Over the past year, Ursinus has produced unparalleled opportunities for each member of its community, fostering creative and innovative thinking; strengthening diversity and inclusion across campus; recruiting and retaining high caliber students, faculty and staff; and ensuring long-term financial sustainability in order to strengthen Ursinus’s position as a national leader in the liberal arts. This bold vision is deliberately reflected in Ursinus 150, the college’s ambitious strategic plan.
The 2017-2018 Year-in-Review presents a closer look at the significant progress made toward the plan’s seven objectives and the three pillars on which they are built: learning, living together and building lifelong connections. Intentionally interwoven among the objectives are stories of just some of the faculty, staff, students and alumni who have helped us meet those goals and shape our year. (view their profiles below).
As Ursinus’s director of institutional research and effectiveness, Annemarie Bartlett works tirelessly to make sure faculty and staff feel supported with assessment and institutional effectiveness. Described as meticulous, thoughtful and knowledgeable, she has a talent for taking the fear out of terms like “self-study” and accreditation.” Annemarie has been instrumental at the departmental, programmatic and administrative level to improve educational and institutional practices. This year, she was recognized by her peers with the Laughlin Distinguished Administrator Award for exceptional work as conduit, collaborator and counselor. She served as president of the North East Association for Institutional Research.
Julin Everett and Cari Freno
For an entire semester, Julin Everett and Cari Freno transformed the Ursinus campus into an indoor/outdoor studio for badges of dishonor turned into badges of honor. Their installation Scene/Unseen contained 19 photographs of Jewish people proudly wearing the yellow star that branded them as inferior in Nazi-ruled nations. Everett, an assistant professor of French, and Freno, an assistant professor of art and art history in drawing and sculpture, created a subtly powerful public dialogue with persecuted people who empower themselves by changing—and recharging—symbols of shame.
Bryanna Jones ’19
Home is where the heart is, and Bryanna Jones knows this better than most. Her research on the impact of special interest housing on the wellbeing of young students of color has raised important questions about identity and community. She is the youngest 2018 Active Minds Emerging Scholars Fellow and is contributing to the program’s goals of completing independent mental health projects and expanding the conversation on behavioral health, particularly in younger communities.
Amanda Palladino ’18
Amanda Palladino finds balance in all parts of her life. From the beam to business and economics, her drive leads her to success across the academic and athletic field. “Give her the spotlight and she will impress you with knowledge, skill and ability,” shares Jennifer VanGilder, an associate professor of business and economics, who praised Palladino’s gentle confidence in the classroom and on the mat. Amanda participated in the NCAA Career in Sports Forum and is Ursinus’s nominee for the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Tony Nadler is tuned into why consumers trust and distrust news producers. Supported by a fellowship from Columbia’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism the assistant professor of media and communication studies researches media attitudes in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, a largely African-American community with leftist leanings, and Montgomery County, a largely Caucasian community with political rivalries. Proposals for broader, better local coverage ranged from history lessons to citizen reporters, and Nadler plans to interview conservative-news producers while helping students navigate the news/rumor/propaganda jungle.
Jill Leauber Marsteller ’78
What does it mean to be a “Bear for Life?” Here is one shining example. In roughly 45 years associated with Ursinus—as a student and alumna, lecturer and advancement professional—Jill Marsteller has provided exceptional service and leadership to the college. Her strategic vision is unparalleled and, as she guides the ambitious $100 million Keep the Promise comprehensive campaign to the finish line, Marsteller reflects on her legacy. “I feel very deeply that we all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and I am very grateful to have been mentored by others while having the great pleasure to mentor the next generation of advancement officers,” she says.
Will Abele ’61
Will Abele ’61 was an undergraduate when he adopted the philanthropic mantra of Richard T. Schellhase ’45, his religion professor, wrestling coach and mentor: “Someday this is going to be your responsibility.” He and his wife, Joan, take that to heart. They established the Abele Family Foundation to drive their philanthropic efforts. At Ursinus, they are funding the Abele Scholars Program, which provides scholarships to students and is supplemented by internships, debt-reduction advice and good-citizenship training. Their creative, communal contributions also include campus safety improvements, the Bear2Bear Student Emergency Fund, the Richard T. Schellhase ’45 Ethics Prize, new science equipment and a summer finance course.
Doug Hickey ’15
Doug Hickey strives to serve veterans in the same way they have served our country: selflessly, passionately and relentlessly while upholding the values of honor, duty and integrity. As a clinical research coordinator at the Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center of Excellence at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, he ensures that these heroic men and women receive the care they deserve. And, as an inaugural Charles Rice Postgraduate Research Fellow, Hickey will travel aboard to research the invisible wounds that soldiers carry with them upon returning from war.
Rebecca Lyczak has spent her 16-year career perfecting the science of discovery. Backed by over $1 million in grants, the professor of biology and her undergraduate lab partners have sought new genes to combat neurodegenerative diseases, basing tests on a pivotal protein identified by her 2006 team. Comprehensive and sensitive, she encourages noble failures. “I help students see the silver lining in a refuted hypothesis, that it can allow you to travel new, exciting paths.”
Clara Baker ’19
It’s clear to see that Clara Baker has made quite a splash in her athletic career. She is the most decorated female swimmer in Ursinus history and a Centennial Conference record holder. Coach Mark Feinberg describes her as a once-in-a-generation swimmer. But her contributions to the team and the campus out of the pool are actually what make her so special. “She approaches every situation with humility, a positive attitude, tremendous work ethic and that infectious smile,” Feinberg says. She’s “someone who future student athletes will look up to for years to come.”
Ben Allwein ’18
The key to effectively addressing issues of access to health, education and food security? Cooperation. And Ben Allwein is the ultimate arbiter. With a Fulbright scholarship in hand, Ben is seeking to foster international partnerships between governments and researchers with the goal of addressing antibiotic resistance, an emerging public health crisis. His choice to defer his graduate study at the Weill Cornell Medicine Graduate School of Medical Sciences allows him to actively pursue this incredible opportunity at the Translational Health Science & Technology Institute in Delhi, India. “I have come to appreciate the importance of researching threats to human health that challenge us all,” he says.
“I get you guys for four years. You get me for life.” It’s a promise that Stan Exeter makes to his players because, as Carter Usowski ’19 explains, the wisdom he imparts “will stay with me forever and will probably be lessons I teach to my own family.” Lessons that go beyond the baseball diamond: gratitude, graciousness, leadership. The best coaches are lifetime mentors and allies. “He has made me a better baseball player and more importantly, a better person,” Usowski says. Exeter earned the 2018 Centennial Conference Sportsmanship Award.