Archive | August, 2012

Movie Buff

by Katie Barth

When I was a kid I could memorize anything. If I watched a movie once I had it memorized. My parents would marvel over how quickly I absorbed movie lines and how I could recite them with the same inflection as any character. After graduating from TU in 2005 with a degree in (surprise) Theatre, I stayed on to work at the University Store and manage the “Towson Blockbuster”, Tiger Reels. As you might imagine, I love my job…

Tiger Reels is a tiny shoebox of a store located in the middle of the first floor of the Union building. When I first started managing Tiger Reels it had just transitioned from VHS to DVD. We are now bursting at the seams with DVDS, Blu rays, Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games. Every rental is free with a TU ID, which means faculty, staff and students all rent for free!

Tiger Reels, located in the University Union

Our little store packs a big punch. We provide multiple copies of new movies. When their popularity wanes, we sell them off for dirt cheap. In addition to being “Towson’s Blockbuster,” we also provide educational material such as: documentary films, required films for TU courses, instructional recordings and personal interest films such as exercise videos. We carry indie films, classics and  have specialty genres like African American Cinema, LGBTQ Cinema and Bollywood! We often collaborate with student groups, faculty and departments on special events that feature films or games. There is something for everyone!

I refer to Tiger Reels as a “student run” facility, which means the students who work there arrive in the morning, open the store and keep it up and running all day. I provide the employees with new products to enter into the system and they do the rest. At a time in our world when technology is constantly providing us with entertainment at our finger tips, our little store still seems to boom with business. Student groups have even asked for us to put our store inventory online to better serve the campus community.  We have become a social center where faculty, staff and students come with their friends to pick up their favorite films and make a night of it. Our store is a casual, fun atmosphere where anyone can come and hang out. Occasionally you can even hear the staff and customers burst into song, singing along with their favorite Disney film. For me, Tiger Reels is one of the few places on campus where our huge TU population feels small: where everyone seems to know everyone else.

So for my fellow movie buffs, get over to Tiger Reels and check out what we have. I guarantee you will find a film to take home. Oh, and if you see me…feel free to test my memorization skills!

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Personnel Announcement

Personnel Announcement

Wondering what’s going on in the lives of your colleagues? Check out the information below to find out. If you’d like to contribute an item to the personnel announcement, e-mail

September Birthdays

All birthdays listed are based on the contributions of divisional staff. If you would like to have a birthday added to or removed from the list, please e-mail

