Summer 2021 News Roundup

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Cheers for Chemists

More than half of Gettysburg College students conduct research before they graduate. Paige Ashey ’21 and Jordyn Markle ’22 were recognized with prestigious chemistry merit awards from the American Chemical Society for their 2019 Cross-Interdisciplinary Science Institute (X-SIG) research projects. With the support of the College’s chemistry department, these two students made impressive contributions to scientific knowledge as undergraduate students, an accomplishment worth celebrating.

Read about the students’ prestigious awards from the American Chemical Society.

Paige Ashey presenting a poster
Paige Ashey ’21
Jordyn Markle presenting a poster
Jordyn Markle ’22

Gettysburgian as President

Kathryn “Kate” Morris ’92 was named the 19th president of St. Lawrence University. Proudly honing the skills she cultivated at Gettysburg College, Morris dedicated her life to higher education, working as a professor and chair of the department of psychology, as well as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Butler University. She has also served on Gettysburg College’s Board of Trustees since 2015.

“Throughout the search process, Dr. Morris demonstrated a clear and compelling love for a liberal arts education,” said St. Lawrence Trustee Marion Roach Smith, chair of the presidential search committee. “The committee was captivated by her pragmatic approach to problem-solving, as well as her warmth and down-to-earth connection with the constituencies most important to St. Lawrence—our faculty, students, staff, alumni, parents, and trustees.”

Milestone Anniversaries

This year, the Majestic Theater celebrated its 95th birthday in an incredible way. A $100,000 matching grant from the J. William Warehime Foundation of Hanover, Pennsylvania, inspired Majestic fans to donate and pledge an additional $218,615, allowing the theater to establish an endowment fund for the continuous upgrade of its theatrical equipment. The theater has animated downtown Gettysburg as a cultural treasure, with high quality productions of drama, comedy, dance, music, and film. This year also marked the 40-year anniversary of Musselman Library, which has provided a beautiful space on campus for students to engage in quiet study, research, and collaborative work.

Read about the Majestic Theater’s crowdfunding campaign for its 95th birthday.

Musselman Library in the Fall
Photograph of Musselman Library courtesy of Peter Francis ’21
Front signage of the Majestic Theater on Founder's Day

Sparking Conversation

Suzanne (Rupp) DeMallie ’89 published Can You Hear Me Now? to raise honest awareness of the problematic issues and practices in public education, such as incidents of violence and the fact that almost two-thirds of public school eighth graders aren’t proficient in reading or math. DeMallie’s book sparks a conversation for parents and educators aimed at improving these issues and making a difference, starting with individual districts.

Journal Editor

Africana Studies and History Prof. Abou B. Bamba recently joined the Board of Editors of The American Historical Review, the leading journal in the field of history. In this role, Bamba will review innovative research and make suggestions about manuscripts, while also helping the journal’s board publish more diverse perspectives.

“My hope in doing this is to open a space where underrepresented scholars can engage and be engaged in the production of historical knowledge as it appears in the pages of the AHR,” said Bamba.

Read about Prof. Bamba joining the American Historical Review Board of Editors.

Professor Abou Bamba sitting in his office

Music and Meaning

Sunderman Conservatory of Music Prof. Brent Talbot’s book, Education, Music, and the Lives of Undergraduates: Collegiate A Cappella and the Pursuit of Happiness, co-authored with Roger Mantie of the University of Toronto, shares the formative impact of recreational music-making on college students. The book features insight from our own a cappella groups at Gettysburg College and shares how a cappella contributes to our understanding of issues such as gender, sexuality, diversity, and class, and what it means to be a musician.

Read about Prof. Talbot’s new book on collegiate a capella.

Poetic Prose

Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball by Jen Fisher Bryant ’82 won the 2021 National Council of Teachers of English’s Orbis Pictus Award for Nonfiction for Children. Bryant’s book focuses on one of the first professional African-American basketball players, Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor, who gained national attention from the press, public, and NBA after protesting against the racism he experienced while traveling for away games. Bryant, who has also served on Gettysburg College’s Board of Trustees since 2017, poetically captures Baylor’s influence as a stellar athlete and changemaker, bringing to light the story of this inspirational individual who fought for what is right.

Sacred Gift

Man carrying a green Torah scroll with a mask on

In October 2020, leaders of the Beth Sholom congregation presented a sacred Torah scroll to Gettysburg College’s former chaplain and associate dean of religious and spiritual life Rev. Dr. Kristin Largen, who then transported it to Gettysburg. On behalf of Gettysburg College and our Hillel community, Largen said she was “honored and humbled to receive this Torah.” Once on campus, the Torah was received by David Bass, former director of the College’s Hillel chapter, and placed in the campus Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, where it is displayed as a meaningful donation for current and future Jewish students at the College.

