March 25, 2020

T-Notes Archives
Next Issue: April 1, 2020

Thiel Happenings

Thiel College biology students’ research published in national database

Thiel College biology students’ research published in national database

Thiel College Department of Biology students head into the second phase of research under the guidance of Associate Professor of Biology Sarah J. Swerdlow, Ph.D. to find microscopic bacteriophages in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

+  Read the full story in the Newsroom

Two Thiel College wrestlers named NWCA Scholar All-Americans

Two Thiel College wrestlers named NWCA Scholar All-Americans

Thiel College first-year Jason Baker ’23 and junior Austin Bonacci ’21 were recently named Scholar All-Americans by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.

+  Read the full story in the Newsroom

Cross country coach named Thiel College’s senior woman administrator for athletics

Cross country coach named Thiel College’s senior woman administrator for athletics

Carissa Eichmeyer was named Thiel College’s senior woman administrator and director of compliance & eligibility earlier this year.

+  Read the full story in the Newsroom

Electric Church set up for students and employees

Pastor Brian Riddle ’07 has created an online space to explore faith and connect with the Thiel College community. The Electric Church is online at 11 a.m. Thursdays. There will be live sessions, chats and videos available.

For more information or to be added to the channel, contact Riddle.

Employee benefit fair canceled

Due to the campus closure and the practice of “social distancing,” the Department of Human Resources has canceled this year’s Employee Benefit and Wellness Fair.

The fair will not be rescheduled this year but should return in Spring 2021.

HR thanks all employees for their understanding in these trying times.

The department sends best wishes to everyone their families and hopes that all stay healthy and well.

Advisors, employees remind students to fill out FAFSA

Advisors and employees should remind students to fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid when they communicate with students.

For more information, contact Cindy Farrell ’77.

Student News

Miller senior seminar goes online with Benninghoff

Mark Benninghoff ’82 helped Professor David Miller ’61, H’20 experience another first in his 56-year teaching history at Thiel College. The March 18 edition of the Ruth A. Miller Senior Seminar was an online gathering. The students showed remarkable resilience—some dining on crackers and cheese for what was supposed to be a fine-dining etiquette dinner—and still gleaned valuable lessons from the session.

“Tonight, we had a virtual seminar, so there was no formal dinner. However, that did not stop my mom and brother from listening in to tonight’s speaker eagerly over a delicious meal of tacos.” —Nick Mott ’20

“Among his many key points, Mr. Benninghoff emphasized the importance of having a Business Contingency Plan. This is essential for businesses to prepare for pandemics like the one we are facing today. Contingency planning reduces the risk of uncertainty, improves the continuity of work, increases credit availability, and prevents panic. Spending many years in the healthcare business at UPMC, Mr. Benninghoff has much experience in this arena and it was interesting to hear his thoughts on the matter. While we are all worried this pandemic could turn into the next Great Depression, Mr. Benninghoff gave inspirational words for the future. He explained that we will become better from COVID-19 and it will turn us into better business leaders in the future.” —Robert Micsky ’20

“One thing I found very interesting was the time he spent in Ireland helping with a hospital there. He said that good leadership comes from hiring people smarter than you, doing great work always, adopting best practices, and making sure your team is diverse.” —Brenna Parsley ’20

“Mark then told us the statistics of people in the United States who live paycheck to paycheck.  Mark stated that this was 80 percent of United States citizens. This was completely shocking to me. Overall, this time in our country is devastating and it is hard to fathom. I knew that all of this would cause trying times for people but until Mark gave that statistic, I didn’t realize how much.  We all need to be praying for our nation and doing our best to give back in any way we can.  Mark quoted different individuals that gave him advice to a great life and career, one of those quotes was “do good, and give back!”  The only way we will be able to overcome this is if we all try and lift each other up and comfort those who are in need.  If we all do that, this nation will get back to where it was in no time.” —Annmarie Moore ’20

