical special education field experience, and manage a special project. The internship was offered by one of our very own alumnus, Ed Vonderschmidt ’94, who operates the Y.A.L.E. Schools in several locations within southern New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am grateful for the challenge and growth this opportunity has provided me with.” – Khemilla Kedarnath ‘18

“[Working as a Center for Public Service Summer Fellow in the Children’s Art Museum of Nepal, I learned that] art is something we all can share, and an example is easy enough to use as a guide with kids. From working with 39 preschoolers to assemble a paper collage mural to working with an orphanage to creating superheroes, I appreciate being able to see the joy that comes with creating a piece of art and allowing children to be creative. At the end of the workshops, I appreciate that everything is a learning experience for all parties involved.” – May Chou ’18

“I loved my experience. I interned with my local minor league baseball team was surrounded by baseball every day. I got a full perspective of everything that goes on behind the scenes in a minor league baseball team. I was assigned my main summer project on my first day and began doing research for it right away. By the end of the summer, I had researched and organized two big theme nights, promoted other upcoming events, and made countless phone calls to set up group sales.” – Josh Cubell ’18

Post internship wrap-up

Student present internship experience at an internship fair.

“I learned that an internship is vital for both networking reasons and for clarity of your future in that field. This internship cemented the fact that I am very interested in political science and policy issues that face our nation. I learned so much this past summer that I never could have learned in a classroom setting. I gained real-world office and people skills.” – Aubrey Silverman ’17

“[I worked with Keith Masback ’87], keeping his schedule for the week because he is a very in-demand guy at his own symposium. He made sure to introduce me to everyone we were meeting with, as well. I went into that symposium not knowing much about the intelligence field and left realizing that I wanted to go into national security law.” – Taylor Beck ’17

“As one of the Center for Career Development’s Entrepreneurial Fellowship recipients, I would say the most surprising thing I’ve learned so far has been just how much work goes into making a web application. I’ve been programming since I was 13 years old and have made many websites, but I never realized just how difficult it would be to scale up to making a full functioning web app.  As a computer science major, the Fellowship has given me a new appreciation of my field of study.” – William Czubakowski ’17

“I realized that I really enjoy the sports industry. I think internships are a great way to gain experience, but also to decide whether or not you want to pursue a career in that specific field. I am now considering working in sports and am looking at internships with other major sports franchises. “ – Josh Cubell ’18

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 02:00:06 EDT
First Swahili, now Arabic: Spencer King ’19 is passionate about language “I remember after my first Arabic class at Gettysburg, I called my mom and dad and said, ‘this is what I want to do for the rest of my life—speak this language.’ ”

You could say the linguistic passion was instantaneous for Spencer King ’19. King is already fluent in English and Swahili. That makes Arabic his third language—and possibly the toughest to learn.

“The thing about Arabic is that it takes three times longer for an English speaker to learn than any other language,” King explained.

King’s appreciation of international culture and language stems from his upbringing. He was raised in Kijabe, Kenya, where he lived since he was eleven months old. In his collegiate search, he was looking for a school in the United States where he would be able to thrive in small classes and establish strong relationships with professors and peers—so he chose Gettysburg. With varied coursework focused in Economics, International Affairs, and Islamic Studies, King has quickly become an inquisitive and inspired Gettysburgian.

International Background

“I grew up in Kenya speaking Swahili and English,” King said. “When I came to the US, I realized that I couldn’t speak Swahili anymore. I found that I’m not interested in German, French, or Spanish, but I value language because of communication—and I thought that Arabic looked fun.”

After his two subsequent semesters of Arabic at Gettysburg, King was hooked on the language and applied for the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS).

“I applied for the CLS after only taking one year of Arabic, but they accepted me into the program,“ he said.

King was thrilled to have the opportunity to travel to Ibri, Oman for an 8-week, full-immersion journey into the Arab culture for the summer of 2016.

Child in Oman

Traveling to the Arab World

Despite being a quick and eager learner, King explained that the initial communication barrier was hard to overcome.

“The first two weeks were tough. I sat in class and felt so lost because I didn't know the language as well as most of the other people in the program who had taken four or five years of Arabic.

“After about two weeks, I started getting in the mode and I could understand the dialect; everything got easier.”

Once King gained confidence though practicing his Arabic, he was better able to participate in the Arab culture in Oman while making important cross-cultural comparisons.

“The culture of Oman was especially interesting for me because I found it to be very similar to the culture in which I grew up, in Kenya,” King explained. “It makes sense because historically Oman actually ruled a portion of the Kenyan coast; during that time we actually adopted a lot of their culture, including a good portion of their language.”

Despite the linguistic similarities, King was unfamiliar with the dry heat and religious practices of the Arab culture.

Trekking in Oman

“I was living on the edge of the largest sand desert in the world,” King said. “It would regularly hit 122 degrees! For cultural appropriateness, I had to cover my whole body most of the time,” he said. “I wore a dishdasha, an Arab garment similar to a robe, as so that I stayed covered and modest.”

With the religious focus, King experienced a strong sense of cultural affiliation in Ibri. Even as a non-fluent speaker of Arabic from a western society, King was treated as a member of the community.

“It was cool because as long as you somehow knew someone who was invited to a party or an event, you were invited,” King revealed. “I actually went to three weddings during my time in Ibri, and people who I didn't even know invited me to stay in their homes.”

Considering the Future

Even though he is only a sophomore, King has some ideas about how he will take his cultural and linguistic passions into his post-grad life.

“In the future, I would like to work in the Arab world or for the US Foreign Service,” he said. “I think it'd be fun to live like a nomad and travel around for the rest of my life, using my language skills and experiencing new things.”