September 3 – John Kaczynski, Facilities Management

September 3 – John Kestler, Facilities Management

September 3 – Jeff Schmidt, OTS

September 5 – Donna M. Auvil, Fiscal Planning and Services

September 5 – Stephanie Herpick, OTS

September 6 – Keith Brown, Fiscal Planning and Services

September 7 – Jennifer Stano, Human Resources

September 8 – Sue Brodie, Fiscal Planning and Services

September 9 – Vicki Simmers, Fiscal Planning and Services

September 10 – Joanne Bracken, OTS

September 12 – Corey Schmidt, Facilities Management

September 13 – Don Sauer, Facilities Management

September 13 – Jay Bands, Facilities Management

September 13 – Sherry McKendry, Human Resources

September 13 – Don Sauer, Facilities Management

September 14 – Cathy Mattingly, Fiscal Planning and Services

September 15 – Randy Hallameyer, Facilities Management

September 15 – Bill Meagher, Fiscal Planning and Services

September 16 – Sue Walsh, Fiscal Planning and Services

September 16 – Jamie Uppercue, Financial Services

September 17 – Robert Keenan, Facilities Management

September 17 – Kim Tremper, Fiscal Planning and Services

September 18 – Susan Glaeser, Fiscal Planning and Services

September 19 – Thomasina Anderson, Fiscal Planning and Services

September 19 – Patricia Burke, OTS

September 20 – Robert Campbell, Auxiliary Services

September 20 – Beth Walsh, Auxiliary Services

September 21 – John Siegel, Postal Services

September 22 – Bruce Campeggi, Auxiliary Services

September 22 – Lori Frantz, Mail & Distribution

September 23 – Don McCree, Facilities Management

September 23 – Rachel Morgan, Financial Services

September 23 – Michael Mellerson, Auxiliary Services

September 24 – Audrey Cutler, OTS

September 24 – Andy Martin, OTS

September 25 – Linda Makowske, Fiscal Planning and Services

September 27 – Gail Vogel, Facilities Management

September 29 – Gino Renaudo, Facilities management

September 29 – Karen Childs, Auxiliary Services

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Tweet for Towson

by Eric VanLieshout

Social media is an easy and fun way to stay involved at Towson University. But did you know it is also an effective tool for advancing the university and making TU a better institution? As the internet becomes increasingly less ethereal in its effects, social media allows an unprecedented ability to extent tendrils far and wide across the digital realm. Back in the real world, this generates increasing interest in TU which leads to more students, more faculty and staff, and an increasingly prestigious reputation. In short, social media allows new opportunities for the university to grow and flourish.

That said, this only happens when people interact with Towson’s social media presences, so we need people to get involved. Don’t just read – comment, tag and post! Follow the twitter feeds of your favorite on-campus groups and share your great TU experiences through tweets and Facebook posts. To make it even easier to get involved and make a difference, below are some links to various Towson Twitter Handles and Facebook pages, in addition to the twitter feed embedded in Dollars & Common Sense. Log on, jump in, & help out!

Twitter: @TowsonU  @TowsonUNews  @TowsonTigers

@OTSTraining  @TUnutrition  @UStoretweets @TUGoesGreen


This is only a very short sampling, so don’t hesitate to click the links to more TU pages and twitter feeds! There are so many, you’ll be amazed with what you can find – and the fun you’ll have finding it!

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Construction Aids Campus Mission

by Tyler New

The average college campus is about 440 acres; Towson University’s (TU) campus is 328 acres.  TU is the second largest university in Maryland with an undergraduate student body of 17,529.  Bearing in mind this size discrepancy, Towson must be judicious in its allocation of academic space.

The College of Health Professions (CHP) is facing a dilemma that is not surprising given the campus conditions: there is not enough room for the growing student population.  There has been an increasing number of health students in recent years: health professionals student headcount has increased by 50 percent, Full-Time Daily Equivalent students have increased by 39 percent and the number of Full-Time Equivalent faculty has increased by 38 percent.  These numbers are expected to further increase in the next 10 years.  Though the need for space is acute in other areas of the university, the demand is particularly pronounced in the CHP.  Through the CHP, TU graduates the second largest number of licensed nurses and the largest number of allied health professionals in the State.  Thus, attention must be given first and foremost to the CHP.

Corroborating these growth figures, the CHP experiences space deficiencies in every applicable Higher Education General Information Survey (HEGIS) category.  Especially problematic and in the most immediate need of expansion are the lecture and laboratory classrooms. These areas are not sufficient for accommodating new technologies that are important to current teaching methodologies or for accommodating an adequate number of students.

In order to remedy the situation, a new facility will be built and will consolidate the programs and functions currently dispersed throughout the College’s six buildings.  Teaching areas will be upgraded as “smart classrooms.”  The new facility will benefit more than just the CHP; related programs will be consolidated and therefore will free space for change in other colleges. Notable sections that will gain more space include the nursing, occupational therapy, speech and hearing, and graduate degree programs.  Progress has already been made with this issue utilizing the newly upgraded Linthicum Hall (LH), which is now equipped to accommodate the CHP.  In addition to new labs, LH currently has 15 classrooms that will better assist the students with their work.

Planning for the new construction is to start in 2017 and ground will be broken in 2019.  Upon its completion in 2023, the project will have cost the university $140,960,000.  The money will be well-spent, as the new building will improve both the efficiency of space use on campus and the quality of the in-class learning experience. 

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It’s Easy Being Green

by Eric VanLieshout

Fall term is about to commence, and again Towson University is gearing up for another academic year. Towson Goes Green is no exception, preparing TU’s greenest year yet! This year’s theme, “It’s easy being green,” aims to really drive home the truth that sustainability isn’t a deracinating paradigm shift despite its extensive plans for a (gasp!) better world.

