President's Updates

March 2021

Dear Millersville University Community,

In March 2020, the onset of a global pandemic necessitated the transition to remote instruction for the majority of our classes. I wonder if anyone could have imagined or predicted that one year later, we would still be operating in a largely remote environment.

As we began to prepare for life beyond the pandemic, we were dealt another setback due to the cyberattack we experienced. Our IT staff stepped up immediately and focused on containment, remediation and restoration of our network and systems. I know the past four weeks have been frustrating for all of us, but I can assure you that our IT staff are doing their best to address the problems created by the attack while re-engineering our networks for better and more secure service in the future. While this attack has obstructed our ability to operate effectively, I am confident in the strength and resilience of our community.

Despite these challenges, we have reason to celebrate. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has reaffirmed our accreditation without any required actions. This result is the best possible outcome of the self-study and a demonstration of the excellent work done by our faculty and staff. On behalf of Cabinet, I extend a heartfelt thank you to the Middle States Steering Committee, led by Dr. Jim Delle and Dr. Laurie Hanich, working group members and all the members of our community who were involved in completing the Reaffirmation of Accreditation Self-Study and handling the logistical work for the site visit. This is a major accomplishment for our institution.

This month’s newsletter highlights three new programs in Applied Engineering, Safety and Technology. We also connect with a Millersville icon, Rita Miller, a success coach in the department of Academic Advisement & Student Development. Highlights of the Spring 2021 University Research Newsletter are discussed and how our campus STEM-based pre-K classroom is navigating the pandemic. We also learn helpful tips to combat the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly and celebrate the return of spring sports.

Like me, I’m sure you are marveling at the fact that we are nearly through March and that commencement is just a few short weeks away. I look forward to an in-person commencement and hope that it serves as a moment of inspiration for returning to campus in the fall.

Be kind, be safe and stay healthy.

Daniel A. Wubah
University President

New Programs in AEST

The past year has brought significant changes to our world, our local community and to Millersville University. A positive change at MU has been the addition of three new distinct and vital programs in engineering technology. These programs are housed in our Department of Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology (AEST).

Our new program in Packaging Engineering Technology focuses on the application of scientific, technological, industrial design and business principles to the development of packages and packaging materials. Graduates of this program will be prepared for a variety of jobs in the engineering field.

Our new Manufacturing Engineering Technology program provides in-depth technical content in advanced manufacturing with an emphasis on automated manufacturing and computer integrated manufacturing. MU students who enroll in the program can become production managers, manufacturing engineers and much more.

Our new Automation & Intelligent Robotics Engineering Technology program involves the study of robotics and controls and focuses on the design, modeling, optimization, documentation and automation of advanced control problems. Those who graduate with this degree could become programmers, field engineers, robotics engineers and more.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the innovative and forward-looking work of our faculty and staff. I am so grateful to all of you who contributed to the creation and certain success of these new endeavors.

Q/A with Rita Miller

Rita Miller is a success coach in the department of Academic Advisement & Student Development. She is in her 45th year with Millersville University and we recently asked her about her time at the ‘Ville.

Q. How many titles have you held at MU?
A. At least five over the years.

Q. How many departments have you worked in?
A. It would probably be easier to measure by Divisions. I have worked in both Student Affairs and Academic Affairs.

Q. What are some keys to your longevity at Millersville?
A. Everything I’ve done over my years at Millersville has been central to my original goal to work with students in the college/university environment, to assist them to grow and develop as individuals who will have a positive impact on the world. At the start of each year, I take time to assess my progress on this goal. Each year I have confirmed that this goal is still my focus and that I can use my experience and knowledge to move toward that goal.

Q. What is it about MU that makes you want to stay here?
A. I have always believed that Millersville University, as an institution of higher learning, has the potential and perhaps even the obligation to be a key influence in changing the world to improve the human condition. That motivates me.

Q. What are your goals for your position as a success coach?
A. My goal remains the same, however, my objectives for the goal are directed and influenced by the needs of the students and the challenges they and the University confront on the pathway to success.

Q. What was your most memorable moment at MU so far?
A. I could choose from many over the years, but I think the most significant was being a part of the search committees that were successful in bringing to campus the first woman president; a person of color, and now a second president; a person of color who is also of international background. These hallmarks are vitally significant in the evolution of this institution.

Q. What motivates you to keep going?
A. I am motivated and encouraged by the progress I see here even though that progress may be slow and sometimes won at a cost to human spirit. I believe that Millersville University has a destiny to be a beacon of light to the world and a motivator for positive change in the world. I’m all in for that.

