On Thursday, February 19th, Chaz Kellem, the Manager of Diversity Initiatives with the Pittsburgh Pirates presented as part of the Diversity Speaker Series on campus. Chaz was born with a rare bone disorder at birth known as Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which leaves the bones brittle and easy to break. Though Chaz has broken over 40 bones and endured more than 12 operations, he has not allowed this adversity to impact his life, and lives it to the fullest. The presentation was spent encouraging and inspiring students to do the same. Despite the challenges Chaz faces in his everyday life, he still managed to acquire his dream job working with his favorite sports organization, and used this example to demonstrate to the audience that anything is possible. Another point stressed was the importance of leaving one’s comfort zone in order to encounter new experiences. To establish this point, Chaz paired off members of the audience that he felt would be unfamiliar with one another to participate in several activities that saw each group working together to complete various tasks.
Mr. Kellem is an excellent speaker and each of the points he made were moving. It would be hard to imagine that anyone left without a different outlook on their daily lives.
This past February I attended the Undergraduate Research Conference at the Capitol in Harrisburg. Seeing the interesting projects students from across the state were involved in was an enriching experience. My personal favorite was a project to test if deer cross roads randomly. My project on Tommy John Surgery got a considerable amount of interest throughout the day. It was even mentioned in the opening speech for the event. Given the opportunity, I would attend the URC at the Capitol again.
RMU students celebrated women in March with a series of scenes performed at Massey Theater. The Freedom Players, a student theatre organization on campus, put on fantastic performances with scenes from Tea at Five, Our Town, Little Women, Antigone, and To Kill a Mockingbird. The small scenes each demonstrated the unique lives of women, from the small Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, to the blunt Katharine Hepburn in Tea at Five. The intimate crowd enjoyed the range of characters and scenes, all giving women center stage in this month of celebration.
On March 18th, Robert Morris University Honors Program students had the opportunity to hear a presentation by an RMU professor, Dr. Daria Crawley, on her research involving the extra responsibilities of the busy woman in the workplace. The presentation was entitled, “She’s Already Busy: An Exploratory Study of Women’s Workplace Attitudes as Predictors of Organizational Citizenship.” Dr. Crawley explained her findings concerning Organizational Citizenship Behaviors, or OCBs, which are instances in which a woman chooses to do work outside of her job description. Through her research, Dr. Crawley found that there are many factors that influence a woman’s inclination to participate in OCBs, including job or pay satisfaction, job tenure, and marital status. Dr. Crawley concluded that a company or firm should never discount the busy woman because these women are experienced in handling a steady work-life balance and planning their responsibilities. Every student and faculty member that attended Dr. Crawley’s presentation was fascinated by her research and was eager to learn more about the background and reasoning behind Organizational Citizenship Behaviors so that they could use this knowledge in their own workplaces or in the outside world.