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News stories created by students in the College of Communications.

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  • 04/25/18--13:24: Passion Turned Into Reality
  • Bringing the Circus to State College, PA


    Dmitry Myers began his gymnastics career at the Nittany Gymnastics Academy when he was three years old. Myers’s athletic and artist abilities evolved at a very young age, giving him a good foundation in gymnastics, dance, and other artistic activities. When Myers was 13 years old, his grandmother took him to the circus and from that moment, he knew performing in the circus was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

    Myers is a circus, dance, gymnastics, and acrobat professional, who recently returned to his roots in State College, PA. He coaches at the Nittany Gymnastics Academy, and when he’s not coaching, he is practicing aerobatics, dancing, and gymnastics in his backyard. He stated that he always has audience living with his parents at home. Myers’s motto is, “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.”

    Myers mentioned that he sped through high school, completing all of his needed coursework within two years, so he could focus his next two years on gymnastics and dance. He stated that he graduated the State College High School with enough gym credits to give each student in the school two extra gym required classes. Myers left the State College, PA area when he was 19 to attend the famous circus school, Circus Warehouse, located in New York City. Myers instantly got into the Circus Warehouse school after auditioning; he got in within a week when it usually takes about a month. He finished the three-year program within a year, and then was told by his instructors that he should try flying trapeze. Flying trapeze is defined as when a performer jumps from a platform with a trapeze, gliding through the air doing various stunt work. Myers still remembers the first time he attempted this skill and instantly fell in love with it even though he was extremely nervous at the time. The flying trapeze, along with various other types of performances Myers has mastered, gives him a sense of freedom, vulnerability, and humility. He has traveled all over the United States with various circus companies and believes that he was “thrown into the wolf pack” where he was forced to learn by doing, rather than studying.

    Myers is one of three people in the world to be able to perform the quad, a unique and very challenging flying trapeze performance that Myers prides himself on accomplishing. When performing it, Myers curls his body into a ball while flipping four times in a row through the air, closes his eyes and waits for a certain point of pressure in his head to open his body to catch the bar and continue on with his performance.

    Myers owns a large aerial swing, which allows him to practice his skills daily and for multiple hours at a time in his own backyard. In addition, he owns his own circus tent and various other circus materials that he practices with, as well. Myers stated that his goal is to bring the circus to State College, PA because this is something that has never been done before. He will be hosting two shows this summer, one in June and another in July where he will be selling tickets to showcase his talents. More information about Myer’s shows can be found on this site: http://happyvalley.com/events/central-pa-theatre-dance-fest

    When Myers stated, “there is never a dull moment in my life,” he was not kidding. Although Myers has a passion for the circus life, he also contains many other passions that he pursues and has various life experiences that have shaped him as a person. Myers was adopted from a poor village in Russia at a very young age and was brought to the United States where he grew up in State College, PA. He is grateful for his athletic abilities and jokingly said, “If I was my parents biological son, I would not be doing circus. I would be tripping over my own two feet.”  He mentioned that he enjoys this along with his artistic abilities because it allows him to stand out and he always has an audience when he needs one.  Myers said that he does not take a single day for granted because he feels so blessed to have ended up with such a strong and supportive family unit. “My eyeball could fall out and they’d be like yeah, yeah your eyeball fell out, go do a great show! Good Job! You know, they don’t care what I look like, they don’t care if I don’t have arms, they just want me to be happy,” stated Myers. 

    Myers has a passion for collecting antiques, which includes his own an intensive researching, and he has created his own lingerie line for men. He keeps himself busy with these things along with enjoying time with his family and friends. 

    At the end of the day, Myers stated that happiness is his ultimate goal for success and that he believes at his point in his life, he has achieved that.


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    José Manuel Del Río Pantoja is a fourth-year biochemistry and molecular biology major in the Penn State Eberly College of Science. He is originally from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico which is located in the north-central region of the island. His brother is a fellow Penn State alumnus from the Greater Allegheny campus. While at Penn State, Pantoja has "unofficially" switched majors many times. His interests went from biomedical engineering to biology, to microbiology, and then to biotechnology. However, he was able to make up his mind and finally decided on biochemistry and molecular biology because he joined a research lab during his second year where he did biochemical research with proteins, which he fell in love with.


