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Archive for the 'Academics' Category

Student film illuminates challenges experienced by people with disabilities in Ghana

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

People with disabilities are often overlooked or left behind in discussions about global humanitarian relief aid and advocacy. But the number of vulnerable disabled people living in poverty and suffering in poor health is staggering in many communities. Eighty-two percent of people with disabilities live in poverty and more than 90% of children with disabilities do not receive education.

A new, short documentary film, Beyond the Margins, tells the stories of several unlikely heroes in Ghana—people with disabilities. Behind the cameras was Messiah College senior Derick Esch ‘14 who undertook the film as part of a graduation project. (more…)

Growing the family tree: Students find their roots in genealogy course

Monday, March 18th, 2013

A sense of belonging. Greater self- awareness. History made personal. These are just a few of the expressed outcomes of students who delved into their family history during a first-year seminar course focused on genealogy, history and personal identity.

“We were foreigners,” writes Laura Passmore about her family in her reflection paper for the course. “I was amazed by all the different countries in my background.”

“[This class] allowed me to uncover the past that I never knew,” writes Jazz Baker, a first-year student from Harrisburg. Baker relished playing the family historian and recounting her findings to her mother and four sisters. (more…)

History student creates Hershey mobile app

Monday, February 11th, 2013

For most people, Hershey, Pa. means delicious chocolate, thrilling amusement park rides and the philanthropist Milton Hershey. However, for Megan Keller ’13, the real story lies deeper than the tourist attractions and candy bars. The story of Hershey, engrained in its rich history, provides a deeper look at the industrious workers that brought this town its fame. Keller found a way to intertwine this story and her Messiah College education to develop and produce a mobile application that narrates a historical walking tour through downtown Hershey.

As a history major with a social studies certification, Keller took many classes that challenged her to engage in public history, a process that makes history more accessible to an average person. For her public history class last fall, Keller was challenged to consider an exhibit that would bring history to anyone. Keller knew she could take it one step further than doing something traditional and expected like building a Colonial exhibit. (more…)

Netiquette: Digital communication in today’s 140-character world

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Through the course of Jerry Sandusky’s now infamous two-week trial, Messiah alumna Sari Heidenreich ’11 tweeted more than one thousand times.

To get the most out of each 140-character message while still maintaining her professional voice, the social media producer for abc 27 in Harrisburg had to not only double-check facts and figures, but also weigh every last word to determine which could be abbreviated—or deleted.

But over the course of a thousand tweets of facts, quotes and insight, it was an innocuous punctuation mark she typed without a second thought that got her in trouble.

“I used an exclamation point in one of my tweets, and someone called me out on it,” said Heidenreich of the gossipy tone that character conveyed in her message. “I think they were right; and I didn’t use an exclamation point for the rest of the trial.” (more…)

Unraveling the mysteries of the universe: The search for dark matter

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Working half a mile underground in an old Minnesota mine, two engineering students and their physics professor described the subterranean lab as pretty typical … except for the occasional bat flying overhead.

Messiah College Physics Professor Abaz Kryemadhi and two engineering students, Joel Love ‘14 and Nick Martin ‘14, were awarded a Department of Energy Visiting Faculty Program grant to spend 10 weeks at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Chicago. There they worked with the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) experiment which is located half a mile underground in an old mine in Soudan, MN. The Messiah College team worked on simulation and detector design for a new generation detector called SuperCDMS. (more…)

A new way to worship

Monday, July 16th, 2012

While dance currently is an accepted form of both recreation and study — a dance minor began in the fall of 2010, and this past fall a dance major was added — for many years Messiah College, as a part of its founding Brethren in Christ denomination, took a firm standpoint against it. “The major source for opposition to dancing over the years basically came from the denomination, which was opposed to a number of ‘worldly’ activities, including dancing, playing cards, attending movies,” said Morris Sider, a member of the College’s faculty from 1963 to 2009. (more…)

Modern treasure hunt

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Just a few miles south of Messiah College, a 244-year-old farm is the site of an archaeological dig involving Messiah students, young participants in the Oakes Museum Curator Club, and older adults from nearby Messiah Village’s Pathways Institute for Lifelong Learning. The treasures from this effort aren’t simply the artifacts buried beneath the ground.  The great value, according to the dig directors, is in collaboratively exploring regional history, answering real research questions and adopting keen problem solving skills.

David Pettegrew, a professor in the Department of History, and Ken Mark, director of the Oakes Museum of Natural History, are overseeing the dig at the Stouffer Farm, a York County property dating back to 1767. The dig has been underway since fall 2010. (more…)

Building peace in Egypt

Monday, February 13th, 2012

One year ago, autocratic ruler Hosni Mubarak resigned after a series of successful protests known as the “25 January Egyptian Revolution.” Messiah College graduate Matthew Bucher ‘06 experienced this tension first-hand during his four years of peace-building work in Egypt, and he echoes the cries of Egyptian people that their movement toward peace and democracy is far from over.

Bucher’s passion for service began during his years at Messiah as a history education major with a peace and conflict studies minor. “After participating with a short-term Christian Peacemaker Teams delegation to Israel/Palestine as a part of my peace studies minor, I knew I wanted to return to the Middle East,” Bucher explained.

From July 2007-May 2011, Bucher served with the Mennonite Central Committee in the Coptic Orthodox Diocese in ll-Qosseya, Egypt. Bucher’s responsibilities while living in what he explains was the “hub of all church-activity in town” included preparing and leading peace-building workshops and teaching English courses to Muslims and Christians. “In both programs, we emphasized relationship building and sought nonviolent strategies to solving conflicts,” he said.

Bucher attributes his preparedness for his service assignment to his education at Messiah. “Whether thinking historically while reading Egyptian history, employing pedagogical strategies while teaching English as a second language or preparing trauma healing workshops, I noted many times how formed I was from my time at Messiah,” Bucher said. (more…)

Programming team earns spot at world competition

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

From left to right, Jason Long, Michael Adams, and Zach Felix. (Student Anthony Spargo and advisor Scott Weaver are missing from this picture.)

As if it’s not impressive enough to solve four challenging computer programming problems in five hours, a Messiah College team—comprised of students Michael Adams `13, Anthony Spargo `13 and Zachary Felix `15—solved the problems correctly and quickly enough to earn them third place in the Mid Atlantic United States Regional Programming Contest of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM).

The impressiveness of their accomplishment does not end there however. The team, led by advisors Jason Long `03, ITS employee; Scott Weaver ‘85, computer science professor; and Jonathan Corbin `03, was notified in mid-December that their stellar regional performance earned them a coveted invitation to compete in the ACM World Competition in Warsaw, Poland in May.

Messiah College will be one of only 20 American colleges and universities competing at the international level! (more…)

Immersed in early American life

Monday, July 25th, 2011

What started as childhood affection for historical fiction—particularly Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House”—has grown into a passion for American history that now finds senior Katie Garland immersed in early American life as a member of the prestigious Historic Deerfield Summer Fellowship Program.

Love of stories
“Part of my love for history comes from a love for stories,” Garland says. “It is fascinating to see how the world today came to be.”

This summer, Garland is finding out plenty about the Americans that lived in Deerfield, Mass. between 1600-1850. Garland was chosen from among 350 applicants to study material culture and decorative arts with seven other history or art history majors in the historic town of Deerfield, known for its public collections of art and antiques from early New England. (more…)