Winners announced in 17th annual Berks County Public Libraries awards celebration

Dreisbach Award for Exemplary Service—Renee Dietrich, Reading Public Library Trustee

Berks County Public Libraries held its 17th annual awards celebration 6:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at the system headquarters on Berks Road. The awards honored outstanding library services in addition to individuals and organizations in the community for their support and contributions to the advancement of libraries in Berks County.

Pictured from left are system administrator Amy Resh and Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt.

The award recipients from the 17th annual awards celebration are:

34 nominations from individuals and groups were submitted this year for consideration in categories such as Outstanding Local Business, Trustee of the Year, and the Dreisbach Award for Exemplary Service, among others. The Berks County Public Libraries Board of Directors selected category winners and presented the awards in front of an audience of nearly 60 people.

  • Dreisbach Award for Exemplary Service—Renee Dietrich, Reading Public Library Trustee
  • Trustee of the Year—Joanne Yoder, Kutztown Community Library
  • Outstanding Elected Official—Shawn Raup-Konsavage, Mayor of Bernville
  • Outstanding Library Director—Melissa Adams, Muhlenberg Community Library
  • Outstanding Community Organization—Northern Berks EMS
  • Outstanding Local Business—Snapology of Reading and Lancaster PA
  • Outstanding Fundraising Effort—Under a Spell at MCL, Muhlenberg Community Library
  • Outstanding Program—Explore Earth: Our Changing Planet, Muhlenberg Community Library
  • Linda Baer Friend of the Year—Dian Beamesderfer, Friend of the Womelsdorf Community Library
  • Chet Hagan Memorial Public Relations Award—Schuylkill Valley Community Library

For more information about each award and the 2018 recipients, visit berkslibraries.org/17th-annual-awards.

BLOTTER: Kutztown Borough Police Department

Feb. 23, 2019

  • Police investigated the report of vandalism to a vehicle after it was reported that the rear quarter window was broken on a vehicle while parked at a residence in the 200 block of E. Walnut St.
  • Police arrested Kayla Gemmill, 19, of New Freedom, for violation of the borough open container ordinance following an incident that occurred in the 00 block of Noble St.

Feb. 24, 2019

  • After completing their investigation, police arrested Jack Morgan, 20, of Harleysville, for purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages following an incident that occurred in the 300 block of W. Walnut St.

Feb. 26, 2019

  • Police arrested Nathan Slye, 21, of Narvon, for violation of the borough noise ordinance following an incident that occurred at 217 W. Main St. A Disruptive Conduct Report was also issued.

Kutztown University Announces Matthew Heffelfinger as next Sports Information Director

Kutztown University KU Golden Bears

Kutztown University welcomes Matthew Heffelfinger ’07 as the university’s new Sports Information Director. He began his new role Jan. 7, 2019.

In his role as Sports Information Director at KU, Heffelfinger will be responsible for the coverage of KU’s 21 NCAA Division II varsity sports through the university’s athletics website and social media accounts.

A KU alumnus and Wernersville, Pa. native, Heffelfinger returns to KU from Elizabethtown College, where he served as the Director of Athletic Communications for more than eight years. During his time at Elizabethtown, he promoted and publicized the Blue Jays’ 24 varsity athletics teams on Elizabethtown’s official website and various social media outlets.

A member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), Heffelfinger oversaw three redesigns of www.etownbluejays.com, most recently in 2018, as well as directed game operations at home events, serving as head statistician and public address announcer for many Blue Jay teams. His vision and ideas brought an innovative and attractive look to the site with a focus on user friendliness.

Heffelfinger also launched BlueJaysTV, the athletic department’s streaming video initiative, with partner Stretch Internet prior to the 2014-15 academic year. BlueJaysTV offers live and on demand HD broadcasts of more than 60 Elizabethtown College home athletic events, including the annual Student-Athlete Recognition (STAR) ceremony and Blue Jay Athletics Alumni Reunion (hall of fame induction).

Heffelfinger served as the host media coordinator for the 2015 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships at GIANT Center in Hershey, Pa., and assisted the media relations staff at the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball East Regional, held in Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center.