For another story about the Critical Language Scholarship, Leah Pinckney ’19 shares about her abroad experience in Taiwan.

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:36:10 EDT
Inside the 2016 presidential conventions We take for granted the ability to pick up our phones and send a tweet or text. If you’ve ever been at a concert or event without cellular service, you’ve likely felt the frustration that accompanies not being able to send a picture to your family or friends.

Now think of an event like The Republican and Democratic presidential conventions. They are two of the largest events in America, hosting 50,000 visitors each—including 15,000 members of the media—during a one-week period. To keep that many people connected and online is no small task. At the Republican convention, 2.8 terabytes of traffic moved through the mobile network of the Quicken Loans arena—the equivalent of roughly 8 million selfies, according to stats provided by AT&T.

Another point of comparison: “It’s like 100,000 viewers watching the Game of Thrones per hour,” said Jack Duffy ’79, the vice president of program management for the 2016 conventions at AT&T. “The technological consumption that took place in the Wells Fargo Center during the Democratic National Convention set the record for usage.”

To put it simply, where there are a lot of people, there are also significant technological needs.

This was the first time AT&T was an official provider for the presidential conventions since its merger with DirecTV in July 2015. Duffy took over program management of the conventions in April of last year but has worked for AT&T for 37 years in a variety of roles, from serving as vice president of marketing to working in customer service operations.

In this new role, Duffy leads a team of eight senior leadership members, and there are about 600 people working under the program management umbrella. They are responsible for managing the wireline and mobility networks, implementing both temporary and permanent network enhancements, communicating and working with the Department of Homeland Security and Secret Service, and everything in between. The end goal: making communications and connectivity seamless.

Republican National Convention

After months and months of preparation, the final stretch of work took place in the span of just a few weeks. The Cleveland Cavaliers made the playoffs (and would go on to win the NBA Title), leaving the Quicken Loans arena off limits until late June, with the Republican convention due to kick off July 18.

“Ultimately, we had 25 days to do 15,000 hours of labor and to lay 17 miles of fiber and copper build,” said Duffy. “I stood on the floor the day the Cavaliers played Game 6. I was able to see what the arena looked like for a world class sporting event, and then 30 days later the floor I was standing on was a convention. The process is incredible.”

Jack Duffy '79Among the more stressful moments at the Republican National Convention was when the red, white, and blue lights behind Newt Gingrich went dark during his speech. Duffy, who had been standing below the box where Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s family was standing, gracefully made his way around the press cameras, walked behind the stage and ran down four flights of stairs in search of the problem. After receiving questions from the CEO of the convention and dozens of frantic phone calls, they determined it wasn’t AT&T’s fault, but the result of a hardware issue. Still, “I describe those 20 minutes as the most stressful of my 37-year career,” said Duffy.

Preparing for Philadelphia was easier than Cleveland had been. AT&T had already done significant work throughout the city in preparation for Pope Francis’s visit in 2015, and a Justin Bieber concert held in May a few months before the convention helped them work out the rest of the kinks.

Jack Duffy '79“Thank you, Justin Bieber,” Duffy joked.

Looking back on the conventions, Duffy is able to look past the stress and lack of sleep and appreciate the experience.

“How I describe the conventions is it’s kind of like college,” said Duffy. “As you get further out, you remember the friendships you made, you remember the fun, but you don’t remember all the stress.”

Post-convention, both Cleveland and Philadelphia benefit from having a stronger technological infrastructure in place. And the memories are priceless. Talking with reporters on the floor of the conventions, working with high-level elected officials— you name it, Duffy did it.

Jack Duffy '79“The last night in Philadelphia, I sat between the mayor of San Francisco and Lyndon Baines Johnson’s two daughters,” said Duffy. “It’s those kinds of interactions. I met Charlie Rose, Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Norah O’Donnell, Andrea Mitchell—I talked to Bob Schieffer and Tom Brokaw. Seeing the media doing their work and interacting, those things are priceless.”

Read about Duffy’s work serving as a career connector for Gettysburg students

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 01:48:18 EDT
Celebrating 30 years of Africana Studies at Gettysburg College Founded in 1986 by Economics Prof. Derrick Gondwe and History Prof. Frank Chiteji, the Africana Studies Program celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. In that time, the program has grown from an individualized major in 1986 to a standalone major and minor in 2006, graduating over 62 majors and 32 minors.

“Africana Studies has served as the black intellectual center on campus for the last 30 years,” said Chair of Africana Studies Jennifer Bloomquist. “The founders were visionary in creating AFS and I’m proud of the work the program has done, together with the College, to cultivate and grow that vision.”

The interdisciplinary program has provided support and resources in and out of the classroom for faculty, staff, and students of color. Faculty have led immersion projects to Selma, AL and New Orleans, LA, assisted with the Leadership Institute to Little Rock, AR, held course field work in Trinidad, served as advisors for student clubs such as the Black Student Union and African Student Alliance, held informal social gatherings in their space, and served as panelists for campus events.

In addition, Africana Studies has created programming that promotes critical thinking in the areas of social and economic justice.  The annual Derrick K. Gondwe Memorial Lecture, co-founded by Africana Studies and Economics, and funded by a generous gift from the Keefer family, was created to honor the legacy of Gondwe. Gondwe, in addition to founding the Africana Studies program, was the first Black person to receive tenure at Gettysburg College. Past speakers at the Gondwe Lecture have included Opal Tometti, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, Kah Walla, a Cameroonian presidential candidate, entrepreneur, and social activist, and Gondwe’s brother, Goodall Gondwe, Minister of Finance of Malawi.  This year’s Gondwe lecture was held on Oct. 13 and featured speaker Charlotte Vuyiswa McClain-Nhlapo, a global disability advisor for the World Bank Group.

