When we chose topics to write about for this magazine, one suggestion to tie into Tom Kepple's 15 years as president of Juniata was to list 15 ways Juniata is different. A number of responses came in and here are the replies we couldn’t fit into the magazine article. Thanks for your participation.
"In general, there is a much higher level of collegiality than I have encountered in other places. This does not mean we always agree on everything but I feel that my colleagues respect me and I respect them. Internecine fighting saps your strength and leaves you with diminished desire to excel, for fear that your efforts will not be appreciated. I have lived through that, and it is not pleasant. I also believe that Juniata tends to either attract faculty (or develop in the faculty we do attract) who have a desire to work for more than their paycheck. I guess one could call this a high level of professionalism."
–Richard Hark, H. George Foster Chair of Chemistry
"When I go jogging in a Juniata T-shirt, guys still occasionally lean out of their car windows and yell: 'Ay Juanita!' Nothing like that ever happens when I wear The Spouse's Michigan T-shirts. The public at large doesn't have preconceived notions about Juniata. While this may make it more difficult to impress those who lean towards academic elitism, there are distinct advantages to attending a smaller educational institution that offers a quality education emphasizing critical thinking skills if you plan to pursue an occupation where you provide a service to the public—such as law."
–Barbara Frezza '78, La Jolla, Calif.
"Juniata does not believe in fraternities and sororities, so it promotes a sense of community and keeps the 'cliques' down because of it. I was able to be me. And people liked me for me, and not because of a sorority affiliation!"
–Stacie (Coval) Townsend '99, Rockville, Md.
"The ability to craft your own course of study and the emphasis on study abroad. These are two huge reasons why I decided to attend Juniata, and the two main reasons I am thankful I graduated from Juniata. All this after studying my junior year in Germany and graduating with a POE in art history and German language. Oh, did I mention the amazing choral program, populated mostly by non-music POEs."
–Amy Chamberlin '94, York, Pa.
"The fact that your professors still care makes Juniata different. When I got my first long-term substitute teaching position, the first thing I did was text my student teaching advisor."
–Carrie Knepp '10, Belcamp, Md.
"Take a small group of down-to-earth intellectual elites who collaborate with students from all kinds of economic backgrounds and ideologies. Stir in an emphasis on diversity. Now ice the cake with the artistry and creativity of the liberal arts program. Now place that creative think tank in the middle of a teeny, tiny town in rural Pennsylvania and what you have is a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
–Becci Noblit Goodall '02, Naples, Fla.
"I have degrees and certificates from several universities, but none of those places ever cared about me as an individual that way Juniata did for my son. My interactions with Juniata as a parent convinced me, it's the college I wish I had gone to, and I’m so glad my son had that opportunity."
–Dana Jefferson, parent of Zachary Gordon '11, Wilmington, Del.
"Juniata gives each student the opportunity and encouragement to travel a pathway to a successful future. We Juniatians have made this a pathway well traveled."
–Fred Heydrick '55, Frederick, Md.
"Juniata College is different from other institutions because it is a truly friendly place. As alumni we are 'all Juniatians,' and at any gathering Juniatian of all ages quickly become friends. Parents develop a lasting relationship with the college. Parents in New England and Long Island have continued to represent Juniata, even after their children graduate. They are active Juniata College Ambassadors, representing Juniata in their hometown communities. Yes, Juniata is different."
–Dan O’Sullivan '64, Mechnicsburg, Pa.
"I attended Juniata during the late 1960s/early 1970s; it was a harbor from the turbulent times in the country. I have three other alma maters, all larger, all well-known institutions; but none compare in terms of the excellent teaching, great advising and true feeling of community I experienced at Juniata."
–Pam Hurd-Knief '73, Albuquerque, N.M.
"Juniata and Juniatians have a long history of standing up and doing their own thing—from little stuff, like giving people a picnic for Mountain Day, to big things, like marching for civil rights in 1965. I'm a proud Juniatian, and my time there was extremely formative. I have had many different work experiences, and have always been able to jump right in, usually with little to no training. This, I am certain, is because Juniata prepared me so well to be mentally agile, to think critically, and to generally move through the world with my eyes open. The education (and the attitude) I got there made me a good employee, an excellent leader, and a generally better person. These skills put me far ahead of many other graduates, and I just want to be sure that the current crops of incoming freshmen are given the same opportunities to learn and grow, and given space to let their freak flags fly (in a critically-thought-out manner)."
