Dr. Schortgen to Discuss Hong Kong Protests

ALLIANCE, Ohio – Recent democracy protests in Hong Kong are casting doubts over China’s commitment to the “one country, two systems” formula through which Beijing promised to govern the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions (SARs).

What has led to the current crisis? Was it inevitable? What will the endgame look like? What are the implications for both Hong Kong and China? Is there a possibility of the events in Hong Kong leading to a repeat of the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident?

Dr. Francis Schortgen, associate professor of political science at the University of Mount Union, will answer these questions during a UMU Experts talk at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 7 in Bracy Hall Room 04 as he presents, “Hong Kong’s Democracy Protests: Where Do We Go From Here?”

Schortgen earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in political science from Miami University, a Master of Business Administration degree from National University of Singapore, a Master of Arts degree in Asia-Pacific studies from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Miami University. He also did MBA coursework at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests include politics and political economy of East Asia, U.S.-China relations, China and democratization, U.S. foreign policy issues, globalization of Chinese enterprises and Chinese political economy.

UMU Experts presentations are intended to give students, faculty, staff and members of the surrounding community an opportunity to learn about a timely topic from a Mount Union faculty member in his or her area of expertise.

Schortgen will give a 20-minute presentation followed by a question and answer session. The event is free, open to the public and refreshments will be available. For more information, call (330) 823-6078.

Japanese Recruiters to be on Campus

ALLIANCE – Recruiters from the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program will be on the University of Mount Union’s campus to give an information session from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 15 in the Language Lab located in the Kolenbrander-Harter Information Center (KHIC), room 011.

The JET Program is an opportunity through the Japanese government for college graduates to work in Japan. Members of the Consulate General of Japan in Detroit, Michigan, who are leading the information session, will discuss positions available to graduates such as an assistant language teacher (ALT) working at public schools and a coordinator for international relations (CIR) working for local governments as a translator and a promoter for international relations.

In order to apply for the JET Program, students must be a U.S. citizen (if applying through the U.S.) and have a Bachelor’s degree by July 1, 2015.

For more information on application guidelines and deadlines, visit us.emb-japan.go.jp/JET or contact the JET Program Coordinator Rhea Young at rhea.young@dt.mofa.go.jp or at (313) 567-0120 x228.

CLP Sessions Scheduled for October

ALLIANCE, Ohio—Four Continued Learning Program (CLP) sessions are scheduled to take place at the University of Mount Union in October.

The first CLP session of the month will feature David Giffels’ discussion of his book, “The Hard Way on Purpose,” on October 7. “The Hard Way on Purpose” is a collection of linked essays about the quirky, hard-bitten cultural landscape of America’s Rust Belt.

An assistant professor of English at University of Akron, Giffels teaches creative nonfiction in the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts Program. Giffels’ previous book, “All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House,”is a memoir of growing into young fatherhood while trying to reclaim a ramshackle mansion. The book received widespread acclaim from the New York Times, which described it as “sweet and funny” to the Los Angeles Times, which called it “a truly wonderful book” to Oprah’s O at Home magazine, where it topped the “Fantastic Summer Reads” list.

Giffels is coauthor of “Are We Not Men? We Are Devo!”and “Wheels of Fortune: The Story of Rubber in Akron.” He was a longtime columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal and a contributing commentator and essayist on National Public Radio station WKSU. He has written for the New York Times magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Grantland, Parade, Redbook and many other publications. He was also a writer for the MTV series “Beavis and Butt-Head.” His recent awards include the Cleveland Arts Prize for literature, an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Grant, the Ohioana Book Award and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists award for excellence. 

Following his talk, Giffels will be available to sign his book.

Other CLP speakers for October include Dr. Liz Bandy who will speak on Youth and Media on October 14, Jeff Shipman on the Marlington oil and gas technology program on October 21 and Jan Carli on the life of Buddhist monks on October 28.

