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The Minuteman

Friday, January 18, 2013


-- The entire RMU community is urged to take steps to prevent the spread of the flu, as Pennsylvania is one of 47 states in the U.S. to have experienced a particulary nasty flu outbreak in advance of the typical flu season. Allegheny County has the highest number of reported cases and deaths in Pennsylvania. It's not too late to get a flu vaccine, and please be mindful of basic hygiene. Wash your hands often, and avail yourself of the hand sanitizer dispensers located throughout campus. Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing -- preferably with a tissue or with the crook of your elbow, not your hand -- and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Finally, stay at home if you are sick. Symptoms of the flu include fever of 101 degrees or more, cough lasting more than two weeks, stiff neck, sore throat, and vomiting and diarrhea.

-- Faculty and staff are reminded about the resources available to students through Dr. Vered Birmaher's presentation, "Mental Health Concerns on Higher Education." Birmaher, a psychiatrist who provides counseling and treatment services at RMU, spoke during faculty convocation. She outlined facts including mental illness among college students and its causes, common diagnosis, treatment options, role of faculty, referral process and how to approach a student. You can watch her presentation or download the PowerPoint .

-- President Dell'Omo announced the annual Faculty Achievement Awards during convocation. This year's winners are:

Award for Distinguished Scholarship: Sylvia Pamboukian, associate professor of English. Pamboukian is recognized principally for the research and writing that led to the publication of her scholarly work, Doctoring the Novel: Medicine and Quackery from Shelley to Doyle

Award for Distinguished Teaching: Vicki Fratto, assistant professor of accounting. Continuing a record of superb classroom teaching and student mentoring over the years, Fratto this past year guided several RMU students through the PICPA Scholarship program.

Award for Distinguished Service: Ann Jabro, university professor of communication. Jabro chaired the RMU self-study for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the linchpin in the university's successful re-accreditation by Middle States.

-- During the weekend of Jan. 25-27, the American Cancer Society's Coaches vs. Cancer initiative is conducting its national Suits & Sneakers event. This event encourages basketball coaches across the country to wear sneakers with their suits during that weekend's games to raise awareness and funds in the fight against cancer. At RMU, Coach Andy Toole and Coach Sal Buscaglia and their staffs will be participating by wearing sneakers during their home games on Saturday, Jan. 26 against Mount St. Mary's. The American Cancer Society will have representatives at both games to provide information regarding Coaches vs. Cancer and to take donations. The effort doesn't end on the basketball court, as RMU faculty and staff will be encouraged to participate by donating $5 to ACS in order to join in the fun and wear their own sneakers to work on Monday, Jan. 28.  Please consider joining our coaches and ACS by making a contribution and having a little fun with your work wardrobe in the process.

-- Associate Professor of Communications Barbara Burgess-Lefebvre  and 18 theatre students attended the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, Region II in Towson University from Jan 12-16. Five student actors and their partners competed in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition and student director Tanner Sebastian participated in the Student Directing Institute. Student director and senior communications/theater major Zachary Kresak took first place in the "Design Bash" competition, leading a team of designers in a presentation of his directing concepts for Aristophanes' The Birds. Burgess-Lefebvre served as a respondant for the Irene Ryan competition and was recognized for being a faculty respondant to productions at other colleges and universities in the region throughout the last year.

-- Congratulations  to clarinetist Brittany Palac, a third-year participant in the RMU Bands for being accepted to the College Band Director's National Association 2013 Small College Intercollegiate Band. In March, Palac will join approximately 85 college musicians from around the country and Canada at the University of North Carolina Greensboro in rehearsal and performance at the Association's biennial National Conference. Palac is  junior mechanical engineering major with a secondary major in manufacturing engineering. She is a  member of Kappa Kappa Psi, honorary band fraternity. Past participants from RMU in this prestigious national band are 2009, Andrew Schiren, euphonium; 2011, Brian Burns, clarinet. 


-- Michael DiLauro, director of the Academic Media Center, wrote, filmed, and produced La Mia Stradaa feature-length documentary being shown at Heinz History Center and and on campus in the Massey Theater. 

The film offers a personal perspective on ethnicity and culture as it links ancient and contemporary Italian culture with its Italian-American counterpart. Over a period of years, DiLauro has conducted dozens of interviews, explored historical sites, sifted through archaeological artifacts, dug through family photographs, and immersed himself in the music, poetry, and oral histories of the Abruzzo, Molise and Puglia regions. DiLauro, associate professor of media arts, has earned five Emmy Awards, a Blue Ribbon at the American Film Festival, and the Gabriel Award for outstanding television programming.

You can see the film Sunday, Jan. 27, at 2:30 pm at Heinz History Center or Thursday, Jan. 27 31, at 5:30 pm at Massey Auditorium. Questions can be directed to Rosanne Robinson at or x6820


-- On Wednesday, Feb. 13, the Multicultural Student Services will host the Black History Month Luncheon as they welcome guest speaker Sabrina Saunders from the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. Through her presentation titled "Making Great Contributions to the Region Through Youth," Saunders inspires others to make a difference in the Pittsburgh region by working with the youth in the community. The luncheon is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and cost $5 for faculty and staff. RSVP in the Office of Student Life by Wednesday, Feb. 6. 

Friday, Jan. 18
Women's Hockey vs. Quinnipiac (7:05 pm/Island Sports Center-84 Lumber Arena/free)

Sign up in the arena for a chance to win $500 in the Clearview Federal Credit Union Empty Net Challenge Family Night (purchase two adult tickets at regular price, up to three children get in free and get free popcorn!)

Saturday, Jan. 19
Women's Hockey vs. Quinnipiac (2:05 pm/Island Sports Center-84 Lumber Arena/free)

Sign up in the arena for a chance to win $500 in the Clearview Federal Credit Union Empty Net Challenge

Women's Basketball vs. Quinnipiac (4 pm/Sewall Center/free)
Men's Basketball vs. Quinnipiac (7 pm/Sewall Center/free)

Monday, Jan. 21
Women's Basketball vs. Sacred Heart (2 pm/Sewall Center/free)

Special Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday tipoff time; "RMUnity Day" Presented by the Robert Morris Office of Multicultural Student Services (gift cards and other giveaways; first 100 students receive a free t-shirt commemorating the event); all fans receive a free RMU Colonials mouse pad thanks to the Department of Athletics.

HOOPS PROMOS ALL FOUR GAMES...Sign up in the arena for a chance to win $500 in the Clearview Federal Credit Union Hoop Shoot Challenge! Also, RMU students, sign up in the arena for the Free Textbook Half Court Shot! Moon Parks and Recreation Youth Basketball Night both games on Jan. 19!

VOTE FOR HOBEY!...Three Colonial seniors are on the fan ballot for college hockey's top individual honor -- the 2013 Hobey Baker Memorial Award -- which will be given out right here in Pittsburgh on Friday, April 12 during Frozen Four week festivities. They are forward Adam Brace, goaltender Eric Levine and forward Zach Hervato. Phase I fan voting is going on right now until March 10. Visit to vote.

VOTE FOR ARTIE!...RMU junior forward Artemis Spanou is on the FIBA ballot for Europe's 2012 Young Women's Basketball Player of the Year. Cast your vote today until Jan. 31 at  to help her candidacy!

Tickets to RMU basketball are free for students, faculty, and staff. For other ticket prices, go to