By Hello, SRU!
Hello, SRU!Nov 29, 2023
Meet the President
The first episode of a new season of the “Hello, SRU” podcast is with the University’s new president, Karen Riley. President Riley talks about her first impressions of SRU, her goals for the University and what it’s like being at the top of The Rock.
Cierra the Trustee
Cierra Mitchell, an SRU senior political science major, talks about being the newest member of the University’s council of trustees. The 12-member governing body of the institution has a seat designated for a student that Mitchell now occupies.
Austin Schoppe, ’23, who, for most of his time as an SRU student, lived a secret life as Rocky, the University’s mascot. Now, he’s able to talk about what it was it like to wear the suit, develop the personality of a cartoonish lion, and follow the mascot code.
Jenny Senko, ’12, an SRU alumna and the University’s new coordinator of blind services, talks about how SRU assists its students who have visual impairments.
David Skeele, SRU professor of theatre, reflects on his 30-year career at The Rock on the occasion of his upcoming retirement. He’s directed more than 50 SRU productions, and as a playwright his work has been performed on stages from Scotland to Nigeria.
John Rindy, SRU assistant vice president for career and academic progress, discusses the article he wrote for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about “helicopter parents,” and how they can influence the success (or failure) of college students.
'Rhyme and Reason' for Diversity
Anthony Jones, SRU’s new chief diversity officer, talks about his career journey, explains the purpose of DEIB programming, and talks about the importance of having a diverse campus community at The Rock.
SRU student Sgt. David Duffey recounts his story about rescuing a driver of a crashed tractor tracker on the Pennsylvania Turnpike seconds before the truck exploded.
Making the Cut
SRU student and professional bladesmith Eric Finch shares how he won $10,000 as a contestant on the TV show “Forged In Fire.”
Courtney Gramlich, ’00, manager of Storm Harbor Equestrian Center, describes the community impact of therapeutic riding and equine-assisted activities offered at SRU’s state-of-the-art, on-campus facility.
Sales on the Pitch
Dave Wolfe, a 2013 SRU graduate with degrees in sport management and communication, talks about his job as corporate partnership sales manager for the Orlando City SC Major League Soccer club and the network of Rock alumni working in the Sunshine State.
Light on Her Feat
Victoria Lightfoot, '10, '14M, shares how she was surprised at her school with a $25,000 check for winning the Milken Educator Award, as well as her journey from doubting college to being among the nation’s top educators.
Aye Aye, Captain Contres
Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Kathy Contres, who is a 1977 SRU alumna, talks about her recent trip to Washington, D.C., as part of the first-ever, all-women veterans honor flight.
Up for Debate
Abby Thomas, a senior and president of the Debate Society at SRU, joins us to discuss how debate tournaments work, including the recent NEDA nationals hosted at The Rock. As the winner of the speaker award at nationals, Thomas might debate Jeremy and Nick on today's important issues, such as: Is a hot dog a sandwich?
Coyne-Flip Career Decisions
With graduation upon us, Renee Coyne, from SRU’s Center for Career and Academic Progress, shares how SRU helps students design their lives and figure out who they want to be.
SRU history professor and St. Louis native, Melissa Ford, talks about her upcoming book, “A Brick and a Bible,” which is about Black working-class women in the Midwest before the civil rights movement, and she discusses current race issues, regional differences, and a little improv, among other topics.
Dive Into the Archives
No, this is not a rerun episode of the podcast but instead a conversation about the archives and special collections at SRU’s Bailey Library with Judy Silva, associate professor, librarian and archivist.
Driverless Test of Time
Patrick McGinty, SRU instructor of English, steers a conversation about autonomous vehicles, aka driverless cars. As author of a soon-to-be-released novel, titled “Test Drive,” that is centered around the AV industry, McGinty’s become an astute and sought-after observer of the driverless car sector and he has taught seminar classes at SRU on the topic.
Enter the Butler's Chamber
SRU alumnus Jordan Grady, ’15, ’16M, checks in to talk about his role as executive director of the Butler County Chamber of Commerce and how he’s partnering with SRU communication students to create videos to promote Butler County businesses and help them recruit employees.
Roxanne's Not Done
Roxanne Dunn, a 2020 SRU graduate and former pole vaulter, was paralyzed following a car accident just months after graduating. Find out how her rehab and recovery are going and how she remains positive – and realistic – about her life’s circumstances. Also, follow her journey on Instagram (@nicole.roxanne_) and TikTok (@nicole.rox).
Deep Cover with the Mob
Retired FBI agent and SRU alumnus John Ligato, '71, '74M, talks about going undercover with the Italian mafia, authoring five books, creating the state’s first group home, and earning three Purple Hearts after being wounded in combat during the Vietnam War. Not bad for someone who was once expelled from campus only to become one of SRU’s 2021 Distinguished Alumni.
'Howett' Came to be in Forbes
SRU alumna Amanda Howett, ’18, talks about being named to the Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 for the sports industry. Howett, 25, is the athletic director at Penn State Shenango and she joined a list that includes NFL quarterbacks, Olympians, sports entrepreneurs and more.
