Editor discusses college football statistics

By Alex Kurtz Sports editor

Five years ago, the NCAA was close to giving the Penn State football program the death penalty. The program had been tainted by the Jerry Sandusky scandal and was relinquished of many scholarships and was on the verge of collapse. The next year, new coach Bill O’Brien won the NCAA Coach of the Year Award as he led a team of the last of Paterno’s recruits to a nine-win season and converted average quarterback Matt McGloin into a star his senior year. He even landed the best quarterback recruit in the country in Christian Hackenberg.

Fast forward two years later. O’Brien had been gone for a year after leaving Happy Valley for the Houston Texans, and former Vanderbilt coach James Franklin was now at the helm. Hackenberg struggled in an unfamiliar offense and fell from grace to be one of the worst starting quarterbacks statistically in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Penn State barely scraped by into bowl games, and Franklin was on the hot seat going into his third season. He lacked a signature win and came into the season with only one true established superstar in sophomore running back Saquon Barkley.

In the preseason, if you had told me that Penn State would play against Wisconsin for the Big Ten title game this weekend, I probably would have wondered what form of illicit drugs you might be on. However, when it comes to Franklin, I finally get to say this: I told you so.

Head coaches are given a shorter leash on life than a racehorse with a broken leg. Franklin was constantly being ridiculed for coaching a team that, other than the logo they shared, was not his.

Three years after his hire, he has a shot at not only winning the Big Ten Championship but possibly making a run at the National Championship with his recruits and team. He beat Ohio State, giving them their only loss, and obtained that signature win that he had lacked during his short tenure. With new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead transforming the offense, this is a Nittany Lions team like nobody has seen.

It could get even better for Penn State fans though. Here is the Cinderella story of how the 2016 Nittany Lions season could win their first National Title since 1986. Let us say that they do beat Wisconsin this weekend and make it into the playoff over presumed PAC-12 champion Washington as the fourth seed. I predict a 31-17 win for Penn State.

If Penn State makes the four-team playoff, there is about a 90 percent chance they will play Alabama, the already presumed National Champion.

Alabama, while having a fantastic defense, is average on offense. Penn State also will ride into the game on a nine-game winning streak. The Nittany Lions also have one of the best defensive lines and linebacker corps in the FBS. Alabama will sleep on them, and I would not be shocked to see Penn State take down Goliath and advance to the National Championship. Final score: Penn State 21 – Alabama 20.

In the National Championship, they would probably either play the Clemson Tigers or the Ohio State Buckeyes. Clemson is beatable and has looked so multiple times this season.

They have a depleted defensive front and secondary after losing a lot of talent to last year’s NFL draft, and sophomore quarterback DeShaun Watson will play the best defense he has seen all year. Penn State has all the offensive firepower they need to compete as long as they can stay competitive in the first half.

If they play Ohio State, they beat them before, so they can do it again.

Final score if they play Clemson: Penn State 48 – Clemson 45; final score if they play Ohio State: Penn State 30 – Ohio State 28.

Now this is all an extremely bold prediction. Penn State could end up not making the playoff at all, even if they win the Big Ten title game. However, Penn State fans should at least realize one thing: they are a team that is ready to compete with college football’s best, and with Franklin stealing four- and five-star recruits from top schools, they are not going anywhere. That is why you give a coach time to develop, and that is how Penn State could end 2016 as the champion of college football.

The editorials of The Quill reflect the views of individual members of the editorial board. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the entire editorial board or of the university. The content of the Forum page is the responsibility of the editor in chief and the Forum editor.

Writer reflects on journalistic values in U.S.

By Matt Dooley Staff writer

As a journalism major, will I be able to continue in this field during a Trump administration? I think so, because at this moment, America needs journalists more than ever before to provide the facts about what is happening in the country. People are frightened about how Trump and his administration will handle the country, and whatever does happen, the public has the right to know.

From videos of his rallies, one could see why he had all the news organizations corralled and packed within pigpen-like barriers. Though, some news organizations weren’t even given that “honor,” instead being blacklisted.

He ran his campaign with the notion that the media was against him. Now as president-elect, he may feel like he can level the playing field against journalists.

