Brick entry sign that features the Penn State Shenango mark. Trees and a parking lot can be seen in the background.

September 2019: What's happening at Shenango?

It's the start of classes at Shenango! This issue features highlights from Welcome Day, upcoming campus events, and a special message from our Campus Director, Dr. Jo Anne Carrick.

Vol 1, Issue 11

Welcome Back!

Welcome to another successful launch to the 2019-2020 academic year! Over 100 students participated in this year's Welcome Day. Incoming students from all walks of life learned how to successfully maneuver through their Shenango experience.
 
This is also the inaugural season for our Lady Lions Volleyball team as the second new team to expand our Athletic program. Their season started the first week of classes and their first home game will be Saturday, September 14, at the Buhl Recreation Center, Sharon, PA. Please note the details of the campus tailgate prior to the game. Come join us as we celebrate the start of our first women’s sport returning after a 20-year hiatus.
 
The start of a new academic year also brings energy, excitement with new and returning students to the campus from the summer break. In preparation for their return this year, the campus purchased new furniture for the Great Hall and renovated the adjacent game room. The new furniture and design provide great gathering spaces for our students to relax, study, and socialize with each other.
 
In addition, we were delighted to receive a grant from the University to focus on providing a new opportunity for students from diverse backgrounds to experience college while in high school. The grant supports a mentoring program and costs for dual enrollment courses for the students. We have been working with our local schools to identify students.
 
As we move into the semester, things of course will get more intense in the classroom as our faculty continue to challenge our students to learn and to achieve the high standards as they complete the coursework in their major. The most important message to our students is that we are dedicated to support and to help our students in many ways. We are believers that our students can reach for the sky and beyond. 
 
Here’s to another great year!
 

Meet Mandy

Name: Mandy Stingis

When did you graduate?  May 2016

What was your major? Business

What campus(es) did you attend? Penn State Shenango and World Campus

What were you involved in on campus during your time at Penn State? I served as the President of the Student Government Association and Student Veterans Association.  I also participated in the Drama Club’s Talent Show for Spring 2016. 

What is your favorite Penn State memory?  I initially started classes in 2011 while I was gearing up to deploy to Afghanistan. I was able to start courses online through Penn State World Campus. During those online classes, I met different individuals that had fallen into the same schedule plan, because we were going for the same degree. One of the people that I got to know through my online classes became a dear friend of mine, Christine. My favorite Penn State memory was getting to meet Christine in person for her graduation day at University Park!  

Why did you choose Penn State? The Penn State name is well known around the country, and it carries quite a bit of prestige with it. I wanted my degree to stand out amongst other candidates, and by getting involved on campus, it afforded me opportunities that other colleges simply could not give to me. 

Who has made an impact on your life? On Mother’s Day of 2018, my husband and I welcomed our little girl, Noelle Avery Stingis, into our lives. She has made our lives very interesting, to say the least. She has provided more joy than I could have ever imagined. She has also challenged me to become more patient and understanding. Plus, I’ve adapted to survive off of three to five hours of sleep a night! That aspect is getting better as she gets older though!

One surprising fact about yourself: I’m an introvert to the core. I am almost crippled with anxiety when I have to speak in front of a crowd or meet new people. I have found that if I’m talking about something that I am passionate about, it makes me less nervous. 

Where are you now? I am a credentialed trust tax analyst at PNC Bank in Cleveland, OH.   

What is your proudest professional accomplishment? While out on maternity leave, I began testing for my Enrolled Agent license. This credential is earned by passing three very difficult tests that are created by the IRS. The tests assess a candidate’s knowledge on individual income tax, business income tax, and ethics and representation before the IRS. I passed all three of the exams within three months. When I returned from my leave, I was able to be promoted to a credentialed trust tax analyst. 

Why would you recommend Penn State to future students?  Penn State has a lot of alumni networks. The quality of the courses that you are going to take at Penn State are top-notch. Penn State is known all across the country as having excellent academic programs. I’ve gotten interviews and job offers simply because I graduated from Penn State and one of the hiring managers was also a Penn State graduate. 

Any advice to current/future students: Get involved. Don’t just do the bare minimum and attend classes. Find clubs to join. If there isn’t a club for your specific interest, find some people who share that interest and make a new one! Don’t be afraid to step up into a leadership role either. It will push you out of your comfort zone, but that experience will help you to grow stronger. 

 

Meet Jill

A headshot of a brunette woman

Jill Cataldi

Jill Cataldi, information resources and services support specialist

Name: Jill Cataldi

What is your role on the Shenango campus? I work in the library as an Information Resources and Services Support Specialist, which is really just a fancy title for “Penn State Librarian.”

