News@Gettysburg Latest news coverage from Gettysburg College It takes a village: Faculty reflection on Orientation Advising first-year students as they negotiate the new realities and expectations of college life is one of my most enjoyable and fulfilling experiences as a faculty member at Gettysburg College. Because I know how important a knowledgeable and caring advisor is in the students’ first year, in the past two summers I have taken part in the Summer Advising Initiative, during which members of the faculty give incoming first-year students advice on courses, schedules and the process of transitioning to college life.

This summer, over the course of several weeks, I spoke with about fifteen incoming first-year students. While many conversations began with questions about schedules, majors and registration, most of them wrapped up with cheerful messages of relief for having enrolled in their preferred courses and of expectation for the first day of class. Many of the students told me that they couldn’t wait to start school – and I could tell that they meant it.


One of the things to which I look forward at the beginning of every semester is reading my first-year advisees “Dear Advisor” letters. Students write these letters in the summer, before they know who their advisors will be, and in them they give their professors an initial glimpse of their interests and aspirations.

This year, my first-year advisees’ letters moved me with their sincerity, grace, confidence and cosmopolitanism.

One student shared his interest in understanding religions within their cultural contexts, and another spoke about her hope to enter the field of gender studies and continue the activist work that she had already begun by writing a letter on gender inequality to her local paper.

A third student told me how her team had won a national championship in women’s soccer.

The ultimate goal of another of my advisees is to be a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, while a fifth reminisced about her war-torn homeland and connected it to her desire to study abroad and to help people through medicine.

These letters are purposeful, filled with energy and excitement, and I look forward to admiring these students’ success in their quest for better communities.

Radost Rangelova is an Associate Professor of Spanish. Having received her PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, her work focuses on Caribbean literature and film, gender and sexuality, cultural geography and national discourses. Rangelova teaches the First-Year Seminar, Gender and Politics in Latin America.

Rangelova’s reflection is one of a three-part series from the perspective of various campus members. The first reflection was written by Peter Rosenberger ’16, a member of the First-Year Resident Assistant Staff. The second reflection was written by Abby Kallin ’12, the Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Gettysburg College and a Move-In Day volunteer.

Check out more from our 2015 Orientation coverage.

Mon, 31 Aug 2015 04:29:36 EDT
The First-Year Walk and the power of place Some locations have a sense of place – a feeling of connection to a geographic space and the events that occurred there, no matter how long ago they took place. During Thursday night’s 13th annual First-Year Walk, Gettysburg College’s incoming class was exposed to the power of place, both in regards to the three-day battle that raged here over 150 years ago and the words spoken here by President Abraham Lincoln that have forever defined that battle.

This year’s speaker – Associate Director of the Civil War Institute Jill Ogline Titus – imparted to the incoming class an understanding of the significance of our historic location.

“The Gettysburg Address has become arguably the most famous speech in American history – because of its eloquence and brevity, sure, but even more so because it took suffering and destruction and made meaning out of them,” Titus said. “It attached transcendent meaning to the battle of Gettysburg, and turned this war-ravaged town into a symbol of democracy and devotion to duty.”


She then described how our location and the meaning given to it by Lincoln’s words have been used as a rallying point throughout history. She shared how President Dwight D. Eisenhower used this location during the height of the Cold War to charge Americans to defend the rights of others as strenuously as they defend their own. In 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson stood on the stage at the National Cemetery and called for an end to racial injustice. During the Vietnam War, civil rights activist C.T. Vivian used his platform here to compare the struggle for racial justice and peace in Vietnam with the Civil War soldiers who fought and died on the Gettysburg battlefields.

“Lincoln’s words continue to resonate with us because they belong not only to 1863, but to 1942, 1963, 1972, and 2015,” Titus said.

“How will you advance the unfinished work of justice?” she charged the Class of 2019. “How will you use the opportunities your Gettysburg College education will offer you to engage with the world around you and refuse to take the easy way out in life?”

The first-year students were also welcomed by Mayor William Troxell, who presented Andrew Dalton ’19 with a key to the city.

“I am very honored to accept this key on behalf of the Gettysburg College Class of 2019,” Dalton said. “It is a great welcoming gesture by the mayor and the town, and signifies that our class is now a part of not only Gettysburg College, but of the larger Gettysburg community.”


Now in its 13th year, the First-Year Walk brings together Gettysburg College faculty, staff, and students in recreating the historic walk to hear the Gettysburg Address.

In 1863, Gettysburg College students walked with President Lincoln to the newly opened Gettysburg National Cemetery, where Lincoln delivered one of the most well known speeches in history. It was an 1851 graduate of the College, David Wills, who invited Lincoln to deliver "a few appropriate remarks" at the cemetery’s dedication. Wills hosted the president in his home the night before the address.

“The First-Year Walk is my favorite Gettysburg College tradition,” said New Student Orientation Coordinator Rebecca Borovsky. “The opportunity for the incoming class to connect with the town, history, guests, and fellow students is a prime example of the strong community that Gettysburg College creates.”

Check out more from the First-Year Walk in our photo gallery:

Mon, 31 Aug 2015 09:35:40 EDT
It takes a village: Alumna reflection on Orientation When it comes to first-year Move-In Day, I am more than eager. I ask the Office of Residential and First-Year Programs to help in the winter, months before the class even comes together. I want to be sure that come August, I am on the list of first-year Move-In Day volunteers. There are a lot of traditions at Gettysburg College, but Move-In Day tops the list of my favorites. I have volunteered each year after my first year at Gettysburg.


As an incoming first-year, I had participated in Ascent, a pre-Orientation program, and moved in early. So in the following years, it was fun to be a student volunteer, to be a part of the process I had missed my first year. It also gave me a reason to return to campus early and get settled before the semester started. After my first time volunteering, I was hooked. The energy and excitement was – and still is – contagious.

I love the immediate sense of community as current students, parents, alumni, staff, and faculty – clad in orange shirts, insisting that the families do very little in the way of lifting – spend their morning helping the incoming first-year class move into the residence halls. But Move-In Day is more than carrying boxes to a dorm room; for me, it has always been a way to connect with people.

Of all the years that I’ve volunteered with Move-In Day, one of my favorite memories comes from my time as a student. During my senior year, I met an alumna from the Class of 1952. She was sitting alone on the steps of a residence hall taking a much-deserved break. I figured I could use one too, so I sat next to her and introduced myself. From our brief conversation in the shade, I learned that she and her husband (another Gettysburg graduate!) returned to campus to support their granddaughter – the New Student Orientation Coordinator for that year.  Since it was my last year as a student at Gettysburg, meeting her showed me the power of the network - that alumni of all classes are still actively involved and engaged in the Gettysburg College community.