The Africana Studies program has also served as a hub for up-and-coming Africana Studies Ph.D. scholars from across the country, through their nationally recognized Emergent Scholars Conference.

 “The aim of the Emergent Scholars Conference is to think about how younger scholars are building upon the foundations of Africana Studies, shaping their research agendas in response to contemporary demands while also charting the course for the future of this vibrant and expansive field of study,” said English and Africana Studies Prof. McKinley Melton, one of three professors helping to plan the conference.

This year’s Emergent Scholars conference will take place Feb. 10-11. The theme is “Looking Back, Looking Forward.”

“The current political climate and the ongoing activist and organizing efforts around social justice issues continues to serve as testament to the importance of an interdisciplinary and multi-faceted approach to studying and understanding the experiences and impact of African Americans within American culture and society,” Melton said.

“As we celebrate the end of our first 30 years at the College, Africana Studies is looking forward to our next 30 and beyond,” said Bloomquist. “We’re committed to following in the footsteps of our founders by providing the diversity of experiences, perspectives, and philosophies that embody the mission of Africana Studies. AFS faculty have long served as campus leaders in the advocacy for equity and inclusion at every level of the College and we will continue to work tirelessly to help Gettysburg College provide a vibrant learning and living community for every one of our members.”    

For more information on additional events in celebration of the 30th anniversary, visit their website.

Learn more about how recent Africana Studies alumni are making an impact:

photo of Deonte Austin '11Deonte Austin ’11, Tutoring Manager for The Princeton Review Houston office
“As an Africana Studies major, I became a better critical thinker, which is an invaluable skill to have. The program allowed me to learn the historical context and helped me connect the need of education and economic resources to the current social realities of people of African descent. Although I am in a for-profit education industry, I educate families about the college and graduate admissions process and help students get into their dream colleges and graduate schools.”

Monique GoreMonique Gore ’06, Director, Multi-Cultural Programming & Outreach, the Office of Multicultural Engagement at Gettysburg College
“For me, majoring in Africana Studies was to know my history better and how it influenced everything beyond the black experience. My role at Gettysburg College is to be as inclusive as possible so that no one feels they are not being acknowledged. I’m in a position where I’m supporting students that are first-generation or in underrepresented groups, as well as serving as a resource for the greater campus. Africana Studies has created a foundation to always be cognizant of marginalized people groups and to always look deeper at what I’m being told, to question the status quo. My hope is that in my tenure here, I can help shift the current narrative for our students, so that everyone can get to that Gettysburg Great experience.”

Lauren Roedner '13 and her Special Collections exhibitionLauren Roedner ’13, Museum Curator, Office of Cultural Heritage, State Department

“I originally came to Gettysburg to study History and Civil War Era Studies. I did study that, but I also became immersed in the Africana Studies curriculum. The department enlightened me to African history, something I never studied before and held a narrow view of previously. The courses pushed me to go outside of my comfort zone, to talk about race and ask difficult questions. I learned it’s okay if you learn something about yourself that you don’t like – it’s important to have those conversations. The Africana Studies program provided me with the opportunity to curate an exhibit in Special Collections for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, called ‘Slaves, Citizens, and Soldiers.’ This exhibit was one of the first exhibits I had curated since high school, and served as great experience for my current career, which involves traveling internationally to catalog and care for art and artifacts owned by the State Department.”

Prof. Bloomquist & RobiaRobia Smith-Herman ’11, Therapist at the Renfrew Center of Radnor and the Center for Hope and Health
“My Africana Studies capstone helped spark an interest that I carried into my professional career. I researched the psychological effects of warfare on child soldiers and developed an interest in trauma work. After Gettysburg, I went on to receive my Master’s in Social Service with a clinical concentration from The Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College. I currently work as a primary therapist at an eating disorder treatment facility where I also facilitate the trauma program. Many of the courses in Africana Studies have helped with cultural competency within my field. Understanding microaggressions and differences in culture have helped me not only at my current job, but throughout my career.”

Read more about Africana Studies alumni:

How one challenge changed everything for Troy Datcher ’90

Lawrese Brown ’10: Launching a business, inspiring change

Kirsty Bryant-Hassler ’12: The life of a lifestyle expert

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 11:34:32 EDT
Overcoming an injury to uncover a career Glenn Cain ’07 came to Gettysburg because of the opportunity he would have to be a multi-sport athlete. He believed that playing two sports in high school—football and track and field—made him a stronger athlete in both, and he knew he wanted to continue those sports in College.

Not only did he compete in College, but he excelled.

A track and field standout and a steady contributor in football, Cain was an eight-time Centennial Conference medalist who still holds two school records. He broke a third school record in the discus (156 feet, 3 inches) that stood for a decade until Andre Hinds ’16 broke it in 2015.

Glenn Cain ’07 headshot

In football, he was a four-year letterwinner as a defensive lineman and missed just two games for his career, finishing with 36 tackles.

That’s why an injury that sidelined him after football season during his senior year at Gettysburg was so difficult for him.

“I was hoping to have a really great season in track and field that year, so when I got hurt, I was devastated,” Cain said.

However, out of this athletic setback came a profound opportunity for the health sciences major to realize his professional dreams. His coach, looking for ways to keep him actively engaged with the team, asked him to take over training the throwers.

“I was always into fitness and health, but having the opportunity to work with my teammates in the weight room was huge,” Cain said. “In hindsight, it was almost a blessing in disguise—it was my first experience doing what I would be doing later down the road.”

