Infinite Opportunities: Episode 11

Infinite Opportunities helps you learn more about the wide range of enriching opportunities at Pennsylvania’s 14 State System universities. This week we take a look at some of the innovative programs serving students at universities across the state system, but first we’ll hear from Lock Haven university’s president Michael Fiorentino. Hello and welcome, I’m Frank Brogan the chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. 14 incredible universities and as we’re fond of saying, that beg infinite opportunities for our students. Over a hundred and ten thousand students fill our classrooms, our laboratories on our campuses and truly go on following graduation to continue to make high quality difference in the lives of all of us who live in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and people from around the country and around the world A marvelous faculty and administration and a universitiy that for so many years tucked in a gorgeous location of Pennsylvania upon the Western Branch of the Susquehanna River has provided an educational opportunity that’s unparalleled in the Commonwealth. We’re also very pleased today to introduce you to the president of that institution Dr Michael Fiorentino. Dr. Fiorentino actually holds two degrees from universities in Massachusetts and you’ll get a little bitter flavor of that once he starts to speak and holds onto a little bit of that Northeastern language issues. So we’re delighted to have you with us Mike, and again first of all thank you for your leadership at Lock Haven University and if you could tell us a little bit more about Lock Haven First, it’s a pleasure to be here with the Chancellor. Lock Haven University is located in the north central region of the Commonwealth on the Susquehanna River. It’s in a very rural section of the Commonwealth. It’s a very tight-knit community one where the university is a very important partner in the lifeblood of the community. We have approximately 5,000 students with programs that range the Liberal Arts and Sciences into a variety of professional areas with an emphasis on health care professions. We also have a branch campus in Clearfield. That campus serves again a rural area of the Commonwealth and an underserved area in terms of higher education. We’re very proud of all of your academic programs at Lock Haven but I wanted to touch, if you can a little bit about the health care issues that you’re working on at Lock Haven. I’m one of those who believe that the future of healthcare is an industry is a giant opportunity for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Our job is to make sure that we’re turning out for that industry men and women who are ready to take their rightful place in it You’ve got some exciting programs in the world health care at Lock Haven, want to touch on some of those for us? Well first, and I think the program that we have engaged the greatest resources and time is our physician assistant program which is actually the first physician assistant graduate program in the State System of Higher Education. It’s fully accredited program and the emphasis of that program like all of our health care programs serving a rural and underserved population. There are so many places within the Commonwealth where citizens can’t really find quality health care and having people in the industry like physician assistants who can provide that type of service is critical. So our emphasis there has been how do we best serve that population and looking at some of the inner-city populations which we need to find this underserved populations. In addition to the the physician assistant program we’ve created some online programs to make it easier, more convenient for citizens of the Commonwealth and citizens outside the Commonwealth if necessary to actually enroll in our programs and get the type of service in educational opportunities that they need For instance, we have a Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling which is very unique. And again, there are very few people who provide that type of service in many of the the rural areas of Pennsylvania. And we recently initiated a Master of Science in Health Science which emphasizes health care management in health care education. Well I’m also really very fond of boasting about it and I really can the body of work that’s being done by our faculty in our students off of the traditional campus. So much of what people think of takes place right there in your case on the campus of Lock Haven or at Clearfield, but the amount of work that’s done off campus is also something we’re very

proud of. You operate a program called Mountain Serve and I’d like you please to share with our viewers a little bit about that unique program. Mountain Serve as a community service organization within the University. Its primary focus is to provide opportunities for faculty, staff and students to engage with community agencies and with business and industry in providing volunteer services, but also giving our students an opportunity to be involved in real world problems as part of their educational experience. And to do that, making a combination of practice and theory in our programs really makes a significant difference in the quality of what our students experience. Mountain Serve really is the facilitator of that. We have spent in the last year over 60,000 hours of service within the community in a variety of different ways and that includes once again our faculty, students and staff Well it is really a most interesting program, but again it’s a real point of pride not only for obviously Lock Haven but also for our entire State System knowing that our students are out there practicing what we preach on our campuses and putting it to work. It will also obviously make them better as they graduate and move out into that real world we believe they’ll be a better part of it and change the quality of life for many people as a result of that program. We certainly believe that and there are two things that we emphasize within all of our academic programs That’s a high quality experience for the students in the classroom but also preparing our students to be contributing members of the society that they live in, the communities that they will eventually live