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.
The Knightly News has released Episode #33 of our podcast, featuring Student Activities Director Adrienne Thoman and the Overcame Foundation Founder Leonard Chester, Central Penn College Alumni.
Thoman discusses a wide variety of events on campus in the month of August, including the upcoming Alumni Leadership Conference, Bras Across the Bridge in Harrisburg, and upcoming course registration workshops put together by the Records and Registration Department.
Thoman spoke about the upcoming Alumni Leadership Conference, “What an amazing opportunity…You are getting to connect with other members of the community and network with (local leaders).”
In our recurring segment with Thoman, “Adrienne’s Featured Three” outlines the upcoming ATEC Dance on Aug. 11, a Cornhole Tournament with cash prizes on Aug. 17 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., and the Men’s Leadership Retreat Aug. 25 – 26.
After logging onto a computer, students can access Blackboard, email and other areas
By Morgan Littleford
Special to the Knightly News
In spring 2017 term, Central Penn College changed the way students get into their online service portals, by putting all student services accessible online in one place.
As of early April, student log-in is easier, with Blackboard, student email and the main sign-on portal in the same place, so students and faculty can type in one set of credentials – after logging onto a computer – and find everything they need in one spot, instead of signing into different areas of the portal separately.
Single sign-on for student services accessible through the Central Penn student-services portal has eased students’ access to services and tools they need.
“The portal was made for security reasons,” Information Technology Administrator Valeri Hartman said.
Of course, certain students on campus didn’t like the change. They did not see a reason for a switch to the new portal. In their opinion, why fix something that’s not broken?
Well, security is a significant reason, according to Hartman.
Because of the change, Blackboard went down on several occasions, which rarely happened before when Blackboard stood alone, but was most likely because of “bugs” that had to be worked out, Hartman said. The system was working smoothly by the middle of the term.
The change also inconvenienced some students who had to change passwords to access the new service, and some couldn’t remember the new password – but that is something that happens when passwords must be changed, for routine security updates. If someone does forget his or her password, then the person has five opportunities to sign in with the correct password before the system locks.
Some students didn’t mind the change. They found it convenient for everything to be in one place. They don’t have many passwords or log ins – it’s one sign-in username and password, and then they have access to everything they need. Students have said that they enjoy the new portal because it is quicker and easier to get into their email, classes and other tools.
“Overall, the new system is great and extremely helpful,” student Eliz Milanes said.
Students will always have different views on change at the college, but they can count on the administration to make things better and easier for students in the college.
But Roadside Tribute to Local Sports Hero Often Goes Unnoticed
By Keith Gudz
Knightly News Reporter
Every day, students, staff members, visitors and passers-by drive down Valley Road along the north end of the Central Penn College campus.
They drive past a piece of the not-too-distant past that holds a story about a heartbroken town and a hometown hero who was tragically taken from this world far too soon.
On the north side of Valley Road, in a field across from Central Penn’s historic Boyer House and down a bit toward the village of Summerdale, there is a gap where the grass does not grow. In that little circle of dirt are flowers, and baseballs on which the cowhide covers and threaded seams are splitting apart. This often-overlooked circle in a field is a memorial to Tom Sgrignoli, and this is his story.
A memorial to East Pennsboro Township stand-out athlete Tom Sgrignoli, along Valley Road, at Central Penn College. Photo by Keith Gudz
Tom grew up in Enola. The son of Ron and Janet Sgrignoli of Enola, Tom became a sports star on the local scene in 1997, as a standout athlete at East Pennsboro Area High School. While there, Tom excelled in baseball, basketball and golf, and in his senior year, on the Panthers’ varsity football team.
While on the team, Tom was selected and named Most Valuable Player of the 1998 Thanksgiving High School All-Star Football Classic. He had three interceptions and returned one for a touchdown.
After high school, Tom went on to play for Enola’s team in the East Shore Twilight Baseball League, and was a highly successful pitcher. His future as the continuous toast of Enola seemed bright and long-lasting. But all that changed in mid-2005.
On June 22, Tom was riding his motorcycle along Valley Road when he was struck by a wire that was jarred loose by a truck that had passed through before he did. Tom crashed in the field across from the Boyer House. He was taken to Holy Spirit Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. Tom was 24 years old.
In a recent telephone interview, Ron Sgrignoli said about his son’s crash: “It was the weirdest thing. He was working at Comcast and got off early from work because he had a baseball game to get to. He was going to meet a friend and if it wasn’t for those sets of circumstances, he would still be here. Really makes you think.”
