Skip To Main Content Skip To Footer
Find Information for:
betty rider headshot

Dear ETOWN readers,

Welcome to the spring 2024 edition of ETOWN magazine! It has been an exciting year at Elizabethtown College, and you’ll find that demonstrated as you flip through these pages.

In higher education, we have been put to the test this academic year to emphasize what truly supporting all of our students means. There are major crises around the world impacting so many people, and we must deal with these critical issues across our campuses and create teachable moments for our students.

At Elizabethtown College, we learn from our students and they, in return, learn from us. We share stories, feelings, and experiences together, and I am grateful to be leading an institution grounded in civil discourse, mutual respect, social justice, nonviolence, service, and peace. We do have our fair share of challenges; however, if we commit to our mission, we will be able to hold ourselves accountable and rise above stereotypes and disoriented narratives to build safe spaces for our students to live and learn and build a sense of belonging as they build their future.

More than ever, students need a place to communicate with one another, share ideas, learn from one another, and thrive. College campuses are equipped to foster these opportunities for students to gain new perspectives, strengthen their understanding and knowledge of the world, and offer their own views in a civil and compassionate environment.

As we approach our 125th anniversary, I am prouder than ever to be leading Etown through a historic year where we reflect on our past and honor the future we are aiming to produce for so many more generations of students to experience Etown and its long-lasting academic and mission-impacting legacy.

Blue Jays. Always.


Elizabeth A. Rider, Ph.D.


piano celebration

On Nov. 16, 2023, President Rider’s mother, Mary M. Rider (pictured: seated), gifted her Steinway piano to the College’s Fine and Performing Arts Department.

125 years logo

Share Your Etown Story

As we celebrate Elizabethtown College’s 125th anniversary, we invite you to share your favorite stories about your time at the College. Whether it’s a funny anecdote from your dorm days, a moment of mentorship from a class or professor, or a standout experience from a campus event, we want to hear it from your perspective! It’s easy to share. Simply upload your content at

Across Campus

blue bird

News & notes about great things happening on campus.

Jay Fest

Jay Fest 2023 was a two-night concert event on campus in November that featured musical performances across a variety of genres. Performers included Cooper Greer (pictured), Sydney Irving, The Trills, Clark Beckham, and Jackie Verna!

My Bloody Valentine Murder Mystery Night

Etown’s Office of Campus Recreation and Well-Being (RecWell) and Office of Student Activities (OSA) collaborated with student organizations Mad Cow Improv and Sock and Buskin to host My Bloody Valentine Murder Mystery Night in February. Guests were treated to dessert and tasked with solving a “whodunit” mystery acted out by student performers.

International Students Day

Our Blue Jay students from around the world celebrated International Students’ Day in November with food, fun, and games in the Jay Lounge.

Chemistry Lab Renovation

New Chemistry Labs Detail

Following a summer of renovations, the new state-of-the-art chemistry labs in Musser Hall were revealed for the start of the Fall 2023 semester. The project was supported through a generous gift from A.C. Baugher Professor of Chemistry Emeritus Dr. Charles D. Schaeffer Jr., along with contributions from the George I. Alden Trust and individual donors. A valuable resource for students, the modernized facilities were designed to facilitate extensive, meaningful research and discovery-based learning activities.


Truth, Racial Healing
& Transformation
Campus Center

By Mark Clapper '96

In January 2024, Elizabethtown College was named as a host institution for one of the American Association of Colleges and Universities’s newest Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers, which prepare the next generation of leaders to break down systemic racism and dismantle belief in a hierarchy of human value.

As part of the newly announced Center for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation, the College has combined with the Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren to be its community partner. Not only has the Church been actively involved within the broader area of Elizabethtown for more than 100 years, but it shares an ethos with the College that draws upon the historic Church of the Brethren values of peace, nonviolence, social justice, and human dignity. In addition, tangible evidence of the Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren’s commitment includes a public anti-racism statement, support of a racial justice working group, and sponsorship of events that raise awareness of past and present racism in the greater Elizabethtown community, as well as explore hopes and dreams for bringing about meaningful changes in the area.

Together, Elizabethtown College and the Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren aim to engage individuals and groups in ways that educate and provide opportunities for transformation through relationship building, mutual understanding, and respect, both on and off campus.

trht logo

For information about ways to support the Center for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation, contact the Institutional Advancement Division at 800-877-9658.


Elizabethtown College’s six traditional academic Schools are as unique as the students enrolled in them. Take a look at some snapshots from the 2023-24 academic year from each School.

School of Arts and Humanities

School of Business

School of Engineering and Computer Science

School of Human and Health Professions

School of Sciences

School of Public Service

Awards & Achievements

Jane Cavender

Jane Cavender, Professor of Biology, was named the recipient of the 2022-23 Polanowski Prize for Excellence in Faculty-Student Advising and Mentorship. The Faculty Professional Development Committee and a representative group of current students chose Dr. Cavender from the list of faculty members who were nominated by at least three of the following constituencies: alumni, current students, faculty, and administrators/staff.

The selection committee noted Dr. Cavender’s commitment to her students’ success through outstanding mentorship and advising. Students shared how she immediately made a positive impact on their education that begins during their first year and continues beyond Etown, as many of her students pursue graduate degrees in the biomedical field. “I am blessed to have Frank Polanowski as a dear friend and so many wonderful students in my life,” Dr. Cavender said. “Helping all of my students succeed is why I love being at Etown.”

Evan Smith

T. Evan Smith, Associate Professor of Psychology, was named the recipient of the 2022-23 Honors Program Outstanding Professor Award. “We appreciate all the time and effort Dr. Smith puts into his courses as well as his contributions to the Honors Program curriculum,” the Honors Program Student Council said.

