News@Gettysburg Latest news coverage from Gettysburg College This land is his land: Lamin Oo ’10 returns to Myanmar for social documentary work http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=2899a7f1-241c-455c-b431-869e9e947504 http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=2899a7f1-241c-455c-b431-869e9e947504 After several years pursuing his education in the U.S., Lamin Oo ’10 has returned to his homeland of Myanmar (Burma), and he’s already making an impact through his work on social documentaries.

The first film Oo worked on was “This Land is Our Land.” The film follows the struggles and experiences of five farmers from across Myanmar. Watch the trailer on YouTube.

In November, the film was mentioned by President Obama in his address to youth at the "Young Southeast Asian Leader Initiative Town Hall" in Yangon, Burma. In his remarks, President Obama commended Oo for using his power to tell the story of his fellow Burmese.

Farmers“‘This Land Is Our Land’ is about farmers from different corners of Myanmar and the challenges they face either due to the poor government policies or the uncontrollable environmental changes around them,” said Oo, a philosophy and psychology double major. “My grandparents were farmers and so is the majority of Myanmar outside of big cities. So, this was an important issue that needed to be addressed.”

Oo recalled one interview for the film when he asked a farmer when he planned to retire from his tiring job, “He said, ‘We farmers retire when we die.’ We had to stop the interview because everyone on the shoot became very emotional. I still think about what he said, and I am thankful for the hard work that the farmers do everyday from dawn to dust. They deserve our appreciation and their voices need to be heard.”

“[Prof. Gimbel] said that studying philosophy is like working out in a gym, and your career is the sport you choose to play. What you do in the gym may not seem relevant to the sport, but it prepares you to do the variety of things you may want to pursue.”

Oo is enjoying his fulfilling, if unexpected career, and says the liberal arts education he received at Gettysburg played a big part in getting him where he is today.

“I have never really had a specific career in mind,” he said. “My Gettysburg education taught me to be open-minded, adaptive, and pursue what I truly care about. The rigorous courses prepared me to be organized and responsible. That’s how I ended up at in my current job, which is the most satisfying I’ve ever had.”

Something that Prof. Steve Gimbel told him about studying philosophy and pursuing a career has stuck with Oo, and proven true.

“He said that studying philosophy is like working out in a gym, and your career is the sport you choose to play. What you do in the gym may not seem relevant to the sport, but it prepares you to do the variety of things you may want to pursue. The same is true of my Gettysburg education: it developed my core intellectual muscles, and I was well-equipped to take on a wide range of career options.”

In the more than four years since graduation, Oo has already tested out some different options. Soon after commencement, he moved to Louisville, Ky. to work as a librarian. But Oo felt that something was missing, and during the same time, his home country – formerly under military rule – was slowly making a democratic transition. Oo says that many of his friends in Myanmar were doing exciting things.

So, he made the decision to return to his homeland, unsure of the career he would pursue. Luckily, a high school friend of Oo’s was starting Tagu Films, a small start-up production house with a focus on making documentaries.  While it was not a career field that Oo was familiar with, he was eager to learn, and his friend offered him a job as a producer.

“The job meant that I’d have the opportunity to travel around Myanmar, which was especially appealing,” Oo said.

Lamin Oo at a Film FestivalOo continues his work as a producer at Tagu Films, and has done some directing and editing too. In fact, ‘Homework,’ the first short documentary he directed, won an award at a local film festival in Myanmar, and has shown in Europe. Oo also co-directed a documentary about farmers whose land was confiscated by the army a decade ago. The team at Tagu Films continues to work to help other talented filmmakers in Myanmar make more independent documentaries as well.

In addition to establishing a solid educational foundation that will prepare you for a variety of career options, Oo has one piece of advice, “Whatever line of work you go into, you have to deal with people. So, be nice and as genuine as possible. At the end of the day, it’s the human connections you make that can and will take you wherever you want to go in your career.”

 

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Wed, 28 Jan 2015 03:26:55 EST
Choosing to Lead: Michael Mancino ’18 turns common reading into meaningful action http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=c4d1948f-6c35-42a0-b04d-bbb2e7e548b1 http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=c4d1948f-6c35-42a0-b04d-bbb2e7e548b1 College is a time of choices. Choices like where you want to go, what you want to do, and who you want to be. This is a realization many Gettysburg College first-year students are reflecting upon after sharing a common reading experience this past fall.

The Class of 2018 explored paths, expectations, and the power of decision-making through the book The Other Wes Moore, authored by youth advocate and Rhodes Scholar Wes Moore.

In the New York Times bestseller, two Baltimore boys coincidentally share the same name—Wes Moore—and grow up only a few miles apart from one another. Their striking similarities begin to grow fainter, however, as circumstances and personal choices lead one to become a White House fellow and the other a criminal.

“Wes Moore shows that many people get a second chance, maybe even a third or fourth, but some of us will only get one shot,” said first-year student Michael Mancino ’18. “Every student should know that our choices can very well remain a part of us forever. Some choices can blossom careers, while others can put us in awful situations. Our choices are almost always significant, although they may not always appear that way.”

Through studying The Other Wes Moore, students share a common intellectual experience, foster a sense of community, and jumpstart discussions on themes related to the College’s efforts in diversity and inclusion, internationalization, and intellectual climate.

This past September, the reading was further examined when Moore traveled to campus for a guest lecture.

Michael Mancino '18“To me, the word of the night was ‘inspiration,’” Mancino said of the on-campus presentation. “I’ve seen many speakers in my life, but Wes stands high above the rest. His ability to bring a group of 700 to life in a few seconds is spectacular, and he has a unique talent of easily silencing a room filled with laughing students once he changes to a more serious tone.

“He told us, ‘If you leave college with just a degree, then you’ve wasted your time.’ I immediately sat up and became determined to leave my mark on Gettysburg College.

“Throughout high school, I always regretted not running for student government,” he recalled. “I love leading, I love public service, and I love engaging everyone around me, but it was because of Wes that I made my dream of running for class president a reality.”

After winning his first-year presidential race and earning a seat at the Student Senate, Mancino set his sights on building a more unified class and encouraging his peers to use their varying skillsets to contribute to the mission of the school.

What may separate Mancino among other young leaders is that his drive is coupled with a sense of self-awareness. He also makes a conscientious effort to delegate and never bite off more than he can chew.

“Leadership to me means knowing that it’s crucial to give everyone a shot at something. A leader should be able to handle a full plate of responsibilities, but also recognize when that plate becomes too full,” he said. “A good leader knows that it takes an entire group of people to accomplish something great. He or she should know that almost nothing is done well without some help.”

Deep down, Mancino just wants to help those around him. It’s why he ran for Student Senate, serves on the Budget Management Committee, and volunteers for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America program.

“I’ve been given the lucky opportunity to meet with an extremely fun and smart second grade boy, Declan, weekly at Lincoln Elementary School,” Mancino said. “We work on homework, talk about study techniques, and play games. It’s a ton of fun. I love that each of us can make a difference in each other’s life in such an encouraging and powerful way.”

