– No Excuses

– Elementary school teacher encourages students to consider college as a plan, not just a dream –

Julianna Jaramillo and Antonio Quintana are reading the Towson alumni magazine in their fourth grade class.

Their media teacher, Kathleen Sciegel ’84 M.A., has not only made reading university magazines part of her lesson plan but also part of her plan to sow the seeds of higher education.

She wants her students at Park View Elementary School in Pueblo, Colorado, to know that a university education is a possibility, but only if they prepare for college, not just dream about it.

“The overall theme is to have a plan that will take them to college after high school,” Sciegel says.

To get her students to focus on their futures, Sciegel requires them to make two PowerPoint presentations. First they search careers—what they want to be when they grow up—and next they conduct online searches of the colleges they wish to attend.

She even had them review TU’s online application to become familiar with the admission process. “They were surprised at the out-of-state tuition for Towson,” Sciegel says. But then she pointed out TU’s cost “was cheaper than the instate tuition for Colorado College, which is 40 miles from Pueblo.”

Her efforts are all part of becoming a No Excuses University (NEU) school, which Park View Elementary applied for last year. Schools with the NEU designation implement six core concepts to make sure students are prepared for college if they choose to attend.

“NEU believes when these six systems are in place, all students achieve and succeed,” Sciegel adds.

Now that her fourth graders are thinking about college, “Perhaps one of the students will venture to Maryland to attend Towson,” she says.

—Ginny Cook


– The Humanity of Expression

– Her art aims for understanding and dialogue

Gale Jamieson’s artistic expression brings her closer to understanding humanity.

“Each piece is a story, a journal of moments and an inquiry into culture, interconnections, impermanence,” she says on her website.

Her most recent works are featured in a self-published booklet featuring over 20 pieces.

Her favorite, Pangea, is a kimono made from woven strips of National Geographic maps, draped over a bamboo hanger.

Pangea “highlights the Westernization of our world and our subsequent loss of culture,” Jamieson explains.

Jamieson has always been involved in the arts, fashioning her first creation in fifth grade.

“One other student and I created an eight-foot papier-mâché owl for our school float,” she recalls. From then on, she and her teacher knew art was in her future.

At TU, Jamieson was a part of the Sculpture Coalition, founded by Jim Paulsen, a TU art professor, now retired. The off-campus group gave students opportunities to further their skills and showcase their works in exhibitions throughout Maryland.

Through the years, Jamieson’s art has been in residencies from Florida to New York, and across the Atlantic in France and Ireland. Her sculpture is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art.

She also has her own exhibit spaces in southern Pennsylvania.

“I have always had a space for art, even if it is just a back room,” Jamieson says. “I now have two fairly large studios; one in York, Pennsylvania, that I have owned for seven years, and the other is right next to my house, a large 250-year-old barn I have used for 35 years.”

Her ultimate goal is for her art to start conversations. She notes, “If I don’t put my art out for the public to see and converse about, then I’m just talking to myself.”

—Joseph Hockey