Finding a career path

Now, Cain is the Athletic Performance Coach for the men’s basketball team at the University of New Mexico. He says it was his injury combined with the support of health sciences Prof. Dan Drury that inspired him continue his education at Springfield College and earn a Masters of Education: Exercise Science and Sport Studies with a concentration in Strength and Conditioning.

“Going into my senior year at Gettysburg, if you had asked me whether or not I was thinking about grad schools, I would have said, ‘No,’” Cain said. “Dr. Drury really made me think this was something I could do. He mentioned the school to me and told me that becoming a strength and conditioning coach was something he could see me doing.”

Glenn Cain ’07 climbed Gray’s Peak in Colorado with fellow Gettysburgian Moira Rafferty Sharkey ’07 and friends.

Glenn Cain ’07 climbed Gray’s Peak in Colorado with fellow Gettysburgian Moira Rafferty Sharkey ’07 and friends.

He applied, knowing that Springfield is one of the best colleges in the country for exercise science, and was thrilled when he was not only accepted, but also offered a graduate assistant position that enabled him to afford the opportunity. It also gave him practical experience, as he could apply what he was learning in the classroom to the five sports he was responsible for training—football, track and field, cross country, wrestling, and basketball.

“That’s when I first worked with basketball and I really liked it,” Cain said. “I talked with my advisor about working more with basketball, and she helped me find an internship with the University of Kansas (KU).”

KU isn’t the only big name institution found on his resume. He held another internship with Rutgers University and the University of Connecticut, and after graduating from Springfield College, worked at Frostburg State University, returned to Kansas University, and is now based at the University of New Mexico. He’s worked with hundreds of student athletes, eleven of whom went on to become professional athletes, oversaw five championship teams at Kansas University alone, built up strength and conditioning programs, and was responsible for fundraising efforts that ensured student-athletes had the equipment they needed to excel.

Only eight years into his career, Cain is also being hailed as one of the up-and-coming names in athletic performance strength and conditioning.

“One of the best experiences of my career was when I was asked to present at a conference in China,” Cain said. “The NBA sponsored the trip, and I was giving 12 hours of presentation to the Chinese Basketball Association coaches on how to properly train a basketball player.

“So I’m standing on a stage, someone is translating everything I say, and I just think to myself, ‘Look how far I’ve come.’ That was definitely a big moment for me.”

Glenn Cain ’07 poses with conference attendees after presenting to the Chinese Basketball Association.

Glenn Cain ’07 poses with conference attendees after presenting to the Chinese Basketball Association.

Striving to be the best

Throughout it all, though, Cain has had one guiding principle shape his career success.

“My goal has never been to be a Division I men’s strength coach or to work for an NBA team,” Cain said. “In everything I have done, I have always pushed myself to be the best I can be. I think if you focus on the process more than the result, that’s where the magic happens. That is what has led me to where I need to be.”

Currently, he defines where he needs to be as the University of New Mexico. Having accepted their athletic performance coach position back in June, Cain sees the kind of opportunity he most wants in a job—an opportunity to have an impact.

“My job at the University of Kansas was a great job, so I had to make sure my next job was even better,” Cain explained. “The University of New Mexico already has a great program, but I saw that I could help them maximize their potential.”

And even after almost a decade away from Gettysburg, the lessons he learned here still help guide him, too.

“I didn’t declare a health sciences major until the end of my sophomore year because I didn’t think I was smart enough to do it, even though that is where I knew I was interested,” Cain said. “In everything you do, you have to know who you are and make decisions based on yourself. Know yourself, be true to yourself, and don’t be afraid of failure.”

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 04:57:46 EDT
Why social entrepreneurship? Prof. Chitvan Trivedi shares. The purpose of a business is to make money.

But as more and more consumers become socially conscious, they are turning to businesses and brands that can not only deliver quality services and products, but also make a positive impact on the world. It’s a tall order, but many businesses are responding to their consumers by recognizing their role in giving back—what is more commonly known in the business world as their “corporate social responsibility.” Regardless of the reason—to make money or simply do good—more companies, nonprofit and for profit alike, are starting to care about the social and environmental impacts of their businesses.

And then there are organizations—called social entrepreneurial ventures—whose primary, and oftentimes only, mission is creating and sustaining positive social change.

The latter is a focus of research by Prof. Chitvan Trivedi, assistant professor in the management department.

“A social entrepreneurial venture employs entrepreneurial tactics to address social problems,” said Trivedi. “Some of these ventures can also be for profit, but their primary goal is to address deep-seated social problems and create positive and sustained social change.”

Prof. Trivedi comes to Gettysburg with a Ph.D. in social ecology from the University of California Irvine. Prior to pursuing social ecology, he earned an MBA and a master’s  degree in computer networks and worked in the corporate world.  His interest in social ecology grew from his desire to combine his various interests and challenge corporate ideologies.

“I didn’t like how the corporate world was shaping me,” he said. “So it pushed me towards studying the organizations that are making some great changes in society and figuring out the lessons corporations can learn from that.”

Equally important to Trivedi was teaching at a college where the learning mirrored his own broad, interdisciplinary approach to understanding organizations.

Prof. Chitvan Trivedi teaching class

“Gettysburg was the perfect fit for me. The management department is unique [compared to traditional business schools] in that it focuses on societal aspects of organizations,” he said.

“Any problem that you think of can be viewed from different perspectives, and it’s important to teach students the value of not being just economically oriented. Organizations are now compelled to balance economic responsibility with social responsibility and environmental sustainability.”

