Monthly Archives: September 2017

Media club dedicates podcast studio to beloved deceased member

The people who never knew Nasir Harris learned why he was special.

Those who knew him remembered, smiled and cried.

Story and Photos

By Michael Lear-Olimpi

Co-adviser, Knightly News

About 40 people attended the dedication of the Knightly News Media Club podcast studio in the Boyer House to the late Nasir Harris on Thursday.

Nine members of Harris’ family, media club members, college administrators, faculty, staff and some students were on hand from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to view a memorial video of Nasir that included interviews with his mother and father, Eugene and Naomi Harris, his siblings, and Central Penn personnel who knew him. (See embedded video below.)

Harris, 28, a corporate communications major and a founding member of the Knightly News Media Club podcast studio, died June 14 after a brief illness. He was on a short break from school, but was preparing to return to Central Penn for the summer or fall term when he died at home.

“We miss him, but he will always be here with us, in our memories and in our hearts,” podcast studio manager and media club co-adviser Prof. Paul Miller told Eugene Harris.

Media Club President Sherri Long, right, officially dedicates the Nasir Harris Podcast Studio of The Knightly News Media Club at Central Penn College.

Media Club President Sherri Long, right, officially dedicates the Nasir Harris Podcast Studio of The Knightly News Media Club at Central Penn College.

Miller was speaking to Mr. Harris in a front room of the Boyer House, where a video of Nasir’s family and Central Penn faculty who knew him, presented reminiscences on a large-screen television screen of Nasir. The video, about half an hour long, played several times. Besides watching the tribute, people also toured the podcast studio. Several people left the video-tribute viewing room daubing tears.

“We all were very fond of Nasir,” Melissa Wehler, dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences, told Naomi Harris. “He will always be remembered.”

Nasir had been the student worker in Bollinger 46, where Wehler’s office was before it moved to the Advanced Technology Education Center (ATEC).

Matthew Vickless, dean of the School of Professional Studies and interim dean of the School of Business, also shared some memories of Nasir with his parents.

Linda Fedrizzi-Williams, Central Penn College co-president, provost and vice president of academic affairs, told Nasir’s parents she hadn’t had the honor of knowing Nasir, but had heard about his wonderfully positive attitude, helpfulness and friendliness, and expressed condolences and regret at the loss of a member of the college community as well-loved as Nasir.

“This is all very touching, and moving,” Eugene Harris said, surveying the people meeting and greeting one another in the Boyer House as they ate a light lunch. “Thank you, so much.”

The Harris family.

The Harris family.

Mrs. Harris was similarly moved.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to meet his ‘other’ family,” Mrs. Harris said of the event. “We knew he was very involved in the media club, but we never met any of his Central Penn family.”

Club President Sherri Long officially dedicated the podcast studio, on the second floor of Boyer House and which began operating in the early winter, to Nasir at about 12:15 p.m. on the historic building’s south lawn, where Central Penn facilities workers had set up tables and chairs for the occasion, and people continued their lunch.

Long’s comments were brief.

“We’re here to dedicate the Nasir Harris Podcast Studio,” Long, a corporate communications major, said as she held aloft the small, red wooden plaque with a black metal plate bearing Nasir’s name.

Long presented the family with the plaque, and a large photo of the family that people attending the studio dedication had signed on the back, and copies of the tribute video, made by club secretary Sarayuth Pinthong. Each media club member, co-advisers Miller and Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi, and some other Central Penn personnel received a copy of the video, which Pinthong made during a Saturday visit to the Harrises’ home in Harrisburg. Other media club members helped.

School of Humanities and Sciences Dean Melissa Wehler makes some comments at the dedication.

School of Humanities and Sciences Dean Melissa Wehler makes some comments at the dedication.

Pinthong, the club’s videographer who spent about 20 years as a photographer with the U.S. Air Force and who maintains his own photography and videography business, made the video with his equipment, on his time. The club covered the cost of producing the DVDs that were distributed.

Long, Miller, Lear-Olimpi and other club members, and Central Penn faculty and staff in attendance, gathered after the dedication for photos.

Prior to the dedication, attendees milled about inside the Boyer House, meeting and speaking with one another, and remembering Nasir.