Tom’s family and friends had left items at the crash site as a makeshift memorial. Ron Sgrignoli called then-president, now Central Penn College President Emeritus Todd A. Milano, to inform him of the memorial on the property. Milano agreed to meet with Tom’s parents and offered his condolences, along with any assistance he could be provide.
Milano and the Sgrignolis met over a light lunch, and Milano offered to allow the memorial to be permanent. The memorial is maintained by the Central Penn College Facilities Department.
Through Milano’s support, and with the memories of Tom’s loved ones and the people of his town, he and his legacy live on in that field of dreams.
The Knightly News at Central Penn College had the opportunity to have two new guests into the studio, as Episode 21 of the podcast has been released.
In today’s podcast we are joined by Alumni Engagement Director Sarah Blumenschein and Knightly News President Sherri Long to discuss several major alumni events coming in the next few weeks.
Long has a unique perspective in this segment, as she is both a current student and a Central Penn alumna and is an elected member of the Alumni Council.
Blumenschein chronicles three upcoming events: The Central Penn On Tap: Young Alumni Happy Hour at Cafe 1500 in Harrisburg on March 23, the CPC Alumni: Access Granted “Career Transitions” webinar on March 28, and the Alumni Association Easter Bunny Breakfast on April 8.
For more ways to stay in touch with the Alumni Engagement Office, visit their website, find them on Facebook, Twitter @CPCAlumni, or Linkedin.
As always, the Knightly News Media Club would like to thank you for your continued support.
The Central Penn Knights basketball team has become one of the greatest kept secrets in college basketball.
The United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) team is currently 24-8 and are 24-3 in USCAA play. The Knights, Division II, have made the USCAA tournament for a sixth straight year, the longest streak by any USCAA school. They received the No. 2 overall seed.
What’s happening now
Central Penn defeated NHTI (formerly New Hampshire Technical Institute), Concord, N.H., Thursday 76-64, in Uniontown, Pa., where the tournament is being held – on the Penn State Fayette Campus. They were led by Tyree Tucker, Tyrie Orosco and Joel Zola – each who scored 18 points.
The Knights are scheduled to play Penn State York at 3 this afternoon. (Follow the stats live here.) If they win, the Knights would face Berkeley College (N.Y.) or Penn State Greater Allegheny for the championship Saturday at 8:45 p.m.
A bit of background
The Knights, in addition to playing in a lower-tier basketball league, are also often overlooked for being part of such a small school that some residents in Central Pennsylvania are only now realizing exists.
However, for being a small school – with an enrollment of about 1,300 – the team is very good, with the 24-3 USCAA record, and the other five losses to NCAA Division I teams.
The losses were Liberty (19-12), Radford (13-17), Maryland-East Shore (11-19), Howard (8-22) and Elon (18-13). Their closest game against the DI schools was a seven-point loss to the Howard Bison 67-60.
The Knights have hardly been only a one-and-done team. Last season, the Knights made it all the way to the championship game before falling to Berkeley College (NY) 107-88. The previous season 2014-2015, the Knights went to the national semifinals.
Looking forward, moving on
As the college starts to expand its reach and scope on the recruiting trail, upgraded facilities are in the planning stage.
One day there may be a move up to NCAA.
Only time will tell.
But if the Knights do move up, then DI, watch out during March Madness, because these little Knights can dance.
Central Penn joins other schools to help students and alumni find job leads
By Norman Geary Knightly News Reporter
Career Services will participate in and is a sponsor of a job and internship fair by the Central Pennsylvania Employment Consortium (CPEC), on Feb. 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The event will be held at the Radisson Hotel Harrisburg, in Camp Hill.
Many companies, transportation provided
Here is a list of participating companies and other information, including registration. Use the tabs on the left side of the page to find companies participating, and other information on CPEC and the fair.
Transportation will be provided from the Summerdale campus, with a van running several times during the event. To register for the job/internship fair, or arrange for transportation, email email@example.com.
Career Services personnel suggest that students who attend dress professionally for admission, and bring resumes to distribute to company representatives.
Career Services Director Steve Hassinger.
“This fair is a consortium of 18 different colleges and universities,” said Steve Hassinger, career services director. “So, we get employers to come to this event who would not come to one individual campus. Why? Because they are recruiting from 17 different campuses. This past year, we had 100 different companies represented.”
What are the benefits?