Outside of teaching, Trivedi has also become involved in the Gettysburg Social Entrepreneurship Initiative (SEI), a year-long fellowship started by Jackie Beckwith ’16 for students who are interested in learning about and practicing social entrepreneurship.

The new initiative will facilitate student learning about these ventures as well as hands-on experience in successfully dealing with societal problems. This will be accomplished through discussions led by Trivedi and networking opportunities like conferences and in-person visits to social enterprises. In the future, the initiative will provide students with the opportunity to apply for a grant to successfully mitigate a social problem. The ultimate goal, Trivedi said, is for students to learn everything that goes into making a social entrepreneurship venture successful—proposing a project, engaging the right people (in this case, faculty and campus organizations), and coming up with an effective solution.

“The idea is to create the collaborative capacity at the campus level so we can create a platform to enact social change and also create a network of like-minded people,” said Trivedi.

And eventually these efforts will extend beyond campus to address larger societal needs.

“We want our students to be lifelong learners. We want them to be responsible and informed citizens,” he said. “One way of engaging them in creating these solutions is to ask them to implement what they are learning in class and by bridging that gap between theory and practice. My role as a faculty member is simply to facilitate those linkages.”

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 01:22:24 EDT
Talking politics with the pros: Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman visit Gettysburg to speak with students “This conversation is the best in the country. You don’t get this kind of exposure anywhere else,” said Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball, while at Gettysburg College with Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post.

The hour-long conversation, held in the College’s Alumni House, provided 15 Gettysburg students with the opportunity to bring their political passions into a real-world discussion with the experts, as well as for the experts to learn more about the millennial vote this election season.

Matthews and Fineman facilitated a lively conversation with students from a variety of campus organizations—from College Republicans, College Democrats, and College Independents to nonpartisan affiliated students with Students for Sanders, Gettysburg Anti-Capitalist Collective, Young Americans for Liberty, Student Senate, Students for Hillary, and The Eisenhower Institute.

Chris Matthews visit to campus
View all of the photos from Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman's visit on Flickr

The main topic of discussion was the current presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Students respectfully debated both sides of the coin on a variety of issues—citing differences in experience, domestic and foreign policy, and leadership style.

Piper O’Keefe ’17 explained her reasoning for supporting the Clinton campaign:

“Her experienced role within the international community is what’s drawing me to vote for her. I can also appreciate that in my first presidential voting year, my vote will be cast for a woman.”

Opinions were heard from the opposing side as well:

“I think that people are afraid to say that they’re voting for Trump. Clinton fails to capture millennial votes because many feel that she’s disingenuous,” voiced Zach Bartman ’18.

During the discussion, students quoted current polling numbers and identified the regions of Pennsylvania that could swing to either the Republican or Democratic side in the upcoming month.

“You guys really know your stuff,” said Matthews.

Fineman echoed that sentiment: “Here at Gettysburg, a liberal arts institution, you all have been taught to understand and appreciate facts and analyses that bolster a great argument.”

Watch Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman discuss their visit on Hardball at the 2:20 mark.

The students’ reflections post-discussion were inspired, with a buzzing sense of excitement for the upcoming election. Amelia Smith ’17 explained her personal insights after the conversation with the political professionals:

“I have been lucky enough to meet Chris Matthews before this event through a program with The Eisenhower Institute. I remember at that meeting, he was asking us whether or not we thought that Hillary Clinton would run for president in 2016.

“Now, here we are three years later, actually talking about the Clinton campaign. Having such a casual setting created great conversations that really made me think about my own personal opinions about this election!”

Chris Matthews visit to campus

To sign off, Matthews left his captivated audience of young Gettysburgians with a few words of advice— and some hope for the future of the United States political system.

“Please run for office. Go into politics in the future because you all will have the experience and the passion to lead.”

Read about Chris Matthews’ visit to Gettysburg in 2011; he also spoke in 2008. Howard Fineman participated in a panel discussion on campus in 2012.

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 07:51:10 EDT
Social justice meets Health Sciences: Cam Stewart ’18 discovers new passion When Cam Stewart ’18 was searching for a school where he would have the opportunity to play basketball, he remembers feeling lost. Stewart is originally from Sydney, Australia. He had completed over a year of engineering coursework at the University of Wollongong in Australia after high school but had decided it was not for him. During the college search process, he remembers expressing a desire to do more volunteer work, but he was not sure if he would have enough time to play basketball, study health sciences, and make an impact in the community. A summer opportunity to pursue his aspiration beyond basketball presented itself at Gettysburg, and he took advantage.

Cam in the classroom“It was a good opportunity for me to get work experience and learn about the greater good of the community,” said Stewart.

Stewart had never heard of the Center for Public Service (CPS), Gettysburg’s office for engaging in social justice to create personal, institutional, and community change, until Director of International Student Services Brad Lancaster, brought up a signature program, open to all students, that he believed would give the international student a chance to flourish. The program is called the CPS Summer Fellowship.

Social Justice Meets Health Sciences

Cam with kidsThe Fellowship experience offers an opportunity for students to learn and take part in projects that confront social dilemmas while developing established relationships and focusing on community development. The program consists of partnerships with communities in Kenya, Nepal, Nicaragua, Alabama, and Gettysburg.

Stewart knew that he wanted to apply his health science knowledge to community-based opportunities, and he had the chance to do this while staying in Gettysburg for the summer. The Fellowship gave him a chance to live on campus during the summer and extend his Gettysburg experience beyond the academic calendar. The CPS Fellowship also allowed Stewart to explore new areas.

 “He was able to take the fellowship and do what he wanted to do with it,” said Lancaster. “The CPS was flexible enough to allow him to pursue his interests.”