The Continued Learning Program sessions, which are free and open to the public, include a variety of presentations and current perspectives, as well as time for questions and discussion. Sessions will take place at 10 a.m. each week. The public is welcome to stay for lunch in the Kresge Dining Commons ($6.75) or B&B Café (a la carte) following the sessions.

For more information, contact the Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement at (330) 829-8168.

Raider Pride Runs Deep in the Unckrich Family

Stephanie and Craig ’89 Unckrich are more than just Mount Union fans. The University has been a significant part of their lives since they were teenagers, and the couple has passed the tradition down to sons Corey ’13 and Michael ’18. To this Purple Raider family, Mount Union is second to none.

From cheering at the Mount Union Stadium as an Alliance High School cheerleader to becoming an honorary Sigma Nu Fraternity Little Sis and participating in its philanthropy events, Mount Union has always been part of Stephanie’s life.

From 1993 to 2006, Stephanie was the head cheer coach at Mount Union. She expected a squad that was the whole package, meaning each person could motivate, stunt and do push-ups for every Raider score, a tradition she began, while leading the crowd. Watching students achieve their goals, grow academically and become successful in their chosen fields was the most rewarding part of her involvement.

“The best part of being a Raider cheer coach was working hard with each squad to be the best in DIII while engaging the fans before, during and after the games,” Stephanie said. “My life has been forever changed by each cheerleader and MUcaw and I am truly blessed.”

Stephanie’s husband Craig was recruited by President Richard Giese to play football at Mount Union. He also played lacrosse and was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, where he served one year as Chapter Chaplain, and worked at the student-run pizza shop on campus. He remembers the “snow carnival,” when classes were canceled and activities were held in the snow-covered Quad all day.

Raider pride runs deep in the Unckrich family. Craig and Stephanie’s son, Corey, graduated from Mount Union in 2013 and their other son, Michael, is currently a freshman Investment Alliance Scholar at Mount Union.

The decision to attend Mount Union was “truly their own after football recruiting and campus and academic visits,” explained Stephanie. “Although we live just a few blocks from the University, both chose to live on campus and embraced it as their home away from home.”

Craig enjoys sharing this special bond with his sons and having both of them “follow in his footsteps as Purple Raider football players and become part of that special Raider brotherhood.”

Through academics, football and campus service opportunities at Mount Union, Corey was prepared to step into the real world and pursue his teaching and coaching goals while being an asset to his community, said the proud parents. They hope that Michael will have those same opportunities to embrace everything at Mount Union, too – academics, extracurricular activities, community service and football.

When looking at Mount Union as a potential academic destination, Stephanie and Craig advise future parents and students to take in the whole picture. Visit several colleges during the academic year (during the week and on the weekend), attend classes and spend the night with a current college student. In addition, they encourage families to pay attention to the faculty’s enthusiasm, sincere friendliness and the entire campus’s external and internal beauty.

Passion for both tradition and growth has carried the Unckrich family through many fond memories at Mount Union, with many more to come in the future. To current Purple Raiders, Stephanie and Craig offer this: “Make Mount Union your second home. Take every opportunity. Academics are your priority. Meet new people. Try something new.”

Mount Union Stadium Celebrates 100 Years

ALLIANCE, Ohio – Mount Union Stadium celebrated its 100th anniversary with a number of special events on campus on Saturday.

As the rededication ceremony began, Master of Ceremonies Harry Paidas ’74, gave a recap of the first game played in the stadium on November 1, 1913, a 7-0 win over Case.

During the ceremony, Dr. Richard F. Giese, president of the University, spoke on behalf of the Mount Union community. Giese said that as one of the oldest college football stadiums in the nation and the oldest in the state of Ohio, Mount Union Stadium stands as a reminder of Mount Union’s distinguished past, an emblem of its exceptional present and as an inspiration for its promising future.

“It’s not very often that, as an institution, we have the opportunity to commemorate such an outstanding milestone, and we are fortunate to have such a rich and storied history tied to this site,” Giese said. “There’s no doubt that this facility has made an indelible impact on our fine institution.”