in, regardless of where they they might find themselves when they leave Lock Haven. Well, along those lines you do some great work in the world of international programming. Oft times we think again not only of the traditional campus but the region maybe the state, or even the country. I know students at Lock Haven or getting some great experiences on the international front You want to talk about that a little? They are in we’re continuing to work towards expanding the opportunities that will be available to all students. And quite frankly the experiences that they have in the international realm are connected to Mountain Serve and the things that we do from a volunteer point of view. But we’ve created a variety of different opportunities for our students to travel abroad, to study abroad whether it be year long programs, semester length programs or even short-term programs during the summer or even the academic year. We have relationships with over 15 universities that can support that and our students have participated in a variety of projects in 21 different countries, including students during Spring Break traveling to various areas of the world that need additional support, Morocco, Mexico, the Dominican Republic. Two thoughts, one is on the issue of undergraduate education that is still the embodiment of our system, the vast majority of those hundred and ten thousand students are undergraduate students as we were a long time ago. [Fiorentino] A long time ago. [Brogan] That’s where their higher educational experience really takes off both in the general education question then on as they chase the major of their choice What’s making the rounds these days is a term called high impact practices, that you’re utilizing in your undergraduate curriculum in preparatory opportunity for your students in the undergraduate program Can you tell us a little bit about how you are high impact practices are making a difference in the lives of your students? Certainly what we’re trying to do is provide students from their initial days on our campus through a freshman experience program and through their general education program because our general education program was revised a year and a half ago to really emphasize the importance of global experiences as well. So our students have a year-long program that supports their growth and development and adjustment to the university. I think that’s an important aspect of our curriculum. In addition we have the size undergraduate research in all aspects of our curriculum. It’s not just in the STEM areas where you would expect to see it, but in the liberal arts and sciences, the social sciences. Students are involved with faculty and with community partners in conducting research that does have a major impact on either the community, the school district or the business or industry that they’re involved in. In addition students are engaged in a variety of service-learning projects as well as specific and important community engagement projects and that follows them throughout their four years at the university. It’s a central theme throughout our entire curriculum Well we’re very proud of all of your programs at Lock Haven. As you say you

are nestled in one of the most beautiful locations in all of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but it doesn’t stop there that’s only the beginning to the destination which is a first class and high quality educational experience for all of the students who called Lock Haven home. I get to visit all of our 14 universities on a fairly frequent basis and as I mentioned at the outset there scattered all over the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. But I know every time I come to Lock Haven I’m very impressed with the relationship that those students have with the university that they love so very much. I’m very impressed with the work of the faculty and the staff at Lock Haven and I know what a source of pride that institution is for the region and for the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. So I want to say thank you very much Dr Mike Fiorentino for being with us today, but more importantly, thank you for your continued service and leadership to Lock Haven University. You do an outstanding job we’re proud to call you one of our own and providing those infinite opportunities to our students. Thank you Thank you very much Chancellor, pleasure to be here Coming up next, explore more opportunities offered at the universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education Discover the years that will change the rest of your life Make East Stroudsburg University your new home. Come to a place that is home to different backgrounds, stories and cultures that make us all unique. Embrace the chance to be a better friend, a better leader, a better you Ignite your passions Put your imagination to work in theater, in the arts Find victory, shatter records Chase your dreams Be a Warrior Use your voice and share your visions. Create new ideas. Find professors and friends who will believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself Make the most of your ESU journey Discover who you are and how you can make a difference Discover ESU Welcome back to Infinite Opportunities Next we go to Millersville University to learn about a new app helping to keep students safe We were thrilled to be the first school in Pennsylvania, the first university be able to have LiveSafe on our campus. And we see that as incrementally being able to increase our safety for students. It’s a smartphone application can be used on tablets, Androids, iPhones. LiveSafe technology integrates a campus safety feature so our goal is for individuals to utilize this app within our campus community. We can find out information quicker and much more effective. It’s very easy to use, very convenient. Our students are used to texting and our students are always looking for easier ways to do the right thing. In the past there’s been a key component that’s been missing and I believe this app fills the gap. It’s not a replacement, 911 will always be there for those emergency calls. LiveSafe was the first app that not only could do a safety walk, but it had the text temp features that we were looking for. My parents feel comfortable knowing that I can be safe through