The times they are a-changin’
Think of summer, and what comes to mind? Vacations? Lazy days by the pool? Trips to the beach? No school? For so many, “summer” is synonymous with slowing down and taking it easy.
Not this summer. Or at least not at Penn State Altoona. Summer 2017 was busy – I might go as far as saying hectic – and full of changes, including building renovations, new summer academic programs, ribbon-cutting ceremonies, and more.
The biggest change of all was in people, as we bid farewell to 19 of our retiring colleagues. A departure as large as that affects every staff and faculty member as new hires were made and work duties were shuffled and redistributed.
For me and for my colleagues in Strategic Communications and Marketing, the change was particularly significant, as we said goodbye to Shari Routch, who served as director of our office for 20 years. Thankfully Shari hasn’t retired, and she hasn’t gone far. She now serves the college as the director of Enrollment Management, taking over for our recently retired director.
One of Shari’s many responsibilities as director of Strat Comm was to serve as the editor-in-chief of this publication, a job she did successfully for two decades, elevating Ivy Leaf from its previous format – an 18-page, two-color newsletter – to a full-color alumni magazine with feature stories highlighting the successes of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni along with our academic and athletic programs.
Ivy Leaf is loved by our readers and regarded as one of the best publications in the University system, and that is all thanks to Shari’s vision and leadership. While I have big shoes to fill as interim director of Strat Comm, I don’t fear for the future of Ivy Leaf. Shari has laid the groundwork for continued success, and we are eternally grateful for her years of hard work and dedication.
I must also express my gratitude to my Strat Comm colleagues Marissa Carney and Sarah Gority. Their combined efforts in writing, editing, photography, and design make Ivy Leaf possible and their guidance and grace have made my transition into the role of editor a nearly effortless one.
Jonathan C. O’Harrow