All posts by Kaitlyn Chambers

Samantha Chambers: Becoming the Teacher

Samantha Chambers was born and raised in Reading, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Exeter Township senior high school in May of 2017. She has worked as an intern at the Exeter Community Library during the summers of 2018-19. Samantha is currently in her third year at Elizabethtown College. She is studying early childhood education, with plans to become an elementary school teacher.

A Major Decision

During her first visit to an open house at Elizabethtown College, Samantha was unsure about which major she planned to pursue. Throughout the years, she displayed academic excellence, particularly in mathematics. As a result, she initially planned to major in secondary math education. She recalls many occasions where she would assist her peers if they did not understand a math problem. However, Samantha ultimately decided to become an early childhood education teacher. She sees the potential in all young minds, and wishes to inspire her future students by demonstrating encouragement and supporting them in any way that she can.

“Too many students look at themselves in a negative light and have a hard time believing in their own abilities. I want to impact these students and be the person in their life that shows them they can and will succeed.

I have worked with many students in my field placement who say “I can’t do it” or “it’s too hard for me.” I want to change their perspectives and turn these phrases into positive ones, such as “I can do it” and “it’s challenging, but not impossible.”

I want my students to know that everyone learns differently, and that is okay.”

Positive Mindset

Overall, Samantha seeks to be a positive figure in her students’ lives. She has already seen the impact she has made in the lives of her students at field placement. As she goes into her last week of full-time placement for the fall 2019 semester, she is eager to see how much she has impacted her students.

She believes an important aspect of being a teacher is being able to build trust with her students to ensure they feel comfortable with opening up to her if they are struggling. Samantha also looks to focus on improving her students’ social-emotional learning while encouraging them to succeed academically.

Nicholas Spangler: Building Character

By: Kaitlyn Chambers and Cas Stence

Nicholas Spangler is a sophomore at Elizabethtown College. He is working towards obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in international business.

“I’ve always had a strong work ethic, but my dad wanted me to build character. When I was 12 years old, I got my first job at my fathers’ hardware store. He paid me under the table – I was making less than minimum wage – but it’s different when it’s your dad’s business. My job included cleaning shelves, helping customers, and cleaning equipment in the rental department. My favorite part of the job was inflating bouncy houses. I was working like, 30 hours a week during summer breaks, but it was worth it because I made a lot of money. My dad made me deposit half of my earnings into a savings account, which taught me the value of saving money for the future.”

“I tore my ACL while playing soccer during my junior year of high school. I was injured during preseason, which made me feel like I was letting my team down by not being able to play my entire junior year. Being on the sidelines that year made me realize how much I took for granted, like my own body and mobility. Healing from that injury was difficult, but my teammates encouraged me to keep a positive attitude throughout my recovery. After six months of going to physical therapy and completing daily exercises, I was able to play the game I love with the guys I’d been playing soccer with since we were in elementary school. I was so motivated to recover from that injury so I could get back on the field with my best friends.”

“This year I chose to commute to college instead of living on campus. I am saving a lot of money this way, and I can continue working part-time at my mom’s business. There’s a lot more on my plate now; I’m taking 18 credits this semester, working 10-20 hours a week, and driving to-and-from campus on weekdays. Since I’m not living on campus anymore, it’s been hard to maintain the friendships I made last year – but I’ve been trying my best to keep in touch with the people who are most important in my life. I’m still getting good grades in my classes, I care a lot about my academics. My parents are proud of me for being able to balance my schedule so well, and honestly, I am too.”

Marketplace: Now Serving Disappointment for Dinner

My parents took me and my twin sister to an open house at Elizabethtown College during our senior year of high school. Among the amenities offered at the open house were free tickets to eat at the Marketplace. I recall eating a slice of pepperoni pizza while listening to my parents argue with my sister. They knew I was interested in attending Elizabethtown College, and they begged her to cooperate long enough for us to take a campus tour. I can still remember how hard I laughed when I saw the exasperated look on my twins’ face as she declared “I’m not going here!” 