The Fellowship gave Stewart the opportunity to work with children and apply what he has learned about the human anatomy and nutrition in the classroom. He worked with children attending the Meals & More Summer Camp and children whose families are involved with the Circles Initiative, which is a program of South Central Community Action Programs, Inc. that supports individuals working to transition out of poverty.

For Meals and More Summer Camp, Stewart prepared activities according to a different theme each week, and this theme would help shape the curriculum for the summer. One of the themes was “Earth,” which ignited an idea for a fun, interactive trip to the Painted Turtle Farm, the campus-community hub for food justice. He led a session that taught children about nutrition, gardening, and recycling.

Stretching with students“I talked to them about the importance of growing your own vegetables in your house and eating healthy with fruits and vegetables,” said Stewart. “We would do circuit training and games that would have the kids running around a lot. Then, we would talk about what they did, how it relates to the body, and why it is good for us to do these kinds of activities.”

In addition to applying his Health Sciences knowledge to issues like nutrition and exercise, Stewart recognized how important it is for young children to have positive male role models and found it rewarding to promote healthy lifestyles. When he is not busy breaking down health science terminology or moving up and down the basketball court, Stewart makes an effort to continue to participate in the children’s programming of the Circles Initiative during the semester.

On the Court

Cam on the courtStewart is a regular starting forward on the Gettysburg men’s basketball team, and he adapted from the way the game is played in Australia to the way that it is played in the U.S.

“Back home, practices and games can get pretty rough and physical, and the game just goes on because this is just the culture,” said Stewart. “It took me a while to adjust to the way that the game is played here because I am used to being physical and players nudging you.”

Stewart was used to reading the game a lot more in Australia, but he has learned that there needs to be a balance between following the game plan and playing the game freely. There was also a big difference in the amount of time that a team has to a shoot the ball before possession goes to the other team. During his first year in the Centennial Conference, this segment lasted longer than the time allotted in Australia. He battled the adversities of the game in the U.S. to become an asset to the Bullets. He was the third largest contributor in minutes during the 2015/2016 season and had the second most three pointers and steals to showcase his abilities on both sides of the ball.

Aspiration turned Reality

Stewart came to Gettysburg looking for a challenging and more satisfying academic program while still being able to play basketball. After his transition to Gettysburg, his professional aspiration led him to teaching children about healthy living during the summer.

“He was a different kind of person, and there was something special about him, so I knew that he would be really successful,” said Lancaster. “He isn’t afraid to take some chances and see where those chances will lead him.”

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 11:33:14 EDT
Ron Paul ’57 delivers Constitution Day lecture, meets with students Former presidential candidate and congressman Dr. Ron Paul ’57 returned to campus on September 29 to deliver the annual Constitution Day lecture, which was sponsored by The Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College, the Political Science Department, and the Alumni Office. During Paul’s three-day visit over Homecoming Weekend, he also met with students and celebrated the 100th anniversary of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, of which he was a member.

Paul last spoke at Gettysburg in 2008 to a capacity crowd at the Majestic Theater. This year, he delivered his lecture, called “Try Liberty for a Change,” to another full and energetic audience in the College Union Building ballroom, followed by a question and answer session. Over 800 members of the College and greater Gettysburg community attended the discussion, which was moderated by political science Prof. Kenneth Mott.

“I want to get people interested enough to look at a message that I’ve worked on for a long time,” he said. “Politicians are always talking about change but nothing ever really changes.”

Recalling how one Gettysburg professor sparked his interest, Paul said he hopes his talk motivates people to become more inquisitive in their own search for knowledge.

“I remember I had a professor by the name of Robert Bloom, and about three or four years after I was out of college, I remember writing to him and asking for some books to read because I had become fascinated in learning more about history,” Paul said. “I remember him acknowledging this, and he sent me back some suggestions. You don't finish your education when you walk out the door.”

Ron Paul in Prof. Larson's classOn the Friday following the lecture, Paul visited Prof. Bruce Larson’s public policy class and spoke with several student groups, including Fielding and Undergraduate Fellows from the Eisenhower Institute, and  

The Young Americans for Liberty, which is a national student organization that was founded after, and inspired in part by, Paul’s presidential campaign in 2008.

Emily Keyser '19 in Prof. Larson's public policy classEmily Keyser’19, an economics and public policy double major and the public relations chair of the Gettysburg College Democrats, said she appreciated hearing Paul’s perspective.

“I like hearing different sides of political issues, especially since [Paul] is a libertarian,” said Keyser. “Libertarians have some ideals that align with both the Republican and Democratic parties. It’s healthy to disagree with people in politics, and it was interesting and refreshing to hear his viewpoint."

Ron PaulOn campus, Paul was joined by his wife, Carolyn, whom he married during his senior year at Gettysburg. The couple lived in an apartment on Carlisle Street, and Carolyn worked as a faculty assistant in Glatfelter Hall while Paul finished his senior year before attending medical school at Duke University. At Gettysburg, Paul was a biology major, a member of the swimming and track teams, and held various positions in his fraternity and on campus (including manager of the Bullet Hole).

After graduating from the Duke University School of Medicine in 1961, he served as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force and started his own medical practice in Texas in 1968 before entering politics. Paul sought the 2008 and 2012 Republican presidential nomination and was the Libertarian candidate on the national ballot in 1988. He also served 12 terms in Congress (R-Tex.).

View the slideshow from Paul’s visit to campus.

Watch the live recording of Paul’s remarks.

Read about the Constitution Day lecture in the York Daily Record.

Listen to Scott LaMar’s interview with Paul on Smart Talk.

