Wait…this isn’t a kids ride?!

“I wanna ride a rollercoaster!! I wanna ride a rollercoaster!! Let’s go ride Phantom’s Revenge!!!”

You could probably hear me yelling about how much I wanted to ride a big rollercoaster the entire way across Kennywood Park on Sunday.

I hadn’t been to an amusement park since probably 2010…it’s safe to say I was like a little kid on Christmas morning.  I was most excited to ride Phantom’s Revenge…one of the larger coasters at the park.  However, when my friends and I went to ride our first ride, we ended up in a long line for the Skyrocket.  Why were we about to ride some dinky rollercoaster when there were bigger and better options?!

While waiting in line, I was sure that this particular coaster was nothing special. I had never even heard of it before, and becasue it was located right inside the parks entrance I figured it wasn’t going to be too exciting…it’s probably just like a kids rollercoaster, right?!  HA.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

One of the loops on the Skyrocket

One of the loops on the Skyrocket

 When it finally came my turn to ride, I climbed into the car and started wondering how long the line was going to be for Phantom’s Revenge when…BAM! We quickly took off, the car flying up and down the slopes of the coaster and flipping upside down on the large loops.  I was screaming and laughing the entire way through the ride.  By the end, I’m sure that my breath had legitimately been taken away.  I had definitely underestimated this ride…it wasn’t a kids ride at all!! Silly me.

Sunday, July 21, was the sixth annual IUP Kennywood Day at Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh.  Kennywood Day is sponsored by the IUP Alumni Association.  All of the IUP community (students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni) are invited to this event.  The Alumni Association offers discounted tickets to the park, an ice cream social in the afternoon and a raffle with great prizes and encourages everyone to wear their IUP gear to the park that day.

I attended this event with a group of IUP Ambassadors.  At the ice cream social we helped serve ice cream, hand out raffle tickets and take pictures of IUP pride throughout the park.  The social provided a great atmosphere for networking and a chance to cool off from walking through the park in the hot, summer sun.  After the social, everyone is encouraged to continue their day in the park.

Overall, everyone had a great day at Kennywood!  The IUP SVP team also attended and got a chance to talk to some alumni about our project and what makes IUP distinctive.  I’m already looking forward to attending next years event.

If you’re affiliated with IUP and you’re interested in learning more about
the events the IUP Alumni Association sponsors,
check them out at www.iup.edu/alumni

IUP Ambassadors at IUP Kennywood Day

IUP Ambassadors at IUP Kennywood Day


A Trenney Tradition

Let me take you back…

May 6, 1992.  8:27 p.m.  Indiana hospital. I, Katie Lee Trenney, entered the world.  I was given the Trenney family middle name (Lee), had brown hair and brown eyes — growing up I was always told that I looked exactly like my dad and his sister, my Aunt Gina.  On May 6, 1992, I was born into the Trenney family.


All of the Trenney’s in Hawaii

BUT.  I was also born into the IUP family.  I was raised with a love for the university.  When I was little, my dad was the athletic trainer for IUP Football.   I remember playing on the sidelines while he worked at practices, and running through the halls of the Memorial Field House.  I attended my first IUP Football game when I was just five months old.

IUP has always been a Trenney Tradition.  My parents, my sister, my sister’s long-term boyfriend, and six of my aunts and uncles attended and graduated from IUP.  Currently, my dad is an IUP professor and my Uncle Frank is the athletic trainer for IUP Football and Women’s Basketball.

My family was able to use the education they earned at IUP to become successful in their careers.  My mom and Aunt Gina are teachers in Derry Area School District, my sister is a third-grade teacher at a private school in Atlanta, my Uncle Don owns a restaurant, Trenney’s Grille, in Hopewell, Pa., my Aunt Karen is a nurse at Allegheny Regional Hospital, my Aunt Lynn is a nutritionist in Pittsburgh, and my sister’s boyfriend, Ray, just completed his master’s degree in economics at the University of Georgia.

Emily Trenney ('11), Amy Trenney ('83 and '84), Ray Edwards ('11), Karen Trenney ('81), Ron Trenney ('83), Gina (Trenney) Yanoff ('94), Don Trenney ('80), Lynn (Cappellino) Trenney ('80), and Frank Trenney ('92)

IUP Alumni:  Emily Trenney (’11), Amy Trenney (’83 and ’84), Ray Edwards (’11), Karen Trenney (’81), Ron Trenney (’83), Gina (Trenney) Yanoff (’94), Don Trenney (’80), Lynn (Cappellino) Trenney (’80), and Frank Trenney (’92)

A couple weeks ago, my family traveled to Hawaii.  I figured it was the perfect opportunity to talk to them about IUP SVP.  My Uncle Don couldn’t figure out why it was taking us so long to do this project, he thought he had much more efficient ideas to create a strategic visioning project.  Well, Uncle Don, feel free to take over!

