Spring 2022 / Departments

Meet Wilson: Daniela DiGregorio, Assistant Professor of Education

Daniela DiGregorio, Assistant Professor of Education
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

EDUCATION
• M.A. in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and Art Education, University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic
• M.A. in Art Education, plus teaching certifications
in English as a second language (ESL) and English 7-12, Marywood University
• Ph.D. in English (Composition and TESOL), Indiana University of Pennsylvania

PATH TO WILSON
Originally from the Czech Republic, DiGregorio’s personal experience learning English as a second language helped mold her as a teacher of the subject.

OFF CAMPUS
Mother to four middle schoolers, including triplet boys, Daniela enjoys keeping active through yoga, biking, and swimming when not chasing her kids around.

ZOOM FATIGUE
Procured skis and snowboards during the winter lockdown in 2020 to keep everyone active and off screens.

SCENIC SURROUNDINGS
It’s terrific that the campus is very safe and beautiful. I love the horses. I love the space here. 

STAYING IN TOUCH
I have my professional Facebook account and also LinkedIn. An online student from California was taking her students on a field trip to Washington, D.C. and had a day off and stopped in to visit. When you have strong relationships with students and they come back, it’s heartwarming.

RELATED: Last Word: What I Know for Sure Spring 2022 News Quick Bytes – Spring 2022

Last Word: What I Know for Sure

By G. Faye Wilson ’77

I entered Wilson College in the fall of ’73, unsure how my college experience would be. I expected to graduate — my grades were good — but I thought that I was likely to be the ‘odd person’ out. I was Black; I was from the country (grew up on a farm); and I was a church girl — a holy roller type Pentecostal. I did not expect much in the way of a social life.

However, Wilson College was good for me in so many ways. In my church, people would say, “your gifts will make room for you,” which happened to me. For example, I could type quickly and accurately, and students would hire me to type (and proofread/edit) their papers — extra money and a way to connect.

I was musical; I played the piano by ear, mostly gospel. I began to play R & B tunes (Natalie Cole and Carole King were favorites). I joined Ten Tones, and I became the accompanist for another student, Roslyn Smith, who could SING! I volunteered with Chambersburg Insight — a drop-in center for people needing someone to talk with. I managed to keep my cool when one of those people was a guy with a gun tucked in his waist. We were glad when he finally left. Sadly, he was later arrested for murder (his picture was in the paper).

Being at Wilson had its glitches. My assigned big sister ignored me. Fortunately, sophomore Jo Nicholson ’76 stepped in, became my big sister, and remains a great friend. Another bump: the first church I visited in Chambersburg had NO interest in my returning (I was the only Black person there). However, I found my way to a more welcoming church. One Sunday evening Rev. Chambers from Harrisburg mentioned the denomination to which she belonged — one that I knew three of my brothers were members, too.

Afterward, I asked her if she knew a preacher named George Wilson. She said, “Yes, he’s one of my favorite preachers, and how do you know him?” I replied, “He’s one of my favorite brothers.” She opened her home to me, let me drive her car, and helped to set up my 2nd Januar y term internship with Chaplain Cooley at the Camp Hill Prison. The Cooleys made me part of their family, too, and encouraged me to go to seminar y. I followed their nudging, which led to my 21-year job with the international mission agency of The United Methodist Church, working in 23 countries and every state in the United States.

Wilson was full of other unimaginable experiences — meeting Maya Angelou, Margaret Mead, and artist Faith Ringgold. I attended a presentation by Ringgold while living in New York; when I told her that I had met her at Wilson, she invited me to her home for lunch.

Wilson College has a program called friendly families (for international students). But I was fortunate to have them while at Wilson. I stay in touch with Nancy Hoke, founder of Chambersburg Insight, who gave me babysitting jobs for their three daughters, and my advisor Dr. Raymond Anderson; he and his wife provided support both on and off campus. Evelyn Peron, who introduced me to the ‘house church’ ministry, let me stay in her home during one spring break to type a book.

As Oprah Winfrey says, WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE is that the interesting career/life I’ve had is in no small part because of Wilson College. And it is why I am compelled to give back to my alma mater — financially and by volunteering. I have served on the Alumnae Association twice and provided housing for two Wilson College interns, with whom I stay in touch. Most recently, I served on the President’s Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

I have a nine-year-old grandson whom I hope will attend Wilson College one day. He loves turtles and other reptiles. Maybe he will do a comprehensive study of the marine life in the Conococheague. For others who are closer to choosing a college that will prepare them with a degree and life skills, I hope they will choose Wilson and find their BOLD as I did. Go Wilson!

RELATED: Meet Wilson: Daniela DiGregorio, Assistant Professor of Education Spring 2022 News Quick Bytes – Spring 2022

Spring 2022 News

Wilson Helps Habitat for Humanity with its 50th Home in Franklin County

College volunteers aged 18 to 80 turned out to build a shed to complete a family’s new home in Franklin County, Pa. The collaboration between Wilson and Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County (HFFC) was the brainchild of Habitat’s Mark Story and Wilson’s Rev. Derek Wadlington.

Mark Story, HHFC’s community engagement director, read an article about Rev. Wadlington’s work with student volunteers in “Wilson Magazine.” Always on the lookout for potential collaborators, Story’s interest was piqued by Wadlington’s goal of having students engage in community actions and help nonprofit organizations.

Story contacted Wadlington about renewing or reinventing the relationship between the College and HHFC. Historically, Wilson had a partnership with HHFC, including having a Habitat chapter on campus during the tenure of Wadlington’s predecessor Rev. Rosie McGhee. But between one thing and another, interest had waned, and the chapter had disbanded.