this app With this app integrate into our campus community that allow people to send in tips whether they are anonymous or not and you can attach photos, videos and audio to it. Sometimes it’s hard to pick up a phone call police and with LiveSafe you have the ability to send a text in and you could send it anonymously I really into the Stay Safe feature because my friends keep an eye on me and know when I get home The LiveSafe app has a ton of functionality, it’s very easy to use it’s convenient, it certainly engages the campus community and safety. It’s awesome, you gotta get it Coming up next, explore more opportunities offered at the universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education One decision Endless possibilities. California University of Pennsylvania opens your mind to more than 130 programs of study, programs that matter to education, to health care, to technology, to the future of our world. California University of Pennsylvania because the world is waiting, for you Visit or apply online CalU.EDU Focus, on success. Since 1837 Cheyney University has been preparing thousands of young men and women to become successful leaders in the fields of business, arts and science, education, and professional studies. At Cheney University you’ll not only receive an affordable quality college education, but the attention you

deserve from faculty who care about you and your success Focus on success at Cheyney University Welcome back to Infinite Opportunities Next we go to Indiana University of Pennsylvania to see how future educators learn to use art integration as a teaching tool [music] Although the majority of our artist residencies take place in public schools, we decided we need to take another tact. And with IUP College of Education having such a national reputation for quality educators we thought we needed to look at how we can influence those future educators with arts integration. What the concept was behind this residency was that we would work with non art educators and get them excited about the idea what arts could do in their curriculum. In a developmentally appropriate classroom play is an acceptable way of teaching children and so it’s very important that teachers are prepared to give them the kinds of experiences that they need, including play. And that’s very important right now because it seems as though there’s such an emphasis on testing. I knew I could offer them techniques if they could easily incorporate the classroom that would boost their kids’ self-esteem, not crush it and not make it so they compare themselves with others, but consider their own art unique and worthwhile. She stressed a lot about process over product, which means you know having fun with the way that you make it rather than trying to make something that’s technically perfect or technically good. And especially cuz I’m gonna be working with students with disabilities a lot of them are gonna really have the ability to make the product might not look up to par with other students on their grade level so it’s so much more important to focus on how they feel and how they’re working on it rather than what it looks like at the end Over the course of all the art experiences, the paint intensive experiences that I gave them, I noticed that you know one by one they were becoming more relaxed with just enjoying the process and the expression I look forward going to that class just to like sit down and paint, you know, and not have to sit there and copy notes from a PowerPoint or from the board and I can imagine children feel the same way It definitely gave me a better perspective on why art is so important, especially in the early grades. It gave me so much more reasons about why and how it related to their cognitive development which is sort of a more scientific and more concrete reason why we should be doing art programs in schools There were a variety of changes that I saw my students as they learned about arts integration and using art in the classroom The students who thought it would be an OK thing I seem to by the end of the experience really buy into well this isn’t just an OK thing it’s a fabulous thing in this really works and they could see how they could apply some techniques in the classroom. And the students who were very skeptical and had no desire to participate in experience came around one of them in particular took almost the entire residency to come around but when she did it was a fabulous lightbulb experience and you could just you could see the transformation take place in her and by the end of the experience she was probably one of the strongest advocates for art integration in class. And there was the one last holdout who just was so frustrated she did not want to do the project, but when we were doing the collaborative painting and her square was the one that was left, she set aside time to do that and it came out so beautifully. Her colors were so soft and fleshy compared to all the other kids. You know I think she became inspired seeing that her own square was, had a unique beauty, beautiful quality of its own and she literally said that he was gonna go home and buy paint I said, ‘Yes! We did it!’ Coming up next, explore more opportunities offered at the universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education [music] [music] If you’re a high achieving Pennsylvania high school senior or transfer student, Mansfield University has 3 new scholarship award programs that could mean big savings

