Monthly Archives: January 2017


Condoms can prevent STDs.

By Sarayuth Pinthong

Media Club Reporter

Ah – picture it.

The mood is perfect. Everything is going right. You look at your partner and then it hits you: You have no protection.

What do you do?

Really, it’s no game

Central Penn students participated in a sex-ed Jeopardy parody game during a recent common hour near the end of fall term with guest speaker Kelly J. Gainor of Planned Parenthood of Central Pennsylvania, in the Capital BlueCross Theatre, to raise awareness about HIV infection and AIDS, for World AIDS Day.

As lead coordinator of the event, Central Penn Counselor Megan Cline reached out to Planned Parenthood for support to help educate students about safe sex to prevent infection with HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.

“My goal in having Planned Parenthood come to campus was to get the word out,” Cline said. “Planned Parenthood is a great organization that does amazing work for people of all ages.”

Gainor, senior community health educator at Planned Parenthood, spoke on topics that allowed students the opportunity to explore their knowledge of sexually transmitted disease (STD), preventive measures against STDs, including HIV infection and AIDS.

Gainor talked about and answered students’ questions about the proper use of contraceptives and different methods of exposure to HIV, and concluded the presentation with a demonstration of how to apply a condom properly.

About 40 students attended the session.

Watch the accompanying video from Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, D.C., for instructions on how to use a condom properly.

Use self-assessment and common sense

Take a second and ask yourself whether you know how to apply a condom correctly, what personal female contraceptive choices are available or what other barrier devices to prevent STDs, and protect yourself or partner against contracting HIV, may be available.

And here’s a sobering thought: When was the last time you were tested for STDs, if ever?

“The most important thing is getting checked,” Gainor said. “Because of the current medication available, the sooner you know, the longer you have to live (with HIV) – period.”

Getting checked is just the beginning. Knowing the ins and outs of self-protection is also important.

Gainor informed her audience on how to properly inspect a condom before use. She also explained the various ways of transmitting STDs and, of course, the precautions necessary to protect oneself when engaging in sexual activities.

“Certainly, in a college campus, having safe sex and making safe sexual decisions, is something that’s very important,” Central Penn Activities Director Adrienne Thoman said. “It’s going to have ramifications for the rest of your life.”

It happens – a lot!

Becoming exposed to STDs is still common. Taking a serious stance on the matter is just as important as using protection. Despite what you may believe, exposure to and infection with these ailments can happen to you.

“I don’t think they believe that they can catch it so easily,” said Lester McMillan, an entrepreneurship major. “I beg to differ. It’s quick to get ‘burned.’ I feel it’s just best ‘to wrap it up.’”

“Students seem to be aware and understanding of general knowledge about sex,” Cline said. “But they don’t always seem to accept the reality of if you’re having unprotected sex, your chances of unplanned pregnancies and/or transmission of sexually transmitted infections increases significantly.”

At Central Penn, condoms are available in Thoman’s office and in the athletics office, in The Underground, and in the Residence Life Office, in Bollinger Hall. They are also available in many stores, particularly drugstores, such as the Rite Aid in the Enola Plaza, and in most physicians’ offices.

Gainor explained that World AIDS Day, which was observed on Nov. 30, is to raise awareness of HIV and the to make people aware that it’s still a problem

“We want people to be aware, so they can get checked and maybe protect themselves,” Gainor said. “Getting tested is something I wish people would take more seriously.”

So, think back to the scenario at the beginning of this article. What would you do? Would you continue, and hope for the best? Or would you take a stance and protect yourself and your partner?

So – what would you do?

It’s all about getting tested, protecting yourself and not getting HIV or another sexually transmitted disease in the first place.

Planned Parenthood helps people plan parenthood through education and medical services. For more information go to


The resources below provide STD testing, and other health and sexual/reproductive health services.

Planned Parenthood in Harrisburg

Alder Health Services, Harrisburg


To comment on this story, or to submit a story idea, contact the editors at

Edited by media club co-adviser Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi.

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Registration for The Alumni Mentor Program Winds Down

Friday is the last day to sign up.

By Tiyana Butler

Alumni Engagement Correspondent

The 2017 registration for the Alumni Mentor Program is now open until Friday, Jan. 27 for Central Penn College students and alumni. This program provides students and alumni the opportunity to connect with each other one-on-one in a mentoring relationship. The mentor and mentee will both be paired together based on their career field and/or a common interest they share. They will also have the opportunity to structure the relationship how they would like, including how and when to communicate.

In a one-time mentoring session, students will gain knowledge and perspective of an industry, organization or culture, while getting feedback on personal and professional development. At the same time, mentors will serve as a role model and coach for their mentee by sharing their experience and knowledge on the future workforce.

This program does offer e-mentors for students and alumni outside of the Central Pennsylvania area. Students and their mentors can connect with one another via email, phone call, Skype, etc. Based on the interest, schedules and availability of both mentee and mentor, both are welcome to continue a mentoring relationship.

The main goal for the Alumni Mentor Program is to get students to sign up for a personal alumni mentor to expand their business network and to make career connections. The program provides the opportunity for students to gather career and professional advice for future references. “Students should absolutely take advantage of this opportunity”, says Sarah Blumenschein, director of alumni engagement. “You’ll be surprised by how much knowledge you gain from conversations with successful alumni. They have fantastic experience, and want to help in any way they can.”