Although Mancino has not yet decided on a major, he has a passion for public service, government, and politics, and is considering political science. He hopes to attend law school after graduation, and one day work on Capitol Hill as a leader dedicated to enhancing the lives of millions of Americans.

For Mancino, it’s all a matter of making the most of his choices along the way.

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Tue, 27 Jan 2015 04:34:09 EST
In her words: Q&A with Diversity Peer Educator Zakiya Brown ’15 http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=a857c8dc-31f3-44b2-b807-ac35bfc24f0c http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=a857c8dc-31f3-44b2-b807-ac35bfc24f0c As a Diversity Peer Educator (DPE) and a program coordinator for the Center of Public Service (CPS), Zakiya Brown ’15 had the opportunity to introduce the keynote speaker, Jay Smooth, for the 35th annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. The event commemorating Dr. King’s legacy was held for the campus community on Jan. 19.

View photos of the event.

Brown, an English major with a writing concentration and a Spanish minor from Annapolis, Maryland, spoke to us about her role as a founding member of DPE, her involvement with CPS, and the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., for her generation.

Tell us about the Diversity Peer Educator Program.

The Diversity Peer Educators are a diverse group of student leaders who contribute to the goal of an inclusive campus by educating and advocating for the different faces of diversity and the recognition plus the inclusion among our peers. Our vision is to promote an awakening co-curricular experience that is characterized by wall-less communication that expands our comprehension of diversity, difference, and privilege. We aim to promote acceptance and respect for commonalities and distinctions in historical and cultural contexts.

How has the program changed and grown since you arrived on campus?

As one of the founding members of the program, I joined DPE when the organization was in its budding stages. It started off as a small group of students and a few faculty advisors who were dedicated to learn about the different factors that funnel into an individual’s identity and the campus identity. In the early stages of the program we were learning tremendous amounts of information to educate ourselves about our own identities, each other’s identities, and the overarching identity of the campus body.

From the beginning, we have always been interested in what makes an individual unique under their skin, broadening our knowledge on religion, socio-economic status, ethnicity, gender identity, disability, extracurricular interests, and language. We began our outreach to the campus by facilitating small conversations with other student organizations (such as the Student Senate) and hosted a “DPE week” where we discussed the faces of diversity with our peers across the days of the week.

We continue to facilitate conversations on campus around racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, and privilege because we believe that through these means we are moving towards a more inclusive campus. Yes, we have grown in numbers, but we have also learned how to communicate the issues we see on campus with our student body. In the upcoming years we are committed to finding new ways to teach our growing knowledge about diversity and how diversity benefits our campus.

What leadership skills have you grown from your experience as a DPE and through the CPS program coordinator position?

I interviewed to be a Diversity Peer Educator because I wanted to build my leadership skills and I wanted to leave my footprint within social justice on campus. I interviewed to be a CPS program coordinator the following semester because I wanted to start utilizing my time outside of the classroom. I knew that I was positioning myself into leadership roles, and at first it felt like unfamiliar territory. One of the biggest skills that I learned from being a DPE and a program coordinator was to take initiative and to take on the responsibility of starting something new.

Starting new programs does have its barriers and obstacles, but I perceive that as an opportunity to explore the depths of your creativity. On the other hand, even though it was exciting when I had a bundle of new ideas to release, I also learned the value of listening. When I say “listening,” I don’t only mean hearing what another person has to say, but seeing how their idea and your idea can work together. I think being a leader requires outspokenness, and enthusiasm, but it also calls for the ability to constructively observe and to practice humility as well.

Lastly, from being a leader I have learned that it is most important to believe in what you are doing. A leader needs to follow through with their idea, see how far he or she can take it, and work hard to get results. Some call it passion, others call it vision; I call it motivation. The power in believing is the drive or the push that enables an individual to accomplish his or her goals.

As you reflect on the legacy of MLK Jr., what are the immediate challenges you see for your generation and the United States?

There is no doubt that the racial injustice that is portrayed through the news and the media is startling and hard to witness. I think Dr. King's dream is a very easy dream to understand, and there are many citizens of the nation that can just see that it is right and racial equality is supposed to be a characteristic of our society. It is upsetting that we are not currently living Dr. King's dream and it would be great if his dream could come true immediately. Unfortunately, because society is facing racism, in all shapes and sizes, it is obvious that the people of the United States still have a lot of work left to do and many obstacles to overcome.

As a person of color, I do not want to carry the fears and notions that racism can hinder me or even harm me; I want these fears eradicated. With that being said, I think as my generation approaches the world of adulthood it is clear that we need to roll up our sleeves and use our voices to advocate for civil equality. The racial injustice is not going to disappear, change won't just happen, but I do believe my generation has tremendous potential and we are highly capable of making advances towards change.

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Tue, 20 Jan 2015 03:45:19 EST
Eisenhower Institute expert authors piece on SOTU address for USA Today http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=4f21a360-7b3a-462f-b1ac-5bdf06f1cdc9 http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=4f21a360-7b3a-462f-b1ac-5bdf06f1cdc9 Kasey Pipes, Norris Fellow of Public Policy at the Eisenhower Institute (EI), wrote an op-ed on the State of the Union address for the Jan. 20 issue of USA Today.

Pipes, a biographer and historian, as well as former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, runs EI’s Inside Politics program.

From USA Today:

Kasey PipesJoni Ernst should think like Ike: Column
by Kasey S. Pipes

Republicans should welcome Obama's State of the Union suggestions by proposing conservative solutions to the same problems.

The state of the State of the Union has changed over the years. From Thomas Jefferson's presidency beginning in 1801 until Woodrow Wilson's in 1913, presidents sent written versions of the Constitutionally-required report on the nation's affairs to Congress. But Wilson, a professorial orator, wanted to deliver the address in person in a speech to both Houses of Congress. This began a long slide that has taken the SOTU from serious business to show business.

In recent years, the change has been dramatic. With Reagan, no stranger to entertainment, came the "heroes in the balcony" concept where someone sat with the first lady while the president praised his achievements. With Clinton, the master of retail politics, came the focus-group SOTU where a litany of pollster Dick Morris' most popular ideas were paraded out like beauty pageant contestants.

Still, the State of the Union can and should allow for serious policy discussions. And President Obama has already provided a glimpse behind the curtain at what the show will look on Tuesday.

It seems the president will continue efforts to make government a first resource rather than a last resort. On education, the president will propose that the government pay for the first two years of community college. On energy, the president will propose more EPA regulation, including perhaps regulating methane emissions. And on immigration, it seems likely the president will confront Republicans on de-fund his immigration executive action. In short, Obama will double-down on his belief in a bigger and more expansive role for the federal government in the lives of everyday Americans.

Read Pipes’ piece in its entirety on the USA Today website.


Honoring the legacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Eisenhower Institute is a distinguished center for leadership and public policy that prepares the successor generations to perfect the promise of the nation.