Now that I am an employee in the Admissions Office, I get the chance to continue to connect with people – many times students I have met throughout the college application process, their families and friends – and welcome them to the Gettysburg community.

No matter where my life takes me, I hope to always participate in the first-year move-in. It’s a tiring day, but the sore arms and complete exhaustion are worth it because of the people involved. I never know who I’ll be helping that day, but I do know that I can’t wait to meet them.

Abby Kallin ’12 graduated from Gettysburg College with a Bachelor of the Arts in Psychology. She currently works as the Senior Assistant Director of Admissions in the College’s Office of Admissions and serves as the regional representative for Connecticut and California.

Kallins's reflection is one of a three-part series about Orientation from the perspective of various campus members. The first reflection was written by Peter Rosenberger ’16, a member of the First-Year Resident Assistant Staff.

Thu, 27 Aug 2015 04:20:52 EDT
Parent to parent: Your child will blossom here Every parent’s ultimate dream is that their child can find both personal and professional happiness.

That was ours when our daughter, Alexa, began looking at colleges. We toured 22 of them, but it came down to two or three in the end. She often asked my wife and I for our view, and while our view was that Gettysburg was the best college for her, we never expressed that opinion. We wanted her to make her own decision, to be personally invested in the choice she made.

Ultimately, she was.

Our memories of Move-In Day are particularly vivid, since our only child was about to leave us for college. Of course, we experienced all of the things that we were told to expect – the students descending out of nowhere to unpack our car, the first interaction with our daughter’s roommate and new friends, the jam-packed schedule of events that kept the day moving.

The one thing that we remember most was really the complete opposite of what we were expecting. It happened when my wife and I were saying our goodbyes after the students had been officially matriculated into the College.  My wife started to cry while Alexa, on the other hand, told us she couldn’t really stay long – her new friends were already waiting for her.  She was not unhappy to see us leave.

It certainly wasn’t what we expected. As we were driving home, though, we realized that it is exactly the way we would have wanted it.

The way she dived into the community early on was just a harbinger of things to come.


Her time at Gettysburg provided her with many opportunities to become a confident, well-rounded, and successful young adult. She took advantage of all of them. From studying abroad to playing the trumpet in the Jazz Ensemble, working as a tour guide coordinator to becoming an officer in her sorority, she found many ways to not only be involved, but also to become a leader in her community.

My wife and I noticed little things at first, a continual development of confidence in our daughter that let us know she had made the right choice. We knew that this was a place with a lot of opportunities for her to explore new avenues that meshed with her interests. The best part was that our daughter didn’t have to fit into one mold or follow one path to be considered successful. I often find that to be true for other Gettysburg students as well.

Alexa did more than just succeed at Gettysburg – she was really able to blossom, and I think that it is the welcoming, supportive community she found there that enabled her to do that. From a parent’s perspective, that is what you hope your student will find – a community that allows them to blossom. It’s important to let them flower and develop on their own, and Gettysburg certainly provides the support to do that.

The Gettysburg experience is overwhelmingly that of a welcoming community. It provides its students with all of the opportunities they will need in order to succeed and develop. Within the Gettysburg community, with the quality of offerings it makes available, the College has demonstrated that its students do more than just succeed – they thrive. That is probably the most important thing I could tell other parents. That was our experience here, and it will likely be their experience, too.

The end result is ultimately something very positive. Every parent wants their child to be able to find personal and professional success. Our daughter was able to find both through her experience at Gettysburg – she received her Master’s degree following graduation and now has a job in her chosen field. She continues to give back to the College through her service on the BOLD Council. As other parents embark on their student’s collegiate journey, I am sure they will find their child both enjoying and benefiting from their Gettysburg experience.

Steve Mahinka P ’10 is a partner at Morgan, Lewis, and Bockius, LLP, and has served as a member of the Board of Trustees since 2008. Previously, he was a member with his wife Nancy Casper of the Parents Leadership Council. Their daughter Alexa Mahinka ’10 graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Art History and has earned a Master’s degree from the George Washington University School of Business.  Currently, she is an Alumni Relations Assistant for GWU and serves as a member of the BOLD Council for Gettysburg College.

Fri, 28 Aug 2015 02:09:45 EDT
Welcome Class of 2019: Highlights from Move-In and Convocation Orientation is one of the most exciting times of the year at Gettysburg College. Below are highlights from two of the most memorable events on Opening Day—Move-In and Convocation.  Be sure to also follow the action on Twitter, InstagramFlickr, and Facebook. Followers can share their own images or messages from the day by tagging their posts with #gburg2019 or check out the conversation on Storify.

Move-In Day

Today 702 members of the Class of 2019 arrived on campus, and the energy was palpable as empty residence halls filled with excited first-years and the Move-In selfie stick made its rounds from Stine, Rice, and Paul, to Patrick, Hanson, and Huber.

Check out photos from our Move-In Day selfie gallery.

Check out photos from our Move-In Day photography gallery.


First-year students celebrated the 184th Convocation in traditional fashion by walking up the stairs and through the doors of Pennsylvania Hall—a tradition they will repeat in the opposite direction four years from now during Commencement.

Students also heard from members of the College community, including President Janet Morgan Riggs ’77, Director of Admissions Gail Sweezey, Provost Chris Zappe, and Prof. Jocelyn Swigger from The Sunderman Conservatory of Music.

“We are going to make you work because we are passionate about our fields, and we can’t wait to share them with you. And we’re going to make you work because we need you to have the skills and knowledge it will take to make our world and our country and our community better,” said Swigger. “But maybe the biggest reason we’re going to make you work is that we are totally addicted to that moment when we see your eyes light up because you get it. That aha moment."

Swigger tasked first-years with three challenges; the first was to step outside their comfort zones. In appropriate musical fashion, Swigger asked everyone in attendance to stand and get out of their own comfort zones by singing the alma mater.

“You are in this beautiful, comfortable place to get out of your comfort zone,” she concluded. “You’re going to be meeting a lot of people over the next few days and the next few years. When you do, don’t just ask each other where you’re from. Ask what was your moment. One of the best ways you will find your tribe, your team, your family of friends will be having conversations about how you think and who you are.”

View all the Convocation photos on Flickr.

Wed, 26 Aug 2015 08:08:38 EDT
Orientation throughout the decades For first-year students in 2015, the Orientation schedule is packed with fun activities like GIV Day, midnight madness, and First-Year Walk (now in its thirteenth year!).

Traditions have certainly changed over the years since Gettysburg College’s founding in 1832, but the first week of activities has always been designed to orient first-year students to their new home and community.

