Kuga will serve as interim chancellor at Penn State Beaver
Donna J. Kuga, director of academic affairs at Penn State Beaver, has been appointed interim chancellor at the campus, effective July 1. Chancellor Gary B. Keefer will retire from the University on June 30. Keefer, who previously served as director of academic affairs, was named chancellor in 1997. Kuga served as associate professor of kinesiology and athletic director at Beaver before being named director of academic affairs in 1997. The University has appointed a search committee to find a new chancellor at Beaver. For information, contact the Chancellor’s Office at 724-773-3553 or email@example.com.
Penn State Beaver Advisory Board announces 2014-15 members
In May, the Penn State Beaver Advisory Board held its final meeting of the academic year and announced its 2014-15 membership, including new board members and Penn State alumni Kevion Latham and Cheryl Moon-Sirianni.
Latham, a partner and adviser with Fort McIntosh Wealth Advisors in Beaver, is responsible for new business development and assists business owners, individuals, families and professional athletes with wealth management. Previously he worked as an adviser at Merrill Lynch and as an analyst and underwriter for PNC’s Corporate Banking Division. He played football for Penn State’s late coach Joe Paterno and graduated from the University with a bachelor’s degree in finance.
Moon-Sirianni, a registered professional engineer works for PennDOT, where she is assistant district executive for design, a role in which she oversees the design of $200 to $400 million of project lettings annually and manages a design staff of 145 employees. She oversees District 11, which includes Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence Counties as well as the city of Pittsburgh, an urban district with more than 8,500 miles of roadway and 1,800 bridges. Moon-Sirianni holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Penn State.
In addition, other board members for 2014-15 are:
President John Feraco - Styrenics manufacturing and technology Leader, NOVA Chemicals Inc.
President-elect Greg Cerminara - Pittsburgh surface transportation principal, Michael Baker Jr. Inc.
Vice President Carolyn Renninger - CEO, c3 Controls
Tony Amadio – chair, Beaver County Board of Commissioners
Nick Andrews - president and owner, Andrews Industrial Controls Inc.
I. David Atcheson - oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Atcheson Oral Surgery
Jeffrey R. Bauman - vice president, Bauman Office Equipment Inc.
Ptoshia A. Burnett - site leader, BASF
Jim Christiana - state representative, 15th district
H. Scott Cunningham - executive vice president, PNC Wealth Management
Thomas J. Day Jr. - chief executive officer, West Point Products
Gregory A. Hojdila - training director, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 712 Apprenticeship
Steven Huggins - plant manager, Eaton Corp.
Teresa Krukenberg - senior vice president, business development, ESB Bank
Marianne LeDonne - program director, Regional Choice Initiative, Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit
Robert Matzie - state representative, 16th district
John P. Murawski - project manager, Markwest Energy Partners
Dennis Nichols - Beaver County commissioner
Donna M. Nugent - superintendent, Big Beaver Falls Area School District
Sean M. Ramaley - attorney
David Robbins - consultant, Wesley Foster LLC
Joseph Sawinski - CPA/assistant treasurer, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group
Roberta Sciulli-Carlson - research assistant, Veterans Administration, Engineering Resource Center, Pittsburgh
David Sebastian - manager/owner/vice president, Sebastian Enterprise Inc.
Donald E. Sheffield - president, TAME Inc.
Joe Spanik - Beaver County commissioner
James B. Stewart - professor emeritus, Penn State
Dianne J. Stoner - administrator, PA CareerLink Beaver County
Laura J. Tocci - attorney, Personal Law
Thomas D. Trzcinski - owner/president, Kitchen & Bath Concepts
Nicholas J. Unis - owner/partner, Unis Dental Associates
Joseph P. Giusti - member emeritus
Robert G. Redelfs - member emeritus
Richard Shaw - member emeritus
For information about the Beaver campus advisory board, contact the Chancellor’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-773-3553.
Beaver Advisory Board’s first fundraiser nets $17,500
The Penn State Beaver Advisory Board netted a profit of $17,500 at its first fundraising event, which was a Wine, Ale and Food Pairing held last month in the campus Brodhead Bistro and on the Bistro’s outdoor plaza. The event was developed and implemented by the Board’s Advancement and Development Committee.
