Loretta Sobrito helps graduate student, Heidi Marino, in Sobrito’s office in Rowland Hall.
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Loretta Sobrito helps graduate student, Heidi Marino, in Sobrito’s office in Rowland Hall.
Horseback riding is about passion and connection between a horse and a human. One simple movement by one can cause a current that influences movement in the other.
The SU equestrian club practices every week at Swan Lake in Littlestown, Pennsylvania. Its coach, Mary Bast, teaches members how to hone their horses’ trotting, galloping and jumping skills.
From a nugget of family history, Shippensburg University professor Kim van Alkemade wrote a novel that brings to light cruel medical practices committed on orphans in the early 1900s. In her historical fiction novel inspired by true events, van Alkemade tells the story of an orphan who, later in life, must choose between mercy and revenge when the tables of life turn and she encounters the doctor who performed dangerous medical experiments on her during her time in a New York City Jewish orphanage.Van Alkemade will be reading from her new novel “Orphan #8” on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. in Old Main 206.“I found it very striking how she spoke about issues today, but when you put it in the time period of the book, it makes these issues seem all the more real for the character,” said Mary Grace Keller, a student at Shippensburg University. Not only did the main character, Rachel Rabinowitz, suffer from the experiments done on her in the orphanage, but she also had to deal with the stigma of being a lesbian in the first half of the 1900s, Keller said. Van Alkemade’s grandfather, Victor Berger, who grew up in the Hebrew Orphan Asylum with his brothers, Charlie and Seymour, inspired the idea for her novel. The three siblings were not orphans, but their mother was unable to take care of them, so she sent them to live at the orphanage. While doing research on her grandfather’s early days at the orphanage, van Alkemade came across some information on other orphanages where doctors would do medical research using the children as their subjects.It was not until van Alkemade was interviewing candidates to fill an empty position in the English department that she got the push to finally begin her novel. When asked how he or she planned to maintain their professional writing, every applicant stressed the importance of writing daily. Writing a novel is not something that can be done overnight — it is incremental, van Alkemade said.“I figured, I have this idea, I have the research, I have these notes,” van Alkemade said. “I guess that’s all it’s gong to take.”Van Alkemade had originally intended her novel to be narrative nonfiction, but when she discovered that the orphans were given X-ray treatments it reminded her of a story her great-grandmother used to tell her. Van Alkemade’s great-grandmother had worked at an orphanage while her grandfather lived there. She had the job of shaving the heads of the orphans when they first arrived. “One time, this girl came with such beautiful hair — I couldn’t shave it off,” van Alkemade said her grandmother told her. Van Alkemade thought this was the epitome of a literary contrast, and that is when she knew her novel was going to be fiction.After completing her novel, van Alkemade spent a year writing letter after letter trying to find an agent, even reading books the agents had published previously, but none of that worked. She eventually went to The New York Pitch Conference, where attendees can get advice on pitching their books to agents and editors. One of the editors read van Alkemade’s pitch and loved it. Van Alkemade sent the editor her book and they reached a publishing agreement two weeks later. “Orphan #8” was finally available for purchase on Aug. 4, 2015. Van Alkemade said her recent feat hit home when she saw her book at a store in the airport in Phoenix. It brought tears to her eyes, she said.“It was surreal,” van Alkemade said. “This thing that had been inside my head for so many years is now in public, in a store. People can buy it and I don’t even know who they are.”
