Category Archives: Alumni News

Thank you, Dr. Scolforo

Editor’s note: The following is an editorial by Student Government President Yuliani Sutedjo. The opinion is hers, and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Knightly News or its staff, and is not an endorsement. Sutedjo is also vice president of The Knightly News.

By Yuliani Sutedjo

Karen M. Scolforo, the ninth president of Central Penn College, resigned on Sept. 15.

She said in several communications to faculty, staff and students that she decided to resign because she needed to live closer to her mother, who is ailing.

“I made the decision to apply with the goal of moving closer to my ailing mother, and to provide some support for my sister, who serves as her sole care provider,” Scolforo said in Central Station email on Sept. 4.

Scolforo will become president of Castleton University, in Vermont, in early December.

During Scolforo’s tenure, from 2013, she accomplished many things.

Below are a few of those accomplishments listed on her curriculum vitae (CV):

  • She built The Underground, which provides students the ability to relax and have some fun. The building consists of the Capital BlueCross Theatre, offices, a gym, the Student Government Association office, a dance studio and the student lounge.
  • She also redesigned the new health science building, called the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Health Sciences Building.
  • Expanded academic programs, including four new medical bachelor degrees and three graduate-level options.
  • Established the Center for Global Education and Cultural Inclusion.
  • Increased underrepresented populations by 30 percent in staff and faculty.
  • Installation of a gender-neutral restroom.

Besides these achievements, she received many awards for being involved in the community. Below are some of them listed on her (CV):

  • Century Link Business Woman of the Year, 2017.
  • YWCA Woman of Excellence, 2017.
  • Central Penn Business Journal Executive Leadership Team (president and cabinet) nominee, 2016.
  • Women’s Conference Care to Share, 2017.
  • Central Penn Business Journal Woman of Influence, 2016.
  • Carlisle Chamber of Commerce Business Woman of the Year nominee, 2015, 2016, 2017.
  • West Shore Chamber of Commerce Prestigious Visionary Luminary, 2015.
  • U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Women Who Thrive, 2015.

As the president of the Student Government Association, I want to thank you for all the work you did.

Your accomplishments and awards have been helpful for our students and made Central Penn College grow bigger with the many connections you made.

Thank you for making The Underground a reality. Students get to experience the world of theater, are able to exercise and have a place to hang out.

The time you took to have monthly meetings with the Student Government Association was helpful for us to allow direct communication with you about student concerns.

Thank you for taking time to support the events that happened on campus, such as coming to many basketball home games and some away games, coming to see the student-created play and some other plays held at the Capital BlueCross Theatre, coming to some of the poetry contests in The Underground, and other events.

I wish you all the best at Castleton University, and reuniting with your mom and sister.


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

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Central Penn College’s Homecoming the Subject of Episode #38

By Paul Miller

Knightly News Co-Adviser

On the latest episode of the Knightly News Podcast, the show centers around our upcoming Homecoming event, taking place on the Central Penn College Summerdale campus from Oct. 20 – 22.

In our first segment of the podcast, we are joined by Alumni Engagement Director Sarah Bluemenschein and Knightly News Media Club President Sherri Long.

During the show, Blumenshein discusses several elements of the celebration, including the Alumni Feast N Brews Reunion Tent and the Standing Ovation Alumni Awards Night.

The Standing Ovation Alumni Awards Night is the first of its kind at the college and gives the opportunity to recognize many of our accomplished alumni.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.centralpenn.edu/homecoming

In our second segment of the show, we are joined by the Alumni Engagement Director Adrienne Thoman to discuss October events.

During the discussions with Thoman, she chronicles the upcoming Club Fair on Oct. 11 from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., events for students during our Homecoming Weekend, and an upcoming opportunity for students to go to Field of Screams for only $14.

Thoman also discusses the importance for our students to get involved on campus, especially for our new students to campus.

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A group of gallant Knights explores Toronto while lending a helping hand

Four-day odyssey is a learning and living

experience of culture and service

 Part two of two.

