KU to Celebrate Unity Day Aug. 29

Kutztown University will celebrate Unity Day at 11 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 29, on Schaeffer Lawn. Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, university president, along with university leaders, representatives from the student body, the community and other campus officials will give remarks celebrating KU’s diversity and multicultural makeup.

The event will take place during the university’s annual Community Link Fair, which brings together local businesses with the campus community.

KU’s freshman class represents a large increase in cultural diversity on the KU campus with 24% of the students being diverse. Kutztown had an 11% diversity rate among its student body as a whole in 2009 and is now, as of July 17, at 21% in 2019.

Daniel Scheese of Birdsboro invited to present research at Center to Advance Palliative Care meeting

The Center to Advance Palliative Care notified Daniel Scheese of Birdsboro and other medical students at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine that their research, “Identifying and Increasing Palliative Care Consults in the Medical ICU,” has been accepted for poster presentation CAPC’s national seminar, scheduled for Nov. 14 through 16, 2019, in Atlanta. The study addressed disparities in identifying appropriate patients for palliative care during their hospitalization.

As part of the project, medical resident physicians were educated on the inclusion criteria for palliative care, as well as the protocols for a palliative care consult. Palliative care-eligible patients were identified, and a notification was sent to the appropriate residents to consider a palliative care consult.

Overall, palliative care consults increased by 131 percent over the course of the study, leading the researchers to conclude that educating medical residents about palliative care consulting and notifying them about palliative care-eligible patients increased the number of eligible patients receiving a palliative care consult.

The CAPC is a national organization dedicated to increasing the availability of quality health care for people living with a serious illness. As the nation’s leading resource in its field, CAPC provides health care professionals and organizations with the training, tools and technical assistance necessary to effectively meet this need.

CAPC is funded through organizational membership and the generous support of foundations and private philanthropy. It is part of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

The students worked with Sukriti Kamboj, M.D., from the Guthrie Clinic on the quality improvement project the poster describes. Those invited to present are Daniel Scheese, Warren Acker, Gina Baiamonte and Laura Grezzo.

Matthew Hope of Wyomissing was featured presenter at 2019 Technology Education Research Symposium

Pictured from left at the 2019 Technology Education Research Symposium at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania are Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine third-year medical students Evan Porter of Jefferson City, Mo., and Matthew Hope of Wyomissing; Lynn Hummel, Ed.D., event organizer and Bloomsburg University assistant professor; and Ian J. McCoog, Ed.D., associate education analyst at GCSOM.
Matthew Hope

Speakers’ presentations are published in Volume 3 Issue 1 of the Pennsylvania Association of Educational Communication and Technology’s Technology Education Research Journal.

Matt Hope and Evan Porter presented on Summa, a new healthcare technology company they founded to create a way for researchers to access “personally generated health data.”

PGHD is the exponentially growing reservoir of consumer-owned data collected by FitBits and apps (applications) that track everything from an individual’s diet, heart rate and sleep to personal stress levels. It even includes genetic data people purchase when they go to companies like 23 and Me to learn more about their heritage.

The data generated in this way presents a rich, untapped resource for researchers connected with organizations too small to have the means to purchase “big data” the way, for example, large pharmaceutical companies can. Summa’s idea is to connect these types of researchers directly with individuals generating the data via an app. The app permits researchers to access the data while keeping control in the hands of the consumer.

Hope provided a scenario to explain the concept.

“Suppose a university psychology researcher wants to assess something like resilience,” Hope said. “Maybe they are interested in how resilience impacts student academic performance or patient health outcomes. To do these research projects today, researchers would use survey instruments to gather subjective data from their study participants. But what’s interesting is that new evidence suggests that things like heart rate variability can be used to measure stress resilience in a quantitative, objective fashion.

“With Summa, the psychologist would not only be able to distribute survey instruments to their student and patient populations, but also collect data from participant devices like Fitbit to assess heart rate, activity levels, sleep and more. With access to all this data, researchers will be able to ask new questions and test them in novel ways. We believe this can make a big difference in academic research and healthcare quality improvement.”

The Symposium is an annual conference sponsored by the Pennsylvania Association of Educational Communication and Technology and highlights educational technologies related to student success and corporate innovation. PAECT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, volunteer-led organization supporting and speaking for educational technology in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Kutztown University Out of the Darkness Walk Slated for April 28

Fifth Annual Out of the Darkness Walk to Take Place April 28.

In partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Kutztown University’s Clinical Services will host its fifth annual Out of the Darkness Walk for Suicide Awareness and Prevention on Sunday, April 28. The walk will begin at 5 p.m. on the DMZ, located on the south side of campus between Old Main and the South Dining Hall.