“I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We’re going to open up those libel laws,” the president-elect remarked earlier in his campaign.

However, if this prospect of his turns out to happen it could damage a journalist’s freedom of speech. For one, what would Trump consider “false” information—is it something untruthful or something damaging to his ego? The Supreme Court already decided in 1964’s “New York Times Co. v. Sullivan” that “public persons, such as politicians, can win a suit against a media organization only if the person can prove that the publication published information with actual malice, knowing it to be wholly incorrect, as well as in cases of reckless disregard,” according to an article on politico.com.

In 1971, the Supreme Court took on “New York Times Co. v. United States,” also known as the “Pentagon Papers” case, and ruled in favor of both the New York Times and the Washington Post, allowing them to publish classified materials against the wishes of the United States government.

Who is to say that Trump does something and it leaks? What if he says it’s false and sues or at least threatens to sue the publication for more money than it has?

It could lead to an America where a fear of Trump could seep into reporting, causing reporters to stick to fluff pieces because that is what Trump would find acceptable. And, even if the president-elect doesn’t try to sue publications because they were “mean” to him, if he weakens journalists’ rights in the First Amendment, it would be harder for the people to not just keep Trump in check but also other politicians. If there is nobody to inform the people with facts, the United States could devolve into a country based on conspiracy theories.

The editorials of The Quill reflect the views of individual members of the editorial board. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the entire editorial board or of the university. The content of the Forum page is the responsibility of the editor in chief and the Forum editor.

Letter to the Editor

By Faculty and Staff Members

To our students,

We are deeply saddened by the divisive tone that has been pervasive leading up to and following the election. We are similarly saddened and angered by the symbols of hate that have been left in several locations on campus. The undersigned members of the campus community, who represent a range of political affiliations and orientations, hereby affirm our commitment to the message that “All are different, all are equal, and all are welcome.”

To us, that means:

We stand in solidarity with members of groups that have been historically oppressed and feel especially vulnerable now.

We commit to fight for “liberty and justice for all.” We welcome open dialogue and discussion, but will not tolerate acts of bigotry or oppression.

We commit ourselves to speaking out against any agenda or initiative intended to restrict the legal or human rights of individuals or communities.

We commit ourselves to discussing these issues on campus, and will do our best to model for you how to engage in civil discourse on potentially divisive topics.

We remain committed to the pursuit of knowledge. We value expertise and critical thought. Learning how to distinguish fact from fiction and to evaluate the credibility of evidence is an important part of our educational mission.

The discussions this election and its aftermath have brought about are difficult. As members of a university community, we are committed to the value of collective thought and discussion in navigating challenging ideas and historical moments. We look forward to learning together— inside and outside of class—with all members of our community, and we reiterate our conviction that none of us needs to struggle to make sense of these topics alone.

Signed,

Linda A. McMillin, Provost and Dean of the Faculty, Professor of History

Michele DeMary, Associate Professor of Political Science, Speaker of the Faculty

Dena Salerno, Assistant Dean of Intercultural and Community Engagement

Scott Kershner, University Chaplain

Alissa Packer, Associate Professor of Biology

Shari Jacobson, Associate Professor of Anthropology

Coleen Zoller, Associate Professor of Philosophy

Gretchen Lovas, Associate Professor of Psychology

Harvey Partica, Visiting Lecturer in English & Creative Writing

Michaeline Shuman, Assistant Provost for Post-Graduate Outcomes, Director of Career Development Center

Glen Retief, Associate Professor of English & Creative Writing

Dave Ramsaran, Professor of Sociology

Margaret Peeler, Professor of Biology

ML Klotz, Associate Professor of Psychology

Craig Stark, Associate Professor of Communications

Lynn E. Palermo, Associate Professor of French

Philip Winger, Vice President & Chief of Staff, President’s Office

Emma Fleck, Associate Professor of Management

Rachana Sachdev, Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing

Christina Dinges, Director of Global Opportunities Programs

Thomas A. Martin, Professor of Psychology

Jack R. Holt, Professor of Biology

Pam Samuelson, Director of Athletics

Rebecca L. Willoughby, Visiting Assistant Professor of Communications

Kathleen Bailey, Associate Professor of Psychology

Samuel Day, Assistant Professor of Psychology

David Matlaga, Associate Professor of Biology

Tanya Matlaga, Coordinator of Science in Motion, Adjunct Faculty Biology

Annika K. Miller, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science

Ilya Blinov, Lecturer in Music

Lissa Skitolsky, Associate Professor of Philosophy

Clemens Conrad, Modern Language Fellow of German

Helen Kiso, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Jennifer Asmuth, Assistant Professor of Psychology