How long have you been at Penn State? I started working at the library on March 1, 2018

What are you involved in on campus? Staff Advisory Council, Staff Appreciation Committee, Social Media Team, Diversity Committee, Library Advisory Committee

What are you involved in outside of campus? Theater. I perform in shows, primarily musicals, at both the Youngstown Playhouse and with the Area Community Theater of Sharpsville group.

Tell us about your education: I attended Penn State Shenango for two years after high school and have an Associate of Letters, Arts, and Sciences degree. I then went on to Youngstown State University and completed a Bachelor of Science in Education: Integrated Mathematics 7–12 degree.

What is your favorite Penn State memory? I really loved my time here as a student. I didn’t get involved in any clubs or anything, but I had good classes. I had a volleyball class in a gym that no longer exists. I had Dr. Selvaraj for most of my math classes and just moved from math class to math class with the same group of people. I enjoyed learning from him and working with my fellow classmates. I worked as a math and writing tutor at the Learning Center. I loved so much of my time here as a student that I was absolutely thrilled to even have the opportunity to return to the campus as part of the staff.

Why do you love the Shenango campus? I love it for its size and atmosphere. I love getting to work with and know so many of the students. I have nothing but love for this campus and boast about it all the time.

One surprising fact about yourself: I auditioned for American Idol…twice. The first time was pretty much a spontaneous decision. My dad booked us a flight to Los Angeles on a Monday and we left that Thursday. We got into line early Friday morning and stayed there until the audition on Sunday. It was such a crazy, whirlwind adventure that I decided to do it again the following year in Cleveland.

What do you enjoy outside of the classroom? Hobbies, interests, etc.: I love theater. I love performing and attending shows. I love to travel and have no problem traveling solo. Disneyland is easily one of my favorite destinations. I spent a summer working there and love to travel back whenever possible. I am a big hockey fan. I go to several Penguin games every year and even have a “Pens Room” in my house.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment? I was a teacher for many years. Any educational impact I have made on any student, whether in the classroom or online or even during a one-on-one tutoring session, is something I will always be proud of.

Why would you recommend Penn State Shenango to future students? I recommend it all the time to future students. I loved my time here as a student and my hope is that more and more students get to experience it. We have a beautiful campus with a great atmosphere. The staff and faculty are passionate about what they do and care about the success of their students.

Why would you recommend Penn State Shenango to a future colleague/employee? I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and working with so many people on this campus. They are helpful, supportive, encouraging, fun to be around, and, again, are here for the students.

If you weren’t working in higher education, what would you be doing? I’m sure I would be teaching or working in education in some form.

 

Meet Bruce

Name: Bruce Rayner

What is your role on the Shenango campus? My official title is IT Generalist, but I like to help out wherever I can!

How long have you been at Penn State? I have worked full time at Penn State Shenango for 13 years. I was also a student and doing work-study here before that so 17 years total.

What are you involved in on campus? Staff Advisory Council (SAC), SAC Executive Committee

Tell us about your education: I received an Associate degree in IST (Information, Sciences, and Technology) from Penn State Shenango in 2004. Then I received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Shenango in 2006, and finally a Master of Professional Studies in Information Sciences, Cybersecurity and Information Assurance in 2014 from Penn State’s World Campus.

What is your favorite Penn State memory? I have quite a few favorites. Mostly it’s the NSO/Welcome Day events because I get to meet all the incoming students. I do also vividly remember getting several pies thrown in my face as well as being dunked several times in a dunk tank for club fundraisers.

Why do you love the Shenango campus? Everyone is very friendly. The campus is one of the smaller Penn State campuses, but I like that because I get to know students, staff, and faculty on a more personal level this way.

Who has made an impact on your life? Why? My family. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them. My parents have taught me a variety of different things that have helped me throughout my life.

One surprising fact about yourself:  I grew up on a dairy farm. We have in the past few years converted it to a beef cattle only farm, but I still help out with farming duties.

What do you enjoy outside of the classroom?  Hobbies, interests, etc.:  I enjoy being outdoors. Almost every day after work you’ll find me at the gym and/or Buhl Park.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment? Winning the Professional Staff Member of the Year award twice and also winning the Outstanding Staff Member award. I am honored to receive these awards. I am proud to be a part of a great community of people and I am happy to have made a positive impact on the campus!

Why would you recommend Penn State Shenango to future students? The staff and faculty are here to help you succeed. Shenango is a great place to learn, but there are also plenty of opportunities to have fun!