Learning to Be the Change

Something wasn’t right, and Stephen Washington knew it.

Washington doesn’t hide the fact that he struggled through grade school and high school. At one point, he was failing, and the guidance counselor asked if he would prefer to withdraw or fail out. 

When State System Chancellor Dan Greenstein visited Shippensburg, Stephen Washington had the opportunity to meet him. As the new student trustee, Washington looks forward to being a liaison between campus and administration.

When State System Chancellor Dan Greenstein visited Shippensburg, Stephen Washington had the opportunity to meet him. As the new student trustee, Washington looks forward to being a liaison between campus and administration.

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It didn’t make sense. Washington was ambitious—he was an Eagle Scout and a member of Civil Air Patrol. His parents graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and valued higher education. The public school system wasn’t meeting his needs.

After ten years in public school, Washington decided to make a change and committed to Carson Long Military Academy. “My education is my education. I had to take charge of it,” he said. “This was an opportunity for a fresh start.” 

The change made a world of difference. At Carson Long, Washington’s teachers pushed him to earn and own his grades. He pursued leadership positions, eventually overseeing about sixty cadets. By his senior year, he was the third-highest ranking cadet and, over four terms, he achieved all As.

Through Carson Long, Washington was introduced to Shippensburg’s well-known Army ROTC program. He fell in love with the people and the university’s facilities. “What I love about Shippensburg is that I can see someone I know every day, but I meet someone new every day.”

My education is my education. I had to take charge of it.
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Another plus was that Ship offered the Summer Bridge Academic Success Program. Although Washington improved his grades, his overall GPA and SAT scores were not where they needed to be. The Academic Success Program gave him an opportunity to catch up on his academics and get familiar with the college atmosphere before the fall semester began.

“That was the most significant part. I was learning how college works. High school doesn’t prepare you,” he said. “No other university has a program like ours.”

Today, Washington, a junior management information systems major, stays busy on campus. He gives back as a peer mentor in the Academic Success Program, is an at-large representative for the Shippensburg University Student Services, Inc., is a member of the Student Government Association, and is a member of the newly formed Pivot Team.

Although Washington connected with Ship over ROTC, he wasn’t able to continue with the program. “It had been drilled into me (by my family and mentors) to step out of my comfort zone and look for leadership opportunities,” he said. “I needed a program that challenged me mentally, physically, morally, and ethically.” 

So, he connected with the Career, Mentoring, and Professional Development Center to uncover his next venture and discovered a perfect fit.

Today, Washington is the newly appointed student on Shippensburg University’s Council of Trustees. He sees it as an opportunity to gain professional experience, financial experience, and make that connection between administration and campus. 

As the new student trustee, he said, “I’ll be the trustees’ eyes and ears to campus until I graduate.” He replaces Evan Redding, who served a two-year term as student trustee. Washington said he and Redding have a lot in common as they are both very social and enjoy giving their time to others.

Over his next two years, his work as a trustee will be instrumental in building the confidence of students as they take on the professional world. Even some of the brightest, most talented students Washington knows felt they couldn’t compete when they graduated.

“Doubt holds you back. Having these students know that you can compete with students from Ohio State, Michigan State, etc., is important. You leave here with a skill set. A degree is just a piece of paper,” he said. 

Washington already has big plans for his future. His dream career is to work as a senior executive for a luxury car company. Early on, he was motivated by cars—shiny, fast, expensive cars. That motivation led to his first Mercedes 3000. “I worked very hard and found a fantastic dealer,” he said with a smile.

The dream car list includes a Maserati, Aston Martin, and Ferrari. This summer, he’s working as an intern for Daimler Trucks North America in South Carolina.

But there’s something else that inspires Washington. His hope is to someday open a leadership academy to help students build their confidence and leadership skills. “A lot of my peers are coming up without those leadership skills,” he said. “You have to start in middle school and high school with personal development.”

His hope is to meet the needs of future students before they are left wondering what went wrong. “That’s what’s driving me.”

Boosting Athletic and Academic Performance—Faculty Mentors Cheer on Student-Athletes

by Bill Morgal ’06-’10M

Dr. Rich Zumkhawala-Cook had a recent revelation. 

At the NCAA Convention, SU’s faculty athletic representative (FAR) witnessed a presentation that portrayed the benefits of a faculty-athletic mentor (FAM) program, and he realized that Shippensburg University’s campus would be the perfect location for such a venture. That idea has become a reality.

During the NCAA Field Hockey playoffs, Dr. Rich Zumkhawala-Cook tweeted, “A FAR, a FAM, and a Pres. Go @shippensburgU!”