My mom shared that she hates mission statements.  She thinks that they are simply words on paper and never really reflect the institution.  I loved this comment because that is exactly what we are trying to avoid! It made me feel like all of our work will pay off, and all of our interviewing will help us create a mission statement that WILL reflect the values and goals of our university.

Once my family understood what we were actually doing, they were excited about it and seemed impressed that I was working on such an important project!

Looking towards my senior year, I am thrilled to be the next Trenney to graduate from IUP and I hope to share the tradition with my own family in the future.


Amazing opportunities IUP offers students

Katie Trenney

Blessed.  Proud.  Thankful.  Fortunate.  Excited.

Those were just some of the feelings that came over me this morning as I took notes in a meeting with eight employees at the Kovalchick Complex (the new athletic complex on campus).

As our conversation progressed, the interviewees began talking about the opportunities IUP has to offer, the ways IUP helps its students, and how well IUP prepares students for the “real world.”

I began to think about the opportunities that IUP has blessed me with.

As a freshman, I had a job on campus working in the box office in the Hadley Union Building.  After a year at the box office, I transferred to work in the Office of University Events.  This office works for the university president, Dr. Driscoll.  We are in charge of planning and carrying out his events.  During my two years with university events, I have been involved with Dr. Driscoll’s inauguration, basketball and football pregame receptions, commencement ceremonies, lunches and dinners honoring faculty and staff, and many, many other events.  Currently, I’m working with an amazing team of journalism students and Dr. Papakie to gather information for the Strategic Visioning Plan.  This is a job that has never been for undergraduate students before.  I believe that our entire team feels blessed and thankful for this wonderful opportunity.  We are also overwhelmed with excitement to see all of our hard word pay off in the final product!

During the spring of my sophomore year at IUP, I was selected to be an IUP Ambassador.  This organization serves as the connection between incoming students, current students, and alumni, and we are run through the alumni relations office.  We are a group of diverse students who have many different skills and interests, and somehow we all fit together like pieces of a puzzle.  It amazes me that I’m fortunate enough to be part of such a special and talented group.

As I look forward to my senior year, I’m excited to be interning at the Kovalchick Complex (KCAC).  I will be working with businesses around Indiana who have promotional deals with the KCAC, writing announcements for basketball games, writing contracts, and helping with the planning and carrying out of conferences/events that come to the KCAC.

IUP has blessed me with the opportunity to receive hands-on experience.  What has your university done for you?

Summer at IUPSVP


Katie Trenney

Dorms are empty.  Sidewalks are bare.  Classroom buildings are silent.  It’s summertime at IUP.  But, here we are, twelve or so journalism students and Dr. Papakie working away on the fourth floor of Davis Hall.  We are the team helping to create the new IUP strategic visioning plan this summer.

Yesterday was our first day of “work” and after just a few hours, I think we all realized that this is going to be a very busy summer.  We got settled into the computer lab, which will serve as our office, and began going over tasks.  We discussed setting up group interviews, Twitter, Gmail, Facebook, blog posts and making tons of phone calls to different groups involved with IUP.

We were also asked to research other university’s mission statements.  This was a job that was very worthwhile.  By viewing other schools statements, we were able to asses them and realize what we did and did not like.  Doing this gave us a clear picture of what we want for our strategic visioning plan.

A little later in the morning, we watched a video of President Michael Driscoll’s inaugural address, given on April 26, 2013.  In his address he states, “My focus – our focus – should be on a new beginning for this great institution that has served so many since 1875.”

We hope that through the process of creating a new strategic visioning plan, we can turn attention to the new beginning of IUP.  Our expectation for this plan is to chart the future of IUP and to point out what it is that makes IUP such a special place.

Katie Trenney

Fear of Public Speaking

Katie Trenney

Katie Trenney

When I first signed up to take Presentation Making, I thought we would be learning about public relations presentations and the aspects that go into them.  I guess I never really thought much about the class.  On the first day, I realized that it was basically a public speaking class and I was terrified.  I remember Michele Papakie asking if any of us felt nauseous or had sweaty palms thinking about standing in front of the class and giving speeches.  I was definitely one of the students with those symptoms.

I’ve always been very loud and outspoken.  My older sister is also very loud and crazy and my parents were hoping that I would be their quiet child.  Well, I wasn’t.  I was voted Most Talkative during my senior year of high school.  I have no problem walking up to strangers and starting a conversation.  I just love to talk.  So it’s surprising to some that I have such a fear of public speaking.

Now we are in the last week of classes for the semester.  While I still feel shaky standing in front of our class or facilitating a group of strangers, I do have more confidence and feel that I have gained many public speaking skills during this class.  I don’t think I will ever fully overcome my fear of speaking in front of crowds, but I think Michele has helped me to control my nerves and deliver well-written speeches.

-Katie Trenney