Denim Coffee opening shop at Dickinson College

Chambersburg-based Denim Coffee will open its fourth coffee shop – and first on a college campus – Oct. 28.

The specialty coffee roaster’s newest location is inside the Quarry space at Dickinson College. Denim Coffee’s other shops are in downtown Chambersburg, downtown Harrisburg and downtown Carlisle.

Centrally located on the Dickinson campus and remodeled by Denim Coffee, the space had been a cafe before shutting down during the pandemic. The menu will feature coffee, espresso, smoothies, locally brewed UnDone kombucha, fresh baked goods and breakfast sandwiches.

“Creating a high-end coffee experience on a college campus has been a dream of mine ever since working the coffee bar at my alma mater, Shippensburg University,” Matt Ramsay, owner and founder of Denim Coffee, said in a release.

“College students deserve a moment of beauty in their busy lives. The challenge for us at the Dickinson location is managing between-class rushes without compromising quality. The bar was designed to prioritize quality first, but speed of service has been kept a very close second priority. We’re going to find out how well we did very soon.”

Dickinson President John E. Jones III added: “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Denim Coffee to campus at the Quarry. Students, faculty and staff have been eagerly anticipating the opening of this unique coffee shop, and we are looking forward to Denim becoming a part of campus life.”

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Strawberry Square’s Chockablock Clock moving to Shippensburg

Strawberry Square in downtown Harrisburg. PHOTO/FILE

The iconic Chockablock Clock in downtown Harrisburg will soon have a new home.

Strawberry Square announced Friday that Shippensburg University will take ownership of the clock audio-kinetic ball machine that has stood in the Strawberry Square atrium for more than 30 years. When it’s dismantled in October, it will be delivered to Shippensburg instead of being crated and going into storage.

Harristown Enterprises Inc., owner of Strawberry Square, had said this summer that the clock would be removed to make room for performance and conference areas.

Designed by the late George Rhoads, the Chockablock Clock was installed in Strawberry Square in 1988 by Rock Stream Studios.

Creative Machines will be in Harrisburg from Oct. 11-14th to disassemble, catalog and package the clock for delivery to Shippensburg. There the university will refurbish, reinstall and maintain the machine in the Ceddia Student Union Building with the support of students in the Milton and Doreen Morgan School of Engineering.

Brad Jones, president and CEO of Harristown Enterprises, said in a release, “We’re excited for the Chockablock Clock to find new life in such a prominent location as Shippensburg University and look forward to seeing it revitalized there.”

“Thousands of prospective students, current students, families and friends visit the Shippensburg University campus every year,” added Shippensburg President Charles E. Patterson. “The Chockablock Clock has been an historic piece of kinetic art in Strawberry Square and southcentral Pennsylvania for generations, and we look forward to showcasing it on the Shippensburg campus for all to enjoy.”

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

E-town College gets $1.2M grant to redesign engineering education

Elizabethtown College was recently awarded a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to launch the Center for Equity and Sustainability in Engineering, in partnership with Vermont’s Greenway Institute.

The Greenway Center for Equity and Sustainability will redesign and re-center engineering education around sustainability and core equity practices that empower students from underrepresented groups, according to a release.

The money will help fund:

· An immersive “sustainability semester” in Vermont where engineering students from across the nation do engineering projects that introduce them to principles and practices of sustainability.

· A first-year of immersive, team-based, hands-on engineering education for students in the college’s engineering program.

· Project-based professional development for K-12 teachers in collaboration with E-town’s master’s in curriculum and instruction.

The grant will be used to expand the participation of historically underrepresented students in engineering, including students of color, women and rural students, Sara Atwood, dean of the college’s School of Engineering, Math and Science, said in the release. “And our innovative program will prepare all students to design and build a more just and sustainable future.”

Rebecca Holcombe, co-founder of the Greenway Institute, added: “The Greenway Center for Equity and Sustainability addresses our two biggest imperatives for engineering education: closing opportunity gaps for historically marginalized students and preparing the next generation of engineers to tackle the complex, multidisciplinary challenge of designing and building a sustainable future. Because historically marginalized groups … are often the first and most harmed by failures to think sustainably, the challenges of equity and sustainable engineering are one and the same.”

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Lebanon Valley College names first-ever nursing chair  

Colleen Marshall. PHOTO/PROVIDED

Lebanon Valley College announced Tuesday that Colleen Marshall will chair the college’s new nursing program, which welcomes its first class this fall. 

Marshall is director of graduate programs, The Stabler Department of Nursing, at York College of Pennsylvania. 

Previously, she taught at several other colleges and universities. Throughout her academic career, she has continued working in clinical practice, most recently with UPMC Children’s Express Care, Children’s Hospital Pittsburgh in its Hummelstown practice. 

Monica Cowart, Lebanon Valley’s provost and vice president of academic affairs, who led the nursing program’s development, said in a release, “We are excited Dr. Marshall is joining us at LVC. Her disciplinary expertise in curricular innovation, her years of experience in the field, and her commitment to student success uniquely position her to not only effectively lead our nursing program, but to mentor our students so that they graduate prepared to address the specific workforce needs of our region.” 