For many alumni and others involved with Orientation, this time of year also brings back memories of their own move-in days and reflections on college days from the past. Below, we share a mix of fun facts, snippets of history, recollections, pictures, and advice for first-years from alumni throughout the decades.


Below is a message from the welcome issue of The Gettysburgian, the College newspaper, in 1897.

“Welcome 1901—the largest Freshman class in the history of Gettysburg College! We’re proud of you…You come into our midst with a welcome that is as cordial as it is universal.”

—From The Gettysburgian, 1897



This is what Pennsylvania Hall, “Old Dorm,” would have looked like to a new student in 1912.

Penn Hall 1912

Photo courtesy of Special Collections, Gettysburg College


In the 1920s, the word “Orientation” also referred to a formal, required course, and the week included chapel time. 

“Arguing that for many students the freshman year was the crucial period in their college career, President Hanson urged the faculty to increase and improve the ways in which it tried to help entering students adjust to their undergraduate course. As a result, during his first four years in office a more extensive advising system (1924), an orientation course (1925), and a freshman orientation week (1927) were inaugurated.”

—From Charles H. Glatfelter’s A Salutary Influence: Gettysburg College, 1832–1985

Orientation program, 1920s

The orientation program from the year 1929


Special Collections in Musselman Library is now home to a small set of personal scrapbooks from between the early 1900s and 1950s, donated by Gettysburg alumni.

Below is a picture from the scrapbook of Alfred Lenhart Mathias ’26, who would later become a Board of Trustee from 1965–77.

Alfred Lenhart Mathias '26


In the 1920s, upperclassmen gave first-year students rules of conduct for life on campus. Included in Alfred’s list that he saved in his scrapbook, below, were rules like, “Freshmen shall learn the college yells and songs before the fifteenth day of October,” and “Freshmen shall respectfully raise their caps to members of the faculty.”

1920s rules



As a new student in the 1930s you might have learned to sing the song, “The Old Dorm in the Moonlight,” composed by Betram H. Saltzer, who was a Professor of Engineering at Gettysburg College from 1923–1940. Wellington R. Emmert, a member of the class of 1906, wrote the lyrics. The piece was rearranged in 1931.

Old Dorm

Image via Gettysburg College’s GettDigital collection



Flip through the course catalog a student would have used to pick their classes in 1940. Read the full booklet (pdf)



Below are pages from the scrapbook of Barbara Holley ’54.

Barbara Holley

Pictured above, Holley kept the sign she wore during the first few days on campus, when everyone was getting to know one another.

Barbara Holley

Holley also kept her course schedule and registration card, among a collection of letters she received from sororities on campus, welcoming her to the College.



Dave Radin ’65 emailed to share his words of wisdom for first-years:

1. Avoid doing outrageous, illegal, or dangerous things; nobody in college administration wants to call your parents with bad news.

2. Be neat—it’s easy not to be neat.

3. Go to class. Above all, go to class.

4. Experience all you can.

5. There are no dumb questions—ask away.

6. If you’re ordinarily shy—be bold instead. If outspoken, quiet down a little and let others weigh in. Remember that nobody knows you, so it’s safe to re-invent yourself.

7. Smile a lot. These are the four most fun and enlightening years of your life.

Ron Couchman ’63, registrar emeritus, remembers his own memories from his first days on campus—they include the “dink,” pictured below. The last dink was issued in the 1970s.

The dink


The dink


“I still remember wearing the dink, and during the first few days, a sign around my neck with my name and hometown. It helped me to identify with other members of my class and was a great conversation starter. ‘You’re from there? My high school played you in football!’ I remember those traditions fondly—it wasn’t a chore. It was all in good fun and helped me to feel more connected to the college. After all, that is what traditions are supposed to do.”

—Ron Couchman ’63

Pres. EisenhowerJim Erb ’69 wrote to share his remarkable encounter with President Eisenhower.

“I was an Orientation Leader for three years after my own Orientation. My fondest memory was as a Leader in the fall of 1966. As I was taking my group on a tour of the campus and the surrounding area, President Eisenhower exited his office on his way home to his farmhouse. He came up to the group before getting into his car and talked to us for about 5–10 minutes welcoming the incoming freshmen; not sure if anyone in my group remembers, but I remember it vividly.

—Jim Erb ’69


Prof. Michael Birkner ’72 has a unique perspective on Orientation as both an alumnus of Gettysburg College and a history professor. 

“I get the sense that Orientation today is less formulaic and more oriented to helping students get to know one another and in the habit of working with one another. When I went [to Gettysburg], it was more like, ‘this is where the barber is, this is where you can get clothes, etc.’ 45 years ago there was also a talent show.”

—Prof. Michael J. Birkner





Michelle-Lynette A. Hughes ’91 wrote to share pictures from her move-in day at Patrick Hall in 1987. Her daughter will start her sophomore year at Gettysburg College this year. 

Kevin Larson ’92 also shared a picture of his move-in to Rice Hall with his roommate Paul Kelly ’92 in 1989.




Anne Lane oversaw orientation in 1991. She started her career at Gettysburg in the 1980s as an adjunct English professor, later moving to the Provost’s office, and then academic advising, where she remains today, working with first-years and juniors.

She said some things have changed—students used to register for classes by physically walking around to different tables, for example—but the spirit of excitement during the first weeks at Gettysburg has remained the same. She recalled that in 1991 there was a lot of construction, so they made the best of the situation by handing out T-shirts with the motto “building your future” emblazoned on the back. The orange design mimicked the orange netting that surrounded the construction areas.


“Technology has allowed us to generate a lot of excitement about Gettysburg—students can do virtual tours of the dining hall and field house, things like that. But no matter how we generate it, there has always been a lot of excitement about students coming. Before, we used to be on the telephone, but the basic things [about Orientation] haven’t changed. We still try to integrate students socially and emphazise the importance of the academic program and the importance of a liberal arts education and why we’re distinctive.”

Susan Groninger ’91 Kreisher emailed to share her words of wisdom for first-years:

“Do not go home until Thanksgiving (unless you have a fall break, in which case my advice is don’t go home until fall break), no matter how homesick you are! It will only make you more homesick and will keep you on the outside of campus life. Instead, stay on campus, get involved in at least one club or activity, and you’ll make friends. Before you know it, campus will become your home and you won’t ever want to leave.”



Fun fact: The First-Year Walk was started in 2003 by a student and has been a beloved tradition ever since. Every year during their first week on campus, students recreate the 1863 walk to hear the Gettysburg Address.



Sarah Cardwell ’15 shared some photos from her three years as part of Orientation staff. In this picture, she and fellow students prepare for the First-Year Walk in 2013.


