On campus

South Hills IT students attend ‘Hack PSU’ event

Information Technology (IT) students and graduates from South Hills School of Business & Technology participated in a creative 24-hour learning experience at a “Hack PSU” event hosted by Penn State University.

South Hills’ IT students joined the collaborative venture with 600 other students from across the nation to learn new coding skills at the Hack PSU event held on Nov. 4 at the University Park campus in State College.

Teams of students were challenged to use their training in computer programming to design new software solutions to solve real-world problems.

Participants were also mentored by leading software developers from nationally recognized corporations, and time was set aside to use the latest virtual reality gear and other IoT (internet of things) devices.

Students Advocating

for Disability Awareness present award to The Arc

Penn State Altoona’s Students Advocating for Disability Aware-ness (SADA) organization presented The Arc of Blair County with its inaugural SADA Star Award, which recognizes local groups for their efforts to improve the quality of life for those with disabilities.

The Arc was chosen to receive the Star Award for its 63-year history of advocating for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to fully participate in social, educational, employment and community activities.

Jordan Rhone, president of SADA, called The Arc a champion within the local disability community.

“Blair County is extremely fortunate to have this local treasure serving as a vital resource for people with disabilities in our area. Their advocacy, dating back to the 1950s, has become a multigenerational pursuit of inclusivity for all. SADA has been inspired by their efforts,” Rhone said.

SADA’s primary mission is to create inclusive environments on the Penn State Altoona campus.

SFU holds ‘Sustainability Summit’ for high school students and teachers

LORETTO — The Saint Francis University Environmental Studies Department hosted its second annual “Sustainability Summit” for local high school students and teachers on Oct. 28.

Students and teachers from Central Cambria, Cambria Heights, Hollidaysburg Area, Northern Cambria and Bishop Carroll high schools attended the event.

The summit featured interactive presentations from Environmental Studies faculty members on beekeeping (Lauri Chose), mine drainage (William Strosnider), environmental careers (Lane Loya), backyard chickens (Gail Drus), food sustainability (Tim Bintrim) and Yellowstone wolves (Tim Menta).

The goal of the summit was to connect environmentally minded high school students and teachers from the area with each other and to the SFU Environmental Studies Department.

Student serving as peer mentor at Alvernia University this semester

READING — Collin Welteroth of Altoona has been named a peer mentor for the fall 2017 semester.

Welteroth is majoring in biology at Alvernia University and is a graduate of Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School, Altoona.

Every first-year seminar class at Alvernia University is assigned a peer mentor. These mentors are high-achieving, upper-division students who act as guides and additional resources for first-year students, as they adjust to college life and academic expectations.

Each mentor establishes his or her unique relationship with students in his or her section, but all students can expect peer mentors to model successful time management techniques, help them learn how to find and use information about student support services, and guide them toward informed decision making.

Saint Francis University hosts Women in Chemistry Day

LORETTO — The Chemistry Department at Saint Francis University hosted a Women in Chemistry Day on Oct. 27 in honor of National Chemistry Week.

The event was designed to encourage high school females to embody the school’s motto and “become that someone” by introducing them to the opportunities available for chemists.

Students from Hollidaysburg Area, Lambert, Windber, Central, Conemaugh Valley, Tussey Mountain, Glendale, Oakland Catholic, Bishop McCort, Westmont Hilltop, North Star, Forest Hills, Clearfield, Penn Cambria and Franklin Regional high schools were nominated by their teachers to attend.

A total of 22 high school students and their families visited Saint Francis University and participated in discussions with successful female chemists from around the world. Each student in attendance was given the book “Women Scientists; Reflections, Challenges, and Breaking Boundaries” by Magdolna Hargittai.

The day included hands-on chemistry activities with current chemistry students, campus and department tours and discussions with recent graduates from the chemistry department to discuss careers in academia, industry and medicine.

Keynote talks were presented, and round-table discussions were held with professors and three Saint Francis alumni.

The day concluded with a liquid nitrogen ice cream social.