Read about the College receiving the sacred Torah.

New Global Major

Gettysburg students are passionate about inspiring change in the world and striving to become more thoughtful global citizens. The new international and global studies (IGS) major, which accepted its first cohort of applicants in October 2020, challenges students to develop a global perspective while focusing on topics such as international relations, conflict studies, and global business. Students choose between two tracks: international affairs or global studies. Regardless of their chosen path, students develop a cultural competency that will position them as informed and engaged citizens after graduation.

Read about the launch of the new international and global studies major.

Brynn Griffith standing on a cliff side in front of a city coast line

Rightful Recognition

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is a distinguished location brimming with history, yet not everyone’s history is equally shared. Andrew Dalton ’19, director of the Adams County Historical Society, is determined to change this disparity. Using his education in history and political science, along with the help of Gavin Foster, Gettysburg’s associate vice president for information technology, Haider Tariq ’21, and Begench Atayev ’19, Dalton compiled a database documenting the lives of the hundreds of Black individuals buried at Lincoln Cemetery in the 19th and early 20th centuries. This database includes 30 members of the U.S. Colored Troops who were denied burial in the Gettysburg Soldiers’ National Cemetery due to segregation.

Dalton consulted with the members of the local Black community to ensure that the information would be valuable to local descendants. The digital database is now available for public viewing, finally giving rightful recognition to the Black community of Gettysburg.

Read about Dalton’s efforts to shine a light on black Americans buried at Lincoln Cemetery.

Great Work in Guatamala

Carlo Testa ’06 has remained loyal to the three words Do Great Work since his time as a Gettysburg College student. As the director of educational outreach for K’uhul Balam, a nonprofit organization committed to improving the health and quality of life in rural Guatemala, Testa volunteers his time in a way that aligns with his lifelong passion for education. He works to give Guatemalan children better access to and materials for basic education, continuing to make an impactful and rewarding difference to others.

Read about Testa’s passion for his work in Guatemala.

Caring Community

Hamasa Ebadi ’16, along with a colleague at UCLA, started the nonprofit 3.50CARES, which provides Los Angeles’ homeless population and families in need with free care packages. Each package costs only $3.50 and has helped countless individuals, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gettysburg College Prof. Alex Trillo was among many individuals on campus offering support toward Ebadi’s project.

“I still turn to many of my Gettysburg professors for guidance in both my personal and professional life,” said Ebadi. “Not all colleges can boast this type of student-professional relationship.”

Read about how Ebadi pursued her dreams from Afghanistan to Gettysburg.

Woman handing a homeless man a bag of food

Distinguished Professor

Alex Trillo in the wilderness

Biology and Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies Prof. Alex Trillo was honored with the 2021 Luther W. and Bernice L. Thompson Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest honor Gettysburg College’s faculty can bestow upon a colleague. At Gettysburg, Trillo teaches courses on animal behavior and entomology, as well as a tropical terrestrial biology course where she leads students through the Peruvian Amazon, using the forest as a living classroom. She is also actively engaged in efforts that support diversity, equity, and inclusion within the field of biology.

“I am very grateful for this award because it is a recognition that comes directly from my colleagues,” Trillo said. “Faculty at Gettysburg College not only excel at teaching, but they also hold teaching to very high standards, so being recognized for my teaching at this institution is a real honor. This award helps me see that I am on the right track and gives me the energy to continue to find ways to better engage and support students.”

Read about the three Gettysburg College professors who were honored with 2021 teaching and mentorship awards.

Progress in Peace and Justice

In November 2020, Prof. Hakim Mohandas Amani Williams was nominated to serve as the inaugural holder of the Daria L. and Eric J. Wallach Professorship of Peace and Justice Studies. The generous $1.5 million endowment from Daria Lo Presti Wallach ’76 will be invested in our student leaders, offering them programming, training, and workshops in conflict resolution, restorative justice, mediation, and organizing. Some of Williams’ goals for the College’s peace and justice studies program include uplifting student voices and funding innovative student research.

Then, in April, Williams was also awarded the U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program Award, which he will use to conduct research focused on raising the voices of African youth in Ghana, Brazil, Jamaica, and Georgia in the United States.

Read how a $1.5 million gift paved the path for a new peace and justice studies professorship.

Inspiring Inclusivity

Over the past two years, Hera Molina ’22 has worked to develop Hera’s Closet, a safe space and resource on campus for transgender and nonbinary Gettysburgians. The closet accepts donations of new or lightly worn clothes, shoes, and accessories, as well as monetary donations for additional resources to support transitioning students. Molina’s ambition and positive effect on the campus community contributes to the institution’s broader inclusivity efforts of making Gettysburg College a home for all.

Read about the founding of Hera’s Closet to support transitioning Gettysburg students.