More than 200 guests participated in the evening’s festivities, which featured 10 wines from five Pennsylvania wineries and several ales from the Beaver Brewing Co., all of which were accompanied by complimentary foods prepared by Jeremy Lindner, director of Beaver’s Office of Housing and Food Services; Kelly Marcello, manager of housing and food services; and their entire staff.
Wines and ales were from Kavic Winery, Carnegie; Presque Isle Wine Cellars, North East; Briar Valley Vineyard & Winery, Bedford; Mazza Vineyards, North East; 6 Mile Cellars Inc., Erie; and the Beaver Brewing Co., Beaver Falls.
The gourmet foods served were chicken satay skewers, California roll, bananas foster, beef panini, spicy tuna roll, fried rice ball, buffalo bison sliders, Mediterranean shrimp pasta, pan-seared scallops, sausage and peppers rustica, and stuffed mushrooms. The evening also included a silent auction and a Nittany Auction, ShutterBooth services donated by Tom and Brandi Patterson and entertainment provided by jazz saxophonist Stan Miller.
Prior to the event, the Advisory Board voted unanimously to direct this year’s proceeds to the Gary B. Keefer Endowed Scholarship at Beaver campus. Keefer, who will retire June 30, joined the campus as director of academic affairs in 1996 and was named chancellor in 1997. The scholarship was established last fall by colleagues, alumni and staff members in honor of Keefer’s tenure as Beaver’s longest-serving chancellor and in recognition of his many contributions to the academic, programmatic and physical plant enhancements on campus.
Primary event sponsors were Raymond James Financial Inc. and ESB Bank. Beverage sponsors were Personal Law, Bert’s Wooden Indian, Presque Isle Wine Cellars, John and Gina Dioguardi, Knickerbocker Russell Co. Inc., Kitchen & Bath Concepts, Day Capital Group, c3 Controls, and Daniel Woodski. Food sponsors were Unis Dental Associates, Atcheson Oral Surgery, Robert’s Roadside and Skerlac Contracting, A2Z Pressure Washing LLC, Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe, and Dan and Jack Pinchot.
Initially, the Advancement and Development Committee was chaired by Carolyn Renninger, advisory board vice president and CEO of C3 Controls, followed by Tom Day, CEO of Day Capital Group. Renninger remained on the committee along with advisory board members I. David Atcheson, oral and maxillofacial surgeon; John Feraco, advisory board president and manufacturing leader for NOVA Chemicals Inc.; Terrie Krukenberg, senior vice president for business development, ESB Bank; David Sebastian, vice president of Sebastian Enterprise Inc.; Laura Tocci, attorney with Personal Law; Tom Trzcinski, owner and president of Kitchen and Bath Concepts; and Nicolas J. Unis, owner and partner, Unis Dental Associates.
“This committee is one of the best I’ve ever worked with,” said Diana Patterson, Beaver campus director of development. “We started out with a lot of different ideas for this evening, but after some discussion, the group decided to go with a wine, ale and food pairing. And it was the right decision; we didn’t know we’d be this successful on our first time out with this fundraiser.”
The board is already planning to expand the event for next year and a date will be announced at a later time.
To view photos from the event, go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/pennstatebeaver/sets/72157644363872479/.
For information about the advisory board, contact the Beaver Chancellor’s Office at 724-773-3553 or email@example.com.
Students, faculty and staff: Sign up for PSUAlert -- PSUTXT expires June 30
To sign up for new emergency notification system, visit psualert.psu.edu
All Penn State students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to sign up for PSUAlert, the University's new emergency alerts system, at http://psualert.psu.edu/. As announced earlier this year, Penn State is transitioning to PSUAlert, away from the current emergency messaging service known as PSUTXT. The new service will feature enhanced messaging capabilities and more robust integration with the University’s other communications platforms. This change will take place at all Penn State campuses, with the exception of Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pa.
SIGN UP NOW: psualert.psu.edu
Through June 30, Penn State will send emergency alerts using both the outgoing PSUTXT system and the new PSUAlert system. On July 1, PSUTXT will be decommissioned and PSUAlert will become the University’s sole emergency messaging system. Throughout the transition, multiple communications are being sent to the University community and all current PSUTXT subscribers.
To ensure the fastest possible delivery of critical information to Penn State campus communities in the event of an emergency, the new PSUAlert system is reserved for students, faculty and staff. Students can add parents to their PSUAlert accounts if they wish (for details visit the PSUAlert FAQs), and alert messages are widely available on Twitter and Facebook. Also, all students, faculty and staff will now receive alerts for their home campus at their Penn State-issued email address.