“This is a great event to make contacts with a lot of different companies that are going to offer jobs and internships, so if you are looking for an internship or a part-time job while you are in school, or if you are looking for a career opportunity once you graduate, this is a great opportunity to connect,” Hassinger said.
Students can meet representatives from federal, state and county agencies. In addition, students learn about the hiring process.
Attendees will also get a directory of employers at the fair.
There is nothing more focused at Central Penn College than the success of its graduates, Hassinger said. Central Penn graduates have an 85.8 percent rate finding employment in their field. Hassinger said graduates also find resources in Career Services of great value. All graduates have lifetime access to those services, and email.
On Friday, Hassinger said 89 companies had registered.
What does Career Services provide?
Central Penn’s Career Services provides a rich range of help to students and alums. These include:
• Simulated interviews.
• Online listing of positions.
• Company information.
• Job fairs and assistance to further education.
• Networking events and alumni mentors.
Along with these services, Central Penn Career Services assists students with individualized services, such as helping to craft resumes, and reviewing and making suggestions about LinkedIn profiles – and providing academic recommendations.
To comment on this story, or to suggest a story, contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.edu.
Edited by Media Club Co-adviser Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi.
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 www.plannedparenthood.org
The resources below provide STD testing, and other health and sexual/reproductive health services.
On Oct. 22, Central Penn College celebrated Homecoming 2016, along with the Alumni Feast ‘n’ Brews Reunion Tent, during the annual Fall Harvest, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The reunion tent was exactly what it sounds like – an effort to bring alumni back to campus to eat, celebrate, reflect on good times and reconnect with one another, with faculty, and with staff members, and to see how they can get more involved with Central Penn, whether it’s signing up for a New York City bus trip or to be an alumni mentor.
Read, just below, what Sarah Blumenschein, alumni engagement director, had to say on the event.
“We really rolled out the red carpet for our alumni and their families,” Blumenschein said. “We also invite faculty and staff and their families. This is a private event specifically for alumni. Faculty and staff, and also retired faculty, can come back so they can interact with former students.”
An ongoing success
This event was nothing new for Blumenschein. She has worked at Central Penn since 2008 and has been very involved with every Fall Harvest since. If you talk to Blumenschein, she will tell you this event brings the crowd.
“It’s a fantastic event, you get hundreds of community members and vendors lining up the quad,” Blumenschein said. “At the event, you have food and fun, basket raffles, face painting and caramel apples. It’s a great time.”
The Alumni Feast ‘n’ Brews tent was the star of homecoming at Central Penn College.
Feedback from alums
Here is what Sherri Long, travel tourism, ’89, had to say about the event, which brought out a couple hundred people, despite cold weather and winds whipping the Summerdale campus.
“Fall Harvest, to me, is just walking around looking at the tables,” Long, now a corporate communications major at Central Penn. “It was okay (the tables at Fall Harvest), but the fun part was the Alumni Feast ‘n’ Brews Reunion Tent. That was a chance to talk with other people … I went to school with and also to talk with some of the professors and staff of Central Penn that were there. It was a nice and relaxing and fun setting. It was a really good time.”
Shannon Terry, computer information systems, ’95, said, “It’s been great. I’ve enjoyed seeing the changes and the metamorphosis here.”
Matt Karper, business administration, retail management, ’95, added that he had a good time, too.
“We were here last year,” Karper said. “It was a fun time and the same (this year). We enjoyed it and it’s been a good time. It’s been good both years.”
“It’s awesome to come back, because when I went to Central Penn, we did not have a campus,” Piper said “We were on Market Street in Harrisburg. So, to come back and see where the school is today versus where we were back in the early ’60’s is quite an experience — the beautiful campus, the many courses and degrees, and now the master degree programs. It’s just wonderful to be back.”
Something new, something old
Homecoming, previously called Fall Harvest, was one of the first things Blumenschein wanted to implement when she started in the Alumni Office in 2008. She wanted to go through the appropriate channels to work with the Marketing Department and the President’s Office to officially rename the event Homecoming.
Under the Homecoming umbrella, Central Penn would be able to hold the Alumni Feast ‘n’ Brews Reunion Tent and athletic events that Blumenschein hopes will continue to grow as Central Penn builds its fan base.
Basically, she explained, the college can have all these events under one umbrella. The college community is very hopeful that more events will be added each year, she said. This is the second year of the Homecoming and Alumni Feast ‘n’ Brews Reunion Tent, and Blumenschein said she is looking forward to next year.