Monday, December 22, 2008

We're the real deal, baby

Inside Higher Ed had an article today about a marketing ploy by the CollegeProwler guidebook company to create sham "Class of 2013" Facebook groups for various colleges and universities that appeared to be authentic. The apparent goal was to collect information on matriculating college students.

We were concerned to read about this, since RMU has created its own Class of 2013 group for freshman students accepted at the university for the fall 2009 semester. You can access this group by clicking here. Make no mistake: this Facebook group was created by RMU staff for the sole purpose of creating a sense of community among students entering the university next fall, and allowing them to get to know one another before they come to campus. New students are free to join or not join, and of course they are free to create their own RMU-related groups.

If, however, any third parties are using our name to exploit our students, we certainly want to know about it. Leave us a comment on this blog, or email rmunews (at) with any questions or concerns.

And in case we don't get a chance to tell you later, happy holidays!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

RMU goes clubbing

The RMU club ice hockey team merits a mention in today's Press of Atlantic City, which brought to mind a recent article in the New York Times about the growing popularity of club sports at colleges and universities nationwide.

At RMU, more than 230 students participate in the university's growing club sports program, which includes 18 teams. You'll get to learn more about RMU's club sports program in the upcoming issue of Foundations magazine, due to hit mailboxes -- and the web-- next month.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

God and Man in Cincinnati

Here's an interesting article about an RMU alum who leads a megachurch in Ohio. Crossroads Community Church is the 36th largest church in the nation, so I'm guessing that Pastor Brian Tome is well-served by his RMU business degree:

Crossroads Community Church, which is in a converted HQ superstore at 3500 Madison Road, Oakley, draws about 10,000 people each weekend to its four services.

It is the 25th fastest-growing and 36th-largest church in the country, the only church in the region to crack the Top 50 in either category.

Crossroads is a non-denominational community church with a staff of 94 and an annual budget of $13 million that covers everything from providing the 300-plus gallons of coffee and 16 cases of cream served every weekend to the funding of an AIDS hospice in South Africa.

In matters more temporal, Pennsylvania and New York are increasing the amount of credit hours required for CPA candidates, and Inside Higher Ed talks to RMU's Frank Flanegin about how we are responding:

Robert Morris University, in suburban Pittsburgh, is also prepping for the change, encouraging accounting undergraduates to enroll in a program that awards an M.B.A. for an additional year of study. Frank Flanegin, head of the department of accounting and finance, said the university introduced the program as a way to help students meet the upcoming requirement change.

“There’s no mandate with this change to get another degree – an M.S. in accounting or an MBA,” Flanegin said, noting that about half of the university’s accounting majors go onto seek a C.P.A. “But why would you want to have students take additional credits without earning an additional degree? This provides our accounting majors who know what they want to do with an opportunity to fulfill the requirement.” (link)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Engineering solutions

Pennsylvania Manufacturer magazine features an article this month penned by Zbignew Czajkiewicz, head of the RMU Center for Applied Research in Engineering and Science (RMU-CARES) about direct digital manufacturing. Click here and go to page 20.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Plugged in

There's an interesting article in this month's eCampus News (go to page 14) about online learning. It seems that students report being just as engaged, if not more so, by courses taught entirely online as they do by courses taught in a traditional classroom setting.

These findings aren't all that different from research conducted over several years by education and business professors at RMU. The RMU studies found little difference in student performance or satisfaction between classes taught the Internet and those taught in a classroom with a "live" instructor. You can read more here.

And yet, no one has offered to buy the naming rights to this blog

During an interview this morning on KQV Radio, Dave Synowka, director of RMU's Sport Management Program, offered his thoughts on the deal for CONSOL Energy to buy the naming rights to the Penguins' new arena. Synowka thinks it's a good deal for CONSOL, which is going to gain national exposure for its brand.

If you are interested in scheduling an interview with Synowka on this subject, contact Jonathan Potts at 412-397-3813 or

Friday, December 12, 2008

We hate to toot our own horn, but...

University Business gives RMU a little love in its December issue, which you can check out online. (We're on pages 36 and 46.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Get 'em while they're young

RMU alumnus Howard Shapiro will appear on Stan Savran's "Savran on SportsBeat" this Friday on FSN Pittsburgh to talk about his latest children's book "Hockey Player for Life." The show airs at 6:30 p.m.

You can learn more about Shapiro's book here and here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Go Colonials!

