Pennsylvania Treasury Department Warns for Scam Alerts

Treasurer Stacy Garrity today warned the public that scammers are imitating the Pennsylvania Treasury Department with sophisticated phishing emails targeting Pennsylvanians.

“I urge everyone to always be on guard for scams and suspicious messages,” Garrity said. “We know these criminals will pull out all the stops to commit fraud, but Treasury will always fight back. If you have doubts about an email claiming to be from the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, here’s the most important tip: Do not click any links, and do not share any personal information. And always remember: Treasury will never seek personal information through an unsolicited email.”

The scammers’ phishing emails are designed to look like they have been sent from the Pennsylvania Treasury Department and include a link that leads to a fake version of Treasury’s website. Anyone who clicks on the link is then prompted to enter login credentials. Do not do this! Treasury will never use unsolicited emails or texts to request personal information for any if its programs.

If you’ve received one of these messages, or have any other questions, please contact Treasury by visiting

Technology Upgrades Modernize Classroom for Penn State Students and Faculty

Thanks to a grant from Penn State’s Learning Spaces Leadership Committee and matching funding from the campus, Classroom 112 in the campus’ Gallagher Conference Center has received some impressive new technology upgrades.

Penn State Scranton’s Information Technology (IT) department implemented the upgrades in December, which included collaborative worktables, wall-to-wall whiteboards, comfortable chairs, new flooring and short throw projectors with solstice pods at each of the five worktables – which provide an active learning environment with content sharing capabilities for faculty and students.

The classroom has also been revamped with whiteboard material surrounding the entire room, which provides the opportunity to share content in a non-technical way.

“It’s not a room where students are going to be sitting and listening to a lecture,” said campus Director of Information Technology Marilee Mulvey. “It’s a room that’s designed for students to interact with each other and with their instructors and the technology. It’s all about keeping the students engaged in different ways in the class and with the course materials.”

Mulvey mentioned that the idea came from the Teaching and Learning Technology (TLT) Department at University Park.

Currently, there are seven total rooms like this at University Park and 14 rooms altogether throughout the Commonwealth campuses, Scranton, Abington, Altoona, Berks, Erie, Greater Allegheny, Great Valley, Lehigh Valley, Schuylkill and Wilkes-Barre.

“It’s really a brand-new environment for us. We don’t have another classroom like this on the campus,” Mulvey said.

New Technology, New Capabilities

Thanks to the newly implemented technology, faculty now have new capabilities in this classroom through flexibility in the types of classroom exercises this room supports.

“When we are looking at upgrading our classrooms, we want to make sure we are enabling active learning in those rooms because of how powerful that can be for our students,” Mulvey said. “The room provides a new look on possibilities of course materials and concepts.”

Faculty members will be able to decide how and when to use the features of the classroom for their course materials. And, faculty can consult with campus Instructional Designer Griff Lewis to brainstorm new ideas for delivering course materials.

Both students and instructors can share their content on the screen and across the classroom – creating a visual aspect to the active learning experience. Users must be authenticated to Penn State Scranton’s Wi-Fi for sharing content.

“When designing our classrooms, we look at providing an updated space for current students and faculty, and we also look at what our prospective students may be experiencing in high school,” Mulvey said. “That way, when they come to Penn State Scranton, they are comfortable in our learning spaces.”

The technology is in tune with three out of the five senses including sight, touch and sound.

“Everybody learns in their own unique way,” Mulvey said, explaining how some students like to read, while others prefer to see images or hear things. “This room gives that flexibility for instructors to try to reach different students in their learning styles.”

Like faculty, students can share content in a seamless manner due to the room’s design and flexibility.

“When we find faculty on our campus who are interested in trying something new, that is the absolute best possible scenario,” Mulvey explained. “We support their courses by providing them with these types of technologies to enhance their teaching and increase engagement with the students.”

Because of the room’s flexibility, any academic program can use the classroom’s technology to its full advantage.

“I think it’s a terrific room – all of the changes really enhance the overall environment of the classroom,” Mulvey said, adding that, “we’ve had a very positive response from the faculty so far.”

