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Allegheny College Graduate One of 43 Americans to Receive 2015 Humanity in Action Fellowship

April 22, 2015 – John Rooney, an Allegheny College class of 2014 alumnus, has been named one of 43 American recipients of the prestigious 2015 Humanity in Action Fellowship.

Rooney and the rest of the 2015 American Fellows will join students and recent graduates from universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine to participate in the Humanity in Action Fellowship in Europe. The Fellowship will take place in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris and Warsaw from May 25 to June 28, 2015. Rooney, who resides in Austin, Texas, will travel to Copenhagen.

“The issue of human rights has been an interest of mine. What appealed to me about this fellowship was the opportunity to get together with a very diverse group of people that brings together such heavy people in terms of intellectuals and activists and others leading in the field of human rights,” says Rooney, who majored in political science and minored in black studies at Allegheny. “I’ve never been significantly out of the country, so the opportunity to go to Europe with others my age to discuss these issues with such leading thinkers is exciting.”  (more…)

Allegheny College’s Student Newspaper Wins First-Place Award from the Society of Professional Journalists

April 22, 2015 – The Campus, the student newspaper at Allegheny College, has won a first-place Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists in Region 1, which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. Sam Stephenson, co-editor-in-chief of The Campus, and photo editor Meghan Hayman won the award in the category of breaking news.

Mark of Excellence Awards honor the best of collegiate journalism from a calendar year. First-place winners move on to the national competition among category winners from the 12 regions of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Earlier this year The Campus won two first-place awards and three honorable mentions in the four-year college category from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, including a first-place award for Stephenson and Hayman in the category of general news. (more…)

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Allegheny College Featured in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges: 2015 Edition”

April 22, 2015 – Allegheny College is one of the 353 most environmentally responsible colleges in the nation according to the Princeton Review. The education services company features Allegheny once again in the annual edition of its free downloadable book, “The Princeton Review Guide to 353 Green Colleges.” The profiles in the guide provide information about each school’s admission requirements, cost and financial aid, and student body, as well as “Green Facts.”

The Princeton Review chose the schools for this sixth annual edition of its “green guide” based on data from the company’s 2014 survey of hundreds of four-year colleges concerning the schools’ commitments to the environment and sustainability.

“We strive daily to assess our progress, set new goals and take tangible steps to improve our sustainability in ways that integrate environmental sustainability into our institutional operations, policies, curriculum and campus culture,” said Kelly Boulton, the college’s sustainability coordinator. “We’re pleased the Princeton Review has recognized this commitment in each of its six editions of the Guide to Green Colleges.”

The guide recognizes Allegheny’s long-term leadership in campus sustainability: “As a charter signatory of ACUPCC [the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment] with a climate neutrality goal of 2020 and a participant in the White House’s Better Buildings Challenge to increase building efficiencies by at least 20 percent across campus, Allegheny College is determined not just to participate in the green movement, but to lead.”

Despite ambitious goals, Allegheny College has already achieved a 71 percent reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions and an 11 percent average increase in building efficiency. (more…)

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Allegheny Junior Susan Washko Earns Udall Scholarship Honorable Mention

April 21, 2015 – Susan Washko, a junior at Allegheny College, has received an honorable mention in the annual scholarship competition of the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation. Washko, an environmental science major and Spanish minor at Allegheny College, is from Hudson, Ohio.

The Udall Foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service and commitment to issues related to American Indian nations or to the environment. The scholarship honors the legacies of Morris Udall and Stewart Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on American Indian self-governance, health care and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.

Washko is a student leader on issues related to sustainability. The Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium recently named her a “Campus Sustainability Champion” for her work as president of Edible Allegheny, through which she assists with the DeHart Local Foods Dinner, helps to maintain the student garden and edible plantings, leads student trips to local farms and assists local farmers.

A member of the board of Students for Environmental Action at Allegheny College, Washko resides in a special-interest house called “Green Living,” which is focused on sustainability. She also works as manager of the college’s swim team and is a member of the College Choirs.

In addition, Washko is a research assistant during the academic year in a lab run by Professor of Environmental Science Rich Bowden, while in the summer she works with Professor of Biology Scott Wissinger at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. She is also a teaching assistant for a freshman seminar on the conservation of natural resources.

This semester, however, she is in Costa Rica studying tropical ecology and conservation. (more…)

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Meadville VITA Program Completes Record Number of Tax Returns for Local Residents

Allegheny students help residents save $90,000 in income tax preparation fees

April 20, 2015 — The Meadville Volunteer Income Tax Program (VITA), which prepared free 2014 federal, state and local tax returns for area residents at the Meadville Public Library from Feb. 2 to April 11, is pleased to share that it prepared 900 tax returns this year, a 15 percent increase from the number of returns completed last year.

According to Dr. Stephanie Martin, Allegheny College associate professor of economics, the 900 federal income tax returns – prepared at no cost to local taxpayers – represented a savings of approximately $90,000 in income tax preparation fees for area residents. The program’s acceptance rate on e-filed returns continues to improve as well, with a rate of more than 96 percent this tax season.

The majority of returns are prepared by trained Allegheny College students, says Martin, who is in her sixth year overseeing the Meadville VITA program. (more…)

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Percussion Ensemble To Present Spring Concert, with Audience Seating on the Stage

April 20, 2015 – The Allegheny College Percussion Ensemble will perform their annual spring concert on Monday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. on the stage of Shafer Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public. Audience seating will be on the auditorium stage.