Three years later, my sister and I are now juniors at Elizabethtown College. I have been to the Marketplace countless times following my first visit, and I am impressed that the menu has remained consistent, though the food is consistently unsatisfying. I have never considered myself to be picky – I will eat just about anything. However, the dining hall at Elizabethtown College serves food that tastes bad, lacks menu variety, and does not meet the needs of the students.

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you have not had the opportunity to grab breakfast at the Marketplace, I highly recommend going. The breakfast options are generally the same every morning: eggs, potatoes, baked oatmeal, sausage, and bacon. A slew of cereal options are available as well, though they are present at every meal. 

While the food at breakfast is not the worst, it could drastically improve if there was a bigger variety of options. I always want to get something to eat before my morning classes, yet the options are usually the same slew of foods I had for breakfast the day before. There are ways to remedy this situation, such as adding variations to the standard menu, opening the omelet bar during breakfast, and opening the pizza station early to have breakfast pizzas available. 

The Marketplace offers only the finest foods for lunch and dinner: chicken fried chicken, sloppy joe, and everyone’s favorite, baked fish of the day. More often than not, students pause to look at the main dishes served during meals then go over to the grill or deli to order a wrap.

While students are free to decide what they want to eat, I am concerned by the amount of food that ultimately goes to waste. The demand for the deli and grill is higher than the want for the main dishes. Besides the deli or grill, students favor the omelet station, salad bar, pasta bar, and pizza. 

Since the beginning of the semester, the Marketplace has stopped staffing the deli or grill stations during the weekends. To rectify the issue, the Marketplace now lays out all the sandwich options “self-serve” style on one of the salad bars, and places food from the grill on the bar by the pizza station.

Students making their own sandwiches at the makeshift deli will reach into bags of bread with unwashed hands, breathe all over the deli meats and cheeses, and increase the risk of spreading bacteria and germs to their peers. The makeshift grill station is equally as bad as its’ deli counterpart, but for different reasons.

 While the Marketplace has bathrooms, hand sanitizer, and that fancy hand washing device in the main room, there are many students that do not wash their hands before or after they get their food. I go to the Marketplace on weekends and worry the CDC might put Elizabethtown College under quarantine. 

The Marketplace cannot rely on students to wash their hands, refrain from breathing over the provolone cheese, or avoid cross contaminating the food. Preventing the spread of germs and bacteria should be of utmost importance to Elizabethtown dining services, particularly with cold and flu season already underway. 

As a proud Elizabethtown Blue Jay, I believe the food in the Marketplace is at least somewhat palatable. However, the meal options are bland and repetitive, and could benefit from a revamped menu. The lack of student and full-time employees in dining services has become an issue for the college, particularly on weekends. This problem may only be fixed if Elizabethtown hires additional staff members. Finally, I believe everyone at Elizabethtown College would benefit from dining services taking the time to observe how students interact with the food served at the Marketplace. This will allow the college to form a better understanding of what students like to eat. Furthermore, Etown dining services will be able to figure out which foods will be eaten if they are served. 

Blue Jays Gearing up for Redemption After Loss Against Scranton Royals

Elizabethtown College’s men’s soccer team lost 1-2 during their homecoming match against Scranton at the Ira R. Herr field. Elizabethtown College is celebrating the 30th anniversary of winning the 1989 Men’s Soccer NCAA National Championships. 

“The ‘89 championship is important because it was the teams first,” Senior Will Connolly explained. “It drives you to get back to that winning tradition, which is something this program has begun to get back to.” 

Midfielder, Christian Arcos, scored the first goal for the Scranton Royals with 9:20 left in the first period. 

Royal’s forward, Michael Donnelly, scored with 29:32 left in the second period. 

Forward for the Blue Jays, Connor Rathsam, scored a goal against Scranton during a penalty kick. Rathsam scored the only point for Elizabethtown with 8:51 remaining in the second period. 

“I wasn’t thinking about my goal but more on how to tie the game,” Rathsam said.