Lincoln Prize

David S. Reynolds was awarded the 2021 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize for his biographical book, Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times. Presented by Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the award includes a $50,000 prize and a bronze replica of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ life-size statue, “Lincoln the Man.” Reynolds joined President Bob Iuliano on episode 20 of the College’s podcast, Conversations Beneath the Cupola, to discuss the character of President Lincoln and what we can learn from the legacy that he has left behind.

Read about the 2021 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize recipient.

Warm Welcome

On July 1, Gettysburg College welcomed J. Carey Thompson, the newly appointed vice president for Enrollment and Educational Services, into the campus community. With 38 years of experience in college admissions, enrollment, communications, career services, and student financial aid, he previously served as vice president for enrollment and communications and dean of admission at Rhodes College, with additional stints at Centre College and Furman University. Thompson is recognized broadly for his transformative initiatives at three liberal arts colleges, his deep commitment to diversity and accessibility, and his ability to successfully steer institutional enrollment strategies in the face of dramatic change. Thompson follows in the footsteps of Barbara Fritze, who retired this summer after more than 20 years in the position, overseeing admissions, athletics, financial aid, institutional analysis, and communications and marketing.

On July 26, Anne Ehrlich joined Gettysburg College as its vice president of College Life and dean of students. Ehrlich comes to Gettysburg with more than 20 years of experience—from her first positions in residence life to her various administrative roles at Whittier College and Woodbury University, and most recently, as vice president for student development at Knox College. Her work has largely been in service to preparing students to be the thinkers, innovators, problem-solvers, and leaders that our increasingly complex world requires. Among her noteworthy accomplishments during her tenure are expanding services to support students’ mental and physical health and developing the HOPE (House of Peace and Equity) Center. In her new role, Ehrlich will develop a comprehensive vision for College Life that builds on Gettysburg’s new strategic plan to shape a future-oriented and student-centered program that collectively advances the College’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

Learn more about Thompson in his role as vice president for Enrollment and Educational Services, and about Ehrlich as vice president of College Life.

Activists for Change

In March, a group of three Gettysburg College students, Shanzae Sarwar ’21, Olivia Handelman ’22, and Emma Canfora ’23, were invited to the Oxford Consortium for Human Rights, a weeklong workshop where they presented on their personal work promoting religious diversity on our campus. They worked diligently to encourage building beyond tolerance for other religions and instead foster a sense of respect and potential friendships. Prof. Stephen Stern brought the students together for the Consortium after witnessing each of their deep commitments to enacting change within our own community.

Read how they promoted inclusion at the Oxford Consortium for Human Rights.

Board of Trustees Welcomes Five

Angela Q. Crispi received her Bachelor of Arts from Boston College and her MBA from Harvard Business School, where she currently serves as the executive dean of administration. She also was a member of the President’s Advisory Circle.

Amanda Corroon Dolan ’86 studied health and physical education at Gettysburg and went on to earn her Master of Science in Physical Education Leadership & Administration from McDaniel College. At Gettysburg, she played lacrosse and field hockey, and she was inducted into the Hall of Athletic Honor in 2002. She is currently a sales associate with SwaxLax and has been a member of the Orange & Blue Advisory Council since 2017.

William C. Heyman ’74, P’13 is president, CEO, and executive recruiter at Heyman Associates, Inc. He was inducted into PRWeek’s Hall of Fame in 2017, and, earlier this year, was awarded the Larry Foster Award for Integrity in Public Communication by Penn State’s Arthur W. Page Center. He is a Visionary Gettysburgian and the Entrepreneurial Fellowship Advisory Committee chairman, and was also a member of the President’s Advisory Circle.

Robert H. Schwartz ’92 is the chief marketing officer at Carat USA. He majored in English at Gettysburg and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta and the Senior Class Cabinet. He has remained closely connected to Gettysburg, having previously served on the Alumni Council, Alumni Executive Board, and several Reunion committees. He was also a member of the President’s Advisory Circle.

Joseph R. Shalleck P’20 is the senior managing director of Galt and Company. He holds a BS in industrial engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is also actively involved on connectGettysburg.

New Endowed Faculty Prize

In April, The Bruce S. Gordon ’68 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Teaching Excellence Prize was established in honor of Trustee Emeritus Bruce Gordon ’68, a civil rights activist who served as president and CEO of the NAACP.

The prize, which will be awarded for the first time in Fall 2021, was funded by a diverse group of alumni, hailing from classes of the 1960s through the 1990s, who hope to cultivate the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus through this distinctive award. Each recipient will be a faculty member who stands out as having advanced a campus climate that is supportive of differences in the classroom and beyond.

Learn more about Gordon in the Summer 2021 edition of Connections.

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