If students are interested in connecting with a personal Alumni Mentor in their field of study or who shares a common interest go to

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Did You Know Central Penn College Has an Arboretum?

The arboretum was created to help beautify the campus and celebrate the heritage of trees that helped to grow America.

 By Sherri Long

Media Club Reporter

The next time you walk over Henszey’s Bridge, which connects ATEC with the Bollinger and Bart A. Milano Hall campus area, be sure to look down.

There, you will see a meandering, tanbark path winding through some trees.

That is Central Penn’s arboretum.

“The word arboretum means a botanical collection (etum) of trees (arbor). I like to think of it as a tree museum or zoo,” plant expert Vanessa Richins Myers wrote on

Gene Wingert, East Pennsboro resident, township historical society member and Central Penn scholarship donor, helped plan the arboretum and select trees for it. Wingert also helped plan the Pine Hill Arboretum, also in East Pennsboro Township, for the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, according to the grant application submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, in 2008.

“Trees are our heritage and they still represent a frontier to our urbanized society,” according to the description in a pamphlet created during the planning of the arboretum. “Hopefully, you will gain insight into their importance, both past and present, and strive to protect our forest resource.”

The 25 trees were chosen for their uses in the development and establishment of Northeast America’s first settlers. The explanation about each tree species provided on a small placard on a short post in front of each tree gives the scientific name and the uses for that tree. A tree’s wood type was important for its strength and resistance against rotting, while others were important for their fruit, nuts and medicinal value.

An excerpt from Central Penn’s pamphlet about the arboretum states:

Sweet Gum tree, “Liquidambar styraciflue”: A tree of moist bottomlands. Storax gum is extracted from the bark and used for soaps and drugs. The colonists used the healing power of this tree to treat anything from wounds, fever, toothache, skin diseases, herpes, scabies and mange. The colonists used the wood for spoons and bowls. Some of the oldest and finest furniture preserved in museums and conservatories was made from sweet gum. Some clarinets were also fashioned from this wood.

A path laces through the school’s George J. Miller, Jr. Arboretum. The arboretum, developed in 2008, honors Miller, a friend of and contributor to Central Penn College.Photo by Sarayuth Pinthong

A path laces through the school’s George J. Miller, Jr. Arboretum. The arboretum, developed in 2008, honors Miller, a friend of and contributor to Central Penn College. Photo by Sarayuth Pinthong


The Foundation

The planting of the arboretum began with very young trees that “looked like Charlie Brown stick trees,” joked Matthew Lane, executive director of the Central Penn College Education Foundation.

The trees in the arboretum are now well established, but their growth has not been easy. Lane said some of the original trees died because conditions where the trees are planted are subject to great weather variations.

Lane explained that the area under Henszey’s Bridge can be swampy, dry or flooded, depending on the amount of rainfall. This is one reason plans to put birdhouses and park benches in the area were tabled.

Another reason is the recession of 2008.

“When the recession hit, we needed to focus our fundraising efforts elsewhere,” Lane stated.

The birdhouses and benches were going to be a source of fundraising for the Foundation. For a certain level of giving, a person could have a birdhouse or bench that would be placed in the arboretum, and would be dedicated to that donor.

The arboretum was created with money from the college’s general budget, Lane said.

During the beginning phase of the arboretum planning, discussions about having donors purchase a tree for planting was another fundraising idea. Lane explained that the idea was not implemented due to possible complications of not being able to insure the trees, or uncertainty about what to do if the tree was in a spot that could be in a future campus expansion zone.

The Foundation has an Arboretum Society giving level and showcases these donors on three plaques on campus. One is on the third floor of ATEC, one is in the Boyer House and one is on a wall in Lane’s office. A new plaque is created each year.

Within the Arboretum Society is the Legacy Branch, which is for donors who have made a planned gift of $10,000 or more. Examples of a planned gift are an annuity, property or bequest.

The Central Penn website lists the arboretum “As part of a 2008 campus beautification project, the College’s arboretum was named in honor of its dear friend and scholarship contributor, George J. Miller, Jr. (1918-2008).”

Lane explained that Miller usually gave his contributions anonymously — which totaled close to a half-million dollars — but after his passing, the college wanted to acknowledge and honor Miller through the arboretum.

The future

The Facilities Department is responsible for the maintenance of the arboretum. A tanbark path marks where the trees of the arboretum are, but due to the arboretum’s changing environment, a walking path hasn’t been established. Sometimes, the arboretum can be “quite marshy,” Lane said.

There are a few benches and a circle of holly trees in the Student Fellowship Area, behind Fred Hall Apartments. These benches and garden plaques are dedicated to honor donors of the college.

The Student Fellowship Area marks the beginning and end of the Central Penn one-mile walking trail. This trail is made of pavers – brick or other stones used to construct or cover walkways – concrete and macadam. Part of the arboretum is visible from this trail –– safe from the surrounding fluctuating water levels.

Will the birdhouse or park bench fundraisers in the arboretum make a comeback? Lane stated that a few ideas have been discussed, informally, that include placing birdhouses and benches high enough not to be affected by changing water levels. Other options are steps or paths to the arboretum.

Any formal plans for the arboretum will rely heavily on the Facilities Department, because “they are the ones who work on that land area and understand the changing conditions the best,” Lane said.


Edited by Media Club Co-adviser Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi.

To comment on this story, or to suggest a story idea, email the editors at


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