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Tue, 20 Jan 2015 09:29:54 EST
Creepy Crawly Charisma http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=bc4612ed-7786-4d88-934e-c47c11b50a2a http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=bc4612ed-7786-4d88-934e-c47c11b50a2a What attracts partners to each other? Is it a flashy car? A bright, colorful outfit?  And how do these preferences ultimately affect the evolution and diversity of a species over time?

These are a few of the questions that Biology Prof. Paula “Alex” Trillo aims to answer for the animal world with her research involving beetles, bats, and frogs in the tropical forests of Central America.  Primarily a behavioral ecologist, Trillo’s field research has taken her to different parts of the world, including her native Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Panama. With her research on sexual selection, Trillo wants to understand how different ecological pressures can affect an animal’s mating behavior, and how this in turn, determines the evolution of a species.

Prof. Alex Trillo in the fieldNew to Gettysburg this fall, Trillo completed her Ph.D. in Organismal Biology and Ecology at the University of Montana and teaches courses in Animal Behavior and Vertebrate Zoology in the biology department. “When I teach my courses, I look to bring in a lot of examples about animals that are not well-known and exhibit a wide-range of fascinating behaviors,” Trillo said.

Trillo has two areas of research - one that looks at the tortoise beetle, Acromis sparsa, and another that looks at the predatory relationship between fringe-lipped bats and tungara frogs.

For her research with beetles, Trillo studies the relationship between primary sexual selected traits (genitalia, testes, and courtship behavior), and secondary sexual selected traits (weaponry such as horns and spines, and sexual adornments such as tails, and feathers), and how these traits interact with each other in different environments to influence the fertilization success of a male.

“When is it more important for a male to have large weaponry and when is it more important to have large testes? Different circumstances will require very different male strategies,” Trillo explains.

Over the last 10 years, Trillo has traveled to Panama to study animal behavior in the rainforests of Soberania National Park, with the support of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), one of the leading research institutions in the world.

“STRI houses scientists from all over the world working in different fields. It’s a one-of-a-kind institution to do tropical research because of the many collaborations you can have with both STRI staff scientists as well as with scientists from other universities,” she said.

During the summer, Trillo brings undergraduate students to do research internships with her in Panama. Trillo and the students build semi-natural enclosures to conduct experiments and record the data.  Her students experience firsthand what it is like to do field work in the tropics.

“One day we will be knee deep in the mud looking for frogs, the next we will be under plants and trees collecting beetles, and at night we will be setting up mistnets to catch and handle bats,” Trillo said.

The students also use different techniques to study behavior.  For example, she and her students create large insectaries for beetles and use tropical vines to mimic the favored environment.

“We alter various factors within the habitat, ranging from the number of females present to the amount and type of predators in the environment. We can see how these factors might impact the likelihood of a female to mate, and of a male to successfully sire offspring,” Trillo said.

Trillo’s research with beetles is unique in that she looks at the effect of primary and secondary sexual traits during two different stages of male reproduction, the mating stage, where a male needs to successfully acquire a female; and the copulating stage, where a male needs to successfully fertilize the female.

“Because a male fights for and pairs with a female, it doesn't mean he will successfully fertilize her,” Trillo says. “So most studies, which only look at male mating success, might be getting an erroneous measurement of the success of a male.”  To have an accurate idea of male reproductive success, Trillo uses paternity analyses of the experimental offspring in her insectaries.

View a video of beetle courtship behavior that Trillo captured in the laboratory.

 

Eavesdropping Bats

Her second area of research looks at how having predators in the environment affects the diversity of mating calls. The fringe-lipped bat - which is a frog-eating bat - is keen on consuming tungara frogs. The bat finds these prey by homing in on the mating calls the frogs use to attract females.  

“These calls can be very costly for the frogs,” Trillo explains, as the same call that attracts a mate also alerts its predator. Once the eavesdropping bat hears the call of a tungara frog, it swoops down from its hiding spot to eat the frog. 

“The mating calls can be complex or simple. Both the bats and female tungara frogs are highly attracted to the complex calls,” Trillo said. She has found that the frog species which call in environments with higher numbers of predators make only simple calls, which are safer because they attract fewer bats. However, these simple calls are not attractive for female frogs that live in areas with complex calls.

“Geographic variation in the abundance of predators can affect sexual communication among the frogs,” Trillo said.  “This leads to a situation where male frogs from populations with high bat predation are less likely to mate with females from populations where predation has been low.”

“Predators could potentially affect population divergence, and ultimately speciation,” said Trillo.

Watch the video of a bat hearing a frog call

 

Future Endeavors

Trillo says her research has importance for different species worldwide, especially those whose environments are at-risk from human activity.

“The information we get from these animals can be generalized across different species. A long standing question in biology is how might species diverge and separate? What are the factors by which they diverge?” Trillo said. “There is a lot more diversity than we know within each species. It’s important to know the factors that influence high species diversity, especially with their environment being threatened as more tropical forests come down.”

Trillo plans on establishing internships at STRI where Gettysburg College students will conduct a research project with students from Latin America during the summer. Students interested in these internships can reach out to her at ptrillo@gettysburg.edu.

Prof. Trillo sets up video for bats at night

Photo Credits, in order of appearance: Christian Ziegler, Michael Caldwell, and Sean Mattson.

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Mon, 19 Jan 2015 04:32:08 EST
The Global Touch http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=c68730b8-edaa-4ccd-b964-eb6544e676b6 http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=c68730b8-edaa-4ccd-b964-eb6544e676b6 “I always wanted to work for a company I felt proud of and that makes the world a little better everyday,” said Gettysburg College alumna Sheri Woodruff ’87, “so I love my work at Johnson & Johnson.”

Woodruff, the vice president of communications for global public affairs and policy, started at Johnson & Johnson two and a half years ago and was promoted to her current position just this past summer. In her role, she serves at the intersection of communications, public affairs, and corporate social responsibility.

“Countries around the world are interested in social responsibility to positively affect their citizens,” said Woodruff, who recently visited China, Singapore, and India to meet with patients, physicians, and government officials. In the meetings, she discussed how the American multinational company could address their health care needs.

Woodruff at Clinic

“Each market we work with is very unique—developed nations, like the U.S., Canada, and those in Europe; emerging markets, where things are moving quickly and taking shape; and resource-poor countries, like in Africa.”

From medicine cabinets to operating tables, the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies estimates that it touches more than a billion people each day through its products and services, corporate giving, and volunteer efforts.

Woodruff is proud of the impact Johnson & Johnson has had on people’s lives and how it’s stayed true to its credo—crafted back in 1943 by former chairman Robert Wood Johnson before the company went public—which challenges employees to always put the people they serve first.

But to share the story of this complex global company, and to highlight new information in a timely and accurate manner across varying platforms, is truly a massive endeavor. For Woodruff, the undertaking means striving to balance career passions with her commitments at home.