“Orientation is one of my most favorite Gettysburg traditions—I met some of my best friends on staff.”

— Sarah Cardwell ’15

As Orientation begins this week, we are also in the middle of another decade of enjoying Gettysburg traditions and making new memories.

Follow history in the making by visiting our Facebook and Twitter pages (#gburg2019).

Thu, 27 Aug 2015 11:25:55 EDT
It takes a village: Student reflection on Orientation <p>As I walk to training every day, I wait for the hustle and bustle that will soon be present everywhere on campus. There is a slow build I have gotten to watch over the past three years during my work with the office of Residential and First-Year Programs at Gettysburg.</p>
<p>This year and last year, as a Residence Coordinator, I returned to Gettysburg before the middle of August when campus is eerily quiet.</p>
<p>The RAs arrive a few days later.</p>
<p>Then the football players.</p>
<p>International students and other fall athletes follow.</p>
<p>With each new group that arrives, the energy on campus builds. More people greet me on my walks to training, and campus slowly comes alive. This yearly rebirth is something that I miss the instant orientation is over.</p>
<p><img style="float: right; margin: 10px; width: 50%;" title="Peter" alt="Peter" src="" /></p>
<p>One of my favorite things about the lead up to Orientation is the first time I see Convocation&rsquo;s iconic white chairs being set up in front of Penn Hall. It is a mighty task, but its undertaking signals the beginning of the new year at Gettysburg.</p>
<p>Convocation formally welcomes the incoming class into the Gettysburg community, and despite the fact that is has been over 100 degrees for the three convocations I&rsquo;ve attended, it is still one of my favorite orientation traditions. Seeing the smartly dressed, somewhat melting first-year class sitting together on the south side of Penn Hall makes me immensely happy.</p>
<p>Time&rsquo;s movement in college is a paradox. At every milestone&mdash;the end of a semester or the end of a year&mdash;you won&rsquo;t be able to wrap your head around the fact that you have only known these people and these places for however long you&rsquo;ve been at Gettysburg. But it will be equally amazing that it has gone by so quickly.</p>
<p>Four years after convocation, the class of 2019 will again sit in front of Penn Hall, but this time it will be for their commencement. During their commencement, many of them, as they sit in those same white chairs, will be pondering this bizarre &ldquo;college time paradox.&rdquo;</p>
<p>When I get to the ground in front of Penn Hall while giving tours to prospective students and their families in my work as a tour guide, I always stop and talk about convocation.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s one of the last stops on my tour route, so most families are tired of hearing my voice, but I stop nonetheless.</p>
<p>&ldquo;This is a very important part of campus,&rdquo; I say. &ldquo;This is the spot where you will sit for both your convocation and your commencement as a Gettysburg student.&rdquo;</p>
<p>I talk about the ceremonies and how Gettysburg students walk through Penn Hall exactly twice in their time on campus. I always deliver the same line at this point in the tour: &ldquo;My sister was a senior when I was a first-year. In the fall, I walked up with my class, and in the spring, she walked back with hers during commencement.&nbsp; So this is hallowed ground for my family.&rdquo;</p>
<p><img style="float: left; margin: 10px; width: 50%;" title="Peterandsister" alt="Peterandsister" src="" /></p>
<p>That part of my tour is more for me than it is for the family I&rsquo;m showing around Gettysburg. In that spot, that place of beginnings and endings, I can&rsquo;t help but think about what Gettysburg has meant to me.</p>
<p>Penn Hall, its lawn, and those white chairs bookend the Gettysburg experience, and as I start my senior year, I describe the Gettysburg experience as one that has ignited me. Gettysburg has provided me with opportunities to learn and grow for which I will be forever thankful, and I still have one year left.</p>
<p>When people ask me why I wanted to be on the Res. Life staff, my answer is always the same. If there is even the smallest chance that my influence helps a first-year become the best Gettysburgian they can be, it&rsquo;s worth it. For the class of 2019, the journey to becoming the best Gettysburgians possible starts with those white chairs. What follows is an overwhelming whirl of novelty, challenge, excitement, fun, and evolution that will ignite many of them in a bright, lasting blaze.</p>
<p>When I look at the students in those chairs, I get happy because I&rsquo;m excited to watch that happen. I&rsquo;m excited to watch them find their passions at Gettysburg.</p>
<p>So I&rsquo;ll see you at convocation.&nbsp;</p>
<p>It&rsquo;s sure to be a hot one.</p>
<p><em>Peter Rosenberger '16 is the Residence Coordinator for Hanson Hall and has served on the First-Year Resident Assistant Staff for three years. An <a href="">English</a> and <a href="">Philosophy</a> double major, Rosenberger also works as a tour guide in the <a href="">Admissions Office</a> and is a member of the <a href="">I.D.E.A. Council</a>, an administrative group that works with the College's Chief Diversity Officer to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus. He also participates in choir and theatre programs around campus.</em></p>
<p><em>Rosenberger's reflection is one of a three-part series about <a href="">Orientation</a> from the perspective of various campus members.</em></p>

Mon, 24 Aug 2015 05:22:48 EDT
Football alum tackles challenges as chemist For Dr. John F. Young ’03, no two days of work are the same.

In fact, from one day to the next, he could find himself presented with one of several thousand different types of challenges.

But that’s OK with him.

John YoungFor the last two years Young has worked as the group leader of the metal-organics division of Gelest, Inc., a specialty chemical manufacturer located in southeastern Pennsylvania. Simply put, Gelest produces the raw materials that are primarily used for electronic, medical, or pharmaceutical applications.

Gelest is an acronym, standing for germanium, lead, silicon, and tin. Using those elements alone, Gelest boasts a pair of catalogs with a combined list of over 6,000 different items. In addition, Gelest is a custom-synthesis house, meaning it will – at the request of its customers – produce additional items that aren’t listed in its catalogs.

Charged with concocting such a vast array of products at any moment could be a daunting prospect for some, but not for Young, who relishes the challenges associated with his career of choice.

“It is extremely rewarding for the simple fact that it requires you to be constantly learning,” he said. “Each day brings new scientific challenges that you must overcome. These challenges help you grow as a chemist, as well as an individual.”

As group leader, Young works within a group of 12 colleagues, including a research and development manager, to help plan and execute a variety of chemical reactions for internal research, customer-driven synthesis, and process development.

“We will make anything that’s in the catalogs,” he said. “We want people to know that we’re willing to do a lot. With so many stocked items, the challenge is to have the synthetic versatility and the approach in our process design to make it economically viable for the company.”

