Bookmark and Share

KU President's Update

December 2, 2013

Dear KU Campus Community,

Once again, the end of the calendar year and another semester is upon us. As we prepare for winter commencement in a few days, I want to briefly reflect back on some of the success stories of recent months, as well as look ahead at the prospects of 2014.

Academic Achievement
As always, we had some great academic achievements this fall thanks to the efforts of our talented faculty and students.

Four of KU's finest discovered the fate of fish remains found near California's Salton Sea. Dr. Edward Simpson and Dr. Kurt Friehauf, Department of Physical Sciences, along with graduate Liz Hennsess '13 and undergraduate Margariete Malenda '15 presented the research at the Geological Society of America's annual meeting in Denver. In addition, I want to congratulate Dr. Simpson for being selected chair of the Geological Society of America Sedimentary Division's Joint Technical Program.

In related news, undergraduate biology major Robert Conrow '13 was presented with the 2013 Outstanding Student Entomologist Award by the Entomological Society of Pennsylvania. Robert gave a presentation at the annual meeting on the research that he has been conducting with Dr. Greg Setliff on the cuckoo wasps of Pennsylvania. This is a special honor for Robert, as the award is usually reserved for graduate students.

The Kutztown University Visual Arts Program (KUVA) was invited to participate in the 37th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) Craft Show in November at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Kutztown was one of only four colleges in the country and the only public school invited to participate. The 2013 show featured 195 of the finest craft artists in the United States.

Also, kudos to Dr. George Sirrakos, assistant professor of secondary education. Dr. Sirrakos has been named a PDK Emerging Leader for his work in helping advance the belief that traditionally marginalized students can also be successful in science. Dr. Sirrakos is one of 25 selected for this honor across the nation. PDK International is an association representing almost 30,000 educators in the United States.

Athletic Success in Classroom, on Field and Course
Our student-athletes continued to excel in the classroom, highlighted by the selection of defender Katie Oliveri '14 of the women's soccer team to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America® NCAA Division II Women's Soccer First Team. Oliveri, a secondary education (English) major, who leads the team with a 3.96 GPA, is the first women's soccer player in school history to be placed on the first team. In addition, we recognized 130 of our student-athletes as PSAC Scholar-Athletes in October.

On the playing venues this fall, our women's soccer team advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the fourth time in the last five years, and Zach Fleming '14 of the men's cross country team became the first KU men's runner since 1992 to qualify for nationals.

Men's & Women's Rugby Pace Club Sports
For club sports, our men's rugby 15s team will play in the American Collegiate Rugby Division I final this Saturday against Penn State, and the women's rugby team will take on Winona State (Minn.) in the Division II semifinals in Auburndale, Fla. The women's championship game is scheduled for Sunday. Good luck to both Golden Bear squads!

Sneak Peak at the New Tower
A little later this month, the winter edition of Tower magazine will be released. It features many of the great accomplishments of KU alumni, faculty, staff and students, and includes many of the highlights of recent months. I hope you will take some time to review the magazine upon delivery --- however, if you'd like to have a sneak peak, I am excited to provide the following link:

The Show Goes On
The dedication of the renovation and expansion of Schaeffer Auditorium brought a great deal of excitement to campus in September. Since then, the venue has hosted several sold out KU Presents performances and has served as a crucial resource for our music department. If you haven't had a chance to see a show in the refurbished facility, you must put it on your "to do" list for 2014.

Prioritizing Enrollment Management
A significant accomplishment for our university in the past year was the addition of the new Division of Enrollment Management. Our new vice president, Kimberly Scranage, is on board, and I hope you will take some time to introduce yourself to her if you haven't already.
The challenges we face in the enrollment and retention areas continue to be very real, but I am confident that we are on the right path to improve our efforts. Again, we all must consider our role in making recruitment and retention a priority and take the necessary steps to assist. This will continue to be crucial in the year ahead and beyond.

Displaying Our Maroon & Gold Pride
One of the initiatives I propose to our community is to display KU pride again on campus every Friday. I encourage you to try "spirit day" the next two weeks as we approach commencement. Get out your maroon and gold and your KU apparel and wear it to work, class and around campus the next two Fridays. This should definitely set us off on the right foot for continuing the initiative into the spring semester.

In closing, I want you to know how grateful I am for our KU family. We have a very committed and hardworking group of faculty, staff and students. It is all of you who make Kutztown University such a special place, and I truly thank you for making a difference.

I wish you all a successful end to the semester and the very best for a happy and healthy holiday season.


F. Javier Cevallos