If you haven't done recently, now's a good time to visit RMU's athletics web site. It's been a particularly good week for the Colonials -- on the field, on the court and on the ice.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tackling the tough issues

RMU's Valerie Powell addresses some concerns regarding electronic medical records at Modearn Money quote:

The reason for integral communication among medical and dental providers is to optimize and support chronic care, the source of over 70% of costs of healthcare in the U.S., to optimally support prenatal care affecting the unborn, to optimally support pediatric care and to address the urgent multidisciplinary needs of patients at risk of osteoradionecrosis. (link)

Powell is a university professor of computer and information systems, and an expert in health care information systems. Powell served on Gov. Ed Rendell's Chronic Care Management, Reimbursement and Cost Reduction Commission.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Doing us proud

The Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" will feature LoBello’s Spaghetti House in Coraopolis in an episode airing at 10 tonight. LoBello's is managed by 1973 RMU graduate Benny Joe LoBello.

A longtime commercial banker, LoBello decided a few years ago to go back to work at his family’s restaurant, which LoBello’s grandparents opened in 1944. Nearly everything on the menu is still made from scratch, much of it by Benny Joe’s mama -- and the restaurant's owner -- Rose, a regular there at 809 Fifth Ave.

Guests are invited to carve their names into the wooden booths, if they can find a space in between the hundreds who have already done so over the years. And anyone showing an RMU ID will get a 25 percent discount, LoBello promised.

In other alumni news, Ricky Frazier, new v.p. of customer care for Comcast, received the Minority Achievement Award from Minority Opinion Magazine. The Tribune-Review featured Frazier as a Newsmaker in Sunday's paper.

Friday, November 14, 2008

We're blushing

RMU got some nice coverage this week in the Tribune-Review: Click here for an article about the transformation of our campus, and here for a story about the women's hockey program.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Growing success -- organically

Kudos to Shared Acres, a community support agriculture program, which recently won an Annual Celebration of Excellence Award from the Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce. (hat tip to the Post-Gazette.) Shared Acres is run by husband-and-wife alumni Dwayne and Renee Bauknight.

In the winter 2009 Foundations magazine, due to hit mailboxes (and the Internet) in January, RMU Senior Writer Val Brkich will give readers an insider's look at the Shared Acres, which has a partnership with RMU for student research projects.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"The United States of America are great"

The hotel manager whose rescue of 1,200 people inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda" praised the election of the first U.S. president with African roots.

"The United States of America are great," said Paul Rusesabagina, when asked for his feelings about Barack Obama's victory in Tuesday's presidential election.

Rusesabagina spoke today at RMU as part of the Diversity Speaker Series. He is speaking tonight as part of the RMU Pittsburgh Speakers Series.

"This is a very good lesson of democracy to the whole universe, the whole world," Rusesabagina said. "All those minorities who are always threatened by the majorities should learn the lesson of democracy from this country."

See the video:

Monday, November 3, 2008

This just in...

Last year, RMU nursing graduates had an overall pass rate of 91 percent on their licensing exams -- compared to an overall pass rate of 85 percent for Pennsylvania and 87 percent nationally. Well done, ladies and gentlemen.


Nothing fancy, but we now have a YouTube channel at For some reason our profile picture isn't showing. To save you the trouble, here's our first video:

Also, our nursing students have added Episode 2 to their channel.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Less than 48 hours...

Election Day draws near, and an RMU poll shows that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will eke out a narrow victory in Allegheny County over his Republican opponent, John McCain.

Students in Norman Schnurr's Marketing Research class conducted the poll of 290 county residents last month. In the spring, Schnurr's students' correctly predicted that Hillary Clinton would beat Obama in the county in the Pennsylvania primary.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Coming soon...

Watch the trailer to "The Korean,", the debut film by RMU alumnus Thomas Dixon:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

RMU goes to the movies

RMU alum Thomas Dixon's debut feature film "The Korean" will be screened at the Three Rivers Film Festival Nov. 7-22. (Hat tip to the Post-Gazette.) Dixon graduated in 2005 with a degree in communications. We hope to share more with you about "The Korean" in the days to come. Things are a little hectic here today...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rest in peace, Reg

Trib sports writer Joe Starkey devoted his column yesterday to talking to Dave Hanson, general manager of the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center and one of the Hanson brothers from the 1977 comedy classic "Slap Shot." Hanson talks about his new book, the latest "Slap Shot" sequel, and of course, working with the late, great Paul Newman:

Like so many people, Hanson recalled Newman as a down-to-earth, decent man. Newman threw a cast party at his Beverly Hills home after "Slap Shot" came out and later offered to throw one for Hanson and his wife, Sue, a Nanty Glo native, on the way to their honeymoon in Hawaii. The couple declined, but accepted Newman's invite to join him and his actress wife, Joanne Woodward, at a Detroit auto race in the mid-1990's.