“Teaching my Honors First Year Seminar, ‘Identities, Diversity, and Social Justice,’ has allowed me to get to know amazing students as they start their collegiate journey,” Dr. Smith said. “Our class embraces the challenge of discussing complex social issues, learning from our readings, and learning from one another. I am always impressed by how open Etown students are to have meaningful and nuanced conversations. I hope that the seminar helps them to appreciate the rich insights shared by their peers and become more comfortable bringing their full selves into the classroom.”

Brenda Reed-Daily

Brenda Read-Daily, Associate Professor of Engineering, was named the recipient of the 2022-23 Kreider Prize for Teaching Excellence. The Professional Development Committee chose Dr. Read-Daily from nominations submitted by alumni, current students, faculty, and staff.

Nomination letters portray Dr. Read-Daily as an impactful and inspiring mentor to many. Students find her approachable, knowledgeable, and committed to their success and growth. In addition to her dedication to mentorship, faculty mention their admiration for her teaching methodologies. Of note is her application of Mastery-Based Learning in her classes and her use of an “Epic Finale” for her final exams. One faculty member stated after observing Dr. Read-Daily’s courses that they “always come away with new insights and inspirations.”

James Mackay

James Mackay, A.C. Baugher Professor of Chemistry, was named the recipient of the 2022-23 Ranck Prize for Research Excellence. The Professional Development Committee chose Dr. MacKay from nominations submitted by faculty peers.

Dr. MacKay was commended for his outstanding research that includes student collaboration and his contribution to his field. He was recognized for his numerous external grants, which bring national recognition to Etown and support the funding needed to enhance student experiences. The committee was also impressed with his commitment to collaborative student research through Summer Scholarship, Creative Arts, and Research Program grants over the last 10 years. His research projects have been published in leading industry publications and his scholarship has been featured as a cover article in Chemistry—A European Journal.

A Renewed Approach to Career Development

Elizabethtown College’s Career Development Center is dedicated to providing high-quality, holistic, and comprehensive career preparation and development to empower and educate members of the Blue Jay community in their professional growth.

We want to prepare current students and alumni for their careers today, but also for those of tomorrow while giving them the tools and resources to be successful.

Maureen Brown, Director Of The Career Development Center

Maureen Brown, who took over the role as Director of the Career Development Center in the summer of 2023, is working to modernize the way the College supports its stakeholders.

Earlier this fall, the Career Development Center began offering students the ability to schedule one-on-one appointments with career counselors utilizing Handshake. This digital platform serves as a one-stop shop career hub where Etown students and alumni can find job and internship opportunities and register for career-focused events.

“I was thrilled by how quickly our student population took to it,” Brown said. “We’ve seen a huge increase in attendance at events and appointments made through Handshake.”

The Career Development Center will also be expanding its reach on the campus, providing more individualized support by moving toward a liaison model in the upcoming 2024-25 academic year. This model will allow the Center to focus on and customize support for students in each of Etown’s Schools and tailor support toward their intended career paths.

Cultivating Innovative

The revamped Teaching and Learning Design Studio is promoting and supporting a relationship- and learner-centered culture of instruction through exciting new initiatives.

By Katie Caprino

person teaching

It has been an honor to serve in the role of Director of the Teaching & Learning Design Studio at Elizabethtown College during this past year. I am humbled to work with a great Studio team and am grateful for the opportunity to share Studio highlights and my vision.

Building on the Studio’s past success, we have implemented new initiatives. In August 2023, faculty participated in our inaugural unconference, an opportunity in which participants offered discussion topics. Our professional development this past January centered on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how to manage expectations. As part of the Studio’s desire to partner with campus stakeholders, the day was also filled with presentations by colleagues across campus. We have started JayBites, a lunch-and-learn series that will bring faculty and instructional staff together for informal discussions with campus experts. We also continue supporting faculty from both the traditional six Schools and our School of Graduate and Professional Studies (SGPS).

Etown has a wonderfully amazing group of new faculty from a variety of disciplines. They have great ideas and are making meaningful connections with our students. The Studio team met them in early August and provided a whirlwind of an introduction to our campus community - with much support from campus partners. A yearlong orientation program allows us to provide learning opportunities at multiple points across the academic year - and sets Etown apart from other institutions.

professor and student
I’m excited to continue to plan meaningful professional development on campus that is responsive to our faculty’s needs and the context of higher education.

– Katie Caprino, Director of the Teaching & Learning Design Studio

One of our latest projects is working with our new Physician Assistant (PA) faculty, who are often coming from a medical setting rather than a teaching background. Assistant Director and Educational Technologist Sharon Birch has been instrumental in supporting this initiative.

Looking ahead, we’re hoping to work with more classes - to offer coaching to faculty and to gather more student focus groups. Our Program Coordinator Jill Kleis took the lead on hosting a student focus group for a Physics faculty member to learn more about face-to-face versus online modalities.

I want to continue to coach faculty members using a design thinking process. Part of this will be done through our Learning Design Fellows program, which recently named two new fellows: Biology Lab Coordinator and Lecturer Sarah Noveral and SGPS Assessment and Curriculum Coordinator Matt Bergman.

We look forward to continuing to showcase our many exciting initiatives on social media and invite you to follow the Etown Teaching and Learning Design Studio on LinkedIn.



At Etown


By Brad Weltmer

The rapid ascent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in 2023 led to a seemingly overnight, widespread adoption across industries. Higher education proved to be no different. On campuses across the country, the concerns and challenges associated with AI integration were being weighed against the promising potential of harnessing the revolutionary technology to transform learning outcomes for students.

At Elizabethtown College, AI isn’t merely a buzzword - it’s a transformative tool that has been woven into the curriculum, embraced by faculty to enhance student learning, and utilized by departments across campus to streamline operations and improve efficiencies.