The ensemble’s repertoire includes blues, body percussion, classical, avant garde, African chant and contemporary. Performance compositions include “Overture for Percussion Ensemble,” “Blues by Five (Ten),” “Toccata Without Instruments,” “Call of the Drums,” “Ostinato Pianissimo,” “Peter Gunn,” “Rondo ala Turk,” “A La Samba” and “Who Let That Snare Drummer In?”

The Percussion Ensemble features 10 student performers. Stephen F. Corsi conducts.

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One Weekend, Three Free Concerts at Allegheny College: Performances by Chamber Ensembles, Civic Symphony and Wind Symphony and Ensemble

April 20, 2015 – Three free concerts at Allegheny College this weekend will showcase the talents of students, faculty and additional members of the Meadville community. Student chamber ensembles will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 24 in Ford Chapel. The Civic Symphony will perform at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 25 in Shafer Auditorium. And the Wind Symphony and Wind Ensemble will perform at 3:15 p.m. on Sunday, April 26 in Shafer Auditorium.

Friday’s chamber ensemble recital will feature brass, woodwind and string ensembles. The program includes music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gustav Holst, Charles Gounod, Johann Pachelbel and Anatoly Liadov, among others. Lowell Hepler coaches the brass quintet; Julie Hepler coaches the saxophone ensemble, clarinet ensemble and the woodwind quintet; and Vince Scacchetti coaches and performs in a string quartet and a violin/viola duo.

Cellist and Allegheny College senior Joseph Tonzo will be the featured soloist on Jules Massenet’s “Meditation from Thais” at Saturday’s Civic Symphony concert. The program will also include “A Festival Prelude” by Alfred Reed, Symphony #8 by Franz Schubert, “Hymn and Fuguing Tune #2” by Henry Cowell, “Blue Tango” by LeRoy Anderson and “Sounds from Hollywood – A Medley of Famous Movie Songs,” arranged by Mary Gold. Ronald E. Stitt conducts.

The 85-member Wind Symphony and 40-member Wind Ensemble, which perform on Sunday, are under the direction of Professor of Music Lowell Hepler. The soloists will be mallet percussionists Stephen Anderson, Kyle Murphy and Stephen Corsi in “Serenade for a Picket Fence.” Sunday’s program also includes Henry Fillmore’s march “His Honor,” Frank Ticheli’s “Rest” and “Postcard to Meadville,” John Barnes Chance’s “Incantation and Dance,” Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” Camille De Nardis’ “The Universal Judgment,” Bruce Broughton’s “Silverado” and Thomas Knox’s symphonic band arrangement of “God of Our Fathers.”

Photo: Wind Symphony. Photo by Bill Owen

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Playshop Theatre at Allegheny College To Present “A Dream Play”

April 20, 2015 — The Allegheny College Playshop Theatre closes its 85th season with August Strindberg’s “A Dream Play,” in a new version by Caryl Churchill in which she re-imagines Strindberg’s surrealist exploration of human suffering. Katherine McGerr directs. Four performances will be given in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts: at 8 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, April 23-25, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 26.

“With its contrasting scenes of beauty and terror, ‘A Dream Play’ reminds audiences both to bear witness to larger situations of inequity and injustice, as well as to appreciate the startling, wonderful things the world can do,” dramaturg Leanne Siwicki notes. “The play doesn’t offer solutions, but begins by asking us to be conscious.”

Director Katherine McGerr calls the play “both a glimpse of the world as it is and a celebration of the human imagination. It has a unique combination of serious ideas and delightful theatricality that we hope audiences will enjoy.”

Performing in the production are Itzel Ayala, Bailey Blashford, Mario Buffalini, Liz Colarte, Luke Aslanian Davis, Alexis Eldridge, Sean Gannon, Daniel Keitel, Matt Lis, Christian Lombino, Mary Lyon, Karina Mena, Lee Scandinaro, Lizzie Thompson, Audrey Trotta, Danny Wightkin and Dan Crozier.

Samantha Hoderlein designed the set, Michael Mehler designed the costumes and lighting and Jeremy Loewer is the production’s sound designer and musical arranger. (more…)

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Creek Connections To Host Its 20th Annual Student Research Symposium at Allegheny College

April 17, 2015 – Creek Connections will host its 20th annual Student Research Symposium at Allegheny College on Friday, April 24 in the college’s Campus Center. Community members are invited to view students’ project displays from 10 a.m. to noon.

Creek Connections is an outreach program of Allegheny College that brings hands-on, inquiry-based education about watersheds to students ranging in age from elementary to high school.

Throughout the school year, participating students retrieve water samples and conduct research on various waterways, monitoring the conditions that affect the creeks’ water quality. At the research symposium, they come together to share interactive research displays, oral presentations and hands-on workshops with their classmates, teachers and the community.

Approximately 400 students will attend the symposium, representing schools from northwestern Pennsylvania and southwestern New York. Several environmental organizations will also present displays. Professor of Environmental Science Eric Pallant will give a presentation on water issues in Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines. (more…)

Bipartisan Political Meet and Greet: April 24

April 16, 2015 – The Allegheny College Republicans and Allegheny College Democrats, in collaboration with the Crawford County Republican and Democratic committees, will host a Bipartisan Political Meet and Greet from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, April 24, in the Henderson Campus Center Lobby at Allegheny College. The event is free and open to the public.

According to organizers, the gathering is meant to be a chance for the Allegheny and Meadville communities to meet and chat with the people who make decisions directly affecting citizens’ lives. It also provides essential networking opportunities for Allegheny students, faculty and staff. (more…)