PSC Softball Wins Against Westmoreland County Community College

The Potomac State College Softball game against Westmoreland County Community College was a rousing success. The girls annihilated their opponent with a final score of 9-1 in favor of PSC. The game started a little slow with no one scoring until the third inning, where the girls scored 3 runs for the next 3 innings ending it all in the fifth inning.

“Coming together as a team to win instead of playing for yourself is a victory in itself, our team strives to play as a whole and we do that very well,” said PSC softball player Lexi Trickett about their victory.

The many fans of the softball team turned up to support the girls. Frequent spectator Zane Sine explained that he never misses a game if he can help it.

“They really knocked it out of the park here today. When they started scoring they did not let up until the game was over,” said Sine.

The pitcher for this game, Kadi Cosgrove, was later awarded a student athlete award.

Printing Problem Plagues Penny-Pinching Pupils

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 8.44.02 AM  Free printing was a luxury offered to PSC students for the last two years; a new printing fee was introduced in the 2017 Fall semester.  This policy, introduced by the WVU Morgantown campus, has put a hindrance on some students’ abilities to get their assignments in.

    The individuals most affected by this are the students. Many students have trouble getting their assignments in due financial inability.

   Printing costs 6 cents per document and can only be paid through Mountie Bounty. The minimum amount of money you can add to your Mountie Bounty at time is $10.  This raises problems for some commuter students who often don’t even carry their student IDs. 

“It wouldn’t be that big of deal if I could pay with coins, card or something. But I literally have no other reason to add anything to my Mountie Bounty,” said PSC sophomore Kaitie Brown. 

  The Mountie Bounty minimum seems to be an issue. While on-campus students can use their Mountie Bounty to do laundry and other necessities, commuter students don’t want to throw ten dollars into an account when they don’t even know if they’ll need to use it all to print. 

  PSC sophomore Lexi Woods used to print out PowerPoint slides to aid her in her studying, but she feels that she cannot afford to keep up her study habit with the fee in place. 

  “When you have multiple classes that all use PowerPoints, it really starts to add up, and now I just don’t print anything,” said Woods. 

  The printing fee has been felt campus-wide by students and faculty alike. Most professors have had to give up their personal office printers. Some professors have become more lenient in how they accept assignments because some students can’t afford to print.

  “I’m not sure that saving a few dollars is worth the inconvenience,” said Professor Ruth Upton.

She has had to start accepting her students’ assignments through eCampus, but she still feels that the fee is unfair for some students. 

   English Professor Steve Oberlechner has started making accommodations for students because of the fee as well. 

  “I’ve had to become more flexible on deadlines and make exceptions for some students due to financial issues,” said Oberlechner.

  Oberlechner has felt the weight of the fee in his creative writing classes where he would traditionally have students come in with a copy of their work for all of their peers. But due to the implementation of the printing fee, his students have been wanting to email their work to their peers.

“Whether it’s the author or the reader at some point someone will have to take the responsibility to print out the document,” said Oberlechner.

  Although the printing fee is seen as an inconvenience to many students and faculty, it has resolved an immense waste problem on the PSC campus.

  “Before students had to pay to print, there was a ridiculous amount of waste,” said the PSC Library Technical Assistant Nicholas Gardner. 

Gardner approves of the new printing fee. When students were able to print for free, there was an inordinate amount of wasted materials.  

   Gardner told of an occurrence where a past student tried to print out an article from the internet but could not figure out how to get the printer to work and accidentally printed out 700 pages of the document. 

   “We would throw stacks of paper away all of the time,” Gardner said. He believes that the fee has put a stop to occurrences like this by making the students print more consciously.

  The fee has also allowed for the school to have better printers for the students to use. Before, PSC had average desktop printers that one may use in their own home. When students would be printing anywhere between 30,000 and 40,000 pages of paper a month, the printers were not equipped to handle the bulk of documents that would go through them daily. This caused them to break down on a consistent basis. 

   The school now has more industrial printers that can effortlessly print in bulk and even allow students to scan documents into their emails. 

  PSC Executive Director of Campus Operations Harlan Shreve explained that the new fee makes a lot of economical sense, but the school has tried their best to help the students. He explained that free printing is offered in the computer labs for any student doing assignments, but the school thought it would be in everybody’s best interest to cut back on “frivolous printing.”

  While the change to pay-to-print can be hard, it is important to remember that this is not a new concept on the PSC campus. PSC has only offered free printing for the last two years while the coin operator in the library was broken. 

  “This whole thing is only hard because of the way that it is happening. It’s just change. Eventually people will forget the luxury and get used to how things are,” said PSC Sociology Instructor Catie Bridges. 

 

STEM Attracts Families

 

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What do dissected pigs, lasers, snakes, equines, rockets, LEGOs and drones have in common? The Mineral County STEM Festival!
Faculty, staff, students and community members volunteered to present a variety of activities on campus March 24. The festival introduced children in Kindergarten through 12 grade to science, technology, engineering and math concepts through hands-on activities. About 1,000 visitors attended the STEM Festival.

