Campus Opinions

January 3, 2017

HUNTINGDON, Pa. --Miranda Suarez, a junior at Juniata College from Hamilton Square, N.J. studying interactive media writing, received a $4,000 Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship to study abroad fall semester 2017 at the Kansai Gandai University, in Osaka, Japan, and then in spring semester 2018, the University of Otago, in Dunedin, New Zealand.

            Suarez, the daughter of Joanne and Anthony Suarez, both of Hamilton Square, will take a variety of courses at both institutions. She is a 2014 graduate of Steinert High School.

            The Gilman Scholarships, named for Benjamin Gilman, a Republican U.S. Representative from New York, offer grants for undergraduate students of limited financial means to study abroad. More than 1,200 scholarships of up to $5,000 are awarded every academic year. The program also encourages students to choose non-traditional destinations for their study-abroad experience.

            The program is funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the U.S. Department of State.

            Passionate about video games since childhood, Suarez is pursuing a professional writing career in the video game industry. She has been active on campus, including being former vice president and social media coordinator of the Juniata branch of ONE, a national nonprofit organization formed to help end global poverty. The club was named Outstanding New (Student Club) by Juniata. She also is a member of the Philosophy Club.

            “I took Hannah Bellwoar’s class on interactive media writing and I just fell in love with it,” says Suarez. “Juniata as a whole has offered so many opportunities, including the chance to attend college through generous financial aid. The faculty and administrators are what really make this place special. They are consistently available, approachable, and intelligible. They go out of their way to help the students here, especially in regard to studying abroad.”

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January 3, 2017

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Jilenny Guzman, a junior at Juniata College from Bronx, N.Y. studying Spanish and secondary education, received a $2,000 Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship to study abroad fall semester at the University of Guanajuato, in Guanajuato, Mexico.

            Guzman, the daughter of Miguelina Reinoso and Jose Guzman, both of The Bronx, will attend classes at the Mexican university. She is a 2014 graduate of New World High School.

            The Gilman Scholarships, named for Benjamin Gilman, a Republican U.S. Representative from New York, offer grants for undergraduate students of limited financial means to study abroad. More than 1,200 scholarships of up to $5,000 are awarded every academic year. The program also encourages students to choose non-traditional destinations for their study-abroad experience.

            The program is funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the U.S. Department of State.

            In fall semester 2015, she worked in Juniata’s Language in Motion program, an outreach project that uses international students and United States students to deliver multicultural lessons at local high school and middle schools.

            “During my freshman year I did not really have a support system, but after I connected with a mentor at Unity House, Katron Broomfield, I have been able to achieve a much higher potential. I really feel Juniata is a second home, thanks to my advisers, Kathleen Biddle, Holly Hayer and Kati Csoman.”

            She also is active on campus. She worked as a student mentor for the Plexus Program, an orientation program for diverse students. She also worked as a student assistant for the program. In addition, she is the coordinator for the college’s Mesa Hispanica, or Spanish Table.

Guzman also finds time to work as a tutor in all subjects at the AME Bethel Church, in Mount Union, Pa., working with underprivileged children.

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December 12, 2016

Fifteen groups of students presented their nutrition research projects for Deb Kirchhof-Glazier, professor of biology, on Nov. 30. Presentations included the health benefits of resistant starch, the Paleolithic diet and multiple sclerosis, the MIND diet and Alzheimer's Disease and many more. Students got experience presenting as well as educating their fellow classmates about food as medicine. They provided tips for individuals with diabetes, MS, Alzheimer’s (or Type 3 diabetes), and to people in general.

In the U.S., that food culture is normally conducted in the most convenient ways possible, which happens to be processed foods. Although they are very convenient, they are leaving many things out of your diet that you need.

