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Here’s “What’s New at the Ballpark”

Media club reporters represent Central Penn at first-ever Phillies college media night, in Philadelphia

By Norman Geary

Knightly News Reporter

 PHILADELPHIA – Last month, two Knightly News Media Club reporters were among college journalists who attended a Philadelphia Phillies season preview presentation at the team’s field in the City of Brotherly Love.

Phillies spokesperson Lauren Testa said it was first such event for college reporters.

Norman Geary, former media club vice president, and reporter Keith Gudz, who handles club fundraisers and promotions, were on hand for the  “What’s New at the Ballpark,” hosted by the Phillies and the Aramark food-and-entertainment corporation, at Citizens Bank Park.

The event kicked off  at 6 p.m., with:

  • Master of ceremonies and Phillies radio host Jim Jackson
  • Former Phillies player Tommy Greene
  • The Phillies Phanatic mascot
  • The Phillies Ballgirls, women with softball experience who use their skill and baseball gloves to protect fans in lower-row seats from foul balls
  • Former National Football League defensive tackle Hollis Thomas, who played for the Eagles from 1996 to 2005

Event high points

The event also included ballpark food-and-wine sampling, and prizes.  Music was provided by 98.1 FM.

The event was invitation-only.  College media representatives were invited to interview any of the 150 attending.

Geary poses with a statue of Phillies' great Robin Roberts before the festivities.  Photo by Keith Gudz.

Geary poses with a statue of Phillies’ great Robin Roberts before the festivities. Photo by Keith Gudz.

People are talking

New food, fashion and fan-participation programs for the 2017 season were unveiled –and the team previewed its new college “lineup” of Phillies perks, including student discounts, specially themed night-game ticket offers and college Phillies caps.

Check out for more information.

Promoting fan access

“It’s strictly talking about the giveaways,” Scott Brandreth, Phillies merchandising director, said of team promotions.  “It’s a great way to get the merchandise out there. This is one thing we have been doing for years and years.  If you give free stuff to get people out to the ball game, sometimes they will get that free stuff and go to the ballpark, enjoy a game, and maybe they will come back again, and we get our logo and our stuff out there.”

Besides T-shirts and bobble head figurines, the Phillies will hold some demographic-specific theme days, such as a men’s 15-and-over for Father’s Day, a women’s tote-bag giveway for Mother’s Day and “a lot of kids’ giveaways,” Brandreth said.

 Benefits to college students

The Phillies held a Phillies College Night April 10 during the Mets game. It featured a special ticket discount, $1 hotdogs and a limited edition Phillies T-shirt in some school colors.

Gudz poses two front office employees during the event.  Photo by Norman Geary.

Gudz poses two front office employees during the event. Photo by Norman Geary.

 Turkey Hill – major Phillies sponsor

One vendor at the event was local-to-Central Penn dairy-foods provider Turkey Hill, based in Lancaster County.

“The new format — I love it!” Jean Noblie, Turkey Hill account executive, said of changes in the stadium that make it easier for fans to access food and beverages. “With the stage and the runway, it encourages people … to purchase (food) during the season. They come over to us to get drinks and dessert, so I get a chance to get them at the beginning, and I get a chance to get them at the end.  I think the event went very well from a marketing standpoint.  The Phillies organization makes sure they include all their vendors.  They say your name to the people, they get your name out there, and you get front and center with them, and get to interact with them.”

Exec highlights value of events

The Knightly News reporters met with Scott Nickle, director of corporate sales for the Phillies.

Nickle emphasized the importance of having “What’s New” events.

“This is a great event because it not only gives us an opportunity to engage with our fans, but it gives our corporate partners a chance to engage with the fans as well, for the fans to see what’s new and what we are offering this year, just to keep things fresh,” Nickle said. “It’s always nice to get people together and to get everybody in the baseball mood again.”


To comment on this story or to suggest a story idea, contact

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


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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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Central Penn Campus Culture

Editor’s note: This is the final installment of a three-part series on Central Penn’s campus culture.

Dynamic and Diverse

 By Sherri Long

Media Club Reporter

 Got spirit?

Central Penn Knight spirit and pride are cultivated through several sports, plays and musicals. Students, professors and Central Penn staff can participate in baseball, softball, volleyball, cross country, soccer or basketball by being a member of a team, coaching or by attending events. Central Penn continues to increase school pride and the number of sports teams offered, but still, some feel there is less school spirit than at other colleges.

“I’m here for school – that’s it,” stated Jaida May, a junior Criminal Justice major. “I don’t feel there is as much school pride as traditional colleges and universities.”

May participates in several clubs and was part of the Knight Writers Poetry Slam held on Sept. 7. To feel more a part of Central Penn, May said, “Stay active; be a part of clubs.”

Tyler Willis, a resident student who is finishing his last term in Information Technology, stated Central Penn “feels too much like a second high school.”

Willis added that Central Penn “does have room for improvement,” but “for most ‘cons,’ there is a ‘pro.’”

Jaida May was crowned Homecoming Queen at the 2015 Fall Harvest.

