Wilkes University

Wilkes University VIP Day Program

Wilkes University VIP Day Program

Live the Life of a Wilkes Student…before you become an official Wilkes student.

Accepted students are invited to tour campus, eat lunch and attend sample classes taught by actual Wilkes professors.  You can choose from over thirty mini classes and even bring your parents or friends along with you.  We’re looking forward to seeing you at VIP Day!

VIP Day Is Scheduled for Saturday, March 24.

Register Now

If you have questions about VIP Day, please contact us. (800) 945-5378 Ext. 4400 or admissionsopenhouse@wilkes.edu.


VIP Day Schedule

  • Wilkes University Campus8:30 a.m - 9:20 a.m.
    • Check-In | Karambelas Media and Communication Center (Campus Map)
  • 9:20 a.m.
  • 10 a.m.
    •  Session 1 Presentations
  • 11 a.m.
    • Session 2 Presentations
  • 12 p.m.
    • Session 3 Presentations
  • 1 p.m.
    • Session 4 Presentations
  • 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Lunch available | Cafeteria, Grille Works, Which Wich, Greens-to-Go
  • 12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. 
    • Information Fair | McHale Athletic Center (Campus Map)
    • Accepted Pharmacy Students |  Faculty/Staff Meet & Greet | Pharmacy Information Center, Stark Learning Center (Campus Map)
    • Marching Band Uniform Fittings  | Savitz Lounge, 2nd Floor, Henry Student Center (Campus Map)
  • 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

VIP Day Class Descriptions

Alphabetical List by Class Title

Are They All Freaks, Geeks, and Crazies?: Understanding Crime and Deviance in the United States

Presenter: Dr. Andrew WilczakAssistant Professor, Sociology and Anthropology
Description: Crime and criminal behavior is one of the most popular subjects and misunderstood topics in the United States. Are all criminals evil? Are they all crazy? In this presentation, we'll discuss some of the reasons why crime happens in society, the realities of different types of crime, and some of the problems facing the modern criminal justice system.

Behind Television Special Effects

Presenter: Dr. Mark Stine, Chair & Associate Professor, Communication Studies
Description: This session will examine television special effects through an interactive, participative experience. You will have the opportunity to learn about chroma-key technology and its uses throughout the television, video and film industries. The use of this technology spans from your local news affiliate to major films like "Titanic" and "Forrest Gump." See how our eyes can be fooled into believing in what actually doesn't exist.

Changing Your Life by Changing Your Brain

Presenter: Dr. Edward Schicatano, Associate Professor, Psychology
Description: What is the difference that makes a difference in people’s lives? Why are some people happier or more successful than others? The answer is often in how one controls their mindset and emotions. The strategies necessary to produce these changes are simpler than most people realize. In this talk, Dr. Schicatano will give you tools and techniques for improving your life. 

Chemical Contaminants in Food: Is Anything Safe to Eat Anymore?

Presenter:  Dr. William Biggers, Associate Professor, Biology
Description: Chemical pollutants seem to be appearing in almost everything these days, such as: the degreaser trichloroethylene that has been found in suburban wells, flame retardants, and plasticizers that have been found in almost everyone's blood, and mercury and PCBs that have shown up in salmon and tuna. In recent research, Dr. Biggers has detected the presence of chemical antioxidants used in the rubber and petroleum industry in the blood of lobsters. These chemicals are bioactive and are endocrine disruptors. 

Dance at Wilkes

Presenter:  Lynne Mariani, Faculty of Practice; Dance Director, Performing Arts
Description: Experience an open level class in jazz dance, which is just one of the many disciplines offered by the Dance program in the Division of Performing Arts. Following the class we'll have a short Q&A with the instructor and current students, so you can gain further insight into our program's offerings. 

DisAbility Awareness

Presenter:  Dr. Karen Frantz-Fry, Assistant Professor, Education
Description: During this session, participants will be invited to experience simulation activities related to several educational disabilities. Discussion will focus on strategies for adapting and modifying instruction to accommodate students with disabilities in the classroom, building on strengths to address areas that require growth. This session is especially pertinent to anyone who is considering a career in education.

Do You Think You Can Predict Weather

Presenter:  Lt. Col Mark Kaster, USAF Ret., Lecturer, Earth & Environmental Science/Veterans Counselor
Description: Have you ever wondered:

  • Why meteorology?
  • What is meteorology?
  • What do meteorologists do?
  • What tools do meteorologists use?
  • Where do meteorologists work?
  • The process of weather forecasting?
  • Why is your local weather TV personality sometimes wrong?