David Kim, Interim Professor of Music

James Briggs, Associate Professor of Psychology

Holly Warfel, Senior Accountant

John Bodinger de Uriarte, Associate Professor of Anthropology

Diane Wilson, Research Assistant, Department of Biology

Carl Faust, Assistant Professor of Physics

Joshua Davis, Associate Professor of Music

Ed Stigall, Jr., Director of Residence Life

Christiana Paradis, Adjunct Faculty, Women’s Studies

Katherine Straub, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Gail B. Levinsky, Associate Professor of Music

Alexander Wilce, Associate Professor of Mathematics

Pavithra Vivekanand, Assistant Professor of Biology

Lori Hayes Kershner, Adjunct Faculty, Art

Eli Bass, Director of Jewish Life

Mark Fertig, Art

Randy Robertson, Associate Professor of English

Robert Sieczkiewicz, Instruction & Digital Scholarship Librarian

Catherine Dent, Associate Professor of English & Creative Writing

Karla Kelsey, Associate Professor of English & Creative Writing

Marie Wagner, Instructional Technologist & Adjunct Faculty

Ali Zadeh, Professor of Finance and Head of the Department of Management

Massooma Pirbhai, Associate Professor of Physics

Erik Viker, Associate Professor of Theatre

David S. Richard, Professor of Biology

Chris Bailey, Director of Facilities Management

Rodney Hart, Adjunct Professor of Mathematics

Barbara McElroy, Professor of Accounting

Sarah Edwards Moore, Assistant Professor in the Education Department

Marsha Kelliher, Dean of the Sigmund Weis School of Business

Elizabeth Britton-Crowe, Admission Counselor

Sue Moyer, Information Technology

Kathi Deckard, Staff Accountant

Monica Leitzel, Associate Registrar

Matthew Persons, Professor of Biology

Bonnie Rice, Associate Registrar

Brian Ross, Financial Accountant

Amanda Deubner, Accounts Payable Specialist

Tammy Tobin, Professor of Biology

Ann Marie Rompolski, Acquisitions Coordinator

Kassia Janesch, Interlibrary Loan and Circulation Assistant

Ashantha Fernando, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Department of Chemistry

Michael A. Smith, Manager of Enterprise Systems

Madeleine Rhyneer, Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing

Jenelle Oberholtzer, Technical Specialist

Jesse Neitz, Audio Visual Technician

Patrick McCabe, Associate Director of Admission

Tracy Powell, Cataloging Coordinator

Cindy Frymoyer, Admin. Assistant Health Center

Daniel Thieme-Whitlow, Visiting Artist in Costumes

Courtney Thomas, Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Betsy Magill, Interim Admin. Director Health Center

Daphyne Ressler, Health Center Nurse

Chris Markle, Senior Development Officer

Beth Winger, Leadership and Engagement Coordinator

Terence O’Rourke, Medical Director Health Center

David McLaughlin, Associate Professor of Education

Robert Pickering, Manager of Infrastructure and User Services

Katie Burr, Director of First Year Experience

Lakeisha Meyer, Assistant Dean of Academic Success & Director of Disability Services

Michelle Richardson, Associate Director of Admission Communications

Drew Hubbell, Associate Professor of English

Katherine Furlong, University Librarian and Director, Blough-Weis Library

Sylvia Grove, Visiting Assistant Professor of French

Tegan Kotarski, Assistant Director of Academic Success & Sophomore Experience

Jeffrey P. Whitman, Professor of Philosophy

Nick Clark, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Allie Grill, Assistant Director of Career Development