Marshall added: “I am honored and excited to lead Lebanon Valley College’s new nursing program from the ground up and beyond. I look forward to creating a suite of nursing programs, including accelerated options, so we can graduate nurses at all levels to help meet the region’s and country’s nursing shortage, and to make an impact throughout their communities.” LVC broke ground on its new Nursing & Interdisciplinary Health Education Facility last week; the building is expected to open in the summer of 2023. 

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer. 

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania names new president 

Dr. Charles E. Patterson. PHOTO/PROVIDED

The Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) has named Dr. Charles Patterson as Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania’s next president. 

Patterson has served as the university’s interim president since June 30, 2021. He took the interim role following the departure of Dr. Laurie Carter, who left the school in July to lead as president of Appleton, Wisconson-based Lawrence University. 

Patterson was previously president of Mansfield University in Tioga County beginning in July 2019. Prior to Mansfield, he was senior advisor for outreach at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid. 

Shippensburg’s new president has a PhD in biochemistry and molecular bioscience from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. 

“As interim president of Shippensburg University and former president of Mansfield University, Dr. Patterson has demonstrated that he is the right person to lead the university forward,” said Board Chair Cindy Shapira. “We believe his commitment to working with students, faculty and staff will help guide Shippensburg on its mission to provide an affordable and high-quality education. We are confident in our choice of Dr. Patterson to continue the great work that’s happening at Shippensburg.” 


PASSHE to freeze tuition increases for fourth year

Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) plans to freeze tuition hikes for its associated schools for the fourth consecutive year. 

PASSHE’s Board of Governors voted on Thursday to once again freeze any increases in tuition prices for the 90,000 students attending a state system university. 

The vote comes after the board requested $550 million in state funding for this fiscal year in order to offset the need for a tuition increase.  

The board is also seeking $201 million in direct-to-student aid and at least $75 million of the remaining $150 million in federal funding that the state has committed to help permanently control costs at PASSHE schools. 

 “We are hopeful the legislature supports our funding request so we can maintain the tuition freeze,” said Cindy Shapira, chair of the Board of Governors. “With all of the other rising costs in our economy, working families should not have to worry about paying more for tuition at a public university.” 

Basic tuition for in-state undergraduate students at the PASSHE universities has been $7,716 for the last three years. 

PASSHE is currently attempting to control costs, trimming $173 million in operating costs and forgoing at least $63 million through the three years of tuition freezes. 

“Just freezing tuition is not a sustainable strategy without meaningful investment from the Commonwealth,” said State System Chancellor Daniel Greenstein. “Pennsylvania must invest in its state-owned universities if we want them to continue providing the high-quality, affordable education they were born to deliver.” 

Three student teams to pitch business plans in annual startup challenge 

Finalists from three Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) universities will pitch their original business plans in the annual State System Startup Challenge. 

Students from California University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown University and Shippensburg University will compete for a top prize of $10,000 and second- and third-place prizes of $50,000 and $2,500 respectively. 

The students will be able to use the funds to support their start-up or expand their already existing business, PASSHE wrote in a press release this week. 

The finalists were whittled down from nearly 60 students and student teams from across PASSHE. 

“Educating and supporting student entrepreneurs is a priority for State System universities, and these amazing finalists demonstrate the innovation coming from our students and supported by our faculty,” said Board of Governors Chairwoman Cynthia Shapira. “Several past winners have launched their own businesses from the ideas born of this real-life experience, and I look forward to the new businesses that may emerge from this year’s competition.” 

The finalists include: 

  • Erin Burney, Shippensburg University. Burney will be pitching IRE Productions, a prop making company servicing cosplayers. Customers can choose from prop weapons, armor and other accessories or provide their own designs to be built. 
  • Shantal Ewell and Kevin Smyth, Kutztown University. The two are pitching Schedula Degree Planner, an online platform focused on college student and advisor interaction. The platform creates a personalized degree plan so students can avoid unnecessary courses. 
  • Luke Melcher, George D’Angelo, Joseph Donatucci and Connor Egan, California University of Pennsylvania. The team is pitching their Vispec Safety System, which would add safety features for riders of electric skateboards, scooters, bicycles and other single-rider forms of transportation. The system monitors hazardous road conditions. 

Judging the event are: Laura Haffne, senior vice president and region bank president for the Greater Pennnsylvania Region for Wells Fargo; Matt Lutcavage, vice president of team experience and chief human resources officer for The Giant Company; Manny Mar, vice president for Bank of America; Mary Oliveira, chief membership officer for the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, and Nandish Patel, founder and CEO of Phoenix Nexus in Bucks County. 

UPMC and Harrisburg University to open new Harrisburg-based nursing school 

UPMC is set to bring its Pittsburgh-based UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing to Harrisburg through a partnership with Harrisburg University. 

The two entities announced on Monday that registrations are now open for the UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing at UPMC Harrisburg—a 16-month accelerated diploma program for registered nurses. 

The new school is an effort by UPMC and Harrisburg University to bring more nurses to the midstate while giving area residents the chance to pursue a career in nursing, UPMC wrote in a press release. 