 Story and photos

By Yuliani Sutedjo

 Knightly News Reporter

 TORONTO – Hi, everyone. Follow me in my story on the four-day journey I took with other students and some staff to Canada in April.

Eight Central Penn students, all from the Summerdale campus except one from the Lancaster center, rendezvoused at the college on a day in early April, at 6 a.m., for the annual alternative term-break trip run by the diversity office, to provide community service— in Toronto. Two Central Penn staff members also went on the trip.

It was windy and chilly, and not fully light.

By 6:15 a.m., we hit the road to Canada.

(Read the first part of the story.)

Day 3

The next day, I woke up around 8:30 a.m., took a shower and went to a supermarket. Around 10 a.m., I went back to the hostel and decided to walk around the Kensington area.

I also wanted to try some jerk chicken. When I went to Toronto last year, I didn’t get to try it, because when we arrived to the store, they were about to close and had only a bit left. This year, I walked into the store around 10:50 a.m. They told me they weren’t open yet — not until 11. I took another walk around the complex and came back at 11:10. I went in and debated whether to a get small or a medium order. I decided to get medium.

Man, when I opened the box, the aroma of the chicken and spices was strong, and the food was delicious. It’s the best lunch I ever had in my entire life. It was fried perfectly — was nice and crisp, and also grilled. The chicken was really tasty. I saved a bit for dinner, because I was full when I ate half the portion.

Arlene Throness, a professor at Ryerson University, shows students a plot in the rooftop garden.

Arlene Throness, a professor at Ryerson University, shows students a plot in the rooftop garden.

When lunch was done, the group met at 11:45 to go to Ryerson University to see a rooftop garden. This rooftop garden was created by a student studying to become a nutritionist. We also met with a professor named Arlene Throness. Throness was so enthusiastic to show us the garden that she gave us a tour and explained the history of the rooftop garden, and what type of plants are in the garden.

We got to try fresh vegetables from the garden, such as spinach, sage, mint, chives and garlic.

The day didn’t end there, though. We went to visit the CN Tower.  The tower opened to the public in 1975. It is named for the Canadian National railroad, which doesn’t own it anymore. It is 1,815 tall, and until 2007 was the world’s tallest free-standing structure, and tallest tower. I visited this last year, so Sovit, Megan and I decided to wait for the other students who wanted to go up to the observation deck. Right after the CN Tower excursion, and after an hour of waiting, we came into a bit of trouble. Romeo decided to buy a poncho. He used the credit card he had, and swiped it at the cash register.

Ooooopps.

The card didn’t work. There is a back story. When Romeo and the others went to Casa Loma, the clerk asked Romeo for his ID, and found that the name didn’t match the name on the card. Romeo explained that it was the school’s card, and he was authorized to use it, but the cashier continued to say he couldn’t, but eventually did it anyway. Romeo called the bank and they promised to take care of the problem, and said Romeo would be able to use the card the next day. But before the situation was corrected, the bank clerk would give us only $200 to spend for the day. We were supposed to go to Ward’s Island, in Lake Ontario, but we cancelled — along with the dinner we were supposed to have together.

Well, because the island trip got cancelled, we decided to go to the Art Gallery of Ontario.

We finished seeing the museum around 7:15 p.m. and decided to have dinner in the Kensington area, near the hostel. I decided to eat my leftover jerk chicken. Megan and I decided to buy some sodas, for some caffeine, to prepare for the next day, because we both needed to pay attention to the road.

It was bittersweet that Wednesday would be our last day in Toronto.

Day 4

We all woke up at 7 a.m. and departed Toronto by 7:15, on toward Niagara Falls.

The weather was rainy and windy.

Urgh.

We arrived at Niagara Falls around 9:20, and it was still raining, and the gift shop wasn’t open yet. We left Niagara Falls around 9:40 a.m. for home.

Around 10:20, we ate at a gas station in New York, and right after that, we hit the road again.

