Archive for 2024

February 8

Thursday, February 8th, 2024

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:7


Business Department Professor Keith Quesenberry’s research paper “Time Is on Story’s Side: Story Development Impacts Daily Shares of Viral Advertising Videos” has been accepted to be presented at the annual Society of Business, Industry, and Economics academic conference in April. A continuation of previous storytelling research with Michael Coolsen, professor of marketing at Shippensburg University, it expands previous analysis of over 100 YouTube viral ad videos that found more fully developed stories on a 0 to 5 act drama scale increased total shares and views. This additional regression analysis found a sharper decline in shares for videos that tell a less developed story over a 23-day period indicating that viral advertising videos are shared for a longer time, or stay viral longer, with a story.


Todd Goranson, DMA, RN, professor of music, presented a one-hour guest lecture titled “Mental and Musculoskeletal Health for the Performing Musician” at Towson University’s Center for the Arts on Tuesday, Jan. 30. Goranson was the invited speaker for the spring semester opening convocation for Towson’s 150 undergraduate music majors and their music faculty.


The Department of Marketing and Communication invites you to honor Ramona Fritschi, as we celebrate her retirement following 15 years of dedicated service to our institution. Join us for a special gathering to recognize Ramona’s significant contributions and commitment to excellence in supporting and advancing numerous digital accessibility initiatives.

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 20

Time: 2 – 4 p.m.

Location: Boyer Atrium


Murray Library’s February 2024 newsletter

What’s New in the Library? Read our February newsletter containing the latest news on events and displays, staff, and more! Read the newsletter on Mosaic.

2024 Employee Award nominations

Do you work with someone who has gone above and beyond expectations this past year? Nominate them for recognition at this Spring’s Employee Recognition Picnic on Monday, May 13! Please see the attached form or use the links below to submit nominations from now until March 1.

Team Falcon Award
The Team Falcon Award is given to recognize a group or team that collaborated successfully on a significant project or initiative that advanced departmental or university-wide goals.

Road to Reconciliation Award
The Road to Reconciliation Award is given to employees who have demonstrated a leadership role related to reconciliation beyond the expectations of their positions.

Pride in Performance Award
The Pride in Performance Award is given to administrative and staff employees who have demonstrated remarkable competence in their role along with a consistent commitment to excellence and to working successfully with others to achieve the goals of the University.

President’s Award
The President’s Award is given to administrative and staff employees who have demonstrated significant commitment, ingenuity,

The Center for Public Humanities is pleased to invite you to the 2024 Humanities Symposium on “The American Project”

The 2024 Humanities Symposium will be held during the week of Feb. 19-23. The CPH executive committee is eager to provide a forum for the University community and the wider public to engage in our weeklong conversation through faculty-student conversations, interdisciplinary and departmental panels, and artistic performances such as dance, film, concerts, poetry readings, and exhibitions.

Our featured speaker, Philip S. Gorski, Ph.D., is professor of sociology and religious studies at Yale University. He writes on religion and politics in early modern and modern Western Europe and North America from a comparative historical perspective. His empirical work focuses on topics such as state formation, nationalism, revolution, economic development, and secularization, with particular attention to the interaction of religion and politics. He is the author of several book-length studies in these fields. His current work focuses on the history and politics of white Christian nationalism and American civil religion.

Keynote Address: “Un/Civil Religion: American Christianity and Liberal Democracy in Crisis”

Date: Feb. 22

Location: Calvin and Janet High Center for Worship and Performing Arts, Parmer Hall

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: Free tickets are required for this event. To reserve, please contact the Messiah University Box Office at 717-691-6036 option #1 or online at

Book sales will be available before the keynote address and sales and signing will be available after the keynote address.

Seed Library

The Murray Library Seed Library will be kicking off the spring season on Monday, Feb. 12! Stop by Murray Library any time beginning that day to browse our seed directory and “check out” some seeds. The Seed Library is:
• Completely free
• Open to anyone (no library card needed)
• Stocked with over 75 varieties of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds
Check out more information on our website by visiting Happy Gardening!

Central Pennsylvania Forum for Science and Faith presents spring lecture

Please join us as we welcome Dr. Jessica Moerman, President and CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network and co-founding pastor of Grace Capital City church, to campus to deliver a talk entitled, “Climate Change: What God’s Creation is Telling Us.” Dr. Moerman’s talk is Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m. in Alexander Auditorium, Frey Hall 110. We look forward to an enlightening and inspiring talk.

Changes at the Falcon Fitness Center

I am pleased to announce that Kris Hansen-Kieffer has agreed to serve as the Executive Director of Community Wellness with a strong emphasis on the PREP programming and partnerships, collaboration with the academic departments as well as supervising the day-to-day operations of the Fitness Center. The Fitness Center is an important part of our community wellness program and we have already seen success in several new programs that Kris has worked to develop.