Preparing Students for an AI-Driven Future

AI is expected to have a profound impact on the future workforce, so preparing today’s college students to excel in this digital society through a multidisciplinary curriculum accompanied by real-world, industry-relevant experiences is paramount. Leading the way in this initiative is Etown’s innovative Computer Science (CS) program, which is giving students the advanced skills to solve problems through software by specializing in one of four dynamic concentrations, including the recently launched Artificial Intelligence & Data Science concentration.

“We know we’re sending graduates out into a fast-changing world, so we’re committed to preparing them to thrive at jobs in 10 years that we can’t even imagine yet,” Elizabethtown College Dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science, Dr. Sara Atwood said. “We accomplish this by providing a rigorous multidisciplinary foundation paired with cutting-edge concentrations like AI & Data Science.”

Etown’s AI & Data Science concentration covers a range of essential topics including Machine Learning, Neural Networks, Big Data, and Cloud Computing. Data proficiency is pivotal in the modern technology landscape and is viewed as not only a specialized skill but a fundamental necessity for all Etown CS students. This integration begins at the foundational level with courses that give students their first taste of data analytics and visualization and progresses to advanced courses, such as data mining and deep learning, providing hands-on experience with pioneering technologies that are reshaping industries worldwide.


“By exposing students to AI & Data Science early in their four-year study program, we aim to ignite a passion for these fields, encouraging them to explore the myriad possibilities that AI offers,” Elizabethtown College Associate Professor of Computer Science, Dr. Peilong Li said. “Whether students pursue careers in tech giants, startups, or research, our graduates leave with a comprehensive understanding of how AI & Data Science can be leveraged to create impactful solutions.”

Etown’s AI education is also equipping students with skills for service-oriented careers, enabling them to apply AI ethically across sectors to tackle real-world challenges from health care to education and environmental conservation. With the assistance of accomplished CS faculty, student projects have included a speech emotion recognition system enhancing accessibility, a Virtual Reality AI assistant for prospective students to experience campus from the comfort of their homes, and an AI-driven forest fire prediction model.

“At Etown, we integrate AI education with a strong focus on ethics, prioritizing data fairness and privacy,” Dr. Li said. “Students learn to create AI systems that are unbiased, transparent, and privacy-preserving, aligning their tech skills with Etown’s Educate for Service motto.”

Leveraging AI for the benefit of society is also a focus of Etown’s Cybersecurity concentration where students are learning to evaluate and design systems to secure devices, databases, webs, and networks against cybersecurity threats.

This work was highlighted in 2023 when CS majors Ethan Weitkamp ’23, Yusuke Satani ’25, and Adam Omundsen ’24 won the Best Undergraduate Paper Award at the 2023 Pennsylvania Association of Computer and Information Science Educators (PACISE) Conference for their research with Dr. Li and Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Dr. Jingwen Wang. Funded by Intel, their project combined elements of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity by developing a real-time network malware detection system using DevOps development practices, creating a useful tool for detecting Internet of Things (IoT) malware traffic.

professor and student
By exposing students to AI & Data Science early in their four-year study program, we aim to ignite a passion for these fields, encouraging them to explore the myriad possibilities that AI offers.

– Dr. Peilong Li, Associate Professor of Computer Science

Embracing AI in the Classroom to Enhance Student Learning

School of Graduate and Professional Studies (SGPS) Assessment and Curriculum Coordinator, Dr. Matt Bergman is focused on helping Etown faculty become more comfortable using AI and integrating the technology within their classrooms through his current project as a recently named Teaching & Learning Design Studio Fellow.

Seeking to harness the potential of AI in conjunction with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles, Dr. Bergman is developing an AI implementation framework and a comprehensive toolkit of resources and best practices for faculty and staff to utilize AI in face-to-face, hybrid, and online learning environments.

“When AI first emerged as a formidable resource for students to use, there was a fear of its drawbacks,” Bergman said. “However, in my conversations with faculty and staff, there is a curiosity about how AI can be used to enhance learning. Many of us want to learn how to use AI in the classroom, but we aren’t sure where to get started. The goal of my project is to help provide starting points and best practices for faculty to embrace this important tool, which I believe has the potential to amplify (not replace) the great teaching already occurring here at Etown.”

Many Etown faculty are ahead of the curve in this new frontier and were quick to explore how the technology fits within their classrooms.

Assistant Professor of English, Dr. Tara Moore is updating her courses to better help students navigate the use of generative AI platforms like ChatGPT to enhance their writing.

“As we prepare students for careers as professional communicators, we know that they will be expected to optimize their writing with AI,” Moore said. “As an educator, I’ve come to recognize the need to scaffold students’ skills with AI-assisted writing so that they can use it as a new tool, ethically and effectively.”

Students are guided to use AI to optimize their writing within clear parameters, such as harnessing the technology to edit content, improve blog headlines, and refine their LinkedIn profiles.

Professor of Engineering & Physics, Dr. Kurt DeGoede and Assistant Professor of Engineering & Physics, Dr. Mark Brinton are encouraging students in their Engineering Design and Junior Project course to make use of generative AI tools to help them identify compelling societal problems to solve for their capstone projects by creating an AI-driven preliminary market analysis, while exploring product ideas and possible design opportunities.

Etown is even extending this AI-forward mindset off campus and serving as a resource in the space for the local community. Through a free, one-hour workshop, SGPS is assisting K-12 educators to harness the power of AI in their classrooms by providing teachers with easy-to-use tips and tricks for utilizing AI to support student learning, dig deeper into academic standards, develop innovative lesson plans, and even use AI to develop grading rubrics.

Improving Efficiency, Sustainability Across Campus

Across campus, departments are engaging with AI to improve campus security, streamline operations, and help further the College’s commitment to sustainability.

Etown’s Information & Technology Services (ITS) uses several tools with built-in machine learning to aid in their cybersecurity efforts and detect anomalous behavior through email filtering and software that tackles phishing and malware.

