Author Archive

PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger to Give Commencement Address

Paula Kerger, president and chief executive officer of PBS, will deliver the Commencement address at Allegheny College in the college’s 202nd year. The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 13.

PBS is the nation’s largest non-commercial media organization, with nearly 350 member stations throughout the country. The longest serving president and chief executive officer in PBS history, Kerger has made strong commitments to the arts, news and public affairs, high-quality educational content for children and the classroom, diversity, and the use of new digital platforms to bring public media into the lives of all Americans. During her tenure, PBS has moved from the 15th most-watched television network to number six.

Among Kerger’s accomplishments are the acclaimed programs “Downton Abbey” on Masterpiece, Ken Burns’s “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” “Hamilton’s America” from Great Performances, a number of trusted and safe children’s series, and award-winning apps and online sites. Under her leadership, PBS developed PBS LearningMedia, which provides educators with digital resources for the classroom, and launched the first-ever PBS Kids 24/7 channel and live stream. (more…)

Allegheny Choirs to Perform Spring Concert

The Allegheny Choirs, under the direction of James D. Niblock, will perform a free concert at 3:15 p.m. Saturday, April 8, in Shafer Auditorium. The Allegheny College Chorus, Chamber Choir, Women’s Ensemble, Men’s Ensemble, and College Choir will each perform several works, and the groups will collaborate to close the performance as a choir of 111 voices. The concert is free and open to the public.

The College Chorus will open the concert with “Fair Phyllis I Saw,” a playful English madrigal by John Farmer about a young shepherdess and her lover. Jewish composer Robert Applebaum will also be featured with his humorous Yiddish folk song “Chiribim Chiribom,” relating to the March holiday of Purim. (more…)

The Path to College: First-generation Students Tell Their Stories

Going to college can be a daunting experience even with a guide, a family member or friend who has walked the same path and can tell you what to expect and answer your questions.
But what if you’re the first in your family to go to college? What then?
Current first-generation Allegheny College students, alumni, faculty members and administrators talk about blazing their own trail, the resources they discovered and the lessons they learned along the way.
(more…)

Allegheny College Presents Annual Spring Dance Concert

The Allegheny College Dance & Movement Studies Program will present its annual Spring Dance Concert in the Montgomery Performance Space at 7:30 p.m. April 6-8, Thursday to Saturday. The concert is free and open to the public, but reservations are recommended.
This year’s concert showcases students in several styles of dance, including ballet, ballroom, and modern.  Many of the dances will feature live music provided by local musicians, including John Hyatt and members of the college faculty band Credit/No Credit.
(more…)

16th Annual Executive Roundtable to Focus on Trump Presidency and the Economy

As President Trump and the Republican-led Congress navigate the first 100 days of the Trump presidency, there are many questions about how the promises made on the campaign trail are being incorporated into government policy. What changes in economic policy can we expect to see during a Trump presidency, and how will those policies affect Americans?
The 16th Annual Executive Roundtable at Allegheny College, hosted by the college’s Center for Business and Economics and Law & Policy Program, will bring together experts to speak on “The Trump Presidency: Economic Policy Opportunities and Challenges,” from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 3. The roundtable in the college’s Ford Memorial Chapel is free and open to the public. (more…)

Single Voice Reading Series Welcomes Authors James Davis May, Chelsea Rathburn

James Davis May and Chelsea Rathburn will read from their work as part of Allegheny College’s Single Voice Reading Series at 7 p.m. April 6, 2017 in the Tillotson Room of the Tippie Alumni Center. The event is free and open to the public. (more…)

Allegheny Students Develop Ad Campaign, Film Commercial

Clay Dawson stood under a giant American flag hanging from the plant’s rafters and studied his lines.

A few steps away, Allegheny College senior Shu Yi Tang flipped through sheets of paper that laid out the entire video shoot in detail: what scenes would be filmed and when, where and how they would be shot, and the people involved in each.

Lily Loreno, a senior at Allegheny, framed the opening scene with her hands, her fingers forming a square in front of her face. Sophomore Margaret West wheeled the camera into place.

“Every single second (of the video) has to be exactly perfect,” West, a 20-year-old communication arts major, said later.

The Allegheny trio had an important client to impress: Acutec Precision Aerospace Inc., a Meadville-based company that makes parts of the braking system used on Southwest Airlines jets, among other products, had tapped the group to create a commercial that would re-introduce the company to the community after a rebranding and, ultimately, encourage more prospective employees to walk through Acutec’s doors. Dawson, project manager for new product integration, would be one of the stars.

Acutec President and CEO Elisabeth Smith had worked with Allegheny students before and felt confident West, Loreno and Tang would bring the breadth of a liberal arts education to bear on the project.