    On the University Park campus, he has served as the THON family chair, vice president, and president for Alpha Epsilon Delta, a national pre-health honor society. Additionally, he has served as a lab assistant for introduction to chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry and molecular chemistry as well. Lastly, he taught classes as a guided study group leader for organic chemistry. He was also accepted into the Schreyer Honors College's gateway program while at Penn State, and just recently had his thesis approved. He is expected to graduate and receive his Bachelor of Science on Saturday, May 5, 2018.


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  • 04/27/18--23:03: The Life behind a Trumpet
  •          Carlot Dorvé is a graduate Student in the School of Music at Penn State. He plays for the Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra and was able to launch his own CD called “sacred of music”.
             Dorvé was born in the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Price, and he has been playing trumpet since he was 9 years old. Dorvé said that many of his teacher told him that he can’t play trumpet but he managed a way to prove them wrong.
             He grew up in a poor family, “sometimes, I do not know what tomorrow is going to bring, I do not know if tomorrow my parents are going to be able to provide food”, Carlot said. His dad left his family because his dad didn’t recognize him as his son after Carlot’s accident, therefore his mom raised him by herself.
            Today Dorvé is 35, he had the chance to appear in a commercial for Rio Paralympics 2016 called “we’re The SuperHumans” and participated in multiple orchestra events.
    Carlot has almost finished his Master’s Degree in music and plans to pursue a PhD in philosophy in music education at the University of Missouri. The School granted him a full scholarship to finish his degree and working as assistant teacher.
            “I like to resolve student’s issues and when I do that brings me joy. I like sharing, I believe teaching is about sharing” Carlot said. As teacher assistance for Penn State, Carlot was able to help multiple students for the two years he spent at school.
            Dorvé believes that if you have determination than you can do anything you want.

     

               If you wish to learn more about Carlot or want to contact him, please visit: http://carlotdorve.com

     

     

     

     

    Carlot Dorve short motivation from Lucas Vilca on Vimeo.


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  • 04/29/18--11:53: Home.
  •  Most college students think that their transition from high school to a university was stressful. Now imagine that transition but having to add the stress of picking up a new language and culture all at once. Many students at American universities go through this transition and have trouble maintaining their grades, social life, and mental health. It is a true issue that goes unnoticed by a mass majority of college students because they simply can not picture themselves in that situation.

                For the subjects of my documentary, Jose and Jorge, they are living examples of this issue. Jose handled his transition with ease and Jorge was the polar opposite. Without the help of Jose and the guidance of a friend who went through similar issues Jorge would have ended up transferring or going home to Panama like many students from foreign countries do. Jorge and Jose have used the sport of football to bond in some unlikely circumstances.

    In Jose’s situation he had played on some of the best teams in Panama. His high school team won four straight championships and they are so well known in Panama that they even bring in American scouts to offer scholarships. After losing touch with the game for years Jose was able to refuel his passion for football by doing just that for his new friend Jorge. Jose has had issues with his left knee since injuring it his senior year of high school. This injury kept him sidelined for some time and then once recovered Jose stepped away from football for some time. Mentally he was not interested in furthering his injuries for no reason. It took the company of a former rival of his to spark his interest once more. When Jose found out that Jorge was the quarterback he used to defend for all those years, he found the motivation to play again. He saw it as not just an opportunity to win a Penn State IM Championship but more as an opportunity to relive his favorite football memories with another Panamanian. With this new found edge Jose played a major role in his teams title run.

    In Jorge’s situation football was his passion and one of the main reasons he came to Penn State (even over the education he would be receiving). His initial dream of walking onto the football team was part of the reason his first semester went awry but his passion came full circle and the bond he created with Jose through football was what helped him find his path once more and gain clarity. He urged Jose to lace up his cleats one more time and combine the most dominant offensive talent and the most ferocious defensive threat to play in their Panamanian league for the previous four years. Jorge’s excitement is what eventually persuaded Jose to come back to football and fuel their championship run.