AI is also used in Etown’s state-of-the-art Bowers Center for Sports, Fitness and Well-Being to track traffic patterns in the facility, which can better inform decisions to adjust staffing and building hours. In addition to saving time and resources, this data is used by the staff to strategically determine start times for programming when the building is expected to be the busiest.

foodwaste program

While most of the AI-driven software around campus operates seamlessly out of the spotlight, an innovative technology system to reduce food waste has taken center stage in the College’s primary residential dining location, the Marketplace. In the Fall 2023 semester, Etown became the first higher-education institution in the country to partner with KITRO, a Swiss-based company that uses cutting-edge AI technology to offer an automated food waste data collection and analysis solution utilized by food and beverage outlets worldwide.

Discarded food waste items at the “all-you-care-to-eat” facility are identified and measured by two strategically placed KITRO systems that use a scale and camera to collect real-time data insights. This information is then interpreted by KITRO’s AI-powered software, which generates reports to keep the Dining Services team up to date on the facility’s food waste trends. A designated consultant from KITRO is assigned to help Dining Services interpret the data and strategize how to make informed decisions that further Etown’s commitment to sustainability.

Notable food waste trends have emerged, such as foods being offered consistently every day tending to result in higher waste levels.

“Popular items such as grill and deli foods are safe choices for students, so they may be trying specialty-meal items while also grabbing a cheeseburger or a wrap at the same time in case they do not like a new item being offered,” Elizabethtown College Registered Dietician, Savannah Greiner explained. “We’re finding these are the items that end up discarded most often.”

The next steps for Dining Services are to leverage the data collected during the 2023-24 academic year to help shape the upcoming fall semester menu, foster mindfulness among students by bringing awareness to commonly discarded items, and explore the possibility of extending this AI technology to the facility’s production process to even further enhance efficiency and reduce waste.

Since introducing KITRO, students are already being more mindful of the food they are choosing for meals. We are excited to continue to track this data, share tangible information with our student body, and decrease food waste here at Etown.

– Austin Benner, General Manager of Dining Services

As AI continues to transform student learning experiences and redefine efficiencies across campus, Etown is poised to remain on the cutting edge of this revolutionary technology to empower generations of Blue Jays to achieve their academic and personal goals.

Lisa Andrews headshot

Lisa Andrews '93
Alumni Impact

Creating high-impact experiences for others has been ingrained in Elizabethtown College alumna Lisa Andrews’ philosophy. The Etown Psychology major, who initially started out in Biology, built a foundation of serving others on the Etown campus.

By Keri Straub

"I was a first-generation college student and I felt I needed a lot of resources around me for that first year,” Lisa Andrews ’93 shared. “Reflecting back on it now, it’s the best choice I could have made.”

It was a choice that would influence a pathway of success for her own life. Lisa immersed herself while at Etown in many activities and clubs including theatre, served as a Resident Assistant, and worked for the Dean’s and Student Affairs offices. She even took courses with then Professor Elizabeth Rider, now President.

“I remember really being excited to take her classes,” Andrews said. “I really connected with her right away, and I have always considered her to be inspiring.”

The combined experiences led Lisa to pursue a career in higher education. Gaining her master’s in Counseling and Human Relations from Villanova University and her Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Arizona, Lisa felt well prepared to tackle the degrees from her Etown days.

“I became a whole person at Etown as it gave me the chance to grow in a safe environment,” Andrews said. “I was provided with the support I needed from academic, emotional, psychological, and social perspectives. It set me up for a great future.”

If I am able to lessen the financial burdens and make the decision easier for students to attend Etown for a valuable experience, I feel fulfilled.

– Lisa Andrews '93

More than 25 years later, Lisa has worked in student affairs and career development offices on several college campuses as well as a brief stint in the nonprofit world as a career coach at a homeless shelter. Ultimately, her desire for higher education and helping others find their own passions never left her. Lisa currently works at Georgetown University as the Director of Integrated Career Development at the School of Continuing Studies.

“Finances should not be a barrier for students to reach higher education,” Andrews said.

Lisa spends her daily role counseling and preparing adult learners to succeed in a higher education environment while seeking full-time employment opportunities. It’s the hope she has for her own students that she also has for Elizabethtown College students.

Wanting to find a tangible way to give back to the place that gave her a jumpstart in life, Andrews made the decision to create an Impact Scholarship for promising Etown students to gain more access to resources to help them thrive.

“I highly encourage others to give impact scholarships at Etown,” Andrews said. “You’ll never get the opportunity again to explore who and what you want to be, and if I can help a student pursue that dream on a safe and supportive campus, I feel I’ve truly made an impact.”

Decorative Arrows

A Powerful Day
At Elizabethtown College

students power of one




Dollars Raised

Donor Stats


Oldest Class


Youngest Class


States Represented

The Blue Jay family came together in support of the Elizabethtown College experience for Power of One Day, Etown’s annual 24-hour day of giving, on Tuesday, March 19.

This year was the 10th edition of Power of One Day and provided opportunities for donors to give to the programs, people, and priorities they are most passionate about, including scholarships, academic schools and departments, athletic teams, and more. The record-breaking day featured 2,022 gifts from alumni, students, faculty, staff, friends, and families from around the world, raising a total of $675,087 in support of current and future students.

J.G. Francis Society
A Legacy of Support

It started with a bicycle, a camera, and a young man with a vision for educating others.

In the late 1800s, a Church of the Brethren minister named J.G. Francis spearheaded an effort to establish a Brethren college east of the Susquehanna River. He rode his bicycle throughout eastern Pennsylvania drumming up interest in the project and photographing suitable locations for what would become Elizabethtown College.

Today, the likenesses of J.G. Francis and his camera are prominently displayed on campus outside Elizabethtown College’s original building, Alpha Hall, in tribute to his foresight and strong belief in higher education.

We honor those who share his vision for the College’s future through membership in the J.G. Francis Society, which recognizes the careful planning and generosity of those who include Etown in their estate plan.