In fact, a variety of faculty members from diverse backgrounds including the biology, business, kinesiology, meteorology and physics departments have all taken the opportunity to house their classes within the revamped room this semester or are planning on using it in future semesters.

Student Receives Funding for Idea from Penn State Scranton

When Parkston Myers graduated in May with his degree in Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and game development and design minor from Penn State, he did so as an already accomplished budding entrepreneur.

While still a student at Penn State Scranton, the now Penn State alumnus turned a creative idea that stemmed from his passion for video games, which developed at a young age, into a $10,000 business plan.

When he was just 13 years old, Myers fell in love with gaming, which was then further enhanced at Penn State Scranton when he signed up for summer Nittany Cub camps on coding and gaming at the campus. Looking back, it was those nostalgic moments that inspired Myers to create “Clay World” – a game that creates a casual competition for family, friends and online players.

As a camper, Myer’s took a plethora of Nittany Cub Summer Camps under the supervision of Fred Aebli, lecturer of information sciences and technology, learning about coding, game design and stop motion clay animation. Years later, he returned to the campus as an undergrad to further his knowledge and continue to learn from Aebli.

“I found my passion here and came back to the same teacher who taught me all that I know, which has been awesome,” Myers said. “Professor Aebli has been the same energetic, tech-oriented person, which is a reason I got into that myself and applied to this campus. He has always taken me seriously, even as a 13-year-old.”

Watching Myers transform from a Nittany Cub Camper into a young entrepreneur has been a rewarding experience for Aebli.

“As a young coder in our Nittany Cub Camp, and then Nittany Academy, Parkston was excited to learn about technology and enjoyed all the challenges and rewards it provided,” Aebli said. “He also loved to work with other young people in our camps. He has a gift.”

As a student at Penn State Scranton, he immediately sought out new opportunities to get involved and learn more about his future career, one of which was becoming president for the IST Club during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aebli said Parkston was “the perfect leader to bring us out of COVID and ‘wake the club back up!’” he exclaimed.

“For me as an instructor who taught all through COVID, Parkston’s energy, interest and passion for all he does gave me great hope for his generation,” Aebli said, adding, “I think we’re going to be in good hands.”

Learning the basics at a young age, Myers said he is “pumped” to create his own Claymation game with fun and realistic graphics.

Similar to the setup of classic games, Clay World will introduce a series of virtual reality (VR) minigames that mimic traditional childhood games for everyone to take part in and enjoy.

“I wanted something casual that everyone can play,” Parkston said, adding that a big focus of crafting Clay World was making sure the games are user friendly and appropriate for all ages.

Myers has crafted over 100 different ideas of minigames that he intends to implement one at a time and has already been in the process of building a multiplayer game which plans to be released in August, and playable to paid beta players through the Patreon website. Myers will be making a release update via his YouTube channel, Gamer Reality which he created in 2018.

A $10,000 idea

Since its inception, Myers has presented his business idea to a number of organizations and local professionals within Northeast Pennsylvania, including Penn State Scranton’s Advisory Board and Big Idea Competition, Lackawanna County’s TechCelerator Program, and the Business Plan Competition hosted by tecBRIDGE.

However, it was at the Lackawanna County TechCelerator Program, a newly launched entrepreneurial program facilitated by Lackawanna County, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and its Ignite program, and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of NEPA, that helped start his business initiative.

Taking place over the course of 10 weeks, 29 applicants applied to the program, which was funded by the Lackawanna County Commissioners via the American Rescue Plan Act, with eight of those 29 chosen as finalists after a competitive application process.

Myers and seven others were selected for their unique tech-based ideas, commitment to completing the program, and creating a company and jobs based in Lackawanna County.

After successfully meeting the requirements of the program, Myers, along with the other seven teams, received $10,000 for reimbursable business expenses to assist them in launching their ventures.

“I was very happy and surprised,” Myers said about the money he received. “It’s a lot of money — I needed to start the business and I’m excited to be able to start my business using these funds after graduation.”

Myers plans to use this investment to hire professionals to help him with his work, which will also allow him to post updates about the project on his YouTube channel more often.