There is a current search for an associate director of the Fitness Center who will give leadership to day-to-day operations. If you have questions related to the services of the Fitness Center, please check out the website at or email

Department of Theatre and Dance students excel at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

The Department of Theatre and Dance sent students from the disciplines of design, directing, and performance (both musical performance and other) to compete in the 2024 Region II Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) at the end of January. KCACTF is a national theatre program involving over 600 academic institutions with the aim of improving the quality of higher education theater in the United States. Students are nominated by outside respondents to participate and showcase their work at one of the annual regional festivals.

Abby Crispin, Julia Itson, Eleanor Mund, Sammi Shuma, and Alysse Whaley were nominated to participate in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition. Out of 200 participants, Alysse Whaley and her scene partner Eleanor Mund were selected to advance to the finalist round of 16 performers, and Eleanor Mund won the award for “Best Scene Partner” for the event.

Abby Crispin, Eleanor Mund and Ella Murray participated in the Musical Theatre Competition, and Ella Murray was selected as a finalist for the competition.

Lydia Matson was nominated to participate in the conference’s design/tech and management exhibition for her work as the costume designer for “Alabama Story.” Carmi Wilmot participated in the festival and served as a directing coach for student scenes.

The Department of Theatre and Dance is proud of the excellent work showcased by our students.

Updates from the Division of Student Success and Engagement

The Division of Student Success and Engagement is delighted to welcome the following new employees to our Messiah family. We are also thrilled to announce new role changes for some of our existing employees.

Office of Student Engagement:

Curtis Kurtz was promoted to director of student engagement. Curtis is a proud Messiah Alum and has served at Messiah University for the past four years in Residence Life. Most recently, he served as the assistant director of residence life for first year experience and the residence director of Bittner Hall. During his master’s program, Curtis had the opportunity to intern with the Activities Programming Board at Shippensburg University, which helped grow his passion for student engagement. He is excited to continue serving our Messiah students in this new capacity and to lead the student engagement team.

Joshua Grimm is our new head esports coordinator and coach. Josh comes to us from Lycoming College where he served as a full-time athletic trainer and as their first-ever esports coach. Juggling the responsibilities of both roles, he was able to play a pivotal role in propelling Lycoming to its first esports success in 2021 with a Madden championship. Joshua also worked with their Valorant, Hearthstone, and League of Legends teams and worked with their men’s basketball team. Additionally, he worked as an athletic trainer for the MLB Draft League and was a part of the UPMC esports committee. Joshua holds a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and a master’s degree in sports and exercise psychology both from Lock Haven University.

Engle Center

Dr. John D. Goddard, CAADC, C-DBT is our new Engle counselor/program director of drug and alcohol education. John comes to us with 20 years of counseling experience in the mental health and addictions field working with a wide diversity of clients in a variety of settings. He has worked with children and adolescents in the school setting, as well as intensive, in-home family therapy. In addition, he provided individual, couples, and group therapy sessions in outpatient settings. John’s approach to care is integrative and his areas of interest include Christian counseling, spirituality, addictions, eating disorders, and the complex interactions between physical and mental health.

Alissa Ford, MA, NCC is our new part time Engle Center counselor. She is a Messiah alum earning both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Messiah. She is a National Certified Counselor and has experience working with clients from all walks of life in a variety of settings including inpatient, partial, and outpatient private practice. She has a niche for working with the young adult and adult populations. Alissa served as an intern at the Engle Center and is so excited to officially be joining the staff!

Agape Center for Local and Global Engagement

Paula Holtzinger is our new director of the Agape Center for Local and Global Engagement. Paula’s various experiences in service learning, global study, and service, as well as community partner relations wonderfully reflect the mission of the Agape Center. Paula is a proud graduate of Messiah’s peace and conflict studies program. The transformative experiences she had as a student leader and director with the Agape Center influenced her decision to pursue international work through the English Language Institute where she facilitated experiential learning opportunities and taught English in Vietnam, Lebanon, Hong Kong, and Cambodia. Paula also served as an emergency response assistant for Lebanon and Syria with Mennonite Central Committee in Beirut. From there, Paula joined Journey’s End Refugee Settlement Services as the employment training program manager in Buffalo, NY. Most recently, Paula has served as the administrative assistant to the Agape Center team while completing her graduate work in restorative justice, trauma, and resilience in educational environments.

Residence life

Julianna “Jules” Pinelli is our new residence director who will be serving as the Interim Bittner RD for this spring 2024 semester. Jules joins us from Wheaton College where she is completing the last semester of her master’s in higher education and student development, having served as a graduate resident advisor at Wheaton for the past year and a half. Jules received her Bachelors in Psychology from Cornerstone University where she served as an RA for two years. Originally from Long Island, NY, Jules loves going for walks, coffee, hosting friends and family, and baking.