“Many of us have gathered in these stands throughout the decades, showing our support for the Purple Raiders, and we have had the great privilege of beholding sights that those in our earlier days could have only dreamed of seeing,” Giese continued. “History has certainly been made inside these gates, and we’ve all been blessed with the opportunity to bear witness to exceptional accomplishments within.”

Giese noted that the stadium’s purpose has changed over the years from being dedicated initially to football to becoming home of the University’s 11-time national championship football team as well as the recent national championship men’s outdoor track and field team, women’s track and field team, men’s and women’s soccer teams and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams.

“Yet, this isn’t just a stadium for our student athletes. It’s a stadium for our entire community,” Giese said. It’s for all of our students – members of the marching band, majorettes, flag corps, cheer squad and dance team as well as those who join in the student section to cheer on their peers each week. It’s for our faculty and staff, who take great pride in the accomplishments of all of our students, whether in the classroom or on the field. It’s for our alumni, who return to campus to support the students of today while reflecting upon their own time at Mount Union and reminiscing with friends about ‘the good old days.’ And, it’s for the citizens of the Alliance and surrounding communities, who continue to show unwavering support for the Purple Raiders and Mount Union as a whole.”

Following Giese’s remarks, Alliance City Mayor Alan Andreani gave a community perspective as he spoke on the stadium’s history. He said he and his family were recently asked by local cable station Channel 11 to choose several city landmarks that held the most significance for them as a family. Andreani chose Mount Union Stadium.

“I chose the stadium because of the immense impact (it’s had) on my family and me,” he said. “The association with my family began in 1928, when my father played his first football game in the stadium of Alliance High School. As a result of his high school career, an anonymous benefactor provided him with the opportunity to attend college at Mount Union and continue his football career.”

Andreani spoke of several family members, in addition to his father, who played for the Purple Raiders and recalled his own memories of attending games at Mount Union Stadium. Andreani’s high school football career included 21 games on the field as an Alliance athlete. Although he didn’t attend college at Mount Union, he would often come home to watch Mount Union play on Saturday nights.

“I think that this is the most wonderful thing to celebrate – 100 years of success. The lessons I learned here were discipline, integrity, honesty, hard work, dedication and perseverance,” Andreani said. “This is the biggest classroom on campus, where all of life’s important lessons can be taught and learned.”

Jeffrey Talbert, superintendent of Alliance City Schools, shared personal stories of playing football on the field as an opponent of the Purple Raiders, as he attended Muskingum.

“The score that day was 53-6, so needless to say, we failed,” Talbert said. “I believe that I learned the Mount Union fight song by heart that afternoon.”

Talbert noted that Alliance High School has been playing football for 104 years, playing at home at Mount Union Stadium for all but four years. In Mount Union Stadium, Alliance teams have celebrated several league championships as well as victories over traditional powerhouses.

“Mount Union Stadium is a world class facility and our students, musicians and fans are privileged to participate here every Friday night,” Talbert said. “We are looking forward to the next 100 years and celebrating victories, creating new traditions and continuing our participation with this great university.”

Randall C. Hunt ‘75, chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, also spoke on the stadium’s impact on student athletes.

“As a former player for Alliance High School and the University of Mount Union and as a current fan and board chair of the University, I have a number of great memories of great games and talented players who have played in this stadium and who have worn the red and blue and purple and white of their respective alma maters.”

Hunt said two men are synonymous with the history and greatness of both Alliance High School and Mount Union. The first, he said, is Mel Knowlton, the legendary hall of fame football coach for Alliance High School who mentored multiple Big 10 and Division 1 quarterbacks and served as a role model and father figure. Hunt also acknowledged the impact of Larry Kehres, director of athletics at Mount Union and one of the winningest coaches in college football history.

Following the ceremony, an Ohio Historical marker was unveiled by Stacia Kuceyeski of the Ohio Historical Society at the southwest corner of the Stadium. Attendees of the event had an opportunity to tour the Dom Capers Press Box and enjoy a cookout and entertainment by Jimmy and the Soul Blazers, John Hampu Band and Ohio Weather Band prior to the Purple Raiders’ home opener versus Marietta.

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