Annual Art Show Features Work of Allegheny Students

The Annual Student Art Show will be held from April 4 to April 16 in the art galleries of Allegheny College. Students who wish to participate can drop off their work on Monday and Tuesday, March 27 and 28, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. An opening reception and awards ceremony will be Tuesday, April 4, from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m.

This year’s show, which will feature works in a variety of media, is juried by John Vanco, Allegheny alumnus and director of the Erie Art Museum. (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.”

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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.”

Allegheny College to Host High School Jazz Band Festival

Meadville, Pa. — The Allegheny College Music Department will host a High School Jazz Band Festival on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 6 p.m. in Allegheny’s Shafer Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

Featured ensembles are the Conneaut Area Blue Note Jazz Band directed by Glenn Cameron, the Meadville Area Senior High School Jazz Band, directed by Armond Walter, General McLane High School’s GM Jazz, directed by Jacob Malec, and the Allegheny College Jazz Band, directed by Stephen F. Corsi.

For more information, please call Stephen F. Corsi at 814-332-6244.

University of Kansas Chemistry Professor to Present Lord Lecture

Kristin Bowman-James, University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Kansas, will present the annual Lord Lecture at Allegheny College at 8 p.m. on Monday, March 13, in Ford Memorial Chapel. Her talk, “Serendipity and Surprise in Coordination Chemistry,” is free and open to the public.

After receiving her undergraduate and doctoral degrees at Temple University and completing postdoctoral research at Ohio State University, Bowman-James has spent her academic career at the University of Kansas, becoming the first woman to chair the Department of Chemistry. She was promoted to University Distinguished Professor in 2007. In addition, in 2005, she was appointed director of Kansas EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research), a National Science Foundation-funded program advances excellence in science and engineering research and education. (more…)

Author, Activist and Attorney Ritchie to Discuss Social Justice

Author, activist and attorney Andrea Ritchie will speak about the meaning of social justice as part of Allegheny College’s IDEAS Lecture Series on Thursday, March 9, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Quigley Hall. The event, hosted by the college’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access & Social Justice (IDEAS) Center, is free and open to the public.

Her lecture will focus on collective conceptions of safety, justice and the means we devote to achieving both. (more…)

Hartford Speaks to Students About Career, Value of Allegheny

Terry Hartford didn’t know he’d end up at Chatham Financial soon after graduating from Allegheny College in 2011.

But when he arrived at Chatham, a Pennsylvania-based advisor specializing in real estate capital markets and risk management, he found it to be a good fit: The attributes that make for successful Chatham employees, Hartford said, are the same attributes he developed while earning his economics degree here. Chatham values employees who are intellectually curious, who can solve complex problems, who are collaborators, who have good communication skills, who can work with limited direction and who have the initiative to leverage the experiences of their colleagues, among other skills, he said.

“Allegheny ticks all of those boxes,” Hartford said. (more…)

Allegheny College Art Galleries Present Here/Now

Allegheny College’s Art Department will present the Here/Now Exhibitions, exhibitions created by students and professors, during the week of March 6.

Various exhibitions and projects are scheduled throughout the week, with a final reception and celebration on Sunday, March 12, from noon to 1 p.m. The exhibits, showcased in the Bowman-Penelec-Meaghan Art Galleries in the Doane Hall of Art, are free and open to the public.

As part of the Allegheny’s ongoing Year of Mindfulness, the exhibitions will use creative processes as meditations on mindfulness, and offer a shared learning space for the collaborative projects. There will be a variety of project concepts, using various mediums.

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Mitchell Carrigan

Mitch’s Miraculous Journey to Meadville

On Oct. 13, 2014, Mitchell Carrigan’s life took a dramatic turn. It was the day he had surgery to remove a tumor from his brain.

“I was scared but I had hope; I knew all I had to do was push through and things would get better,” Carrigan says now, 30 months after the operation. “I essentially had two options, pushing through this experience and become a better person from it, or saying ‘this is it, if I was supposed to do something great with my life, then I would not have been dealt this card.’”

Carrigan, a first-year student at Allegheny College, has been told he is in full remission after having the grade 2 astrocytoma removed at the Albany Medical Center, near his home in rural Laurens, New York.

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Allegheny Single Voice Reading Series Features Poet Jane Hirshfield

Poet and prose writer Jane Hirshfield will visit the campus of Allegheny College for two events on Thursday, March 9.  She will speak and answer questions on the subject of “Poetry and Mindfulness” at 12:30 p.m. in Odd Fellows 105C, and at 7 p.m. she will read from her work as part of Allegheny College’s Single Voice Reading Series in Ford Memorial Chapel. Both events are free and open to the public.

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