J.G. Francis Society members are a source of strength for students and programs. Betsy A. Bender ’86 and Scott D. ’92 and Jenny K. ’94 Habecker have established gifts of future support that will strengthen the College in various ways.

As Etown celebrates its 125-year anniversary, we reaffirm our efforts to empower future generations of students to achieve their academic and personal goals through a commitment to transformative education, experiential learning, and global citizenship.

Learn more about why these Blue Jays made a commitment today to help ensure Etown's future.

jg francis statue

A Revolutionized Approach to

Athletic Performance Testing

Arrow graphic indicating more information

By DaniRae Renno '25

When Director of the Human Performance Laboratory (HPL) Nate Hammon and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Jeff Moore arrived on Elizabethtown College’s campus in the fall of 2022, they immediately recognized the potential of the College’s dynamic HPL in the Bowers Center for Sports, Fitness & Well-Being. Since then, the pair have overseen more than 15,000 performance tests on campus and tested more than 460 student-athletes in the fall of 2023 alone.

“We both have strong passions in the field of performance and athletics,” Moore said. “We’re able to create a cohesive and competitive environment through the way we talk about our sports and how we train our student-athletes.”

Nearly overnight, that environment has revolutionized the way Blue Jay student-athletes approach the weight room.

Moore and Hammon joined the Etown community in the same week but exchanged emails before even setting foot on campus to find a shared vision. Within the first week, they tested the Women’s Soccer team on their jump strength and continued to find ways to structure tests for each of the College’s 24 NCAA Division III varsity teams. In the spring, they began to have conversations about using performance testing as an element in Moore’s strength programs.

“By seamlessly integrating the HPL within Jeff’s sessions, it doesn’t feel out of order,” Hammon said. “We’ve found great success with that.”

During team sessions in the newly renovated weight room in Thompson Gym, student-athletes move through a lift incorporating performance testing that typically includes jumping on force plates to measure jump height. Teams also utilize the NordBord, a system that uses advanced sensors and analytics to test hamstring strength. Hammon and Moore can also test a student-athlete’s speed and agility in shuttle sprints and use the force plates to test squat strength.

HPL equipment setup HPL training session Intense HPL training

Quinten Perilli ’26, a utility player and pitcher on the baseball team, said the integration has pushed his team to the next level.

“The testing brings out a competitive nature in our team, which helps us work harder to have a higher jump, stronger squat, or higher top speed than our teammates,” Perilli said. “All of this correlates to the baseball field and gives our team a better chance to succeed.”

Collecting data through the HPL for student-athletes benefits nearly everyone involved in performance. For Moore, the data collected lets him know what aspects of his program are working and where student-athletes need a boost. He balances strength, speed, and explosion in his fitness programs, and the HPL helps him find that balance with each team.

Nate and Jeff do an amazing job helping all Etown student-athletes and are willing to help anyone who reaches out. They push all of us to be the best athletes we can be. Without them, I wouldn’t be at the level I am today.


“Our mission is to help our student-athletes improve their versatility and durability so that they can better handle stress,” Moore said. “We can monitor, assess, and evaluate that through performance testing.”

Moore creates unique programs for each team. By viewing individualized data, he can pivot to increased plyometric activity or supplemental work on a specific muscle group if a team needs it.

For coaches, the jump test lets them know how fatigued their student-athletes are. After a student-athlete jumps on the force plate, Hammon can see a fatigue index that tells him what their average jump height is and if they’ve matched it. After sessions, he sends coaches a report that lists which student-athletes are showing signs of fatigue, along with possible causes, so that coaches can adjust their practice schedule.

“The data collected during tests lets us analyze and make well-informed decisions on items such as the number of rest days needed and injury prevention,” Elizabethtown College Head Softball Coach, Bekah Slattery said. “I have seen a direct impact of strength and conditioning sessions with my team, and we’ve made great strides toward getting stronger.”

Moore and Hammon also assist the athletic training staff. Student-athletes coming back from a hamstring injury can test their strength using the NordBord to gauge progress through tangible milestones during rehab, which is traditionally a long and grueling process with few noticeable steps forward.

They are also helping train future generations of performance experts. Students enrolled in Etown’s Exercise Science program are afforded opportunities to intern with Moore and Hammon. These students get hands-on experience with performance testing, which is unique at the Division III level.

“We can provide students with a high-level education in a practical setting,” Hammon said. “You can have knowledge and ability, but you’re going to learn so much more from directly interacting with student-athletes.”

Moore and Hammon have proven to be a dynamic duo, each playing well off the other’s strengths to find the right balance for each student-athlete. Hammon excels in analytical and methodical thinking, while Moore is the facilitator, writing programs, and organizing strength and conditioning sessions.

It’s an approach that pays off for everyone.

hpl logo

The Human Performance Lab (HPL) at Elizabethtown College, in partnership with Orthopedic Associates of Lancaster (OAL), LTD, offers personalized attention and comprehensive analysis to community members and sports teams seeking to enhance their performance. Unlock your full potential by scheduling an appointment:

Women's Basketball Enjoys
Memorable Winter Break

palestra basketball game

The Elizabethtown College Women’s Basketball team had a 2023-24 winter break to remember, with opportunities to play games in Puerto Rico and at the historic Palestra arena at The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

The Blue Jays spent Dec. 17 to 22 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, competing in two neutral-site games against nationally ranked Loras and Chatham. The team had time away from the court to explore the Caribbean island, kayaking at a bioluminescence bay, as well as snorkeling and enjoying time together on a catamaran.

A few short weeks after returning stateside, Etown faced Goucher in the first game of an all-day affair that saw eight Landmark Conference schools compete at the historic Palestra arena on Jan. 14. The Blue Jays beat the Gophers by a commanding 84-34 score, and in the process, senior guard Cyleigh Wilson ’24 set a program and conference single-game record by hitting nine 3-pointers in the win.