Young’s career trajectory was influenced greatly by his experience at Gettysburg College, where his passion for chemistry was discovered and he received vital hands-on training. He filled his schedule to the brim as a chemistry and business management double major and as a defensive lineman for the football team.

The chemistry bug first bit Young during the fall semester of his sophomore year when he took organic chemistry with the late Dr. Alex T. Rowland ’53. “I’ve been hooked ever since,” he said.

Rowland, who was in his final year as a professor at Gettysburg, made a lasting impression on Young. He was particularly drawn in by Rowland’s personal lab manual, which Young still keeps in his library.

Recalled Young, “His course worked – there was a good connection between what we were taught in class and how to apply it in labs.”

It would take Young just three years to finish all of his required chemistry courses. If there was any doubt what career path he might choose, it was settled during his final semester at Gettysburg, when he performed student research for the chemistry department. Interning with professor Donald Jameson, Young was captivated by the experience, solidifying his decision to enter the chemistry field.

“The opportunity to perform student research was great and it provided me with my first real experience solving bench-work challenges,” he said.

“You know you like something when it engages you,” continued Young, one of the very first chemistry students to use the new Science Center, which was finished during his senior year. “It was challenging, but I definitely found myself engaged and wanting to do more.”

John Young and FamilyAlthough Young has a love for chemistry, he recognized early on the value that a business degree could provide.

“I thought it would give me more versatility than someone who’s just been exposed to science,” said Young, who has participated in the College’s externship program and alumni mentor retreat. “I still feel that way. A chemist won’t necessarily be exposed to how an organization needs to be run. I’ve been exposed to that, and so I think that helps me work with people a lot easier.”  

Young’s learning experiences didn’t end in the classroom. A three-year letterwinner on the gridiron, he started every game as a defensive tackle during his senior campaign, when he finished fourth on the team with 59 tackles. Though he and his teammates faced adversity throughout his career, he highly values the life lessons that we learned and the guidance he received from head coach Barry Streeter.

“I always enjoyed Coach Streeter’s intensity and analogies about how the lessons we learn on the field transcend the sport,” he said. “Life is hard and so is football, but you always get back up.”

Thu, 20 Aug 2015 02:40:48 EDT
Welcoming the incoming class: An Orientation preview Gettysburg College will welcome the Class of 2019 on Wednesday, August 26, as 702 incoming students arrive on campus. The incoming class – the most diverse class in the College’s history – is coming from 29 states and 16 countries.

“The campus community is very excited to welcome all new students to campus,” said New Student Orientation Coordinator Rebecca Borovsky ’16. “We’ve been working hard this summer to prepare for their arrival, and are looking forward to a successful orientation.”

More than 200 volunteers will greet the new students and their families as they help with the move-in process. Traffic patterns around campus will be altered in order to accommodate the move-in process.


The incoming students will be officially matriculated into the College during the 184th Convocation ceremony. The ceremony – which will be held rain or shine – will take place on the Beachem Portico on the north side of Pennsylvania Hall at 4 p.m. After an address from New Student Orientation Coordinator Rebecca Borovsky ’16 and Sunderman Conservatory of Music Associate Professor Jocelyn Swigger, the class will process through Pennsylvania Hall, marking their first steps as members of the Gettysburg College community.

The ceremony will be livestreamed and will have an alternate viewing location on campus at Masters Hall’s Mara Auditorium. In case of inclement weather, students and their families are encouraged to bring appropriate rain gear.

View the entire Move-In Day and Orientation week schedule here.

The 13th annual First-Year Walk will be held the following day. Gettysburg College students, faculty, and staff will walk from the College to the national cemetery, recreating the walk taken in 1863 as the College accompanied President Abraham Lincoln to the cemetery where he delivered the Gettysburg Address. Jill Ogline Titus, associate director of the College’s Civil War Institute, is the event’s featured speaker.

Other notable events for the week include Friday morning’s GIV Day, the first movie night and Midnight Madness of the academic year, both of which will be held on Saturday evening, and Field Day on Sunday afternoon.

Check out the top 10 Orientation experiences and view other College traditions. Learn a bit more about the incoming class, and check out these fast facts about their orientation experience:


Use the #gburg2019 hashtag to join the conversation, follow the incoming class’s experience, and share your own Orientation stories. First-years can stay up-to-date with everything Orientation through the Gettysburg College: Class of 2019 Facebook page.

Thu, 20 Aug 2015 10:50:54 EDT
Meet the Class of 2019 The 705 members of the Class of 2019 come from all over the United States and 17 countries across the world—60 are international students, a record number this year.

Only 39.7% were admitted from 6,385 applications. 

Musicians, athletes, leaders—this class has them all:

  • Over half the class participated in leadership programs in high school
  • 76% engaged in community service
  • 86% participated in athletics
  • 54% participated in the fine and performing arts—28 students have already enrolled in a Conservatory degree program

Members of this class also come to Gettysburg with a variety of accomplishments and unique experiences.

Lamar Gayle ’19 from Bronx, NY was the master of ceremonies at a fundraising event for the CollegeBound Initiative at Lincoln Center where the following notables were recognized: Recording artist and television/movie star Queen Latifah; Danny Meyer, CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group, which owns, among others, the Shake Shack restaurants; and Stephen Siegel, Chairman of Global Brokerage for CBRE.

Another student, Celine Gunseli Erkey ’19, had a surgical internship in Turkey, where she had the opportunity to “scrub in” on a surgery and also completed a biological internship at Koç University researching new options for synthetic cells to secrete insulin.

A love of history and the civil war era is bringing Andrew Oscar Romero Burns ’19 to Gettysburg from Portland, Oregon—he attended the Civil War Institute in Gettysburg this summer. He also completed and presented his International Baccalaureate essay “The Somozas and Nicaragua: A Story of Greed, Dictatorship, and Revolution” at a symposium and hopes to go on a service immersion trip to Leon, Nicaragua through the College.

On the topic of service, many members of the Class of 2019 already come to Gettysburg having completed projects and hundreds of community service hours. Among them is Charles James Clarke ’19, who co-founded a fundraiser that has raised over $1.6 million in support of Cystic Fibrosis research. Other students completed community service projects in Thailand, Spain, Yucatan, Fiji, and Morocco, taught English in The Dominican Republic, and raised money through food, clothing, and book drives, just to name a few.