Amidst the sea of alcohol flowing from restaurants and bars in Shippensburg is a non-alcoholic bar for people who want to anchor themselves to dry land. The Harbor, a non-profit located at 55 W. King St., opened in December 2013 as a place for recovering alcoholics, drug addicts and people who simply do not want to drink or be around those who do, said Melissa Mankamyer, founder and director of The Harbor. “We’re also a place that just seems to accept everybody wherever they are in life,” Mankamyer said. On Friday and Saturday nights at the Harbor, from 5 to 12 p.m., people sit at the bar in seats cut into wooden barrels, talking with the bartender who serves up milkshakes, coffee, soda and mock tails, which are cocktails without alcohol. Because The Harbor does not sell food, people are allowed to bring in their own food, but no outside drink, Mankamyer said.Every Saturday is open mic night, and during the day and weekday evenings The Harbor is also a place for community groups to meet — from Alcoholics Anonymous to Overeaters Anonymous. Although mostly rehabilitation groups meet at The Harbor, it is not limited to these types of programs, Mankamyer said. The Harbor welcomes college students, as well, Mankamyer said, although there are only a few Shippensburg University students who come.“I think there are a lot of college students who don’t want to drink but feel the pressure to drink … and you don’t get that pressure here,” said Debbie Brimer, a Shippensburg resident and patron of The Harbor. Mankamyer described The Harbor as a “very low-key” place that customers treat as their own home, dropping off bags at different tables as they go over to talk with friends. There are board games and a pool table that customers are welcome to play.Fish nets and rope drape the walls while knickknacks are crammed onto a book shelf and the fireplace mantel. A red row boat hangs upside down above the bar, the light bulbs that protrude from it warming the room and the people tucked into the couches and chairs. Jamie Karpency, a volunteer bartender for The Harbor, lives in Harrisburg but goes to The Harbor several times throughout the week, either for rehabilitation meetings or to bartend on the weekends. “[There are] a lot of people in similar situations here. It really is a family here. We take care of each other, look out for each other. It’s like that old Irish saying: we’re all friends here,” Karpency said. Part of the reason Mankamyer founded The Harbor was because she wanted a place that had a non-alcoholic atmosphere and Shippensburg did not provide such a venue, Mankamyer said. As a volunteer minister, Mankamyer said that she also wanted The Harbor to serve the community.After Mankamyer realized alcohol was bad for her, she stopped drinking and her social life ended because alcohol surrounds so much of everyday life, Mankamyer said.“Everything that we do is around alcohol, or at least that’s what it was in my life,” Mankamyer said. “When we were angry, we were drinking, when we were celebrating we were drinking, when we were lonely and tired we were drinking, when we were bored we were making up new drinks.”There are people who can drink alcohol in a healthy way, but for those who cannot, The Harbor provides a safe place for them to socialize, Mankamyer said. The problem is that people do not have any boundaries to keep habits from becoming addictions, Mankamyer said. “Addiction gets out of control before you realize that you have an addiction. It affects your job, it affects your relationships, it affects your social life …” Mankamyer said.For recovering addicts, a bar has too many temptations, which is why people can come to The Harbor, Karpency said. “If you come here and you need someone to talk to, that person will be here,” Karpency said. “If you need to give your experience, strength and hope to someone who’s struggling, that opportunity is also here for you.”
Rick and Patricia Yeomans, left, talk with Debbie Brimer Friday night as they drink non-alcoholic beverages at tables in The Harbor.
Dela Polca, left, sits at The Harbor’s bar as she chats with the bartender, Jamie Karpency, on Friday, Sept. 11. The lights hanging from the red row boat cast the room in warm light as conversation hummed.
Melissa Mankamyer, left, talks with Lila Crowder and Dela Polca, who are both regulars at The Harbor’s bar each weekend.