Etown’s effort to tie by making another goal proved futile against Scranton’s ruthless defense. Goalie, Jake Hodlofski, blocked every shot attempted by the Blue Jays. 

The Royals maintained possession of the ball while running down the clock during the final minutes of the match.

“It’s definitely frustrating, but it’s part of the game,” Connolly said.“ We would have done the same thing if we were in their shoes”

Elizabethtown’s loss against Scranton was their first defeat in the Landmark Conference thus far. 

“It was a tough loss for us to swallow because it took us out of being tied for first place in the league,” Rathsam said. 

Senior, J.D. Haaf is part of the Elizabethtown Men’s Soccer starting lineup. He sees the loss against the Royals as a valuable experience for his team.

Both schools are competing in the Landmark Conference, which was established in 2006. Elizabethtown Men’s Soccer team is currently ranked third in the conference, while Scranton is ranked second. Last year, the Men’s Soccer team won their first Landmark Conference Championship title. 

“It was a wake up call that we aren’t as good as we want to be,” Haaf said. 

Haaf is confident the team will emerge victorious.“On Tuesday we will be back against Scranton at their place and this time things will be different,” Haaf said.

Abroad Range of Options for Blue Jays

View of the Study Abroad Fair from BSC second floor

Blue Jays flocked to the Brossman Student Commons to gather information on studying abroad.

Etown’s annual Study Abroad fair was Wednesday, September 25 in the BSC Concourse.

Representatives from Elizabethtown’s affiliated programs distributed information to students regarding the study abroad programs their companies offer.

Megan Bell is the advisor for the Elizabethtown study abroad program and an Etown College alumnus. She put a lot of effort into preparing the event, which ultimately paid off.

“Attendance was higher than last year,” Bell said. She was particularly excited about the large turnout of study abroad providers and eagerly pointed out the number of affiliated programs increased since the year prior.

Representatives from familiar affiliated programs BCA, SOL Education Abroad, CIS, KCP International, and ISA were at the Study Abroad fair. New partner programs, API and ISEP, also sent representatives this year.

The commissioners from each program were well-prepared to answer questions about going abroad, provided students with an arsenal of informational booklets, and were excited to share their own experiences.

“I have heard so many people said they regret not going abroad in college,” said Shannon Gillen, a representative from API. Gillen went abroad in college, and loved her experiences enough that she now works for API Abroad, where she can help students have the chance to change their worldview.

A group of Elizabethtown College students who have recently studied abroad will talk about their experiences and answer their peers’ questions about the application process, finances, and the available programs.

The student panel will take place in the Brinser lecture room at the Steinman Center on October 1, 2019.

Affiliated programs often provide students with financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

Elizabethtown College senior, James Dal Santo,  was awarded a scholarship from BCA Study Abroad. During the spring semester of his junior year, Dal Santo attended the University of Otago in Dunedin, NZ. He recommends students planning a semester abroad to “go for a reason – travel, meet new people, and expand your horizons.”

Elizabethtown College offers study abroad programs in 35 countries. This semester, the Office of Study Abroad added 14 more countries to the program list: Bulgaria, China, Estonia, Ghana,  Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, and Vietnam.

Affiliated programs offer students the chance to select the duration of time they wish to stay abroad. Students may go abroad for a quarter term, semester, or a year. Certain programs take place during the May or January term.

Going abroad on faculty led programs allows students with busy schedules to go abroad for shorter periods of time.

The annual trip to Prague, sponsored by Etown’s business department, takes place over spring break.

Elizabethtown College is offering numerous trips abroad during May term of 2020. Faculty members will be taking groups of students to countries such as Ireland, China, Japan, and South Africa.

A group of Elizabethtown College students who have recently studied abroad will talk about their experiences and answer their peers’ questions about the application process, finances, and the available programs.

The student panel will take place in the Brinser lecture room in Steinman.

The deadline for applying to go abroad during the spring semester is October 15. Students can schedule one-on-one appointments with Megan Bell for more information regarding Elizabethtown’s study abroad programs, and attend the study abroad student panel on October 1, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.