The festival included displays put together by the students, faculty and the surrounding community. The Potomac State College agriculture department had horses and goats on display for the families. The equine students were showing the kids how to tack horses and explained their daily routines in the barn. The goat farm also brought some goats to the quad for the children to interact with.

“I think it is important for kids to feel comfortable around animals and gain experience about them,” said PSC equine student Mallie Otoole.

Ameicorps sent representatives from the Americorps Forrest Service and the Americorps Fish and Wildlife to teach the community about non-native invasive species. The point of their booth was to help educate the public on how to identify non-native invasive species and help reduce their spread and the harm that these species can cause to the environment.

“The earlier that children are informed the earlier they can get involved,” said Americorps Forest Service worker Haley Hutchins.

The Mary F. Shipper library had many classic displays, such as the virtual reality glasses that have been a hit at past STEM festivals. The families were allowed to put on the VR glasses and then they were read a story while being shown images through the glasses that went along with the story. A brand new drone display was also being shown in the library. David Miller of the PSC library was educating the public on drone safety and the importance of drones in the future of our society. The children were also allowed to fly the drones through an obstacle course that the library put up.

The sciences were very popular at the STEM festival. Professor of Biology Dr. Gerald Wilcox was showing off the difference between healthy lungs and a smoker’s lungs using real pig lungs. He used the pig lungs to show how smoking can discolor a person’s lungs. There were also dissected fetal pigs being shown to the children. They were even allowed to look through their organs.

“I was sad because they were dead, but I learned that their hearts are really small,” said seven-year-old Juniper Judy.

The Potomac Valley Chapter of the Mountain State Valley Council for the Blind sent representatives to the festival to educate people on technologies that allow for blind people to live independently. These technologies include the “Brail Note” that allows for blind people to type and the “Seeing Eye” application that allows for blind people to read through the cameras on their phone.

There were a lot of engineering presentations on display. The PSC engineering department had a gokart that they built on the quad for families to drive. Orbital ATK was present to teach children about the anatomy of rockets by letting them make their own rockets out of paper and launching them using a using an air bellow. The community robotics team “Rambunctious Robots” was showing off the robots that they built. These robots included a tank, one that used pressure sensors to push off of surfaces and one that is programmed to give high fives.

West Virginia University sophomore Olivia Young was present on behalf of the Science Public Outreach Team, a team founded by NASA and Greenbank Observatory, to educate on space and radio waves. She was running an exhibit that was showing how meteors strike the earth.

“I think it is important for kids to take an interest in science early because as we get older science becomes less about discovery and more about memorization. And it is important to keep that passion in discovery because it really goes a long way,” said Young.

PSC Men’s Lacrosse Update

by Cody Brazil

The Potomac State College Men’s Lacrosse team begins the season with a streak of 3 losses. They played at Delaware Technical Community College on February 21, resulting in a score of 19-10 in favor DTCC. They then played at Harford Community College on February 24, ending in favor of HCC with a final score of 17-3. The most recent game the Catamounts have played was at home against Hudson Valley Community College on February 26. The game ended in the final score of 10-5 in favor of HVCC.

The 2018 team roster is filled with players from all over. There are 7 players from Maryland, 6 players from West Virginia, 2 players from Pennsylvania, a player from Massachusetts, a player from Missouri, a player from Delaware, a player from Virginia, a player from Ohio and a player from North Carolina. The team is led by head coach Josh Seese, who is coaching for his second season at PSC.

Upcoming games include a home game against Mercyhurst North East on March 3 at 5:30 p.m. and an away game at Howard Community College at 4 p.m. Be sure to head out and show your Catamount pride.

For more in-depth data on the scores of the games that have already been played you can check out the Men’s Lacrosse page on the PSC website.

The STEM Festival Returns to PSC

By Cody Brazil

Drone Photo for Online

David Miller tinkers with his drone before the STEM festival. Photo by Cody Brazil.

The time for the Potomac State College student body to showcase their knowledge in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math is almost upon us. The STEM festival, which is a day for the community to learn about many interesting topics in those fields from the students themselves, will be taking place on March 24, 2018 from 12-4p.m.

Past favorites such as green screen technologies and Rubik’s Cubes mosaics will be making a return this year, but some new and exciting demonstrations will be on display this year. One of these displays will be the drone demonstration put on by David Miller of the PSC library.

Miller explained that he will be setting up an obstacle course for people to fly a training drone through, so that they may learn the basics of operating a drone. Miller went on to talk about how bigger drones have built-in GPS to keep them level in the wind and smaller ones do not. Teaching people to fly on a smaller drone helps them to build the skill to manually keep their drone level if the GPS were to ever go out.

Drones are going to play a bigger part in industries, such as shipping, so it is important for people to get comfortable with the use, and soon we will have to decide laws on how drones will be allowed to be operated. So it is important for people to gain experience in order for them to make informed decisions,” said Miller on why it is important to learn about drones at a young age.

“Hands on Anatomy” is a display that will be returning this year that aims to teach the public a little more about their bodies. The display consists of posters that will be created by the Anatomy and Physiology 2 students. Each poster will cover a different organ system that the students will be on site to explain. Along with the posters there will be actual dissected organisms on display for viewers to interact with. This display is put on by Sheri Chisolm the PSC Anatomy and Physiology professor. Chisolm explained that she loves the STEM festival because she enjoys interacting with the public and seeing her students be able to teach the materials that she taught them.