He joined Elizabethtown after 2+ years as a graduate assistant at Millersville University, where he was the primary media contact for men’s and women’s soccer, women’s basketball, and softball.

Heffelfinger earned a bachelor’s degree in leisure and sport studies from Kutztown University in 2007 and a Master of Education in sport management with a concentration in athletic administration from Millersville University in 2011.

Widener University announces dean’s list

Widener University announced the students named to the fall 2018 dean’s list. Those who achieved this status include:

  • Isabella Abrams of Reading
  • Samantha Bennethum of Wernersville
  • Cole Bryner of Wyomissing
  • Emily Caruso of Hamburg
  • Jenelle Clelland of Wernersville
  • Carter Compinski of Hamburg
  • Blake Devine of Reading
  • Tyler Dorang of Douglassville
  • Emily Gaspari of Douglassville
  • Ryan Koch of West Lawn
  • Matthew Lambert of Douglassville
  • Antonio Marchio of Sinking Spring
  • Alexis Meals of Fleetwood
  • Eliza Meals of Fleetwood
  • Destini Mitchell of Reading
  • Ethan Newman of Fleetwood
  • Matthew Perez of Reading
  • Jared Peters of Reading
  • Colleen Russo of Reading
  • Andrew Saylor of Reading
  • Jenna Schumacher of Fleetwood
  • Abbie Smith of Shoemakersville
  • Kathleen Sorah of Douglassville
  • Gianna Viola of Douglassville
  • Zachary Wagner of Douglassville
  • Olivia Weaver of Reading

The dean’s list recognizes full-time students who earned a grade point average of 3.50 and above for the semester.

Kutztown University announces fall 2018 degree recipients

Kutztown University has conferred degrees for more than 450 students for the fall 2018 semester.

Kutztown University announces degree conferment twice a year, once in the winter and once in the summer. Commencement exercises are held in May and December; however, students finish the requirements for graduation throughout the entire year. The following students have been awarded degrees following the fall 2018 semester.

The cumulative grade point average necessary for honors distinction is: with honor (cum laude) 3.40; with high honor (magna cum laude) 3.60 and with highest honor (summa cum laude) 3.80.

Students listed multiple times have been awarded more than one degree; students who have requested privacy (FERPA) are not listed publicly.