Holly Caldwell, Visiting Assistant Professor of History

Holly Flowers, Human Resources Assistant

Meg Dresser, Sr. Advancement Researcher

James Black, Dean of Academic Engagement

Nancy Musser, Administrative Assistant to the Chapel

Becky Bramer Deitrick, Assistant VP of Alumni, Parent & Donor Engagement

Andrea M. Lopez, Associate Professor of Political Science

Rabbi Nina Mandel, Adjunct Lecturer

Pam Frontino, Assistant Director for Civic Engagement

Erin Wolfe, Director of Student Financial Services

Ginny Larson, Associate Director of Academic Success & Junior/Senior Experience

Ashley Busby, Assistant Professor of Art

Matthew Duperon, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Angela Burrows, Chief Communications Officer

Amanda Lenig, Creative Director

George Adams, Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Jodi Swartz, Admin. Asst., Alumni, Parent & Donor Engagement

Kelly Breckenridge, Mgr. of Communications, Alumni, Parent & Donor Engagement

William Dougherty, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Kate Weller, Web Content and Social Media Manager

Whitney Purcell, Associate Director, Career Development

Michelle (Mimi) Arcuri, Administrative Assistant, Registrar

Diane L Scott, Adjunct Music Faculty

Amanda Meixell, Associate Professor of Spanish

Stephanie Gardner, Assistant Professor of Education

Beverly Romberger, Professor of Communications

Shan Yan, Assistant Professor of Finance

Jennifer Bowersox, Sr. Administrative Assistant

Amanda O’Rourke, Digital Communications & Media Specialist

Anne M. Claus, Senior Administrative Assistant to SWSB Dean

Kelly Houtz, Employment Coordinator

Jennifer Sacher Wiley, Associate Professor of Music

Diana Heeren, Associate Vice President for Finance

Colleen Flewelling, Assistant Provost and Director of Institutional Research and Assessment

Rebecca Warner, Lecturer, English Department

Jerrell Habegger, Associate Professor of Accounting

Antella Brzenchek , ELL Program Director

Erin Goedegebuure, Visiting Lecturer in Psychology

Andrea Heilman, Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre

Scott Hollenbach, Associate Director of Event Management

Angelo Martin, Director, Department of Public Safety

Antoinette Sabatino DiCriscio, Adjunct in Psychology

Devin Rhoads, Associate Director of Alumni, Parent and Donor Relations

Robert Williams, Assistant Professor of Marketing

Brady Gallese, Help Desk Engineer

Keith Spencer, Career Counselor

Ed Slavishak, Associate Professor of History

Valerie Martin, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences

Sarah Cassella, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow of Biology

W. Douglas Powers, Associate Professor of Theatre

Alison Richard, Registrar

Kenneth Brakke, Professor of Mathematical Sciences

Daryl Rodgers, Associate Professor of Italian

Jan Reichard-Brown Associate Professor of Biology and Health Care Studies

Mary Markle, Administrative Assistant, Leadership & Engagement

Jerry Foley, Assistant Athletic Director, Head Swim and Dive Coach

Michael Rash, Adjunct Communications Department

Tyler Helwig, Junior Systems Administrator

Laura Suchanick, Adjunct Faculty, Management

Janet Sassaman, Adjunct Faculty, Education

Jason Vodicka, Assistant Professor of Music

María L.O. Muñoz, Associate Professor of History

Olugbenga Onafowora , Professor of Economics

Megan Kelly, Assistant Professor of Spanish

Thomas Peeler, Associate Professor of Biology

Erica Stephenson, Institutional Research Analyst

Martina Kolb, Assistant Professor of German

Erin Rhinehart, Associate Professor of Biology

Thomas W. Martin, Associate Professor of Religion

Marcos Krieger, Associate Professor of Music

David Steinau, Associate Professor of Music

Karol Kovalovich Weaver, Professor of History, Director of Women’s Studies

Barb Dennen, Manager of Financial Services

Brad Posner, Head Softball Coach

Reuben Councill, Associate Director of Admissions

David Imhoof, Associate Professor of History

Jennifer M. Bucher, Director of Human Resources

Scholars House remains one of Susquehanna’s ‘hidden gems’

By Erin McElwee Staff writer

Susquehanna may be a small campus, but there are plenty of spots that are unknown to many students.

One such spot is the Scholars House.

