Corporate communications major Jasmine Tate '13 is the latest recipient of the Rising Star Award, given to a graduating senior who demonstrates academic success, individuality, determination, passion and potential. Tate has a 3.8 GPA and has been on the Dean's List every semester. She is a point guard on the Colonials basketball team, and despite concussion symptoms last year and a knee injury this year keeping her off the court, she's been the team's biggest fan, cheering from the bench at every practice and game.
A self-taught guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, Tate sang two original songs at the President's Council dinner at Heinz Field in December. She plans to pursue a career in programming or creative development in media, and is the host of an upcoming online talk show, "The Outcry," on the Christian streaming video website RevTV.com.
WEB VIDEO EXCLUSIVE
- RMU Rising Star Jasmine Tate '12
Jasmine Tate accepts the 2012 Rising Star Award from Robert Morris University and sings two original songs.
More than 200 students volunteered in Celebrate Coraopolis, a December festival hosted by the Coraopolis Community Development Foundation. Events included an elf training academy, a Christmas obstacle course, and a wreath auction, while music throughout the day was provided by the Colonial Glee singers and the band ensemble. All proceeds benefitted the foundation, which focuses on emergency relief, community resourcing, and community development.
The Board of Trustees approved a new five-year contract for university President Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D., who has overseen a historic transformation of RMU’s Moon Township campus since he was named president in 2005. This latest agreement between Dell’Omo and the board runs through May 31, 2017.
It comes on the heels of the university's completing its $40 million capital campaign, the largest in RMU’s 91- year history and a symbol of how the university has evolved under Dell’Omo’s leadership. The campaign paid for two new academic buildings, contributed to a 63 percent climb in the value of RMU’s endowment, and added 30 endowed scholarships and a new endowed research center. Perhaps nothing epitomizes the changing character of the RMU campus than an almost 60 percent increase in the number of students living at the Moon campus during Dell'Omo's tenure. The transformation to a residential campus reflects new and renovated campus housing, but also the increased emphasis on student engagement and campus life that is at the heart of Dell’Omo’s legacy and is encapsulated in the Student Engagement Program, which you can read more about here.
Dell’Omo also has sought to bolster RMU’s academic reputation, and during his tenure the university has strengthened its honors program, hired talented faculty, and placed an increasing emphasis on international education.
John Beehler, Ph.D., has been named the new dean of the School of Business. Beehler comes from the University of North Texas at Dallas, where he was most recently vice president for research, economic development and public engagement; he is also former dean of business schools at Northern Kentucky University and Wichita State University. A certified public accountant, Beehler earned a bachelor’s degree from Penn State and an M.B.A. and Ph.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington.
Beehler takes over from interim dean Patrick Litzinger, Ph.D., professor of economics and head of the department of economics and legal studies. The previous dean was Derya Jacobs, Ph.D., now RMU vice provost for research and graduate study.
The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants has awarded scholarships to five RMU students: Stephanie Vanscavish, Brandon Grannas, Mark Waugh, Rachel Elder, and Keegan Beemsterboer. Assistant professor of accounting Vickie Fratto, Ph.D., helped the students in their applications. Senior Michael W. Wenger was named an Outstanding College Senior by the organization.
Two of the "best paper" awards given at the International Association For Computer Information Systems annual conference in Myrtle Beach went to RMU faculty. Jamie Pinchot, D.Sc. and Karen Paullet, D.Sc., were honored for “What’s In Your Profile? Mapping Facebook Profile Data to Personal Security Questions"; while Jeanne Baugh, Ed.D., and Paul Kovacs, Ph.D., received recognition for “Large Programming Projects for the Beginning Programmer." Fred Kohun, Ph.D., spoke on the conference's keynote panel. Of the 139 papers accepted at this conference — all of which will be published in Issues in Information Systems — 24 had RMU affiliations, representing 31 different authors.
A mural painted at the One Young World summit was given to the university in recognition of its participation in the event, which drew 1,300 delegates from 182 countries to Pittsburgh in October. Local artist Christina Todd painted the mural — a large panel featuring the word "love" in 22 languages — during a One Young World session hosted by the MLK Project. The organization involves Pittsburgh-area youths in community beautification projects, and it unveiled a 3-story mural Downtown, facing the Boulevard of the Allies, at the same session where Todd painted the RMU mural.
Vice provost Derya Jacobs, Ph.D., who hosted a One Young World dinner in her home and who oversees RMU's international programs, accepted the mural with President Dell'Omo in December. Editor Mark Houser took part in the planning of the One Young World summit and arranged for RMU to participate in the creation of the mural. Jacobs said she will recommend displaying the art in a prominent campus location.
Five D.N.P. students at RMU have received Jonas Salk Fellowships from The Jewish Healthcare Foundation and Health Careers Futures: Kristen Graziano, Emily Starn, Allison Pavlov, Jesse Hamitz-Shenk, and Gwen Harper. These prestigious fellowships are awarded based on the applicants' leadership, clinical expertise, and scholarship potential.
Assistant professor of education Vicki Donne, D.Ed., and students Tyler Lanciotti, Amy Burak, Jennifer Kuglar, and Ciara Slaiman-Cutone gave a presentation at the Pennsylvania Council for Exceptional Children Conference on the classroom use of apps for the iPad and other devices to aid students with disabilities.
Denise Ramponi, D.N.P., assistant professor of nursing, spoke on suturing, minor office procedures, and chest xray interpretation at the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners conference in State College. She also spoke at the state-certified emergency nursing review course and at the UPMC St. Margaret's certified emergency nursing course in Aspinwall.
Seven media arts students, along with associate professor Hyla Willis, M.F.A., will have photos of their work published in the book Keep Delete, by Andrea Wilkinson, an American designer and lecturer based in Belgium. The book is part of a project in which designers created a permanent piece from a text message. Featured students are Kurt Novack, Latiyfa Whitehead, Alena Harrold, Ryan Kotar, Tyler Donovan, Casey Stephens, and Anastasia Lanz.
The photo above is by Stephens, a media arts major. "This text was sent to the girl of my dreams," Stephens explained. "We both have a lot of love for each other, but it just always feels like I am in pursuit of an unobtainable woman."
Five doctoral candidates presented research at the Fourth Annual Laurel Highlands Conference on Communications, at a panel on "The Use, Impact, and Implications of Technology in Diverse Contexts" chaired by university professor Ann Jabro, Ph.D. Brian Stevens spoke on clinical research, Jennifer Harlan on business process management, David Scibelli on business policy on personal devices, Michael Curran on social media, and Kevin Slonka on virtualization in the classroom. Assistant professor Sun-A Park, Ph.D., and lecturer Yvonne Bland also presented at the conference, along with their students.
Darlene Motley, Ph.D., associate dean of the School of Business, has been named to the board of directors of WQED Multimedia.
Fran Caplan, Ed.D., dean of the university library, has retired from RMU after 34 years at the university. She started in 1978 as the Pittsburgh Center librarian, then came to the Moon campus in 1986. Caplan earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees at the University of Pittsburgh. Her dissertation in administrative and policy studies in 2003 included a definitive history of Robert Morris University that has been an invaluable resource for university staff.