Wadlington was enthusiastic. He considered HHFC an ideal organization to connect his student volunteers with the wider community. For both men, the inspiration and motivation were to connect people with one another through actions that build communities, make a difference, and work for the common good. All they had to do was come up with a project to get the ball rolling.

At the time, HHFC was completing their 50th home in Franklin Co. Having Wilson students volunteer their time on this project was the obvious first choice. Wadlington would arrange to bus students to the home, and HHFC would train them in construction techniques — the traditional Habitat use of volunteers. Unfortunately, thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, that was not possible.

The men were not deterred. If they couldn’t bring Wilson to Habitat, Story wondered, could they bring Habitat to Wilson? He suggested building a shed on campus and delivering it to the home once completed. Wadlington replied, “I don’t have permission to say this, but YES! YES! YES!” Thus, the “Shed Some Light” project was born.

For one week, a parking lot on Wilson’s campus became a construction site for the shed. “We had a steady stream of volunteers,” Story said. “Then one afternoon, the softball team showed up, and suddenly we had more than 18 people there all trying to work on this little shed at the same time. It was a bit overwhelming, but we managed.”

HHFC’s mission is not just to build homes for deserving families but to bring volunteers together and teach them some construction techniques. “We brought a nail gun,” Story said. “We could have done it all by hand with hammers, but we wanted to teach something new.”

The shed was completed with the help of many students, staff, faculty, an 80-year-old alumna, and even College President Wesley R. Fugate. Then it was delivered to the home HHFC had built. Wadlington said, “I love that our community built a shed that will be part of Habitat’s 50th build — it provides a tangible, long-lasting connection between Wilson and the community.”

Half the materials were paid for out of the Chaplain’s funds. According to Story, the other half was given by an anonymous donor who “is someone very close to Wilson.” The shed was transported to the home free of charge thanks to Esh’s Storage Barns.

Wadlington and Story see this as the first of many projects Wilson College and HHFC do together. “Will we build more sheds at Wilson? Probably,” Story said. “Will there come a day when Wilson students can pile in a van and come to work at a Habitat site? Hopefully.”

Professor Awarded Stipend to Curate Exhibitions and Complete Visual Art Project

The Class of 1955 Spring Research Stipend has been awarded to Joshua Legg, M.F.A., Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and MFA Program Director. The $2,000 stipend will help fund a catalog for two upcoming exhibitions curated by Legg at Wilson’s Cooley Gallery. The first will present the work of Adam DelMarcelle, a visiting assistant professor of graphic design at Wilson (read more about DelMarcelle’s work on page 26). The second will feature works by artists committed to bearing witness to the times they live in and their experiences and challenging the status quo. In addition, the stipend will help pay for materials in support of Legg’s art project — a series of paintings “examining the ways in which Christianity has been misused as a front for racism in America.”

DelMarcelle’s exhibition “Epidemic” is centered around the ongoing opioid epidemic in this country and its effects on communities. “A Call to Question” is a collection of works by artists contacted by DelMarcelle as part of his MFA thesis on activist-driven art. Legg will curate both shows and produce a catalog to document the artists and their work.

Legg, a transdisciplinary artist in his own right, has been working on a series of paintings that ask questions about the relationship between the misuse of Christian images and beliefs and the perpetuation of racism in this country. Originally conceived as a series of paintings based around the Stations of the Cross, each “station” would examine the death of an unarmed black man by the police. It has since broadened its scope to include “the social movements and political machines that perpetuate racism and deadly violence against [Black, Indigenous, and people of color] and their communities.”

“I am grateful to have received The Class of 1955 Spring Stipend Award this year,” Legg said. “The award will allow me to expand my practice-led research as both a curator and a painter.” He added that awards like this support Wilson’s current strategic plan to “forge a culture that supports the faculty and staff experience.” Furthermore, he explained that by funding artists like he and DelMarcelle, whose art is deeply concerned with social justice, this stipend directly supports Wilson’s mission and values.

Thoroughly Deserved Scholarships

Wilson has received a $16,000 grant from the Thoroughbred Education and Research Foundation (TERF) for scholarships of $4,000 to four students pursuing equine or animal-related majors.

The recipients are Kaylee Bill ’22 of Seven Valleys, Pa., a veterinary nursing major with a concentration in EQUI-ASSIST®; Drew Stevens ’22 of Harleysville, Pa., an equestrian studies major; Natalie Cowdrick ’22 of Hagerstown, Md., an equestrian studies major; and Rebekka Visniesky ’22 of Ridgway, Pa., a veterinary nursing major with a concentration in EQUI-ASSIST®.

Students enrolled in the majors of veterinary nursing, animal studies, equine studies, and equine-facilitated therapeutics may be considered for the TERF scholarships. Scholarship awards are based on student need, scholastic achievement, and equine-related aspirations.

TERF awards scholarships consistent with its mission of promoting equine education and research by sponsoring scholarships in veterinary medicine and supporting organizations that are educating the public in the proper care of horses. The Board of Directors of TERF meticulously selects grant recipients in a competitive grantmaking process in the spring. TERF has provided $72,000 in scholarship awards to Wilson College since 2015.

The 2021-2022 TERF grant program at Wilson is directed by Ann O’Shallie, chair and professor of equine studies and equine facilitated therapeutics, and Tammy Ege, chair and associate professor of veterinary nursing.

 

 

RELATED: Meet Wilson: Daniela DiGregorio, Assistant Professor of Education Last Word: What I Know for Sure Quick Bytes – Spring 2022

Quick Bytes – Spring 2022

RELATED: Meet Wilson: Daniela DiGregorio, Assistant Professor of Education Last Word: What I Know for Sure Spring 2022 News