My career at Etown has granted me a lot of amazing experiences, my favorite being the once-in-a-lifetime chance to play in Puerto Rico. I’ve been looking forward to it since my first year, and the trip did not disappoint.

– Jessica King '24

“It was an amazing experience for our student-athletes and staff to be able to play at the Palestra,” Elizabethtown College Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Veronica Nolt said. “We loved walking around and seeing all the basketball history on display, and for one of our players to break a school and Landmark record at that venue made a lifetime memory for the team!”

A Lasting


Retiring after 40 years of coaching
Elizabethtown College Men's
Soccer, Arthur "Skip" Roderick '74
leaves behind a lasting legacy,
both in the record books and on
the lives he's touched along the way.

By Brad Weltmer

One year. That’s how long Skip Roderick’s ’74 tenure as Head Coach of Elizabethtown College’s Men’s Soccer team was intended to last when he took over the program from longtime head coach Owen Wright in 1983. Wright, who had coached at Etown for 21 seasons, was on a sabbatical at the University of La Verne in California and recommended his former player for the short-term position.

skip with team

At the time, Skip was still in the midst of a professional playing career that included stops in England, Ireland, and throughout the U.S., while juggling his coaching career as an assistant at Old Dominion University. A standout member of Wright’s Blue Jay teams in the ’70s and three-time Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Northern Division All-Star and All-East Region member, Skip had always considered an eventual return to Etown - the place that he says taught him about himself.

“I had to decide if I should continue to play or pursue coaching full time,” Roderick said. “I always thought, well, I’ll coach (NCAA) Division I soccer, and then later in my career, I’ll come back to Etown. But the opportunity at Etown opened up early in my coaching profession, and I was excited to give the College my best.”

Skip’s inaugural season saw the Blue Jays post a 12-6-5 record, including a perfect 5-0 Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) mark, and earn a trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament. Wright’s one-year sabbatical turned into a 15-year career as the head coach of both the men’s soccer and baseball teams at La Verne. Elizabethtown College Athletic Director Ken Ober offered Skip the position, and 40 years later, what had originally been planned as a one-year appointment turned into one of the most prolific careers in the history of NCAA Men’s Soccer.

It’s been an incredible journey. I don’t know where the 40 years went, but each of those days was spent at my dream job.

– Skip Roderick '74

At the time of his retirement, Skip’s 573 all-time victories ranked as the sixth-most across all NCAA divisions of men’s soccer and fourth among Division III coaches. He led his team to the pinnacle of their sport in 1989 by claiming the NCAA Division III Championship.

Blue Jay teams served as a model for sustained excellence under Skip, who began his career with 25 consecutive winning seasons and ended with a staggering mark of 39 out of 40 winning seasons. Etown earned 19 trips to the NCAA Division III Tournament, including 14 straight appearances from 1983-96, and claimed 11 conference titles.

skip sitting on bench

Understanding what made Skip and his Etown teams so successful for so long can likely be found in a mixture of qualities that the seven-time Conference Coach of the Year and four-time Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional Coach of the Year excelled in, such as his unmatched ability to prepare his players for games.

“His scouting reports are legendary,” Elizabethtown College Director of Athletics and member of the 1989 NCAA Championship team, Chris Morgan ’91 said. “Players would often roll their eyes at the number of pages, the extent of detail in the reports, and the praises that he would give the opposing strikers. However, he was almost always right.”

Through four decades of success, you’re bound to reach a few milestones along the way. Skip was on the sidelines coaching for the program’s 400th through 900th wins as he contributed to well over half of the Etown Men’s Soccer program’s all-time victories in its 81-year history. Etown’s 900th team win on Oct. 26, 2023, coincidentally ended up being Skip’s last - a 10-0 shutout of Pratt Institute that cemented the Blue Jays as only the third program in NCAA Men’s Soccer history to reach the milestone, joining Ohio Wesleyan (Division III) and UCLA (Division I).

Skip never kept track of the next milestone win he was approaching. For him, success was defined by the difference he made in the lives of his players.

“My ‘wins’ came from helping my players get a better soccer IQ and seeing them perform to the best of their ability in a game,” Roderick said. “They came from receiving a letter or email from a former player saying how they were doing and how I helped them.”

Skip used the game of soccer as a model for life in his mentorship of more than 500 student-athletes who have come to make up the Blue Jay Soccer Brotherhood. He took pride in building character and instilling key principles such as work ethic, accountability, and leadership.

“Skip showed us all the courage to go after our dreams and imparted us with the confidence to make things happen on and off the field,” Elizabethtown College alumnus and former Men’s Soccer player, David Jones ’86 said. “He is a leader of young people through his positive attitude, unique humor, and friendly interactions.”

coaches talking
The countless lives he’s touched and the positive influences he’s made are truly remarkable. The experiences that he created for his teams were incredibly memorable. To this day, I would give anything to play one more season at Etown, for Skip.

– Chris Morgan '91, Director of Athletics

Student-athletes flourished both on and off the field under Skip’s guidance, graduating from Etown and contributing to the world as doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, and many coaches. His players were nationally recognized for their accomplishments on the pitch by compiling 24 All-America honors, 85 All-Region selections, 217 All-Conference selections, 20 Conference Player of the Year Awards, and five Academic All-Americans.

In Skip’s tenure, he created several traditions that will also be part of his enduring legacy, including the one-of-a-kind Marshmallow Game against Messiah, the annual Kicks for Cancer Game against Alvernia, and 13 memorable spring break trips with Blue Jay student-athletes and parents to Ireland and England.

“Everyone that played for Skip has passed on to others something they learned from him,” Jones said. “When you tell people you went to Etown and played soccer, the first question was always, ‘Did you play for Skip?’ and it is a badge of honor to tell them, ‘Yes, I played for Skip, and he changed my life.’”