Running the Distance
Professional ultrarunner Patrick Reagan ’10 checks in following his recent induction into the SRU Athletics Hall of Fame to share his journey from The Rock to becoming one of the top long-distance runners in the U.S., having placed third at the 100-kilometer World Championships and reaching the U.S. Olympic trials in the marathon.
Diction to Overcome Addiction
SRU English professor Mark O’Connor describes a community writing program he’s leading where students facilitate a creative writing workshop for people from Butler County in recovery from drug and alcohol addictions.
Social Workers Answer the Call
An Ode to Food
SRU professors Fadoua Loudiy and Franklyn Charles talk about how they got their students to start an online cooking show called “Soul Food,” and, of course, the conversation turns to everyone’s appreciation for appetizing edibles in advance of the holiday season.
Digging Into Mammoths
Jenna Kriley, a junior SRU biology major, explains how a bunch of mammoth fossils wound up in a sinkhole in South Dakota, and how an aspiring med school student such as herself got to dig them up with other paleontologists.
Hatchet Lady Haunts North Hall
For a special Halloween episode, our first-ever guest Bob Watson returns to the show to share an SRU ghost story about how the late Emma Guffey Miller, a trustee from 1933-68 and influential campus and national political figure, might still be lingering in North Hall.
Turning to Page
SRU’s new athletic director Roberta Page, ’88, talks about coming back to her alma mater and what fans can expect from The Rock sports teams this year.
Johnny Phommachanh, a 2021 SRU grad, shares how leaving a googly-eyed rock on campus last spring attracted a lot of eyeballs on social media and TV, leading to a local resurgence of the pet rock craze.
A World-Changing Conversation
Pancho Timmons, a 2000 SRU graduate, shares how his life was changed by a brief encounter while he was at The Rock, and now he’s a social entrepreneur, business owner and co-authored of the book “Quick and Easy World Change: Fixing Our Messed Up World One Small Act at a Time."
SRU President Bill Behre makes his first appearance on the podcast to share his thoughts on the new academic year, the return of a fully in-person campus, vaccinations and lessons learned since the start of the pandemic.
Doubling Back on Campus
Lauren Moran, SRU director of student engagement and leadership, talks about what her office is doing to support first- and second-year students who are arriving on campus. Because of last year’s pandemic limitations, there will be twice as many students who are new to campus this year.
Not Another Diversity Podcast
Justin Brown, ’11, developed a diversity training program when he was a Slippery Rock University student. He now leads a nationally recognized diversity awareness program and is the author of “Ugh!?! Not Another Diversity Book.” Hear his story, why diversity is important and how he “rocked” a Super Bowl TV ad.
Spinning the Wheel
SRU alumnus Ryan Muldowney, ’05, tells the story about being a contestant on “Wheel of Fortune” and almost winning $1 million. He settled for a trip to Costa Rica and an appearance on the “Hello, SRU” podcast.
Justin Matteo, a cadet in SRU’s Army ROTC program, shares his experience from the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition at West Point. Matteo was on a team from SRU that was pitted against the top ROTC units in the nation on a rigorous 36-hour course to “test their warrior spirit, team cohesion and dedication to mission accomplishment.”
Bound by Bocce
SRU music professor David Glover recounts the tale of how The Balcony Big Band got back together after a curbside trash rescue. Glover is a member of Pittsburgh’s premier big-band jazz ensemble that also features SRU alumni.
Super Bowl Couple
Levi and Allie Lewis, from the SRU Class of 2014, talk about working for the Super Bowl-champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Lewises are among three Bucs employees who graduated from The Rock.
Lia’s Agreed Upon
Esports De Corps
Exercise science professor Seth Jenny and Adam Schultz, president of the Esports Club at SRU, talk about the popularity of esports as a college sport and the potential for esports as a field of study. Find out how they respond to Jeremy’s initial skepticism.
Mary Jo Ross, Slippery Rock University associate professor of hospitality and tourism management, talks about how the restaurant industry has been affected by the pandemic. Learn how Ross, who worked decades as an event producer in Orlando, Florida, plans to turn Slippery Rock into a Magic Kingdom for her students.
121 State Parks in 303 Days
Trevor Nordquist shares his story about visiting every Pennsylvania state park during his final year as an SRU student in 2020. Find out what he learned about his state and his state of mind during a time when most people dreaded periods of solitude during the pandemic, as well as his favorite parks and what motivated him to visit 121 parks in 303 days.
For the first episode of "Hello, SRU," retired administrator and SRU alumnus Bob Watson, '70, walks listeners through the history of The Rock. Watson is the author of "Slippery Rock University: The Legend Behind the Name," a 460-page book published in 2011 that chronicled the history the University.
Hello, SRU! Trailer
"Hello, SRU" is the official podcast of Slippery Rock University. Hosted and produced by SRU professors Jeremy Lynch and Nick Artman, with assistance by Justin Zackal from the Office of University Communication and Public Affairs, this podcast features conversations with SRU faculty, staff, students and alumni. "Hello, SRU" is your opportunity to hear stories that make The Rock a caring community of lifelong learners connected with the world.