Monthly Archives: May 2016

SGA Hosting Common Hour Wednesday

By Lawrence Wilson

Media Club Reporter

If Central Penn College Student Government Association (SGA) President Sebastine Virella says something, he means it.

And Virella wants you to know something: SGA is Central Penn College’s communication link connecting the student body, faculty, staff and administration.

SGA will host this week’s Common Hour, on Wednesday, at noon in ATEC 206.

Student Government Association Sebastine Virella has many major initiatives to share with students at this Wednesday's SGA Common Hour.

Student Government Association Sebastine Virella has many major initiatives to share with students at this Wednesday’s SGA Common Hour.

Here is what you can expect:

  • Highlighting clubs to appreciate certain students and faculty members
  • Addressing questions on changes to Blackboard and the campuswide information-management system
  • SGA reorganization and marketing

SGA is planning some stellar activities on campus in upcoming terms, and your student government would like to share these initiatives with you – the students of Central Penn College.

Virella means what he says and he says “You’re important” to students.

Come on out and hear what SGA has in store for the students!

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Victories Are More than Scores

Some highlights of a tough Lady Knights basketball season

By Yuliani Sutedjo

Media Club Reporter

The winter is over, and with it, the Lady Knights’ basketball season.

And like the winter, the Lady Knights’ season was a tough one.

They ended the 2015-2016 season with two wins and 23 loses. But despite that, the Lady Knights are proud of what they achieved.

Highlights of some games follow.

Players, cameras, action!

Jenasia Figueroa made a beautiful lay up Jan. 16. She dribbled the ball past the free-throw line, and suddenly, an opponent from State University of New York (SUNY) Delhi was on guard and ready, face-to-face with Figueroa.

Figueroa grabbed the ball, took a step and spun her body to the left, bringing her right foot to the floor. She swept her hand up and sent the ball away. What a beautiful layup! It boosted everyone, and brought cheers from the players and spectators as the team rallied to catch up at the last minute.

In the last three seconds, Central Penn College and SUNY Delhi were even, at 83 points. Then, a player charged with the ball toward the basket and shot, but wasn’t able to make the points.

Got it!

But as the ball fell, Melissa Ruiz snatched the rebound and with one second left, she shot the ball to the basket — and scored. Central Penn racked up the win (85-83) against SUNY Delhi with Figueroa’s lay up, Ruiz’s basket and team effort. (The other victory was against Penn State York, 58-57, on Nov. 1.)

Another highlight  occurred during the last game of the season, Feb. 17, against University of Valley Forge (UVF won, 84-50). Lady Knight Chaneil Croxton, who played her last day for Central Penn during that match, took a pass from Nicole Scmidhamer. Croxton caught it, got into position and made a spectacular three-pointer.

Everyone jumped and shouted, “Yeah, Nelly!” (Croxton’s nickname is Nelly.)

Croxton was happy to have achieved her goal as a basketball player for Central Penn – playing in that game. After the game, Croxton thanked everyone who was patient and worked with her. Her message for players coming up: Keep growing and become better athletes.

Croxton wasn’t the only senior saying goodbye. Janay Nelson, Myesha McGhee and Nicole Schmidhamer bid farewell to their team. Nelson, McGhee and Schmidhamer left this message: Keep practicing and enjoy every minute you play.

Fond farewell

When the sweat had dried and the sneakers had stopped screeching, Coach Kasey Hicks said the seniors will be missed, and welcomed Croxton, Nelson, McGhee and Schmidhamer to come to practices.

Stories of victories aren’t always told in scores. The highlights above are part of the victorious story of Lady Knights Basketball.

Continued kudos!

Echoes of victory sounded off the court after the season.

On March 1, three Lady Knights received an award from the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). Angie Kovac, Mary Weingartner and Schmidhamer were designated Academic All American players.

Schmidhamer also was Honorable Mention for the All American team of USCAA’s Division II women’s basketball.

These awards mean the ladies dedicated their time not only to their sport but also to their education.

Kovac, Weingartner and Schmidhamer said they were very honored to be recognized. They said time management is critical to success in college sports, and that they do their best, as others should, to balance sports and classes.

Keeping at the drills

With that in mind, Lady Knights Basketball will keep fighting and seeking a way to grow during the off season.

To keep the team and its members growing in their skills and dedication, Hicks said that after a break, they will pursue a lighter-than-usual workout schedule through the year to prepare for the coming season.

The reason for the smaller number of workouts is to sharpen each individual’s strengths, Hicks said.

“We have a lot of hard workers, a lot of competitors, and that is exactly what we will be building this off season,” Hicks said.

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Maria Thiaw’s Message to Student Writers: Get Published.

The Central Pen e-zine is a good place to start

 By Norman Geary

Media Club Reporter

 Maria Thiaw, professor of writing and humanities, is used to honing the written word.

With Thiaw’s background in poetry and in writing for literary journals, and her long tenure at Central Penn, publishing “The Central Pen” – the college’s literary e-zine – was a perfect match.

“The Central Pen” was “The Midsummer Knight’s Dream” when Thiaw started teaching at Central Penn in 2004.

In 2007, Thiaw was handed the reigns.  The magazine was widely distributed among students and faculty, staff and their families, and in the community.  But magazine projects stopped when a funding problem arose.

 New times

In 2012, Melissa Wehler, Ph.D., came on board to assist with many projects. With the addition of Wehler, the online version of “The Central Pen,” less expensive to produce on the Web, came to fruition.  That’s when the publication became an e-zine – an electronic magazine.

Wehler’s experience, which included a strong background in blogging, added to Thiaw’s background in writing for literary journals, meant new life for “The Central Pen.”  This endeavor continued for a couple of years, and included students in many projects.

