Volume 29, Number 1
Center For Teaching Initiatives
Moving to a Familiar Space
The Center for Teaching Initiatives and the Center for eLearning Initiatives are now located at South Cottage, next to the Glehnill Farmhouse. This is where it all began for the department many years ago.
The campus mail address is:
4701 College Drive
Penn State Behrend
Erie, PA 16563
Maximizing the Value of Office Hours
Online discussion is scheduled on Tuesday, April 5, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Please register for this session.
Lunch and Discussion on Teaching Inclusively
What does teaching inclusively mean to my classes and how should I do it? We heard about diversity, equity, inclusiveness, social justice, compassion, and care. But what do they mean in college classrooms? What should instructors consider to teach inclusively? What boundaries do we need to set up for ourselves? And what would a compassionate institution look like?
Join the conversation with Dr. Daniela Gachago, a Fulbright scholar working with Dr. Laura Cruz at the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence. Dr. Gachago is an associate professor at the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Technology at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She will be visiting Penn State Behrend on Thursday, March 31.
*This is an in-person event. All are invited to participate. Please register by the end of Monday, March 28.
Information Technology Services
Esports is Here!
Competitive gaming has arrived at Behrend as the new Esports program begins play. Launched as a club sport in the fall of 2021, the program competes against over 125 other colleges and universities in the Eastern College Athletic Conference.
Behrend Esports currently has 62 rostered students, divided into 11 teams, and competing in five different games. The current stable of games includes League of Legends, Valorant, Overwatch, Rocket League, and Smash Ultimate, with the possibility for future expansion into other titles.
To support the Esports program, Behrend renovated space inside of Perry Hall. This new area was outfitted with 28 high-end gaming workstations, gaming-centric furnishings, and a broadcast room to allow for the streaming of matches.
This past fall semester was a great success with five of our teams making the ECAC playoffs, highlighted by our varsity League of Legends team winning its division with an undefeated record.
Our very own Scott Smith (BITS) is club adviser and was instrumental in the design of the Esports center.
Hello and Farewell in BITS
Joe Wnukoski ([email protected] or contact him via Teams) joined the BITS team this March as our web programmer/analyst. He is responsible for the design, implementation, security, maintenance, and support of the college's websites and servers. Joe also works closely with schools and departments to identify their needs and resolve issues. In addition, he supports many API integrations with University systems. Welcome, Joe!
And we say farewell to Michelle Brown, administrative support assistant. For 31 years, she has supported the BITS office and the college community. Michelle's last day is June 1, 2022. Congrats, Michelle, on your retirement!
New Tool: Search for Lab Software
We've rebuilt our tool from the ground up that searches for software in our public and specialty labs. The Lab Software Search makes it easy to search by software title, room/lab, and a particular software group. If the software title isn't available in any of the labs/rooms, a link is available at the site to make a software request.
Zoom Marketplace Apps
Penn State recently developed a process to review and approve Zoom Marketplace Apps. These are third-party apps that can be integrated with Zoom. Two apps, Timer and Virtual Backgrounds, have been approved, with more on the way.
Marketplace Apps are in addition to the core Zoom service provided by Penn State. These apps are not required to use Zoom, nor are they directly supported by the Penn State IT Service Desk. Questions about their use should be directed to each app's developer.
Requests for apps can be made through the Zoom App Marketplace. Submitted requests will be received by the Zoom Service Team and reviewed by Penn State IT for functionality and security. This process can take time, depending upon the level of access and applicable use.
See the knowledgebase article, Zoom: App Marketplace, for more information.
John M. Lilley Library
Enter Penn State's Short Story/Poem Contest
Go to Short Stories to submit your best short story or poem that involves the theme of fate. The contest runs from February 28 through April 4. Vote for the best short story or poem by visiting the "Short Stories" site. Prizes are awarded. The contest is sponsored by the Penn State University Libraries.
Celebrate the Newbery Medal Anniversary
Lilley Library is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Newbery Medal with a display featuring Miracles on Maple Hill, which won the honor in 1957. Written by Virginia Sorensen, the book is set in and around the Edinboro and Cambridge Springs area and fictionalizes the lives of real people in the community.
Drop by and check out one of the 1700+ titles in our juvenile book collection located on the main floor.
Book Arts Advocacy
The 2022 Charles W. Mann Jr. Lecture in the Book Arts is a conversation with members of the Book/Print Artist/Scholars of the Color Collective. Speakers include Tia Blassingame (book artist, printmaker, founder of the Collective, and assistant professor of art at Scripps College), Ben Blount (artist, designer, and letterpress printer), and Tamar Evangelestia-Dougherty (director of the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives).
This event is scheduled for March 31, 2022, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. via Zoom. To learn more and to register, visit the Book Arts Advocacy site.
Library Guide to Indigenous Peoples in Pennsylvania History
Penn State University Libraries recently completed development of a new library guide to Indigenous Peoples in Pennsylvania History. Finalized in November, in time for the observance of Native American Heritage Month, the guide is a collection of resources related to the history of Native Americans in Pennsylvania, including maps, treaties, and land appropriations.
The Penn State section includes data documenting how the sale of Indigenous lands (in the 1800s) funded America's land-grant institutions, including Penn State. The guide was a product of the research sub-group (co-chaired by Jane Ingold) of the Libraries' Native American Learning Working Group.
Learning Resource Center
Expansion of Our In-Person Outreach to Students
This spring, we've been expanding our in-person outreach to students. We've done that with the support of faculty, who welcomed our tutors into their classrooms to give brief presentations, telling students about our services and showing them how to schedule an appointment on TutorTrac. Thus far, Administrative Support Coordinator Andrea Lutz has overseen more than twenty class visits.
Additional Drop-in Tutoring Location
The Learning Resource Center is also collaborating with the School of Engineering and Student Life to open a new drop-in tutoring location in Niagara Hall. Twice a week, two tutors are present in the lower-level study room to help the residents with a range of courses, from math and physics to chemistry and software engineering.
Study Abroad has made a good start towards returning to normal. A Behrend student spent the fall semester in a program in Rome. This semester, two others are studying in England, and a third in Madrid. Our embedded courses are also up and running again. This spring break, students enrolled in IT130: Italian Culture experienced the wonders of Rome, while students enrolled in BIOL482: Bahamas Coastal Biology conducted research at the Gerace Research Center in the Bahamas.