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Alumni Update – Spring Has Sprung at RMU!

WarnerHey Alums,

Well, spring has finally sprung in the Burgh!

It may have been a long, miserable winter, but it’s been an enjoyable one for RMU sports fans. Last month, the university saw its sports teams on ESPN six times. This included the men’s and women’s basketball NEC Championship games, the men’s first and second round NIT games, and the women’s NCAA first-round game against Notre Dame. RMU hockey also made its debut when it took on the University of Minnesota in the Sweet Sixteen in St. Paul.

On my recent journeys to neighboring states, I’ve been able to spend some quality time with many familiar and new alumni. RMU Alumni events in Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., drew favorable numbers of attendees, and further down the eastern seaboard, our Florida receptions were also warm and friendly. Locally we’ve had some afternoon lunches with alumni from PNC and Highmark, and next month we look forward to noon-time gatherings with folks from Alcoa and Schneider Downs.

Last but not least, we held our third Annual March Madness Alumni Reception on Pittsburgh’s North Side at Atria’s. What a treat it was to see students, alumni, professors, and friends all come together for an evening of sharing! These types of events really afford students and recent grads the opportunity to pick the minds of our many great alumni about the world of work they are preparing to enter.

And if you didn’t know, or you somehow forgot, at Robert Morris…IT’S ALL ABOUT THE STUDENTS!

Staying connected is just another way to give back while at the same time helping yourself. I hope to see you this spring or summer at an RMU Alumni event!

Sincerely,

Warner Johnson
RMU Alumni Director

RMU Alumna’s Stay-cation Leads to New Business Opportunity

Miranda with daughter Ava at the Pittsburgh Children's Museum

Miranda with daughter Ava at the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum

About five summers ago Miranda Bauer M’08 and her husband, Josh, decided to take a week’s “stay-cation”. Like many Pittsburghers, although they had grown up in the city, there was still so much they had never seen or done before. So they decided to spend the week like tourists.

“It was one of the most enjoyable vacations I’ve ever had,” says Miranda, a 2008 graduate of RMU’s integrated communications and information systems program. “We visited Kennywood, went on the Just Ducky Tour, strolled through the zoo…a bunch of things someone from out of town might do. We had a blast.”

Three years later Miranda became a mother, and an even newer Pittsburgh world opened up to her. “All of the sudden, I was a stay-at-home mom visiting places like the Children’s Museum, Sandcastle, and the Carnegie Science Center,” she says. “That’s when I got the idea for PittsburghPass.”

Geared toward families with young children, PittsburghPass.com offers a Pittsburgh activities package that includes one admission each to Kennywood, Sandcastle, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Carnegie Science Center, and The Children’s Museum – all for just $83.99 (a savings of up to $143 for a family of four). There’s also an option geared toward singles and couples for $65.99.

“Basically, anybody looking for fun things to do in Pittsburgh at a discounted rate will enjoy a PittsburghPass,” says Miranda.

An only child, Miranda was the first member of her family to attend college. After graduating, she landed a job with a local self-storage company and worked as their marketing manager over the next five years. She says RMU’s focus on communication skills played a big part in her success right out of school. “The focus on public speaking was really important. It was one of the key things that helped me excel in my first job.”

Today Miranda spends most of her time caring for her two young daughters, ages 2 years and 6 months; however, she also works part-time as an adjunct faculty member for RMU’s School of Communications and Information Systems, teaching business and professional communications.

“RMU gave me the confidence to go out and start my own business,” she says. “Now I’m hoping I can do the same for my own students.” ~

PittsburghPass ticket packages are on sale only until June 7. For more information, visit PittsburghPass.com.

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Written by Valentine J. Brkich

From Ghana to NASA

lawWhen Lawton Crentsil immigrated to the United States from Ghana back in 2007, his goal was to obtain an undergraduate degree in engineering. Little did he know that he’d be doing research that could one day help astronauts on deep-space missions.

This May the junior manufacturing and biomedical engineering double major will be taking part in NASA’s National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) Summer Apprenticeship program.

“Nothing could be more appealing than to work hand-in-hand with some of the best engineers and scientists in the world,” says Crentsil. “I could never have asked for more than this. Choosing RMU has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

Crentsil will begin in late May at the NSBRI Summer Bioastronautics Institute at the institute’s headquarters in Houston, Texas. After that he’ll spend the remainder of the 11-week internship at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. There, he and William K. Thompson, senior electronics and biomedical engineer, will be doing biomechanical modeling of novel resistance exercise devices that may be used one day in flight units for exploration missions.

“These devices would serve as countermeasures to mitigate loss of bone health and muscular performance due to prolonged microgravity,” says Thompson. “I am looking forward to working with Lawton, who has an expressed interest in biomechanics, and who I believe possesses the academic skills and work habits necessary to make a significant contribution to our efforts.”

Crentsil was studying at a community college in Harrisburg before transferring to RMU in 2012. When he first visited the university, he didn’t know much about its engineering offerings. Then he met Arif Sirinterlikci, Ph.D., head of RMU’s Department of Engineering. “My perception completely changed after I had a one-on-one meeting with him during my tour of campus two years ago,” says Crentsil. “Dr. Arif instilled in me the desire to aim high in whatever I do. His continued encouragement and advice to continue working hard in obtaining good grades was the cornerstone in motivating me to pursue this opportunity.”