The Shippensburg University Career & Community Engagement Center (CCEC) is offering an opportunity to save the lives of others at the Bone Marrow Registry Sept. 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Ceddia Union Building’s (CUB) Grand Hall. Every third Tuesday of the month the CCEC hosts a community-centered clinic to help students become stewards outside of the campus. “Our goal is to engage students and get them to think about the community and campus,” CCEC director, Victoria Kerr said. Upcoming clinics also include “A Spoonful of Cookie” in October and “Sending Holiday Cheer” in December.A typical bone marrow swabbing takes less than five minutes to do, according to the Mayo Clinic, a medical care and research facility. Once the cells are collected from inside the cheek, the results are sent to an office and reviewed. If patients meet all the requirements they are entered into the bone marrow registry and their cells get tested to find a match.Kimberly Rockwell, CCEC secretary, stressed that the bone marrow registry is totally harmless. Rockwell also clarified that the blood marrow registry is not a blood drive. No needles are involved in this stage of the testing process. If donors finds a match they then get blood work and are scheduled for a donation. The donation will either be for bone marrow or blood stem cells depending on the needs of the patient. “Bone marrow is found in the hollow cavities of the body’s large bones,” according to swabacheek.org, and is collected by the doctor inserting a needle through the bone to collect the liquid portion of the bone marrow. The blood stem cell donation process is similar to plasma donations. Blood stem cells are removed from one arm and passed through a machine to collect only the blood-forming cells. The blood not used is returned to the opposite arm. According to the world’s largest bone marrow donor center, Delete Blood Cancer, donors must be at least 4 feet 10 inches tall, 110 pounds, willing to donate to any patient in need and be a permanent resident of U.S. SU counseling graduate student Nicholas Etheridge proposed the idea of supporting Delete Blood Cancer for the first CCEC clinic. Delete Blood Cancer center started when one family was searching for a bone marrow donor match and has continued today. “Blood cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths and kills more children than any other disease in the U.S,” according to Delete Blood Cancer. Delete Blood Cancer reported that more than 14,000 patients need a blood marrow donation each year, but only half of them will receive one. “The whole goal is it only takes a second to swab. If one of our students could be a match, that would be amazing,” Kerr said.
Corn kernels flew through the air and plastered themselves to faces and beards as corn eating competitors ran their teeth along ears of corn in a frantic three-minute race to see who could eat the most corn at Saturday’s 35th annual Shippensburg Corn Festival. Traffic was blocked off from Prince Street to Spring Street, where vendors sold food, crafts and jewelry for the Corn Festival. The proceeds from renting the vendor spots, as well as a percentage of the vendors’ earnings, go back to the town of Shippensburg, said Debbie Weaver, president of the Shippensburg Corn Festival Committee, which organizes the event. Shippensburg University professors and alumni were among the 12 corn eating competitors sitting at the table with elbows out as they held ears of corn to their mouths — scarcely lifting their heads for air as they skinned ears of corn like a vegetable peeler strips a potato. 2015 SU alumna Sarah Eyd attended the Corn Festival for the first time and competed in the corn eating contest, where she did not win any prizes but managed to eat four ears of corn.First, second and third-place winners earned cash prizes of $50, $25 and $15, respectively. “It really hurt me … I was chewing it faster than I could swallow it,” Eyd said.Nathan Goates, a management professor at SU, was the only one who flipped his ears of corn vertically and held them stationary as he used his front teeth like a knife to scrape away the kernels.Goates said that this was part of his technique, because he was hoping that most of the corn would fall out of his mouth and onto his lap. Despite Goates’ strategy, the only prize he earned were the three and a half ears of corn lodged in his stomach — which was no competition for the first-place winner’s nine ears of corn. SU’s math department, however, had a third-place winner who ate seven-and-one-fourth ears of corn — a personal best for math professor Ben Galluzzo, who is a fifth-year corn eating competitor.Playing a numbers gameGalluzzo was doing more than shoveling in corn — he and his math students were also crunching numbers to calculate the number of people crammed between the white, tent-lined street sides like mortar between brick. The rough estimate was 34,000 to 35,000 people, but Galluzzo said he and his students are still working on a more exact figure.For the fifth year now, Galluzzo said he