    Fate gave these two friends each other for a reason. It’s bigger than Penn State, it’s bigger than football, or even Panama. This story shows that positivity and open mindedness are the true avenues to a happy healthy life. For Jorge he was in a dark place and with an open mind and a positive outlook on his second semester he took a chance and rushed a fraternity. With that one decision he was able to meet another Panamanian and turn his college experience around completely. For Jose he was able to show humility and help somebody in need. He noticed Jorge’s lack of guidance and has presented himself as not just a friend but a leader. In exchange for his caring nature, Jose was given the gift of motivation again. His competitive edge was something that was lacking and seeing a Panamanian kid with such passion for football brought Jose back to his happy place. As you can see, it is not always easy for college students to transition. Especially when the transition is to a foreign country. But help can be found in some unusual places. It is most important to remain positive, keep moving forward, and have an open mind. Jorge and Jose are an example of the good that can come out of exemplifying these traits.

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    Students transitioning to college often have a difficult time at first but you would be surprised how often it happens to students from other countries. Culture shock is a real issue for exchange students and can often present itself early in these students college careers causing them to fail or drop out.

    So what really is Culture Shock? International Student Insurance (an insurance company that covers international students healthcare for travel and major medical) defines culture shock as, “the anxiety that a person experiences when he or she moves from a familiar culture to an entirely new culture or social environment. It occurs when the language, gestures, customs, signs and symbols that you are used to and previously helped you to make such of your surrounding suddenly have no meaning or have new meanings. Perhaps most upsetting is the loss of social support system (family, friends, classmates, coworkers), and the necessity of starting all over again in an unfamiliar environment”

    Below are some graphs to explain the different stages of culture shock that so many foreigners (not even just students) go through. Culture shock is very common and can effect anybody entering a new environment, not just those entering new countries. So be weary of the effects of culture shock and remember to keep a positive and open mind if you begin to feel negative effects like this.

    Bibliography:

    “Culture Shock for International Students.” International Student Insurance, www.internationalstudentinsurance.com/explained/culture-shock-for-international-students.php.

    “40% Of Foreign Students in the US Have No Close Friends on Campus: The Culture Shock of Loneliness.”Quartz, Quartz, 28 Nov. 2012, qz.com/31376/40-of-foreign-students-in-the-us-have-no-close-friends-on-campus-the-culture-shock-of-loneliness/.

    “International Students and Cultural Shock.” Counseling Center, www.washington.edu/counseling/resources/resources-for-students/international-students-and-cultural-shock/.


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  • 04/26/18--17:52: Ambiguity
  • Ever since he can remember, Colin Miller has been drawn to the “ambiguity of the human face.” As a child, Miller channeled his fascination of the face and body toward portraiture.

    “As a small baby artist, I was always doing portraits. I focus mainly on portraiture now in college. It is sort of what I have always obsessed over is people and bodies,” says Miller.

    A natural-born artist, Miller found a second form of artistic expression through makeup.

    “I got my first makeup ever by myself, like little foundation I think, when I was in early high school.”

    Over time, Miller combined his passion for makeup and art, which led him to the drag world. However, it was not until Halloween of his sophomore year in college that Absinthe, Miller’s drag persona, made her debut.

    “Absinthe has been developing out of that freedom to sort of express what I couldn’t,” says Miller.

    Miller describes himself as an introvert. However, he explains that drag has helped him become more confident in his everyday life.

    “It has definitely forced me out of my shell a little bit, and I have to remember that sometimes,” says Miller.

    Miller explains that Drag is a unique form of expression, as it allows performers and audiences to transcend the gender binary. Unable to choose one reason why he is so passionate about it, Miller says he is drawn to the complexity of the drag world.

    “I love the performance, I love the art of it, I love making statements with it,” says Miller.