“Mr. Benninghoff is a very experienced leader and he provided us with several insights on how the best leaders assemble and manage their teams. He suggested four key principles for this purpose. First, you should build strong working relationships and always hire people who are smarter than you. You want experts on your team. Secondly, do great work always. You should always strive to accomplish all your professional goals and expectations. Thirdly, you should implement best practices. Why would you reinvent the wheel? Use what has been proven to work and adapt and improve upon it where possible. Finally, diversify your team in every way. A diverse team brings together people with a wide variety of expertise and broad perspectives. These four practices are the hallmarks of a successful leader. Mr. Benninghoff successfully utilized them during his career as CFO of the UPMC physician groups and it has taken him far since. He is definitely a Thiel success story, and we should all work towards a strong career path like his.”—Mariel Hanely ’20

“Today for Millers’ dinner, I decided to cook my own meal. For an appetizer, I had Ritz grilled cheese crackers. The entrée was cinnamon raisin bread which was lightly toasted. There was no dessert served.” —Matthew O’Connor ’20

“Mark talked to us about how Thiel’s Lutheran tradition was a large influence in his education.  He could summarize some of the ideals taught to him such as; to think globally and act locally, to be prepared to live a life of worth and service, and to be educated about faith in a thoughtful and challenging way. While at Thiel, Mark had a number of other influences including his business and accounting professors, his fraternity brothers, and his professor and director of theatre productions, Bill Robinson.” —Charlie Lichtenwalter ’21

Take part in the fun with new Twitch channel

Director of Student Activities and Involvement Than Oo is leading a new video channel for students to stay connected to each other and the College.

The next broadcast is at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Create a free account to log in and chat with students, Oo and Tommy Tomcat.

For more information, contact Oo.

Special Notes

Inventory is available to browse, but the vendor providing services for the online store has limited customer service availablity during this work-from-home period.

Work from home resources

Links for the Thiel Hub and Webmail are located on the main website at the bottom of the page.

  • Thiel Hub (where all network accessible drive folders are located)  
  • Webmail

Resources for accessing voicemail and changing phone options.

Additional coronavirus updates will be emailed and posted on the website.

Employees who are having difficulties with technology can contact the Solution Center at 724-589-4000 or by email.

Retirement planning 

HB Retirement plan representatives are available through conference calls and virtual meetings.

Conference calls are available with Will Ferguson on April 2 and April 14.

Anyone who would like to reserve a 30-minute time slot can follow the link below: 

Anyone not available during these times can reach out by email at or by phone at 412-261-3333 ext. 414.

Conference calls are available with Jack Ryan on March 31 and April 8.

Anyone who would like to reserve a 30-minute time slot can follow the link below: 

Anyone not available during these times can reach out by email at or by phone at 412-261-3333 ext. 421.

Campus mail protocols

In an effort to provide mail service for departments and comply with the current safe practice protocol, Mailing baskets have been set up in the hallway behind the Art Gallery for your convenience.

Anyone who needs to pick-up/drop off mail to be sent out, there are two baskets provided:

  • Outgoing Mail to be Metered - Please bundle or label with the department for proper accounting
  • Departmental Mail to be picked up - Please take the appropriate bundle and leave any mail that needs to go out in the other bin with the department information.  

Post it notes will be provided.

Departmental mail will be in a labeled ICM envelope. Please remove inbound mail and place any ICM/outgoing mail in the basket provided.

For more information, contact Anita Lillie.


Tomcat Tributes

Tomcat Tributes recognize the teamwork Thiel College employees exhibit each day. Employees can nominate co-workers for recognition in four categories (Random Act of Kindness, Going the Extra Mile, Had a Great Idea, Just Because).

Office of Communications and Marketing Notes

Communications collateral

Employees should update the logos used on institutional materials, including email signatures, letterhead, PowerPoint slides, etc. 

Thiel College has used the shield and wordmark combination as the official institutional logo for more than a year. They are the only approved logo for academic co-curricular and institutional use. Additional athletic logo packages are also available.

Email signatures, brand resources, and a job request form are all available online. A Dropbox folder has been set up with instructions and the materials necessary to create new email signatures. Employees can find other Thiel College-branded resources including letterhead, logos and PowerPoint slides in the same folder.

Thiel College community members who need help with communications and marketing initiatives and collateral can now request those services with a job form. The request form is available on the communications and marketing webpage or linked directly below.

For more information, email the office.

Connect with Thiel College


Publishing Schedule

T-Notes is published weekly during the academic year. It arrives Wednesday afternoons. The next edition will be out April 1, 2020. Send your event or news to by noon Monday, March 30 to be published in that week’s edition.

Visit the main website →