Weather impacts our lives 24/7/365. The success and failure of nations, businesses, military operations, etc. often hinges on the weather. If you have ever asked these questions or love to learn more about the weather, you owe it to yourself to attend this seminar. Don’t be left out in the cold!

Engineering Design

Presenter:  Dr. Edward T. Bednarz III, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Description: Dr. Edward T. Bednarz III graduated from Wilkes University in 2001 with his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He worked for 12 years as a Senior Mechanical Engineer for the U.S. Army before returning to his Alma Mater to teach Mechanical Engineering fulltime. Dr. Bednarz will talk about how the Wilkes Engineering curriculum will prepare students for a successful career as a Design Engineer in the real world.

Engineering in the Professional World: Creativity with Constraints!

Presenter:  Mr. Robert R. Taylor, Director and Instructor, Engineering Management Programs.
Description: You are about to enter the world of “Engineering” You probably have the “knack” to understand how things work, to fix things that do not, to create things that do not exist. The next few years will offer opportunities to learn engineering design and analysis techniques. After all the sleepless nights in college solving seemingly unsolvable problems---and there will be a few---, an engineering student will look to enter the technical workplace. What should you as a new graduate engineer to find? What are those enterprises like and what are they looking for? How will you fit in? And most importantly, what can you expect to be doing? This lecture offers a view of the engineering world from the vantage point of a hiring engineering director. A description of notional enterprises with careers from design to invention and working environments from “free-lance” to constrained is presented. After all, where else can one be a part of the excitement of creating products and processes and have fun with equipment that someone else is paying for!

Epigenetics: DNA is Only Part of the Story

Presenter:  Dr. Ryan Henry, Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Description: While many people know that DNA is responsible for encoding our genetic information, DNA doesn’t work alone.  Within the last few decades, we have become more aware of the signals and codes that exist outside of DNA and how they regulate which part of our genetic information is used at different periods throughout our life.  These codes are maintained through the chemical modification of DNA and DNA interacting proteins, and can alternatively turn off or on the expression of different proteins encoded in our DNA.  The study of the sum total of these chemical modifications make up the field of epigenetics: literally meaning outside, or in addition to, genetics.  We’ll discuss some of the fundamentals of epigenetics and some of the mechanisms the body uses to work with DNA that help to make you, you. 

Exploring Media Studies Through Harry Potter

Presenter:  Dr. Kalen M.A. Churcher, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Description: This presentation uses the Harry Potter franchise to explore the media phenomenon and its relevance to advertising, broadcast, public relations and journalism industries. It also addresses the fandom surrounding Harry Potter and the societal and cultural interpretations that are drawn from it.

Fake News, Alternative Facts and Their Effects on America’s Political System:

Presenter:  Dr. Tom Baldino, Professor, Political Science
Description: The Framers created a republican democracy that required informed and engaged citizens who believe in America’s core values, e.g. equality, justice and democracy. When fake news and alternative facts challenge the legitimacy of the political system and raise questions about America’s core values, what does the future hold for America’s democratic government?

Green is Good for Business

Presenter:  Ms. Ruth Hughes and Dr. Marleen Troy, Assistant Professor, Business Law; Associate Professor, Environmental Engineering
Description: Sustainability is smart management of natural resources toward the end results of efficiency and profitability and is becoming a growing focus for many organizations that strive to be more environmentally conscious and socially responsible. Leaders in every industry have recognized the value sustainable measures bring to the world, and to their bottom line. In this presentation current business practices in sustainability management will be reviewed. Examples from real-world applications currently being implemented in an interdisciplinary class (Sidhu School of Business Leadership and the Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences) in small business sustainability consulting will be discussed.

Hands-on Robotics at Wilkes

Presenter:  Dr. Yong Zhu, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Description: What robotics is, how to design a robot, how robots are changing our society and how people are benefiting from robot technologies. We will also cover how we teach robotics in the engineering program at Wilkes, including some live demonstrations.

How to Do Better Research to Impress Faculty and Get Better Grades

Presenter:  John Stachacz, Dean of the Library and Information Technology
Description: Dean of Library Services John Stachacz will show you ways to find the type of information that College and University faculty expect you to use when writing research papers. He will demonstrate a variety of resources, beyond Google, for you to use that will impress the faculty and enable you to achieve better grades.