Wedding“This past year, I changed jobs, my wife changed jobs to Verizon, we both sold houses, moved, renovated a kitchen, I traveled to eight countries, we had a wedding, and our dog had surgery—I’d recommend you don’t try to cram all of that into the same year,” Woodruff joked.

“It is great to have curiosity and drive in your profession, but you also need to unplug and just be present as well. We do device-free dinners and take opportunities to spend time together. And when I’m traveling for business, I try to do things that are unique and enjoyable in those places—it’s a good reminder that as we’re chugging along, if we don’t take the time, our lives wouldn’t be as rich as they are.”

Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Woodruff thrived at corporations like TE Connectivity (formerly Tyco Electronics), Tyco International, and General Motors, where her innovative ideas translated into double-digit revenue growth and market share.

These experiences, plus the opportunity to work as press secretary for the governor of Delaware, reinforced to her the importance of continuing to develop as a professional throughout a career.

“Always try to have a variety of experiences where you’re immersed in different things—media relations, internal and external communications, financial communications, private and public sector,” said Woodruff, a former English major. “It makes you a stronger professional and the diversity of experiences will serve you well throughout your career.”

Woodruff also emphasizes the advantage of becoming a citizen of the world in today’s competitive global workforce.

“I have had a global role since my second job with General Motors and the experience has made me a better professional. It opened my mind to more than if I had only worked in the U.S.,” she said.

“When I was building a team in China for Tyco Electronics, one employee and I had an especially strong connection. She spent so much time explaining Chinese culture to me—family, industry, communication—that it helped me to better understand how to recruit people in those cultures, how to advertise, how to tell our story, how to understand our audiences. This is invaluable. It helps prevent you from being a person who goes abroad and you’re a professional doing business abroad. Instead, you can come up with real solutions with an eye to individual needs in the area.”

But before all of Woodruff’s professional success and leadership insights, she remembers serving as an intern in Gettysburg College’s Public Relations Office (today’s Communications and Marketing Office). It turned out to be the foundation for which she built her career.

“Looking back, it was just a wonderful experience. My most influential mentor was in the PR Office in the mid ’80s—Linda Lagle, a former associate director of PR. She took me under her wing and gave me the opportunity to grow,” Woodruff said. “She had a joy for working with the media, and opened up a variety of skills within me that helped me get my first job out of college.”

Woodruff’s advice for current Gettysburg students: Go above and beyond, and never stop getting better.

“Challenge yourself. Keep your focus—like a set of criteria or a checklist—on how to improve yourself professionally, then go and do it. It will take you a long way.”

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition that includes Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars among its alumni. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Mike Baker, associate director of communications, 717.337.6521.

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Mon, 12 Jan 2015 02:44:24 EST
Tremendous opportunities abound for EI Undergraduate Fellows http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=4141edc7-4680-4216-abd0-08ef90b0ab37 http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=4141edc7-4680-4216-abd0-08ef90b0ab37 Speaking with the top governmental officials in national security and intelligence is an intimidating task, especially for a college student. But that’s exactly what the 2014/15 Eisenhower Institute Undergraduate Fellows have done this past semester.

This selective group of students, whose interests range from environmental science to public policy, worked tirelessly to plan and organize panel discussions with a number of top professionals who are leading the way in geospatial intelligence, the fight against transnational crime, and modern issues in privacy and national security.

EI provides students with a great deal of support, but also pushes students to improve and grow academically and professionally.

“I have gained a lot of knowledge in how to temper confidence and leadership to produce great outcomes,” said Andrea Buchanan ’15, a political science and public policy double major with minors in Spanish and education. Buchanan, and others, stressed how they grew as professionals, gaining confidence from interacting closely with leaders in the intelligence community.

Eisenhower Institute“Working with them was extremely intimidating at first...these are the people that are working behind the scenes to keep our country safe,” said Buchanan. After interacting with these people throughout the semester, however, the Fellows grew more comfortable and confident.

“Meeting important people is a really big part of being a Fellow, so we all learned quickly how to overcome our nervousness and not be intimidated,” said Alan Osborn ’15, who organized a panel on technology, innovation, and privacy, with panelists including Google’s Chief Innovation Evangelist, Michele Weslander Quaid.

Not only did their experience help the Fellows to improve communication skills, time management, and team-work skills, but it also opened up networking opportunities.

“We are always networking with the people we meet, and they are always more than happy to offer us career advice or put us in contact with someone they know who can help us,” said Osborn. “We have also had the pleasure to meet some great alumni who had some great advice on how to get the most out of our educational experience.”

Notable alumni included Fred Fielding ’61, a member of the 9/11 Commission, Chief Executive Officer of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation Keith Masback ’87, and Richard LaMagna ’70, who served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Intelligence for the Drug Enforcement Administration.


Building Peer Connections

The Fellows also built strong connections with their peers by working with a diverse group of highly motivated students, whose academic focuses and career ambitions stretch well beyond political science and public policy. “We all bring different points of view to the table and none of us are afraid to voice our opinion,” said Osborn.

“The coolest part of being a Fellow is getting to know the other members - everyone is smart, interested, and motivated,” said Liz Oberg ’15, stressing the value of the peer connections she made with the Eisenhower Institute. Oberg organized two panels, the first on post 9/11 intelligence in industrial nations, and the second on the Office of the Director of National Security, which featured Fielding.

While EI interacts with alumni, government officials, and prominent professionals, their focus is always on the students.

Prof. Shirley Anne Warshaw“What’s cool about EI is that they give you a lot of support, but also expect you to take on responsibility,” said Buchanan, who echoed the gratitude all of the other Fellows had for the support and hard work of the Harold G. Evans Chair of Eisenhower Leadership Studies and political science Prof. Shirley Ann Warshaw, EI Director Jeffrey Blavatt, and the rest of the EI staff.

The Fellows grew close over the course of the semester, working together to organize panels and to learn about national security, a topic that not many of them were too familiar with at the start of the semester. They ended up, however, with extensive knowledge that allowed them to initiate engaging dialogue with panelists.


Real World Experience

EI gives the Fellows opportunities to enrich their academic studies and bring what they learn in the classroom to real-world situations. For example, the Fellows visited the Kennedy Library in Boston, and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency in Springfield, Va. For Danielle Keim ’15, an environmental studies major who concentrates on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the second trip was particularly fruitful.

“I was excited to find that my studies, specifically those including my GIS courses, prepared me for our visit to the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency,” she said. Keim applied her environmental interests to her panel on transnational crime and the funding terrorist organizations, with wildlife crime and environmental issues as a central focus.

Andrea & DaneilThe experience the Fellows gained fed right back into the classroom. “One of the great things about EI as a whole is that it is set up to take what you have learned in the classroom and apply it in a real world setting,” said Osborn. “Going into a new class, instead of thinking about the textbook, I think about how it applies to the real world,” he said.