Once again, there were hills, mountains, fields and windmills, and we passed the lake we had seen on the way up a few days before. By 12:47 p.m., we were in Pennsylvania, and by 2:48, we saw the Welcome to Harrisburg sign. We arrived in Summerdale around 3:15 p.m.

Overall, it was a great trip! We got to volunteer at the food bank, and enjoy the diversity of the Kensington neighborhood of Toronto.

Come and join this program next year!


 

For information on the alternative term-break trip, contact Romeo Azondekon.

To comment on a story or to suggest a story idea, contact TheKnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.edu.

Yuliani Sutedjo is vice president of The Knightly News Media Club @ Central Penn College.

She is also Central Penn College Student Government Association president.

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

 

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Central Penn All-Star Kendra Elliott Joins Podcast 36

Former SGA President now works in the non-profit sector

By Paul Miller

Knightly News Co-adviser

In the latest edition of the Knightly News Podcast, the show welcomes Central Penn College alumna and former SGA President Kendra Elliott.

Elliott is currently the Director Of Program & Development, Lebanon County at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region, a position that she says is extremely rewarding.

She claims that her non-profit requirement while in school directly influenced her decision to spend her career in non-profits.

She said of her time volunteering at the college, “I didn’t really do a lot of work with non-profits prior (to coming to college).  It was an opportunity to connect with people, and there are opportunities to meet people who can help you.”

Elliott has three different degrees from the college:  an associate degree in Entrepreneurship and Small Business, a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration – Management, and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration – Human Resource Management.

Also joining the podcast is current SGA President and Vice President of the Knightly News Yuliani Sutedjo.

Sutedjo discussed her first initiative in detail, having the lunch and dinner menu available everyday on the Central Penn College SGA Facebook page, located at https://www.facebook.com/CentralPennSGA.

The two also discussed the current state of the SGA, how the SGA was reincarnated over the last several years with the assistance of Central Penn College Professor Robert Donley, and future initiatives for student government.

The Knightly News would like to sincerely congratulate Elliott on her most recent position, as we are proud of the growth she has seen in her career.

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The Knightly News Podcast Welcomes Curtis Voelker

Voelker discusses his passion for the Central Penn College family

By Paul Miller

Knightly News Co-Adviser

In our newest podcast, Episode #34, we welcome Admissions Counselor Curtis Voelker to the show to talk about the upcoming Young Alumni Happy Hour, his journey through his education at Central Penn, and his opportunity to speak with high school students about his hardships growing up.

The podcast is also joined by Knightly News President Sherri Long and a special guest appearance by former Knightly News Vice President Norman Geary.

Voelker has had a life of trials and tribulations, documented by Harrisburg-based Uproot Creative Services in their Portraits series.  His story can be seen here.

In the first segment with Voelker, he discusses his job as an admission counselor, often spending the fall and spring months traveling to high schools to recruit students and to discuss with him the hardships he has endured, cherishing the opportunity to impact the lives of young people.

In the second segment of the podcast, the group discusses the Central Penn College Education Foundation scholarships.

Voelker is a trustee of the Education Foundation and Long and Geary have both won different scholarships during their time at the college.

The discussion finally shifted to Voelker’s role as a member of the Alumni Council, discussing the upcoming Central Penn On Tap:  Young Alumni Happy Hour, taking place Aug. 16 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Public Fare at Weis Markets in Enola.

If you are interested in registering for the event, or for more information:  http://www.centralpenn.edu/about-central-penn/news-events-community/central-penn-on-tap-young-alumni/

The Knightly News would like to wish Voelker congratulations for his recent completion of his M.P.S. at Central Penn College.

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A group of gallant Knights explores Toronto while lending a helping hand

Four-day odyssey is a learning and living

experience of culture and service

Part one of two.

Story and photos

By Yuliani Sutedjo

Knightly News Reporter

Day 1

TORONTO – Hi, everyone. Follow me in my story on the four-day journey I took with other students and some staff to Canada in April.