  • Julia Arentz of Reading, Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education/Visual Impairment Magna Cum Laude
  • Chris Baldwin of West Lawn, Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Cum Laude
  • Jaron Michael Burke of Reading, Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology
  • Emily Suzanne Cantor of Hamburg, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geography
  • Jose L Cortes-Pantoja of Laureldale, Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology/Clinical Counseling Magna Cum Laude
  • Robert Gerald Ellis of Reading, Bachelor of Science Degree in Cinema, Television and Media Production Magna Cum Laude
  • Colin Brandon Flemming of Blandon, Bachelor of Science of Business Administration Degree in Management
  • Gabrielle Lee Gartland of Reading, Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education
  • Sean T Giles of Reading, Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology Cum Laude
  • Shelbi Marie Heffner of Fleetwood, Bachelor of Science Degree in Sport Management Summa Cum Laude
  • Eric Sean Hiser of Douglassville, Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology
  • Mason H Hoffman of Fleetwood, Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science
  • Daiquan Huffin of Birdsboro, Bachelor of Science of Business Administration Degree in Management
  • Kelsi H Kegerize of Reading, Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology Summa Cum Laude
  • Nathaniel Klatt of Leesport, Bachelor of Science of Business Administration Degree in Management
  • Alec Benjamin Leibensperger of Reading, Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry
  • Micheal Paul Lewis-Cooper of Fleetwood, Bachelor of Science of Business Administration Degree in Management Cum Laude
  • Tyler A Ludwig of Fleetwood, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies
  • Bryce Kain Martin of Reading, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies
  • Emily Katherine Metcalf of Blandon, Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology
  • Logan Michael Metcalf of Shillington, Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education Cum Laude
  • Madison Hailee Mittnacht of Birdsboro, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies Cum Laude
  • Lauren Marjorie Moulin of Reading, Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education Summa Cum Laude
  • Emma Mull of Lyon Station, Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology
  • Faizah Munir of Hamburg, Bachelor of Science of Business Administration Degree in Finance
  • Trinh D Nguyen of Reading, Bachelor of Science of Business Administration Degree in Finance Magna Cum Laude
  • James Robert Pisker of Oley, Bachelor of Science of Business Administration Degree in Accounting
  • Erica Nicole Quillman of Fleetwood, Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice
  • Alexis Amber Rhoads of Reading, Bachelor of Science of Business Administration Degree in Marketing
  • Lauralyn E Rhoads of Birdsboro, Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology/Organismal/Ecology
  • Pamela A Rodriguez of Reading, Bachelor of Social Work Degree in Social Work
  • Shawna Lee Rudis of Shoemakersville, Bachelor of Science Degree in Cinema, Television and Media Production
  • Arlin A Salazar of Reading, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science Summa Cum Laude
  • Ryan Josiah Schlegel of Fleetwood, Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Communication Design
  • Mary Lou Sheetz of Reading, Bachelor of Science of Business Administration Degree in Management Summa Cum Laude
  • Aaron M Sraiheen of Fleetwood, Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology
  • Danielle Marie Strunk of Wyomissing, Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics Education Magna Cum Laude
  • Matthew S Terhune of Reading, Bachelor of Science Degree in Cinema, Television and Media Production Magna Cum Laude
  • Danzan Terminkeev of Birdsboro, Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice Cum Laude
  • Annalisa Maria Touch of Fleetwood, Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education
  • Taylor N Williams of Leesport, Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Science/Biology
  • Brandon M Willman of Reading, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science Magna Cum Laude
  • Briana Leigh Zdradzinski of Reading, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology Magna Cum Laude
  • Luz M Alva-de la Rosa of Reading, Master of Education Degree in Secondary Education
  • Holly E Armbuster of Sinking Spring, Master of Education Degree
  • Lori G Berryman of Wyomissing, Master of Education Degree in Instructional Technology
  • Michelle Burlacu of Reading, Master of Education Degree in Elementary Education
  • Alyssa Jane Carl of Reading, Master of Education Degree in Secondary Education
  • Megan Marie Cavanna of Reading, Master of Education Degree in Elementary Education
  • Kara Elizabeth Feeney of Mohrsville, Master of Education Degree
  • Carey Leigh Freeman of Reading, Master of Education Degree in Instructional Technology
  • Laurie Anne Getz of Reading, Master of Public Administration Degree
  • Cynthia Ann Good of Wyomissing, Master of Education Degree in Art Education
  • Julie M Gulling of Reading, Master of Education Degree in Instructional Technology
  • Danielle Lee Hollenbach of Reading, Master of Education Degree
  • Toni M Kemmerer of Reading, Master of Education Degree in Instructional Technology
  • Jessica Lorah of Oley, Master of Education Degree in Elementary Education
  • Julia Elizabeth McGregor of Temple, Master of Education Degree in Elementary Education
  • John Merlino of Topton, Master of Business Administration Degree
  • Jessica A Miller of Birdsboro, Master of Library Science Degree
  • Aubrey Elizabeth Pace of Douglassville, Master of Education Degree in Instructional Technology
  • Lauren N Peterson of Reading, Master of Education Degree in Instructional Technology
  • David Nathan Staub of Reading, Master of Education Degree in Instructional Technology
  • Ryan Kenneth Steward of Blandon, Master of Business Administration Degree
  • Jessica R Trider of Sinking Spring, Master of Education Degree in Elementary Education
  • Brian C Young of Fleetwood, Master of Education Degree in Secondary Education

Capital BlueCross Theatre announces 2019 season

It’s an exciting year ahead for the Capital BlueCross Theatre. The theatre’s sixth season features an eclectic mix of socially conscious offerings, original student work, and collaborations with local theater groups and community talent.

The season kicked off with The Vagina Monologues on Thursday, Feb. 21. Coming up next is Searching for Happiness: A Theatrical Coffeehouse, which will include local authors reading from their works, original music and an acting troupe performing select scenes from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. The production debuts March 7 & 8, 7:30–9:30 p.m.