During the NCAA Field Hockey playoffs, Dr. Rich Zumkhawala-Cook tweeted, “A FAR, a FAM, and a Pres. Go @shippensburgU!”

“Our faculty has always been supportive of our student-athletes,” Zumkhawala-Cook said. “I frequently hear from my colleagues about how impressed they are with the ways that Shippensburg student-athletes balance their high performance in the classroom and their athletics.”

Beginning with the 2018-19 academic year, Shippensburg debuted its Faculty-Athletic Mentor program, under the direction and leadership of Zumkhawala-Cook, that partnered a faculty member with each athletic team. It is the formalization of an existing relationship between the two sides, and encourages yearlong interaction. 

“It wasn’t hard to match faculty with teams. Many were already supporting specific teams, and almost everyone I asked enthusiastically agreed to take on the responsibility.”

So what does a FAM do? Really, there’s no right or wrong answer. Mentors were asked to attend as many games and practices as possible and serve as an informal advisor to team members. FAMs are resources for team members, recruits, parents, and other individuals associated with a team. 

The Faculty-Athletic Mentor program matches faculty with teams to offer mentoring and enthusiastic support.

The Faculty-Athletic Mentor program matches faculty with teams to offer mentoring and enthusiastic support.

“Shippensburg faculty tend to really enjoy working with students in their co-curricular endeavors, which is why so many were eager to take up the challenge even though they weren’t exactly sure what their role would look like,” Zumkhawala-Cook said. “Just look at the work faculty do outside of the classroom; we really like being mentors and fans of students. We also have an athletics program that, across the board, is deeply committed to supporting the academic lives of our student-athletes.” 

Dr. Kate McGivney, professor of mathematics, served as this year’s FAM for the lacrosse team. She approached the role as an additional academic-support person for the players. “I wanted to be their point person for any academic issues that they may need help with, but I also wanted to get to know the sport and the students on the field. The coaching staff was super appreciative of whatever time I could devote.”

The venture allowed McGivney and many other FAMs the chance to be on the sidelines during games and get a firsthand look at the players’ experience. 

“On gamedays, I loved being on the sideline watching the team play hard, have fun, and support one another, and I loved counting the millions of steps that Coach Meehan and Coach Hinkle take up and down the sideline as they coached their hearts out,” she said. 

A comfort level was established early on between McGivney and the players, as communication between the two sides began early in the preseason. 

“In the fall, I e-mailed the players to introduce myself and to let them know if they had any academic advising questions, or if they needed help with their math courses, that they could stop by for help at any time,” she said. “I was really happy that a number of players took me up on this opportunity, because this gave me a chance to get to know some of the players individually and to provide them with some academic support.”

Just look at the work faculty do outside of the classroom; we really like being mentors and fans of students.

Helping to enforce the bond between the team, the players, and each FAM is the work put in by the coaches of each squad—efforts noted by Dr. Cheryl Slattery, associate professor of teacher education, who served as this year’s field hockey FAM.

“Both coaches (Tara Zollinger and Jordan Page) and I met early on to get acquainted and make some initial decisions about how to proceed with the role,” Slattery said. “We decided to have large group talks where I would come to their team meetings before practice, and they would allow time for me to present something such as tips for being successful during the first few weeks of the semester and how to access help academically. 

“As time went on, the student-athletes became more familiar with my face and name (FAM), and I started hearing from them individually. I had no idea that it was going to be such a powerful relationship between faculty and coaches and their student-athletes.”

Making the relationship all the more exciting for Slattery was the chance to have a firsthand look at a Raider squad that won its third consecutive NCAA Division II National Championship, an experience she described as a “priceless takeaway.” Yet, it was the regular interaction with the team that Slattery especially cherished. 

“The field hockey student-athletes quickly reached out to me to make advising appointments to discuss things such as changing majors, navigating difficult academic situations, and even how to list being an NCAA student-athlete on a resume,” Slattery said. “I have always had a lot of respect and admiration for the NCAA student-athletes who navigate through the rigor of their respective sports on top of the most important aspect of college, their academics, and somehow make it look easy. It was remarkable getting to know this team of student-athletes. They work incredibly hard both on and off the field and, likewise, they are wonderful humans.” 

Other teams and FAMs shared similar experiences, citing their appreciation for the role. Many have expressed a desire to continue into the next academic year. 

“As an old coach and a professor who teaches much like a coach, this has been perfect,” said Steve Dolbin, FAM for SU Wrestling.

