Volume 27, Number 1
Center For Teaching Initiatives
Welcome Rebecca Wolford!
Rebecca is an Erie native with a B.A. in English from the College of William and Mary, and JD from Pitt Law. She has experience teaching English and legal research, has practiced law both in Erie and in the DC area, and comes to Behrend from Gannon’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. She is excited to work as an instructional designer at Behrend where her parents, Chester and Gretchen Wolford, taught in the Humanities department for decades.
The Center for Teaching and eLearning Initiatives has moved from Erie Hall to Merwin building, neighboring the Community & Workforce Program. The new address is Knowledge Park - Building 3/Merwin, 5451 Merwin Lane, Erie, PA 16510.
The best way to reach us is through the CTEI website.
John M. Lilley Library
A few reminders of some changes in Library policies and procedures due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Library patrons are reminded that:
- Masks must always be worn in the Library.
- Please keep at least 6 feet from others in the Library.
- Wash or sanitize your hands often, especially after touching Library materials.
- Food may not be eaten in the Library at any time.
- Beverages can be consumed through a straw under your mask.
- Library stacks are closed to non-library personnel. If you need a book in the Library, please ask at the Circulation Desk.
- There may be delays in placing holds and interlibrary loan requests due to additional processing/quarantine times.
- Materials can be returned at the Library Return in front of the Reed Union Building, the Library Return just outside the Library entrance, and the return slot in the Circulation Desk.
- In-person reference and research help are not available. You can make an appointment with a Reference Librarian.
A 50-seat Testing Center was installed in the library during the Spring 2020 semester, complete with computers equipped with double monitors and standard lab software. When it is not being used to administer exams, library patrons are free to use it as a public computer lab.
Did You Know...
Last month, Russ Hall’s editorial, Library Strategic Planning after COVID- 19: Don't Fight the Last War, was a “most read article” article in "College & Research Libraries News".
Information Technology Services
IT Enhancements/Changes Made Across Campus
As you know, the pandemic brought numerous changes across campus. On the IT side, here are a few highlights:
- McGarvey Commons was transformed into a fully functional, instructional classroom.
- Web cams and document cameras were deployed in instructional areas. Visit the Classroom Technology site for more details.
- Touch screen monitors were installed to selected locations. If you are interested in having a touch screen monitor installed on a podium where you teach, please submit an IT ticket.
- Wacom Intuos Pro tablets have been distributed to faculty upon request. We have limited quantities of this item, but if you need a tablet, please submit an IT ticket.
- Wireless microphones were ordered and are expected to arrive in October for anyone who needs one.
- Computing support to students was expanded with the installation of computers in the residence hall areas used for quarantine and isolation.
- Computer labs, kiosks, lounge spaces, and help desks were arranged to allow for social distancing.
- Wi-Fi coverage was expanded to the Nick parking lot and to the top floor of the Burke parking deck.
Other enhancements include:
- The Library Testing Center is now complete and operational.
- New PCs were installed in Burke 012, Kochel 77, and Nick 156; computer upgrades were made to Burke 015 and Burke 175.
- Renovations to OBS 117 and OBS 120 were completed this summer. Both are fully functional, synchronous video conference rooms.
- Technology upgrades were made to Burke 201, Burke 202, Burke 204, and OBS 101. Burke 201, Burke 204, and OBS 101 are now a fully synchronous video conference rooms.
- WebLabs, the new University-wide method to remotely access lab software, was implemented to replace Remote Lab.
Faculty: Request Software for Spring
Just a reminder… It’s that time of year when we need to know what software you need in the labs for the upcoming semester.
Please visit the Software Search site to see the software that is currently available and in which labs. If you do not see your software application and/or it’s not available in the lab where you will be teaching this spring, please complete the Software Request form. Thanks!
Did You Know...
BITS launched a new landing page for current students, faculty, and staff. Content was added and reorganized into 5 major topic areas which makes it quick and easy to find the information you need. You can access the Current Students, Faculty, and Staff landing page from the “Quick Links” section (on the right side of the web page).
We also created a new web page, IT Support for Remote Teaching and Learning. Here you’ll find details on how to obtain assistance from our Virtual Help Desk (via Zoom) or via phone. In addition, there are links to the FAQ for Remote Learning as well as for Classroom Technology.
Another major endeavor was the complete redesign of the BITS IT Help portal. This was undertaken to provide a more intuitive interface and to provide supplemental resources for various topics, including an emphasis to improve the processing of research requests.
Also, be aware that the hours of our Service/Help Desks have changed for this semester. Visit Help Desks and Lab Hours to view the schedule.
Finally, here’s a summary of popular BITS sites that you may want to bookmark:
- BITS IT Help Portal
- Behrend Cloud
- Classroom Technology
- Current Students, Faculty, and Staff Landing Page
- FAQ for Remote Learning
- Software Search
Box Migration Coming Soon
With file storage now available through Office 365, the University will retire Box in June 2021. The migration of your Box files to a new location will be done via a migration tool.
This tool will ensure that the folder structure and sharing permissions are maintained. There is no action that you need to take at this time. Once more details are available, we’ll post them to our Box Migration page and reach out to the college community.
Report Spam and Other Malicious Email Messages
There has been a slight change on how to report spam and other possible malicious email messages.
If you receive unsolicited business e-mails/spam, nuisance e-mails which are non-threatening, dating site reports, etc., report these to the Office 365 team at [email protected].
Messages that involve phishing, extortion, scams, or malware as a file attachment are to be reported and forwarded to [email protected]. For more information about phishing, visit the Penn State Phishing web site.
Learning Resource Center
Thanks to the generosity of Matt Ciszek, the Learning Resource Center has been able to offer in-person tutoring in addition to online options. Four tutoring stations have been created on the second floor of the Library between the stacks and outside windows. Two stations are situated on the west wall and two on the east. Each meets social distancing guidelines and is outfitted with white boards, a computer for tutor use and a spacing table. In-person tutoring is available for a total of 47 courses from business, engineering, humanities, social science and science disciplines.
Students can make appointments for in-person tutoring on TutorTrac.
Behrend Students Learn More about Fellowships and Scholarships in the Spark Program
Eight first-year students enrolled in the inaugural offering of the Spark Program, a 6-week program offering select undergraduate students the opportunity to learn about high impact educational experiences, campus resources, and fellowship opportunities, while providing them with the tools to develop competitive fellowship applications. Spark was co-hosted by the Behrend Learning Resources Center and the John M. Lilley Library and was based on a program conceived by the University at Buffalo, and first delivered last year at Penn State at the University Park campus by the University Fellowships Office.
Students were nominated by faculty members based on their academic performance and their interest in applying for a fellowship or further graduate study after graduation from Penn State Behrend. Students needed to submit an interest statement to be considered for the program, had a GPA of 3.3 or higher, has already made a positive impression on faculty and staff, and willing to commit to attending the workshops.
In the first-year program, participants were introduced to such topics as navigating obstacles, student engagement, undergraduate research, and making the most of their undergraduate careers at Penn State. The program was designed to give participants the opportunity to develop their critical thinking and technical writing skills, envision their future, and create a plan to help them along their envisioned path, ultimately helping participants develop into competitive candidates for major fellowship and scholarship opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The program began on February 18, 2020 and had been scheduled to run through the end of March. If you have any questions about the Spark Program, please contact Ruth Pflueger, LRC Director. Additional information is available at the Behrend Spark Program site.