“My goal is to offer our students a wide variety of opportunities to showcase their talents and skills,” says Theatre Director Janet Bixler. “I also want to give our local community a chance to experience different types of productions, from thought-provoking, socially relevant work to light, fun entertainments.”

The Capital BlueCross Theatre is located on the campus of Central Penn College in Summerdale, Pa., which is only a short drive from downtown Harrisburg. Admission for most shows is $10 for the public and $3 for students.

  • March 7 & 8 – Searching for Happiness: A Theatrical Coffeehouse   

When:                Thursday, March 7, & Friday, March 8, 7:30–9:30 p.m.    

What:                 The theatre will be transformed into a coffeehouse and feature local writers reading from their works, a professional musician playing original music and actors bringing to life select scenes from Ray Bradbury’s classic novel Fahrenheit 451. Attendees also can enjoy a selection of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, pastries, fruit and other goodies.

  • June 6, 7 & 8 – Lost and Found, the fifth student-created play

When:                Thursday, June 6, & Friday, June 7, 7:30–9:30 p.m.

                           Saturday, June 8, 2:30–4:30 p.m.               

What:                 Each year, the Theatre puts on a student-created play based on a theme. Using their experiences and imaginations to create an original play, a group of students will work together to explore losing and finding “things” of great importance, including relationships, people, places and themselves.

  • Sept. (multiple) – Bridging the Gap collaboration

When:                Friday, Sept. 6, & Saturday, Sept. 7, 7:30–9:30 p.m.

                           Thursday, Sept. 12 & Friday, Sept. 13, 7:30–9:30 p.m.      

                           Saturday, Sept. 14, 2:30–4:30 p.m.

What:                 A new work created in partnership with the Sankofa African American Theatre Company and Reclaim Artist Collective that will feature the poetry of Central Penn Professor Maria James-Thiaw. This play will explore the racial and socio-economic divides from both historical and contemporary perspectives. To learn more about Sankofa, go to: www.sankofatheatrehbg.com.

  • Dec. 5 & 6 – “An Elf Mafia Murder Mystery”

When:                Thursday, Dec. 5, & Friday, Dec. 6, 7:30–9:30 p.m.           

What:                 While enjoying a festive three-course meal prepared by CulinArt at Central Penn College, Toby Bradbury and his troupe of Oxymorons will entertain you with a fast-paced, laughter-filled holiday whodunit.

Kutztown University Small Business Development Center Accepts $25,000 Donation for Nascent Entrepreneurs

The Kutztown University Small Business Development Center received a $25,000 donation from BB&T Bank to better serve nascent entrepreneurs on Friday at a press briefing in the Old Main Concourse at Kutztown University.

The donation was presented by David Roland, president of BB&T Berks County/Northern Montgomery County Market, and Betsy Reeder, senior vice president and regional business banking manager of BB&T.

“We are proud to provide community leadership at this level and play a role in the future health and prosperity of Berks County,” Roland said. “Our donation to Kutztown University’s Small Business Development Center is part of our BB&T Economic Growth Fund.”

In conjunction with the BB&T/National Penn merger, $2.5 million was entrusted to the Berks County Community Foundation to establish a BB&T Economic Growth Fund. To date, the BB&T Economic Growth Fund has awarded a total of $2,392,000.

The donation was presented to the KUSBDC for the work the center has done in Berks County and will be used to better serve nascent entrepreneurs throughout the county. The SBDC aims to improve economic development by providing the appropriate educational resources to both entrepreneurs who are looking to start a business and small business owners who are looking for assistance and learning opportunities.

Currently, the KUSBDC has 201 active clients in Berks County.

“BB&T has shown continuous support for our organizations and the work we do to offer free consulting services and workshops to existing businesses and early-stage entrepreneurs,” Dr. Ernie Post, director of the KUSBDC, said. “This grant will have impact on Berks County as it will aid in providing the proper education and guidance needed to assist nascent entrepreneurs.”

Small businesses provide 55 percent of all jobs and 66 percent of all net new jobs. In the U.S., existing small businesses comprise 99 percent of all employer firms, employ nearly half of the workforce and account for more than 60 percent of the private sector’s net new jobs.