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  • 04/27/18--17:03: Elizabeth Starkey
  • Elizabeth Starkey, the instructor in the School of Engineering Design Technology and Professional programs at Penn State, owns a company, Star Valle Entertainment and Decor which provides balloon twisting, face painting, glitter tattoos and decor for events in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Florida. 

    Starkey starts her business when she was 12 years old when her aunt asked her to make balloons for a fun fair. She practiced for a few weeks and decided to do balloons for more fun fairs after that. 

    For the comparison of her job of engineering design and company, Starkey said that they both use the creativity of design and she enjoys when doing balloons and paintings. 

    Starkey said one of her unforgettable balloon she ever made is a 12-feet tall balloon for her friend’s wedding which took her lots of time for all the details on it and that is the first big “sculpture” her made. She said it is also memorable to make balloons for her own wedding. Starkey said she hopes to expand her business a little bit in the future. 

     


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    If you would have asked 9-year old Alisa Vasquez if she could see herself competing for beauty pageants in the near future, she would have confidently said no as she knew she wanted to be an actress. Unfortunately, she was told by several agents that she did not fit the mold of a child actress as she looked too old for her age. Her mom, realizing how upsetting this was for Alisa, presented her with another opportunity. 
    To the outside world, pageants are seen as just a beauty competition. Nonetheless, to Vasquez and the other thousands of women that compete for one single title understand that it is so much more. Vasquez puts in a minimum of 15 hours a week to compete for an organization that shares the same values as her: giving back to the community, uplifting women, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Miss America contestants contribute thousands of community service hours a year and have raised over $15 million for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and scholarships since 2007.
    Vasquez recently won the title of Miss Central Pennsylvania in January so that she could compete for Miss Pennsylvania which would ultimately lead her to Miss America. As the pageant nears, Vasquez begins to question the decisions that she has made leading up to this point. She did not apply for any internships for the upcoming summer because she strongly believes that this is her year to be selected as the next Miss Pennsylvania. However, what happens if everything that she has prepared for in the last nine years does not go as planned? With no future plans prepared outside of Miss Pennsylvania, Alisa depends on God and her willingness of wanting to achieve to guide her in being selected as the next Miss Pennsylvania.
    To follow Alisa’s Miss Pennsylvania journey, please go to http://www.misspa.org/2018-pageant.html.


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  • 05/03/18--07:37: Meet Nate
  • Nate Stanton seems to keep a hidden career path- he's a 26-year-old student in the military at Penn State University. When he goes to class, he often feels much older than the majority; however, he seems to have met some great people along his journey as a college student. The awkwardness does not compare to the friendships he has formed over the last few years. As described by some of his closest friends, Nate is always smiling on and off campus making the best of everyday that rolls around.

     

     

     


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  • 05/03/18--13:02: Multimedia Work Sample
  • A compilation of still frames and video clips from my video project Ropes

     

     


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  • 04/28/18--18:15: Person With a Passion
  • After a high school experience changed the way Colton Richards viewed himself he was able to make important lifestyle changes to set him on the right path. Take a look at Colton's story and how he was able to convert his new lifestyle into a strategy for success in life.


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  • 04/28/18--18:25: Home.
  •  Most college students think that their transition from high school to a university was stressful. Now imagine that transition but having to add the stress of picking up a new language and culture all at once. Many students at American universities go through this transition and have trouble maintaining their grades, social life, and mental health. It is a true issue that goes unnoticed by a mass majority of college students because they simply can not picture themselves in that situation.

                For the subjects of my documentary, Jose and Jorge, they are living examples of this issue. Jose handled his transition with ease and Jorge was the polar opposite. Without the help of Jose and the guidance of a friend who went through similar issues Jorge would have ended up transferring or going home to Panama like many students from foreign countries do. Jorge and Jose have used the sport of football to bond in some unlikely circumstances.

