Winter 2013: Robert Morris University Winter 2013 | Robert Morris University



Family Connections is a publication designed for the parents and families of Robert Morris University students. It is compiled by the Office of Student Life and printed in cooperation with the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.

Editions are printed in the fall, winter, and spring of each academic year. We are interested in your feedback about this publication. E-mail your comments and suggestions to


This year marks the return of The Patriot yearbook. In the past, The Patriot has served a historical record, documenting the development of our academic and athletic programs and the expansion of our physical footprint in western Pennsylvania. It was the comprehensive source of the Robert Morris experience. However, after 25 editions, The Patriot was no longer printed.

This year, a staff consisting of students from all over the academic spectrum has been working tirelessly to bring back this tradition, and they are excited to produce the 26th edition of The Patriot with the support the Office of Student Life.

With the opening of the Wheatley Center, the Colonials winning the Three Rivers Hockey Classic, a record number of students living in our residence halls, and many more highlights, now is the perfect time for the yearbook’s return.

The year 1962 saw the debut of comic book hero Spider-Man, the untimely death of Marilyn Monroe, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. That same year men came to The Robert Morris School to study business administration, women came to study secretarial sciences, and school President John McCartan initiated the purchase of the Kaufmann’s 230-acre estate in Moon Township. This purchase began the modern era of our institution. The happenings, the evolution, and people who made up The Robert Morris School, Robert Morris Junior College, and Robert Morris College were captured on the pages of The Patriot from 1962 until 1995.

Many things have happened on our campus since 1995. We have evolved into a university with five academic schools and over 100 student clubs and organizations. Our athletic teams have won championships, our theatrical productions have received standing ovations, and our student community service projects have impacted many. This remarkable renaissance period of Robert Morris University passed without official documentation. That hiatus ends now.

The Patriot will be given as a gift to the members of the Class of 2013. Those students that complete the Application for Graduation will receive this year’s edition FREE OF CHARGE. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of The Patriot, you can do so by visiting and entering the order number: 17010

The purchase price is $50. Books will be printed early this summer and mailed out directly to those individuals who are to receive a copy.

For more information or if you have questions regarding the yearbook, please contact the Office of Student Life at or 412-397- 4352.

2013 – 2014 FAFSA REMINDER

The 2013-14 FAFSA is now available! Students wishing to obtain financial aid for the 2013-14 academic year should visit to complete a FAFSA as soon possible. It is best to have your 2012 federal tax returns submitted a few weeks prior to completing the application. Pennsylvania residents should file no later than May 1, 2013. If you need assistance, we encourage you to contact the Financial Aid Office at 412-397-6250 or


Contact Information
Center for Student Success
Nicholson Center, 2nd Floor
Phone: 412-397-4349
Fax: 412-397-2589

Hours of Operation
Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m. Friday 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Like us on Facebook to receive important Financial Aid information and tips:

Academic and Personal Counseling
Tutoring and Academic Support
Services for Students with Disabilities
Behavioral Health Counseling

Staff Members
Cassandra Oden, Director
Tracy Gorrell, Assistant Director
Sean Callahan-Dinish, Counselor
Nicole Hammond, Tutorial Coordinator
Andrea Shultz, Secretary
Brenda Simmonds, Counselor
Meredith Weber, Counselor
Randon Willard, Crisis Counselor
Gail Shostak R.N., M.S.N., A.P.R.N., Clinical Nurse Specialist
Vered Birmaher, M.D., Psychiatrist


Each spring, the Residence Hall Association and the Office of Residence Life invite RMU students to host their siblings, nieces, and nephews on campus for a weekend. Our weekend program is packed with fun activities such as ice skating, RMU sporting events, programs, and entertainment. This year's Little Siblings Weekend is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, February 22–24 with the theme "Superheros and Sidekicks." Look for more information and registration materials in your mail in early February. Materials will also be available at


Robert Morris University has instituted an enhanced Campus Residency Policy. The university believes that campus residency positively affects our students and enhances their collegiate experience.

National studies also demonstrate that students who reside on campus are more likely to maintain acceptable grade-point performances and more frequently attain a bachelor's degree. Resident students generally have more frequent contact with faculty and tend to be more satisfied with their interaction with faculty. Furthermore, resident students are less inclined to withdraw or transfer to other institutions before attaining a degree.

RMU guarantees housing for at least eight semesters of full-time enrollment. All first- and second-year students are required to live in university housing or with their parents, grandparents and/or guardians. A first-year student is defined as someone enrolled full-time in college for 1-2 semesters and a second-year student is defined as someone enrolled full-time in college for 3-4 semesters. A student entering RMU without prior college experience will be required to live in university housing for four consecutive semesters. A student entering RMU with prior college experience will be required to live in university housing for four consecutive semesters minus the number of semesters of full-time enrollment at other colleges.

Exceptions to the Campus Residency Policy may be granted to students under certain conditions with the completion of a waiver process. Visit to review the complete guidelines for the administration of this policy.

Students who are included in the Campus Residency Policy must do one of the following:

  • Complete a university housing contract and be accepted to live in a university approved residence or;
  • Complete and have approved by the director of Residence Life, a Campus Residency Waiver Request Form.

Please direct any questions regarding the Campus Residency Policy to the Office of Residence Life at 412-397-5252 or


The Career Center is committed to assisting students and alumni in the successful realization of challenging, meaningful, and rewarding careers. To achieve that mission, we must keep pace with changes in the campus culture, students’ needs, the job market, and with technology. Here’s a look at a few of the key changes and events that have taken place since the year 2000.

