In the schools

WAHS senior named finalist in national merit program

Williamsport Area High School senior Daniel Ma has been named a finalist in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Ma is among 15,000 finalists chosen from 1.5 million students entered in the program by taking the preliminary SAT, which measures reading, math-problem solving and writing skills. Winners will be selected from the finalist group and receive scholarship offers.

Between now and June, about 8,300 of the 15,000 finalists will be named National Merit Scholars and be considered for upwards of $2,500 in college scholarships.

The National Merit Scholarship Program has been in existence since 1955, and has honored celebrities such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

An outstanding student and musician, Ma is a member of the WAHS Orchestra, Strolling Strings, Model U.N., and the high school publication Cherry and White. He is a former member of the tennis team and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).

Most recently, Ma was named a candidate in the U.S. Presidential Scholarship Program, and recognized at the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce’s Education Celebration on March 7. Last winter, Ma earned a combined perfect score of 2,400 on his SATs – an 800 on the SAT subject tests and a 1,600 on the SAT exam.

Ma was one of only 384 students across the nation last year to achieve a perfect score.

He is the son of Wancang Ma and Aiguo Chen. While he has yet to make a decision on where he will attend college, he plans to major in statistics.

Member of Penn College’s IT faculty earns doctorate

A faculty member in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s School of Business and Computer Technologies recently received a doctoral degree from Nova Southeastern University.

Daniel W. Yoas, an associate professor of information technology, earned a Ph.D. in computer information systems with a concentration in information security from the university’s School of Computer and Information Sciences.

The title of his dissertation is “Using Forecasting to Predict Long-term Resource Utilization for Web Services.”

Using Penn College’s web resources, Yoas collected data over seven months about the central processing unit, free memory, disk use and network traffic.

“Previous work had used similar information to help determine how the machine should behave in the next few seconds or minutes,” he explained. “I proposed that the patterns of use were much broader than previous research had concluded, and that the data would show recognizable patterns at the hour, day and weekly levels.”

His findings were that long-term patterns do exist, and that the use of time-series analysis and confidence intervals can provide useful data for network administrators and e-commerce businesses, among others.

A Penn College faculty member since the fall 2002 semester, Yoas holds a master’s degree in information technology from Rochester Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in computer information science/computer science from Clarion University.

Logevall to discuss ‘Embers of War’

LEWISBURG – Historian Fredrik Logevall will give the talk, “Embers of War: Vietnam Reconsidered,” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Gallery Theatre (Room 301) of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The discussion will encompass Logevall’s latest book, “Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire” and the “Making of America’s Vietnam,” named one of the best books of 2012 by The Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor and Globe and Mail.

“Embers of War” (2012) follows “Choosing War” (1999), Logevall’s chronicle of the American escalation of the Vietnam War in the early 1960s. “Embers of War” traces the French conflict in Vietnam and the beginning of the American involvement – from the end of World War II to the beginning of the second Vietnam War in 1959.

Logevall is the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies and Professor of History at Cornell, where he serves as director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. In 2007-08 he was Mellon Senior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge and Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the University of Nottingham.

His other works are “America’s Cold War: The Politics of Insecurity” (with Campbell Craig; Belknap Press/Harvard UP, 2009); and “A People and a Nation: A History of the United States, 9th ed.” (with Mary Beth Norton et al; Cengage, 2011).

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the department of history, and co-sponsored by the departments of east Asian studies and political science, the international relations program, the University Lectureship Committee, and the Bucknell University Alumni Association.

In the schools

Penn College faculty member connects history, ‘Star Wars’

William J. Astore, professor of history at Pennsylvania College of Technology, wrote the lead chapter in “Star Wars and History,” a book approved by the saga’s creator, George Lucas.

Astore’s essay, “Why Rebels Triumph: How ‘Insignificant’ Rebellions Can Change History,” opens the book.

The epic stories of “Star Wars” are based on our own history, from Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire to the French Revolution and the Vietnam War. The book comprises 11 essays written by history scholars in close collaboration with Lucas and Lucasfilm.

The book, edited by Nancy Reagin and Janice Liedl, was published in 2012 by Wiley.

Astore joined the Penn College faculty in 2005. He holds a doctorate in modern history from the University of Oxford, a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

His books and articles focus on the history of science, religion and technology, often with a military emphasis.