Other highlights from the Class of 2019:

  • Attended flight school and earned a pilot’s license
  • Performed in the Nutcracker ballet
  • Curated an exhibit at Musselman Library
  • Spent a year studying globally in Denmark
  • Produced a professional-scale morning announcements show
  • Hip-hop producer
  • Interned with a Congressman
  • State golf champion
  • Performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the marching band
  • Won USFSA awards for figure skating 
  • Plays Chinese bamboo flute
  • Traveled 7,599 miles to 27 states, 14 hotel rooms and three time zones in 24 days
  • Made PB&J sandwiches for the homeless
  • Volunteer videographer at United Nations
  • Built and installed 20 bird houses around a bird sanctuary pond
  • Junior Docent at Fenimore Art Museum
  • Painted a mural in the city to stop vandalism and graffiti
  • Joined the Billfish Foundation to study the migration of Billfish
  • Owns and designs a jewelry line
  • Wrote two books and is working on a third
  • Student leader of the Gann-Haifa Exchange program
  • Interned at the University of Delaware, studying genetics
  • Production and camera assistant on shoots for the History and Discovery Channel.
Tue, 18 Aug 2015 02:18:39 EDT
Bringing history to life through the Brian C. Pohanka internship program <p>Amanda Thibault &rsquo;17 never imagined that she would find herself working at a national park.</p>
<p>Sure, she enjoyed her frequent family trips to the beautiful and historic locations, and being the child of teachers, appreciated the value the parks brought to her education. She just never imagined working there.</p>
<p>&ldquo;Every summer, my parents would take us to visit many of the national parks. I&rsquo;ve been to Appomattox Court House, the Smokey Mountains, Yellowstone, and even Gettysburg long before I was looking at colleges,&rdquo; said Thibault. &ldquo;History was a passion of mine from a very young age, but I always thought that the next logical step was teaching.&rdquo;</p>
<p>Instead, the <a href="">history</a> and <a href="">environmental studies</a> double major learned that she could share her passion for history outside of a classroom and in the historical setting itself.</p>
<p><img style="float: left; margin: 10px; width: 50%;" title="Amanda" alt="Amanda" src="" /></p>
<p>&ldquo;I realized at one point that teaching in a classroom isn&rsquo;t necessarily what I want to do,&rdquo; Thibault explained. &ldquo;I want to connect people with what they are learning about so that maybe they feel some of the passion that I feel for these places as well.&rdquo;</p>
<p>Through the <a href="">Civil War Institute&rsquo;s</a> <a href="">Brian C. Pohanka program</a>, Thibault has had the opportunity to do just that. She applied for and was placed as an intern at the <a href="">Women&rsquo;s Rights National Historical Park</a> in Seneca Falls, New York.</p>
<p>The location itself bore witness to the first Women&rsquo;s Rights Convention in 1848. Today, the park houses four properties in total, including the house in which social activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton lived with her family at the time of the convention.</p>
<p>Amongst other responsibilities, Thibault lead tours and connected visitors with the park on a daily basis. She also had the opportunity to develop her own project and conduct independent research. What she came up with not only combines both of her academic interests but it will also, she hopes, better connect visitors to the history of the park and Cady Stanton&rsquo;s legacy.</p>
<p>&ldquo;I am actually in the process of writing a proposal to help restore some of the original landscaping of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton property,&rdquo; Thibault said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s really engaged what I&rsquo;ve learned at Gettysburg, both as an environmental studies major and a historian.&rdquo;</p>
<p><img style="float: right; margin: 10px; width: 50%;" title="Stantonproperty" alt="Stantonproperty" src="" /></p>
<p>For example, Thibault explained how the original property had a vegetable garden and even an apple and a cherry orchard, all of which she has been able to confirm or deduce through original research.</p>
<p>&ldquo;Everything would have fallen to Elizabeth Cady Stanton to care for as that satisfied the women&rsquo;s role in the household. She was expected to be a provider for her family,&rdquo; Thibault said. &ldquo;Those gardens would play a role in showing the expectations and limitations placed on her, and perhaps even her motivations. It could help connect visitors to who she was and why she wanted to pursue an intellectual life outside of being a housewife."</p>
<p>The experience has only confirmed her interest in both promoting and preserving historic and environmental locations.</p>
<p>&ldquo;My courses at Gettysburg have made me realize how much I want to protect these parks, whether they are historic or conservation properties,&rdquo; Thibault said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m so grateful because at Gettysburg, I&rsquo;ve been able to pursue both of these interests without a second thought. I now have the background to work at either type of location."</p>
<p>In fact, the rising junior has plans to further build upon her duel academic passions. Thibault will spend her spring semester <a href="">studying abroad</a> in Tanzania working with their park services to preserve the migration routes of elephants.</p>
<p>&ldquo;I was just accepted to their Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology program,&rdquo; Thibault stated. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m so grateful for everything that Gettysburg has enabled me to pursue so far and the flexibility that my education has given me. I&rsquo;m looking forward to what the next few years will bring to me.&rdquo;</p>

Thu, 13 Aug 2015 04:39:38 EDT
12 Things to Look Forward To When Coming To Gettysburg College We can’t wait to welcome the newest Gettysburgians (the Class of 2019!) to campus in just a few weeks. From the big move-in day to GIV Day, Convocation, and everything in between, there are a lot of fun activities to look forward to the first few days at Gettysburg College—and beyond, of course.

But don’t take our word for it—Christina Bassler ’16 wrote a community BuzzFeed post about the top things you can look forward to.

Read the full list .

Mon, 10 Aug 2015 02:28:04 EDT
An experiment gone <strike>wrong</strike> right Things aren’t always what they appear to be.

That old wisdom served Joe Robinson ’15 well this past year. He took a stab at pursuing an experiment in Assistant Professor of Biology Jennifer Powell’s lab that neither of them was quite sure would work out—and now it’s likely going to be published in a scientific journal. What appeared to be a dud of an experiment is returning some fascinating results.

In fact Robinson—who’s headed to grad school to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley this fall— is leaving Gettysburg having completed several research projects in a variety of fields, two of which have the opportunity to be published in academic journals, and one that has already been accepted.  The Biochemistry-Molecular Biology and Computer Science double major started working in the lab as a first-year student, devouring every research opportunity that came his way, spanning topics from marine biology to computer science, his hobby-turned-major. He leaves behind an impressive track record of accomplishments in a variety of fields, both in his chosen majors, but also in his work as a mentor and a singer.

“Joe started doing research in my lab the first week of his freshman year and has been addicted to research ever since,” said Powell. “One highlight was presenting a poster at the International C. elegans Meeting in Los Angeles. It’s the premier scientific professional meeting in my field and is attended by about 4,000 scientists from around the world, including several Nobel Laureates.”

Robinson’s work this summer focused on the study of innate immunity using the C. elegans, a small free-living, non-parasitic “worm” about 1 mm in size. All vertebrate animals, including humans, have two immune systems: the adaptive immune system and the innate immune system. While the adaptive immune system is what most people are thinking about when discussing immunity, the innate system is an interesting subject of research because it’s present in all multicellular organisms and serves as the body’s first line of defense against pathogenic microorganisms like bacterial pathogens.