    In Jose’s situation he had played on some of the best teams in Panama. His high school team won four straight championships and they are so well known in Panama that they even bring in American scouts to offer scholarships. After losing touch with the game for years Jose was able to refuel his passion for football by doing just that for his new friend Jorge. Jose has had issues with his left knee since injuring it his senior year of high school. This injury kept him sidelined for some time and then once recovered Jose stepped away from football for some time. Mentally he was not interested in furthering his injuries for no reason. It took the company of a former rival of his to spark his interest once more. When Jose found out that Jorge was the quarterback he used to defend for all those years, he found the motivation to play again. He saw it as not just an opportunity to win a Penn State IM Championship but more as an opportunity to relive his favorite football memories with another Panamanian. With this new found edge Jose played a major role in his teams title run.

    In Jorge’s situation football was his passion and one of the main reasons he came to Penn State (even over the education he would be receiving). His initial dream of walking onto the football team was part of the reason his first semester went awry but his passion came full circle and the bond he created with Jose through football was what helped him find his path once more and gain clarity. He urged Jose to lace up his cleats one more time and combine the most dominant offensive talent and the most ferocious defensive threat to play in their Panamanian league for the previous four years. Jorge’s excitement is what eventually persuaded Jose to come back to football and fuel their championship run.

    Fate gave these two friends each other for a reason. It’s bigger than Penn State, it’s bigger than football, or even Panama. This story shows that positivity and open mindedness are the true avenues to a happy healthy life. For Jorge he was in a dark place and with an open mind and a positive outlook on his second semester he took a chance and rushed a fraternity. With that one decision he was able to meet another Panamanian and turn his college experience around completely. For Jose he was able to show humility and help somebody in need. He noticed Jorge’s lack of guidance and has presented himself as not just a friend but a leader. In exchange for his caring nature, Jose was given the gift of motivation again. His competitive edge was something that was lacking and seeing a Panamanian kid with such passion for football brought Jose back to his happy place. As you can see, it is not always easy for college students to transition. Especially when the transition is to a foreign country. But help can be found in some unusual places. It is most important to remain positive, keep moving forward, and have an open mind. Jorge and Jose are an example of the good that can come out of exemplifying these traits.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Students transitioning to college often have a difficult time at first but you would be surprised how often it happens to students from other countries. Culture shock is a real issue for exchange students and can often present itself early in these students college careers causing them to fail or drop out.

    So what really is Culture Shock? International Student Insurance (an insurance company that covers international students healthcare for travel and major medical) defines culture shock as, “the anxiety that a person experiences when he or she moves from a familiar culture to an entirely new culture or social environment. It occurs when the language, gestures, customs, signs and symbols that you are used to and previously helped you to make such of your surrounding suddenly have no meaning or have new meanings. Perhaps most upsetting is the loss of social support system (family, friends, classmates, coworkers), and the necessity of starting all over again in an unfamiliar environment”

    Below are some graphs to explain the different stages of culture shock that so many foreigners (not even just students) go through. Culture shock is very common and can effect anybody entering a new environment, not just those entering new countries. So be weary of the effects of culture shock and remember to keep a positive and open mind if you begin to feel negative effects like this.

    Bibliography:

    “Culture Shock for International Students.” International Student Insurance, www.internationalstudentinsurance.com/explained/culture-shock-for-international-students.php.

    “40% Of Foreign Students in the US Have No Close Friends on Campus: The Culture Shock of Loneliness.”Quartz, Quartz, 28 Nov. 2012, qz.com/31376/40-of-foreign-students-in-the-us-have-no-close-friends-on-campus-the-culture-shock-of-loneliness/.

    “International Students and Cultural Shock.” Counseling Center, www.washington.edu/counseling/resources/resources-for-students/international-students-and-cultural-shock/.


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  • 05/03/18--13:15: Tram Life

  • Henrique Couto is a driver in Lisbon, Portugal, who enthusiastically enjoys his job working the most famous tram line in Lisbon, The 28 Tram.

    He works six days a week from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Despite the long hours Couto said he's literally working his dream job. He says he loves talking with the passengers, who he greets with a warm, neighborly hello. He sings happy songs while driving.