The Scholars House is a small building on campus, but it offers many resources to Susquehanna students.

Located across from the Degenstein Campus Center and adjacent to the West Village basketball courts, the Scholars House is home to the Women’s Resource Center, the Honor’s Program offices and just under 25 residents living in double and single rooms.

Krista White, a sophomore music and physics major, is a resident in the Scholars House this year and was placed there after transferring to Susquehanna this year.

“Overall, I absolutely love living in the Scholars House,” White said.

“Since I am a transfer student and was not given the option to choose my housing situation, I could not be more pleased to have a single in this building,” she added.

“The rooms are quite spacious, and the bathrooms have enough facilities for the amount of students residing in the building,” White said.

Students from any major and background can live in the Scholars House.

White said that this year many transfer students were placed there, which eased the transition into Susquehanna.

Though the residence building is small, it often combines building programming with the nearby GO House and West Hall.

White said this helps the small building branch out and connect with other halls throughout campus.

“Since the Scholars and GO Houses are so small in terms of student population, the integration of programming for these two residence halls with the larger West Hall makes the programs put on by staff more popular and fun,” she said.

White also enjoys the Scholars House because of her love of music.

She said: “In previous years, the Scholars House was the Music Scholars House. There are actually two pianos still in the building from this time.”

White said if she could change something about the Scholars House, it would be the addition of a communal kitchen for students.

While there is a microwave for students’ use, she said she feels “many students in this housing community would benefit from and definitely use a community kitchen.”

The Scholars House also offers services to students who do not reside there.

It houses offices for the Susquehanna Honors Program and the university’s Women’s Resource Center.

The Women’s Resource Center is a place where students can get involved on campus. The center offers internship opportunities to women’s studies students.

When thinking of a place on campus to live, the Scholars House may not be the first building most students think of, but White feels that it is a hidden gem on the Susquehanna campus.

“I feel like a lot of people who go to Susquehanna don’t even know that the Scholars House is an option or where the building even is,” White said.

“However, if you are an independent person and like having time to relax and unwind, I definitely recommend the Scholars House,” she added.

Erica Stephenson, the institutional research analyst at Susquehanna, has an office located in the Scholars House.

She said the Scholars House is a very attractive place for students to choose for a housing option.

“Probably the most common things we hear from students is the fact that the majority of rooms are singles,” Stephenson said.

“It’s also great because it’s a small building—less than 25 residents—but it’s set up in the traditional style, with bedrooms off of the main corridor, so there’s the opportunity to form a solid community with a small group of friends,” Stephenson added.

She also added that the location of the building makes this house attractive to students, as it is right behind Degenstein Campus Center.

SU faculty donate to United Way

By Kyle Kern Staff writer

The United Way campaign is a center that helps to better communities by focusing on the aspects that need to be worked on in the area.

This campaign works to improve the quality of life in the community that it is focused on.

The Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way Campaign branch encompasses three counties: Northumberland, Snyder and Union County.

The branch also includes Susquehanna, which has a university team under the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way Campaign.

This year, the six programs the campaign chose to focus on are public transportation, early childhood education, diversity awareness and inclusion, teenagers, behavioral health and addiction and financial stability.

The group has set a goal to raise $700,000 for this year.

The United Way’s cause is especially important to one particular employee of Susquehanna who has a history with the United Way campaign.

Elizabeth Grove, event coordinator and administrative assistant for the alumni parent and donor office, is a member of the Susquehanna University team included in the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way campaign.

Grove serves alongside Chris Markle, the senior development officer at Susquehanna, Barbara Dennen, the manager of financial services and Marsha Lemons, a special assistant to the board.

Grove had worked at United Way before landing her current job at Susquehanna.

Grove said that when she was offered to take part in the Susquehanna University United Way campaign, she was glad to be helping United Way again.

The Susquehanna team is gathering donations to help the Greater Susquehanna Valley campaign reach its goal for this year.

In order to achieve that, the Susquehanna team has established a fundraising goal of $22,500.

The planning for this cause began back in the beginning of October and the donation period began at the beginning of November.

As of Nov. 22, the team has raised $12,594, which is more than half of Susquehanna’s goal.

With a goal of $700,000, a variety of organizations are helping the Greater Susquehanna Valley campaign achieve that.

