Benise brings his acclaimed PBS special to Kutztown University March 21

Join the audience on a romantic and exotic journey of music and dance that celebrates the fire, passion and spirit of Spain with Fuego!, which takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21, in Schaeffer Auditorium on the Kutztown University campus.

Armed with his Spanish guitar, Benise is backed by a stage-full of musicians and elaborately choreographed dancers hand-picked from an international pool of talent. Flamenco dancers take center stage in a tribute to Old World Spain while breathtaking couture fashions and innovative staging and choreography give Spanish dance a fresh and luminous makeover.

With a beautiful and charming Spanish courtyard as the backdrop, Benise debuts all new music, dance and costumes, adding his signature twist on classics such as “Granada,” “Malaguena,” “Moonlight Sonata,” “Asturias” and “Adagio.” It’s a musical adventure that includes the “Dress of a Thousand Roses,” one of the world’s largest Flamenco fans, and many more surprises. Fuego! captures world music at its best with a show that appeals to the hearts and souls of people of all ages, cultures and musical backgrounds.

Regular admission is $40, $36 for students and seniors, and can be purchased at or by calling the KU Presents! Box Office Tuesday – Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 610-683-4092.

Established as the center of cultural life at Kutztown University, KU Presents! serves the campus and community by bringing world-class live arts that can entertain, educate and enrich.

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, 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.

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

Scholastic Shining Stars

USD Student Natalie Tasca of Reading Earns First Honors

University of San Diego student Natalie Tasca of Reading earned First Honors in the fall Semester of 2018. First honors students have a grade point average of 3.65 or higher.

Micah Klousia of Springfield named to fall Deans’ List/honor roll at Nebraska

Micah Klousia of Springfield has been named to the Deans’ List/Explore Center List of Distinguished Students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the fall semester of the 2018-19 academic year.

Klousia, a senior marketing major, was named to the dean’s List for the College of Business.

More than 5,300 students at Nebraska have been named to the Deans’ List for the fall semester.

Qualifications for the Deans’ List varies among the eight undergraduate colleges. Listed below are the minimum requirements for each entity and the name of its respective dean or director. All qualifying grade-point averages are based on a four-point scale and a minimum of 12 graded semester hours. Students can be on the Deans’ List for more than one college.

Local Residents Named to The University of Scranton fall 2018 dean’s List

Local residents were among nearly 1,600 students named to The University of Scranton’s dean’s List for the 2018 fall semester. The dean’s List recognizes students for academic excellence. The students are:

  • Brianna L. Zettlemoyer of Reading, a sophomore forensic chemistry major in the University’s College of Arts and Sciences
  • Katelyn E. Langford of Temple, a senior biology major in the University’s College of Arts and Sciences
  • Carly A. Dietz of Douglassville, a junior counseling and human services major in the University’s Panuska College of Professional Studies
  • Tucker J. DiPiazza of Birdsboro, a junior marketing major in the University’s Kania School of Management
  • Devin C. Limper of Birdsboro, a junior marketing major in the University’s Kania School of Management

A student must have a grade point average of 3.5 or better with a minimum number of credit hours during the semester to make the dean’s List.

Local Students Named to Muhlenberg College’s fall 2018 dean’s List

More than 1000 students were named to the fall 2018 dean’s List at Muhlenberg College.

The following local students made the list:

  • Corinne Battistelli of Douglassville
  • Erich Buerkert of Birdsboro
  • Christina Flamporis of Reading
  • Alex Goshert of Reading
  • Jordan Koury of Douglassville
  • Jacob Metcalfe of Hamburg
  • Gabriella Michelson of Reading
  • Luke Miller of Reading
  • Kaitlin Pollet of Reading
  • Rachel Richards of Reading
  • Hannah Shelly of Reading

Wilkes University Awards More Than 300 Degrees

Wilkes University awarded 384 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees to students who completed their degree requirements at the conclusion of the fall 2018 semester.

  • Michele Chowdhury of West Lawn received a Master of Science in Education.
  • Juliana Ciccarelli of Reading received a Master of Science in Education.
  • Tate Dewalt of Reading received a Master of Science in Education.
  • Abigail Kurzweg of Sinking Springs received a Master of Science in Education.
  • Gregory Mazurek of Wernersville received a Master of Science in Education.
  • Alicia Noll of Temple received a Master of Science in Education.
  • Alexander Premici of Shillington received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance.
  • Beth Rhoads of Oley received a Master of Science in Nursing in Nursing.
  • Tamara Ritter of Bethel received a Master of Science in Education.
  • Morgan Siefert of Womelsdorf received a Master of Science in Education.
  • Kayla Spencer of Shoemakersville received a Master of Science in Education.
  • Charles Stricker of Reading received a Doctor of Education in Educational Technology.
  • Joshua Werstler of Fleetwood received a Master of Science in Education.

Kutztown University Awards fall 2018 Career Exploration Certificates

Kutztown University has issued Career Exploration Certificates to 41 students for the 2018 fall semester.