    He says he really hopes he can be a tram driver forever.


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    Nate Ehrhardt, a junior airspace engineering major at Penn State, is vice president of the university's 3D printing club. He was part of the team from the club that created a temporary repair for the ear of the Nittany Lion Shrine when it was broken in February.

    The 3D club's ear was in place for a week until teh Office of Physical Plant could make a permanent repair.

     


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  • 05/03/18--23:39: Let’s Talk About Guns

  • It's difficult to get nineteen people together in a room to have a conversation about guns. In this project we bring the room to them. The result — a spirited, insightful, multi-dimensional look at gun rights and gun control.

    All of the participants are part of the Penn State community at University Park; including students, staff and faculty.

    (Video by Katie Litwin and Kat PRocyk, edited by Katie Litwin.)


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  • 05/04/18--13:18: Fueling fantasy for family

  • Cinthia Daggs dreams of watching Saturday morning cartoons with her two children, however she kisses them goodbye every Thursday so she can commence her double life.

    In front of a cloudy mirror in a dimly lit dressing room, Daggs, 32 of Bellefonte, begins her ritual of selling a fantasy for the men waiting outside the door. A cold, metal pole waits for Daggs to grasp and transform into her stage alter ego.  Being a dancer all her life, she loves and respects the “power,” “art” and “body” that comes with being an exotic dancer.

    Daggs has two different stage personas: Nassau and Sway. She says Sway is more “aggressive” and “dominant,” while Nassau is more “quirky” and “sweet.” She chooses which persona based on the location of the strip club and its demographic to make the most profit.

    “You have to learn a guy in five minutes to figure out what they want in competition with 20 other women,” Daggs says. “You gotta be quick about it.”

    Sway is the easier of the two persons for Daggs to use because its closer to her own personality, unlike Nassau.

    “It’s easier to play myself than someone I’m not,” Daggs says. “You’re trying to curb who you are.”

    She says her clientele often blur the lines of paid exotic dance and objectification, leaving Daggs to face those she views as “sad” nightly. She also says clientele don’t realise the attraction isn’t mutual and will try to pursue a romantic relationship. Some men have gone as far as following her home and waiting at her car.

    “I’ve had it bite me in the butt a few times,” Daggs says. “They’ll try and track you down and then you have to tell them ‘No,’ and these are people who truly thought they were trying to help you.”

    According to Daggs, some clients will try to “save” a dancer.

    “They want to try and save you because they think this is a horrible life—and some are correct—it can be kind of nasty but it’s not as terrifying as it seems or we wouldn’t be here,” Daggs says. 

    However, other men can be degrading to the dancers, according to Daggs.

    “Ya’ll make the demand so we supply,” Daggs says. “We’re there because you give it, so why judge it.”

    Her profession has often led to problems in her actual romantic relationships which she says is specifically related to the “stigma” behind exotic dancing.

    “[The stigma is] that you are low, gross; you’re a prostitute,” Daggs says. “You’re dirty. You have low morals. That you’re easy...That you couldn’t possibly want to do this. There’s a lot.”

    According to Daggs, most men aren’t comfortable with being in a relationship with a woman who does exotic dance professionally because of the nature of the interaction with their clientele, even though it’s a “job.” She refers to those who accept their partner’s profession as exotic dancers as “unicorns.”

    She is currently in a relationship, but her partner—who lives in another state—is unaware of what she does. He believes she is a bartender.

    Daggs often uses her profession to sometimes escape from “being a product of torture” all her life.

    “It helps because dance has always been something that I could do to make me not have to think,” Daggs says. “It’s just pure emotion.”

    Originally born in Puerto Rico, Daggs was put in the foster care system after being removed from her two heroin-addicted parents. She continued to study dance—ballroom being her favorite—as she moved from state to state. She says dancing at this time was what gave her a sense of “quiet” and described each home she lived in as “hell.” She says never experienced a true sense of family until she came to Bellefonte in rural Centre County, Pa. as a young adult. Her adopted mother is the deacon of a local church while her adopted father is an E.M.T.  