“Although the game won’t be released until 2025, people who want to play earlier will have the option to purchase immediate access to early versions of the game through Patreon,” Myers explained.

Working with other Penn Staters

Most recently, Myers presented his business idea again alongside Penn State Scranton student  Maxwell Phillips and Penn State Wilkes-Barre student Nicholas Kline at the 21st annual Business Plan Competition hosted by tecBRIDGE at Misericordia University.

Phillips served as a writer, while Kline worked to design the financial plan for the project. This was the first year that students from multiple Penn State campuses combined to form a team for the competition.

Myers said that working with Kline and Phillips was great and they were very helpful.

“I spent some time trying to find the right people to stick with me and help me to completion. They both volunteered to take on parts of the writing and planning. Without their help I don’t think I would have become a finalist,” Myers said. “There was so much work to do on all the competition deliverables and it’s really a group effort. They appreciated that someone had the idea and vision, and I like to think I was a pretty good communicator and leader.”

Myers said that despite not winning the $20,000 prize from the Business Plan Competition, he gained invaluable experiences and skills that are worth far more than the cash reward.

You don’t need to be a business major to have a business idea

As an IST major, Myers was only required to take one business course, but said he has always felt like an entrepreneur as he sought out new opportunities.

“Although I haven’t taken too many business classes here on campus, the business faculty at Penn State Scranton helped me in more ways than I think any course could,” he said.

Myers approached John Drake, director of the Center for Business Development and Community Outreach (CBDCO), Kevin Feifer, lecturer of business, and Frank Sorokach, assistant professor of business and economics, to tell them about his business idea.

“I was impressed with Parkston from our first conversation and knew he would take this idea and turn it into a viable business,” Feifer said. “He is intelligent, energetic and motivated to pursue this business venture and will not let any obstacle get in his way. These traits will suit him well as a young entrepreneur. I am excited to see his business scale in the coming years.”

Myers’ idea expanded more on September 8, 2022, when he walked through the doors of the Scranton LaunchBox  – a pre-incubator/business accelerator that provides educational training and technical support for aspiring entrepreneurs and facilitates networking opportunities for faculty, professionals and students who are passionate about building a vibrant entrepreneurial community in downtown Scranton and the surrounding area.

The LaunchBox offers free consulting services to those who are currently operating a business and could use assistance. It also helps anyone who has an idea and would like to turn that idea into a business.

Drake, Feifer and Sorokach worked with Myers consistently – making sure he was working on his business plan weekly and setting up appointments to meet and discuss his progress at the Scranton LaunchBox.

“Penn State’s LaunchBox initiative brings us into contact with many aspiring entrepreneurs. However, most entrepreneurs have only a vague idea of what they want to accomplish. Parkston was different,” Sorokach said. “He was very clear on his concept when I initially talked to him. He knew exactly what he wanted to do. He had a technology-based idea. The idea involves an untapped technology market. And the concept lined up with his education. Most importantly, Parkston is a driven individual. This is a sweet spot that few entrepreneurs can ever get to.”

Feifer feels the same. “Parkston worked on the deliverables for the competition starting in the fall semester and continued to adapt his business plan right up until the submission deadline in March. It included long nights and weekends to hone a plan that was suitable for the competition and would intrigue the judges and his future consumers. Parkston was humble throughout the process and understood that knowledge is power and appreciated the mentorship provided by Penn State Scranton faculty and staff,” Feifer said.

“Although I did not take any business classes here [at Penn State Scranton], they have taught me the correct way to speak non-technically when describing my business to others,” Myers said.

“Parkston made the most of his senior year in college,” Sorokach said. “This is a lesson that all students should take away from Parkston’s story. Leverage every opportunity that arises, and do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Great things can happen when you do.” 

Parkston advises anyone with their own business idea to take advantage of the services offered through the Scranton LaunchBox.

“The Scranton LaunchBox has been an awesome tool and supported me throughout the whole process. There’s a lot of things you may not realize when you are creating a business idea by yourself,” he said. “They are there to help you and the free mentorship and advice was so valuable.”