Nikki Murren has agreed to serve as interim assistant director of residence life for first year experience and will also continue serving from her current location as Naugle residence director.

Mendelssohn Piano Trio “The American Experience”

Feb. 18, 4 p.m.
High Foundation Recital Hall

Sponsored by the Performing Arts Series

Mendelssohn Piano Trio will explore the American experience in music through juxtaposition of “Piano Trio No. 2” by Arthur Foote, the first American-trained outstanding classical composer, “Nocturnes” by Ernest Bloch, who founded the Cleveland Institute of Music, and “Piano Trio” by Erich Korngold, who created some of the most memorable scores for Hollywood and impacted generations of American composers, including John Williams.

Ticket prices are $10 for adults; $5 for Messiah University students (with ID) and youth (18 and under). To purchase, please contact the Messiah University Box Office at 717- 691-6036 option #1 or online at



Murray Library has an opening for a part-time library evening circulation supervisor. Job related questions may be directed to Sarah Myers at (librarian). For more information and to apply, please visit:

The Department of Engineering has an opening for a part-time CES local Chapter assistant. Job related questions may be directed to Philip Tan at For more information and to apply, please visit:

Community Wellness has an opening for a full-time assistant director of the Falcon Fitness Center. Job related questions can be directed to Kris Hansen-Kieffer at For more information and to apply, please visit:

Data Security has an opening for a full-time IT security analyst. Job related questions can be directed to Allen Snook at For more information and to apply, please visit:

The Admissions Office has an opening for a part-time admissions hospitality assistant. Job related questions may be directed to Kristin Thomas at For more information and to apply, please visit:

The Agape Center for Local and Global Engagement has an opening for a part-time administrative assistant. Job related questions may be directed to Paula Holtzinger at For more information and to apply, please visit:

The Registrar’s Office has an opening for a part-time records and registration assistant. Job related questions may be directed to Kathee Clark at For more information and to apply, please visit:

Murray Library has an opening for a full-time director of the Murray Library. Job related questions may be directed to David Weaver-Zercher at For more information and to apply, please visit:

The Department of Safety has an opening for a full-time 3rd shift safety officer/dispatcher. Job related questions may be directed to Bryce Wickard at For more information and to apply, please visit:

The Department of Network Services has an opening for a full-time system administrator/analyst. Job-related questions may be directed to Tony Wyland at For more information and to apply, please visit:

Campus and Building services have a variety of full and part-time openings. Job related questions can be directed to Laura Price at For more information and to apply, please visit:

The Department of Education has an opening for a full-time faculty in education. Job related questions may be directed to Beverly Pitcher Johnson at For more information and to apply, please visit:


2008 VW Jetta for sale. Lower mileage car (130,000 mi) in good shape. Good gas mileage. R title. Great first car or for someone looking for a dependable, low cost car! Email Lori for additional information or pictures.

Ink cartridge. Unused, but opened ink cartridge. Canon 251 XL Gray. $10. Contact Ted Davis:

Bunny earrings (great gift for Easter basket). Who wouldn’t love a pair of these cute bunny earrings? They would make a great gift for an Easter basket or for a special friend who just loves bunnies. $10 each or 2/$15 (indicate posts or wire hooks, and only in silver). Email:


Bookcases wanted. I am looking for a few tall bookcases (approximately 6-7 ft. high) that I could purchase inexpensively. If you have a bookcase or two you are willing to part with, please call Eric at ext. 2546 or 717-697-2010.

Empty Wine bottles. I am looking for some empty wine bottles for some craft projects. Please email:


Thank you. I am not sure who to personally thank, so I thought I would make a post in hopes that that special someone sees it.
Thank you so much! It was so kind of you. You know who you are and what this is about. Just know that it was greatly appreciated. Thank you and may God bless you. Stacy Portko


Messiah University to Host the 99th Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science April 12 – 14

Messiah University will host the 99th Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science (PAS) over the weekend of April 12 – 14. Approximately 250 students and faculty from educational institutions across Pennsylvania will visit campus to share about research conducted in a variety of areas of life and physical sciences in oral and poster presentations. David B. Olsen (’83) will deliver a keynote address following the Saturday evening banquet describing work of Merck and collaborating scientists to identify and characterize drugs that can be used to combat malaria. Olsen will also share career insights in a Saturday lunchtime panel aimed at students considering science careers in industry. We encourage Messiah students (and faculty) to register to attend and present at the conference. Non-presenting Messiah students and faculty may attend oral and poster presentations free of charge, but must also register in advance. Visit the PAS website ( for more information about the meeting (registration, cost, schedule) and the PAS organization. Larry Mylin (biological sciences) is serving as the local organizing host. Contact him with questions about the meeting, and if you are available to volunteer to support by participating the variety of things that must happen to host such a meeting.