    Those who attend Daggs and her family’s church are unaware of her profession. In April 2018, Janelle Bullock, a member of the same church and a friend of the family, wasn’t aware of Daggs being an exotic dancer until she spoke about it in one of Bullock’s classes at Penn State. Bullocks says the family never said anything about it, but it’s “not her place to judge.”

    “That’s just her path,” Bullock says, a sophomore studying broadcast journalism.

    Bullock says there are different “personalities” in the church and isn’t sure how each individual member would react if they found out. She says she thinks it’s best for Daggs to keep her profession a secret because “people talk.”

    “People are kind of unpredictable,” Bullock says.

    While in school, Daggs excelled academically and says her teachers “understood her brain” and never tried to “fix” her.

    “I was very much alone and knew one thing I could rise at was academics,” Daggs says. “I had always been good at them, and I had a tenacity to persevere in at least something” 

     Her love of school eventually led her to earn two undergraduates degrees in biology and forensic science from the Pennsylvania State University. She was hoping to one day become a doctor. She wanted to “make people feel better.”

    During both degrees, she became pregnant three times with one ending in miscarriage. She was allowed to bring her infants into the classroom occasionally, however classmates often remarked she smelled of breastmilk as she walked in, according to Daggs. 

    Daggs said she never wanted children and planned to give her first daughter up for adoption.

    “Why bring something into this world when you’re already fucked up enough,” Daggs says. “I never wanted to pass off what I had to my kids ‘cause I’m not all put together.”

    She says she made the mistake of holding her when she was born.

    Her now ex-husband was having a hard adjusting to normal life after being discharged from the marines, and both were struggling financially, especially with Daggs being a student.

    Daggs became an exotic dancer at 22 years old to “be a mom during a week” and has continued to dance to financially support her and her daughters.

    She says she has to be present in her daughter’s lives, since she missed a sense of family during a majority of her life. However, she does miss being with her daughters on the weekends but sees it as a sacrifice to fully provide for her family.

    She says a parent gets to see their child grow and mature, but not much of what happens inside the classroom “unless you completely PTA immerse yourself,” which Daggs says she has no interest in doing. However, Daggs speaks highly of her daughters’ academic achievements, referencing an essay one just wrote.

    “It’s eloquent,” Daggs says. “It’s put together. It’s a little shaky on the words, but she caught the gist of it.”

    Despite the “absence,” Daggs says her daughters are growing and preserving.

    “They go one without you, whether you want them to or not,” Daggs says. “At least I did something right.”

    Daggs wakes up at approximately 6 a.m. most weekdays to get her children ready for school, serving them breakfast and styling their hair. She does laundry and other household chores as she waits for them to come home at around 3 p.m. As they arrive, Daggs greets them with hugs and kisses and hangs their daily report on the refrigerator. By 6 p.m., she has a full, homemade dinner prepared alongside her sister for her daughters and two nephews. By 8 p.m., all the children are in bed as Daggs reads them a bedtime story. She and her daughters recite a nightly poem—which she has tattooed to her body—to each other before she kisses them goodnight.

    “To the moon and back

    From one scarred hand to the other

    My cup runneth over”

    “It [the poem] means I can never love you enough,” Daggs says.

    Currently, her two daughters, who are both enrolled as students at Young Scholars of Central PA Charter School, are unaware of their mother’s job on the weekend while they stay with their father. They think she is a waitress.

    She plans on telling them she is an exotic dancer someday, but says doesn’t know how to tell them yet. Though, she says she’s rather “blunt.” She expects her two daughters to understand and to see the “beauty” in her profession, but doesn’t want them to be “proud” of it.

    “Is it something I would want them to be proud of? No,” Daggs says. “Not mommy danced to push ourselves through our lives.”

    Her oldest daughter says she misses her on weekends, but is grateful for the opportunities she has been granted with the money her mother makes.

    “She gives these cool allowances to paint, to get time with her” the 9-year-old says. “I get to see her, have fun with her, know her.”

