Penn State Mont Alto marks Black History Month with speaker series

MONT ALTO – Penn State Mont Alto’s commemoration of Black History Month will continue with two additional speakers in its Black Resilience series.

On Monday, Feb. 20, Lance Walker from Chambersburg Area School Board will address students, faculty and staff; and Tracie Potts from The Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College will lead the Monday, Feb. 27, discussion.

Both events are scheduled for 12:20 to 1:10 p.m. in Room 105’s auditorium in the General Studies Building. The public is invited to attend.

“We’ve received exceptionally good feedback from those who joined us for sessions this month. The speakers have given us so much to consider and apply in our day-to-day lives,” said Francis Achampong, the campus chancellor and an earlier speaker in the series.

Potts joined Gettysburg College with experience in broadcast journalism and education. She plans to host a conversation about intentionally designing a successful career, helping students think about what their career field may be in five to ten years after graduation. She wants to foster discussion about balancing the need to pay bills with pursuing passion.

“I think a lot of young people are figuring out where to start,” Potts said, adding she believes they need to embrace that there are learning opportunities through what might sometimes be perceived as failure.

Potts said intentional networking involves first evaluating the reason why someone is worthy of a relationship. She said she suspects it is more challenging to pursue successful networking than in years past.

Students starting to network “ask about working in a post-COVID economy when people are working remotely,” she said.

On Feb. 13, Marvin Worthy from Worthy Consulting and Training shared his personal testimony as an African-American male whose life took him from South Carolina in the 1960s to inner-city Philadelphia, the Philadelphia suburbs and most recently the Chambersburg area. He emphasized he feels it is important to establish relationships without judgment and not hold widespread beliefs based on a person’s demographic group.

“There were questions (from speech attendees) about how you have difficult conversations with people. The key is building relationships,” Worthy said.

Worthy said there were times in his life when he felt invisible before mentors intentionally stepped in to fill that void. Today, he tries to play the mentor role for others.

Worthy encouraged students to make sure they don’t leave an institution being the same person as they entered it.

“I try to encourage open and honest dialogue,” Worthy said. “I charged the students with things they can and should consider doing.”

Presented by the Black Student Union, the entire Black Resilience Series is:

  • Feb. 1, Rita Frealing, mayor of Gettysburg
  • Feb. 6, Francis Achampong, chancellor of Penn State Mont Alto
  • Feb. 13, Marvin Worthy, president and CEO of Worthy Consulting and Training
  • Feb. 20, Lance Walker, Chambersburg Area School Board member
  • Feb. 27, Tracie Potts, executive director of Eisenhower Institute

For more information, call 717-749-6024.