Truth be told, self-sustaining buildings and cities envisioned by environmental visionaries seem daunting, if not intimidating, in their creation and implication. Dream big, right? But don’t disparage the present – the here and now.

The new LEED gold certified CLA building is an elegant fusion of technology and nature, not unlike sci-fi eco-future concepts. The technology in the building entails sensors to regulate lighting and Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) needs based on the building’s occupancy at any given time; there are also computer systems installed in classrooms to alleviate waste related to paper and course materials.

Nature works to cut down on the building’s energy consumption via rooftop vegetation, large windows and specially insulated floors, all of which work to regulate the internal climate and lighting. The windows allow the sun to warm and light the building, while the vegetation and floors temper the natural temperature ranges inside the building day and night, summer through winter. Similarly, the West Village Commons is also LEED gold certified and implements the same eco-technologies, and all future buildings will meet, at a minimum, LEED silver standards.  A big effort up-front that will provide immediate as well as long term benefits with only minimal up-keep.

These facilities greatly alleviate TU’s carbon-footprint, which makes the individual efforts of faculty, staff and students even more effective! Towson’s Go Green initiative compliments this efficiency by working hard to make it easy to be green. The RecycAll program employs over 3,500 recycling containers on campus, so you are never hard-pressed to find one; the results speak for themselves with over 8,000 tons of material recycled in 2011.

Trayless Tuesdays conserve the resources required to clean a day’s worth of cafeteria trays, saving not only water, but reducing the amount of cleaning products used by TU. Fun events like RecycleMania and Earth Month provide a fun and social way for faculty, staff and students to get involved in and educated about Towson’s Green Initiative. For the green-thumb in need of a garden, TU tends its own vegetable garden on campus.

October plays host to our annual Sustainability Day, and it’s not just for students. Towson needs everyone to get involved, in any capacity. Begin setting personal recycling goals, or creating a plan to consume less at work or in class. If you are interested in working with Go Green or becoming part of the coordinating effort, check out the Go Green page. Remember, it’s easy being green, unless you are a frog.

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Meet the Staff: Chuck Conjar

by Eric VanLieshout

As the Print Services Supervisor, he is responsible for translating/transitioning art and design to the printers, helping maintain the professional, HQ standards in all of the Print Center’s works. You have probably seen some of Chuck Conjar’s work, but have you heard his work?

In case you haven’t heard the word, Chuck Conjar is also a musician, and now a local celebrity. His song, “Ocean City Days,” recently won Ocean City’s 2012 “Song of the Summer” contest. The contest boiled submissions down to three finalists, then fans of the city (and the musicians) voted for their favorite. Chuck secured a solid win, receiving more than half the votes. But the accolades do not end there; Chuck will also be recording his song professionally with producer Bryan Russo, with the result being offered as a free iTunes download sponsored by Ocean City, and performing at this year’s Sunfest.

But the man behind the music is far more than you might guess. When I contacted Mr. Conjar asking (lightheartedly) to interview Towson’s “mysterious troubadour,” I had no idea my lighthearted wordplay would prove so appropriate.

Chuck Conjar

I admit I wasn’t expecting a man so dedicated to his work. He has been writing songs for 40 years, and music for him is far more than a hobby relegated to the basement. He assumes a fatherly role: “My son has graduated from Towson and found a great job, my daughter is going into her senior year of high school and my youngest child just won the Ocean City “Song of the Summer” contest.” “My songs deserve to go as far as I can take them,” he says, “and I promised I would chance something like this [contest] for them.” This was his first contest, and it is “exciting having attention after 40 years of dedication” and having his efforts rewarded with such warm sentiments.

With music, you are “involved with a powerful and important force,” he explains. His band Double Play, which consists of Mr. Conjar and Larry Dernetz, has participated in community benefits such as the grand opening of Annie’s Playground (and a few TU functions as well). The opportunity to perform his song at Sunfest is thrilling. Ocean City, an annual retreat to hallowed ground, has been an integral aspect of Chuck’s life. The chance to be onstage, helping the sun set on yet another wonderful summer at OC, promises to be a moving experience for Mr. Conjar.