To this day, when people ask Hanson about "Slap Shot," they want to know what it was like to work with Newman, who was 52 at the time and a pretty decent skater.

"I always say, 'Well, you're asking it wrong,' " Hanson said, laughing. "It should be, 'How did Paul Newman feel about working with us?' " (link)

Congratulations, Dave. And Mr. Newman, you will be missed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

There's no such thing as "overexposure"

If it seems to you that RMU has been all over the news lately, it's not merely the fevered delusions of your troubled mind. Yesterday, Eleanor Chute at the Post-Gazette devoted some serious real estate to RMU's nursing programs and its graduates in a story about nursing education.

Last week, Elise Boyas, assistant professor of accounting, was front and center in a Pittsburgh Business Times article about accounting rules changes. And today, Scott Leff, associate director of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management, drew on his previous experience running a community bank to write an op-ed about the nation's financial crisis.

At this rate, soon we're not going to be able to eat in restaurants.

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's a hockey night in Johnstown...

...and an RMU night as well:

College connection: Robert Morris University had a strong presence on Saturday night.

Chiefs forwards Joey Olson and Joel Gasper each played at Robert Morris.

Wheeling’s Sean Berkstresser also played at Robert Morris last season. (link)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Rub our heads for luck

WTAE-TV anchor Andrew Stockey spoke at RMU Sept. 9 to launch our Diversity Speaker Series. A couple of weeks later, he gets promoted. Coincidence? We'll let you be the judge.

By the way, next up in the Diversity Speaker Series is Joyce A. Bender, CEO and founder of Bender Consulting Services Inc., on Oct. 22. We hope to see you there.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Yes, and we do theater, too.

It's not too late to see the Colonial Theatre production of "Aida", which you can read about in this week's New Pittsburgh Courier.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Well done, ladies. Well done.

This is about all that needs to be said:

This was a season-opening shocker. Robert Morris, a fourth-year women's hockey program out of Pittsburgh, upset the No. 3-rated Gophers 3-2 on Friday at Ridder Arena despite being outshot 65-10. (link)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Walk the walk, talk the talk

RMU President Greg Dell'Omo offers some insights into his leadership style in this Smart Business Pittsburgh article. For more about President Dell'Omo's vision for RMU, click here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Steel City Smackdown

Want to help the Colonials football team get some national attention -- and have a little fun in the bargain? Click here to learn more.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's a great day for a ball game, let's play two

The RMU club baseball team will get its 15 minutes of fame under the lights at PNC Park tonight when the team participates in the taping of an episode of The History Channel's Modern Marvels. The episode will examine stadium lighting, and will also feature an interview with Dave Synowka, professor of sport management and director of RMU's Sport Management Program. Synowka will talk a little baseball history and discuss the impact that night games have had on the sport.

The program is set to air early next year.

Maybe she'll bring us back a T-shirt

RMU business education student Sandy Niggel is heading to Beijing to attend the Mondialogo International Symposium, a prestigious honor for teachers that Niggel is enjoying for the second time, according to today's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Trib notes that Niggel earned her teaching certification at RMU.

We'd be remiss if we failed to take this opportunity to mention that over the summer, RMU's School of Education and Social Sciences become the first education school in Pennsylvania, and one of only about 60 nationwide, to earn accreditation by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), one of two national education school accreditation agencies. You can read more about this here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yes, we do art. Next question?

Pop City gives a shout out to the RMU Gallery, which has its official grand opening Thursday night at our downtown Pittsburgh building, 600 Fifth Ave. The evening also will feature tours of the newly renovated Media Arts classrooms and studios.

We hope to see you there.

A bloody good article

The Arizona Republic recently called on RMU's A.J. Grant, head of the Department of English Studies and Communication Skills, for this article about HBO's new show "True Blood." Grant is an expert on the role that vampires have played in popular culture, and his research was the subject of an article in the Fall 2007 issue of Foundations magazine. (Which you can read here as a PDF.)

So if you want to talk vampires, A.J. is your man. And don't worry -- he doesn't bite.