“A lot of what we will be teaching transcribes to human health, so hopefully you’ll be able to be your own advocate at the doctor,” said Chisolm

The engineering department is doing a Moon Racers Robotics Obstacle Course and a Solar System Rocket Launch. There will also be a display on identifying different kinds of trees and a math activity about triangles.

“It’s a can’t miss opportunity for families to explore all aspects of science,” said Andrea Schafer, STEM Festival organizer. The event is free.

Greenback Observatory Researcher Lectures at PSC

By Matthew Timbrook, Contributing Writer

Green Bank Pictures

Andrew Seymour gives his lecture in the Davis Conference Center. Photo by Matthew Timbrook

The students and guests gathered in the Davis Conference Center to experience a close encounter of the third kind, but it wasn’t an extraterrestrial who had come to deliver a message.

Dr. Andrew Seymour, a researcher from Arecibo Observatory and Green Bank Observatory, came to share a presentation on the subject of radio astronomy.

Seymour is an experienced astronomer who has worked as a research associate at Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico made famous as the setting of the 1997 lm “Contact” starring Jodi Foster. In addition to working on the cutting edge of radio astronomy, Seymour attended Potomac State College in 2002 and was a research assistant in the Department of Physics at West Virginia University from 2010 to 2014.

In his presentation, entitled “Fast Radio Burst: The Eagles of The Universe,” Seymour showed the relative size of the massive satellite dishes used in radio astronomy, discussed some of the techniques currently being applied to discover pulsars and explained how radio waves can be identi ed by likening them to bird calls.

The students in the audience asked questions about some of the technical aspects of scanning the skies.

Seymour emphasized the importance of passionate students offering fresh perspectives “Radio astronomy is a eld that still has engineering puzzles to be solved,” he said “Finding new solutions to these problems will quickly result in great scienti c advances.”

At the end of the presentation, the students were given details and directions on how to sign-up to further their education through research programs.

For more information on the Arecibo Observatory and Green Bank Observatory, you can visit outreach.naic.edu/ao/landing and www.greenbankobervatory.org

Resident Assistants Receive Training

By Cody Brazil, Editor

RA color crop

Resident Assistants Emily Curtin (Left) and Rocky Morgan (Right) hard at work. Photo Courtesy of the Potomac State College Flickr

While Resident Assistants enjoy benefits such as free housing and dining plans, their lives can be an extremely stressful, dealing with problematic peers and juggling work and college. PSC provides training to prepare the students for the position.

Carissa Carter was a RA at PSC in the fall semester of 2016. She admitted to retiring from the position because she did not feel that she personally was ready to cater to other freshmen’s needs while she was getting used to college herself, but she spoke very highly of the ten-day training camp that every RA has to go through.

“So basically during the training we did a lot of team building exercises, we had a re training, active shooter training and a bunch of other general safety classes. Besides that, we just made decorations for our halls and our resident’s doors. It was a lot of fun,” said Carter.

Carter felt that the training period was a good time and the information learned was relevant to her position as a new RA. But not every person who went through the training felt the same way. A current RA who wishes to remain anonymous admitted feeling that the training period only contained one day of relevant training.

“The main job of a RAs to build a community on their floor. It is important to us that our residents feel at home on their floors,” said Michael Lynch the PSC resident hall supervisor.

Lynch stated that the RA training is an intensive week-and-a-half long program where the RAs are trained to adequately do their jobs while attempting to achieve three main goals set for them: building a community on their floor, completing administrative duties and teambuilding among the RAs.

“For a lot of the residents, this is their first time being away from home, so we try to make sure the transition is both seamless and a little fun for them.”

– Colton Dickerson, University Place resident assistant.

A RA on the PSC campus is tasked with building a bond of trust and mutual respect with their residents. They do this by planning programs for the residents and by generally keeping up with their residents. Lynch stated that it is clear when RAs are not doing their job because residents start to move off of the floor.

“RA’ s take a lot of heat for simply doing their jobs. This can be difficult, especially in younger RAs, because it can make them nervous to do their jobs. This is probably the main reason for turnovers in the RA positions,” said Lynch.

The RAs are obligated to complete certain administrative tasks while they are in the position. These tasks can range from roving the halls to handing out temporary keys and guest passes. Lynch would like to ensure residents that the admin responsibilities are completed to ensure the safety of the residents.

“It is a common misconception that when an RA is roving they are out trying to get people in trouble. They are not. They are just out to make sure the halls are safe; they look for broken glass or even lights that may have burned out in the stairwells. But they are instructed to deal with any violations they come across,” Said Lynch.

The final goal of the RA training is to stress the importance of team building. The RAs are backed by their supervisors when they are forced to enforce disciplinary actions.

They always have a Resident Hall Coordinator or Lynch himself on call to back them up if they are not comfortable handling anything alone.

PSC recently hired six new RAs for the spring semester who also underwent training for the position.