Research Newsletter

Millersville’s University Research Newsletter is now available. This newsletter is a publication released semi-annually which highlights how the University’s students and faculty engage with the values of research, creativity and scholarship. The University Research Newsletter is headed by two student co-editors. This publication’s co-editors are sophomore Jackson Fogel and junior Leah Freeman, who are under the supervision of associate professor and director of the University’s Honors College, Dr. Elizabeth Thyrum.

The University Research Newsletter is a product of the Honors College and sponsored by the Office of the Provost. It is a wonderful opportunity to feature the work of students and faculty and a great resource for our community to learn more about MU’s research impact.

The Spring 2021 University Research Newsletter features an interview with Dr. Christopher Hardy, provides an introduction to the Lombardo College of Business and shares insights into the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, among other stories. The current edition and previous editions of the University Research Newsletter are available here.

Thrive to Five

In 2019, we held a grand-opening ceremony on campus for the region’s first pre-K STEM classroom. The classroom, in Bard Hall and sponsored by Lancaster’s Community Action Partnership (CAP), was the first in the region to offer STEM instruction to students ages 3-5, giving these children the opportunity to engage with STEM concepts from the very start of their learning journeys.

Then the pandemic hit and the program had to pivot to operating remotely with options for students to join a morning or afternoon group session as a way to remain connected to their teachers and classmates. This shift allowed them to listen to a story, dance, play games and learn in a variety of creative ways. The students were also sent learning kits and materials to ensure their learning continued even while at home.

The pre-K STEM classroom exemplifies Millersville University’s commitment to embracing a culture of exploration by creating a dynamic learning environment for children. Additionally, the community partnerships invoked by the program are an example of our commitment to public mission and having a direct impact on the larger public good.

The class at Bard Hall is one of several locations where CAP offers their Thrive to Five program. Millersville’s location has 17 students and is still enrolling. For more information about the Millersville classroom and other programs, please go to https://caplanc.org/our-programs/education-childhood-development/head-start/.

Alum’s Work on Spotted Lanternflies

As spring approaches, many of us are looking forward to spending more time outside. One of our alumnae is working hard to help control the Spotted Lanternfly to limit its impact on our gardens, yards and natural spaces in Lancaster County.

The lanternfly is a planthopper that is indigenous to parts of southern China, Taiwan and Vietnam, and has spread invasively to the U.S. and other countries.

Amanda Goldsmith ‘19 has been using her degree in biology to help combat the Spotted Lanternfly crisis in Lancaster County. After working with the Lancaster County Conservation District as an intern in summer 2019, she was the Spotted Lanternfly technician for the district. In her role, she helped Lancaster control and stop the spread of Spotted Lantern flies.

Goldsmith has three tips to protect our community from this invasive species:

  1. She advises us to use wildlife-safe traps such as sticky tape with a mesh barrier on different surfaces to capture the flies. By using a trap with a mesh barrier, we can ensure we are not harming native birds, bats or important insects for our ecosystem.
  2. It is important to check your car for eggs or flies before and after travel to prevent their spread.
  3. Avoid pesticides by trying alternative methods of removing the pests such as trapping the bugs, scraping the eggs off of surfaces and even using a shop-vac to remove the pests. Pesticides can harm some of Pennsylvania’s important native plants.

The Spotted Lanternfly is not only an unwelcome nuisance, it has a significant impact on Lancaster and Pennsylvania’s economy by harming production in nurseries, vineyards and tree growers. Small steps taken by each of us can help to limit the impact and reach of this invasive insect.

Spring Sports

After nearly an entire year, our Millersville athletics teams have returned to intercollegiate competition, and I couldn’t be more excited about the prospects of success this spring. Our baseball team recently rose to No. 10 in all of Division II and was picked to win the PSAC East in the conference’s preseason poll. On opening day, senior Luke Trainer pulled off the rare feat of hitting for the cycle. It was an amazing performance!

If you like home runs, don’t miss our Millersville softball team. The team hit 14 home runs in its first six games! The lineup is led by our all-time home run leader Faith Willenbrock, who was also recently named PSAC East Athlete of the Week.

I’m also looking forward to the start of tennis, golf and track and field seasons at the end of March, and I am happy that our swimmers and cross country runners will have the opportunity to compete in PSAC Championships this spring as well. The process of returning our student-athletes to competition during an on-going pandemic was not easy. I commend our athletic trainers, administration, coaches, health service team, and most of all, our student-athletes, for their patience, dedication, planning and cooperation.

Our teams will play home games throughout March and April, and while there are spectator limits and health and safety guidelines, there are opportunities for University faculty, staff and students to safely attend games. You can read the attendance policy and register for tickets to a home event here: 2021 Millersville Spring Home Event Registration - Millersville (millersvilleathletics.com).