The new service features enhanced messaging capabilities, including the continued ability for enrollees to receive alerts by text message and email; the addition of phone-based voice alerts; and more robust integration with campus Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Those who have further questions are encouraged to visit the PSUAlert FAQs page. Additional questions can be sent to PSUAlert@psu.edu.
For media queries only, contact Reidar Jensen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Penn State News and Media Relations at 814-865-7517.
New Penn State website streamlines University support for military veterans
A new Penn State website is streamlining the way Pennsylvania military veterans get access to important information to begin their studies at the University.
The website, www.veteran.psu.edu, provides servicemen and women a single place to request information about undergraduate and graduate programs that are offered online and through classroom instruction. The website also has useful information on veteran services offered across all Penn State campuses and ways to finance an education.
When someone submits a request for information through the website, an adult learning coordinator at one of Penn State’s 22 campuses will respond by email with links about using G.I. Bill® benefits, student aid and applying for admission to the University. The veterans also must select the campus where they would like to enroll.
“The University and the World Campus have demonstrated successes in supporting military veterans, active-duty servicemembers, and National Guard members and reservists over the years,” said Craig Weidemann, vice president for Outreach and vice provost for Online Education. “The new website is a continuation of that work, and it will allow us to extend our strengths across the Penn State system to ensure that all veteran students have consistent support when they make contact with us."
The website is part of a broader University-wide initiative to build upon Penn State’s already strong tradition as a veteran-friendly institution and to grow veteran enrollment.
When a student uses the website to request information and wants to attend the University Park campus, he or she will be contacted by Ted Timmerman, the associate director and outreach coordinator of Veterans Programs.
"Anything that helps direct the veterans to the proper office in Penn State is important," Timmerman said.
The website is an especially important development for the commonwealth campuses, which are the choice for many veterans to enroll because those campuses are located close to home. When a commonwealth campus is selected as the veteran’s choice for enrolling, a designated adult learning coordinator at that campus will follow up with him or her.
"The University strives to be a welcoming place for our veteran students," said Madlyn Hanes, vice president for Commonwealth Campuses. “Veteran students deserve a streamlined approach to access the information they seek to initiate their Penn State education. We, in turn, benefit from a streamlined way of offering assistance and responding to their individual needs. The website provides a mechanism to accomplish all that, and I am thrilled that it has been implemented University-wide."
The website also is yet another initiative the University has developed to assist veterans with getting an education at Penn State. The University also gives military veterans priority registration for classes and the Office of Veterans Programs assists these students with benefits, enrollment and career services.
Those two resources were recognized by U.S. News and World Report in November 2013 when it honored Penn State as the No. 1 national university for veterans.
More than 3,900 veterans were enrolled at Penn State in 2013-14, an increase of 11 percent from 2012-13. Penn State World Campus had the highest number among all campuses, with 1,622 veterans taking courses online.
Development of the website was a collaborative effort among World Campus, the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity, Undergraduate Admissions and Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses.
Beaver campus welcomes new IST faculty member
Penn State Beaver has named Amber Lynn McConahy as an instructor in information sciences and technology. She will begin teaching in August.
McConahy is an experienced software engineer and architect with competencies in various programming languages, including Java, C++ and Web services, and an interest in the design and development of platform-based socio-technical ecosystems. Previous experience included working as a research intern for Bosch Research and Technology Center, three years as a graduate teaching assistant at CMU, and four years as vice president and information technology manager for Send It Packin’ Plus in Youngstown, Ohio. McConahy is a doctoral candidate in software engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. She also earned a master’s degree in information technology software design and management from CMU and has been a lead instructor in MSCF Programming Prep at CMU for three years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in information sciences and technology from Penn State.
During the summer she can be contacted through the Office of Academic Affairs at email@example.com or 724-773-3571.
New staff member joins Beaver's Office of Physical Plant
Robert Harker has been hired as a maintenance worker in the Penn State Beaver Office of Physical Plant. Harker, a graduate of Riverside Area High School, previously spent 13 years on the custodial staff at Geneva College and has also worked for four years for Service Master. He will have a variety of duties in campus buildings and on the grounds.