“Who we look for (to work with) are people who think,” Smith said. “Allegheny students know how to think.”

The Acutec project is just one part of a larger multidisciplinary effort, still in the pilot stage, to create a student-run media agency at Allegheny that would connect students with local businesses and nonprofit organizations that need media, marketing and advertising services.

Vice President of College Relations Susan Salton proposed the idea of a student-run media agency when she came to Allegheny in 2015. Intrigued, Assistant Professor of Communication Arts/Theatre Julie Wilson started talking about the possibility with other faculty partners in and across departments.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to showcase the creative talents of our students and serve the community in a real, tangible way at the same time,” Salton said. “Our students gain experience working with clients in professional settings, applying what they’ve learned in the classroom to the benefit of our region.”

VIDEO

Allegheny @ Acutec

The Acutec project started as a college-wide competition among groups of students interested in vying for the company’s business. Interdisciplinary groups of three students each pitched a storyboard and tagline. Tang, West and Loreno’s winning tagline? “It all starts here,” a nod to the region’s manufacturing roots and Acutec’s essential role in the supply chain creating individual parts that, pieced together, make the whole.

Once selected, the students were mentored to handle all the pre-planning and contract logistics. They hired a makeup artist and another person to help with some technical aspects of the shoot, scouted the Acutec’s Meadville and Saegertown plants, and shot the video over the course of several days

Tang relished the opportunity to put what she’d learned in her advertising and video production classes into practice.

“You get to have a real-life experience and talk to a client and get to know people. Why not take part?” she said. “It’s a very valuable experience, something I can talk about.”

They all felt pressure to deliver a quality product. The heightened expectations that came with working for a client gave the group “an opportunity to rise to the occasion,” West said.

“When you’re (working for) someone else, when you’re taking their time and their money, you want it to be that much better,” Loreno said of the video.

After a late-night scramble to the finish, the commercial debuted at a companywide breakfast on Feb. 8.

It was a success, Smith said.

“People really enjoyed it,” she said. “In terms of working with students, (the experience) was excellent. They were very professional.”

Associate Professor of Communication Arts/Theatre Ishita Sinha Roy ran the Acutec storyboard competition and worked with the students, along with Assistant Professor of Art Byron Rich.

The Acutec project and the larger media agency effort are “a great way to respond to the critics that say that the liberal arts are impractical,” Rich said. “The ideas and critical thinking skills that we foster here can be put into practice in the business world.”

Working on the commercial “empowered students to bring their ideas to life” and allowed them to take ownership of a project from start to finish, Sinha Roy said. The commercial and other projects that will fall under the media agency umbrella also help foster and strengthen ties between the college and community — and that’s a good thing for all involved, Sinha Roy said.

When students work for and within the community and learn the stories of its people, “suddenly your neighborhood starts to become friendlier and more well-known in your mind,” she said.

The Acutec video is not the only project of the nascent media agency, though it might be the most visible. A group of communication arts students working under the direction of Professor of Communication Arts/Theatre Michael Keeley have also filmed videos for the Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center. And students working with Wilson and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Janyl Jumadinova developed a website and pitched a logo for an online food hub that, when launched, will connect restaurants and food wholesalers with local farmers.

Wilson stressed that the agency is still in very early stages of development. But if it’s successful, she said, it could be a model for business incubation that leverages the resources of the college to help promote economic development.

Wilson said she doesn’t know of many other colleges or universities similar to Allegheny doing that important work.

“If we get this up and running soon, we’ll be pretty cutting edge.”

Herrman presents paper at University of Oxford

Judson Herrman, associate professor of classical studies and Frank T. McClure Chair of Greek and Latin, delivered a paper by invitation at the University of Oxford on February 24 titled “Demosthenes’ Philippics: a fourth-century book?” Herrman is a visiting fellow for Hilary Term 2017 at University College Oxford.

Olson essay published in journal, another forthcoming in book

Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies Carl Olson‘s essay, “Place, Play, Escape, and Identity: A Reconsideration of the Thought of Yi-fu Tuan in Light of the Work of Ramanuja and Zhuangzi” has been published in the International Communication of Chinese Culture.

His essay “Violence, the Demonic, and Indian Asceticism” also has been accepted for publication in a forthcoming book, “Modern Hinduism in History and Practice,” edited by Lavanya Vemsani and to be published by Bloomsbury Publishing.

Park presents at Eastern Economic Association Annual Conference

Assistant Professor of Economics Hyun Woong Park presented his paper “Technical Change and the Rate of Profit When Output is Driven by Price-Value Deviation” on February 26, at the Eastern Economic Association Annual Conference 2017.