All proceeds benefit AFSP and walkers can take pride in knowing that they will be one of thousands of people across the country raising money to bring mental health and suicide out of the darkness. AFSP is the leading national non-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, as well as to creating a culture that’s smart about mental health and bringing hope to those affected by suicide.

To register online, click here.

Walkers are also able to register on the day of the walk between 4 and 5 p.m. All pre-registered and walk up registrants must check-in the day of the walk. Snacks and information tables on suicide prevention will be provided for walkers at the event.

For more information, contact Kathy Loomis at kloomis@kutztown.edu or 484.646.5927.

Sera Doughton to participate in Bloomsburg University Dance Minor Concert

“The Light in the Dark: The ninth annual Dance Minor Concert” will be held at Bloomsburg University at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 28, 2019; and at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 29, in Carver Hall, Gross Auditorium.

This event is free and open to the public; doors open for seating 30 minutes prior to performance.

Sera Doughton of Reading will participate in the show as sound editor, dancer and choreographer.

The dance concert features seven pieces, each exploring a unique perspective and theme. The content explored through varied dance styles includes: miscarriage, mental health: depression/anxiety, abusive relationships, standing proudly in your self-essence, suicide, degenerative illness and aging and consumption/environmental concerns.

The concert title, The Light in the Dark, reflects the perspective of the choreographers that we create hope when we bring attention and voice to difficult matters.

Choreographers include students Sera Doughton, Angela Peiffer, Nicole Gagliardi, Briana Gist, Eliza Treese, Emel Rasim, and Professor Julie Petry, Artistic Director.

Kutztown University news

KUDOS: Multicultural Services

Rhonda Branford, Director of Multicultural Services

KU’s University Relations office has implemented a new staff and department recognition feature. KUDOS, Kutztown University’s Dedication to Outstanding Service, focuses on university administrative departments and the individuals within them, giving the campus community a better look inside many of the working areas on campus.

This week, we sat down with the Office of Multicultural Services to get an inside look at the dedicated individuals who provide the KU community with a safe learning environment filled with various inclusive activities to help them better understand cultural and racial identity and awareness.

Video Feature

UR: Can you introduce yourselves and tell us how long you’ve been with KU?

RB: My name is Rhonda Branford and I’m the director of the Kutztown University Multicultural Center. I have been at the university almost 35 years; I started in 1984 and since then I’ve had three different positions at the university.

DT: My name is Deasia Thompson, I’m a senior Spanish major and political science minor and I’m a student worker. This is my first year working at the MCC.

MK: I’m Michael Kleppinger, I’m a junior transfer student and I’m also a student worker. My major is applied digital arts.

LA: My name is Lillian Anabui, I’m a student worker and my major is sociology.

UR: What is your department’s role and mission at the university?

RB: Working in the area of multiculturalism and diversity, our goal is to bring people together from different backgrounds and provide them with skills and social interactions that will make them more globally competent.

DT: Our mission is multiculturalism and promoting diversity among students. It’s our job to be accepting of everyone and their backgrounds because everyone has their own uniqueness.

UR: Can you explain your department’s staff make-up and responsibilities?

RB: Aside from myself, our office manager, Miss Faith Riedel, performs all of the clerical responsibilities, as well as interacts with most of our students. She also runs some of our programs and has been the foundation of our office since she started more than two years ago. The students really enjoy her. A lot of what I do is related to programming, like helping put together our social and leadership programs. I also lead some diversity training and supervise our graduate assistants. I have fun with the students in this position. Nothing is ever the same every day, so there’s a lot of different things going on; I like to be hands-on and involved in all of it.

DT: I set up showcases to help inform the campus community. I’m currently working on the women’s history month showcase, which requires me to research history and background information. For example, I’m currently working on the women’s history month showcase, so I’m looking into five women in math, science, and politics.

MK: My job is similar to Deasia’s. Last month, Lillian and I set up the Black History Month showcase. I also help out with MCC events, as well as communicate between our staff to make sure everyone is well-informed and up-to-date with what is going on. I also help make event flyers.

LA: I assist in those areas as well, which I think is useful because it allows us to learn more about different cultures and genders so that we can be more aware when we interact with the campus community. I also help run events and maintain close relationships with everyone in the office so that we’re all on the same page.

UR: How does your department serve students and the campus community?

RB: We offer leadership opportunities for students, as well as diversity training. We provide a safe place on campus for people to come together and interact. Sometimes we talk about the tougher conversations pertaining to social justice and things going on in our society that affect not only people of color, but also affect the population in general.