For information, contact the Office of Physical Plant at 724-773-3788 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beaver Alumni Society raises $1,320 at second annual 5K walk/run
The Penn State Beaver Alumni Society’s second annual 5K walk/run netted $1,320. Ninety-eight people participated in the race, which was held May 17 in downtown Beaver.
The campus donated half of the proceeds to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Beaver County, which provided some assistance for the event and which has a partnership with Beaver campus students who serve as “bigs” and “littles” for area children. In the men’s divisions, the three top trophy winners were Nick Tocci, first-place; Clark Cicone, second place; and Austin Obenauf, third place. Winners in the women’s divisions were Katie Alexander, first place; Amanda Tocci, second place; and Leah Logue, third place.
The 5K committee was chaired in 2013 and this year by Jason Barr, a Penn State alumnus who is an engineer with BASF in Monaca. Other committee members were Sarah Chimile, Kelly Konstantakis, Pam Konstantakis, Norm Kraus, George Logue, Susan Mals, Julia McDowell, Terry McDowell, Lynell Scaff and Bob Uhriniak. The date of the 2015 5K run/walk will be announced at a later time.
For more information about next spring’s event, contact the Beaver campus Development Office at email@example.com or 724-773-3558.
Office of Continuing Education will offer Lean Six Sigma Certification
The Penn State Beaver Office of Continuing Education is offering a three-course Lean Six Sigma Certification program beginning this fall and concluding in March. Lean Six Sigma is universally recognized as a critical component of ongoing improvement processes required by many businesses, including the service industry, manufacturing, technology and health care.
The program provides participants with the tools needed to position their organization to exceed customers’ expectations. Each course is comprised of seven sessions which will be delivered online and in a classroom with hands-on experience. Each course will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. and carries a fee of $590. The first course is Lean Six Sigma Theory and Application, which will be offered Wednesdays, Sept. 24 through Nov. 5. Lean Six Sigma for Continuous Improvement will be held Wednesdays, Nov. 19 through Jan. 7. The final course, Lean Six Sigma Customer Driven, will be offered Wednesdays, Jan. 21 through March 4.
For more information or to register for the program, contact the Office of Continuing Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-773-3700.
Campus will host 13th annual Beaver County College Fair on Sept. 30
Penn State Beaver will host the 13th annual Beaver County College Fair from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30, in the campus gymnasium.
Prospective students of all ages are encouraged to attend the event, which is free and open to the public and cosponsored by Beaver campus and the Times. Representatives from more than 100 colleges, universities, technical schools, and the military will be on hand to answer questions and provide information. The event is recognized as the premier college fair serving Beaver County students. Ample free parking will be available.
Tickets for Center Theatre Players’ 'Sweeney Todd' are on sale now
Tickets are on sale for the Center Theatre Players production of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” which will be presented at 7:30 p.m Thursday, July 24; Friday July 25; and Saturday, July 26; in the auditorium of the Penn State Beaver Student Union Building.
Directed by Penn State alumna Sandy Reigel, the show is part of the Beaver campus Brodhead Cultural Center’s 38th summer season of programming and is cosponsored by a gift from Harper & Hodge. This Tony Award-winning musical thriller is considered to be composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece. Based on the infamous 19th century English legend, Sweeney Todd is a barber bent on murderous vengeance against a corrupt judge. Todd’s bloody revenge includes a cutthroat partnership with Mrs. Lovett, an enterprising businesswoman who produces the most uniquely-flavored meat pies in London. The play’s dark humor, haunting music and menacing atmosphere create an unforgettable theatrical experience. Due to some scenes of violence, the play is recommended for mature audiences.
Tickets are $15. Advance ticket sales are recommended by calling 724-773-3610 and using a Visa or MasterCard. Those purchasing tickets in person should come to Suite 201, Ross Administration Building at Beaver campus, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tickets can also be purchased by mailing a check, payable to Penn State, along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope with ticket request details, to Brodhead Cultural Center, Penn State Beaver, Suite 201, Ross Administration Building, Monaca, PA 15061.
This summer’s Brodhead Cultural Center sponsors are the Times, Harper & Hodge, Beaver Valley Musicians Union Local 82-545 and the James M. Corwin Program Endowment at Penn State Beaver. Additional sponsors requested anonymity.