These new TEAM PA merit based awards are renewable for up to 4 years as long as you maintain your GPA The Student of Distinction Scholarship, the High Achievement Scholarship, and the 1857 Scholarship Visit us at Mansfield.edu/TEAMPA for details Ask for TEAM PA today Welcome back to Infinite Opportunities Next we go to Bloomsburg University to see how students are being trained to protect data from hacking I think people who really like computers a lot like the inner workings of them, right If you ask the question why does this work the way it does then this is kind of the major for you. If you’re always curious, if you’re always maybe working on the boundary of what’s possible and what’s maybe even legal, then you might be attracted to this as well, particularly the hacking and penetration testing kinds of areas Our graduates have been very fortunate we’ve been able to place them in some very interesting positions. So, all the major defense contractors in the country our majors have ended up at. So, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, ManTech, Mandiant FireEye, companies you may not have heard of but they’re absolutely huge and the government contracts them to do big work that it can possibly do with its current employees The graduates have been very fortunate I was surprised when we graduated our first students and they started to get to get offers kind of how high the the offers were. So there’s a pretty wide range If you work in law enforcement the salaries are a little bit lower they can be in the know $45,000 to $55,000 range, but if you’re working for a big defense contractors in a big city like DC or LA then you’re looking more in the $65,000 to $80,000 range. So this semester we have two people graduating, one’s making $75,000, one’s making $80,000 both of them are working for a company that does intrusion analysis, so if someone hacked into a company and they want to know what happened Both of them were getting profit-sharing offers of $16,000 minimum per year and one of them even got a signing bonus of $5,000. So the person who is making $80,000 plus $5,000 signing bonus + $16,000 guaranteed company equity you know return profit-sharing thing is going to make over $100,000 the first year, which is staggering to me We’re one of the few digital forensics programs in the whole country and many places are now kind of saying they do digital forensics, but if you look really closely it’s really a computer science degree with a class or two thrown in Ours has been designed from the very beginning from the ground up, from scratch to be exactly this program a Bachelor’s Degree in digital forensics. So we built brand new courses specifically for this major and really sat down with a clean sheet of paper and designed it from scratch. So we’re one of only a handful that have done that I think so that makes us a unique place to study and I think we’re on top of it, we’re on top of our game. So we’ve got great faculty members doing really interesting research, our students are getting placed in jobs at a very high rate with very high salaries, just a great place to study digital forensics Coming up next, explore more opportunities offered at the universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education [music] I really enjoy partnering with my professors on their research It allows me to explore my field and prepare for my career The impact I have on students goes beyond the classroom, mentoring, advising, and sometimes just listening The faculty definitely have an open-door policy You can stop by to talk about classwork, your career or just life When WebPageFX is looking for technical talent the first place we turn is Shippensburg University Shipp has taught me how to learn to adapt, that’s critical for success in this industry Welcome back to Infinite Opportunities Next we go to Slippery Rock University to discover how students prepare programs to take their community on a trip into the stars This facility at Slippery Rock University is a confluence of student ideas

and talents that have been expressed in the form of making planetarium shows The Slippery Rock Planetarium puts on free student run and student created shows every week with topics from science and technology, to astronomy and beyond Both my classes, the space science and astronomy class, have a service learning component So the students come here, make their own show and they actually teach elementary kids. So we get a lot of elementary and middle school kids to come in and my students teach them, show them planetarium shows, show them the night skies We have more than a dozen students behind the scenes making shows for community groups, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, churches, local groups and supporting the community We enjoy doing service learning projects because it’s a way for us to give back to the community that supports us. The program allows us to create our own content whatever you’re interested in Of course we use it for astronomy, but we also use it for music videos, light shows, anything to keep an audience entertained I first became involved with the Slippery Rock Planetarium around two years ago I started off with music production. The opportunity that I have here allows me to allows me to express myself artistically in my compositions and my work There so many technologies today that hide or block or distract us from the world around us, but we’re interested in technologies that let us see the world better than ever before I had used the star projector for a number of years, but one of the disadvantages of the star projector is that you have to service it regularly and the star bulbs are very expensive. So when this building was renovated I planned for the running of the planetarium to the students From then on the students have been transforming this planetarium into a fully digital world One of the major reasons that I joined personally was to get a look at what happens behind the scenes here, because it’s really interesting to see all the new technologies that we use to put stuff on the dome What I thought would be the most interesting part of working in the planetarium is just learning any technology. I’m an athletic training major here so it’s a very different field At the planetarium we do more than just full dome content, we work on all kinds of immersive media Virtual-reality headsets, augmented reality, even your phone can be a virtual reality device The students that have been working in the planetarium they really get a hands-on experience in programming. And so you know in the job market they’re already ready I mean they are programming music, they are programming, you know, in the areas of immersive technology When I first joined this project I it had no idea how it would benefit my life. I had never seen a planetarium show. I’ve never been to a planetarium before. But now it’s become something that I’m proud to be a part of and something that’s helped me get where I want to be in life Come back next week to learn more of the Infinite Opportunities at the State System’s 14 universities or visit us online