Jaida May (left) was crowned Homecoming Princess at the 2015 Fall Harvest.  Photo by Jasmine Harvey.


Up close and personal

With average class size of 16, according to Central Penn statistics for spring 2016, students get to know and interact with their professors. This increases the sense of belonging to the Central Penn family, versus being lost in a sea of students on a larger campus.

Small class size is an often-cited reason students select Central Penn. Professors are available to answer student questions and encourage students to reach out to them for help. Because of the class size, professors get to know their students and can provide an in-depth reference for a student.

The small class size increases student camaraderie and a student feels more a part of Central Penn by knowing the professors more personally – not just as the person lecturing.

“I like the smaller class size,” May said. “It gives ability to better focus on the class and to get to know the professor.”

The downside of a small campus is residents without their own automobile say they can feel “trapped.” There are scheduled shuttles to Walmart, Target and grocery stores, but public transportation options are minimal. The sense of community, though, has students sharing rides or picking up items for other students.

Something for everyone

There are several ways for all students – resident, commuter, evening and online – to feel and be a part of the Central Penn culture. From on-campus events, to e-newsletters, to evening and weekend events, Central Penn students can easily progress from saying, “I go to Central Penn” to “I am a part of Central Penn.”

As the Central Penn mantra states, “You can. You will.”


Thank you for reading our series. Come back often. “Like” the Knightly News Media Club @ Central Penn College on Facebook. Bookmark us. See you soon.

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Knightly Newscast for September

by Norman Geary

News Correspondant

In our final newscast of the summer semester, Paul Miller, co-adviser of the Central Penn Knightly News, will have feature writer Norm Geary discussing “Getting beyond the average to find your excellence.”

In addition to this topic Miller and Geary will discuss the following.

LinkedIn: The Time is Now  workshop hosted by Professor Paul Miller on September 6, 2016 in Milano Room 13, from 4 p.m.-5 p.m.

Knight Writers Poetry Slam – Wednesday, Sept. 7 from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. in the Capital Blue Cross Theatre.  Admission is free.

In conclusion, Education: The Cost of College Books, a continuing follow-up on the topic of open source materials in the fight to keep textbook costs low for the students.

The Knightly News Media Club wants to extend its many thanks to the Central Penn College community for their support.

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New Coach leading Lady Knights

Kasey Hicks has a passion for hoops


By Christine Hoon and Yuliani Sutedjo

Media club Reporters

The collegiate basketball season is in full swing, and the Central Penn College Lady Knights are on the move.

This season brought the team a new coach, Kasey Hicks.

Hicks has a passion for basketball – since she was 3 years old. She used to come to practice when her mom was coaching basketball. When Hicks mentions passion, it means passion for learning and spending hours at the gym to become a better player.

Hicks has been playing basketball since 4th grade. She played for Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg for four years, then went to Immaculata University.

Right after Hicks finished college, she played on a U.S. professional women’s basketball team in Argentina for a year.

Back in the United States, Hicks coached basketball in suburban Philadelphia – at Abington Senior High School – for two years.

Then, she moved back to Harrisburg and coached basketball at Central Dauphin High School, as junior varsity coach for four years

Now, she is head coach at Central Penn. Hicks learned Central Penn was looking for a coach from Michelle Stine, who is now Central Penn’s assistant coach. Stine heard about the job from her friend who is a resident adviser at Central Penn.

From the left to the right: Coach Kasey Hicks, Paige Pendl, Mary Weingartner, Nicole Schmidhamer, Amanda Krzysiak, Nashae Glover, Katrina Gelnett, Melissa Ruiz, Janay Nelson, Coach Michelle Stine, and Chanel Croxton.      Photo by Yuliani Sutedjo

From the left to the right: Coach Kasey Hicks, Paige Pendl, Mary Weingartner, Nicole Schmidhamer, Amanda Krzysiak, Nashae Glover, Katrina Gelnett, Melissa Ruiz, Janay Nelson, Coach Michelle Stine, and Chanel Croxton. Photo by Yuliani Sutedjo

Hicks met Stine at Immaculata. Stine was the intramural coordinator when Hicks was a senior at Immaculata.

Hicks recently stated her goal for the women’s basketball team at Central Penn: “I want to bring a lot of enthusiasm and excitement, winning basketball games. I want the girls to have fun… bring them together as a team. The win will come when we work hard and play together.”

There are three team captains.

“This is a young team … and we’ve got a lot of talent in the team,” Nicole Schmidhamer, who has played center for three years, said. “We are getting better each time we play.”

The other captains are Melissa Ruiz and Myeshia McGhee.

The women’s basketball team practices Monday through Friday from 8 to 10 p.m. at East Pennsboro Area Middle School. Practices are open to the public.

The game schedule is available on the Central Penn website. Click here to see the schedule.

