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Convocation kicks off Spring semester

Mentors who have made a difference, budgetary concerns, student successes, and even a former NFL player made their way into the 4th Annual Spring Convocation Thursday afternoon. 
Convocation kicks off Spring semester
A panel of faculty and staff visit with Dr. Scott during Spring Convocation.

Held at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, it's the one event every year in which all PSU employees gather for a bit of inspiration and fun. 

While it did feature light-hearted moments, including a Hollywood-style movie trailer to kick off the new semester, this year's event was "the most authentic yet," noted Jon Bartlow, director of Alumni & Constituent Relations who attended with members of his team. 

"It was very real, very heartfelt depiction of what Pitt State is all about," he said. "It made me feel good, it made me feel inspired."  

Using a talk show-like format, with PSU President Steve Scott serving as the host, the event provided employees in attendance the chance to hear from a panel of faculty and staff. They included Laura Washburn, PSU KNEA President, Erin Sullivan, University Professional Staff President, Amy Hite, Faculty Senate President, and Michael Kloer, University Support Staff President. 

Each shared what they were looking forward to most about the new semester, as well as what issues concerned them. 

The event also featured a panel of students, including Shelby Bicknell, Rae Zeller, Ivan Vazquez, John Botts, Creighton Sanders, and Emilia Cardenas, who shared what they thought about Pitt State. Asked to define it in one word, they chose words like "Opportunity," "Worthwhile," "Relationships," and "Inspirational." 

The students' comments ranged from sharing which professors inspired them most to favorite annual traditions, including Apple Day, Paint the Town Red, Family Day, Gorilla Walk, and Homecoming. 

Former NFL player Kendall Gammon, a long-snapper for the Kansas City Chiefs, also made an appearance. A 1991 graduate of PSU, Gammon returned to campus in 2008 to work in development and in 2015 was named special assistant to the president. 

When pressed by Scott to share his accomplishments since that time, Gammon estimated he'd helped his alma mater raise $15 million. What he's most proud of, he said, was helping facilitate the creation of student scholarships. 

Scott accepted questions from the audience, addressing such issues as health insurance, raises, and flex time. 

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