This force has only served to enrich his life, including his already rich, 30+ year experience at TU.  Told that his recent musical triumph has given his colleagues “something to feel good about,” Chuck is very “appreciative and humbled” by the incredible support he has received at the university. All the emails circulating, the votes, recognition, help and camaraderie around “Ocean City Days” have proved heartwarming. “It has taken my life on campus to a new level”, and “enhanced the workplace” in “heartwarming” ways, he says.

I honestly wonder when Mr. Conjar sleeps. In addition to all of this, he teaches psychology part-time at Harford Community College, and he is an active member of his church where he also volunteers as a youth counselor working with teens. Every year he accompanies the youth group on the Rock Retreat in – you guessed it – Ocean City, MD. To an outside observer these pursuits might seem scattered and disjointed, but for Chuck, they all compliment and balance each other in a fluid synchrony. Music, TU, printing, psychology, church, youth counseling, family – it all makes sense to him. “Music”, he feels, “is a path to open up what’s inside you. You are the instrument.” And it appears that Mr. Chuck Conjar is in perfect harmony.

See & Hear Chuck’s music!

Sunfest details

WMDT: Chuck will be playing unplugged on the TV morning show “Good Morning Delmarva” at 6:45a.m. on Wednesday, Aug 15. Channel 47 Salisbury

WBAL radio interview with Mary Beth Marsden



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OTS TechHelp System Coming this Fall

by Mark Addy

So what’s the buzz coming out of the Office of Technology Services (OTS) this summer?  It’s all about TechHelp, the new service request tracking system that is being readied for fall implementation, with the goals of standardizing the intake and tracking of client requests throughout OTS, while providing clients improvements in logging, monitoring and interacting with their service requests.

The project was announced to OTS staff by CIO Jeff Schmitt in late May.  “My goal,” he said, “is to improve customer service by simplifying our intake process and becoming more efficient at how we conduct business behind the scenes in OTS.”  He identified specific goals involving the handling of service requests, the development of clear metrics and consistent reporting, and the procedures for maintaining TechHelp over the long haul.  He also named OTS directors Mark Addy and Michael Bachman as project managers.

Addy and Bachman established eight project teams to facilitate specific aspects of TechHelp implementation, including the development of OTS-wide standards and practices, a comprehensive understanding of the workflow associated with resolving all service requests, system configuration and installation, testing, reporting, and ongoing quality assurance.  Work on the project ensued quickly, and many OTS employees have contributed their efforts throughout the summer.  Now TechHelp is nearing readiness for a phased-in launch later this month.

Addy is enthusiastic about the benefits of TechHelp within OTS; he said, “Good service organizations are friendly, fast, detail oriented, and more than anything, extremely consistent. In addition, successful service organizations have methods for measuring and reporting on how they’re doing, and can easily identify areas where process improvement will result in quicker issue resolution for the customer or where the same service can be performed with less effort.”

Later this fall, OTS will deploy new client-side TechHelp features to the campus.  TechHelp will include a self-service portal for University employees to submit and monitor their own service requests, and the ability to interact with those requests via email updates.  Bachman states, “it will allow people to report problems or initiate support requests 24/7 – or even better, not have to submit a request at all since the system will provide immediate answers to frequently asked questions. The system will be made available to college and departmental technology service providers, too. They are a valued and critical part of the overall campus technology support network and we’re delighted to extend the system’s capabilities to make their jobs easier.”

Additional information about TechHelp will appear in Daily Digest articles as the implementation proceeds.

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A Manager with a Mission

by Carla Hall

Towson University’s Materiel Management Department provides the university with professional support services such as central receiving, warehousing, property disposal, asset record keeping, and moving.  The Director of this extremely busy and important unit of Facilities Management is Phillip Butler. Mr. Butler has directed the Materiel Management department since October 2, 1991. He started working for Towson University in December, 1981 as a Supply Officer. During his 31 year tenure he acquired his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting in June of 1987.  Phillip said, “I always figured TU would be a relatively long career commitment, as I was attending school part time, working toward a degree. I knew it would be a much longer career when the opportunity to become the department head of Materiel Management, materialized; No pun intended.”