C. elegans eat bacteria as a food source, so [their system] is set up to make sure it’s killing a pathogen rather than something that’s their food,” said Robinson.  “They’re really a model of intestinal immunity, helping us study gut and other infections.”

Joe Robinson '15

Read more about this project and other Howard Hughes Medical Institute-supported research projects here.

A gene, fshr-1, codes for a G-protein coupled receptor and is what’s required to trigger the innate immune response for most pathogens. Robinson started messing around with temperature and noticed that worms without this protein responded better when placed in a cold environment than worms that had the protein. Usually worms without the protein are more susceptible to pathogens, but these worms briefly revived from their “frozen” state when reintroduced to a warmer temperature. This seemingly small discovery could possibly have broader implications for how innate immune systems are affected by temperature.

Beyond his research in the lab, Robinson has a knack for simplifying tough scientific concepts to teach others. He served as a Peer Science Mentor and also as a Peer Genetics Consultant, a role Powell created for Robinson after seeing the need for additional support in her lab.

Joe Robinson '15

“I did a major revision of our sophomore genetics lab to convert it to an exciting novel research experience for our students,” said Powell. “Joe was instrumental in all steps of the process, from the initial conception of the idea to the planning and execution. Joe loves both research and teaching, and is destined to become a professor.”

Joe Robinson '15And so it will be. Robinson was accepted to Ph.D. programs at Harvard University, Rice University, and the University of Chicago, choosing to attend UC Berkeley for its molecular and cell biology program.

“I’ll be looking into synthetic biology, which is an emerging field focused on whether or not we can design proteins to do things that nature did not intend, like tweaking proteins so bacteria can create the materials needed to produce things like biofuel,” said Robinson. “Berkley is one of the major places where synthetic biology research happens.”

Not entirely a coincidence, UC Berkeley is also where his mentor Powell received her Ph.D.—he even interviewed with her advisor during the application process.

“Every time I got an email from one of the grad schools I applied to, I would forward it to my mother and Dr. Powell at the same time with the header, ‘Dear Biology mother and biological mother,’” said Robinson. “I’ve absolutely loved working with Dr. Powell.”

“This is really a classic situation—the one where the really good student surpasses his mentor,” joked Powell, referring to Robinson’s summer side-project that’s turning into a paper.

“One thing that's really striking is that Joe doesn't just think about his own projects and ideas, but he's a natural mentor. He was my default go-to person to spring off ideas for the genetics class I designed.  It was very much a collegial relationship in that way. And really that's the nice thing about Gettysburg—we all help each other and work together.”

Thu, 06 Aug 2015 03:17:48 EDT
A Gettysburg great summer Summer is anything but a three-month break for Gettysburgians. Many of them can be found around the country and around the world giving back, getting involved, making an impact, and developing new skills.

Find out how a few students spent their summer – from traveling abroad to conducting innovative research – proving what exactly it means to be Gettysburg great.

Backpacking the West Highland Way


The Gettysburg Recreational Adventure Board led a week-long trek of the West Highland Way, a 96-mile long military road that spans the Scottish highlands. Facilitated by GRAB staff Kaitlin Wingard ’15, Rachel Dinsmore ’15, and Assistant Director of the Civil War Institute Ian Isherwood ’00, this trip allowed participants to explore the social, economic, and cultural history of Scotland.

Eric Lee ’15, a trip participant, said that one of his favorite aspects of the trip was taking it with so many other Gettysburg students and young alumni.

“The food, views, and people truly made this trip an exceptional experience,” Lee said. “Hiking with Professor Ian Isherwood was truly unique – he studied at the University of Glasgow and gladly showed us around. One great moment was when we finished climbing the Devil's Staircase in Glencoe, and Professor Isherwood told us how the road we climbed was key in the Massacre of Glencoe. The trip was one of the best adventures of my life.”

Cross-Cultural Athletics


The men’s basketball team participated in a 10-day tour of France and Switzerland, competing in four games and enjoying many cultural gems of the region. The team went undefeated during its first international tour since 2000.

“We were really excited about this trip and it definitely lived up to our expectations,” said Kevin Gladstone ’16, who plays both forward and center for the team. “While enduring a tremendous amount of success on the court, we still had plenty of time to visit sites such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Mount Pilatus, and much more.  A lot of us ended this trip saying we would want to go back to Europe at some point in the near future.”

International Performances


The Sunderman Conservatory of Music’s Jazz Ensemble participated in a European tour of Jazz festivals from Istanbul, Turkey, to Italy and France. The 14-day long tour also marked the last performances by Director Buzz Jones, who retired from this position at the end of the tour.

“Being able to lead our college jazz ensemble on six tours of Europe these past 25 years has been a major highlight of my musical life,” Jones stated. “This was a fabulous opportunity for our students as well. They performed in three of the world’s finest jazz festivals and were able to experience many cultural gems of Istanbul, Rome, and Nice.”

Cultural Connections


Rachel Kirby ’18 spent her summer coaching both an under 14 and an under 19 girls basketball team at the school of Daly College in Indore, India.

“I am so grateful to have had this experience to see and learn about the Indian culture for an extended period of time,” Kirby said. “Traveling always leads to many new discoveries both about yourself and others. It's always amazing to learn and share cultures, and I'm very happy that I was able to do so this past summer in India.” 

Conducting Research


Marjorie Howard '16 worked with Environmental Studies Professor Wendy Dow Piniak '03, in Bahia de Los Angeles, Mexico conducting research to develop technologies to reduce sea turtle accidental capture – or bycatch – in gillnet fisheries.

“Through the program run by Ocean Discovery Institute, I was able to meet a number of marine scientists as well as interns and fellows who were passionate about their work and wanted to make a difference in the world,” said Howard. “Overall it was an amazing experience allowing me to consider a variety of career pathways, learn about conducting fieldwork, and gather knowledge and experience to apply to my senior thesis."

Connecting to the Past


Each year, around 20 Gettysburg students spend their summer connecting to the past through the Civil War Institute’s Brian C. Pohanka Internship Program. Placing students at various National Park locations along the East Coast, this internship experience enables them to work on tours, engage in history, analyze historical documents and artifacts, and develop their own National Park program.

As an Environmental Studies and History double major working at the Women’s Rights National Park in Seneca, New York, Amanda Thibault ’17 has been able to apply her passion for both subjects to her work as a Pohanka Intern.

