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Muhlenberg supports initiative
to keep talented students in the Lehigh Valley after graduation
The Muhlenberg Institute
of Entrepreneurship and the Allentown Digital District have created a
program to help recruit and retain students for the Lehigh Valley.
Known as EUREKA!, the program begins by recruiting local companies, and
then identifying exciting and challenging student projects at those organizations.
Muhlenberg students, largely from the Entrepreneurial Studies Program,
high school students from the Allentown School District then form teams
and work with their EUREKA! business partners
to find creative solutions to the projects.
The projects include Web development, pre-clinical medical research, new
product development, graphic design
and textile experimentation.
The development of the EUREKA! program was funded by a grant secured by
Pamela Varkony, co-chair of the Allentown Digital District steering committee.
According to Gerald Whartenby, director of the EUREKA! project, one of
the problems facing high-tech companies is recruiting and retaining new
"Studies in Philadelphia, New York and Atlanta have shown that few
high school and college graduates think about job hunting in their school's
location," he says. "High-tech development depends in part on
showing these students the advantages of building their careers locally."
Marah Ritchey '02 says, "Until I began working with Fastnet, it never
occurred to me to consider a career in Allentown, but with a Web project
up and running, I think this may be the place to be!"
The EUREKA! project is just one piece of the Digital District, launched
in March 2001, when State Secretary of Economic Development Sam McCullough
delivered a $500,000 grant to kick off the initiative. The Digital District
is a cooperative venture between the Lehigh Valley Economic Development
Corp., Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC), Muhlenberg College, local
businesses and the Allentown School District. Courses in computer programming,
Web design and computer animation are also part of the initiative.
Other goals include developing a tech-friendly business community in the
downtown area as well as fostering a high-tech environment for business
and economic development in the region.
Photo: The EUREKA! Project
strives to keep talented students like these in the Lehigh Valley.
V-Day 2002 College Campaign
comes to Muhlenberg
The Muhlenberg community
raised more than $9,000 to benefit battered women in the Lehigh Valley
and the women of Afghanistan through its participation in the nationwide
V-Day 2002 College Campaign.
In February, 550 college campuses across the country took part in the
V-Day campaign by staging productions of "The Vagina Monologues"
on their campuses to raise awareness and money to stop violence against
women and girls. The proceeds from these events were to go back into the
schools' communities to local organizations and programs already working
to stop violence against women.
Muhlenberg raised $7,524 for Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley and $1,881
to help the women of Afghanistan through a series of sold-out performances
of the Obie-Award-winning show staged by the Muhlenberg Theatre Association
at the Trexler Pavilion for Theatre and Dance. A total of 1,152 attended
three sold-out performances and a preview presentation, including 552
students, faculty and staff and 600 members of the local community.
Other V-Day activities at Muhlenberg included a campus-wide invitation
to place poems, quotations, images, experiences and opinions on the issues
of both healthy relationships and violence against women on "The
Valentine Wall" on campus. Student members of the Muhlenberg Art
Association designed Art-to-Auction
T-shirts to raise additional funds, and there was a campus-wide collection
of used cell phones that was donated to Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley
for victims of domestic abuse.
V-Day activities culminated in the production of the groundbreaking "The
Vagina Monologues," including after-play talks and continuing campus
Cara Restaino '02, director of "The Vagina Monologues," describes
the play as a "provocative piece of theatre that challenges and inspires
women of every age and cultural heritage."
Hailed by The New York Times as "funny" and "poignant"
and by The Daily News as "intelligent" and "courageous,"
"The Vagina Monologues" dives into the mystery, humor, pain,
power, wisdom and outrage buried in women's experiences. "The monologues
are both a celebration of women's sexuality and a condemnation of its
violation," according to The New York Times.