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Thiel honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day with poet, photographer and campus-wide events


Thiel honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day with poet, photographer and campus-wide events

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College, a leading liberal arts college in northwest Pennsylvania, is hosting a full schedule of events to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 15.

Slam poet and activist Natasha Miller, who spoke at last year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day events, returns to campus to perform readings of her work and participate in an array of activities. Photographer and storyteller John Noltner will be documenting students’ stories and photographing them throughout the morning. He will speak to the campus community at 1 p.m.

“The activities and speakers emphasize the values and ideals that characterized King’s work,” Thiel Director of Student Activities and Involvement Than Oo said. “This day off for many is a day of effort and community involvement for the College that symbolizes Dr. King’s life and his greatest virtues.”

Miller is the community engagement manager for Science Gallery Lab Detroit. She is also an LGBTQ activist, film producer, and founder of the Artists Inn Detroit, a bed and breakfast that will cater to artists staying in Detroit by providing affordable accommodations and workspace. She has been a member of four national slam teams, and she is a Women of the World Poetry Slam three-time top five finalist. Miller will attend an all-campus Interfaith Martin Luther King Jr. worship service at 4 p.m. in David Johnson Memorial Chapel and will deliver a spoken word poetry presentation at 7:30 p.m. in the Lutheran Heritage Room of the Howard Miller Student Center.

Noltner will be asking students, “What does ethical leadership mean to you?” During his presentation, Noltner will discuss being an ethical leader and how appreciation for diversity makes a positive impact on the world. He will discuss his meetings with diverse individuals throughout his travels. Some of those he spoke with walked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. during civil rights marches. He will also incorporate and showcase some of the student stories he collected during the morning. Following the talk, he will resume taking photographs of students. A photographer and storyteller, Noltner founded the multimedia art project A Peace of My Mind in 2009. The project fosters public dialogue about issues related to conflict resolution, civic responsibility, and peace. Noltner's work ranges from small-town America to overseas projects. His photographs have been published in multiple outlets including Forbes MagazineNational GeographicSmithsonian and Reader’s Digest. The University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin hold his work in their permanent collection.

The “Lead the Change: We walk by faith, not by sight” youth event begins at 12:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Howard Miller Student Center. Attendees will join the entire College community for a gathering in the William A. Passavant Memorial Center at 1 p.m. where Thiel College will award its inaugural ethical leadership awards to two Thiel students. Following that event, high school students will connect with Thiel College students for devotions, icebreakers and service projects. The interfaith worship service and Miller’s reading will follow those events. For more information on the youth event, email Thiel College pastor Jayne Thompson by email or by calling 724-589-2130.

The Office of Admission is hosting a visit day to coincide with the campus celebration of history and diversity. For more information about the visit day, email the office or call 724-589-2345.

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About Thiel College

Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a Master of Science in speech-language pathology, a Leadership Master of Business Administration and a Management Master of Business Administration. Both master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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