For more about Penn College, visit, email or call 800-367-9222.

West Branch School to host open house

West Branch School is hosting a series of open houses continuing this week. The public is invited to tour the school and to talk to parents, teachers, and students.

The dates for open house events are 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 13 and 9 a.m. to noon April 17. Registration is not necessary for any of the open house dates.

West Branch School, 755 Moore Ave., is a private, state-licensed, non-sectarian school serving grades K through 6.

The school maintains a low student/teacher ratio to ensure success in academic, social and emotional development.

High standards, multiple and varied settings and parental involvement are hallmarks of a West Branch education.

West Branch School is the school “where children love to learn”.

For more information about the school, contact call 323-5498 or email

In the schools

Association of School Retirees awards yearly grant

The Lycoming County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees awards a yearly grant to teachers who apply from county schools. The grant money is then used to supplement educational projects through the year.

This year, nineteen applications were received. The winners were Michael Beiber and Brandy McFadden who teach at the Ashkar Elementary School in the East Lycoming School District.

The grant will be used for after school reading and math clubs. Students who meet after school will receive both individual and small group assistance.

LHU faculty awarded $10,000 in Student Success grants

LOCK HAVEN The Lock Haven University Foundation recently awarded $10,000 in “Student Success Grants,” special projects in spring 2013 that enhance student learning within the University.

“These grants have a direct impact on student achievement and give us the opportunity to support projects that are directly aligned with our No. 1 strategic goal – student success,” said Donna Wilson, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “We are grateful for these contributions from the Lock Haven University Foundation.”

Brett Everhart, professor of health and physical education, is among the awardees. His grant will be used to give health and physical education students access to research-based curricular and instructional materials, called SPARK-PE, to choose as resources when they plan lessons. The materials will serve as instructional guides for teachers to engage students in optimum amounts of physical activity while sequencing creative learning activities appropriately.

Ted Nuttall, professor of biology, also is among the grant recipients. The Ruggedized Advanced Pathogen Identification Device (RAPID) is a portable instrument designed for the military that very rapidly identifies specific harmful bacteria and viruses through their unique DNA using real-time polymerase chain reaction. RAPID was donated to LHU in 2012 by Todd Ritter, an alumnus of LHU who helped develop it. The Digital Disruptor Genie funded by this grant will be used to extract DNA from any source (bacteria, spores, etc.) for use in the device. The RAPID system will be integrated into the Advanced DNA Methods (BIOL345) course taught in the spring of 2015.

Additional faculty awardees were Amy Kutay and Barrie Overton, biology professors who submitted a joint proposal to purchase equipment for first-year biology and health science students to conduct hands-on molecular-based laboratory experiments. Associate Dean Marianne Hazel, the final grant awardee, was given funding to support the University’s annual Celebration of Scholarship event in April.

Successful proposals demonstrated enhancement of student learning, clear and measurable outcomes and potential to affect the outcomes, as well as a feasible budget.

“The Foundation is pleased to have been able to collaborate with the University on providing these funds to the LHU faculty,” said Jim Gregory, president of the LHU Foundation Board of Directors. “Student success and faculty support are key components of the Foundation’s mission at LHU.”

Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 500,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.

Wheeler to give annual Drew Darrow Memorial Poetry Reading

LEWISBURG – Poet Betsy Wheeler will give the 11th annual Drew Darrow Memorial Poetry Reading 7 p.m. Tuesday in Bucknell Hall at Bucknell University.

The reading, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Writing Center and the Stadler Center for Poetry, with support from Drew Darrow’s family and friends. A reception and book signing will follow the reading.

Wheeler is managing director for the Juniper Summer Writing Institute at UMass, Amherst and is editor and publisher of Pilot Books, a poetry micro-press.

Her poems have appeared in Bat City Review, The Journal, Pebble Lake Review, Forklift Ohio, Octopus, and others. Her chapbook, “Start Here”, is available from Small Anchor Press. Her book, “Loud Dreaming in a Quiet Room”, was published in 2012 by the National Poetry Review Press.

Originally from the Upper Mississippi River Valley, Wheeler studied poetry and the art of the book at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse where she was a Maple House Fellow for Sutton Hoo Press.