“This is a great turnout, and an indication of how many people cared so much for this young man,” Richard Varmecky, Central Penn interim co-president and chief financial officer, said.

Professors Miller and Lear-Olimpi talked with the Harrises about Nasir’s love of radio, and his crucial role in making the podcast studio a reality.

“I remember him saying once, ‘We’re not doing radio? We can do podcasts – let’s do it,’” Lear-Olimpi told Mr. and Mrs. Harris, and two of his sisters. “He was passionate about it, and we were lucky to have him, for many reasons.”

Harris had done over-the-air radio at Shippensburg University before coming to Central Penn. He was a popular deejay at Ship, well known for his vast knowledge of and deep appreciation for music, and for his keen sense of humor. He brought those qualities, and more, to Central Penn, person after person said.

“Big Nas,” as Nasir’s family and friends called him, loved media – especially radio, and “all things voice,” club president Long said. “I’m sure he’s smiling down on us,” Long told the crowd assembled for the studio dedication.

Media Club members Ian Kemmerer and Kathleen Tarr show Nasir's nephew, Kezra Lee, 9, the studio named in honor and memory of his uncle.

Media Club members Ian Kemmerer and Kathleen Tarr show Nasir’s nephew, Kezra Lee, 9, the studio named in honor and memory of his uncle.

The media club covered all costs for food, drink, the dedication plaque, and video production. The club owns the podcast equipment in the studio.

In her comments during the dedication, Long thanked club members, the advisers and the college for support of the club’s mission and work, and for attending the ceremony Thursday. She also thanked Facilities Department workers who provided the tables and chairs and set them up, and cleared the assembly area of walnuts that had fallen from trees on the Boyer House lawn that could have made walking difficult.

Besides Nasir’s parents, his sisters Nia, Naeemah, Nicole and, Chenita Lee, attended, along Kezra Lee, 9, and Aniah Lee, 11, and his aunt Betty Jean McEachin.

As people left after the gathering, Mrs. Harris again thanked media club advisers and members for their show of love for Nasir, and respect and concern for the family.

Media Club Vice President Yuliani Sutedjo with the photo of the Harris family presented to them at the dedication.

Media Club Vice President Yuliani Sutedjo with the photo of the Harris family presented to them at the dedication.

“From the time you came to our house just after Nasir passed, and his funeral, until now, with this wonderful remembrance, we have been getting to know his Central Penn family,” she told Lear-Olimpi. “We appreciate it, and you are welcome to visit our home at any time.”

Lear-Olimpi and Miller, along with recent corporate communications graduate and former club member Norman Geary, attended Nasir’s funeral in Philadelphia on June 19, and the college and School of Humanities and Sciences sent flowers.


Michael Lear-Olimpi is co-adviser of The Knightly News Media Club at Central Penn College and editor of Knightly News text content. He was Nasir Harris’ academic adviser.

To comment on this or to suggest a story, email TheKnightlyNews@CentralPenn.Edu.

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President Scolforo resigns

By Yuliani Sutedjo

Knightly News Reporter

Karen M. Scolforo, Central Penn’s ninth president, resigned Friday morning.

Scolforo, who was appointed president in mid-2013, said in a posting on her Facebook page, and later in a special edition of the college’s employee newsletter, Central Station, distributed at 10:20 a.m., “the Board (of directors) has agreed to accept my resignation, and to enact a well-thought out transition plan.”

The announcement was also made Friday in the student email newsletter Student Central.

Scolforo announced in an email to faculty and staff during the first week of September, and also in Central Station, that she had applied for a job as president of a university in New England, for family reasons.

“Many of you have heard me tout a family first mantra, and many have appreciated the support I’ve provided in this regard for all of our Central Penn College family members,” Scolforo wrote in the special edition of Central Station on Friday. “You’ll recall that on September 5th I published a special edition of Central Station to notify you of my decision to apply to a position closer to my family.”

On Friday afternoon, after she had left campus, Scolforo told The Knightly News: “My mother is sick, and I want to be closer to her, and help my family. I miss everyone (at Central Penn).”

