Honors Seminar Class “We Can’t Math” Project

The semester’s seminar class, Math, Music, and Art, ended with a project incorporating ideas and theories learned throughout the semester. Two students, Nick Buzzelli and Gerry Walsh, decided to utilize the theories of math and music to create a new song, inspired by Paul Lansky’s “Notjustmoreiddlechatter.”

Various noises were recorded on an iPhone and ultimately imported to Ableton Live to be edited. The theories used to create the song were call and response, parallel transformation, relative transformation, and tone matrix.

Listen to the song here: http://soundcloud.com/sludj/we-cant-math2

Pittsburgh Speaker Series with Vicente Fox by George Maldonado

I, along with Professor Harold, President Dell’Omo, and fellow Honors student Victoria Mikulan, attended a Q&A session with the former president of Mexico Vicente Fox through an opportunity presented by the Pittsburgh Speaker Series.  At the beginning of the night we were served dinner and entertained President Fox with questions about foreign relations, international problems, border problems, drug trafficking, struggles with the cartel and the economic standing of Mexico. During dinner he was very inviting and answered all of the questions with ease.  He talked about how Mexico managed to have a balanced budget for the last five years.  He kept mentioning about efforts to make energy reforms and that he wanted to continue to have a positive relationship with the United States.  He talked about drug usage in the U.S. versus drug use in Mexico and Mexico’s inability to deal with the Cartel in an effective way thus far. 

            I was shocked by the details he shared with us and impressed by the status of their governmental budget.  President Fox talked to the group about the strides that America as a continent could make to better the global economy.  I felt that he spoke eloquently about international relations and that our countries could work together and better quite a lot of good could come of it.  Overall I would say the whole experience was great; I got to meet the former President of another country and spend a few minutes to talk to him on a personal level.


Book Review by Alexandria Cox: How to Win Friends and Influence People

By the time we get to college our personalities are pretty consistent. You can be the popular guy who makes friends in any atmosphere or the quiet introvert who prefers his books as company rather than warm bodies. Both students can be equally intelligent and skilled, however which student do you think is going to go on to successfully command an interview? Who will properly sell themself to their future employer? We live in a society that thrives off of communication and help is not on its way. It was produced over 70 years ago and all that is needed for you to succeed is to pick it up.

            Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People teaches the reader how to make any situation work for him. From the title, Dale Carnegie’s self-help book appears to just be a guide on how to make people like you, however it’s not that simple. Having others like you is at the base of any improvement, so essentially this self-help book teaches the reader how to get a promotion, how to ace an interview, and how to get the girl. This is an essential read for any college student. You will become more marketable and comfortable in any situation. Make the impossible, possible and pick up Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.

RMU Pre-Med Club AGH Visit-Lauren Roberts

RMU Pre-Med Club Shadows Allegheny General Doctors and Surgeons


On April 9, 2013 eight Robert Morris University Pre-Med Club students (Lauren Roberts, Hirah Han, Wes Heinle, Anissa Gamble, Ashley Price, Krista Symosko, Sarah Robb, and Emily Hauser) were invited to Allegheny Hospital to partake in a job shadowing day.  The day began with an informal breakfast with Dr. Daniel Benckart (AGH Cardiovascular Surgeon) and Dr. Elliot Goldberg (Associate Dean for Temple Medical School) in which both doctors shared stories and information about medical school and students were encouraged to ask questions.  Next, the group was split up so that there were two students per surgeon.  The pre-med undergraduates were provided with scrubs and accompanied their mentor into surgery.  Some of the surgeries witnessed throughout the day included open heart triple bypass, bi-femoral aorta replacement, lung removal (thoracotomy), kidney transplant, gall bladder removal (cholecystectomy), and brain tumor removal. Some of the students also saw angiography of a stint in a patient’s right carotid artery. Following the surgical rotation, everyone was invited back to eat lunch with the doctors they had just spent the morning shadowing and open dialogue was encouraged. The final event of the day was a question and answer session with 7 fresh-out-of-med-school doctors.  Just a few of the topics covered were how to get into med school, choosing a specialty, taking the MCAT, and life as a med student.  Pre-Med Club outreach officer and RMU honors student, Lauren Roberts, coordinated with Senior VP Debra Caplan, Dr. Daniel Benckart, and Student Affairs manager Jeffery Reed to create this opportunity for RMU students.  The experience at AGH was invaluable and inspiring.  AGH was more than welcoming and enthusiastic towards our students and the RMU Pre-Med Club looks forward to working with them in the fall.

SAC Election Results

Within the RMU Honors program, there is an organization called the Student Advisory Committee, or ‘SAC.’ They help plan various events and community service projects. As the Honors program continues to grow, the students have decided to make some organizational changes in SAC. Honors RAs will now be apart of the Executive Board, which also consists of the co-presidents, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and SGA representative.  Next semester, there will also be planning committees created, which will also allow for more student leadership and involvement.

For the elections for the 2013-2014 school year, sophomore Mark Polcha and junior Victoria Mikulan were elected as the co-presidents. Freshman Hannah Arnold was elected vice president. Sophomore Vanessa Petrasko was elected treasurer, and sophomore Annie Kandray was elected secretary. The SGA position will be filled in the fall when we have the meeting times. Congratulations to our new officers!

Pittsburgh Speaker Series by Carter Khalequzzaman

Pittsburgh Speaker’s  Blog Post

            I attended the Pittsburgh Speaker’s Series lecture featuring Erskine Bowles at Heinz Hall. Erskine Bowles was one of President Obama’s co-chairs for the bi-partisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, commonly referred to as Bowles-Simpson. In addition, he was the White House Chief of Staff for President Clinton and administrator of the Small Business Administration. Bowles spoke about his fiscal plan to reduce the national debt and intended to gather support for his proposal.

            The Bowles-Simpson proposal was a model of how the deficit could be reduced if the government were not bound by the various promises, interest groups and political constraints of the Democratic and Republican parties. One of Bowles’ major elements of the plan is a comprehensive tax reform. The plan suggests sharply reducing tax rates by simplifying the tax code and cutting out the majority of the tax breaks/credits. This would reform corporate taxes to make America more competitive and cap tax revenue to avoid excessive taxation. Furthermore, it was suggested to increase the retirement age by a year, with the exception of a hardship provision for those who work in manual labor. Although this is not a popular notion, it may be necessary to improve the country’s financial standing. A significant positive consequence of the tax reform and increased retirement age is it ensures the solvency of social security for the next 75 years and reduces poverty among seniors. This would benefit the majority of people in America, either by allowing them to sleep well at night because they know the elderly have financial help or by directly helping those who cannot help themselves.

            Erskine Bowles is a stimulating public speaker. The delivery of his presentation was flawless. Although he was well rehearsed, his speech seemed so natural. He made jokes throughout the speech to lighten the mood; he even made a Bill Clinton impersonation in his closing. I found the content of his speech thought-provoking. He emphasized that the only way for “America to dig itself out of debt is for the people to pressure the lawmakers to do the right thing.”Image