Allegheny Students juggle Faith and Environment

Last Sunday, I had the privilege to observe a presentation about Faith and Environment at St.Brigid church in Meadville, Pa.

Pasquale DiFrancesco ’14 and Matt Mucci 14′, informed a room of fifth through eighth graders how personal decisions can hinder the environment. Through an interactive presentation, the class answered questions about their usage of certain resources that effect the environment. Their answers generated an estimation of how many “earths” it would take to support a world that lived exactly as they do.

“It’s an issue that is important to me and Pat,” said Mucci.

DiFrancesco expressed the importance of talking to a younger generation about the environment.

“Faith is a platform.” said DiFrancesco. “It teaches you how to be better at issues and little behavioral changes can make a huge impact.”

The presentation was engaging. The students were shouting out ways they could help the environment and what they could do to stop their personal habits.

DiFrancesco and Mucci offered simple hints to correct everyday environmental issues. Such as recycling properly and efficient water usage.

One student at St.Brigid’s had an interesting approach to conserving energy.

“I will turn the lights off on my teacher (to save electricity),” said Hannah Parks, 6th grader.

After the presentation, the students wrote a prayer about how them and others can positively effect the environment. They structured their prayers around conservation and asking others to contribute.

Shari Bronson, coordinator of religious education at St. Brigid church was gracious of the Allegheny students presentation.

“It is a powerful testament to see faith in action and all for the betterment of the environment,” said S.Bronson.

The students were able to see two people relative to their age converse about their faith and express the role that plays in the environment.

“Young adults showed them that you can take situations and apply them to situations right in the world.” said Pastor Johnathan Schmolt. “It is a value of witness and faith and it is an act of witness for the youth.”

S.Bronson enjoys and promotes the relationship of Allegheny and the church.

“It is inspirational to our faith formation program to experience the faith witness of these fine students from Allegheny College.” said S.Bronson. “We appreciate their efforts and welcome them back anytime.”

Students from the religious education program at St. Brigid church in Meadville,Pa. created prayers to help conserve environmental resources after a presentation given by Pasquale DiFrancesco 14' and Matt Mucci 14'.
Students from the religious education program at St. Brigid church in Meadville,Pa. created prayers to help conserve environmental resources after a presentation given by Pasquale DiFrancesco 14′ and Matt Mucci 14′.

You “Otter” be there!

Erie Otters hockey players enter the ice for the start of the 3rd period against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Friday night at Erie Insurance Arena. The Otters shut out the Greyhounds 3-0.
Erie Otters hockey players enter the ice for the start of the 3rd period against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Friday night at Erie Insurance Arena. The Otters shut out the Greyhounds 3-0.

Last Friday, I had the privilege to spend time with my Allegheny baseball teammates. We decided to take a night off of studying and venture to Erie to watch an Erie Otters hockey game. The Otters play at Erie Insurance Arena and they are a member of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

This experience is important to me because it reflects the tight knit Allegheny sports community.

Every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday morning our baseball team conditions and lifts. We not only better ourselves but we’re building comradery as a unit. That bond stays with us out of the gym and off the field. Our main emphasis this year is to win a championship (yea, yea I know that is every team’s goal). But this year there is a different vibe amongst our team. We’re serious about the task at hand and we want to build each other’s trust now, so it will translate to the field. Last year we made it to the NCAC championship game but, this year we would like to raise the trophy instead of concede it.

As a team we’ve done some activities after fall baseball concluded. We had a team golf outing at Whispering Pines golf course, our annual formal and I had the privilege to go to an Otters game with some of my teammates.

I’m glad I can feel the relationship our team holds. I think it’s important to have a support group at college. Whether you’re on an athletic team or have a team of friends, it can definitely help you find your place on campus and better your experience.

Special Person Brunch

Last weekend I was invited to attend a brunch held by Kappa Kappa Gamma-Gamma Rho Chapter here at Allegheny in the Tippie Alumni Center. Each member of the sorority was accompanied by a person that has made a significant impact on their live. As I looked around, the members of the sorority introduced their specials guests to each other. The room was vibrant and filled with happiness. Everyone was talking, laughing and smiling and eagerly waiting to dive into their food.