Scolforo had applied to Castleton University, part of the Vermont university system, which has about full-time 2,000 students, in Castleton, Vt. She is one of three candidates, according to Castleton’s website.

Carol Wilson Spigner, D.S.W., chair of Central Penn’s board of directors, also told The Knightly News on Friday that Scolforo decided to resign for family reasons.

Scolforo declined Friday to address her candidacy at Castleton, but she said in her early-September message to the Central Penn community that the Castleton board of directors plans to make a decision by Oct. 1.

“Dr. Karen M. Scolforo has resigned from the presidency of Central Penn College for personal reasons,” the board of directors said in a message in Central Station Friday. “Dr. Linda Fedrizzi-Williams, vice president of academic affairs and Richard Varmecky, chief financial officer will serve as interim co-presidents and Carol W. Spigner, D.S.W. will serve as executive director of the college on behalf of the board. This team will provide continuity and stability during this period of transition. The Central Penn College board of directors will begin the process of selecting the next leader immediately.”

Scolforo applied to Castleton in late June. From Sept.11 through 13, she visited Castleton University, and gave a live presentation on the 13th. Some Central Penn College faculty and staff watched the Web broadcast of Scolforo’s presentation.

During her tenure, according to her curriculum vitae, Scolforo achieved many accomplishments for Central Penn, including:

  • Building The Underground, which includes the Capital BlueCross Theatre, a dance studio she sponsored, a weight room, student lounge and student government and other offices
  • Installation of a health-sciences building
  • Appointment of the school’s first diversity officer
  • Appointment of the school’s first Title IX and compliance officers

Yuliani Sutedjo is Student Government Association president and vice president of the Knightly News Media Club.

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

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No one outshines Rubina Azizdin, 2017 Luminary Award winner

Honor recognizes Central Penn staffer’s stellar accomplishments

 

Rubina Azizdin, winner of the 2017 Shining Star Award from the West Shore Chamber of Commerce’s Luminary Awards. A photoshoot and headshot, pictured above, from Bevrore, photo studio of Mechanicsburg, was one of the perks of being a Luminary Award nominee. Photo courtesy Rubina Azizdin.

Rubina Azizdin, winner of the 2017 Shining Star Award from the West Shore Chamber of Commerce’s Luminary Awards. A photoshoot and headshot, pictured above, from Bevrore, photo studio of Mechanicsburg, was one of the perks of being a Luminary Award nominee. Photo courtesy Rubina Azizdin.

By Sherri Long

Knightly News Reporter

Rubina Azizdin received the 2017 Shining Star Award on Aug. 30 as part of the West Shore Chamber of Commerce’s Luminary Awards, held in the Radisson Harrisburg, Camp Hill.

The Shining Star Award category recognizes a woman in a nonexecutive role who shows “excellence in their work environment and community,” according to the Chamber’s category description.

Azizdin, Central Penn career counselor and part-time faculty member, found out she was nominated in April, but does not know who nominated her.

“They never read or shared my nomination,” she said.

The Chamber learned a lot about the nominees, though. A survey of 40-50 questions about them, their hobbies, family, accomplishments and fun facts was sent to each nominee. The information was used throughout the Luminary Awards campaign and award luncheon.

Perks and fun facts

A perk the nominees enjoyed during the campaign was a photoshoot with Bevrore, a Mechanicsburg photo studio, and each nominee received a headshot photo to use for whatever reason she wants.

The headshots were also used in Luminary Awards advertisements the Chamber placed in online and printed publications, including Susquehanna Style magazine. Social media posts that featured each nominee’s headshot and a fun fact were also used throughout the campaign.

One of Azizdin’s fun facts, according to a Chamber social media post was, “Would want the following written on her tombstone: ‘Please leave me designer purses and shoes instead of flowers – I need to keep up with the latest fashion trends :)’”

“So, I’m known for my shopping addiction,” Azizdin said with a laugh. “I would die without fashion.”

Voting and networking

The winner was elected by a committee through a blind evaluation. Azizdin thought that was a fair process because, “We are a small community and we all know each other, so people didn’t win just because you knew somebody. … [The winner] was kept a secret the entire time.”

