Campus Connection, Dec. 8, 2010

The Merciad has partnered with student newspapers at Gannon University (The Gannon Knight) and Penn State Behrend (The Beacon) during the 2010-11 school year.

Our goal is to bring you the most important news happening on local college campuses each week.

Eric Dye/The Behrend Beacon photo: Behrend junior Patrick St. Andrews drives to the hoop against Penn State Altoona.  St. Andrews, Nick Thorsen, and Russ Conley all recorded 15 points in Saturday's game.Eric Dye/The Behrend Beacon photo: Behrend junior Patrick St. Andrews drives to the hoop against Penn State Altoona. St. Andrews, Nick Thorsen, and Russ Conley all recorded 15 points in Saturday’s game.

Behrend men’s basketball rolling through season

By Elese Merkovsky, sports editor

Even with all the snow that has hit Erie, the Behrend men’s basketball team is bringing the heat, starting the season off hot with the best record since the 2003-2004 season. With a 6-0 start, the men have relied on a strong core of returning players led by captains, Chris Saltzman and Justin Kovac.

Also the team has seen the impact of having back Patrick St. Andrews after a knee injury last year and 6’8” freshman Shane Skelly has seen time in all six games. The Lions have a strong bench and have had 10 players see time in all six games. With the ability to move players around and have confidence in the entire lineup has allowed Behrend to roll past most of their opponents.

“I realize looking back when I was a freshman the great job the senior class did stepping up and taking control of the team,”said Saltzman. “This year our practices are the staple of our great play. Practices are more competitive and we push each other harder this year than any other year.”

Senior forward Saltzman, who was named AMCC Player of the Week, and scored a season high of 28 points against conference opponent; Medaille, where the lions pulled off a tight win of 66-62. He finished the past week with a remarkable 20 points, six rebounds, and two assists per contest. Saltzman was named AMCC Pre-Season Player of the Year, and so far he has proved his ability in two conference wins so far this year. The 6’3 forward has the physical ability to drive to the hoop; but can hit shots all around the perimeter. With a combined 49 points with sophomore center Russ Conley, the Lions captured the Behrend Tip-Off Tournament.

“Our team realizes how good we can be if we all stick together,” said Saltzman. “The mood of our team this year is family and were going to stick by that even when things are not going well.”

Conley has made big strides this season and really stepped up to a vital role in the team’s success. Last year he averaged 11ppg, but this year he has recorded 116 points with 19.3ppg. During the contest with Westminster, Conley recorded a game high of 24 points. He also leads the team in rebounds with 39, the 6’9” center has the potential to be one of the best in Behrend history.

“It was all off-season work that got me to where I needed to be,” said Conley. “I know for me, lifting and shooting was an everyday thing. Going to Brazil with the team let us play together before the season started and we knew we had the potential to be really good. We enjoy our success but we aren’t going to let up.”

With the best start to a season in nearly seven years, the Lions have the ability to dominate the conference. After winning the ECACs last year, the team has all of the potential to go far and continue this winning streak. It is hard to pinpoint the success to one player. For the team as a whole has worked hard to put up points and make big plays when necessary. The Lions will look to go 3-0 in conference play as they take on Hilbert at 8 pm.



Gannon transitioning its e-mail system

By Abby Badach, editor-in-chief

Gannon University’s Information Technology Services and the Student Government Association are working together to update Gannon’s student e-mail system by the fall semester of 2011. If implemented, the update would be the first the system has seen in about 10 years, said Mark Jordano, director of ITS.

The new system, Microsoft’s Live@edu, is a free suite of coordinated Microsoft services and applications for use in higher education. It encompasses e-mail as well as video conferencing, instant messaging and calendar functions.

The e-mail system is essentially the desktop version of Microsoft Outlook available for use in a Web browser, said Gabe Shreckengost, SGA’s vice president of technology and a senior computer science major. He added that Live@edu will allow students 10 gigabytes of e-mail storage, whereas Webmail only allows for 100 megabytes.

Live@edu’s collaboration function allows students to work together on the same document without having to e-mail different versions of the file back and forth, much like a wiki or Google’s documents program. The video conferencing function stood out to Shreckengost, who said it would be useful for both students and faculty.

“If somebody’s sick and can’t make it to class, they can join the class virtually,” he said. “I know Gannon is trying to make their campus more global, so they could have sessions here and broadcast them to anywhere in the world.”

Eight students on SGA, including Shreckengost, tested Live@edu during October 2010, and testing will be expanded in the spring.
“We got a lot of positive feedback compared to the old system,” he said.

Shreckengost noted that some of the beta testers – himself included – use Google’s Gmail system as their primary account and did note during testing that Gmail provides a more user-friendly interface.
“This is a compromise,” he said of Live@edu. “And it’s a lot better than the Webmail.”

If all goes well during the second round of testing, Jordano said, Live@edu will be implemented in the fall in coordination with new software for the MyGannon portal. However, depending on how the trials go, ITS might only be able to offer the new e-mail system to incoming students.

Jordano said he received positive feedback from other schools who have implemented the Live@edu suite and that the Microsoft-hosted system would sync well with Microsoft Outlook, which Gannon faculty and staff use for e-mailing.

“Because we are a Microsoft shop for faculty and staff e-mail and calendaring, we can expect a greater level of integration with student e-mail and calendaring,” he said.

Some students seem receptive to the prospect of the change.

“I think that’s a fantastic idea,” said Ann Bartman, a senior occupational therapy major. “I tried to e-mail my professor last night and had to resend the e-mail about six times because there was a system error.”

Others, though, said they wouldn’t even notice the upgrade when using their Gannon e-mail.

“I just have it forwarded to my Yahoo account because I can get it on my phone,” said Jimmy Gruhm, a freshman mechanical engineering major. “I probably wouldn’t use it.”