"You have to put emphasis on the food that you eat, because sometimes you cannot buy a pill for what you are missing in your diet" stated a group presenting. A good example of this was presented by Marissa Woodman, a junior from Foster City, Calif., Steven Guetzlaff,a senior from Schensksville Pa., Katerina Jonova, a senior from Chrastava, Czech Republic, and Lysha Foster, a sophomore from South Decatur Ga., in their talk entitled, "Psychobiotics, Gut Bacteria, and Mental illness." They stated that eating fermented food such as kefir, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kimchi can improve our mental state.

The overall message of the presentations was that what you eat is very important and it has a direct effect on your health. Exercise (both physical and mental), and a healthy, well-balance diet are all ways to decrease health risks. Fermented and natural bacteria in foods (like yogurt) also play a key role in that diet and keeping your digestive tract healthy. In a Western diet, these two things have been left out more than others.

"You are what you eat," was a big theme of the night, because your health depends on what you are putting into your body. Often times we find ourselves eating for convenience, not for health and that is where many of the negative health effects begin.

The class also put together a few recipes to help students eat healthier and get the nutritional supplements they don't always think about. The recipes include: how to make homemade sauerkraut in a Mason jar, cauliflower mashed potatoes and Brussells sprout slaw with Asian dressing.

By Marlene Matula ’17, Juniata Online Journalist

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December 12, 2016

As finals week rolls around, a student's to-do list begins to sound a lot like the Christmas song the “12 days of Christmas;” however, instead of wonderful gifts, we have essays, take-home exams, projects, posters and of course -- in-class finals. Getting away to study on campus is essential to students who want to succeed during final exam week. Here are some of Juniata student's favorite places to study and the music they listen to while they study. 

“I like to study in VLB or in my room. And I listen to music, but that depends upon my mood. Normally whatever is on my sound cloud. I am not classical; I get too bored.”

Keegan Farrell ’19, of Mountain Top, Pa.

“I study in VLB typically in my write up room next to my lab. The music is not like one genre, I like anything with a strong beat and that sometimes include classical music.”

Margaret Vos ’18, of Hopkinton, Mass. 

“I study on the middle floor of the library or at my house. I usually don't listen to music, but if I am studying with my friend she listens to country.”

Bethany Slaughter ’17, of Mount Dairy, Md. 

“I study in Muddy and listen to mellow rap.”

Cynthia Boo '17, of New York City, N.Y. 

“I study in my room or sometimes in the library. I listen to pretty much everything, currently I am listening to rap.”

Haven Diehl’ 18, of Allentown, Pa. 

“I study in the library and I listen to just background music, because if I listen to lyrics I can't focus.”

Avery Cheng ’18, of Chicago, Ill. 

“I usually study in the library, occasionally in VLB and in my room. It depends; sometimes I listen to classical music and to folk acoustic music. I really like the, ‘discover weekly,’ playlist on Spotify.”

Devin Clark ’18 of Moundridge, Kan.

“I usually study in the library or in the back corner in VLB that is away from everyone. It is just a nice place to go and study. I like Walk the Moon, Imagine Dragons, Hosier, or acoustic.”

Jeff Barabec ’18, of Ogallala, Neb. 

“I go to my secret place so I can't tell you where it is; however, I do study at the library sometimes. I listen sad depressing music, because it kind of matches my study mood. I also listen to Van Morrison.”

Lydia Heishman ’19, of Keecletown, Va. 

“I study at my house. I listen to the Fray Pandora and I normally hold one of my geckos and they sit there on me.”

Macy Crouse ’17 from Needmore, Pa. 

By Marlene Matula '17, Juniata Online Journalist

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December 9, 2016

Madrigal dinner occurred Dec. 3, starting at 6 p.m. Inspired by “The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the dinner started off with an elaborate performance by the Juniata kick line. They danced to the song, “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody,” by Fergie, to go with the theme.

Matthew Colabella, a junior from Lindenhurst, N.Y., and the evening’s master of ceremonies asked to have them dance to this song. Sierra Mellish, a senior from Williamsport, Pa. and president of the Juniata Dance Ensemble choreographed the dance along with the help of Noelle Bradley, a junior from Altoona, Pa. and Becca Fauber, a junior from Mechanicsburg, Pa. “I love the modern interpretation of ’20s inspired music that this song portrays in such a dynamic and catchy way,” says Mellish.

