The Advocate

3 events encourage civic engagement

Lucy Li and Callie Burgan

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As part of a civic engagment week, Program Board members are to offer students a chance to win free groceries.

Campus Activities and Engagement Director Heather Hall said Grocery Shop Bingo is to be held from 8 to 9 p.m. today in the Student Union’s Cambria Room.

Hall said the bingo game is a creative way to educate students about food insecurity. 

“The grocery prizes are items that will be found in the PJ Provides Food Pantry Service that kicks off (Monday),” Hall said.

 From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, a Job and Internship Fair is to be held in the Wellness Center.

More than 106 employers seeking employees across all majors are to be on campus to discuss opportunities.

Students who wish to participate have been asked to dress to impress with business-casual clothing and have résumés.

Accounting instructor Cristina DeDiana said the event is a great opportunity for students to meet employers.

In addition, students can gain opportunities to work in a place that may not seem to employ graduates in their major, she said.

“For example, AmeriServ Financial is looking for communication majors, Excela Health is looking for engineering majors and Dedicated Nursing Services is looking for English literature majors,” DeDiana said.

“Students may get a job or an internship, but if not, they will have practiced valuable skills,” DeDiana said.

Junior Rachael Buccicone said she is looking forward to the event.

“I have been searching for an internship for a few months, so I’m hoping I can talk to employers there who are looking for interns in my field of study,” Buccicone said.

On Friday, the campus community can participate in an international festival from 5 to 10 p.m. in the Cambria Room as part of the engagement week.

The festival is to emphasize education about other countries, their culture and society.

International Services Director Renee Brown said she is excited to be organizing the festival for the first time.

“We are going to have a fashion show of traditional clothing. I asked each of (the participants) to write a sentence or two of what the outfit represents.

“There will also be (an) Indian Bollywood dance, African drumming and dancing and some Chinese students will sing with a traditional guitar,” she said.

“I’m also planning to have a passport activity: every time a student visits a table, he or she will get a stamp. There will be prizes, too,” Brown said.

Besides students, Brown said she has also invited faculty from different departments to join the festival.

“English professor Tuangtip Klinbubpa-Neff is bringing her students to have poster presentations at the festival. By incorporating the festival with classes, more people are getting involved.

 “I also extended the offer to Geography department (faculty); they have stones from all over the world.”

Klinbubpa-Neff  said there will be 18 groups from her four classes presenting at the festival.

“There are eight groups from my two Composition classes, five from my Global Literature class and five from my Women in Literature class.

“Students will be presenting on three topics: Global Community, Heritage of Different Communities and International Organizations,” she said.

Klinbubpa-Neff  said that, in previous years, the International Festival was exclusive, and not many local students were involved.

“It was all international students.

“I want American students to venture (into the festival) and engage the whole (Pitt-Johnstown) community.

“I also challenge my students to try different activities; they will be given extra credit if they (do) whole face painting,” she said/

Klinbubpa-Neff  said this is her first time having students present at the International Festival.

“It’s a pilot project. If it works out well, I’ll probably have it again around Halloween.”

Freshman Emma Rice said she has Klinbubpa-Neff for two classes, so she will be presenting at two tables.

 “One group is presenting on an Indian organization, and the other is presenting on indigenous Australians.

“I feel like I learned more about these cultures by preparing for my presentations,” she said.

Rice said that she is planning to participate in the activities at the festival.

“I am excited about the festival, especially trying new food and going out of my comfort level,” Rice said.

Brown said that she appreciated Klinbubpa-Neff’s help.

“She helped tremendously. Once a student goes (to the festival), more would go, too.

“The purpose of the festival is to represent the different diversities on campus, and to appreciate and reciprocate international students’ culture.

“America is a melting pot. There are many things we all have in common, but, there’s also many differences, and that’s the beauty in it,” she said.

Besides activities to participate and shows to watch, Brown said there will also be food for students to try.

“Sodexo will provide some of the food, and students will be provide some, too. I will also be purchasing food from some authentic places,” Brown said.

“I am greatly appreciative of the people that helped organize the event: the Athletics Department (staff) that donated, admissions office staff, Klinbubpa-Neff, (English instructor Kim) Douglas, (Geography professor Ola) Johansson and all the other staff.”

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3 events encourage civic engagement