The Luminary Awards were created to celebrate business women in the community and “that’s what I’m all about,” said Azizdin.

Nominees met one another during a networking event held prior to the awards luncheon. Azizdin enjoyed being able to mingle with the other nominees.

“With a thing like this, there are so many people and usually you don’t know who you are up against, or you never get to speak to some of the people that you are a part of this process with,” she added. “It was nice to meet all the women up close and personal.”

After meeting the “phenomenal” nominated women, however, Azizdin wasn’t expecting to win. Still, she invited her entire family to come to the award luncheon.

“I said, ‘Look, this is a huge award, a huge event and I want you guys to be there. And, hey, if I don’t win, I still get to see you and then we get to go out and celebrate anyway.’”

Shocking surprise

Azizdin explained the winner-announcement process.

“They called all the nominees up one by one and introduced everybody,” Azizdin said. “But, I don’t even know what they said about me, because I was so nervous! All I remember is something about ice cream. Then we all sat down, and then, they announced my name as the winner.”

Azizdin said it took a few moments to realize she had won. She said she “froze for a bit” while she wondered whether they had really just called her name.

“I was in shock; I’m still in shock,” said Azizdin. “Somehow, I managed to remember to take my speech up with me. Once I got up there I was all right. I was still trying to catch my breath a little, while I started, but then I was okay.”

The Shining Star Award was the first time Azizdin was nominated for something at this level.

“It was awesome to have family and a lot of close friends there,” she said.

With a beaming smile on her face, Azizdin described the event as a “very energetic, fun — you know, just an amazing, glorious type of environment that day.”

Paying it forward

As the winner, Azizdin chose a nonprofit to receive part of the funds raised by the event. She chose the Junior Achievement organization because “it falls in line with everything I’m doing and trying to help out in the community with.”

Junior Achievement helps high school students prepare for the “real world,” through training in subjects such as financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship, according to the Junior Achievement website.

“It’s kind of a training program to better them for their college careers,” Azizdin said.

Azizdin has been involved with the West Shore Chamber Commerce since she started working for Central Penn, which was “about five years” ago. She isn’t involved directly with the Chamber, but is involved with several organizations that are a part of the Chamber, such as West Shore Young Professionals and American Business Women’s Association.

Azizdin plans to become more involved with the Chamber, after her experience. She loved the award process experience, as well as how the Chamber gives back to the community.

“I want to pay it forward, so, I might be serving on a committee for them, or something like that, in the future,” Azizdin said.

Central Penn College was well represented in the Luminary Awards. Sandra Box, associate director of the Central Penn College Education Foundation, was also a Shining Star nominee.

Cami Ressler, chair of the Education Foundation’s board of trustees, was a nominee for the Visionary Award, which recognizes a female executive community leader.


Sherri Long is president of the Knightly News Media Club @ Central Penn College.

To comment on this story or to suggest one, contact TheKnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.

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

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by | September 14, 2017 · 7:18 pm

Knight Owl always-open computer lab for students nests in Bollinger

By Brian Christiana, Amor Duran, Nasi Hayes, Katina Hocker, Laura Lee, Megan Smith, Quinyece Walker and Joel Zola

Students of COM 140, Summer 2017

Special to The Knightly News

In August, Central Penn College opened in Bollinger Hall what sources contacted for this story believe is the school’s first  24-hour, seven-day-a-week computer lab for students.

Students seem to like the additional resource, which includes 21 computers and a printer.

“It is great for the students that live in the apartments and Super Suites,” Student Government Association President Yuliani Sutedjo, a corporate communication major, said.

Valeri Hartman, IT help desk administrator, said the need for a new computer lab has been growing since the merger of the learning and writing centers at the start of summer term. The merger left students with only the library and Advanced Technology Education Center (ATEC) computer lab, in 300, neither of which is open past 10 p.m.

Because Room 41 was across from the Security Department, IT and other personnel saw a perfect opportunity to make the lab 24-7 access.

The lab is open on holidays, even though the college may be closed, Hartman said. Some resident students remain on campus on holidays.

“One of the challenges professors face is not having enough computers for students both in and out of the classroom,” Hartman said. “We’re trying to find a solution for that.”

