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Academic Festival showcases classroom works

April 14, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER
  • Penn State Mont Alto forestry major Philip Bietsch, right, of Chambersburg, Pa., answers questions Wednesday from judges Brad Evans of Bartlett Tree Service, left, and George Pogue, of Cumberland Valley Tree Service at the school's annual Academic Festival.
Submitted photo,

MONT ALTO, Pa. -- Penn State Mont Alto celebrated its annual Academic Festival Wednesday, honoring the work of more than 70 students.

It began as a way to shine a spotlight on strong classroom work and has continued in much the same way for five years, said Tom Reinsfelder, reference librarian and chair of the festival committee.

For many students, participation in the festival is optional, he said.

Others are required by professors to submit entries, he said.

Participants in Wednesday's festival ranged from freshmen to seniors, said Kristie Fry, director of public relations.

"It is open to anyone," she said.

Every student who elected to participate was given the opportunity, Reinsfelder said.

The festival itself is an honor for students, however. Each entry was judged by a panel of educators, staff and community members against the other entries, he said.

Winners were ranked first through third place, receiving a certificate and a check for between $20 and $200, courtesy of sponsor F&M Trust Bank, he said.

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"The main reason we do this is to see what is going on in the classrooms," said Reinsfelder.

Starting at 2 p.m. with poster presentations, the festival continued with oral presentations at 2 p.m. and an art exhibit at 4 p.m., and ended at about 5 p.m. with the presentation of awards.

Some students began planning what they would enter at the beginning of the year, said Fulton County native Benjamin Wilt, speaking from experience.

A Human Development and Family Sciences major, Wilt entered a poster last year, he said.

This year, he entered a work of art.

"Art has been a hobby of mine and I like this (festival) a lot," he said. "Mostly I like the teacher involvement, getting to know your instructors in a way you could not at, say, (Penn State) main campus (university park)."

Wilt said he was inspired to enter by his teacher Freya Qually, a professor in the Studio Art Department.

Submitting two pieces, even though they were not related to his major, was worthwhile, he said.

He entered a pastel drawing titled "Feline Imagination" and a drawing in extreme contrast marker titled "Into the Unknown."

He won honorable mention for "Into the Unknown."

Local winners in the presentations included: Hannah Hess of Waynesboro, Pa., who won second place in the Science and Technology division; Rick Dahal of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., and Bradley Lloyd of New Oxford, Pa., whose group won third place in the Environmental Science division; and Eileen Hissong of Chambersburg, Pa. who won 1st place in the Science and Technology division.

Art show winners were: Gladys Cooper, Adam Eisentrout, Anja Nace, Katherine Marshall, Benjamin Wilt, Eliza Shoop, Bobby Laughman and Jack Handshaw.

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