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 04:25:33 EDT
From Commencement to Cambodia The week before graduation, Taylor Holloran ’16 decided against going to the usual Senior Week celebrations. Instead, he chose to stay in Gettysburg, working on his resume and LinkedIn profile.

He had applied to a few jobs and fellowships during his senior year but hadn’t heard back yet.

“I had given up on the idea that I was going to get a job before graduating, and instead began looking at internships and job hunting from home,” Holloran said. “There had been a time when I was considering packing up everything and moving to Asia, but financial realities caved in around me, and it felt impossible. I had written off that idea completely.”

That is, he had written off the idea until he received a phone call from the Princeton in Asia (PiA) program mere days before Commencement. He had applied to the program back in December, and while he had been interviewed, he hadn’t heard anything since.

“It was three days before graduation when PiA called and asked if I would be interested in moving to Cambodia to work for a year in the capitol,” Holloran said. “I walked off the stage at Commencement, hugged my family, got into my car and drove straight to Princeton. I may have still had the cap on—I don’t remember. It was such a whirlwind weekend.”

Asking questions

Gettysburg has been on the forefront of Holloran’s mind from an early age. His dad is an alumnus from the Class of 1975, so he had visited campus and attended camps offered by the College when he was younger.

“I knew the type of place I was interested in, and Gettysburg fit the bill,” Holloran explained. “I was reluctant to really consider it because it was my dad’s school and I wanted to cut my own path, but after visiting and understanding that the school offered what I was looking for, I really fell for it.

“All it took was one beautiful summer night sitting on Stine lake with my dad. We put a deposit down the next morning.”

Taylor Holloran on the Frisbee team.
Taylor Holloran ’16 (l) was a member of the ultimate Frisbee team on campus, held numerous positions on the Residence Life student staff, and is a brother of Phi Delta Theta, a Greek social organization.

He always knew that philosophy was a subject that interested him, so it came as no surprise when he declared a philosophy major. He enjoyed the ability to discuss concepts and ideas rather than facts and figures, and the constant questioning of conventional beliefs.

“We would discuss questions and problems and figure out how to arrive at an answer; we learned how to effectively and substantially question the answers we were given,” Holloran said. “To learn that you are allowed to question everything, and to do it with the guidance of professors of extraordinary caliber was the greatest privilege of my time at Gettysburg.”

Learning new skills

It was in the middle of his senior year that Holloran first heard about PiA and decided to apply. He was looking for an opportunity to travel and continue to learn, and loved what he heard about the century-old fellowship program for ambitious college graduates.

“A program as well established in Asia as PiA is hard to find,” Holloran explained.

PiA placed him in the Cambodian offices of ChildFund Australia, an international organization with offices in 63 countries and an impact on over 14 million children. Holloran’s office works with over 15,000 children, providing them with libraries, gardens, school buildings, reading supplies, and even bathrooms—everything they need to learn in a safe environment reach their full potential.

Holloran is their Program Associate on Communication and Documentation, working to develop project proposals, continuing to grow existing projects, and fulfilling the translation needs within his office when he can.

“My job is to communicate the ideas of people I can’t necessarily communicate with,” Holloran said. “I have the tools to do the work, but what I’m learning is the patience and understanding it takes to work in an office where I don’t speak the language.”

Changing his worldview

Just a few months after graduation, Holloran spends his mornings navigating rush hour traffic in Phnom Penh or editing project proposals instead of racing to class after breakfast at Servo. He calls the city itself a radical change from Gettysburg—and from any other city he has found himself in, too—but one that has taught him a lot about the world and his relation to it.

“Every time I learn something new, it emphasizes to me how little I used to know. It’s like being in the middle of this growing expanse, where I realize I know so much less than I thought, and in the other direction I’m realizing there is so much more to learn than I ever could have imagined,” Holloran explained.

“But it’s not overwhelming. It’s satisfying to realize I know proportionally less than I thought I did. You get better at appreciating what you do know.”

He is also developing a new sense of confidence with his goals while also being open to different opportunities, continual learning, and personal and professional development abroad.

“I’m lucky that the work I’m doing is valuable for me professionally. To be getting workplace experience in the office of an international company is incredible,” Holloran said. “To be put in a society where you constantly have to reflect on what you’re experiencing is important. It keeps you present, and it will change you.”

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 12:15:05 EDT
To Asia and back three times over: Leah Pinckney ’17 shares her enlightening experiences From Beijing to Kunming to Taiwan—Leah Pinckney ’17 has taken to the world in a journey of self-discovery, bringing her ever-evolving cultural understanding back to Gettysburg College.

Pinckney first came to Gettysburg with academic interests in public health and research. She declared a Health Sciences and Globalization Studies double major, garnering a full academic plate from the get-go. Confident in her ability to juggle the workload, Pinckney even made room in her schedule to pursue her budding linguistic interest—Mandarin Chinese.

“Coming to college, there was a language requirement, so I decided to take Chinese because it was something that I knew I was interested in—it all stems from my own personal background,” Pinckney revealed. “I was adopted as a baby and my parents always supported me in exploring my own heritage. It's a part of me.”

For Pinckney, what began as a curious inquiry quickly developed into an exploration of her roots—and ultimately, a driving force behind her Gettysburg journey.

She fell in love with Chinese studies, and instead of calling it quits after completing the two-semester foreign language requirement; she decided to continue her training in Mandarin throughout her sophomore and junior years.

The decision paid dividends.

Pinckney was awarded the Dwight D. Eisenhower – Conrad N. Hilton Scholarship to study abroad in Beijing in the fall of 2015. Offered through the Eisenhower Institute in partnership with Center for Global Education, the scholarship provides the opportunity for standout Gettysburgians to explore their interests in global affairs, international issues, global trade, and cross-cultural exchange.