Most of the Fellows first got involved with EI by participating in other programs, including Environmental Leadership, Strategy and Leadership (SALTT), Women in Leadership, and Inside Politics, and aspired early on to apply for the Undergraduate Fellows program. Buchanan found that her time with various EI programs showed her the value of liberal arts education at Gettysburg.

“Being able to think critically about the issue that was presented to us and work with a group of peers to develop a program that would communicate the importance of these issues to the larger community is a true testament to the value of our liberal arts education at Gettysburg as well as the phenomenal job EI does in providing us the space and support for these one of a kind experiences.”

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition that includes Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars among its alumni. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Nikki Rhoads, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803
Article by: Frank Arbogast ’16- Communications Intern

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Mon, 12 Jan 2015 02:51:30 EST
Watch Video: Robert Whipple ’12 finds joy in NYC music industry career http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=76759b79-e987-4150-95be-6b03e5bfbf8f http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=76759b79-e987-4150-95be-6b03e5bfbf8f The Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College is a place to find your music. If music is a part of who you are—if you’re serious about the art—you need opportunities to express it, develop it, and let it grow.

Take Robert Whipple ’12.

Whipple, a music and biology double major, was shaped by the academic rigor, creative collaborations, and innovative instruction offered by the Conservatory. Today, he’s employing the lessons learned on campus for The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York City.

Watch the video

 

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Mike Baker, associate director of communications, 717.337.6521

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Mon, 12 Jan 2015 02:52:40 EST
Stories you’ve seen in 2014 http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=f400a89e-aea6-4745-9c8f-aec77bfc0be3 http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=f400a89e-aea6-4745-9c8f-aec77bfc0be3 Every year as campus quiets down for the holiday season and winter break, we like to take the opportunity to remind the Gettysburg College community how much we’ve accomplished over the past year.

Check out our top stories lists from previous years: The Lucky 13 of ’13, Top 12 moments of 2012, Top Stories from 2011, Top Ten stories of 2010

We always think that we can’t possibly top the previous year’s excitement, but we have been proven wrong again and again. 2014 was no exception. In the past year, the College launched a $150 million comprehensive campaign, brought renewed energy to leadership topics, and sent ambassadors to all corners of the globe in one way or another.

Read on to find out more about the top ten stories you liked best in 2014 (plus one bonus)!

1000 to 1 world premiereBonus: Weissman’s world premiere

The story of Cory Weissman ’12 has been well known to the Gettysburg community for several years now. The former Bullets basketball player who suffered a stroke during his first year on campus returned to the court in his senior game to score a single point. His inspirational story was turned into a movie, which was filmed on campus last year.

1000 to 1: The Cory Weissman Story got it’s moment in the sun during a world premiere at Gettysburg College’s Majestic Theater in March. We also updated you on what Weissman is up to now!

 

Lists#10 Loving lists!

When we look at the most popular stories of the past year, one thing is certain: Gettysburgians LOVE lists!

You enjoyed 15 things to LOVE about Gettysburg College and 16 ways to know it’s Finals Week so much, that we even started our own BuzzFeed page.

So what’s next? Who knows, maybe a top SERVO cookie flavors list is on the horizon!

 

 

FY Walk#9 History: not just a thing of the past

We can’t get away from it: history is engrained in Gettysburg College and our town. What’s important to remember, however, is that studying and appreciating history does not just mean looking backwards…it also means looking to our present and future.

At the First-Year Walk, Civil War Institute assistant director and history Prof. Ian Isherwood ’00 echoed Lincoln’s words and asked the incoming class, “What cause will you nobly advance?” Civil War Era Studies Prof. Allen Guelzo received the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize for his book, “Gettysburg: The Last Invasion,” and he was honored alongside someone known for modern historical interpretation and appreciation: filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

And on the 151st anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, not only did we find out what it would have been like if Twitter existed in 1863, but two students also shared their thoughts on what Lincoln’s immortal speech means today.

Athletics#8 Amazing athletic accomplishments

The Bullets had us cheering up a storm in 2014, with both men’s and women’s teams representing Gettysburg with pride.

For the men, baseball had a record-setting season (finishing 33-8); men’s swimming won its fourth-straight conference title and finished 16th in NCAA Division III; and football won the inaugural Lincoln Trophy (check out the making of the trophy and more about the 100th meeting of Gburg and F&M).

The women were not to be outdone. Women’s golf won its fourth-straight conference title and finished 16th in NCAA Division III; women’s lacrosse won its third-straight conference title, and later rallied past Middlebury in the third round of the NCAA Division III tournament; and women’s soccer earned an NCAA Division III Tournament at-large berth after a banner season.

 

Garthwait Leadership Center#7 Leading the way

Every group and individual on campus has been thinking about what leadership means to them. Our students and alums lead in the boardroom, on the field, in the classroom, and more. Nowhere is this leadership focus more evident than at the Garthwait Leadership Center (GLC) and Eisenhower Institute (EI).

In 2014, the GLC got a new, permanent office in Plank and added a staff person to help with their ever-expanding programming. We also found out what leadership means to Leadership Mentor Morgan Patullo ’15.

For EI, a focus on space and NASA, as well as national security and intelligence, generated thoughtful dialogue. Trips took students to the island of Bonaire to study sustainability, and Inside the Middle East.

 

Prof. Steve Siviy#6 Savoring STEM

Careers in the STEM disciplines are exploding. This year, we told you several stories about the great things our students and faculty are doing in math and the sciences.

We found out that mathematics major and physics minor Ryan Matzke ’15 has something to prove and chemistry major Danny Zeng ’15 is at home in the lab. Physics Prof. Tim Good flipped his classroom, health sciences Prof. Dan Drury told us whether Elliptigo exercise was a go or no-go, and the story of two alums took us to the forefront of muscular dystrophy research.

An animal theme also emerged amongst the work of our profs and students: we examined Steve Siviy’s rats, Kathryn Lord’s dogs, Ryan Kerney’s salamanders, and the birds of Danny Williams ’14.

 

Michael Boyland at Toyota#5 Burg means business

Many of our alums pursue successful careers in business and economics, so in 2014, we filled you in on what a few of them – and some students an faculty – are up to. John Skrabak ’79 found the perfect fit leading business intelligence initiatives at Foot Locker, while Michael Boyland ’13 cruised into a career as one of Toyota’s youngest managers.

Unsurprisingly, in today’s interconnected world, a number of those stories took on a global twist: Prof. Zhining Hu prepares our students to be global citizens in a global economy, while Prof. Eileen Stillwaggon taught Economics 255: Poverty and Health in the Americas entirely in Spanish. Prof. Rimvydas Baltaduonis’ research has taken him around the world, and he even helped KJ Sanger ’17 teach graduate coursework in Europe.

 

Gettysburg goes global#4 Gettysburg goes global

Speaking of global, Gettysburgians, it seems, can be found in all corners of the Earth. We introduced you to international students and alums who have found career success abroad, and followed faculty to India and students to Ethiopia.

When The Sunderman Conservatory of Music embarked on an international tour, we took you along for the ride. You also got to know a student with an impressive title: King of Tibet.