At the end of this dance, some of the faculty and staff joined in. Mellish feels that this is what made the 2016 Madrigal so special. Faculty and staff come together every year to serve students dinner, and many of them like to dress up and have fun with it. “Some of the servers joined in to do the final dance. That was a hoot! And did you see Dave Widman’s suit? Wow!” says Dennis Plane, professor of politics. “I was incredibly surprised at the amount of faculty and staff that wanted to participate, and they were such good sports while learning the choreography,” adds Mellish.

The dinner consisted of chicken served with rice pilaf and green beans. Chocolate cake was the dessert. Afterwards, carols were sung and joy was spread throughout the dining hall. The dinner was followed by a dance in Kennedy Sports and Recreation Center a little while afterwards.

Faculty, staff and students all seemed to have enjoyed themselves and the company around them. “It united our student body,” says Isabelle Wojciechowski, as junior from Brooklyn, N.Y. Plane shares, “It’s a blast. I enjoy seeing the students outside of the classroom; I especially enjoy seeing the students I know. And I’m always wondering if this will be the year that one of the servers drops an entire tray of food.”

“I hope this was a Madrigal that will go down in history, and I hope that everyone continues to think of bigger and better ideas that will be enjoyable for everyone involved in the future years,” wishes Mellish.

Alex Webb ’18, Juniata Online Journalist




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December 2, 2016

It can be a challenge to make self-care a priority with finals and the holidays approaching fast. On Nov. 29, Skukura Woods, assistant director in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion hosted a lecture covering the importance of self-care, how it can be achieved and how it helps in every aspect of our lives.

Self-care is the practice of making sure that all of your needs are met. It can be something simple like taking a bath at the end of a long day, but the important thing is that you acknowledge your emotions. Woods suggests turning off your phone when practicing self-care. Being constantly connected with the world around us is a blessing and a curse. Social media can act like a vortex; it’s easy to lose track of everything by scrolling through Facebook, but it can keep us from focusing on our own thoughts and feelings.  

Meditation is a very popular form of self-care because it applies itself easily to everyday situations. You can meditate by taking deep breaths, going for a walk, or even by sitting comfortably and trying to clear your mind. Meditation can be a great way to get in touch with your emotional side by allowing you to understand how you feel and why you feel that way.

When you take proper care of your mind, it manifests in your relationships with those around you. Woods explains, “it’s hard to maintain healthy relationships without practicing self-care. When you treat yourself well and recognize your emotions it becomes easier to empathize with others.”

Having an awareness of your emotions and those of your family and friends gives you a solid foundation for problem-solving. Woods says, “when we let ourselves get angry at someone we give that person power over us.” Anger is a surface emotion, and there is often an underlying cause that can’t be fixed by taking out that frustration on others. Instead, understand that some things are out of your control, so focus on your own well-being rather than searching for a solution from someone who may not be able to provide one.

The key word in self-care is “self.” It is a necessity, and not something to feel guilty about or selfish for practicing. Treating yourself with kindness has cascading effects. During this busy time of year, the best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones is the gift of positivity.

Laura Snyder ’19, Juniata Online Journalist

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November 30, 2016

On Tuesday, Professor Peter Goldstein’s Poetry Writing Course (EN 303) read some of their poems to an overflow audience. The students chose a variety of poems from throughout the year with a variety of prompts and styles. There were 12 students who each read three poems, with the exception of one person who read just one poem.

The poems spanned from serious topics such as sexual assault and consent to silly topics like hometowns. As with any poetry reading, love and angst were major topics of interest.

Many of the students utilized a narrative style, others wrote descriptive poetry, and only one featured a rhyme scheme. One student, Suzanne Jlelaty, a senior from Astoria, N.Y., featured alliteration, or the use of words that start with the same letter directly after each other.

Some of the prompts the students used included: the creation of a new word, the use of both simile and metaphor in a single poem, and a memory.