Eight Central Penn students, all from the Summerdale campus except one from the Lancaster center, rendezvoused at the college on a day in early April, at 6 a.m., for the annual alternative term-break trip run by the diversity office, to provide community service— in Toronto. Two Central Penn staff members also went on the trip.

It was windy and chilly, and not fully light.

By 6:15 a.m., we hit the road to Canada.

On the way up Interstate 81 through Pennsylvania and into New York state – up, up, up toward Niagara Falls, and Canada – we passed towns and cities, mountains, farms, rivers, lakes and windmills.

We drove on and on, in two cars.

After about 300 miles, we arrived at the Canadian border at about 11:37 a.m.

When we reached the border crossing, the Canadian border guard at the gate asked Megan Cline, Central Penn counselor, some questions such as, where we were from, what we would be doing in Canada, and where we would stay and where we would go while in Canada. The officer’s tone was intense; she seemed like a drill sergeant.

Once through the grilling, and the gate, it took another hour and a half to arrive at the College Backpackers Hostel, in Toronto’s Kensington neighborhood.At 1:30 p.m., we got our room, had a quick nap for an hour, and then came back to meet up around 2:45 to have lunch at the Toronto Eaton Centre mall.

View from hostel window

This is the view from my hostel room window.

Some of us ate Chinese food and others had Indian food, while still others had food from Tim Hortons, a fast-food bistro. After a quick lunch, we explored the mall. The mall has a UNIQLo clothing store, among many others. I looked for some items, and then went to hunt a bubble tea at a place called Chatime. We went back to the hostel around 6.

The day was done. Some of us decided to rest or go to sleep, and some of us decided to watch a movie with Romeo Azondekon, Central Penn’s chief diversity officer. I decided to go to bed around 10 p.m., and skip the movie.

 

Day 2

It was like the day before when we left Pennsylvania – cloudy, windy and raining, but we set out for our destination. The group of us arrived at the North York Harvest Food Bank around 9:50 a.m. We were greeted by Leslie Venturainol and Kadian Clarke. In the food bank, we had the chance to volunteer. Our task was to look for a good can of food, make sure the food was not expired and then to put it in the right storage box. We were proud to volunteer and feed 100 families.

At the North York Harvest Food Bank with Kadian Clarke and Leslie Venturainol.

At the North York Harvest Food Bank with Kadian Clarke and Leslie Venturainol.

The day wasn’t over then, though. We were very hungry and decided to buy lunch at the Eaton Centre, around 1 p.m. Right after lunch, Belinda Rivera, Jasmine Harvey, Danielle Gilbert, Sovit Adhikari, Paul Jones, and Romeo went to the Casa Loma landmark and museum. Megan, and Linda Brown, Johnny McGee, Tiyana Butler and I went back to the hostel. Casa Loma is beautiful. It looks partly like an old castle. My favorite part is the top tower. I was there on another trip.

Around 5 p.m., the group went back to the hostel. An hour late, Romeo, Belinda, Paul and I went to a nearby supermarket to shop for dinner. We came back around 6:45 and started to cook. We had chicken, rice, soup beans, green beans and boiled potatoes.

Sovit Adhikari, Jasmine Harvey, Tiyana Butler, Linda Brown, Paul Jones and Danielle Gilbert make supper at the hostel.

Sovit Adhikari (background, left), Jasmine Harvey, Tiyana Butler, Linda Brown, Paul Jones and Danielle Gilbert make supper at the hostel.

During dinner, we talked about who our favorite actor and our favorite singer is, and discussed what we liked about Central Penn College. Right after dinner, Belinda, Danielle, Johnny, Jasmine, Linda and Tiyana decided to go to the Ripley Aquarium. The aquarium closed at 11 p.m., so they wanted to get going.