“As an old coach and a professor who teaches much like a coach, this has been perfect,” said Steve Dolbin, FAM for SU Wrestling.

“The program is still growing,” said Zumkhawala-Cook, who was delighted with this year’s feedback. “FAMs, coaches, and student-athletes are still figuring out how the role can be most effectively integrated into the team’s academic and athletic pursuits.”

The FAM program allowed for a heightened awareness of the ongoing collaboration between student-athletes, faculty, and coaches—a key step to building and enhancing the campus community. 

“Too often, the stakeholders in our students’ success, including administration and even parents, know that it’s a good idea to work together, but they aren’t always exactly sure how,” Zumkhawala-Cook said. “This program gives those intentions a place to grow into meaningful interactions, practical collaborations, and sustaining relationships.”

Bill Morgal ’06-’10M is SU’s sports information director.

Upward and Onward—TRIO Award Winner Commits to Social Justice Issues

By Meghan Schiereck ’20

Earlier this year, Dr. Jayleen Galarza received the TRIO Achiever Award, given to an Upward Bound graduate who is making an impact in his or her field. Galarza credits Upward Bound for sparking her interest in academia, having spent four years in the program (pictured below).

Earlier this year, Dr. Jayleen Galarza received the TRIO Achiever Award, given to an Upward Bound graduate who is making an impact in his or her field. Galarza credits Upward Bound for sparking her interest in academia, having spent four years in the program (pictured below).

Paying it forward and giving back to past, present, and future generations has always been a priority to Dr. Jayleen Galarza in her social justice and service initiatives. An associate professor in the Social Work and Gerontology Department, Galarza recently earned a TRIO Achiever Award for her work as East Stroudsburg University’s (ESU) first AmeriCorps-VISTA member, where she focused on anti-poverty measures. 

Galarza was introduced to ESU in eighth grade as a member of Upward Bound, a federally funded education program. Students from low-income families whose parents have not graduated from college are invited to the program with the goal of developing a stronger academic background. Upward Bound and ESU gave Galarza a chance to refine her skills and explore the world of academia. 

Growing up, Galarza never imagined becoming a scholar, author, and social justice advocate. In fact, she initially wanted to be a flight attendant. But once she was selected for Upward Bound, her goals of higher education weren’t so far out of reach. 

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“Neither of my parents went to college. It wasn’t really on my radar,” she said. “The summer before my freshman year of high school, I started with Upward Bound. I did it for four years. Six weeks in the summer, every summer, you’d take classes during the week. We had tutoring and mandatory study halls—it wasn’t all play. It was acclimating us to the college experience in order to help us better understand what we wanted to do.” 

People invested in me. How do I invest in others? I always stayed connected with the folks who were foundational in shaping who I was becoming.

Galarza chose to pursue English at ESU. She then earned two master’s degrees—one in clinical social work and one in human sexuality—and later got her PhD in human sexuality, all from Widener University. 

“Upward Bound exposed us to all kinds of different experiences that we might not have had otherwise. During the school year, we would go on Saturdays. I went to school a lot more than other folks did.”

In college, Galarza was heavily involved with social justice initiatives, an interest that she gained from her time in Upward Bound. The program encouraged her to think about service and about giving back, which led to her work with AmeriCorps. Galarza said she puts service at the forefront of her life. 

“People invested in me. How do I invest in others?

“I always stayed connected with the folks who were foundational in shaping who I was becoming. I haven’t lost that connection,” Galarza said. “I’ve always made a commitment to the idea of service and social justice, which are two core values of social work. That’s how I model my life.” 

The TRIO Achiever Award recognizes Upward Bound program graduates who made an impact in their field. Galarza worked on several service-learning projects that were designed to address poverty in the ESU community. In her graduate studies and through her career, she worked with adolescents and community health education. 

“This is something that sparked my passion for human sexuality, but also sex education. I’ve always tried to find ways to improve service and practices to the most marginalized of communities. I provided trainings to staff on LGBT matters, and started student groups on sexuality.”

“I was really passionate about that need to make more inclusive spaces, not just for sexuality and gender minorities, but also racial and ethnic minorities.” 

Inclusion, sex, and gender is Galarza’s focus, who is the co-chair for the LGBT+ concerns committee at SU. “It’s really followed me through my life, in my career, and in academia.

“Representation matters. One of the things I struggled with as an undergraduate going into the college atmosphere, was not really having a personal foundation of what that would be like. While Upward Bound helped with that, I still didn’t see people like myself.” Galarza said. “When I saw folks who mirrored some of the identities that I held, it was important for me. It helped me feel connected. I’m very mindful of creating safe, inclusive spaces, and part of that is representation.”