The Career Exploration Certificate is open to all freshmen and sophomore students. Students gain a greater understanding of themselves and the career development process. They will be better prepared to choose/confirm a major, research careers, gain related experience through informational interviewing and job shadowing experiences, and plan for a successful internship/professional job or graduate school search.

  • Brandon Heere of Reading
  • Idalmi Rivera of Reading

Dean’s List Student-Athletes Recognized at Wednesday Night’s Basketball Game

2/8/2019 | Baseball

Kutztown University’s dean’s list student-athletes from the past year were formally recognized at halftime of the KU women’s basketball game Wednesday night, Feb. 6.

This past fall, KU announced 126 student-athletes that earned dean’s list last semester. To be eligible for
dean’s list , an undergraduate student must be registered for at least 12 credits and have a minimum grade point average of 3.60.

Full a full listing of dean’s list student-athletes in 2018, check out the press releases below:

Spring 2018:

Fall 2018:

Interim chancellor of State System of Higher Education to visit Kutztown University Oct. 11

Dr. Karen M. Whitney, interim chancellor, Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, will visit Kutztown University Wednesday, Oct. 11. She will meet with members of the local media from 2:30 – 3 p.m. in the concourse of Old Main.

During her visit, Whitney will meet with students, faculty leaders, administrators, legislators and members of the local media.

Whitney was named interim chancellor in August after Chancellor Frank T. Brogan announced his retirement. She took office in September.

Prior to her appointment, she was the 16th president of Clarion University since 2010.

CORRECTION: Kutztown University wind ensemble to present “All the President’s Men”

Dr. Mike Golemo, director of bands and professor of music, Iowa State University.

(Correction to date of performance): The Kutztown University Wind Ensemble will present their annual fall concert Sunday, Oct. 8, at 3 p.m. in Schaeffer Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. This year’s concert, All the President’s Men, will feature music written for U.S. presidents, about presidents, or by composers who share the same last name as U.S. presidents.

Kutztown University will welcome Dr. Mike Golemo, director of bands and professor of music at Iowa State University (ISU), as guest director. Golemo conducts the ISU Wind Ensemble, the top concert band at Iowa State.

A native of Chicago, he received his bachelor and master’s degrees from Northwestern University where he studied conducting with John P. Paynter and saxophone with Frederick Hemke. He completed his doctorate in wind conducting at Michigan State University under Kenneth Bloomquist and John Whitwell. Golemo previously served as assistant director of bands at The University of Akron (Ohio), and prior to that as Director of Bands at Albion College (Mich.).

Sunday’s concert program includes “Hail to the Chief,” “Presidential Polonaise” by John Philip Sousa, “Fiesta Del Pacifico” by Roger Nixon, “God of Our Fathers” by both Claude Smith and Thomas Knox and Men of Ohio March by Henry Fillmore.

The Kutztown University Wind Ensemble is under the direction of Professor Dan Neuenschwander.

REMINDER: Kutztown Church to celebrate life of Professor Henry W. Sharadin

Sharadin served on the faculty of Keystone State Normal School for more than 30 years

St. Paul’s United Church of Christ will celebrate dedication Sunday on Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. The church will dedicate improvements made over the past few years and gifts made by members of the congregation. St. Paul’s is located at 47 South Whiteoak St., Kutztown. Speaking at the event will be Jerry Silberman, KU vice president for Administration and Finance. An open house will immediately follow the dedication.

Among those items being dedicated is a newly restored mural created more than 60 years ago by the late Henry W. Sharadin. The nine-foot-by-14-foot mural was originally installed in the church’s former Sunday school building which has since been demolished. The mural was broken into eight pieces in order to remove it from the building. It has been restored by local artist Johnathan Bond, Kempton, and installed in the church’s new Sharadin Lounge.

Born in 1872, Sharadin was an 1891 graduate of Keystone State Normal School. After Keyston, he received degrees in art from both the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Arts, Philadelphia, and the Metropolitan Art School, New York City.

After several years of operating a gallery in Reading, Sharadin came back to Keystone in 1907 and served on the faculty for more than 30 years, retiring in 1939 from what was then Kutztown State Teachers College. He taught art for the Allentown School District from 1916 to 1919, his only departure from KSNS during his teaching career.

In 1924, Keystone State Normal School was granted authority to institute a three-year course designed to prepare and certify art supervisors. Sharadin became the first chair of what is now the Department of Art Education and Crafts.

Sharadin died in April 1966 at the age of 93. The Sharadin Arts Building on the campus of Kutztown University is named in his honor.

For more information contact John Keiser, consistory president, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, at 610-683-3130.

Briana Zdradzinski named Kutztown University Presidential Ambassador

Briana Zdradzinski of Reading has been named a Presidential Ambassador at Kutztown University.

Founded in 1997, the Presidential Ambassadors is a student organization that works directly with the President’s Office and the Kutztown University Foundation and Alumni Relations.

The mission of the group is to support events that connect current students with alumni, faculty, staff and university friends; to act as ambassadors of the university; and to create new traditions which enhance KU Pride.