The poems titles included: “Man Takes What Man Wants,” “Marlboro Man,” “Desert Goddess,” “She Doesn’t Know,” “Works of Art” and “Wonderstumps.”

One of the students from the class, Lily Formosa, a sophomore from Caraoplois, Pa., read three poems, though her favorite was “Remembering Xela,” a reflective piece about her time in Guatemala. Her inspiration was, “the graveyard in Zone 1, in Xela. I have this picture of a crumbled pathway all these brightly colored mausoleums and graves. There was a volcano in the background that had just recently erupted the day before so the lava and ash were still visible.”

Formosa has always been interested in poetry, using it as an escape during middle school when she was experiencing depression during the time of her parent’s divorce, and wrote poems on scrap pieces of paper. She wrote more poems throughout high school, some of which she still has.

EN 303 Poetry Writing is a class that runs only in the fall semester and is open to all students who hold sophomore standing or higher and have taken EN 109 or 110.

Isabella Bennett, Juniata College Online Journalist 2020~

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November 29, 2016

A copper charm with Islamic writing embossed on its surface that was unearthed at Fort Shirley, a colonial fort site near Shirleysburg, Pa, has been loaned to go on display at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, Pa.

Students were excavating on the site as part of the Juniata course on archaeology taught by Jonathan Burns, a lecturer in archaeology. The dug up the very small artifact as part of a test hole. “We were digging in Nancy Kepler’s backyard and we found it,” states Burns.

Fort Shirley was huge trading post with the local Native American population, and it was known that slaves lived there too. The Fort Shirley copper charm is about the size of the hole punched in a spiral notebook. The tiny charm has Islamic inscriptions from the Quran.

This is a unique find because there was only written records of Muslims in colonial Pennsylvania. Up until this point, there was not much physical evidence of an Islamic presence. “Slaves did trade, so we are wondering if they traded for this trinket or if a person got it from an artisan in Africa and they carried it across the sea. That is where the speculation comes in,” Burns says.

Ryan Mathur, chair of Juniata's geology department, used isotopic techniques in a chemical analysis of the charm to determine that the copper was from England.

Scott Stephenson ’87, director of collections and interpretation at the Museum of the American Revolution is excited to put this charm on display in the museum. The museum will open in May. He stated that, “we have about 15,000 feet of core exhibition space. We have a section devoted to the Declaration of Independence and the early constitution writing that took place. There is a section that is devoted to the foundations of religious freedom in America. We want to use this discovery to represent the different religions of the colonies in America. Some of the faiths are kind of easy to find examples for, like Methodist, Lutheran, or Jewish. Others like Muslim are harder to find. This is the only artifact we have to represent that religious minority in the colonies.”

 “My hope is that the people from the American Revolution Museum will see this piece and this and say – hey I saw this before or I know where there is one of these,” says Burns. “So there is no better venue for it in my opinion than being seen in the museum. The charm probably came from Philly long ago. It is unlikely that we are going to find out anymore on the charm here.”

Scott stated that, “we want to broaden the perceptions that people have of the founding generation. It is not to take away from the men at Indepdence Hall who played a great role in the religious freedom given to us, but to also see that America was incredibly diverse both religiously and ethically in that period.”

The charm is on loan to the Museum of the American Revolution for three years with the possibility of renewing its stay in Philadelphia. It will be part of the exhibit opening in April of 2017.

By Marlene Matula ’17, Juniata Online Journalist 

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November 22, 2016

Last Monday night at the Unity House, Debra Kirchhof-Glazier, professor of biology, gave the seventh talk in her series on the Bahai Faith.

The Bahá’í faith started in 1844, and is the newest independent religion in the world. “All the religions are considered a part of one progressive revelation from the same source that wants us to understand different things in human history,” stated Kirchhof-Glazier. “What is really pivotal and unique about the Bahai Faith is that every other religion had only one person such as Jesus, Buddha or Mohammad, etc. But in the Bahai dispensation there are two manifestations of God.  

