Ivy Leaf - Fall 2002

Thoughts from the Dean

Dear Alumni and Friends,


I hope that your first thought as you opened this issue was "something's different!" The Ivy Leaf is growing along with everything else at Penn State Altoona. This is the inaugural issue of our expanded 32-page, four-color format. Shari Routch, Director of University Relations, has taken on an additional responsibility as the new editor-in-chief of the Ivy Leaf. We hope that each issue will bring you not only interesting news about Penn State Altoona, but also a sense of being here with us as we continue to create this wonderful College.

Speaking of communicating with you, we have a brand new degree program in Communications. When Professor Mary Lou Nemanic joined the faculty one year ago, we asked her to create a curriculum that would not only train students in all the fundamentals, from journalism and writing to television and radio production, but would also prepare these students for a world that is becoming all digital. What may be the most exciting, comprehensive, state-of-the-art degree program in communications anywhere came to life this year at Penn State Altoona. Our story begins in "Distinctively Digital."

We will try in each issue to introduce you to some of the people of Penn State Altoona, persons who give our College its unique appeal and make it very special. Who better than Tom and Marlene Liszka to begin this feature. Tom is an associate professor of English and Marlene is an instructor in Theater. But the real story of Tom and Marlene centers on their love of students, our community, and the stage. I know you will enjoy meeting Tom and Marlene in "Living Life through the Arts" and learning how their magical touch is changing not only our College, but Altoona itself.

The alumni of Penn State Altoona, in the grand tradition of Penn State graduates, continue to make a difference in the world. In our Alumni Society Spotlight you will meet three of our newest Alumni Society members: Amy Cherry, a 2001 graduate and award-winning sports writer; Debbie Moore, a caring and energetic social services counselor; and Pat Labriola, a committed educator and devoted Penn State fan.

As we entered this fall semester, our enrollment approached 3900 students. Our campus has grown to nearly 160 acres with the acquisition of 27 acres of property immediately north of campus. Along with Communications, we have also added baccalaureate degrees in Mathematics (fall 2002) and Elementary Education (fall 2003), giving us thirteen four-year degrees. Degree programs in other areas are under active development. We became full members of the NCAA this year, and proudly compete in 14 varsity sports in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. The Sheetz Family Health Center will open early next year, giving our students expanded health care. And there is so much more on the horizon.

I hope you enjoy our brand new Ivy Leaf and feel the excitement that is so much a part of your College.

William G. Cale, Jr., CEO and Dean