When they were finished touring the aquarium, the students were waiting to get picked up around 11 p.m. Meanwhile, I stayed at the hostel to get some rest. All of a sudden, my phone vibrated. It was a text from Central Penn student Mbuyi “Steve-O” Osango, who had already been in Toronto. Steve-O came to visit, and spent two and a half hours at the hostel. During his visit, around 11:15, Tiyana called Steve-O so she could talk to me, because she couldn’t reach me – my phone was out of data.

“Is Romeo on his way?” she asked me.

“I guess so,” I said.

Because I wasn’t sure if Romeo was on his way to pick the group up at the aquarium, and my phone was no use, I went to the guys’ room, where Romeo was staying for the trip, to confirm that he was on his way to pick the students up.

“Yes,” they said.

Another phone call came in around 11:25. Romeo still wasn’t there, and it was cold. That’s when Megan decided to pick the group up.

Some people, including me, didn’t have data, so we were depending on the Wi-Fi.

As Megan went to pick them up, I kept in touch with everyone in the group chat and Steve-O decided to get some food at Subway. Fifteen minutes later, Romeo came in with Steve-O, whom he met outside the hostel, where he had been waiting for the call to pick the group up.

It turned out there were some miscommunication and technology issues. Eventually, though, we all settled down, and things were cleared up.


Editor’s note: Watch for the next installment of this story!


To comment on a story or to suggest a story idea, contact TheKnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.edu.

Yuliani Sutedjo is vice president of The Knightly News Media Club @ Central Penn College.

She is also Central Penn College Student Government Association president.

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

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Inaugural internship fair a success

Strong company attendance

raises chances of student success

 

By Sherri Long

Knightly News Reporter

Approximately 90 Central Penn students networked with representatives of business and nonprofit organizations at the inaugural Internship Fair at Central Penn College on July 25.

Twenty-nine organizations participated.

 

Businesses, nonprofits and the state

Kristin Fike, internship coordinator at Central Penn, believed the event was a success and a unique opportunity for students.

“Because we did not charge companies to attend the event, this opened the opportunity for nonprofits and state organizations, who normally can’t participate in job fairs due to fees,” Fike said.

 

A win-win situation

Corporate  communications students Kathleen Tarr, Ian Kemmerer and Michael Ademola meet with Mark Anderson, manager, training and hiring, reservations, at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts during the Internship Fair. Photo by Sarayuth Pinthong.

Corporate communications students Kathleen Tarr, Ian Kemmerer and Michael Ademola meet with Mark Anderson, manager, training and hiring, reservations, at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts during the Internship Fair.                            Photo by Sarayuth Pinthong.

 

Students, who ranged from first-year to seniors, benefited from the internship fair by being able to connect and share their resumes with several organizations at one convenient location.

The organizations benefit by connecting with a wide range of students and creating more awareness about their business or cause.

Mark Anderson, manager, training and hiring-reservations at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, said, “Whenever and wherever we have the opportunity to be out in the public, we are there.”

 

Stacks of resumes

Anderson said he writes notes on the resumes he receives at internship and job fairs. Then, he turns those resumes over to Ryan Epler, senior recruiter at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.

“Our resumes go to our senior recruiter, Ryan. I take notes, here, on specific departments they are interested in, and then Ryan will follow up with everyone.”

Epler follows up with candidates to encourage them to apply for current positions or let them know about upcoming opportunities.

Perrise Hatcher, recruiter, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Bureau of Human Resources, shared what she does with the resumes collected at job and internship fairs.

“Once a position opens, we look through our stack of resumes to look for the best candidates,” Hatcher said.

 

Yes, LinkedIn profiles DO matter

Myneca Ojo, director of the office of diversity and inclusion at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, spoke about the importance of making connections and networking with people and businesses, “even if they aren’t offering exactly what you are looking for at the moment.”

“I ask people if they are on LinkedIn and if they say no, I tell them, ‘Well, then, get on LinkedIn,’” said Ojo.

She explained that many employers and HR professionals share job and internship opportunities, from all departments, on LinkedIn.