We also learned just how impactful studying abroad can be through our Gburg Abroad series (Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four).

 

Gettysburg College value

#3 A Gettysburg education continues to prove valuable

We hear it from alums time and time again: their Gettysburg education has proven incredibly valuable in their lives and careers. Earlier this year, we shared with you some stats about how our students translate their Gettysburg experience to achieve great jobs and great lives.

And while we may be biased, we aren’t the only ones who think a Gettysburg education is a great value: The Princeton Review named us a “Best Value College for 2014” and you can check out our 2014 rankings story for more accolades.

 

Commencement#2 Bookend ‘Burg experiences are the best

There are two seminal Gettysburg experiences that bookend students’ time here: First-Year Orientation and Commencement. In 2014, we said goodbye to Class of 2014 and welcomed the Class of 2018.

In May during Commencement, we examined the Class of 2014 by the numbers, remembered their four years of great work, and took the words of Commencement speaker and Three-Star General Flora Darpino ’83 to heart.

This August during Orientation, we introduced you to the talented Class of 2018, reviewed top Orientation traditions, and followed along with the journal of a Residence Coordinator.

 

Campaign weekend#1 Strengthening our future

At Gettysburg College, we are always thinking about what’s next. In 2014, we took several steps to ensure the College’s future, such as granting tenure to seven talented faculty members and opening a newly renovated Glatfelter Hall.

But the biggest step into the future was the launch of a $150 million comprehensive campaign, Gettysburg Great: The Campaign for Our College at a series of events during Homecoming 2014.

The campaign’s ’s top priority will be scholarships for undergraduate students. Other key campaign goals include strengthening faculty support, increasing engaged learning opportunities for students, bolstering annual giving, and jumpstarting new global initiatives, such as the renovation of a campus building into a global education center. Find out everything you need to know about the campaign in 90 seconds.

Well Burgians, 2014’s been a blast! We can’t wait to see what 2015 holds for the College we know and love. We wish you all happy holidays and a prosperous New Year!

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition that includes Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars among its alumni. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Nikki Rhoads, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

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Mon, 12 Jan 2015 03:21:49 EST
The spirit of giving: John Orr ’70 endows scholarship fund http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=9d83903e-e949-482d-9ba2-13d0f576b831 http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=9d83903e-e949-482d-9ba2-13d0f576b831 We’re smack in the season of giving, and John Orr ’70 is someone who knows about the spirit that goes along with this season.

Orr, a regular donor to the Annual Fund, established the John K. Orr Endowed Scholarship in the early 90s, and has continued to enhance the significant fund.

“I wanted to do more than give to the annual fund, and I got the idea for a scholarship,” Orr said. “I have a nephew who is developmentally delayed, and he has always had the support he needs. So rather than just a general scholarship, I wanted to establish a scholarship that is for students with some type of disability.”

Orr’s giving supports the recently launched Gettysburg Great: The Campaign for our College. Scholarships are a priority of the $150 million comprehensive campaign. Last year, Gettysburg College awarded $47.7 million in merit scholarships and need-based grants, benefiting two-thirds of the student body.

Orr says that he’s been very fortunate in his life and career, and he’s glad he can make a small difference by giving back to the College that set him on a successful path.

His time at Gettysburg allowed for personal growth, he says, and the writing-intensive political science classes he took helped him hone writing and grammar skills that would prove useful in his career.

“Writing is so important, and that was really apparent to me as a student,” Orr said. “I was fortunate in that I was a good writer, and was able to parlay that into career success.”

After graduating from Gettysburg, Orr went on to earn his Masters in government from Lehigh, and then a long, successful career, mostly in human resources, with Prudential. After some changes in the company in the late 90s, Orr took his career in a different direction.

Using his experiences at Prudential and writing skills, Orr became a freelance writer, editor, and consultant working on financial brochures, newsletters, enrollment booklets, employee communications, and more. He’s worked for himself for 15 years, and says the role has been rewarding, and has allowed him to continue to support Gettysburg.

One of the most gratifying parts of being able to give back to his alma mater through a scholarship fund, Orr says, is hearing how his gift makes a difference.

“I’ve received thank you notes from a number of the scholarship recipients. That’s really lovely and thoughtful,” Orr said. “It’s satisfying to know that I played a small role in allowing a student to attend Gettysburg, experience the things I did, and become well-prepared for a career and life. I’m fortunate to be able to support and enhance the scholarship I established.”

Thanks to the generosity and support of donors like Orr, access to a Gettysburg College education is the gift that will keep on giving for years to come.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition that includes Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars among its alumni. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Nikki Rhoads, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

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Mon, 12 Jan 2015 03:29:27 EST
Seasons Greetings from Gettysburg College http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=32b40726-48cd-43a9-a50d-975d611d9b9f http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=32b40726-48cd-43a9-a50d-975d611d9b9f Watch the 2014 Holiday Video!

As 2014 comes to a close, please take a minute to watch our holiday video and reflect on yet another a great year at Gettysburg College. The entire Gettysburg College community wishes joy and peace to everyone this holiday season.

Many thanks to all-male a cappella group Drop the Octave; Bullets women's lacrosse team; Office of Intercultural Advancement; President's Office; Provost's Office; Human Resources; Office of Residential & First-Year Programs; Admissions; Economics Department Band; Theatre Arts 203; Economics 309; Musselman Library; SERVO; and the chemistry, physics, and psychology departments for their enthusiastic and festive participation in the video.

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Mon, 05 Jan 2015 10:17:49 EST
Emily Zeller ’14 finds identity in faith, song, and justice http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=199fe0fc-0722-43de-924c-b74750f06206 http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=199fe0fc-0722-43de-924c-b74750f06206 At the crossroads of downtown Washington, D.C., there is a synagogue called Sixth & I, a 105-year old cultural and religious center. It serves more than 4,000 people in the metro area—and Gettysburg College alumna Emily Zeller ’14 is at the heart of it all.

Zeller works as a young professional event associate, planning religious events like Shabbat and other holidays, while also assisting in developing Sixth & I’s public programming.

But for Zeller, it all began at Gettysburg.

In the fall of 2010, Zeller took a First-Year Seminar, “The World’s Children,” with Psychology Prof. Kathleen Cain. Over the semester, she formed a greater sense of global understanding, particularly through a trip to Leon, Nicaragua, where she worked alongside fellow Gettysburgians to help install solar panels and build a school.

Zeller and friendsFor Zeller, the experience was truly rewarding, but it wasn’t her first time abroad or even her first time in Leon. She traveled to the country only a few months earlier with the Gettysburg College Choir. The two trips bolstered her passion for justice, as well as her appreciation for world music.

At Gettysburg, Zeller performed in three on-campus music groups: the Gettysburg College Choir, Camerata, and Four Scores, all of which have their own unique sound. As a music major, she credits the Sunderman Conservatory of Music, specifically director of choral activities Prof. Robert Natter, for laying a solid foundation for her personal development and her ultimate goal—a career in music therapy.

