Council of Trustees Honor Student Who Saved a Life

Photo Credit / Ronald Hanaki Trustees Chair Patrick Ross (left) and ESU President Marcia Welsh (right) honor student Kyle Mackay.

Ronald Hanaki 

Staff Writer 

ESU’s Council of Trustees, Pa. State Rep. Rosemary Brown and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area honored student Kyle Mackay for saving a person’s life during the Trustees meeting last Thursday.

The incident occurred when Mackay, a senior from Bethlehem, Pa. majoring in recreation services management was working an internship over the summer with the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

During a lunch break on the trail, Mackay was the only person to notice that a staff member was choking on a piece of food. Mackay took immediate action and effectively performed the Heimlich maneuver and saved the employee from choking.

“Let it be resolved that the Council of Trustees of East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania on this 19th day of September 2019, commend and recognize you for the use of your training to act and assist the staff member in their time of immediate need,” said Trustee Chair L. Patrick Ross. “We are very proud of you as an individual and as an East Stroudsburg University student. The Commonwealth is a better place, and you are commended.”

Representative Brown stated that Mackay’s quick observation, action, and education on what to do when someone was choking is highly commended and recognized.

“He exemplified true courage and the spirit of an amazing Good Samaritan,” she said.

John Lambert, acting superintendent of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area was also present to honor Mackay.

“Kyle was situationally aware and provided life-saving assistance to the trails crew member,” Lambert said. “He is engaged with whatever he is involved in. “

“He is committed to excellence as a person, and that was something that was demonstrated with the life-saving effort.”

Ross then opened the meeting up to any questions or concerns from attendees.

Dr. Nancy VanArsdale, ESU’s English professor and member of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) announced that APSCUF and the State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) are making progress toward a new faculty contract.

However, VanArsdale brought up the fact that Pennsylvania is ranked 49th in financial support of state universities.

“We don’t want Pennsylvania to have this reputation,” she said. “It is a call to collaborative action for all of us.”

ESU President Marcia Welsh chimed agreed with the statement and called PA ranking 49 out of 50 states an embarrassment and rallying point.

“We have to do some serious advocacy and convincing to get to a place where we can truly support our students,” she said.  

Welsh then presented the President’s Report which showed persistent enrollment and retention issues at ESU.  

“Enrollment is down although the first-time freshman and transfer student numbers are pretty levels with last year, and graduate enrollment is up,” Welsh said. “It is continuing students that continue to be a challenge because of retention concerns.”

However, despite the concerns, Welsh remained optimistic, outlining a program from the university designed to help improve retention.

“We have a very active Student Success Network led by Dr. [Jeffrey] Weber and have high hopes for what we can accomplish working together,” she said. “We have a long way to go this year, but I do expect us to see a significant improvement,” Welsh said.

The president also made glowing remarks about ESU’s fall sports teams have gotten off to a strong start this season. Currently, ESU’s football team is 3-0.

But there was bad news. Sophomore Ryan Smith from the Men’s Basketball team was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in August. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy. 

“It has been very hard on everyone, especially on our basketball team, because they are very close,” Welsh said. 

“Warrior Strong” bracelets have been created in support of Ryan Smith. These are available from University Relations which is located in the Reibman building.

Welsh also introduced the new Vice President of Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence (formerly Student Affairs), Dr. Santiago Solis. Solis will be replaced by Dr. Doreen Tobin who retired in June.

“I am very confident that he will bring renewed energy to what was formerly the Division of Student Affairs as well as help us develop stronger programming in the area of inclusive excellence,” Welsh said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with our hire, and I am really thrilled that he is going to be joining us.” 

Welsh was also pleased to announce that the Warrior Marching Band will be participating in a national band tournament in Allentown. This is the band’s first invitation to a national exhibition. 

Next, Albert Rivera, a member of the Class of 2021, was introduced as the new student trustee. He succeeds Abigail Soto, who graduated last May. 

Lingenfelter announced that Rivera is the 27th to hold the position since 1972.

“It is an excellent start to what I am sure is going to be a fabulous career in public service,” Lingenfelter said. 

Additionally, ESU will be purchasing some property on Smith Street and acquire Hemlock and Hawthorne Suites on campus. 

The Campus Environmental Committee said that students who are 21 and over are now permitted to have alcohol in their dorms. By instituting this new policy, the university is empowering the of-age portion of the student body while holding the individuals who choose to partake, responsible for their own actions.

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