Campus Connection, Feb. 2, 2011

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.


Will the real Adam Miller please stand up?

By Amber Miller, staff writer

It’s been a long week for Adam Miller.

Police allege that Adam George Miller, a 19-year-old Behrend student, assaulted a student and broke into two apartments at University Gates across the street from campus.

Still, two Adam Millers are still peacefully attending classes on campus, despite being mistaken for the Miller who now no longer attends the school.

Sophomore kinesiology major John Adam Miller, more commonly known by his middle name, had yet to hear of the alleged crimes when his future roommate began questioning him.

His prospective roommate’s father heard the news before either student, and called to reprimand his son for planning to live with a criminal next fall. Doubting this Adam was his future roommate, Spaid quickly cleared John’s name.

Aside from this initial attack, J. Miller remembers being questioned several other times.

“People just started texting me, even my friends, and asking if I broke into Ugates to beat my girlfriend,” he said. “It was crazy.”

Freshman Adam Thomas Miller, to be exact, is an employee in the Junker Center weight room. Several students have mistakenly questioned the idea of letting an alleged felon continue to man the check-in desk.

For Director of Intramurals and Club Sports Rob Wittman, A. Miller’s supervisor, he knew right away that it could not be his employee.

“Adam is a great kid and very reliable,” Wittman said. “It never entered my mind that it could have been him, by any stretch of the imagination when I heard about the incident.”

The second Adam Miller at Behrend, Adam T. Miller, is a freshman with an interest in architecture. He first heard of the incident from his roommate, who knows Adam G. Miller.

“Actually, my roommate walked past Adam (George) Miller’s room that day, because we live right down the hall, and he yelled his name,” said Adam T. Miller. “All he said was, ‘you dumped me rotten’ so my roommate just kind of backed away.”

Adam T. Miller says that countless accusations and comments have been thrown his way, including those that allege drug use. However, this Adam has learned to laugh about it.

“Next Halloween, I’m dressing up as ‘the’ Adam Miller,” he says. “All I’ll have to do is put on a fake beard and carry around a shovel.”



Professor takes role as interim president

By Brenna Peters, managing editor/news

Philip Kelly, Ph.D., is best known around Gannon University as a professor in the English department and bicycling enthusiast. But for the next few months, Kelly will take on another role as interim president of the university.

During his career at Gannon, Kelly has held a variety of positions. Kelly came to Gannon after finishing his master’s degree in 1968 and has been a faculty member since then, but he has also held various administrative titles.

Kelly was the dean of the College of Humanities for two years in the 1980s, acting as interim dean. He was also dean of the College of Humanities, Business and Education for four years in the early 1990s. Kelly was the assistant vice president for academic affairs between his stints as dean.

“I don’t know where I picked up this notion, but every job is preparation for your next job,” Kelly said. “That has been a description of my track of work at Gannon. I have had lots of opportunities for growth and development, and I’ve had the good fortune to have those things come my way.”

In 1995, he left the dean position and returned to the English department, where he said he thought he would be for time immemorial. Former president Dr. Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D., asked Kelly to be the interim provost in 2002 and 2004. After leaving the provost’s office in 2005, Kelly said he again expected to stay in the English department.

“In the early 1980s, it seemed to me that being a dean would be the absolute best job in the world,” Kelly said. “It is a good job, but it isn’t the best job. The best job is teaching English.”

Kelly said he is given the chance to work with smart young people and teaching English is an opportunity to introduce people to the literature he loves. Kelly said he also enjoys teaching because he can read and better understand the literature he is teaching.

Before coming to Gannon, Kelly taught fourth grade for a year at Pleasant School in Marion, Ohio and then was a graduate assistant at the University of Dayton. In his third year out of college, Kelly taught eighth grade language arts at St. Albert the Great School in Kettering, Ohio.

Kelly originally hails from Marion, 40 miles north of Columbus. His wife of 44 years, Judy, is also from Marion. They went to high school together, but Kelly said she claims he never talked to her during high school.

As for his new position as interim president, Kelly said his task is to make sure there isn’t any slowing down in the progress and development of the university.

“One of the nice things about taking this job is I get to follow Dr. Garibaldi, who has done really good things for the university,” Kelly said. “When I was a boy scout, I was taught to leave the campsite in better shape than it was when we got there. If that’s the measure, Dr. Garibaldi has been a good scout. He has left the university in a better position than it was when he came here.”

Kelly also said the administration will make the job easy.

“They are a passionate, enthusiastic and energetic group,” he said. “Their tasks are defined; they understand what they need to do in the next six months and beyond.”

When he’s not on campus, Kelly said he can be found doing some of his favorite things.

“When the weather’s nice, I do a lot of biking to work and back,” he said. “A lot more biking happens on the weekends and during the summer.”

Kelly also said he loves being a grandfather to his four grandchildren.

“It’s the neatest thing,” he said. “It’s one of the few things that is not oversold and the joys are not exaggerated.”

Traveling is another extracurricular that Kelly enjoys. He said he and his wife had a “grand adventure” in 2009. They had planned on spending 30 days driving across the country and visiting his brother in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. But four days before Kelly and his wife left for their trip, his brother died.

“This is a guy who was 72 years old and was training for a triathlon when he died,” he said.

Instead of a leisurely drive, Kelly and his wife drove “lots more miles in fewer days than we had anticipated.”

On the trip back though, Kelly and his wife were able to enjoy the sights of America.

“I never thought I’d enjoy the drive back,” he said. “I thought it would drive me crazy.”

Kelly said he discovered that New Mexico is the coolest state. His daughter does environmental consulting work, and she told her parents places to go as they traveled the country. They visited places such as Shiprock, N.M. – a “monstrous rock in the desert,” Kelly said – the ruins at Aztec, N.M. and the Jemez Mountains, which were created by a massive volcanic eruption.

“I was absolutely surprised that New Mexico is as cool as it is,” he said.

Kelly said he also tries to read for pleasure, but “an occupational hazard of being an English teacher is setting out to read something for fun, but about three pages into it you start thinking, ‘Could I use this for class?’”

Kelly said he has started reading John Banville, a contemporary Irish novelist. Banville’s “The Sea” is the best-crafted novel Kelly has read in years.

“It’s just so well-written,” he said. “It has engaging emotion and engaging prose.”

Banville isn’t the only contemporary author Kelly has read lately. He said he tried to read a Stieg Larsson novel and made it about three chapters before stopping because there was too much violence.

Students may be surprised to know that Kelly is perhaps the only person in Gannon’s history to have been dean and provost twice, and also hold the title of interim president.

Kelly said that his time as provost was a great opportunity to work with Garibaldi.

“I grew in admiration of him and his work during those times.”