MK: Our department offers a diverse perspective that may not show on other campuses. We have a very welcoming feel, which is a big part of our motto. We try to make sure that people of all cultures and ethnicities are welcome and not at a disadvantage living here in Kutztown.

LA: We serve as a safe haven on campus for students. Whenever they want to rest, study, or even just talk, they can come here. We’re a home away from home for students if they need it.

DT: Almost all of our events, including salsa lessons and travel around the world, are open to the greater Kutztown community. We do this to bring in people so that they can understand more about each culture we try represent. Everyone is welcome to come try new events, experience things they never would’ve thought to experience before.

UR: What are the points of pride in your department?

RB: I’m proud of our graduate assistants, our office manager, and our student workers. When we put a program together, everyone is involved. We make a great team. I think we pull off some very interesting events that are not just fun, but educational as well.

DT: I’m proud of the amount of events that we offer, the welcoming atmosphere, and the fact that I’m always able to learn something new.

LA: This place brings up leaders. When I first started coming here, I didn’t have any type of skills, like time management or the ability to run an organization. Being here has helped me learn those skills, as well as learn how to be open to all types of people. All types of students come in every day, so interacting with them has helped me grow as a person.

MK: I’m proud of how diverse our staff is. I think that we should also pride ourselves on our ability to provide different types of food from all over the world. A lot of students come to our events for the food, but then end up learning something about that culture and wanting to become more involved with the MCC.

UR: What would you like people to know about your department that they may not know already?

RB: I think a lot the campus community already knows that we’re diverse; but, unfortunately sometimes when people think of multiculturalism, they just think it’s for people of color. Multiculturalism is supposed to be inclusive. So, I think we do have some students and even employees who are hesitant to interact with us and participate in our activities because they’re not sure if it’s supposed to be for them. It is!

LA: You are welcome here. We really can’t stress it enough. Anyone can come and enjoy themselves. Don’t be scared by our name – we’re very nice!

DT: If you have an event idea for something that isn’t currently represented at KU that you’d like to see represented, you can pitch the idea to us. We’d be happy to talk to Rhonda or Miss Faith about it and see what we can do to help.

UR: How can the campus community learn more or become involved with your department?

RB: They can learn about us through social media. We post things on Snapchat and Facebook, one of our students makes radio announcements, and we post flyers in the residence halls and departments about our upcoming programs. To get more actively involved with our office, KU students can join our outreach program with the Reading School District. Through this program, we bring in high school students three times a semester to shadow KU students, which is when they’ll attend college classes so that they can understand what a college classroom is like. The primary reason we bring them here is so that they can get acclimated to college life, which takes some of the fear of college away and makes them more comfortable in the environment. It helps them understand that college isn’t just for other people – it can be for them as well. KU students can also get involved by attending our leadership academy workshops every other week, or by attending the fun events like salsa lessons. Faith and I both have open door policies, so anyone can always come in, see what’s going on, and find out how they can participate.

MK: We post a lot on social media, especially Instagram. I actually go on KUR weekly to make sure students, faculty and staff know what events we have to offer that week. Our events are also featured on the potty paper.

LA: I try to support other organizations’ events, and I always mention the MCC while I’m there. Connecting with other organizations and maintaining positive relationships with them is primarily how I spread the word about what we do outside of social media.

DT: We also have a weekly email newsletter that we send out to people who attend our events. If you’d like to attend or know more about us, you can always email us and ask to be put on the list.

UR: What’s your favorite thing about your KU experience?

RB: KU has been good to me. I’ve met some amazing people along the way, and had great mentors and wonderful students who really care about their fellow students and the environment at Kutztown. I’ve had a number of different opportunities that I probably wouldn’t have had if I worked somewhere else.

LA: I’ve grown a lot as a person here on this campus. When I first got here, I was very shy. The MCC was the first organization I found on campus, and coming here helped me become more active and aware. I learned how to network, and that’s such a valuable asset.

DT: I’ve definitely grown to be more involved on campus. The MCC has helped me learn how to take on and balance different roles in my life. I’m much better at managing time and I’ve become much more responsible, which will be great for future job opportunities.

MK: I’ve become much friendlier and gotten better at networking. I’ve made a lot of connections and new friends since I transferred, and now I know that I’ll be able to continue doing that throughout the rest of my career.

UR: What does “It’s Good to be Golden” mean to you?

RB: I think golden is a state of mind, like when you’re clear-headed, relaxed and focused, but I also think it means that it’s good to be part of the KU community.

MK: It’s good to be a part of Kutztown.