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Men’s Soccer Season Over, But Aspirations Continue

By Nicholas Tschinkel

Media Club Reporter

The Central Penn College men’s soccer team closed its sophomore season amid cheering from one of its biggest crowds to date.  The match ended in a 5-1 loss to rival Williamson Trade, on Oct. 24 – Homecoming weekend.  The men’s game kicked off around 5 p.m. and was played under the lights of the East Pennsboro High School football stadium.

A Different Game, A Different Perspective

From a spectator’s vantage point, the men might not have appeared to fare much different than in their Oct. 18 game, which the Knights lost 4-0 to Berkeley College of New Jersey.  But to the players, the journey and growth of a new sports program were worth more than any scoreboard could ever tell.  “I’m proud of you boys,” Head Coach Tom Birch said in a postgame huddle. “You guys have guts.”

After my last article on the team, I was welcomed as a player for the final two games of the season.  From the first night at practice, it was obvious: This team is determined to be the best it can be. The players want the developing soccer program at Central Penn to continue for years to come.

Several nights a week, the team convened at the soccer fields behind the East Pennsboro Middle School for practice sessions. Each evening would begin the way any college soccer practice would, with an abundance of running and stretching.

A Fresh Approach

What was noticeable right away was how much the team reflects on prior matches. One of the first practices I attended found the team huddled together on the steel bleachers along the sidelines.  Both coaches stood as the players looked on from the bleachers, at first, listening intently to what Birch and Assistant Coach Andrew Welker had to say. Soon, the script was flipped.

The players were asked to talk about the match they had just lost. Each player was given individual time to voice positives and negatives of the game, and to offer advice on what could be changed.

This approach is novel.

Rather than Birch screaming at the men, critiquing each mistake they had made the day prior, as some coaches might, he let the players replay the story in their own words. He let the players see for themselves what needed to, and could, be fixed. He let them call the shots.

Over the course of the next week or so, the men took to the practice field with determination. One night would be run-heavy, and the next a myriad of passing drills and ball-maintenance puzzles.

One evening as players arrived for practice, Birch informed them he would be leaving to go scout some high school soccer games with Welker. This left the team with a bag full of practice equipment and no directions.

Rather than blow off practice, the men got straight to work with a team jog that culminated in a stretching circle. From there, the men practiced passing, attacking, shooting and defensive drills, all things that could help in their attempt to win the upcoming Homecoming game.

This determination to learn from their mistakes and become better one practice at a time echoes the nature of what it means to be a member of the Central Penn men’s soccer team: They work hard, they are dedicated to improvement and they constantly move forward as a cohesive unit toward a college sports program that functions well.

The Knights confer with their coaches. It was a tough, but full-throttle, season. “You guys have guts,” Coach Birch told his team.

The Knights confer with their coaches. It was a tough, but full-throttle, season. “You guys have guts,” Coach Birch told his team.

Working on The Mechanics

By the time the Homecoming game against Williamson Trade rolled around, the team was prepared to give the Mechanics its best effort.

The day began with the team cheering on the Central Penn women’s soccer team, as the ladies took on SUNY Delhi. (The Lady Knights lost 9-2.)  At halftime of the women’s game, the men’s team took to the practice field and began to warm up, working on passing drills. This gave both coaches the opportunity to run through the game plan and discuss the starting lineups.

All the running drills had paid off. An otherwise daunting hour-long warm-up session went by smoothly, because the players were in peak physical shape. All they wanted was for that opening whistle to sound, and to get the ball moving toward Williamson Trade’s side of the field.

After the National Anthem and starting lineups were broadcast over the loudspeakers, the match was underway.

The action started off competitive, with a good back-and-forth for the first 15 or so minutes of the game. Williamson Trade knocked first, scoring one on goalkeeper Jesse Berger.  A hard sod sent the ball bouncing all over the field. It would be difficult to maintain possession and make decisive moves during the game.

It became clear from the start that the so-called 50/50 balls – a soccer ball by itself that two players have an equal chance of getting to first – would be a major factor in determining who would win the game.

By the end, Williamson Trade came out on top, with a 5-1 victory, but not before a red card (Williamson Trade) and multiple yellow card penalties (both sides).

Shoulders to Wheel Honed the Team

Even though they lost, the hard work and skill of the men on the Central Penn soccer team cannot be accurately represented by a score, or how many shots were taken at the goal. Each player has his own individual story, but as a whole, the men on the Central Penn soccer team have overcome adversity. They stuck with a new program, even when there were not enough players to field a full 11-man roster.

They played matches without any substitutions. They lost every game except for one. And yet, they kept coming back day after day to train and to be better.


It is because the men of the Central Penn soccer team are driven not just to be the best they can, but also because they are laying the pathway for the future of the men’s soccer program at Central Penn College.

Without the tenacity and never-quit effort of the players, the future of the team would look bleak. Fortunately, the future looks promising, as scouting is underway.

Moving Onward

Both the coaches and the players look optimistically toward next season, when they hope to be not just as good, but more competitive, in the United State Collegiate Athletic Association.

“There were plenty of bright spots we can look back upon,” said Knights defender Greg Walker. “I think the belief is there and next season we will be looking to take the next step as a program.”

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