When everyone was comfortable and content with their stomachs, members of KKG began to speak about their three core values: leadership, scholarship and philanthropy. They wanted their guests to know they are using their talents to better the skills of others. One philanthropy program that was mentioned was called RIF. RIF stands for Reading is Fundamental. KKG members volunteer their services at the local head start program, raise money and the money goes
towards the national RIF.

Members of Kappa Kappa Gamma-Gamma Rho Chapter, pose for a group picture outside of Tippie Alumni Center at Allegheny College after their Special Person Brunch.
Members of Kappa Kappa Gamma-Gamma Rho Chapter, pose for a group picture outside of Tippie Alumni Center at Allegheny College after their Special Person Brunch.

After different members of KKG informed the audience of their core values, they showed a slide show all the members. The slide show compiled photos of the members at various events.

I was honored to be invited to the special person brunch. I have gotten to know most of the KKG women and they are incredible people. This group of women are always seen together, always acknowledge me and most importantly care about each other. I’m pleased I have met these women and appreciate what they do for the community.

Lunch with a New York Times Journalist

Market Grille with Sheryl Stolberg

On Gator Day, I had the privilege to spend time with my classmates and New York Times Journalist, Sheryl Stolberg. My classmates and I got the chance to have lunch at The Market House and converse informally with her . From the beginning of lunch, it was easy to see she didn’t want the lunch to be centered around her profession. She was very interested in learning about our class. We also shared our journalism articles with her. She was impressed and encouraged to see young journalists getting published in the local newspapers.

After lunch, we met again as a class with Mrs.Stolberg for a writing workshop. She had our articles in hand and offered us her professional feedback. Her main advice to our class was to look for a deeper meaning in your stories. She believed that if you could find that aspect within your story, then that is the story that needs to be told in your “lede.” In an article, the lede is the introductory sentence that informs the reader of five essential components: who, what, where, when and why. But, she wanted us to know the lede doesn’t have to be cut and dry. It needs to be enticing and hook your readers to your story.

It was a great experience to listen to Mrs. Stolberg and hear her advice and critiques. She took time our of her busy schedule to meet with our class. She was writing a story on deadline before she traveled to Allegheny to meet with us. I’m thankful she could attend Gator Day and offer us a piece of her wisdom.

Experience of the Allegheny Advantage

For my first post on Gator blogs, I thought it would be fitting to write about how comfortable Allegheny is. I transferred to Allegheny my sophomore year and was impressed about the various perks the school offers to their students.  Allegheny has three perks that I think they do exceptionally well.

The first perk is being able to study in any building on campus for as long as you want. Many take for granted how trusting Allegheny is of their students. Classrooms are left open, you can use the projectors and have a group study session and there is printing locations everywhere (or closely near) those buildings. At the past school I attended, the library was closed at 1 a.m. and the buildings were locked at 10 p.m. but, you could not study in that building past that time. They did keep their “grab-n-go” food court open until midnight, but as far as a nice secluded place to study past that time, it wasn’t available. You did have the option to study in your room or the common rooms in the hall way but that didn’t mean it was always silent.

The next perk would have to be the connectivity with your professors. The professors here want you to succeed and encourage your presence when they have office hours. They don’t take it as annoyance. They take it as an opportunity to evaluate their teaching methods. Many professors that I have went to at Allegheny have actually apologized to me when I had a question. They would say, “I’m sorry I didn’t make that more clear in class.” Since attending Allegheny, I think I have been to more review sessions then all of high school combined. That is truly commendable. They are taking extra time out of their evening to help their students succeed.

The third and final Allegheny advantage would be networking. I’m a Journalism in the Public Interest (JPI) minor and I have met easily over 100 people since last semester. Cheryl Hatch, a JPI professor makes a strong effort to connect her students with every connection possible. She has also gone as far as making my class business cards we can hand to professionals who visit our class. I don’t believe you’d find professors willing to go that extra mile on their personal time elsewhere.

Allegheny has made it easy for me to have a smooth transitition as a transfer student. I’m very thankful for the advantages I have at this college.

Stay tuned for my next blog about having lunch with New York Times journalist Sheryl Stolberg.