Eventually, student involvement began to dwindle. During this time, Wehler acquired another position at Central Penn, so Thiaw and professor Thomas Davis, who teaches writing, continued editing the e-zine.


Thiaw and Davis developed creative ways to enhance student involvement that included covering school activities and publishing their work. Thiaw and Davis knew when students publish their work, it would look good to future employers.  It also showcased students’ writing abilities and kept the community informed on college news.

“This is also a great way for students to further their careers,” Thiaw said.

“The Central Pen” is promoted primarily by social media. This project is coming out of the School of Humanities and Sciences.  When something new is published, it is shared through emails with people on a subscribers’ list who tend to sign up through club fairs.  It also goes out through Facebook and Twitter.  The Knight Writers Creative Writing Club has a Pinterest page and a Facebook page that promote the e-zine.

Through these channels, the word gets out.  If students are shy about writing, Thiaw offers this advice, “I would encourage them (to consider) all the benefits of getting published, and … we have really good editors.  We really are not going to publish something that is not ready.”

Want to get published?

To be published, according to Thiaw, it is important to receive direction and constructive criticism, and Thiaw and Davis are adept at helping students improve their writing.  Students have to be reminded that not all submitted work will be published.

“As a writer, you are always sending things out and, more often than not, you are going to get rejected,” Thiaw said.  “But keep in mind that the best organizations will tell you that your writing is not what we are particularly looking for, but try this organization.  Or, if you make these two corrections, then your submission will be ready to be published.”

With this in mind, Thiaw said she will help someone polish his or her work.

Professor Maria Thiaw is proud to mentor the students as they learn more about creative writing. Photo by Tyler Willis

Professor Maria Thiaw is proud to mentor students as they learn more about creative writing. Photo by Tyler Willis

Plenty of help available

There are numerous resources on the Central Penn Summerdale Campus to assist students with their writing.  Some of these include the writing center, the Smarthinking online tutoring service and the library.

“No one leaving Central Penn should lack in any way when it comes to writing skills,” said Thiaw.

Besides the e-zine, Thiaw is involved with curriculum review and teaching classes.  She is also the advisor and the founder of the creative writing club on campus called The Knight Writers.  The club meets Wednesdays 3:30 p.m. in the Leadership Room of the library.  There is also a yearly poetry slam where students can win money for their performances.  In addition, there is a Central Penn poetry contest in April.

Because April is National Poetry Month, the winner of the contest can win the top prize of $100 and a year’s membership to The Academy of American Poets.  That person can also be entered to win the academy’s big prize of $1,000, and be published nationally.

Other pursuits

Thiaw is also on the Diversity Committee, and is involved in Word Wednesday and TED Talk Tuesdays, and various functions on campus that promote diversity. She is active in the arts and poetry community (in which she is known as Maria James-Thiaw), and is a member – and sometimes featured performer – of The Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel performance poetry group, which meets Thursdays at 7 p.m., at The Midtown Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg.  Thiaw is a longtime member of the Cartel, and serves on the board of Nathaniel Gadsden’s Writers Wordshop.  The Wordshop meets Fridays at 7 p.m., also at The Midtown Scholar.

Thiaw has been widely published, including in an anthology through the Writer’s Wordshop, and went last year to Paris for a week-long workshop sponsored through the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts.  She recently attended the conference of the Associated Writers & Writing Programs, in Los Angeles, where she met many Pulitzer Prize winning authors.  She is doing research on a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program that she is starting on the Central Penn College campus.

With Thiaw’s experience, all students who aspire to be good writers should take full advantage of the writing opportunities she and others at Central Penn offer.

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Research Exhibition Day is Coming to Central Penn College

By Paul Miller, co-adviser to the Knightly News

Central Penn College is making plans for their first ever Research Exhibition Day, held June 6 from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. at the Summerdale campus, to promote student’s research on the subject of diversity.

The Knightly News podcast welcomed Library Director Diane Porterfield and Instruction and Reference Librarian Emily Reed on a recent podcast to discuss everything the students will need to know in order to register and enter the competition, which gives the students opportunity to earn experience and even cash prizes.

In the conversation that took place on the podcast, the librarians discussed many reasons why students should want to be involved with Research Exhibition Day.

“Poster sessions are not simply limited to colleges,” Reed said.  “This is something that happens at professional events nationwide in every discipline.”

Reed went on to discuss how they are used by professional organizations as a way to share research with other influential people in their field and also is something that can be put on a resume.

The Knightly News will be involved in the Research Exhibition Day, as members of the club will discuss the importance of diversity in podcasting, and how the barrier of entry is much lower now to hear diverse perspectives through podcasts.

To register, simply fill out the form at the Libguide link below, or visit the library and speak with a librarian.

The registration deadline is May 20.

More information can be found at the Research Exhibition Day Libguide:


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The Knightly News Podcast Welcomes Student Activities Director

Getting involved in activities at Central Penn College can increase likelihood of employment after graduation

By Professor Paul Miller, co-adviser to the Knightly News

In what is scheduled to be a reoccurring segment, Student Activities Director Adrienne Thoman stopped by the studio to chat with the Knightly News Podcast.

On this episode, Thoman is joined by Media Club members Keith Gudz and Yuliani Sutedjo and host Professor Paul Miller.

During the podcast, Thoman discussed the importance of getting involved on campus.

“You come to college because you are going to learn amazing things in the classroom,” Thoman said.  “I would like to propose that you can learn equally amazing things outside of the classroom too.”

In addition, the podcast debuted a new segment for Adrienne’s monthly visit, the “Featured Three” events of the month.

The Knightly News looks forward to future visits from Thoman, as she is scheduled to return to the podcast on May 26.

Background Music:  (Podington Bear) / CC BY-NC 3.0

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