Members of the Bucknell community are also working to help raise money.

Joanne Troutman, a class of 2000 graduate of Susquehanna, is the director of the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way campaign.

Through all of this, Grove said that there is usually a core group of around 40 staff and faculty members who donate to the campaign through one way or another.

Grove acknowledged that it is not always easy to give a donation, but it is always greatly appreciated.

She said: “Thanksgiving, it is all about giving rather than receiving. With everything going on in the world, we should give.”

Grove stressed that if you can donate to the United Way campaign it will help in the local community.

The donations to the campaign are tax deductible, and she added that it feels good to help somebody.

In addition to donating a monetary amount, donors have a chance to win prizes donated by various offices and departments across the Susquehanna campus.

One donor has already won Susquehanna athletic apparel donated by the athletic department.

Another name will be drawn toward the end of the fundraising and that person will receive a party worth up to $500 for their entire department.

Grove hopes that this encourages staff and faculty to be involved and donate to the Susquehanna University Campaign for United Way.

In order to donate, staff and faculty can donate with a payroll deduction or a credit card or check.

Promotional videos and a message from the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way campaign can be found on mySU under United Way Campus Campaign.

GSA club shares past experiences and plans

By Sean Colvin Staff writer

The Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club “wears a lot of hats,” according to its president, senior Hailey Leseur, who has been a member of the club since her sophomore year.

Leseur also said that GSA serves as a safe space and meeting place for queer students on campus, a place where they can feel accepted, share their experiences and explore their identities.

The club has done so since 1978, when it was formed on Susquehanna’s campus.

GSA is actively involved in planning events on and off-campus, like the recent performance and lecture by guest speaker Peterson Toscano, a queer performance activist.

GSA also organizes trips to events at other institutions, like the Mid-Atlantic LGBTQA Conference at Bloomsburg in November, when SGA transported about 25 Susquehanna students to the conference.

During the conference, sophomore Angelina Poole conducted a presentation about the bridging tensions between the pansexual and bisexual communities and said that the response was encouraging.

“Being able to take a group of people down there who are interested in learning about activism work and different facets of the LGBTQ community, that’s something that I’m very proud of,” Poole said.

According to Leseur, GSA is currently working on bringing the Northeast LGBT Conference to Susquehanna in the coming spring.

The NELGBTC, according to its website, is a conference first held in 1995 that aims to train people like Hailey to be strong leaders in their communities and to ensure equality and opportunity in higher education for LGBTQ+ people.

According to Leseur, upward of 500 people would attend the conference to hear from activists and speakers, attend workshops for activism and self-care, hear scholarly lectures and learn about the history of the LGBTQ+ movement.

“Given the recent light of the election, we want to build solidarity among these minority communities at Susquehanna,” Leseur said.

Susquehanna graduate and adjunct faculty Christiana Paradis is a friend and supporter of GSA.

Paradis said, “GSA is a safe place for students of varying gender and diversity expressions. Furthermore, it is a great place for allies to support members of the queer community at [Susquehanna].”

“I think it provides students with a community of inclusion and safety,” she continued.

“When I was a student, GSA was one of few places that I felt I could truly be myself,” Paradis added.

For any student interested in GSA, the meetings are every Thursday evening from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

SU staff member shares life story, offers advice to students

By Jacquelyn Letizia Staff writer

On Nov. 30, the Chaplain’s Office sponsored a “What Matters to Me and Why?” lunch with Lakeisha Meyer, a staff member at Susquehanna.

Meyer, the assistant dean for academic service and the director of disability services, started at Susquehanna in July of 2016.

The talk started with Meyer discussing her childhood in Kentucky and how her educational and social experiences formed the basis of her values.

Since the fourth grade, Meyer was enrolled in different classes than her peers. She was placed into gifted and talented classes, and in high school she took advanced placement classes.

Educationally, she had great experiences. Socially, there were issues.

She never had any black teachers or professors until she was in graduate school, and she was one of a few black students in her school. However, it did not deter her progress.

“I had this sense from when I was younger that I would be a trailblazer,” Meyer said.

“I felt like I was on the edge of something, that I could make a difference,” she added.