The KUSBDC is part of a state-wide network of colleges and university centers, which is a joint venture of federal, state and private sector agencies and organizations including the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development. As of July 2018, the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center is hosted by Kutztown University.

For more information on the PA-SBDC visit http://www.pasbdc.org.

For more information on the KU-SBDC visit www.kutztown.edu/SBDC.

Alvernia appoints new provost

Pictured is new Alvernia University Provost Glynis Fitzgerald.

Alvernia University appoints Glynis Fitzgerald as the new provost responsible for serving as the chief academic officer overseeing the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Professional Programs, School of Graduate and Adult Education and several other important administrative areas. Fitzgerald currently serves as associate vice president of Academic Affairs and dean of the School of Graduate Studies at Central Connecticut State University. She succeeds Interim Provost Jerry Greiner, former provost of Hamline University and emeritus president of Arcadia University.

Bringing more than 20 years of higher education experience to Alvernia, Fitzgerald has expertise in undergraduate and graduate program development, expansion of online learning options and community and corporate partnerships. As a seasoned faculty member, she rose through the ranks to full professor in the department of communication at Central Connecticut State where she also served as department chair.

“As we strengthen program offerings across disciplines to meet the challenges of today’s world, Glynis is the imaginative and seasoned academic leader who will galvanize faculty and staff colleagues alike to enhance the quality of our students’ educational experience at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels,” said President Tom Flynn. “Her intellect, relational style and experience with building community relationships are also closely aligned with the mission and values of Alvernia,” he added.

Fitzgerald assumes her new role on July 1.

“During my visit to Alvernia, the strong sense of community, rich culture of student success and commitment to service were very clear,” said Fitzgerald. “Also evident was the dedication of the leadership, faculty and staff, and extremely talented individuals, deeply committed to the university’s mission.

“These qualities make me excited to be a part of the Alvernia University family. As its new provost, I am eager to learn how I can best serve and promote the university.”

Alvernia University President-elect John Loyack worked closely with President Flynn during the search process to ensure a seamless leadership transition. “Glynis possesses an innate ability to connect with faculty and students in ways that ensure their success. Her track record in these areas will serve Alvernia well moving forward. I look forward to working with Glynis on creating a successful and bright future for Alvernia,” Loyack said. Both Loyack and Fitzgerald will take office in July.

Fitzgerald was selected in a national search from among more than 60 applicants. She earned a doctoral degree in organizational/interpersonal communication and a master’s in organizational communication from SUNY Buffalo and a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

BLOTTER: Kutztown Borough Police Department

Feb. 15, 2019

  • Police arrested Devon Sell, 25, of Mertztown, for violation of the borough peace and good order ordinance following an incident that occurred at Shorty’s Bar, 272 W. Main St.
  • Police arrested Rayvon Waugh, 19, of Willow Grove, for violation of the borough open container ordinance following an incident that occurred in the 300 block of West Main Street.

Feb. 21, 2019

  • Police investigated the report of fraud following an incident that occurred at Kutztown Bottling Works, 78 S. Whiteoak St.

BLOTTER: Kutztown Borough Police Department

Feb. 9, 2019

  • Police arrested Annalise Van Sloun, 25, of Orefield, for public drunkenness following an incident that occurred in the 100 block of West Main Street.
  • Police arrested Ty Travaglia, 21, of Leechburg, for violation of the borough open container ordinance following an incident that occurred in the 200 block of West Main Street.
  • Police arrested James Jaques, 21, of West Chester, for violation of the borough open container ordinance following an incident that occurred in the 200 block of West Main Street.

Feb. 10, 2019

  • After completing their investigation, police arrested Brad Magill, 31, of Bowers, for driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, possession of controlled/counterfeit substance, driving under suspension/DUI-related, driving under suspension/DUI-related with BAC, failure to drive on right side of road and careless driving following an incident that occurred in the 200 block of East Main Street.

Feb. 11, 2019

  • Police are investigating the report of graffiti vandalism to the skate park at the Kutztown Borough Community Park, 440 E. Main St.

Feb. 13, 2019

  • Police arrested Damarkus Milner, 29, of Kenosha, Wis., for indirect criminal contempt following an incident that occurred at a residence in the 300 block of Normal Avenue.