For Galarza, a big part of this is being open about who she is—a queer-identified, Latina who is a first-generation student. “I want spaces to be inclusive, safe, and accessible.” Recalling her days as a student, she wishes she could have connected with someone like herself. 

“Accessibility is huge. This is about accessibility for everyone.” The work she does helps to foster accessibility and inclusivity for everyone on campus. 

“There’s upward mobility. You can expand on the dreams you have. This can be accessible.” Galarza said about higher education and first-generation students. 

But, she added, there’s a caveat. “There needs to be people along the way—key people who are genuinely invested in you. I try to be one of those people for the students I interact with. It has to be a coalition of people. I don’t think I would be where I am if I didn’t have people to invest in me.”

Galarza acknowledges her privilege to have been selected for Upward Bound, and that not everyone is so lucky. “The odds are stacked against you in a lot of ways (as a first-generation student).” Galarza said. “I saw what was modeled to me, and that’s how I want to model myself as a professor and an advocate. I want to offer that to other people. That’s my goal.” 

Meghan Schiereck ’20 is an intern for SU Magazine.

A Minute With… Liz Knouse, Director of Conference Services

By Ciara Rafferty ’19

When she was young, Liz Knouse aspired to be a teacher so she could work with children. 

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Although she didn’t pursue teaching, she managed child development, athletic, and recreation programs for three posts as director of morale, welfare, and recreation with the Department of the Army. Camps and conferences fell under Knouse’s direction as well. Upon her retirement with the Army last year, she was drawn to the opening at Shippensburg University’s Conference Center. 

…we offer a lot of intellectual capital that organizations might not be able to get at another place.

What attracts organizations to SU’s Conference Center? Our conference services have access to this conference center and also all of the facilities on campus. What brings organizations in is proximity—we are not far from Washington, DC. We are just outside of major cities right off of I-81. So, it’s very easy to get to. We offer very professional space. In addition to that, I think our conferencing opportunities here give businesses the ability to use our academic resources. Our students and our professors are able to provide workshops, leadership skills, activities, and more within our conferences. So aside from having professional facilities, we also offer a lot of intellectual capital that organizations might not be able to get at another place.

Why is the Conference Center an important resource for the community? The facility itself is state-of-the-art. All of our facilities at Shippensburg are extremely well cared for. We’re very flexible in how and when we rent our space. 

What challenges have you faced in your position? I’ve spent time at many different military installations and programs. I would like to grow the program with Shippensburg. I’m new and learning the ropes to higher education. I’m figuring out how I can tie what we do here at Shippensburg to outreach within camps throughout the different school districts, and I have to learn how to navigate through those systems to be able to do it. When you’re in the confines of the military, from one post to the next, you can grow a program because it’s the same system. I’m trying to do that same concept within the State System to say this is what we do at Shippensburg, what should we do throughout the State System to be on the same page? It’s really about building relationships and learning who does what, because we have so many similarities anyway. I’m trying to learn who those people are, what they do, and build on the strengths of those relationships. Shippensburg is great in the sense that people have a real buy-in here, so it’s not hard to pick people’s brains. They want to tell you what they do, they’re very excited to do that, and they’re very willing to help.

When you attend conferences, what kind of mental notes do you take that might impact how you do things here? Service. I’m always looking at service and the quality of our food, the quality of the access to staff, and being able to answer questions or concerns.

If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? My dad—he passed away in 1986 when I was a student at Shippensburg. He would love that I’m here. He went here and my son’s a graduate. I did not graduate from here, I transferred to West Virginia. 

If you could read just one book or watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be? My favorite movie is It’s A Wonderful Life. I love that one. Book, I would say is Gone with the Wind. I enjoy the simplicity of It’s A Wonderful Life and the message that it brings to just be happy where you are. And Gone with the Wind, I enjoy history, specifically, Civil War history. 

What’s your dream vacation? I would like to go back to Alaska. We were stationed there for a while—it’s beautiful.

Would you rather go in the summer or the winter? I don’t even care. I lived there in the winter. Summer’s a better time, but I’d go in the winter if I had to. 

If you were trapped on a deserted island and could have only three things with you, what would those things be? Chocolate, my family, and my VW Bug. 

Ciara Rafferty ’19 is an intern for SU Magazine.

Keeping an Eye on the Ball—Bingaman Heads to Williamsport

Matt Bingaman ’06m has devoted much of his life to baseball, and he gets to experience the great American pastime from a unique perspective. 

