BY SARA MEIER '11
John McCarthy, Ph.D., and his students are working to recognize a nearby neighborhood that played an important role in arming the United States during World War II. An associate professor of history, McCarthy received a $15,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission to fund interviews with residents of the Mooncrest housing development and to produce a short history book next year.
Mooncrest was a federal project to house shipbuilders who worked at Neville Island, where many of the landing ships used in D-Day were built. McCarthy's students have recorded interviews with residents who have lived at Mooncrest their whole lives, children who live there now, and veterans of World War II. He and his students have also worked to create lesson plans for the Moon Township Area School District in its local history curriculum for elementary, middle, and high school students.
Jessica Olin '12 says her work on the Mooncrest project, as well as an internship that McCarthy helped her to get at the Fort Pitt Museum, impressed the history department at College of Charleston, where she is now a graduate student. "He was a mentor to me during my studies at Robert Morris," Olin says.
McCarthy, the historian, has some historic ties of his own to RMU – his grandfather graduated with the Class of 1950. He says he is pleased to help students achieve their career goals. "I enjoy helping students who come in as freshmen and don’t know what they want to do when they graduate. Watching them grow and helping them become more focused on a specific career path is a rewarding part of being a professor at RMU.”
BY SARA MEIER '11
Once she found her niche as an education major, Ashley Allem wanted to make a difference on campus in the education department. After changing her major from nuclear medicine to elementary education with a concentration in science, Allem worked with the department to found an RMU chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society for education, and now serves as its president. "I'm excited that our chapter has achieved a membership base of 80 members within the last few months," says Allem. "We have exciting events planned throughout the school year."
Ronald Perry, Ph.D., the faculty advisor for Kappa Delta Pi, says it is an honor to work with Allem on an organization that will benefit many other students. "Ashley is a very dedicated and self-motivated student," he says. "She will be an exceptional teacher who will in turn instill pride and dedication in her students."
While Ashley is student teaching and completing her courses this semester, she is also driving her younger brother, Ryan, to and from high school daily, cooking dinner, and helping him with his homework. Ryan is a senior and a straight-A student-athlete who also has a part-time job. He plans to become a chemistry professor. "I'm so proud that I’ve been able to instill confidence and morality in him while giving him support and motivation," she says. "I achieved so much at Robert Morris because I wanted to show my brother the importance of setting and attaining achievement goals.”