Mark Anderson shared that after finding a potential candidate from resumes received, the next step is to look over that candidate’s LinkedIn profile.

“You can get so much more information on LinkedIn than just a resume.”

 

Practice, research, connect

No matter where a student is in her college career, attending internship and job fairs, and networking events should be on a student’s “must-do” list. Several organization representatives said they would be happy to look over a student’s resume and provide feedback.

By starting to network with companies as a freshman, students can build a relationship with recruiters that can lead to internships or jobs when the student is ready to graduate.

Central Penn’s Career Services provides several opportunities for students, and alumni, to network. Upcoming events include the Networking Reception, Aug. 31, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., and the Fall Job and Internship Fair, Nov. 1, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Visit centralpenn.edu/careerservices for more information and follow their Facebook page for registration details.


Sherri Long is president of the media club.

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

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

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The Knightly News Podcast Returns for the Summer Term

Episode #30 discusses major Central Penn events upcoming

By Paul Miller

Co-Adviser to the Knightly News

The Knightly News Media Club is excited to release Episode #30 of the Knightly News Podcast, featuring Student Activities Director Adrienne Thoman and Alumni Engagement Director Sarah Blumenschein.

During our segment with Thoman, she discusses a jam-packed July calendar for student events with co-host Darren Greene, including the newly revamped Summer Club Fair on July 12 from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

The Club Fair, traditionally during the Common Hour time period of 12:10 p.m. – 1:10 p.m. has been moved to the afternoon slot due to the growing number of students with classes during that time.

Thoman hopes this will boost attendance for the fair and has many new features that she outlines in the podcast.

In addition, the upcoming White Water Rafting trip (July 17 – $15) and the SGA Pool Party  (July 20 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.) were discussed.

For more information, or to register, email Adrienne at adriennethoman@centralpenn.edu.

Go can always find more information and the July events calendar at http://www.centralpenn.edu/college-services/clubs-activities/.

In our second segment, we welcome Blumenschein and Knightly News Media Club President Sherri Long to discuss alumni events for the summer term, both on and off-campus.

During her time with the show, she outlined three major events on the Alumni Calendar for the summer term:

July 21 – Senators Baseball Game with Picnic

August 16 – Young Alumni Happy Hour – Public Fare – Weis Market in Enola

August 22 – Alumni Leadership Conference – The Conference Center at Central Penn College

For more information about any of these events, you can email Sarah at SarahBlumenschein@centralpenn.edu or view http://www.centralpenn.edu/alumni.

The Alumni Calendar is full during the months of July and August.

The Alumni Calendar is full during the months of July and August

 

 

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Second Annual Research Exhibition Poster Competition Is Underway

This year’s event includes a digital version

By Yuliani Sutedjo

Knightly News Reporter

The Second Annual Research Exhibition will occur on June 6 from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. in the Capital BlueCross Theatre.

The research exhibition is led by librarians Diane Porterfield and Emily Reed.

The purpose of this exhibition is, “For students to show off their work and let the faculty seen how hard they work, and to let faculty and staff at Central Penn College come and interact with students,” Reed said.

Last year, there was only a poster division in the competition. The research exhibition will have a digital version and a poster version.

In the digital version, students can create a PowerPoint and record their voice at each slide of the presentation and upload it using VoiceThread.

VoiceThread is a part of Blackboard in the forum created by the librarians.

Click here to see the guide on the digital version.

For the poster board, it’s the same as last year. Students can use any type of arts and crafts material, and be creative when making the poster and pamphlet.

There will be a lot of competitors. As of May 30, 36 posters had been submitted, Reed said.

Below are tips from Reed.

Tips for poster board

Reed offered the following advice.

  • The poster board is provided by the library, so participants don’t have to worry about deciding what size or color of poster board. Participants are encouraged to be creative with the board, and there are rules that need to be followed.
  • Don’t forget to prepare a 1-2 minutes speech, rehearse the speech and ask for feedback about the speech to be delivered to the judges.
  • Don’t forget to create a handout for the judges. Participants are allowed to be creative in making the handout.
  • Last but not least, don’t forget to dress professionally for the presentation.