–Quinn Daly '07, DuBois, Pa.
"What makes it different is how much everyone is a Juniatian from professors, to staff, to students, alumni and parents. We are one community that cares about each other and celebrate successes. We were one class who challenged one another in our thoughts and actions. Juniata allows you to be an individual and be accepted for who you are. In my professional life, I am confident in my skills and Juniata was such a fantastic challenge that I know I can accomplish anything. We are a family."
–Katie Winkler '97, human resources manager for CARFAX in Jefferson City, Mo.
"Years ago, when I worked on The Juniatian, I interviewed a new professor about her first impressions of Juniata. I remember her saying that compared to another school where she worked, it seemed that students at Juniata never took themselves too seriously. At first, I was a bit offended by the remark, until I realized that she was correct. The Juniatians I knew took their work seriously and they took making a difference seriously—not for fame, acclaim or applause, but rather for a love of learning and for the chance to be a part of a larger community."
–Julia C. Tutino '00, Hanover, Pa.
"The professors care. You get to know them on a personal level, and because of that, they help you succeed as an individual. They don't let you fail—they push you to your maximum potential."
–Melanie (Judy) Thompson '11, Steelton, Pa.
"Juniata is different because of the community and I don't just mean the student-to-student interaction. Professors and staff are engaged in the students' lives and really work hard to help them. Chances are your professor's cell phone number will be on a syllabus, the president will come watch your soccer game, and at some point you'll be invited to a professor's house for dinner. You'll find after you graduate that this tight-knit community continues to support and help you."
–Caitlin Bigelow '11, La Mesa, Calif.
"I always say that Juniata has 'pink tape' rather than red tape. It is usually possible to cut through the administrative details if you need to. For students, if you want to do something that is not on the books and you find a faculty member who supports you, you can usually do it. It all boils down to the fact that this is a small, caring community where people know and value each other and the rules can become guidelines when necessary. I wish the rest of the world worked like that."
–Debra Kirchhof-Glazier, professor of biology and director of the health professions program
"I think each person has their own unique experience with Juniata. Whether you are staff, student, alumni, faculty, parent or visitor—everyone takes a 'piece' of Juniata, special memories and experiences when they come here. Our students are valued for their creativity and encouraged to stretch beyond their comfort zones and we offer the supportive environment that enables them to do so. Alums have their own memories that they share and treasure when they return, or meet others and tell 'their Juniata experience.' Some alumni even end up working here—there are quite a few of us."
–Beth Williams '95, college counselor
"Juniata is like a second home. My dad is an alumnus and whenever we would come to Huntingdon, when I was little, we always stopped by the campus to see what was new. When I moved back to Maryland from California, Juniata was the first and only school to which I applied. I met my wife and best man at Juniata and a few lifelong friends as well. My kids love the campus. My middle daughter has been to the Summer Science Splash two years in a row and talks about (attending college at Juniata). Granted there have been many changes over the years but it is still a very comfortable place."
–Steve Chilcote, Jr. '94, Bowie, Md.
"Having worked at Juniata in the early 1970s and taking a leave for several years, I knew I wanted to return when our sons entered school. I had such a great experience working for Harold Brumbaugh '33, known to all as 'H.B.', that there was no question that Juniata felt like home away from home. I reentered the work force in the early 1980s returning to JC. There are many factors that contribute to that devotion and dedication…bosses, colleagues, trustees, alumni, faculty, students, parents and friends of the college. Each factor is a necessary component in making Juniata the great place it is both academically and financially. Any portion of this equation that would be missing would provide an incomplete photo. Juniata provides great flexibility in working with situations that may arise during the regular business day. Juniata provides excellent benefit packages and holiday breaks, picnics, reunions, and homecomings. Juniata provides opportunities for study and exercise. Juniata provides a friendly and family-oriented feeling. Everyone is caring, careful and concerned for each other. Juniata allows you to be yourself in a professional yet relaxed atmosphere."
–Pat Musselman, assistant to the vice president of advancement and marketing and coordinator of endowment stewardship
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