“There is a critical shortage of nurses in our region, and we are happy to partner with Harrisburg University to help fill that need,” said Philip Guarneschelli, president of UPMC in Central Pa. “It’s an ideal program for students who want to start an exciting career in nursing as soon as possible.” 

The school expects to welcome up to 200 students for its inaugural class, beginning in August at Strawberry Square in downtown Harrisburg. 

First-year students will take non-nursing courses at Harrisburg University, nursing courses from UPMC faculty and complete over 900 hours of clinical rotations at UPMC Harrisburg and other UPMC facilities. 

“I look forward to advancing opportunities for new nurses in this region,” said Dr. Penny Lenig-Zerby, director of nursing for the new program. “The collaboration between Harrisburg University and UPMC comes at a crucial time — the nursing profession is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years as demand for health care services increases. This program will pave the way for hundreds of new nurses to begin their careers.” 

Once students graduate and pass the RN licensing examination, they will positioned to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing from Harrisburg University while maintaining full-time employment. 

The Giant Co. donates $1 million to incoming Harrisburg University agriculture center 

The Giant Center for Advanced Agriculture and Sustainability at Harrisburg University is expected to break ground later this year. PHOTO/PROVIDED

Harrisburg University’s incoming Center for Advanced Agriculture and Sustainability, slated to break ground later this year, received a $1 million donation from The Giant Co. 

The Carlisle-based grocery chain announced on Monday at the 2022 Pennsylvania Farm Show that it will be donating funds to the center, which will now be named The Giant Center for Advanced Agriculture and Sustainability at Harrisburg University. 

The center, a 23,000-square-foot site in downtown Harrisburg, will provide the private nonprofit university with a specialized facility for research, education and career pathing in sustainability, controlled environment agriculture and clean water initiatives, according to the university. 

“The Giant Co.’s transformative gift will enable Harrisburg University students and faculty to become a national leader in developing advanced agriculture and sustainability solutions,” said Eric Darr, president at Harrisburg University. “We are thrilled to partner with The GIANT Company to identify challenges and implement efficient, sustainable, and action-oriented solutions for our agricultural community.” 

For Giant, the gift allows the company to partner with experts, such as the faculty and students at Harrisburg University, to invest in a sustainable food future, said Nicholas Bertram, president of The Giant Co. 

Doing the right thing for our planet is a huge responsibility and also a huge opportunity,” said Bertram. “A more sustainable shopping basket helps reduce carbon emissions, improve soil health, mitigate deforestation and increase biodiversity, which in turn will heal our planet.” 

Messiah University announces public capital campaign 

Messiah University’s campus. PHOTO PROVIDED.

Messiah University is nearing completion of a $75 million campaign that helped drive the former college to university status last year.

The Mechanicsburg-based private Christian university announced on Thursday that it has entered the public phase of its current capital campaign and is looking for a remaining $5 million to finish the initiative by next year.

Money from the campaign has been used on a number of projects at the school including supporting the Messiah Fund and scholarship aid, scholarship and program endowments, new facilities and estate planning gifts, according to a press release from Messiah.

The remaining $5 million will focus on scholarship aid, scholarship endowment and a proposed hospitality and concession project, said Jon Stuckey, associate vice president for development at Messiah.

The announcement of the campaign comes just a year after Messiah announced that it would be changing its name from Messiah College to Messiah University.

“We view this campaign as a catalyst from Messiah College to Messiah University—which has become more of a comprehensive institution of higher education,” said Stuckey, “President Kim Phipps has outlined a vision where Messiah no longer offers only traditional undergraduate degrees, but also graduate programs (including doctoral programs), programs for adult learners, degree completion, certifications and continuing education.”

The campaign is slated to be completed in December of next year and has already reached several milestones including the construction of a new finance lab, dining commons, fitness center, gymnasium and more.

“What makes Messiah University unique is a rich blend of Christian faith and academic rigor—qualities that have remained steadfast during the institution’s history,” said Stuckey. “This campaign extends that tradition, transforming Messiah of the past to Messiah of the future, while keeping Christ preeminent and remaining rooted in Christian faith.”

Harrisburg University launches new biotech certificate programs

Harrisburg University of Science and Technology is introducing new graduate-level biotechnology certificate programs it says will prepare working professionals with workforce and leadership skills.

The STEM university’s three new certificate programs can count for credit into Harrisburg University’s Master of Science in Biotechnology program beginning this fall.

The programs include certificates in biomanufacturing in biotechnology, regulatory affairs in biotechnology and medical biotechnology.

The biomanufacturing certificate will prepare students for a supervisory or management role in biotechnology, a pharmaceutical manufacturing company or a contract manufacturing organization.

Harrisburg University’s regulatory affairs certificate will prepare students for leadership positions within the regulatory affairs unit of an organization within the biotechnology industry. The certificate in medical biotechnology will help students enter roles as research scientists or process development engineers in the health care or biomedical device industries.

“These market-driven certificates can directly and positively impact the workforce and economic development needs in biotechnology in Pennsylvania, our region, and beyond,” the university wrote in a press release on Tuesday.

Each certificate consists of two courses every semester with one course online and one offering a hybrid format.