By Jonathan Bergmueller ’20 

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Ever since he was young, Bingaman has loved baseball, and he played through high school. The oldest of four boys, his parents suggested he step in as an umpire for one of his brother’s high school games. He was just seventeen years old.

Now, after twenty-five years of preparation, Bingaman was selected as one of sixteen umpires for the 2019 Little League World Series. 

Calling balls and strikes for his brother’s high school game continued as Bingaman officiated through college. Bingaman said he’s called over 100 games in college, and now does so for high school, youth, Legion, and adult leagues. 

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When Bingaman opened the official letter from the Little League World Series this January,
the news took his breath away. “It’s definitely worth all those years of work,” he said. 

Becoming an umpire for the Little League World Series involves a long application process and years of work. Bingaman has officiated Little League districts, sectionals, states, and regionals to earn his position at the world series. At each level above states, umpires are evaluated to help them improve. When not officiating games, Bingaman attended clinics and training sessions that helped refine his skills. 

Bingaman represents the region from Washington, DC, to Maine, as an umpire in the Little League World Series. He said that Pennsylvania doesn’t always send umpires to the state or regional level. 

Officiating the Little League World Series is different than other games, Bingaman said. With larger crowds and television, more people are watching and scrutinizing. He is excited to meet and work with the fifteen other umpires from across the world who will become his brothers and sisters in August. 

“The people aspect of it is the biggest, best difference between it and anything else,” he said. 

Matt Bingaman ’06 (top left) credits his mentors for getting him to the Little League World Series: (clockwise from top right) Tom Rawlings, Charlie Sherman, and Bill Stains.

Matt Bingaman ’06 (top left) credits his mentors for getting him to the Little League World Series: (clockwise from top right) Tom Rawlings, Charlie Sherman, and Bill Stains.

Bingaman credits multiple mentors for helping him achieve this distinct honor. Charlie Sherman, Bill States, and Tom Rawlings all served as umpires for the Little League World Series and shared their experiences with him. Beyond their love of baseball, the four of them also have ties to Shippensburg. 

Bingaman’s eldest mentor, Charlie Sherman, officiated the world series in 1992. Sherman taught a class at Shippensburg University in the 1960s to show local baseball fans how to work as an umpire. Though the class was not a part of the university’s curriculum, it tethered Sherman to Shippensburg. 

Bill Stains is a Shippensburg graduate from Cumberland County who worked as an umpire for the world series in 2001, and Tom Rawlings ’76 worked the series in 2011.

Outside of the baseball diamond, Bingaman works as a special education teacher at Susquenita High School. He earned his master’s degree in educational leadership and policy from Shippensburg University, enjoying the drive to Shippensburg from his home in Harrisburg and often having meaningful conversations with friends on the way. Some of them were also into baseball, Bingaman said. Bingaman balances his passion for baseball with his love for teaching. 

Money doesn’t matter. Only happiness matters. The opportunity to work at the Little League World Series meant more to me than any monetary reward.
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As a full-time teacher, he couldn’t dedicate the time to becoming a professional umpire. And being an umpire made it more challenging to pursue an administrative role in education. Many of his friends who attended Shippensburg University are now principals for other school districts. Bingaman’s degree prepared him as a school principal, but that would have meant giving up his pursuit of working as an umpire. That sacrifice, though, placed him closer to achieving his goal of officiating the Little League World Series. 

“Money doesn’t matter. Only happiness matters,” Bingaman said. “The opportunity to work at the Little League World Series meant more to me than any monetary reward.”

He said there are always opportunities to reach your goals. “For me, this was a major life goal.” 

Jonathan Bergmueller ’20 is an intern for SU Magazine.

Catch  Matt Bingaman ’06M  in the 2019 Little League World Series from August 15 to 25. For the first time this year, every game will be broadcast from South Williamsport on ESPN Networks and ESPN+.

Catch Matt Bingaman ’06M in the 2019 Little League World Series from August 15 to 25. For the first time this year, every game will be broadcast from South Williamsport on ESPN Networks and ESPN+.

Teaching the Teachers

In her fifteen years as a faculty member at Ship, Dr. Lynn Baynum estimates she’s taught at least 2,000 students in the teacher education program. Two years ago, Baynum took her experience from the classroom and applied it to a new role as interim dean for the College of Education and Human Services, and she recently was named director for the Center of Excellence in Teaching and Learning. After teaching kindergarten, third grade, middle school, and college students, Baynum said she still doesn’t know what compelled her to pursue teaching.