How to Fix a Broken Heart

Presenter’s Name:Dr. Judith Kristeller, Associate Professor, Pharmacy
Description: This presentation is an overview of heart disease. Attendees will learn what causes heart disease, how to prevent it, and how it can be treated. We will discuss lifestyle modifications, medication management, and surgical options for treating heart disease.

Laboratory: Introduction to Digital Logic

Presenter:  Dr. John Gilmer, Professor, Electrical Engineering
Description: This session will introduce students to digital logic by seeing logic "gates" operate in the laboratory. Students will connect the gates that perform "invert," "and," and "or" functions to logical "0" or "1" and will see what they do. We will then connect two inverters to form a simple one bit memory cell, capable of storing a single "0" or "1." Millions to billions of such cells form a computer's memory. Three inverters form an "oscillator" with zeros and ones chasing each other to give a waveform of pulses. These are the basic building blocks on which digital technology rests. More complex functions such as arithmetic, coding messages, and computation are made up of these basic functions.

Lotions and Potions: The Art of Pharmaceutical Compounding

Presenter:  Dr. Harvey Jacobs, Associate Professor, Pharmacy
Description: In the old-days, pharmacists prepared all medications from individual ingredients. Pharmacists are increasingly called upon to prepare specifically compounded medication to meet the needs of the patient/physician. The demonstration will show simple techniques to prepare medications intended to be applied to the skin, such as ointment, creams, and gels; and to discuss the science behind the preparations

Minor Steps to Major Decisions

Presenter:  Thomas J Thomas, Executive Director, Student Affairs
Description: Surveys show that more than 50% of students in college change their major at least once, and more than 50% of college graduates do not work in the major in which they graduated. If you have not had the opportunity to develop a plan for making this important decision, this session will provide the guidance you need. Using concepts from the Career Decision-making course at Wilkes, you will learn how to avoid the mistakes others have made when selecting a college major.

Music at Wilkes

Presenter:  Dr. Steven Thomas, Chair & Associate Professor, Performing Arts
Description: An overview of the opportunities for music study and performance that are available to all majors at the University. The session will also feature a performance by the Wilkes University Chamber Singers.

Oh The Places You’ll Go

Presenter:  Dr. Jacqueline Stewart, Associate Professor, Nursing
Description: Few professions offer the new college graduate with so many choices of where to work, when to work, and how to use your knowledge and skills to make a difference in people’s lives. Come and explore all the exciting places you can go and what you can do as a professional nurse!

Powering the Future of History

Presenter:  Dr. Jonathan Kuiken, Assistant Professor, History
Description: The History Department at Wilkes University has always sought to provide innovative and diverse ways of understanding the past. We have partnered with other departments, developed unique study-abroad programs and broken out of old educational paradigms. We are continuing that trend with a series of new initiatives that will allow our History majors and minors to develop important and marketable skills in areas such as Public and Digital History as well as in inter-disciplinary programs such as our new Energy Studies minor.

Evidence from our recent graduates has shown that the types of skills developed in these news programs are essential in the twenty-first century workplace. Whether our students pursue careers in education, public history, law, academia or a wide variety of other professional positions, the ability to present information orally, through writing, and now through a host of digital media, has proven to be crucial to both successfully acquiring a job and excelling in that position.

The presentation for VIP Day will briefly explore some of the new approaches being used by historians particularly in the field of Energy History. Come use modern technology to see how old energy technologies powered the innovations of the past. Come see how a degree in History from Wilkes University can power your future.

“Rip Van Winkle" and "The Origin of Stories": Myth, Memory, and the Making of American Identity.

Presenter:  Dr. Sean Kelly, Assistant Professor, English and Philosophy
Description: The presentation examines Washington Irving's classic tale "Rip Van Winkle" alongside the Native American Seneca legend, "Origin of Stories." Through an intertextual analysis, I consider the ways in which Irving's tale appropriates elements of Native American myth in order to establish a mythic point of origin for the fledgling nation while also establishing an essential role for nineteenth-century American writers.

Service Learning and Community Engagement in Nursing

Presenter:  Dr. Emily Havrilla, Assistant Professor, Nursing

Special Effects: Making Reality after the Shooting is Finished

Presenter:  Eric Ruggiero, Chairperson & Associate Professor, Integrative Media
Description: This session will explore the post-production phase of the Visual F/X industry. See what happens after the Shooting is done incorporating green-screen/background plates, the technology and techniques. See why the visual f/x blockbuster needs a multi-million dollar budget.