Skip was quick to extend that mentorship to colleagues at Etown as well.

I wouldn't be the person or coach that I am without Skip. To have someone who understands the sport in such a deep way that I can go to and ask questions about tactics or development has been such a fantastic way for me to continue to grow as a coach.

– Amy Hough, Head Women's Soccer Coach

The consummate family man, Skip had an abundance of offers throughout the years to move onto higher levels of soccer. He remained at Etown, in part, because of the stability and work-life balance that the College provided Skip for his wife, Lois, and twin daughters, Katelyn and Meghan. Family was also the driving force behind his decision to step away.

coach in office

“Etown has been my life and I’ve had a long, fun journey here,” Roderick said. “But, I feel it’s the right time to pass the ball on to a new coach. I’m looking forward to traveling with Lois throughout the world to visit my former players and friends and enjoy the fruits of the 40 years of people that we’ve met through this amazing game. And with three granddaughters under the age of three, I can enjoy my time as ‘Skip Pop’ and focus on being the best grandfather - maybe even coaching them to love the game that has fulfilled my life.”

The hallways of Thompson Gym are quieter without the echoes of Skip’s jovial voice wishing good morning to each passerby. His vibrant office at the end of the hallway, packed so full of memorabilia that it felt as if it would spill out when the door opened, has had 40 years of memories rehomed - much of which were gifted to colleagues, players, and friends as keepsakes.

But, the legendary stories about Skip will remain - from his seemingly otherworldly ability to remember everyone’s name (whether their own or the countless nicknames Skip has dealt out over the years) to the memorable tales of his trademark humor, including a lawn mower ride on Herr Field dressed as Ted Lasso, floating on Lake Placida in a Blue Jay raft, and Skip fulfilling a promise to his team with a long walk home from Messiah following a key win. However, it is the stories about the lives he has touched through his thoughtfulness and generosity that will remain for another 40 years and will ultimately be his lasting legacy.

“Aside from his incredible soccer mind, what made Skip such a successful coach and an amazing person is the way he shows up for those he cares about,” Hough said. “He pours his entire heart into his players, family, and friends. All of his successes, on and off the field, were achieved because of his huge heart and passion for what he does.”

A Swinging Success:
Nick Iacono '11

By Brad Weltmer

Teaching was always part of the original plan for Nick Iacono ’11. He began his Elizabethtown College journey as a student-athlete on the Blue Jay Men’s Golf team with aspirations of becoming a math teacher. However, even before graduation, Nick discovered a different path that allowed him to combine his two passions, teaching and golf.

carrying golf bag

Fast forward to 2023, it’s safe to say that Nick made the right decision as he has quickly risen to become one of the world’s most accomplished golf instructors. In December 2023, he was named the 2023 Philadelphia PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) of America Teacher & Coach of the Year for his “outstanding services as a golf teacher, innovator, and coach.”

“It means the world to be recognized by my peers with this award,” Iacono, who serves as the lead golf instructor at the nationally-ranked Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., said. “It shows that I am doing something that is strongly influencing others to be a better version of themselves. Most importantly, an experience like this allows me to reflect on what I am doing and who has influenced me along the way.”

It’s the latest prestigious recognition for Nick, who was twice named to the Golf Digest Best Young Teacher (2021-22, 2023-24) and Golf Digest Best in State Teacher (2022-23, 2023-24) lists. A PGA of America member since 2014, Nick’s successful instructional career has seen him work at top-tier facilities across the country to assist golfers who range from amateurs to professionals, including 2023 PGA Professional Champion Braden Shattuck.

Nick also uses his teaching expertise in golf to benefit others as a certified PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) National Trainer, working with Veterans and Active Duty Military to enhance their physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being.

“My favorite part of my job is helping others, no matter the student,” Iacono explained. “I love seeing the excitement on my students’ faces when they learn a new shot, understand a new concept or idea, or see their scores improve. It gives me a great sense of pride when I am able to help someone.”

Other hobbies initially took priority for Nick when he was introduced to the game at a young age by his father. However, he quickly traded in his skateboard for golf clubs after his dad set him up for lessons with his eventual longtime golf mentor and four-time Philadelphia PGA of America Teacher & Coach of the Year winner John Dunigan. Nick soon discovered the joy of perfecting his swing brought to him.

“I’m a firm believer of ‘everything happens for a reason’ and golf was one of those things I was meant to find,” Iacono said. “I am so thankful for the mentorship provided to me over the last 15 years from everyone who’s been a heavy influence in my professional career.”

coaches talking
My experience at Etown helped me in my ability to build relationships with others.

– Nick Iacono '11

While his curiosity for coaching accelerated and led him to an accomplished career, Nick also went on to enjoy success as a golfer, competing in regional and national professional tournaments and earning a Philadelphia PGA major victory at the Hyndman III Memorial Classic in 2013. He ranks second all-time in Etown Men’s Golf career scoring average, was a two-time All-Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Commonwealth First Team member and MAC Commonwealth Rookie of the Year winner, and was a member of the 2008, 2009, and 2011 MAC Conference Championship teams.

He credits his formative years at Etown with providing him with intangibles that have helped guide him throughout his career.

“Being that Etown is a tightknit school, you learn how to carry relationships well after college,” Iacono said. “The camaraderie with the members and staff is very important when it comes to being at a green grass facility, so it has been an easy transition when I continued to be hired at different jobs.”


With nearly 24,000 living Elizabethtown College alumni, no matter where you spread your wings and wind up around the world, you’re sure to cross paths with a fellow Blue Jay! Whether arriving at their destination through work, service, or the love for travel, our accomplished Etown alumni have brought their Blue Jay pride with them to every corner of the globe.