“He was one of the most passionate teachers I’ve ever had,” Zeller said. “If one person was missing from rehearsal, we knew we were not reaching our full potential.”

A BOLD alumna with minors in women, gender and sexuality studies, and peace and justice studies, Zeller was an active member of Autism Speaks U, a campus organization that advocates for autism awareness among students. She was elected co-president her junior year and treasurer her senior year.

This desire to foster community on campus paved the way for her later involvement with Gettysburg Hillel, a community serving spiritual, cultural, and social needs of Jewish students at the College.

“After a gap year in Israel, I was looking to find a Jewish community I felt comfortable with when I came to Gettysburg,” Zeller said. “I [later] wanted to be part of the leadership team because I wanted to help shape the community and environment.”

As Hillel’s president during her senior year, Zeller created new programs, recruited new members, and engaged the campus community. With the guidance of Julie Ramsey, vice president of college life and dean of students, and Kim Davidson, director of Hillel and the Center for Public Service, Zeller made significant strides for the organization and gained valuable professional experience.

Zeller at CommencementUpon graduation, Zeller networked with Gettysburg alumna Madeline Shepherd ’09, a legislative assistant for the National Council of Jewish Women, and landed an internship with the Anti-Defamation League. There, she tackled a variety of public policy issues, such as LGBTQA rights, bullying, and homelessness.

Today, Zeller credits her campus leadership experiences and Gettysburg College’s strong community for helping her jumpstart a promising career at Sixth & I.

“I learned so much and made so many great relationships with professors and faculty, but it was really the whole experience that helped shape who I am post-grad—I love Gettysburg College.”

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition that includes Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars among its alumni. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. 

Article by: Eric Lee ’15, communications & marketing intern
Contact: Mike Baker, associate director of communications, 717.337.6521

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Tue, 13 Jan 2015 12:04:10 EST
Patrick Quinlan ’06 merges his passion for English with a career in internal medicine http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=1db27fa4-7317-4731-9edd-fb620cf2c203 http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=1db27fa4-7317-4731-9edd-fb620cf2c203 “Thus in silence in dreams’ projections,

Returning, resuming, I thread my way through the hospitals,

The hurt and wounded I pacify with soothing hand,

I sit by the restless all the dark night, some are so young,

Some suffer so much, I recall the experience sweet and sad,

(Many a soldier’s loving arms about this neck have cross’d and rested,

Many a soldier’s kiss dwells on these bearded lips.)” -Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman is remembered as one of the greatest poets in the American canon. But what many may not know is that he also served as a dedicated caretaker for many sick and wounded soldiers during the Civil War.

Pat Quinlan '06Gettysburg College alumnus Patrick Quinlan ’06 has followed a similar calling, combining his love for English and medicine to become a standout primary care physician at the WellSpan Washington Street Internal Medicine Clinic in Gettysburg.

As an English major, Quinlan learned much about the life and works of Whitman, particularly in his first-year seminar taught by English Prof. William Lane.

“As I came away [from Gettysburg], I started thinking about a health profession but wasn’t sure if this was the path I wanted to take,” he said. “I felt in my heart that maybe medicine was still in my reach.”

Luckily, he had campus advocates like Lane, his faculty advisor, and professors in the Gettysburg biology department, to lean on.

“Many of my advisors guided me along the right path,” Quinlan said. “That was all I needed, someone to say ‘you can do it.’”  

Quinlan credits his study of literature, coupled with his medical training at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, for helping him develop a unique lens into the human condition—not only to accurately treat physical injuries, but emotional and psychological ailments as well.

Pat Quinlan“Doctors are becoming employees,” he said. “And this is adding a lot of pressure and constraints to see more patients in the same amount of time, treating them like a symptom instead of a person.”

Whitman once wrote, “every cot has its history.” Much like Whitman’s soldiers, Quinlan’s patients all share a personal and very human background—one that the Gettysburgian strives to never forget.

That means slowing down and taking extra time to listen to stories, share a laugh, or provide an ear for patients to express concerns.

“I may not give a pill to make everything better, but I am able to give them peace of mind—and that is the best feeling in the world,” he said. “Most of my job is telling my patients that it’s going to be okay. I want them to leave my office feeling positive.”

In addition to offering support and guidance, the field of internal medicine requires Quinlan have a grounded and extensive knowledge of a variety of medical fields. In his profession, he needs to know everything from cardiology to pulmonology so he can recognize many types of symptoms and prescribe appropriate medications. This also thrusts Quinlan into the role of educator, informing those under his care about specific diagnoses and how their medicine works.

So what advice would Quinlan give to Gettysburg College students gearing up for a medical career in the 21st century?

“Don’t take yourself too seriously,” he said. “But have confidence in yourself and what you can do. Keep your eye on the goal and find others who can work together, grow from each other, and leave behind the cutthroat, competitive mentality.”


Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Article by: Julie Day ’16, communications & marketing intern

Contact: Mike Baker, associate director of communications, 717.337.6521

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Tue, 13 Jan 2015 12:05:34 EST
Augie Masucci ’17 circles the globe with gap-year program http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=6fc62116-8086-41de-b1cb-d0faa47cd5bf http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=6fc62116-8086-41de-b1cb-d0faa47cd5bf As a senior at the Taft School in Connecticut, Augie Masucci ’17 was looking forward to continuing his education at Gettysburg College shortly after his 2012 graduation.

A two-sport athlete at Taft, he even planned to try out for the Bullets men’s lacrosse team.

But those plans were put on hold when the Bernardsville, N.J. native applied for and was accepted into Thinking Beyond Borders, a non-profit “gap year” program whose stated mission is to “empower and inspire students through education and to address critical global issues.”

So instead of traveling the Mid-Atlantic with 40 or so lacrosse teammates, Masucci circled the globe with 17 students along with three program leaders. And he traded in his lacrosse stick for a garden shovel, as “field work” took on a whole new meaning.

Augie in Ecuador

Augie Masucci ’17 and his fellow Thinking Beyond Borders students assisted local farmers in the fields of Ecuador.

Masucci chose TBB’s “Global Gap Year,” a two-semester program in which he toured six countries over the seventh-month journey. He spent the majority of his time in four locations, staying five-and-a-half to seven weeks apiece in Ecuador, China, India, and South Africa. The curriculum combined field work with academic study and language learning.

It turned out to be an incredible learning opportunity for Masucci, now an environmental studies major with a concentration in sustainable development.

“Traveling to different parts of the world gave me some perspective about global issues and the way different countries and cultures choose to approach them,” said Masucci. “Knowing that there are other ways and most likely better ways to approach these issues is both interesting and exciting to me.”

Staying with host families, students underwent a rigorous daily schedule, rising no later than 6 a.m. before performing field work over the remainder of the morning. After lunch, students moved right into a two-hour seminar that focused on the primary global issue of the particular region. Finally, they were responsible for completing a research project that was relevant to the local community for each of the four main countries they visited.