Social Media Marketing: Developing an Effective Marketing Communication and Business Strategy

Presenter:  Dr. Ge Xiao, Associate Professor, Sidhu School of Business
Description: Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube etc. This presentation will provide an overview of the current and historical trends in social media marketing. The usage of social media in the areas of marketing research, consumer behavior study, and advertising campaign development will be discussed.

State of the Universe: Unlocking the Secrets of Plasma

Presenter:  Dr. Joshua Blechle, Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Statistics and Actuarial Science

Presenter:  Dr. Fanhui Kong, Associate Professor, Math and Computer Science
Description: The introductions to Statistics and Actuarial Science will be given, respectively, so the listeners have a general idea about each field. At the same time, the relationship between them will be presented.

Stress Makes Me Sick

Presenter:  Dr. Carl Charnetski, Professor, Psychology
Description: If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed and uttered the phrase, “I’m sick and tired,” you weren’t kidding. Dr. Charnetski will show you how stress has an adverse effect on your immune system, which can cause you to get sick when you’re under the gun. All you “night owls may have heard Dr. Charnetski’s research featured in two of Jay Leno’s monologues, and “early risers” may have seen him on Good Morning America. 

Ten Thousand Years Will Give You Such a Crick in the Neck!

Presenter: Dr. Thomas S. Franko, PharmD, BCACP, Assistant Professor, Pharmacy
Description: This will be a general overview of common head and neck pain issues including headache and muscle soreness. We will discuss assessment of these conditions, use of over the counter (OTC) medications used in treatment, and various non-pharmacologic methods of care. The focus of the discussion will mainly be on how pharmacists can help patients select safe and appropriate therapy through interactive experiences and role playing. 

The Actor at Work: An Acting Workshop

Presenter:  Jon Liebetrau, Assistant Professor, Performing Arts
Description: Here's your backstage pass to the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts. Our dedicated faculty who produce Wilkes University's theatre performances will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the Edward Darling Jr. Theater. They also invite you to participate in a brief and enlightening actor’s workshop.

The Entrepreneurial Journey – Creating Tomorrow

Presenter:  Dr. Jeffrey Alves, Dean and Professor, Sidhu School of Business
Description: Is entrepreneurship just about starting a business, the fuel that feeds our economic growth? Or is it a contagious passion? Join a brief, but hopefully tantalizing discussion on the entrepreneurial process and why it is so relevant and critical for our future.

The Simpsons, the Three Stooges, and the U.S. Supreme Court

Presenter:  Dr. Kyle Kreider, Professor & Chair, Political Science; Pre -Law Advisor
Description: Why is it that a majority of Americans can rattle off the names of the three stooges and characters on "The Simpsons" but are unable to even mention one Supreme Court justice? Find out why Americans know little about the Supreme Court, whether we can change this unfortunate fact, and what the lack of knowledge of the Supreme Court means for U.S. democracy.

Thinking Like A Nurse

Presenter:  Dr. Susan Malkemes, DNP, CCRN, Associate Professor, Nursing
Description: Being a nurse requires paying attention to many details in order to attain good patient outcomes. Beginning to think like a nurse to “Connect The Dots” in patient care will be discussed.

Undeclared Science and Engineering Programs

Presenter:  Dr. William Hudson, Dean, Science and Engineering
Description: An overview of college of science and engineering programs with a focus on questions to ask as you select both a career and an academic institution.

What it Takes to Teach

Presenter:  Dr. Suzanne Galella, Chair & Associate Professor, Education
Description: This presentation will focus on Best Teaching Practices in our PreK-12 School system. Interactive participation is encouraged. The presenter will ask participants to share their educational experiences. Participants will complete interactive activities to determine their individual learning style and discuss how we use this information to promote best practices in the classroom.

Financial Aid: Questions and Answers

Time: 10 a.m., 11 a.m. 12 Noon, 1 p.m. (by online registration only)
Description: Members of the Financial Aid staff will be available for private appointments with families to answer financial aid questions.


11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Lunch

  • Henry’s Dining Hall, 3rd Floor, Henry Student Center
  • Rifkin Café (Which Wich & Grille Works); 1st Floor, Henry Student Center
  • Greens to Go; 1st Floor, Stark Learning Center

12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

  • Information Fair; Ballroom, 2nd Floor, Henry Student Center
  • Marching Band Uniform Fittings; Savitz Room, 2nd Floor, Henry Student Center
  • Accepted Pharmacy Students: Faculty/Staff Meet & Greet; Pharmacy Information Center, Stark Learning Center

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

  • Honors Reception: Weckesser Hall

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