stationed students at intersections along King Street so that for 60 seconds every 20 minutes they counted the number of people who crossed the street. After they compiled their data, they would use formulas to calculate an estimate of the number of people at the Corn Festival.Last year, Galluzzo said that he and his students estimated that 28,000 people attended. “Estimating crowds isn’t easy,” Galluzzo said.One of Galluzzo’s students, sophomore Kaitlyn Schultz, said that this is her first year crowd counting at the Corn Festival, and she has learned techniques how to do it without tallying people twice. “You have to think of a way to count people fast,” Schultz said. Applied math, which is what Galluzzo and his students were doing at the festival, is a way to understand how the world works, Galluzzo said. Nibblin’ on some cornCorn came in many forms at the Corn Festival. Its aroma weaved through the crowds as corn fritters sizzled, kettle corn popped and butter dripped from corn on the cob. The Shippensburg Young Farmers, a program designed to educate people about agriculture, has been at the Corn Festival for all 35 years. This year, they had 1,200 ears of corn to sell to people, said Ed Diehl, who lives a few miles south of Shippensburg and is a member of the Shippensburg Young Farmers.With 12 people helping, it took them about two and a half hours to shuck all of the corn, Diehl said.People lined up for the corn, which was slathered in butter and whatever seasonings people chose — salt, pepper or Old Bay seasoning. The Corn Festival helps to show people that Shippensburg is not just a college town, Diehl said, but a farming community, too.“[Corn Festival] brings the city and country people together,” Diehl said. Also popping around the Corn Festival were several kettle corn vendors. Kornucopia is owned and operated by Randy and Heidi Brubaker from Juniata County, who run their side business with their two children, who are 15 and 12. Kornucopia has been coming to the Corn Festival for the past four years and they usually sell six to eight 50-pound bags of kettle corn, Heidi said.“I love [the Corn Festival]. I love the crafts and the food,” Heidi said. “It keeps me hopping, though.” Corn fritters — dough mixed with corn — were selling fast, too. Bernadette Benbow, of Shippensburg, volunteered at the Corn Festival with her church, St. Peter’s African Methodist Evangelical Church, and flipped the round, flat fritters on the open-faced grill top. She said that corn fritters may be similar to pancakes, but are much richer. “First year we’re going to send someone out to get more,” Benbow said. “So we did well this year.”After the Corn Festival ended at 4 p.m., the bustling noise dissipated as people left and metal clanged as vendors took down the white tents — signaling the end of another Corn Festival.
A line of people snaked around the Seavers skating rink Saturday, Aug. 29, as volunteers rushed around to put finishes touches on the African American Organization’s first Crabfest. The African American Organization usually hosts a party to start off the year, said Rasheed Dandridge, president of the African American Organization.The meal cost SU students $5, but there was not only crab to eat. Fish, ribs, chicken wings, pasta salad and much more were all served along with the crab. The organization also gave away gift cards to Giant, Amazon and Visa, along with giving away some of the baskets on the tables. The line kept getting longer as the event proceeded. There were so many unexpected people in attendance that the crab ran out.Madeline Kwarteng, the secretary of the African American Organization, and Jaelin Smith, the vice president, both agreed that it was a nice way to start the new school year.“This exceeded our expectations,” Smith said. The African American Organization sold more tickets at the door than it expected, Smith said.“This was a way to reach out to the community,” Smith added.Diane L. Jefferson, Director of Multicultural Student Affairs, also agreed with Smith and Kwarteng. Jefferson explained that they got the crabs for a discounted price, which was paid for by the ticket sales. The organization also used the campus dining services for the other food. “The dining services on campus are truly committed to diversity,” Jefferson said. The event also helped students find common ground with food, she said.Since the organization plans on holding the event again, Jefferson wanted to encourage students to buy their tickets ahead of time so they do not run out of crab.But SU’s African American Organization was not the only one who was pleased with how the event turned out. Symphany Jones, a member of Multicultural Student Affairs who was also helping hand out food, agreed with the others. It was a successful event and she was happy to help, Jones said. She explained that even though she was with MSA and not the African American Organization, these organizations try to help each other out.Katara Lewis, an attendee, said the event and food were good. It was a great way to kick start the academic year, Lewis said.