Meyer described how she would see the lack of black teachers and professors and felt inspired to be that for someone else. She said she would think to herself, “What’s missing from my life now, and how can I fill that void for someone else?” Meyer attributed this sense of confidence in her abilities to her family and their support in her academics.

Meyer went on to explain the role that her church had in her life. While she was growing up, she was extremely involved in her church community and used it as a social outlet. She described how she actually read the words of the Bible, and how they took her away from Christianity and down a different path of spirituality.

In her first few years studying at Centre College, Meyer realized she had an interest in tarot cards and moved away from Christianity. However, at the end of her undergraduate career, she started to move towards a strict, fundamentalist religious following again.

Meyer also explained that her time in her graduate program at Indiana University, she began to think about who she really was.

“Whatever I thought people expected me to be, I was,” she said. Being in school challenged her ideas of who she was on her own terms, not how others expected her to be. She began to understand herself on a deeper level in several different ways.

Graduate school also challenged her views of what it means to be black. Meyer explained she had people around her tell her she was not really black based on certain factors of her life.

After graduate school, she finished her doctoral work in three years but then took about six to complete her dissertation. Meyer explained that she wanted to take a step back from academia and get out in the world and experience life.

In 2002, Meyer got married, and then several years later had her daughter during a year-long stay at a yoga ashram in northeastern Pennsylvania. The time her family spent at the ashram inspired her to finish her dissertation in four months.

After finishing her dissertation, Meyer explained that she felt like she could accomplish anything. She got a job in the school psychology department at Western Kentucky University, then moved around between a few universities before coming to Susquehanna this July.

One of the main ideas that Meyer emphasized throughout her talk was that authenticity is key. By being authentic about who you are, what you do and what you aspire to be, you can achieve happiness she said.

“You don’t have to do something just because someone tells you to or expects you to,” Meyer added.

SU celebrates 50 years of Christmas Candlelight Service

By Jacquelyn Letizia Staff writer

Susquehanna will put on its annual Christmas Candlelight Service on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Weber Chapel Auditorium. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the service.

The service will include music by the university choir, the brass ensemble, the chamber singers, men’s and women’s chorale and other singing and instrumental groups.

Candles will be handed out to audience members, and during the song “Silent Night,” the chapel lights will fade as students will light their candles and illuminate the darkness in the auditorium.

Sophomore Sarah Sandberg participated in the service with chorale and the hand bell choir last year.

“My favorite part of the service is the singing of ‘Silent Night,’” she said. “Everyone in the chapel holds a lit candle and sings the song, and it was honestly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever witnessed. Viewing the whole audience with their candles from onstage honestly got me choked up.”

“I love the fact that it makes people contemplate the true meaning of Christmas, and I know I leave feeling thankful and content and even more excited for the holidays than I was going in,” she added.

Senior Alyssa Oxner has participated with Zeta Tau Alpha in ushering the service for the last two years.

“The service plays an important role in the embracing of community on campus” Oxner said. “It brings campus together right before the crunch of finals and the rush to head home for the holidays.”

“I enjoy the service because it reminds me of my church’s Christmas Eve service back home,” Oxner said. “It is great to see the campus come together and see the many talents that participate in the service as well.”

Sandberg emphasized the great timing and campus-wide participation in the service.

She said: “I love the fact that most of the people on campus attend this event. It brings everyone together in a place of worship and celebration, and I think that’s really important, especially with the impending finals and the heavy workload everyone has at the end of the semester. Having been in it, I can attest to the fact that it brings the different music ensembles together as well. You get the chance to work with people that you wouldn’t get to under normal circumstances. We’re all working toward a common goal on the same particular project, and I think that’s really awesome.”

Because it is the 50th anniversary service, there will be a special choir broadcast on local television station WVIA. The taping for the broadcast will take place on Saturday, Dec. 3 with the student musical groups performing in the service.

Along with the service itself, the Johnson Center for Civic Engagement is hosting a “Meals for Seals” program at the candlelight service. The office is collecting “kid-friendly” items that do not require a can opener. These items include instant oatmeal, pudding cups, juice boxes, microwave meals, small boxes of cereal, applesauce/fruit cups and microwaveable ravioli.