LA: It’s good to be a golden bear!

DT: I think it means that it’s good to live up to your full potential. Being at KU helps you gain that potential so that you can keep on going once you leave.

KUDOS is published twice monthly by the office of University Relations. All issues can be found at www.kutztown.edu/KUDOS. For questions or more information, contact University Relations at UR@kutztown.edu.

2019 Twin Tiers Martial Arts Championship to be held at Elmira College Domes

The 2019 Twin Tiers Martial Arts Championship will be held at the Elmira College Murray Athletic Center (The Domes) Saturday, March 30, 2019.

The Twin Tiers Martial Arts Championship is the premier martial arts competition in the Twin Tiers of New York and the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania.

This is an opportunity for students of all ages and all levels to come together and present their martial arts skills in healthy and fair competition.

This regional martial arts tournament is open to all martial arts schools and all styles. This tournament is sanctioned by the Sport Karate International and will follow the TTMAC rules and regulations, which can be obtained at TTMAC or through American Family Karate.

This tournament is open to the public; spectators are encouraged to attend and see live martial arts in action. There is plenty of free and convenient parking, a snack bar and bleacher seating for spectators.

There will also be a number of vendors including a professional photographer and official TTMAC apparel.

TTMAC is a great opportunity to grow in your martial arts journey whether you are a beginner, a seasoned martial artist or just a curious spectator possibly interested in martial arts.

The tournament is promoted and produced by American Family Karate, which has been serving the Elmira community for the past 10 years. Sensei Shawnie Brown is a two-time inductee to the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame and holds the rank of Godan (fifth-degree black belt) in Soryu Karate. Brown has been national, and internationally ranked in the National Blackbelt League and has been participating in tournaments for more than 20 years.

Order of events

8 a.m. – Registration Opens

9 a.m. – Blackbelt Meeting

9:30 a.m. – Competitor Meeting

10 a.m. – Tournament Starts


1. Board Breaking (12 divisions)

2. Traditional Weapons (42 divisions)

3. Open Weapons (42 divisions)

4. Traditional Forms (42 divisions)

5. Open Forms (42 divisions)

6. Point Sparring (54 divisions)

7. Continuous Sparring (32 divisions)

8. Grand Championship Competition (six divisions)

For more information, visit http://TwinTiersMartialArtsChampionship.com

KU to host opioid crisis panel Feb. 19

The Kutztown University Department of Criminal Justice will host an “Opioid Crisis Panel” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in the McFarland Student Union Building’s Alumni Auditorium.

The panel will be presented by Raphael M. Barishansky, deputy secretary of Health Preparedness and Community Protection at Pennsylvania Department of Health; Jeffrey Poch, executive director at Safe Harbor Easton; and L. James Thomas, sergeant at Lower Windsor Township Police Department.

Barishansky, Poch, and Thomas will share professional and personal stories about the pervasive and far-reaching implications of opioid use, addiction and recovery drawing from individual, health and legal perspectives.

For more information, contact Dr. Kadee L. Crandall, assistant professor of criminal justice, at crandall@kutztown.edu.

Kutztown Basketball Community Promotes the Bears Who Care Initiative

2/12/2019 | Men’s Basketball

Throughout games over winter break the Kutztown University men’s and women’s basketball teams encouraged fans to bring non-perishable food items in lieu of admission to games as a part of the Bears Who Care initiative. Last week, two KU basketball representatives dropped off the generous donations to the Friend, Inc. Community Services.

On Thursday, Feb. 7th, Karen Lapkiewicz of the Kutztown women’s team and Anthony Lee of the men’s team took the food and monetary donations to Friend, Inc. A total of $188.60 was raised as well as over 200 non-perishable food items.

Friend, Inc. Community Services is a not-for-profit, multi-service agency that supports the well-being of families and individuals in need, and is committed to strengthening the lives of those living in Northeastern Berks County. Friend, Inc. is a Kutztown University Satellite Pantry. Kutztown Athletics would like to thank all of the fans who participated in the Bears Who Care initiative.

Reading Public Library Northeast Branch to present program on Appalachian Trail trek

The Northeast Branch of Reading Public Library, 1348 N. 11th St., will present a program entitled “Tales from the Trail,” from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26.

Featured speaker Angelique Krohn, youth service coordinator at the library’s Northeast Branch and 2018 thru-hiker, will relate what it’s like to hike the entire 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail through 14 different states along America’s east coast.

A question-and-answer session will follow Angelique’s trail stories; light refreshments will be served.

The event is free of charge and pre-registration is not required.  For more information, call 610.655.6361.