Phillip also served on the Council of University System Staff (CUSS) and Towson University Staff Council (TUSC) where he advocated and worked with groups at the System level on important issues, such as changing the policies on contingent staff. One policy change paved the way for converting long-term contingent employees to regular staff.

The aforementioned help prepared Phillip Butler to lead the Materiel Management department and to serve the entire campus community. He aids every department on campus with the receiving, storing, delivering, moving, and assisting record keeping services, while simultaneously serving the students with the logistical support services. Statistics during FY 2011  Materiel Management include: receiving 14,000 shipments and redelivering 31,400 packages; filling nearly 500 store orders; processing nearly 1,300 moving services requests; managing the move of around 200 people into the new Liberal Arts building; disposing of nearly 10,000 assets, recycling more than 68 tons of electronic equipment; processing nearly 7,500 asset record updates, all while managing an inventory of more than 11,700 assets valued at nearly $50 million.

The entire department works as a team and that none of this could have happened without the staff members whom aim to

Phil Butler, Materiel Management

deliver superior customer service every day.  Phillip said, “I think managing people is the most demanding aspect of any manager’s job, but for the most part I have been lucky in terms of the quality of the people that have I have worked with and supervised. Helping other people – that work for and with you – to advance and achieve their goals is also very rewarding.”

The future of Materiel Management includes the utilization of more technology in processing work; e.g. foreseeing the iPad  or similar technology to process package deliveries and moving services. Funding provided, Phillip would like to explore the potential benefits of using RFID technology to perform the university’s asset inventory functions.  ”We’ll be looking into making our electronics recycling program even more profitable. I would like to adopt the College Park Records Retention Program to make [TU] more user-friendly and efficient.”

Towson University is very fortunate to have a well-operated Materiel Management team and their “manager with a mission” Phillip Butler, whose focus is intricately involved in one of TU’s 2016 goals that identifies and responds to the needs of our students: “Building within ~ Reaching out!”

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August 2012 Personnel Announcement

Wondering what’s going on in the lives of your colleagues? Check out the information below to find out. If you’d like to contribute an item to the personnel announcement, email

July Birthdays

All birthdays listed are based on the contributions of divisional staff. If you would like to have a birthday added to or removed from the list, please email

August 2 – Krystle Ongaco, Auxiliary Services

August 3 – Mark Clark, Facilities Management

August 4 – Susan Brown, Auxiliary Services

August 6 – Bill Kerfoot, Facilities Management

August 7 – Gina Howell, College of Graduate Studies and Research

August 8 – Steve Cullum, Facilities Management

August 9 – Rob Neff, Facilities Management

August 9 – Mike Pfiefer, Auxiliary Services

August 10 – Sharon Freedman, OTS

August 10 – Dineli Weerasooriya, OTS

August 12 – Michael Lewis, Facilities Management

August 16 – Becky Mundschenk, OTS

August 16 – Tyra’ Thomas, Auxiliary Services

August 17 – Greg Yackley, OTS

August 22 – Craig Turkington, OTS

August 22 – Rene Florendo, Facilities Management

August 22 – Levi Weathers, Facilities Management

August 23 – Tom Rose, Facilities Management

August 24 – Tiffany Henley, OTS

August 24 – Don Miller, Facilities Management

August 25 – Tracie Rusnak, Facilities Management

August 27 – Ron Santana, OTS

August 30 – Jose Ortiz, Facilities Management

August 31 – John Hook, Facilities Management

August 31 – Yvonne Stevenson, Auxiliary Services

News & Announcements

Briana Cabibbo, the A&F Graduate assistant has left the Division of Administration and Finance to finish her Master’s in Speech Pathology; she will be working at Kernan Hospital doing a speech therapy internship, in addition to her classes as a second year graduate student here at Towson.

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