Inside Moravian
e-Newsletter of the Moravian College Campus Community 10/16/13
Colleen Hait smiles a sixth-grade students during a conversation between stops on the tour.

ABOVE: Colleen Hait ’15 (right) leads a group of sixth-graders from Nitschmann Middle School on a tour of Moravian College's campus.


Nitschmann Sixth-Graders Invade Campus to Learn About College

A group of sixth-graders from Nitschmann Middle School, better known as “Team Moravian,” received an early glimpse into college life Oct. 11, touring Moravian College’s campus and receiving a greeting from President Bryon Grigsby ’90 and his canine companion, Mo. The tour was part of the schools’ innovative partnership that aims to inspire the middle schoolers to begin thinking about college even as they begin their middle school careers. (To view photographs from the Nitschmann visit, click here.) 

Joseph Shosh, Ph.D., associate professor of education and chair of the Education Department, kicked off the tour with an energetic introduction, which included a question and answer segment, in the HUB’s Marketplace Dining Room. In case you were wondering, Reeves Library has 400,000 books!

Moments later, President Grigsby welcomed the students from the class of 2024 – their projected college graduation date – and offered his thoughts on his alma mater. “I know all of you are thinking about college, and thinking about the different types of colleges you could go to, but Moravian is a pretty special place,” he said. “I graduated from here in 1990, played soccer on that field out there, and learned from some of the most exceptional faculty, who transformed me into the person I’ve become.”

Not to be outdone, Mo, Moravian’s first greyhound, was a hit with the students, with several questions delving into the former racer’s career and life. His top speed is 38 MPHs for those who are interested.

From there, several Moravian undergraduates broke the 60-plus students and chaperones into groups, giving tours of Reeves Library, the Rau-Hassler Complex, the Athletics and Recreation Center (ARC) and the Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex (PPHAC). Colleen Hait ’15, an RA in Rau-Hassler, bravely showed the students her own room, which was quite tidy. 

Jeffrey Algor '14, Christina Gibson '15, Megan Doran '14, Samuel Sortino '14 and Hait were among the students who assisted with the campus tours.

Jeffrey Algor talks with students in the Marketplace Dining Room. Colleen Hait leads the middle school students up the concrete and brick ramp into Reeves Library

ABOVE: Jeffrey Algor '14 (left), who led one of the tours Oct. 11, speaks with middle school students about soccer.

ABOVE: As part of the campus tour, the Nitschmann Middle School sixth-graders stopped by Reeves Library.

Ashley Testa, Moravian’s assistant director of residence life for community development and programming, and Christopher Ottey, Moravian’s assistant director of residence life for housing and operations, also answered the middle schoolers’ housing questions during a Q&A in the Rau-Hassler lounge. Following the tours, the children enjoyed lunch on campus.

The on-campus visit came a week after a kickoff event was held at Nitschmann Middle School’s library, celebrating the schools’ annual partnership, which is coordinated by Camie Modjadidi of the Education Department. This academic year, 64 sixth-grade students and their teachers are members of “Team Moravian.”

The schools have several other events planned for the coming months, including a field day (led by Dawn Ketterman Benner, professor of physical education and associate director of athletics), science day (Ed Roeder, associate professor of physics) and fine arts day (Kristin Baxter, assistant professor of art, and Joy Hirokawa, visiting instructor of music).

“Moravian’s special partnership with Nitschmann provides the sixth-grade children with an opportunity to dream big and to see that their dreams can come true at a college like Moravian,” said Shosh. “It also allows Moravian students, including many outside of teacher education, to reflect on how they have grown as a result of their college education as they provide mentorship to the future class of 2024.”

On hand from Nitschmann Middle School were principal Pete Mayes and teachers Effie Dendrinos, Nancy Kvacky, Bryce Stewart (Megan Doran's cooperating teacher) and Kristin Evancho.

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