Russian Ambassador for the U.S. Embassy Lynne Tracy Speaks at RMU

This previous Monday, October ninth, former Deputy Chief of Mission for the American Embassy in Moscow, Russia — Lynne Tracy — visited Rogal Family Chapel to speak to students.  Detailing everything from her early life experiences to her objectives and lessons learned in Russia, Tracy presented her career path with eloquence.  She kept students both engaged and intrigued, establishing a tone within her speech that encouraged everyone to easily approach her with inquiries.  Tracy emphasized thought-provoking concepts as well, making it clear that although the Russian people are not the most well-off economically, within this demographic are many who possess a dangerously unstoppable knack for computers.  She speculated on Russian interference with our most recent election, and how even the consideration of technological breaches occurring can deeply trouble the American government and its people.  Overall, she addressed the concepts many are hesitant to uncover and analyze, and made her talk a well-worthwhile event to attend.

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– Selene Cerankosky


Career Exploration Launch

This past Wednesday, October fourth, an array of professionals granted RMU students their expertise and advice on careers in the Criminal Justice, Cyber Forensics, Non-Profit, Psychology, and Law fields.  Special guests on the panels included Pittsburgh Executive Police Chief Eric Holmes, Human Services representative Kelly Dillard, litigating attorney Katie Jacobs, among others.  Short mock interviews were also provided for any student willing. The series of events was a wonderful opportunity for any upperclassman students interested in internships within these fields, or simply freshmen and sophomores that are considering careers in the areas presented.

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– Selene Cerankosky

Former Federal Appeals Judge Timothy K. Lewis Speaks to Students and Faculty

A short while ago, Robert Morris University hosted a well-accredited speaker for Constitution Day, the Honorary Judge Lewis of the Federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals. This gentleman, nominated by George H. W. Bush — an establishment Republican President — has worked side-by-side with Democratic Vice President Joe Biden.  Why I acknowledge this is to reflect on how Lewis is a living, breathing example of someone immune to stark partisanship in both the legal and political fields.

He touched upon this profoundly during his talk with us. After revealing disappointing statistics regarding how ignorant and uninformed millennial Americans are about basic Constitutional concepts, he commented on how he was not so much concerned about the lack of basic awareness, but rather how this lacking contributed to unjustified hate. He impartially and intelligently addressed the underrated fact that party-affiliation should never mask the inner American values each and every one of us have.  Instead of participating in juvenile dispute that centers around differing political or racial identities, he argued, we ought to be examining our intellectual opponents’ values.  After all, our First Amendment is, essentially, what breeds intelligent discussions on those values that potentially unite us, and, in turn, make this country beautifully unique.

Along with this notion, Judge Lewis confided his story of growing up with racist neighbors who forbade their children from associating with him and his parents.  He outlined how, despite him not gathering the bigoted message as an innocently naïve child, him experiencing racism in his field of study, employment, and even achievement soon after dealt a rude awakening to him regarding his American outlook.  However, he ended his talk on a hopeful note, expounding that the American ideal of brotherhood is not yet dead, no matter the racial and social embroilment of our current time.

There undoubtedly is a remaining belief in American humanity — one of community, and one of genuine characterization.  To count this faithful outlook out is to fit the true definition of ignorance.  It is one thing to be poorly-versed in common trivia or to be prejudice — but to entirely ignore hope for improvement in our homeland’s human bonds — that is what should be considered the source of continuous societal division and destruction of our nation.  To be indifferent is to be dangerous and un-American.

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– Selene Cerankosky

Honors Student Orientation

RMU students accepted into the Honors Program are given the opportunity to move in four days early and participate in multiple enjoyable activities — all while completing their First Year Seminar Program single-credit course in a single half-week, as opposed to a semester.  After settling in this year on August 21st, the students said their final goodbyes to their families after a relaxed lunch and were immediately off to downtown Pittsburgh.  There, the students took part in various outdoor activities, site-seeing, and a Pittsburgh Pirates game.  Throughout the rest of the week, they got to know their FYSP mentors, each other, and the many many useful pieces of information necessary to be aware of about RMU.  It was a week well-spent!

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– Selene Cerankosky

Honors Plant and Paint Night

The Honors Student Advisory Council hosted a new event this semester: Plant & Paint Night. We planted cacti and other succulents in small pots that we decorated. Students decorated their pots with designs, quotes, and anything else they found fun or inspiring. Participants were encouraged to give plants away to other students or professors who would like them!

– Jocelyn Young


Tea with the Rooney Scholars

This spring, the Honors Program and the Center for Global Engagement co-hosted a “Tea with the Rooney Scholars.” I had expected Dr. Monwabisi Gantsho and Dr. Moloko Ramashala-Gantsho to be intimidatingly erudite; Dr. Gantsho has worked in both the corporate and private healthcare sectors, and Dr. Ramashala-Gantsho has worked as a medical advisor and health risk manager. My perceptions could not have been more wrong as both scholars warmly welcomed RMU students into their temporary home. My fellow attendees and I were transfixed as the scholars informed us on a myriad of topics, from the extreme commercialization of pharmaceuticals, to their thoughts on President Trump. While they are incredibly well-versed in their fields, they treated students as beacons of potential and insight. The RMU community is lucky to have hosted them for a semester!

– Allison Harnsberger

Honors Alumni Spotlight: Brianna Flasco

Brianna Flasco, class of 2013, had a special relationship with Robert Morris University. Many of her family members attended RMU, and that family connection led her here as well. Though she initially wanted to pursue a future in law, the one-on-one attention and course work at RMU helped Brianna grow and realize her passion for communications. After acknowledging her strengths in public speaking and writing, she decided to pursue a career in this area also. She even incorporated her love of communications into her Honors Senior Thesis, deciding to research crisis communication in PR, specifically analyzing the communication theories utilized during the Penn State football Coach Jerry Sandusky Scandal. Completing several internships while at RMU, her final internship, a Human Resource position with Bayer, led her to her current career: Corporate Recruiter. As a Corporate Recruiter, she helps to bring new talent into the company. Her focuses right now are university relationships, such as student interns and trainees. She regularly visits universities and career fairs across the country, recruiting young talent to join the company. However, she always makes time to visit her Alma Mater. Since graduating, Brianna has sat on numerous panels to share her wisdom and advice with students, and she returns every April to judge posters at the Undergraduate Research Conference. Her continued dedication to the RMU community has led to her to be the inaugural recipient of the Honors Alumni Service Award this past spring! Brianna’s advice to RMU students is to get involved, focus on schoolwork, and look into internships. She stresses the importance of networking and building yourself as a brand. To stand out in an interview, she recommends showing a passion for working for a company!


Ms. Flasco

– Kayla Carbert