The trip started in Ecuador, where the group studied the country’s threatened natural resources and environment, and assisted local farmers by planting trees. In China, they examined sustainable agriculture and helped work at an organic farm.

The focus shifted to education during the third major stop in India, where they worked in public schools and some of the poorest areas around the city of Jaipur. The final stop was in South Africa, where they studied public health in relation to the country’s severe AIDS epidemic. They also worked in townships with holistic caregivers.

Part of the curriculum also included two shorter, two-week “enrichment” stops in Cambodia and Peru, where Masucci was able to take the four-day hike up the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Each major stop affected Masucci differently, but the India and South Africa segments impacted him the most.

“In India, we saw a problem with volunteer tourism,” he said. “Education is a huge problem – teachers are very limited. So people will come with their families on their vacation and try to teach kids for two or three days and then leave. The challenge is learning how to make it sustainable, not just dumping whatever knowledge we have and then leaving. We wanted to help give people the skills needed to do it themselves.”

In South Africa, Masucci witnessed how stigmas and lack of education are working against preventing AIDS.

“The big issue in South Africa with disease is that it’s all stigmatized,” he said. “We had a survey going where we asked if the people knew what hospice was, and what people thought about it. And generally, the education level wasn’t there. So people didn’t know that these stigmas are hurting the ability for caregivers, or the government in general, to stop the epidemic.”

Masucci came away with several major takeaways from his experience.

“I think that it is important to travel and experience other cultures,” he said. “Going to a boarding school, I was kind of living in a bubble. It’s one thing to read about a distant place in the news where something is happening. But when you get there, it kind of makes it real and makes you realize how much smaller the world is.

“Also, there are multiple approaches to development and just because one approach works in one area or one country does not mean it will work in another area or country. And education is a major hindrance in all aspects of global issues.”

Throughout his trip, Masucci was unable to play lacrosse and admits he was uncertain how he would perform upon his return. However, trying out as a walk-on defenseman, Masucci impressed the coaching staff enough to make the team, and he competed as a reserve during his freshman season.

“He’s one of the most unique recruits we’ve ever had,” said long-time Bullets head coach Hank Janczyk. “I don’t think we’ve ever had someone who’s done what he did.”

“It was tough,” said Masucci, on his lengthy layoff from lacrosse. “But throughout fall ball everyone made me feel like I was part of the team even though I wasn’t. The coaches and players were always open to answering all the questions I had about what was happening on the field and constantly giving me advice on how to improve.”

As a student at Gettysburg, Masucci has already taken advantage of the College’s educational service opportunities offered through the Center for Public Service. During winter break last year, he joined seven others on a 10-day immersion trip to Nicaragua, studying sustainable agriculture. His love for travel also took him to a ranch in Montana, where he and a friend worked this past summer, and he has aspirations of working or interning abroad this summer.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Braden Snyder, director of athletic communications, 717.337.6527

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Tue, 13 Jan 2015 12:03:04 EST
At home in the lab: With profs’ mentorship, Danny Zeng ’15 confirms passion for chem research http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=9157184f-ca79-4822-a85e-1792cadd0f2d http://www.gettysburg.edu/news_events/press_release_detail.dot?id=9157184f-ca79-4822-a85e-1792cadd0f2d Not many undergraduate students can say they’ve researched a method of detecting water on Mars.

But Presidential Scholar Danny Zeng ’15 had accomplished that feat before he even set foot on campus as a first-year. The summer after he graduated from high school, Zeng completed a pre-collegiate internship with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.

Since coming to Gettysburg, Zeng, a first generation Chinese-American and first generation college student, has continued to develop his passion for chemistry research.

The native of Arcadia, Calif. and Temple City High School grad says that he always wanted to come to the East Coast for college, and when he found out more about the science offerings at Gettysburg, he was sold.

“I had taken two years of chemistry in high school and I was a tutor,” said Zeng, a chemistry major. “I was pretty sure that science was the right fit for me, and once I took some classes here, that was confirmed for me.”

However, Zeng started his college career in a research-centric class that he admits was a little outside his comfort zone.

Before he picked his first-year classes, Zeng received information in the mail about the yearlong Phage biology experience (which includes a fall and spring course) taught by biology profs Veronique Delesalle and Gregory Krukonis. The courses are aimed at first-year students, and are a collaboration with Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMI) Science Education Alliance-PHAGES program. The classes focus on isolating and analyzing novel viruses that infect the bacteria Mycobacterium smegmatis, and students are involved in a nation-wide research project.

Danny Zeng '15

“I remembered how exciting my research at JPL was, and I was open to doing more. I knew the Phage courses would be a great opportunity to gain additional research experience,” Zeng said. “It was a great challenge, as I hadn’t done biology research before, but I was very engaged.”

Zeng’s engagement and success in the Phage courses didn’t go unnoticed. In fact, his accomplishments as a first-year student led to two more summers researching through another HHMI program – the Exceptional Research Opportunities Program (EXROP) – for which Delesalle and Krukonis recommended him.

“Danny was an obvious choice for this program. He came to Gettysburg having already been involved in summer research. He was a fantastic student in the Phage courses, but particularly distinguishing himself for his tenaciousness. The virus he was isolating was recalcitrant to say the least and Danny had to spend twice as much time as anybody else to do his isolation. Danny never gave up and he did this cheerfully, exhibiting the exact qualities you want to recommend someone for this prestigious program. I am immensely proud of all that Danny has accomplished in his four years with us,” Delesalle said.

In addition to the profs’ recommendations, the competitive application process for HHMI’s EXROP required Zeng to write about his research interests and experiences, and why he wanted to take advantage of one of the few chemistry research opportunities the program offered.

After being accepted, EXORP took Zeng to Brandeis University during the summers after his sophomore and junior years at Gettysburg. He was one of only a handful of undergraduate students conducting research there.

“My time at Brandeis helped me see the different varieties of research that go on at a larger university,” Zeng said. “I was only supposed to work eight hours a day while I was there, but I ended up doing ten or twelve because I enjoyed it so much. I got to work with people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. It was really life changing.”

Zeng's modelZeng has also conducted research on the Gettysburg campus, primarily in chemistry Prof. Don Jameson’s lab. There, he synthesizes derivatives of Troger’s base, a chiral, bicyclic diamine in which two aromatic rings are rigidly held at about a 90-degree angle (model pictured, right).

So, what’s next for Zeng? After graduation, he plans to pursue a Fulbright (for which he has applied) – or a year of service – before following his passion for chemistry research in grad school.

“I’ve been incredibly lucky to have all of these research opportunities,” Zeng said. “If I hadn’t conducted the research at JPL, I may not have taken the phage course, which was outside my area of interest. Those two opportunities certainly helped me get into the EXORP program. My Gettysburg professors have done more for me than I can ever thank them for, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition that includes Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars among its alumni. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Nikki Rhoads, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

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Tue, 13 Jan 2015 12:07:00 EST