For ticket information or for a complete list of summer events, contact the Brodhead Cultural Center at 724-773-3160 or email@example.com, call the Events Hotline at 724-773-3600 or visit www.beaver.psu.edu/brodhead.
Penn State Beaver alumnus Chris Bowyer knows news. He knows cameras and video tape and satellite trucks, too. Mostly, though, he knows anything can happen when you’re trying to get your story on the air at 5 o’clock.
It’s sunny and calm on this almost-spring day as Chris Bowyer eases into work. Some days start like that for this Harrisburg TV news cameraman.
Email. Coffee. Wait for something to happen.
“I generally have no idea what I’m doing for the day when I come in,” says Bowyer ’09 Com, a 2005-07 Penn State Beaver alumnus. “I come in and speak with my assignment editor, who’s in charge of organizing stories for me. Then they’ll pair me up with a reporter, and we’ll hop in a live truck and head out to cover a story.”
Today the hopping will wait, at least for a little while. At some point Bowyer and CBS 21 News reporter Erica Moffitt will be heading to city hall. Their editor, Justine Hallgren, has assigned them to check on beefed up security measures in the wake of harassing letters and documents delivered by courier to Mayor Linda Thompson. But right now it’s unclear when someone will be available to talk with them.
So, it’s email and coffee and a brief birthday celebration for reporter Annie McCormick.
Red velvet cupcakes appear out of nowhere. Moffitt, whose son, William, is in preschool, provides juice boxes. (“I usually bring the treats to school. Someone already had that covered so I brought juice.”)
Flowers arrive right on cue.
“I want to get your picture with the flowers for Facebook,” says reporter Ewa Roman, pointing her iPhone at McCormick, who squats down obligingly next to the flowers.
“Stand by. In three. Two. One.”
Did she really count down that iPhone photo?
“It’s kind of our thing. We say ‘stand by’ for everything,” Bowyer says with a grin.
Bowyer grabs his faded Penn State water bottle, his insulated lunch bag and his thermos filled with espresso (“I only put a double shot in it,” he says defensively.) and heads outside to load up the SUV he and Moffitt will use this morning.
They don’t need the live truck, with its satellite dish up top and full editing station in back, for this jaunt downtown. There’s plenty of time to come back to the station to edit the story.
Bowyer grabs his equipment from the storage room.
Camera. Tripod. Microphones. Audio cables.
He leaves his light kit with its spots and reflective umbrella behind. There’s no need for it this morning. “I’ll get it later when we take the live truck,” he says.
Moffitt, her hair tidied, makeup on, and red, ruffled jacket buttoned up, comes out eating a cupcake. Inside she’d polished off a bag of carrots while reading her email.
“I eat constantly,” she says. “I figure the healthy stuff balances out the cupcakes and donuts.” Her trim figure shows that theory must be working.
Parking is surprisingly easy in downtown Harrisburg. Within a few minutes the news team heads into the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. City Government Center. There are no police officers blocking the way to either the front doors or the elevators that lead to the city offices. No one is checking bags or IDs. There’s not even a sign-in sheet.
So much for new security measures.
Upstairs police officers and city workers go about their business, threading their way around the news crews that have staked out the police chief’s office. Word is the mayor and chief are both out but the chief might be back soon.
Bowyer and Moffitt make themselves comfortable in a waiting room, pulling out cell phones to pass the time. On the couch next to Moffitt, Jim Sinkovitz of WGAL-8, the NBC affiliate, squints at his screen.
“You need glasses,” Moffitt tells him.
“Yeah, I know,” Sinkovitz replies. It’s clear he’s not keen on the idea.
“We’re all friendly to each other,” Bowyer says of the competing news organizations. “We’re all doing the same job.”
And then he smiles, a grin that splits his face and lights his eyes with mischief.
“Now, when Fox 43 comes in, you’ll see us all go green with envy. They have those new little cameras. They’re so light,” he says, giving a sideways glance at his 40-pound friend sitting solidly on the floor next to him.
“I used to say I wouldn’t want one of those. They’re so little they’re hard to stabilize. And then I saw that they have braces that go over your shoulder to stabilize them,” he says.
The grin gets wider and his voice gets deeper, manlier. “Now I’m like, who would want one of those little baby cameras when you could have a nice, big, bulky camera like this one? This is a real cameraman’s camera. You’ve got to be a real cameraman to carry it.”