After a brief stint working in the publishing industry in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, she went on to receive a master’s degree in poetry from Ohio State University. From 2006 to 2008 she held the Stadler Fellowship at Bucknell University.

This Memorial Reading Series honors the memory of Drew Darrow, a 1986 Bucknell graduate. A student employee of Bucknell’s Writing Center, Darrow later worked as an actor in New York City. He died in 1997.

For more information about this event, visit or call the Writing Center at 577-3141.

In the schools

Church accepting preschool applications

TURBOTVILLE – Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 39 Paradise St., is now accepting applications for their preschool program.

The class is primarily designed for children who turn 4 by September 1; however, three-year-olds may be placed if there are openings.

The deadline for registration is July 30. The class is taught by Clissie Sheatler, and meets from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Both Bible teachings and academics are included. In addition, the class goes on monthly outings to Kramm’s nursing home in Watsontown, where the children do an activity with the residents and provide them with entertainment.

Field trips to the pumpkin patch, Reptiland and children’s museums also are featured.

More information is available on the church website at or by calling Clissie Sheatler at 437-2215 or the church office at 649-5195.

Muncy School District registering for kindergarten

MUNCY – There will be an orientation meeting for parents planning to register their child for kindergarten for the 2013-14 school year at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Ward L. Myers Elementary cafetorium.

Information about the kindergarten program will be discussed and enrollment forms will be given to parents at the meeting.

Registration will be held at the Ward L. Myers Elementary School conference room, 125 New St. To register, the child must have reached the age of 5 before September 1. The Muncy School District registration dates for newly entering kindergarten students are 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m. March 18 for last names beginning with the letters A through J and 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m. March 19 for last names beginning with the letters K through Z.

Children should not be present during registration. When registering a child, parents are to bring the following items: state certified birth certificate, dates of immunization and any pertinent health information, proof of residency (electric or other utility bill) and custody documentation (if applicable).

Teacher assignments will be made on the basis of preschool screening to be given on May 1 through 3. Testing times will be given to the parent at registration.

For more information, call Mrs. Conner at 546-3129.

Williamsport Area School District kindergarten and new student registration

The Williamsport Area School District will be accepting kindergarten and new student registrations for 2013-14 from Cochran, Hepburn-Lycoming, Jackson and Stevens Elementary Schools between March 25 and 28.

Times are as follows: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 25 and 26, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 27 and 9 to 11 a.m. March 28. Parents are encouraged to register during these times in order to access the District’s Primary School Controlled Choice process.

After March 28, kindergarten and new registrations will be taken 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at WASD?central registration office, 2780 W. Fourth St.

Children must reach age 5 by September 1 in order to enroll.

Parents should be prepared to spend at least 30 minutes at registration and to provide:

Child’s birth certificate.

Parent or guardian’s ID (driver’s license, state ID., or other)

Proof of residence (rent or utility receipt, current lease agreement, etc.).

Child’s immunization records.

Record of school age dental examination and medical examination, if completed.

A school nurse will be on hand to answer questions about immunization and examination requirements.

Questions regarding kindergarten registration can be directed to Mrs. Shelly McKernan, registrar, at 327-5500, ext. 33473, or

Lycoming College hosts career fair

Lycoming College will host a career fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday in Lamade Gymnasium. Co-sponsored by the College and Clear Channel Radio, the event is open to the public.

Representative from companies such as Baltimore Life Co. and Primus Technologies, along with local businesses, will be present to discuss employment and internship opportunities. Interested individuals are encouraged to wear business attire and bring multiple copies of their resume.

Iraqi Journalist to speak at MU

MANSFIELD – Haider Hamza, an Iraqi journalist, scholar, and activist will speak at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Mansfield University’s North Manser Dining Hall.

Hamza’s lecture includes poignant and touching visuals of daily life in Iraq following the U.S.-led invasion, the presence and challenges the U.S. troops face there, his personal struggle and the high loss war causes.

He is committed to raising awareness among young people both in America and the Middle East and to send a message of peace and reconciliation.

Hamza donates half of his speaker fee earnings to help Iraqi widows and orphans in urgent and imminent need.

The presentation is sponsored by the student activities office and supported by student activity fees and is free and open to the public.