The one is called the Bab, which means the gate, and he was basically the person that signalized the end of the age of prophecy and said the age of fulfillment was coming. This age would bring that person who was going to be the promised one of all religions and that was who Bahá’u’lláh was,” she explains. The people of this faith believe that there are three unities that connect all other religions. “The first is the oneness of God, whatever people call it. The second unity is the unity of religion. And the third unity is the unity of humanity,” says Kirchhof-Glazier. “Bahai gatherings do have diversity, because we embrace unity in diversity. One of the principles is the elimination of prejudice of all kinds.”

Kirchhof-Glazier goes on to explain that there are no clergymen or women in this religion.  It is up to Bahais to talk about their Faith. She states that, “the Bahais do not convert people, we discover them. I enjoy talking to atheists, people from different religions, or agnostics- it doesn’t matter because the principles, when they are applied, would in fact fix some of the world’s deepest problems. It is very holistic and comprehensive”.

The seventh talk in her series was about the political process. The Bahais have a unique political process. “We are not talking about harmonizing everyone into one thing, but there is unity with a diverse aspect. And part of the process of politics is consultation,” Kirchhoff-Glazier says. She went on to explain how the Bahai political system works. Despite the lack of clergy, there is still a unity among the followers. “The local Bahai community gets together once a year to elect the nine members of the Local Spiritual Assembly.  We always begin with prayer to get rid of all the veils that come between you and whatever you think the truth is. You then open yourself up and think, who is the most spiritual person and who would be the best qualified to be on the Spiritual Assembly. You write one name down and the nine names that have the most votes will be on the assembly.”

Politics are run through a process called consultation. “You separate the person from the opinion. You put your opinion out there or an opinion that happens to come from you and then the consultation happens. And often the truth comes out after a clash of differing opinions,” she explains. Everyone has a right to say whatever they want to say about the issues being discussed. However, at the end of the consultation, if the decision is not unanimous, the majority will rule and everyone must follow that decision.  If it is wrong it will become readily apparent and they can consult again and change their decision. The beauty is that in Bahai communities we are doing this and it is working.”

By Marlene Matula, Juniata Online Journalist  

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November 21, 2016

Last Thursday, at 12p.m., Taha Barkaoui, an International student from Tunisia, gave a presentation on Tunisia as part of the international education week. Barkaoui dismissed many misconceptions about Tunisia, talked about the Arab Spring and mentioned some fun facts about the country, while the audience savored delicious Tunisian food that he prepared.

Barkaoui explained that most Tunisians are bilingual, with the country’s official language being the modern standard Arabic, and French as a required second language in school. The Tunisian dialect, which is a mixture of Arabic, Berber, Italian and French is also widely spoken. Barkaoui went to emphasize that there was a difference between Islamic and Muslim countries. “The majority of Tunisians are Muslims, but Tunisia is a liberal secular country,” he said. He also added that Tunisia is the only country out of all the Arab Spring countries that has had a successful transition to democracy, and as a result, freedom of religion is guaranteed by the constitution.

The audience seemed amazed by some of the comparisons made between Tunisia and the United States, one of them being that fact that Slavery was abolished in 1846, while the US abolished it in 1865 with the 13th amendment.

Jim Tuten, professor of history, attended the event to support Barkaoui because the international student became the Tutens’ friendship student through the International Friendship Family program. “I found it interesting that Taha’s grandfather had lived in one of the desert tiered houses and that they are well-designed to be cool even in the oppressive heat of the desert. I liked seeing the images of the Roman ruins and how their coliseum is still used as a music venue today. I rememberBob Wagoner (professor emeritus of philosophy), had told me Tunisia has his favorite Roman ruins in the world including those in Italy.”

Tuten also enjoyed the food. “I told several people about the couscous with pomegranate seed, the stuffed peppers and my favorite where the stuffed dates. I would have eaten a whole platter of the stuffed dates if no one was watching!”

Anne-Marcelle Kouame ‘19, Juniata Online Journalist 

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