Bowyer became a cameraman at Penn State, and he gives all the credit to Penn State Beaver for putting him on that path.
“My first experience with news came in a reporting class taught by Alan Buncher [at Penn State Beaver],” he says. “There was a guest speaker (Beaver County Times entertainment reporter Scott Tady) who showed up at one of the classes during the semester, and he was talking about news and media. Something just clicked while I listened to his speech. From that day on I figured out what profession I wanted to get into.”
Bowyer grew up in Beaver County and graduated from South Side High School. He enrolled at Penn State Beaver after his plans to attend Carlow University fell through.
“I ended up at Penn State Beaver kind of by accident,” he says. “My mother had talked to Dan Pinchot (’91 Com, ’04 M.Ed, director of enrollment), and he suggested I go there. I went for a visit, and after only a few minutes I was sold on going to school at Penn State Beaver.”
Bowyer moved to Penn State University Park after two years at Beaver and decided to major in telecommunications.
“I don’t know how I ended up in telecom, but I knew I wanted to be in journalism and I wanted to do TV, either on camera or off camera,” he says. “I spent a lot of time in the new TV studio (at University Park) and learned everything I could. That’s how I got here.”
Moffitt is here, too, and she’s getting antsy. No matter how the day goes, how much waiting around there is, she and Bowyer have to turn in two stories before 5 p.m. The second story has yet to be assigned, and this first one has stalled.
“Days like this, you can sit around for a while,” Moffitt says. “But you know that around 3 …”
“The fit’s gonna hit the shan,” Bowyer finishes.
Hallgren calls. There’s a story that needs to be covered in Carlisle, about 20 minutes west of Harrisburg. She might send them there, but for now they should stand by at city hall.
Bowyer and Moffitt exchange a glance. They had hoped to stay in Harrisburg today and avoid a road trip.
CBS 21’s viewing area encompasses more than 10 counties around Harrisburg, stretching from Mifflin County in the northwest, south to Franklin and York counties, and east to Lebanon and Lancaster counties.
“I’ve covered stories all the way to the Maryland border,” Bowyer says.
The prospect of heading out of town, even to somewhere as close as Carlisle, doesn’t sound very appealing.
Moffitt and Bowyer grin at each other.
“At least it’s not York.”
It’s official: The mayor is out for the day but the police chief will be in the office around 3:30. The word is passed from news crew to news crew, and the cameramen begin to pack up their equipment.
Moffitt calls the newsroom for direction. A field reporter has submitted raw video, notes and interviews for a story that needs to be written and edited, something Moffitt and Bowyer can do at the office while they’re waiting to see the chief.
Another news team has been sent to Carlisle. Road trip averted.
After a quick trip to McDonald’s that includes Shamrock/chocolate milkshakes, Bowyer and Moffitt return to the station to craft the footage they’ve been handed into a one-minute story for the 5 p.m. news. Bowyer stows his gear in his cubbie.
Camera. Tripod. Microphones. Audio cables.
Moffitt dives into the story she’s been given. It’s on a bill that would ban the words “mental retardation” from state laws. She writes the script, including the intro the news anchor will read, and steps into a room to record a sound bite. Bowyer edits the video and sound and assembles the story. Later Moffitt will do a live remote from the station’s parking lot as a lead-in to the recorded story.
As Bowyer and Moffitt work, the living, breathing organism known as a newsroom buzzes around them.
“Who’s covering the story about the kid who got shot last night?”
“Ooo. Someone from Hershey’s dropped off a bag of chocolate. Give it here.”
“That ruling is in. They’re having a press conference on the steps at the top of the 5.”
“Do we have to use those annoying church people? I’m so sick of them.”
“I can understand how you might have never had a Shamrock shake, but I find it disturbing that you’ve never even heard of one.”
It’s time, finally, to go see the police chief. With luck they’ll get in right away and have their story done in plenty of time for the 5 p.m. broadcast.
Bowyer heads to the garage. “Gotta go get my ‘cameraman’s camera,’ ” he jokes.
He loads his equipment into the live truck.
Light kit. Tripod. Microphones. Audio cables.
The drive downtown is short. As if it had been reserved for them, a parking place is waiting behind all of the other stations’ live trucks in front of city hall. Moffitt makes a dash upstairs to check on the chief while Bowyer waits in the truck.