Russel Speiden photo

Russell Speiden '12

Auckland, New Zealand

Russell moved to New Zealand in 2016 to continue his career as an engineer and experience a different part of the world. He currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer of the medical device company Ginan Biomedics.
Emily Seratch photo

Emily Seratch '19


As a Contract Specialist for the Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Support, Emily will be stationed in Singapore for the next 3-5 years to support U.S. Navy ships so they remain functional and prepared. At Etown, Emily majored in International Business with a concentration in Finance.
Vlad solodovnyk photo

Vladyslav Solodovnyk '04

Kyiv, Ukraine

Vladyslav, an International Business major while at Etown, studied and worked in the United States for 12 years before returning to Kyiv where he works in marketing for the Information Technology industry.
Audrey Barrett photo

Audrey Barrett '16, M'17

St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Audrey’s passion for travel was ignited when the Occupational Therapy major studied abroad in Florence, Italy, while at Etown. Growing stir-crazy during the COVID-19 pandemic, Audrey traveled to the most distant location she could at the time, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has lived in her “little slice of paradise” ever since.
Betty Lai photo

Betty Lai '13

Dublin, Ireland

Betty’s desire to work with global brands led to her current role as an Account Strategist at Google in Ireland. She studied Communications and Japanese during her time at Etown.
Alejandro Chicas photo

Alejandro Chicas '21

El Salvador

As the first person in his family to study abroad, Alejandro always desired to return home to El Salvador following graduation. Alejandro, who studied Engineering at Etown, currently serves as the Operations and Maintenance Administrative Engineer at Enersys Solar, where he helps to make solar energy more accessible.
Andrea Viteri photo

Andrea Viteri '02

Quito, Ecuador

Returning to her home country shortly after graduation, Andrea currently serves as an Emerging Voices Exchanges Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador where she manages youth exchange and cultural programs to promote U.S. values in Ecuador. Andrea studied Marketing and Communications at Etown.
thumbs up

Social media has played an integral role in Bari (Rosenstein) Tippett’s ’14 life since her Elizabethtown College days as a Business/Corporate Communications major and student-athlete on the Women’s Lacrosse team. While her experience in social media started as a student, Bari has quickly become an expert and a leading voice in the rapidly developing field of social media management.

alumni with product

“I would upload to a Facebook album after every social event and every one of my lacrosse games,” Tippett said. “I literally uploaded pictures every single day, and that’s when I knew I was going to make social media my job.”

Ten years after graduating, Bari has grown multiple social media accounts from the ground up and recently became the Head of Social at Sweetgreen, a fast-casual restaurant chain based out of Los Angeles with a plant-forward menu. Prior to her current role, Bari was a Senior Social Media Manager at Focus Brands LLC, elevating Auntie Anne’s and Jamba.

Bari is most proud of the work she’s done on Auntie Anne’s TikTok, an account she created and grew to 255,000 followers and nearly six million likes. The hashtag #auntieannes on TikTok reached nearly 302 million views, and she has had her thumbprint on each of the countless viral posts throughout the account’s short but meteoric three-year history.

“Working in social media isn’t just posting,” Tippett said. “It’s way more than that. It’s being creative all the time, understanding platforms, interpreting analytics, and applying strategic thinking.”

When Bari started Auntie Anne’s TikTok, her goal was to go viral, but the account’s immediate success was a surprise even to her. On a random weekday, she posted a video of crew members rolling dough and making pretzels and thought nothing of it. The post even had the word “pretzel” spelled wrong. Little did she know that it would become her first viral video.

“We went from 100 followers to around 30,000 followers overnight - it was crazy,” Tippett said. “That’s when I learned what content resonated with our audiences and I just did that over and over again.”

The diligence and focus she brings to her profession can be attributed to learning to juggle a full schedule as a Blue Jay student-athlete, says Bari. Those traits are just a few of the many she picked up from an impactful four years at Etown.

Confidence is an important part of my story. I loved how Etown had smaller classes where I could create relationships. Having that confidence in relationship building has been a helpful piece to my success so far.

– Bari Tippett '14

A Conversation With Bari Tippett '14

Questioner Profile Picture
After you graduated from Etown, what kind of career path did you envision for yourself?
Questioner Profile Picture
Is there a particular social campaign you’re proud of?
Questioner Profile Picture

What piece of advice would you give to current Etown students interested in a social media career?

Questioner Profile Picture
What’s it like to shift up the ladder and hold different roles in social media?
Questioner Profile Picture
How did your experience at Etown prepare you for your career?

In Memoriam

The Elizabethtown College campus community gathered together for a candlelight vigil to remember and honor the life of Joseph "Jo" Russo, a first-year student who tragically passed away on Feb. 19, 2024. In their short time at Etown, Jo created many strong bonds and friendships with students, faculty, and staff through courses, jobs, and activities, especially theatre. Jo made positive impacts on so many members of the campus community and will be deeply missed.

male performer

Elizabethtown College lost a cherished community member and retired professor Dr. Hans-Erik Wennberg on March 19, 2024. Hans retired from Etown after 30 years, serving first as Director of Instructional Services, and later teaching Communications, Graphic Design, and Photography. He was an advisor to many and even taught several of the children of his prior students. To honor Hans' dedication to higher education the Wennberg family encourages a contribution to the Elizabethtown College Scholarship Foundation at


Elizabeth A. Rider

Executive Editor

Keri Straub


Austin Crull

Brad Weltmer

Creative Director

Wendy Sheaffer


Katie Caprino

Mark A. Clapper '96

Wyatt Eaton '10

Lindsay Enochs '17

Zach Klinedinst '19

Liz Martin

DaniRae Renno '25

Emily Svetecz


Mike Boucher

Jason Minick

Matthew Tennison

Photos by staff or courtesy, except as otherwise noted.
ETOWN magazine is published annually, with occasional special editions. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of the College. Visit for more information about the College and its history.

Send feedback and story ideas to:

Follow us:

Elizabethtown College