“I am actually in the process of writing a proposal to help restore some of the original landscaping around the Elizabeth Caddy Stanton home. I’ve been doing archival research and using my knowledge of the changing environment to develop this proposal,” Thibault stated. “Restoring the property to its original landscape would be a great way to connect visitors to the role that she played, the role that drove her to want something more than being a housewife.”

To find out more about the hands-on experiences students had to engage in public history and develop their professional skill set through the Pohanka Internship Program, check out their blog post on The Gettysburg Compiler.

Thinking Critically and Acting Compassionately


Made possible by ongoing gifts from James Heston ’70, the Center for Public Service Summer Fellowship aims to further Gettysburg College’s vision for engagement in local and global contexts by providing summer experiences. This summer, students worked around the world from Selma, Alabama to Nicaragua and Kenya in order to engage in the work of community action.

The CPS Summer Fellowships are unique because they provide an extraordinary opportunity for students to engage in the work of community action while sharpening their understanding of the complex of social issues,” said Director of the Center for Public Service Kim Davidson. “By sharing experiences from domestic and international contexts, the fellows also learn from each other as they develop cross-cultural skills, develop friendships, overcome challenges and implement projects that assert cooperative solutions.”

To find out more about the Summer Heston Fellows’ experiences engaging in social justice and global service, check out the Heston blog.

Preparing for College

View the 2015 Summer Send-Offs on Flickr.

Each summer, Gettysburgians around the country host summer send-offs for the incoming class of students. This year, the Class of 2019 was welcomed into the Gettysburg community with meet and greets from Portland, Maine, to Los Angeles, California.

“Each Send-Off is unique because of the variety of hosts and settings, but all offer a welcoming, friendly atmosphere,” explained Director of Parent Relations Allison Singley. “Send-Offs are all about building lasting connections and little slices of Gettysburg College in communities around the country. By providing an opportunity for incoming students to meet with each other, alumni, parents, and College faculty and staff, these Send-Offs also make it possible for incoming students to see a number of familiar faces once they arrive for their first semester."

Professional Development

With more than 300 students completing an internship and over 110 students completing an externship offered through our extensive alumni and parent network, many Gettysburgians have dedicated their summer to developing their professional skill set and advancing their career plan.

“An internship helps complement learning in the classroom,” said Associate Director of the Center for Career Development Manny Ruiz. “It provides students with an opportunity to discover their skills, values, strengths, and interests.  Ultimately, it can confirm or alter a career path.”

Fri, 07 Aug 2015 09:59:18 EDT
A foot in the door Networking isn’t the only way to get a foot in the door, but making connections is an important part of building and maintaining a successful career at any stage.

Whether they follow the mantra of “It’s who you know,” or “It’s who knows you,” Gettysburg students know the value of using the Gettysburg network to meet and build relationships with other professionals in their career areas of interest. In particular, the Eisenhower Institute (EI) at Gettysburg College exposes students to these opportunities in the realm of politics and policy and provides access to well-known leaders not only in Gettysburg, but also at the heart of the action in the Washington D.C. area and around the world.

Read more below to learn how the following Gettysburg students and alumni are using and impacting their EI network.

Taylor Beck ’17, Political Science major

Daily CallerBeck first met Tucker Carlson, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of The Daily Caller, when he spoke to her class as part of EI’s Inside Politics program. His advice? To be blunt in what you ask for. So afterwards Beck emailed Carlson asking for an internship—and he said yes.

“Before participating in Inside Politics, I was not the most outgoing or talkative person,” she said.  “The program forced me to learn how to ask questions and develop relationships with the speakers who came in. Kasey Pipes, who leads the program, fosters an open and welcoming environment that helped us develop our people skills, not just our political skills.”

Another Gettysburg student, Tim Meads ’16, is also interning alongside Beck at the Daily Caller this summer, having had also made the connection with Carlson via the Inside Politics program.

“This internship is more than just being able to work in the media,” Beck said. “I’m learning from the people who run Washington.”

Tyler Yingling ’07, Management major, Political Science minor

YinglingWhen Yingling attended Gettysburg, EI had yet to formalize its relationship with the College, but he’s gotten involved as an alum, speaking to EI students about his career experience, which spans from military service to working in the offices of a senator and governor.

While attending his second year of law school at Rutgers University School of Law—Camden, Yingling became interested in working with Chris Christie, who had just been sworn in as the governor of New Jersey.

“I was trying to figure out who might have a mutual connection [with the governor],” he said, “and saw through happenstance that his deputy chief of staff at the time was a Gettysburg alum.”

So Yingling cold-called Wayne W. Hasenbalg ’76, who ended up offering him an internship to work in Christie’s D.C. office. At the time, another Gettysburg alum, David L. Rebuck ’74, also worked in the office. Yingling, like Hasenbalg and Rebuck, was a fraternity brother at Sigma Alpha Epsilon while at Gettysburg.

“That was my first connection to the office,” Yingling said.

And it would prove to be an important one. After taking his bar examination, Yingling was hired full-time in Christie’s D.C. office, working as a federal liaison for energy and environmental policy. While working there, Yingling was commissioned to serve in the U.S. Navy Reserve, and was just recently recalled to service as the Assistant Operations Officer for the Office of Naval Intelligence.

“All alumni have something in common, even if we don’t know each other—we went to a small liberal arts school in Gettysburg and loved our experience. I’m happy Wayne took my call and helped me out back in 2010. That’s why I try to stay active and help others.”

Nicole Giles ’15, History and Philosophy major

GilesThis summer, Giles is interning as a legislative assistant at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC in Washington D.C. before starting her first semester of law school at George Washington University School of Law.

“I found my internship through two connections. My supervisor—Michael Strazzella ’94 — is a Gettysburg alumni, and he knew my supervisor from an internship I held the previous summer,” she said.

Last summer, with the help of EI Executive Director Jeffrey Blavatt’s connections, Giles had the opportunity to intern at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. Throughout her time at Gettysburg, Giles also participated in a number of EI programs, including Women in Leadership and Strategy & Leadership in Transformational Times (SALTT).

“Women in Leadership was a great introduction to EI because they bring you to D.C. for half of spring break, and you get to meet people in different fields,” Giles said.

“And SALTT was phenomenal—I went to Normandy over spring break with Susan Eisenhower. It was an amazing opportunity to experience Normandy and learn about D-Day from Susan herself. She even helped mentor me as I was deciding between law schools. I’m looking forward to calling her to hopefully catch up this summer. If it wasn’t for EI, how else would I be able to say that I can call up Susan Eisenhower for coffee?”

To learn more about the programs and opportunities offered by The Eisenhower Institute, visit

Thu, 06 Aug 2015 01:35:52 EDT