Tips for digital presentation

Reed offered these bits of advice for digital submissions.

  • For the digital version, be creative on the slide show and don’t put too much information into one slide.
  • The presentation can’t exceed 10 minutes, including the voice-over. It’s best to shoot for 8 -10 minutes.
  • Don’t forget to create scripts for the slide show.
  • Remember to rehearse the scripts to make the tone and rhythm interesting, to avoid the voice being monotone.
  • Don’t be casual – keep it in academic language, because this is a professional presentation.

Yuliani Sutedjo is vice president of the Knightly News.

To comment on this story, or to suggest a story, contact the KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.edu.

Edited by Knightly News co-adviser Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi

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Central Penn Valedictorian Tells Graduates not to Fear Failure

It is part of becoming a success

Editor’s note: This story is Central Penn 2017 valedictorian Morgan Gerz’s speech to her graduating class, and all others, assembled in the Forum in Harrisburg on May 12 for graduation.

 Morgan Gerz headshotBy Morgan Gerz

Special to the Knightly News

 

Hello.

My name is Morgan Gerz.

I am one of 240 students that are here graduating tonight. And just one of the 400 students that are in our graduating class.

Most of you I have never met, but I do know we have something in common: We are all successful.

I am your class valedictorian, and I am also a failure.

The path to success

I got an F on my term paper in 11th-grade English class.

My senior culminating project in high school was a complete disaster.

I lost the game for my soccer team in the league championship because I missed the final penalty kick in overtime.

I begged my sister to move to California with me, which she did, and then I only lasted eight months because I was homesick.

Central Penn College is actually the fourth college I’ve attended.

I got my associate degree at one, and the other two would make me a two-time college drop-out.

These moments in my life can be called failures, because:

  •  I did not succeed in what I set out to do
  • My performance fell short.
  • Expectations were not met.

What is failure, and what does success mean?

            Failure. It is a lack of success.

            Failure. It is a scary word.

            Failure. It is reality. It is inevitable.

And it is a risk we must take if we ever want to succeed.

History tells us that failure is essential to success.

Great people have embraced failure. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Michael Jordan, Henry Ford – they have all failed.

Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Winston Churchill wisely stated: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Those of you sitting here in your cap and gown risked failure every time you stepped into the classroom, every time you turned in an assignment, every time you took an exam.

You risked failing in order to be where you sit today.

Different paths, same destination

We have all taken a different journey to get here.

When we leave here today, we will all go our separate ways.

But, today our failures have been overtaken by this unique moment in time, because today, we have succeeded. Today, we graduate.

So, class of 2017, congratulations, and I bid you farewell with a challenge. When you depart from Central Penn College and begin your next stage in life, I ask you to remember three Fs. And, no, none of them are failure.

Remember the three Fs

First, don’t forget to have “fun,” because you have most certainly earned it.

Second, be “fierce.” I love this word because it is so powerful. And you now have the power to do things and make a difference. Don’t run from fear, because I believe that having fears and facing those fears are what will ultimately make us stronger.

And third, have “faith” in yourself. Have faith that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, faith that you will overcome failure.

I mean, just take a look around at where we are. That gown you’re wearing? And that tassel hanging down?

That means WE ARE GRADUATES.

And however long it took you, whatever path you took to get here, however many failed attempts it took, what matters in the end – what matters today – is that you did it, you are a graduate.

Congratulations, Central Penn College Class of 2017.

May your successes and accomplishments always be bigger than your failures.

Thank you.


To comment on this story, or to suggest a story, contact the KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.edu.

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

Gerz majored in accounting. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree. The Knightly News thanks her for her contribution to our blog, and wishes her luck in her future endeavors. Photo courtesy of Morgan Gerz.

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