Archive for 2015

July 16, 2015

Thursday, July 16th, 2015


Don Murk presented at two national conferences in June and July. On Friday, June 26, Don, along with Sybil Knight-Burney (superintendent of Harrisburg Schools) and Travis Peck (principal at Downey School) presented at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Conference on Teaching Excellence in Nashville. The presentation was titled, “Together for Tomorrow: Transforming Student Achievement.”

On Wednesday, July 2, Don along with Lillian Brinkley (retired basic school principal), Patrick Callaghan (school superintendent, Ohio), Carla Janes (principal, Washington State), Dana McCauley (principal, Maryland), and Carly Day (Messiah College graduate) presented at the National Association of Elementary School Principals  Annual Conference in Long Beach, California. The presentation was titled, “Using Boyer’s Basic School Approach to Reform and renew Schools.”

Mennonite Global Youth Summit begins today

Today is the beginning of the Mennonite Global Youth Summit. This conference includes young adult representatives from 47 different countries on six continents! We are happy to be able to host this international group of young people and demonstrate Messiah College’s hospitality. Please go out of your way to welcome them to campus.

Tree health around campus

Tree health and safety is an important issue on our campus. We are doing all we can to enhance, preserve and maintain the trees on campus. There are several significant challenges facing some of our trees and we thought you would like an update on how we are dealing with them.

There are several oaks with significant yellowing of the leaves. One of the trees—near the Hostetter Chapel entrance—has become structurally unsound and will be coming down. The others will be treated with soil amendments to attempt to correct a nutrient deficiency caused by naturally high calcium levels in the soil. These trees are also susceptible to phytophthora, especially when stressed. We have lost several campus trees to this root disease and will be watching the remaining stressed oaks closely over the next year.

Emerald Ash Borer is sweeping through our area. We will likely lose 90-100% of our white ash trees on campus and in the forest in the next four years. You may have noticed dead tree tops along campus drive between Mountain View and Witmer and behind Kelly in the past year—most of them are white ash. Once dead, the trees begin to rot, become brittle and are structurally unsound within months. We will be removing these as needed for safety reasons. There is currently one such tree behind the library in the garden that will be removed soon.

There is a fungus that has impacted our campus maple trees. While currently confined to a few larger trees, we are watching them closely and will remove them if the trees become structurally unsound.

Denise Blackley

Summer Driving Hazards

Think icy and snowy roads create the most hazardous driving conditions? Think again! According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, August actually has the highest number of fatal car accidents of any month! Why is summer driving so dangerous?

  • Summer storms and thunder showers can cause hazardous conditions for driving: slippery roads, hydroplaning, flash flooding, downed trees, even hail!
  • With school out, there are more teens on the road. Their lack of experience (and often lack of attention) can lead to more accidents. Teens are more likely to be involved in car accidents than any other age group.
  • There is more road congestion as families hit the highways for vacations. In addition, vacationing drivers are often traveling unfamiliar roads so they may be driving too slowly or making sudden stops and turns.
  • The chance for tire blowouts increases during hot weather as the air inside your tires expands from the heat. The chances of your engine overheating also increase when the weather is hot; if this happens, pull over to let it cool down.
  • Road construction increases during the summer resulting in delays, detours and road rage.
  • More bicycles and motorcycles are on the road when the sun is shining. Because they are more difficult to see than other vehicles, you need to be alert for them at all times.
  • Children are outside playing more in the summer, increasing the chances of a child darting into the street and in front of your vehicle.
  • More people are walking which means you need to be alert for pedestrians, especially during early morning and evening hours when dark clothes make it more difficult to see them.
  • The sun’s bright glare can temporarily blind you if you aren’t wearing appropriate sunglasses.
  • And dehydration can be a very real safety concern on long drives if you don’t keep a bottle of water handy. Likewise, if you break down or are stranded for any length of time, you want to make sure you have water available, especially if you have young children with you.

Don’t get careless with your driving because you don’t have to worry about black ice or bitter cold. Remember that summer driving has its own set of safety hazards.


Changes to background checks

On July 1, 2015, the governor signed HB 1276 which is an amendment regarding background clearances for volunteers and employees, and it does provide some relief with respect to Act 153 for the Higher Ed community. As such, we are revising our background protocol. Please read the following attachment carefully.

Appraiser on campus week of July 20

Please be advised, the week of July 20 an appraiser from Industrial Appraisal will be on campus appraising some of the College-owned fine art.

Residence Life mandatory floor meetings Monday evening Aug. 31

Each year, mandatory floor meetings occur between 7 p.m.-9 p.m. the night before the first day of fall semester classes (Aug. 31 this year). During these meetings critical policy and community expectations are outlined for students. In addition, these meetings provide an important chance for students to meet their floormates and residence life staff in their building. It is essential that we have partnership from around campus to ensure that students can attend. Please keep these meetings in mind as you plan events for your own departments. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact the Director of Residence Life Dave Downey (!

UPS shipping program

From time to time, Messiah employees find themselves with a need to ship UPS packages, whether for themselves personally, or for their department. Did you know that Messiah has a UPS shipping program that you as an employee can manage right from your computer? Why wait until you need to ship something to be trained? Summer is a great time to let us show you how to ship packages and save money at the same time.

Please contact Bill Althoff via email to be notified of the next training session. The sessions are only about 45 minutes long, and can be scheduled at a time that is convenient for you.



Parabody 220 Gym System – sleek design, fits conveniently into a 6′ x 4′ space, offers a variety of effective total body workout.  The gym offers two unique seated rowing exercises as well – using an overhand or underhand grip – the comfortably add rear deltoid, upper and lower back movements for ideal muscular balance with the chest exercises.  An ankle strap adds hip abduction, adduction and extension exercises.  Asking $300.00 or best offer – contact Susan ext. 6780 or 717-350-5039.

Black patent leather marching band shoes (Dinkles), size 8 and 10 for boys or size 10 and 12 for girls. Excellent condition. $10/pair. Contact


The Falcon Exchange has a current opening for the full-time position of Falcon Exchange representative. For more information and to apply, please visit: Job-related questions may be directed to Lora Harper, manager of financial services, at

The Department of Dining Services has a current opening for the full-time position of retail restaurant shift supervisor. For more information and to apply, please visit: Job-related questions may be directed to Mark Wirtz, director of dining services, at


Alumni to present classical music concert on July 25

Three Messiah College alums—Tetyana Pyatovolenko, Gregory Glessner and Daniel Glessner—will perform a classical music concert at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Mechanicsburg July 25 at 7 p.m. Please see the attached flyer.