Prof. Micaiah Smith-Morris said the Knight Owl Computer Lab is good, because a limit on students’ “time is no longer an issue.”

It is, “Clearly communicating an emphasis on academic achievement,” Smith-Morris said.

Bollinger 41 was selected as the location for the room because of its proximity to the security office. Hartman explained that with the lab being open all night, having the office across the hall will put students at ease no matter the time.

The location also provides convenience for on-campus students who will no longer have to walk cross campus to access a computer.

 

Working on extended support time

IT support is not available at the Knight Owl Computer Lab after 3 p.m. Help is available from the Central Penn IT helpdesk from 8 a.m. to 3.

Hartman understands that’s a problem that needs to be dealt with.

“We are working on it,” Hartman said.

Hartman gave some examples of what IT can do to fix the problem.

“Maybe some of the staff can stay later in the evening, till 8-9,” Hartman said. “It’s just a thought.”

She added there is no deadline for providing on-site IT support after 3 p.m., or whether doing so will be possible.

 

Equipment nuts and bolts

“The computers, monitors, keyboards and mice in the Knight Owl lab are all brand new and include three-year warranties on the hardware,” IT Director Tom Parker said.

IT workers had to re-cable all of Bollinger 41, which had been a classroom without student computers, so the computers could match up with outlets.

“A new network switch was added, and a wireless access point was also added to increase the density of available connections in the room,” Parker wrote in an email.

“The total cost per computer is $695,” according to Parker. “That includes the PC with three-year warranty, monitor, keyboard, mouse and the needed video adapter to connect the monitors.”

The total for computers and their accessories came to $14,595. Parker said the re-cabling, network switch, wireless access point and other accoutrements cost about $6,000. He said the approximately $21,000 spent on the lab came from the IT budget and did not require extra funds. Central Penn recently made fiscal cuts across the college to set a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The school tries to buy the same computers that are used in other rooms, but it’s not always possible because hardware changes every year. The computers in the Knight Owl lab are Dell computers and are similar to the 100 computers replaced in 2016 in ATEC, Parker said.

No work should be saved to the computer desktops because the computers delete information stored there overnight, as in the rest of the labs.

A security camera was installed in the room as well. If there are any technical issues overnight or on holidays, then students can submit a helpdesk ticket by emailing to helpdesk@centralpenn.edu  or by calling (866) 291-HELP (4357), and leaving a voicemail explaining what the issue is. Students can expect to receive an email answer during the following day.

Hartman suggested using the OneDrive account through Office 365, and to always log out when finished.


To comment on this story, contact TheKnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.

Edited by media club co-adviser Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi, who directed this editorial project, and contributed a small amount of information to the reporting.

 

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Common Hour focuses on Knight & Day Cafe meal plan, food choices

By Darren Greene

Knightly News Reporter

Central Penn College had a weekly common hour town hall meeting in August with representatives of The Knight & Day Cafe, and results of the meeting left students with mixed emotions.

This town hall meeting was a way for students to voice their concerns about the cafe. Kathy Christopher, general manager of the cafe, was there to answer questions.

She addressed nine students at a table in the cafe.

Christopher started the conversation by talking about the meal plan at Central Penn College. She explained that a basic meal plan of $690 is not enough for most of Central Penn students. She said her research of “hundreds” of college meal plans found the lowest was $3,600.

Christopher then discussed student complaints about the removal of snacks and bottled beverages.

She then said that the beverages are the main reason students run out of their meal plan quickly. She said she would see students “load up on snacks and bottled beverages.” Getting rid of the snacks and bottled beverages would be “budget friendly” for the students, Christopher said.

This left most students with mixed emotions. Some found the meeting went as planned and some said the meeting “didn’t go anywhere.”

“We were just making talk and nothing was said or done,” Kathleen Tarr, a corporate communication student who lives on campus, said.

Other students, like medical-assisting major Isaiah Dorsey, felt the complete opposite.

“All the points that needed to be addressed were, and it was a step in the right direction,” Dorsey said.

For more information about the Town Hall in The Knight and Day Café, watch the video footage on YouTube.


To comment on this story or to suggest a story, contact TheKnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.

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

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