While abroad in Beijing, Pinckney studied epidemiology, determinants of health and disease, and traditional Chinese medicine. She had the opportunity to conduct her own research and expand her knowledge of global, public health.

The experience proved invaluable.

Pinckney was then inspired to take her study of Mandarin to Kunming, a province in Southwest China, for the spring semester of last year. Pinckney was able to sharpen her Mandarin skills by living with a homestay family, thus providing her with the linguistic confidence to apply for a demanding language program, the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS)—in the summer of 2016.  

The highly competitive program is part of a government effort to increase the number of students gaining proficiency in critical foreign languages.

Leah Pinckney '17

“I was really fortunate to be selected to go to Taiwan with the CLS program. It was the first year that the program was extended to Taiwan and it was somewhere that I had never been before.

“I had spent the previous semesters abroad in Beijing and Kunming, which were fantastic experiences, but this program really brought something new to my study of Chinese culture and language.”

The 8-week scholarship experience included language class five days a week, as well as an out-of-classroom language pledge that prohibited students from speaking English. Although she’s certainly no stranger to academic rigor, Pinckney admits that the CLS scholarship was a challenge.

“It was hard. It was definitely hard. But it was something that I'm glad that I had that opportunity to do because I was able to prove to myself that I can go to a different country and function in that language.”

Leah Pinckney '17

Following a full year abroad, Pinckney is now back on campus for her senior year and busier than ever. She’s finishing her degree programs, playing violin in the symphony orchestra, taking advanced Chinese, and scheduling time to burn off some stress at the gym—so there’s definitely a lot going on.

As graduation approaches in the not-so-distant future, Pinckney has given some thought to her life post-Gettysburg.  

“I think at some point I'd really like to go back to East Asia and do research, maybe through a Fulbright or some other scholarship. For the near future, however, I think I'm looking to switch things up a bit,” she said. “I've been thinking about going to graduate school in the States to study public health or maybe going to Europe, just to get a different view of the world.”

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 04:38:57 EDT
Why Suzy Won’t Take Science and Dan Won’t Play With Dolls “Very few readers are delusional, but they do exist,” Sharon Stephenson read aloud to a room of writers at last year’s Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. It was the tail end of a public reading. Most writers had already shared their work, and it was the time of night when most start to fidget in their chairs and wonder if they can discreetly check their phones.  “In fact, one stands before you now, an outlier on the distribution,” Stephenson continued. “We rare delusional readers believe that perhaps this specific event will be magical.”

She captured the room’s attention—and kept it. (Another writer would later blog about it.)  

Sharon Stephenson headshotStephenson has also captured the attention of several literary nonfiction magazines over the past several years. Her work has been published in well-known publications like Shenandoah; her work is forthcoming in Fourth Genre. She’s a prolific and thoughtful writer. To those on the Gettysburg campus, however, she’s more widely known as Prof. Sharon Stephenson, the nuclear physicist. It wouldn’t be until Stephenson started teaching her First-Year Seminar, Why Suzy Won’t Take Science and Dan Won’t Play With Dolls, that she would discover she was also a writer.

Sharon Stephenson's First-Year SeminarThe First-Year Seminar program at Gettysburg comprises courses on a broad spectrum of topics that are driven by the personal interests of faculty. Stephenson’s class touches on issues of difference and gender and their intersection with science. For example, scientific studies have shown the impact on data of “stereotype threat,” a situation in which people feel like they might fulfill stereotypes about their perceived group. Stephenson asks students to think about how this may affect the scientific process. Is science always really objective? If we’re told our gender is bad at math or good at science, what does that do to our test scores?

Like other seminars in the menu of options, Stephenson’s course also incorporates a strong writing component, requiring students to write and critique one another’s work.

“Writing in the first year is crucial for our students and is what sets us apart as a liberal arts college—teaching students to communicate well,” said Stephenson.

But when she first started teaching the seminar, Stephenson felt like she wasn’t applying the same steps she uses as a scientist to her own writing process.  

“As a physicist, having my peers assess my work is a huge component of my work—that’s what scholars do. But I wasn’t doing that for the First-Year Seminar, and it felt weird, ” she said.

So Stephenson reached out to the editor of The Gettysburg Review, Mark Drew, who recommended that she attend a writing workshop.

“I worked in the nonfiction group, starting to write memoir-ish pieces,” she said.  “You had to come in with 20-30 pages of written work ready to be critiqued. I ended up implementing many of the prompts and critique methods I learned there to teaching the First-Year Seminar.”

Soon Stephenson also began writing more of her own work and submitting it for publication.

“I started putting my work out there and embracing rejection, which is the hallmark of writers, I’ve found,” Stephenson joked. “But that’s good for me, too, because it helps me connect more with the struggles students have. I’ve become a novice again.  I think it’s helpful for faculty members to remind themselves what it’s like to be intellectually vulnerable.”

Stephenson is teaching the First-Year Seminar with Vice President for College Life Julie Ramsey. In addition to focusing on issues of gender, science, technology and society, race, and sexual orientation, they will focus on this concept of resilience—teaching students that to be intellectually vulnerable is required for personal and professional growth.

“I want them to be fiercely curious and unafraid of failure,” said Stephenson, “and I want to be one of a chorus of diverse faculty and students who make us question the world more. That’s a pretty big goal for one class that meets for four hours, twice a week. But, you know, go big or go home.”  

Read more about the First-Year Seminar Program.

Read Stephenson’s creative and scientific work published in The Cupola.

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 09:48:16 EDT