    Daggs says she fully supports her daughters pursuing further education after high school and wants them to commit to something they “love.”

    “If you don’t find something that you love, then don’t do it,” Daggs says.

    Her oldest daughter is an avid painter, and Daggs fully supports her going to art school one day.

    “Have at it,” Daggs says.

    Daggs says it makes her laugh when she sees “40-year-old strippers” and says she plans to retire from it someday. However, she currently doesn’t have a reason to stop.

    “Nobody’s really given me one,” Daggs says.


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  • 09/08/18--14:52: STDs on the Rise
  • For the fifth straight year in a row, the U.S. has seen a rise in sexually transmitted diseases. Why the steady increase? Ellie French reports.


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    Anti-Hazing Initiative from Centre County Report on Vimeo.

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    A new iniative is being proposed by the Piazza and Bram families to put an end to hazing on college campuses. Ava Rash reports.


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  • 09/17/18--17:10: THON Kickoff Celebration
  • (STATE COLLEGE, PA) – Penn State’s IFC/ Panhellenic Dance Marathon officially kicked off its fundraising efforts this past Friday afternoon with its annual Kickoff Celebration. The celebration, which took place in the HUB, was full of fun-filled activities for those in attendance.

    “The kickoff celebration is to kind of get everyone excited about THON again and to open the fundraising window for everyone to start raising money and crediting their orgs,” THON Merchandise Director Andrew Thomas said. “It’s really just about having fun and getting everyone excited about THON again,”

    The event included lots of food, activities, entertainment and merchandise available to purchase. The event also had tables set up where people could learn how to get more involved in THON.

    “My advice [for students looking to get involved in THON] would be to apply to be a committee member,” Andrews said. “Also join an organization that is also trying to raise money for THON. I think you get the best of both worlds and I think that’s what helps make the best THON experience.”

    THON is excited for yet another successful year of fundraising and encourages everyone to attend more big events coming up.

    “One of the next big ones is the 5k in mid-October,” Andrews said.

     

    Mia Melchior is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. You can reach her at msm6007@psu.edu.


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    Republican candidate for lieutenant governor Jeff Bartos held a town hall at University Park Monday, as candidates from both sides of the aisle compete for votes with election day less than two months away.

    The Penn State College Republicans sponsored the talk, and president Reagan McCarthy said she was happy to bring a high-profile candidate to speak to students, and that she enjoyed the back and forth members of the audience had with Bartos.

    “It was important to bring someone running a statewide campaign to campus. I think it was kind of a unique event because normally when you see a politician come to campus they talk for an hour, and it’s probably very boring,” she said. “Having a townhall format was really unique and something we really haven’t seen on campus before.”

    Bartos’ town hall was an informal event, which he started off with jokes about creamery ice cream, his kids and his age, drawing laughs from the audience.

    He then got into his campaign pitch, highlighting Pennsylvania’s economic resources, and saying current governor Tom Wolf is missing opportunities for the state to compete with neighbors like New Jersey, Delaware and New York.

    In response to questions from the about 30 people in attendance, Bartos also addressed issues from pensions to discrimination against the LGBT community to gun control. He also said he favored appointing a Penn State student to the university’s board of trustees.

    “The first rule of business is listen to your customers,” he said. “If we’re going to continue to have this amazing state university system and all the resources we invest in it, we should be listening to our customers.”

    Bartos closed his talk by comparing his view of the world to that of his political opponents. 

    “Statists, leftists, they view the world as a static pie, and how you carve up the pie is the role of government,” he said in an interview after the event. “The more conservative view of the world … is let’s grow the pie, let’s keep growing the pie and more and more people can participate in this growth.”

    The Penn State College Democrats will host John Fetterman, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, next Wednesday at 8 p.m. in 262 Willard.

     

     

    Tyler Olson is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and political science. To contact him, email tso5043@psu.edu.


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    Voter Registration is down in Centry County compared to the 2016 Presidential Election. Erin Noon has the story.


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