2000 The Career Center initiated a Practice Interview Program.

2001 The office partnered with and switched to a new online job posting system, called MonsterTRAK.

2002 The RMU Office of Career Services received a generous contribution from PPG Industries, which funded the renovation of the office and the building of an atrium at the office entrance. The office was renamed The PPG Industries Career and Leadership Development Center.

An Employer Advisory Board was created.

The Career Center’s website was completely revamped and added a new section for parents and families.

Funding was secured to establish the Career Library, which now includes over 300 resources.

2003 The staff created an online alumni networking database, featured in MonsterTRAK.

The office set up an online site with the publisher of the Strong Interest Inventory in order to eliminate time needed to have the assessments scored and mailed.

2004 The first annual Creativity at Work conference was held on campus.

The Career Center initiated the first Accounting Professional Day program, now the Accounting Career & Networking Day.

2005 The Student Employment Program was automated and renamed as the Student Employment Program Online Job Source.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Career Report was added showing students/alumni how their personality type affects their career exploration and explains the benefits of choosing a career that is a good fit for their type.

The office began using an online survey tool to help collect data for the annual Post Graduation Plans Survey.

The Career Center held the first annual Student Employment Week to celebrate the contributions made by student workers to the campus community.

The first Student Employee of the Year award was presented at the Student Excellence Banquet.

2006 The staff developed a one-credit Career Exploration & Decision Making Course, targeted toward undecided students.

2007 This year marked 10 years since the Career Center began presenting on resumes and interviewing in every section of Business and Professional Communication, part of RMU's Communication Skills Program.

2008 The Career Center launched ColonialTRAK, replacing the former MonsterTRAK system. In addition to including Career Center job postings and on-campus recruiting opportunities, the new system also featured enhanced technology, links to national job and internship posting sites, an employer directory, a calendar function, a resource library, an announcements page, and a link for upcoming career fairs and events.

The first Summer Opportunities Fair was held on campus.

2009 The first Academic Majors Fair was held in the Nicholson Center.

2010 The process to obtain faculty approval for academic credit of internship sites was automated.

The Career Center presented the first annual Professional Focus Awards, to honor students who excelled in the pursuit of the university’s core value of Professional Focus.

2011 The Career Center celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Career Expo, the largest campus job fair. The Career Center launched an office Facebook page.

2012 The Student Employment Program Online Job Source was retired in order to move workstudy positions into ColonialTRAK.

The Summer Opportunities Fair was transformed from a smaller, more informal event, to a full scale job fair and renamed the Spring Career Fair. The online alumni networking program was transitioned to a group in, the largest professional networking site.

The office created a Twitter account.

2013 In January, the Career Center began a partnership with CareerSpots. The agreement provides students online access to 20 job-search videos on a variety of topics. The videos provide expert advice from Career Center professionals, recruiters and students. CareerSpots also provides students access to informational videos on 550 occupations.

On April 3, 2013, the Career Center will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Creativity at Work. The conference is targeted toward students majoring in Communication, English, and Media Arts but is open to the entire campus. The event will feature panelists from a variety of areas including advertising, public relations, graphic design, multimedia, television, film, video production, journalism, photography, and more.

We can learn many lessons from history, among them that change is inevitable. As the future unfolds, the Career Center looks forward to changing with the times in order to best serve our students.

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Happy New Year from the Office of Student Civic Engagement (OSCE)! We are very excited to have your student back on campus for the spring semester as we have dozens of service projects in which she or he can participate.

This semester students will have the opportunity to volunteer with the elderly, local parks, soup kitchens, blood drives, Special Olympics, and much more. Moreover, during the month of March the OSCE will host two Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trips, which are week-long service intensive programs for students to volunteer outside of the Pittsburgh region. These trips function as service-learning experiences, introducing participants to issues of social justice while providing opportunities for hands-on volunteer work.

This year, the OSCE is hosting a trip to Harrisburg, where students will volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, working to restore or build homes to benefit the working poor. Students will have the opportunity to serve in urban areas of our state’s capital fighting poverty and substandard housing. A second trip will take students to Athens, Ohio, to volunteer with Good Works, an agency assisting impoverished community members in rural Appalachia, many of whom are elderly and/or disabled. Students will help to repair and refurbish substandard housing and assist with food and clothing distribution.

Each trip will include 12 students as well as a male and female staff chaperone. Participants will have the opportunity to bond with fellow students, learn about a community different from their own and fulfill the community service portion of their Student Engagement Transcript (SET). The fee for either trip is $100.00 per student and includes transportation, housing and all meals.

ASB trips are open to any student who would like to participate. Students who are interested in participating should stop by the OSCE in Nicholson Center, Room 277, to learn more and to fill out an application. Please encourage your student to partake in this fun, positive and lifechanging experience that can help him or her to fulfill the SET graduation requirement.


As part of RMU’s ongoing efforts to review its programs and services, the Office of Student Life will be inviting parents of current undergraduate students to complete the Noel Levitz online Parent Satisfaction Inventory later this semester. Instructions on how to complete this online survey will be sent to all families in our Family Connections database in March.

This survey is utilized as a counterpart to the Student Satisfaction Inventory that will completed by undergraduate students on campus this semester as well.

We value the feedback of our students and you, and we hope that you will take the opportunity participate. Your views on RMU are valuable, and your thoughtful and honest responses will guide us in providing better experiences for our students.

Read more about RMU’s Outcomes Assessments efforts at


The Office of Residence Life now has housing contracts available for current resident students to complete online. The contract and information about room selection are available at

Please take a look at our website, for there are some changes to room selection for the 2013-14 academic year. It is important that any student interested in living on campus submit a housing contract and pay the $250 non-refundable housing deposit before Tuesday, March 19, 2013.

Our staff members are happy to answer any questions you might have about the housing contract or the room selection process. You can contact us via email at or by phone at 412-397-5252.