In addition to his studies at RMU, Crentsil is currently serving in the Army National Guard with the 856 Stryker Unit in Punxsutawney, Pa., as an SMP (Simultaneous Member Program) cadet and expects to be commissioned as a second lieutenant by the end of June 2015 upon completion of his Leadership Training Course in Kentucky. “Joining the military has also been a fulfilling dream of mine,” he says. “It has instilled in me a sense of readiness and taught me that if you allow yourself to quit on any aspiration, it wasn’t really worth starting in the first place.”

In his free time, Crentsil enjoys playing guitar with friends and jamming to flamenco tunes. He’s also a big soccer fan and is looking forward to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer, although he says that he’ll be somewhat torn when his native Ghana locks horns with the U.S. in the first group matches. “I might be tempted to put on the colorful jersey of the Black Stars come June 16,” he says. “But regardless of the result, my allegiance still lies with the United States.”
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Written by Valentine J. Brkich

RMU Alumni: Mark Your Calendars for a HOT March!!

WarnerHello Alums!

As the first two months of the year come to a close, if you’re anything like me I sure hope spring-like temperatures arrive in early March. But if they don’t, there are still plenty of hot happenings for RMU alumni both on campus and in nearby cities.

In case you haven’t heard, a number of our sports teams are on fire! The men’s basketball team clinched the regular season NEC championship with an impressive victory last Saturday at The Chuck. In addition, women’s basketball, along with men’s and women’s hockey, are all playoff bound.

Speaking of the playoffs, things will soon be heating up in the Moon Twp. area with three of our four teams hosting home games on campus and down at The Island.

Some other hot happens for alumni to take advantage of in March include our “On The Road” programs, the first of which will be an alumni reception and Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game on Tuesday, March 4. We are also holding similar events in Philadelphia on Friday, March 14, and in Washington D.C. on Saturday, March 15. Tickets are $25.00 each, and we encourage you to bring a guest. Finally, on Thursday, March 27, we’ll be hosting our 3rd Annual March Madness alumni networking event at Atria’s, located on the North Shore at PNC Park.

Forget the cold and join us in March for one or all of these hot alumni events!

–Warner Johnson, Director of Alumni

Upcoming March events:
March 4 – Cleveland Alumni Reception and Cavaliers Basketball Game
March 5 – Men’s Basketball Quarter Finals, Sewall Center Arena (aka, The Chuck)
March 9 – Women’s Basketball Quarter Final, Sewall Center Arena (aka, The Chuck)
March 14 – Philadelphia Alumni Reception and 76ers Basketball Game
March 15 – Washington D.C. Alumni Reception and Wizards Basketball Game
March 27 – March Madness Alumni Reception, Atria’s, North Shore (Pittsburgh), PNC Park

Another One for the Case

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The U.S. women’s Olympic ice hockey team lost a heartbreaking gold-medal game to Canada, 3-2 in overtime, but former RMU goalie Brianne McLaughlin was smiling nonetheless when she received her second silver medal. McLaughlin competed with the U.S. team in the 2010 games in Vancouver,  where Canada also edged out the U.S. squad for the gold.

- Follow Brianne on Twitter.
- Brianne’s former team is ranked No. 9 in the nation!  Come watch them play Penn State this weekend.
- Brianne stays close with the Colonials. She has to – she married one of the coaches!
Read about Brianne when she made her Olympic debut:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoKMpyhhLS0

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Visits RMU

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Maria V. Kalevitch, Ph.D., dean of Robert Morris University’s School of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science, poses for a photo with Silicon Valley icon, philanthropist, and Apple Computer Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, on Wednesday, January 29 in RMU’s Charles L. Sewall Center.

Wozniak stopped at Robert Morris to speak with students, faculty, administrators and guests before speaking at Heinz Hall that evening as part of the RMU Pittsburgh Speakers Series.

RMU Journalism Students Cover President Obama’s Pittsburgh Visit

Sentry MediaRobert Morris University applied journalism sophomores Leah Fleischel, Haley Sawyer, and Paul Wintruba are getting some hands-on experience today as they cover President Obama’s visit to the U.S. Steel Plant in Irwin.

During his Pittsburgh visit, President Obama is expected to stir up support to create a new retirement savings plan for workers, a subject that was a main subject in his State of the Union address last night. The work of the three Robert Morris students will appear on RMU Sentry Media as well as the Talk Radio News Service, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

“Leah, Haley, and Paul are all intelligent, energetic, and motivated young people,” said Dr. Anthony Moretti, an associate professor in RMU’s School of Communications and Information Systems. “I know their reporting and photography will be a key part of their developing professional portfolio.”

RMU strives to provide these types of out-of-the classroom learning experiences to its students, which are then documented on their Student Engagement Transcript, an official university document that serves as a companion to our students’ resumes and an official university endorsement of their leadership roles, community service hours, international study trips, internship experiences, and much more. ~

Written by Valentine J. Brkich
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