Bowyer started working at CBS 21 News shortly after graduating from Penn State in 2009. His parents had moved to Harrisburg, and he wanted to stay close to home.
At first he worked as a part-time production assistant, editing other people’s tape on the weekends. Before too long he was promoted to cameraman.
“I had to learn all this on the job,” he says, making a gesture that encompasses the equipment both inside and outside the truck.
“They don’t have live trucks at PSU. When I was a P.A. and it was really slow on the weekends, the other cameramen would take me out to the truck and show me how to use this stuff.”
Moffitt calls down from the police department. They’re on in a few minutes.
Bowyer gathers his equipment and braces for the weather outside. The day has gone from cool and calm to cold and blustery.
Light kit. Tripod. Microphones. Audio cables.
A look of panic flickers across Bowyer’s face.
Bowyer calls the newsroom. He explains. His camera is in his cubbie. Can someone please bring it to him right away?
He calls Moffitt. He explains. His camera is in his cubbie. Someone is bringing it to him right away.
“It’s a joke,” he says, not joking. “When someone leaves the newsroom, we always say, ‘Don’t forget your camera.’ I’ve never done it before. I can’t believe this.”
Bowyer braces against the wind and shifts from one foot to the other on the curb next to the truck. He clutches his equipment, ready to go.
Finally, an SUV pulls up. There’s an animated discussion between Bowyer and the driver, a flurry of activity. Cameras and equipment fly from SUV to live truck and back again. Bowyer, still without his camera, runs to city hall. A fully loaded cameraman follows.
“I have to take him upstairs to Erica. They need my truck.”
In York, the fit has definitely hit the shan.
Bowyer strings cables from his truck to the York County Courthouse, where a media circus is forming. The Supreme Court ruling that only the producers were interested in back in the newsroom is a major story, both for the country as a whole and for York itself.
Albert Snyder, the York father who sued the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., over their hate-filled protest at the funeral of his son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, will be holding a press conference. The court ruled 8-1 that the church’s protest, though hurtful and distasteful, was protected by the First Amendment.
But ask Bowyer what the story is and he’ll tell you he doesn’t know. He’s more concerned with the job to be done.
Later he explains. The live truck already on the scene was equipped with a microwave transmitter, not a satellite dish.
Microwave trucks can only send a live shot if they have a good, clear line of sight to the receiving tower and limited interference from other signals. The combination of tall buildings and the other live trucks on the scene rendered it useless.
Bowyer’s satellite truck saved the day.
By 4:55 everything is hooked up and ready to go. CBS 21 News reporter Christina Butler, smartly dressed in a white wool coat and heels, is poised for action.
“This is what we meant when we said it would get crazy later,” Bowyer says. “It always does.”
Snyder and his lawyers emerge from a nearby building, take their places in front of the microphones of nearly a dozen news outlets, and show their pain to the nation right on cue at 5 p.m.
The media circus crowds around them, then stills.
“My first thought was, eight justices don’t have the common sense God gave a goat,” Snyder says.
“We found out today that we can no longer bury our dead in this country with dignity. What is this country becoming?”
Bowyer stands tensely, alertly behind CBS News 21 cameraman Momin Bhatti as he films. Instead of running the camera himself, Bowyer is a second pair of hands, a second pair of legs ready to run and get and do.
The press conference over, reporters hurry to their cameras to sum up the story for their viewers. The wind whips all of their words away, barely caught by their microphones.
Between live remotes for the 5:30 and 6 p.m. newscasts and taping sound bites for the 11, the CBS 21 News crew relaxes at the truck.
Butler clutches her notes to protect them from the wind, which has tried to snatch them away several times.
John Leierzapf ’77 Lib, who spent two years at Penn State Wilkes-Barre and two at Penn State Harrisburg thanks to the GI Bill, tells of landing his job at CBS News 21 by offering to develop film in the station’s dark room, a job these young guys know nothing about.
Bowyer has finally found his jacket. The sun is going down.
“You know the thing about this?” Bowyer says. “They can’t give me a hard time about forgetting my camera. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to bring the truck down here.”
That ever-present grin slashes across his face.
“I’m the hero.”
Originally written by Cathy Benscoter for the Penn State Beaver Nittany News alumni magazine, Spring 2011. Michael Mendicino ’10 Com contributed to this article.