Have a business idea? Contact

Summer camps can impact children’s futures

Like Myers, many other youngsters that have attended Penn State Scranton’s Nittany Cub Camps throughout the years have developed an attachment to Penn State Scranton – and find themselves coming back to the campus to pursue their passions when they are older, either as camp instructors, or, as in Myers’ case, as a college student.

“Our Summer Youth Program’s mantra is ‘Have Fun … Learn … Make Friends!’ We work to have STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) activities incorporated in almost every camp. Some of our camps and academies for teenagers are more focused on science and technology,” Drake said.

Back in 2015, Aebli noticed that one of his campers, whom he taught at a young age, returned to help as an assistant in Aebli’s camps.

Josh Winslow, at that time a 16-year-old assistant, said that Aebli’s computer graphics and animation camp inspired him to help other young students enjoy the experience that he appreciated so much as a Nittany Cub Camper.

“Summer camps are a great way to introduce children to these areas as there are no tests, no pressure. We hope that their wonder, discovery, and excitement can develop into a passion to learn more and possibly set them on a future career path.”

Winner Announced in YMCA Lap Swim Challenge Fundraiser

On Saturday, June 17th, the Greater Scranton YMCA held its Inaugural Lap Swim Challenge. The event was a great success, raising $3,602 for the Greater Scranton YMCA’s Stingrays Swim Team. We had 38 community members participate in the challenge.

The grand prize winner, Rachel Frissell, swam 134 lengths of the pool in the allotted 45-minute challenge time frame. She will receive an annual membership to the Greater Scranton YMCA. Attached are the results of the challenge.

NeighborWorks Meets with Legislators on Home Matters Day

NeighborWorks Association of Pennsylvania (NWAP) took part in Home Matters Day at the State Capitol on June 6, joining hundreds of others to educate and inform legislators about the need for additional resources to support and sustain the creation of affordable housing throughout the state.

Organized by the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, Home Matters Day is an annual day of advocacy and education in Harrisburg that brings together stakeholders to increase housing resources, end homelessness, and eradicate blight in Pennsylvania. NeighborWorks Association of Pennsylvania is a membership-based statewide network of eight non-profit organizations dedicated to creating equitable housing options and improving quality of life across the Commonwealth. The collective group, as well as individual organizations, are charter members of NeighborWorks America, a network of nearly 250 nonprofit organizations across the United States that work together to create affordable housing, support residents, and strengthen communities. NeighborWorks builds skills, supplements resources, and amplifies the reach of network organizations to increase potential impact.

NWAP member organizations include Arbor Housing and Development based in Corning, NY; HDC MidAtlantic in Lancaster, PA; NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania in Scranton, PA; NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh, PA; NHS of Greater Berks, Inc. in Reading, PA; PathStone Corporation in Chambersburg, PA; and New Kensington Community Development Corporation and HACE in Philadelphia, PA.

During Home Matters Day, NWAP members met with elected officials to discuss the need for additional funding resources for affordable housing, including increasing the funding cap on the state housing trust fund (PHARE), and demonstrate the positive impact safe housing makes in people’s lives. Through the NeighborWorks network, NWAP members are able to leverage every dollar of federal funding into $102 of impact in communities, making a greater difference for those in need of safe and affordable housing.

As individual nonprofits supported annually by NeighborWorks, NWAP utilizes impact data and analysis, direct work within communities, and on-the-ground support of individuals and families to help legislators understand the critical need for support of affordable housing throughout the Commonwealth.

Home Matters Day took place during NeighborWorks Week this year, an annual week of service from June 3-10 that showcases the collective ways NeighborWorks members from across the country are able to strengthen communities. The theme of this year’s NeighborWorks Week was “Empowering Communities for Success.”

Chambers of Commerce Host Waterpark Event for Member Businesses

Scranton, PA—The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and seven regional chamber partners are hosting a day at the Montage Mountain Waterpark for member businesses sponsored by Montage Mountain. On June 23, member businesses and employees can enjoy a day at the local waterpark. The event starts at 11 a.m.; tickets are $15 per person, and children under the age of two are free admission. The ticket includes all water attractions and other dry attractions. *Zip Rider is NOT included in The Chamber Day admission package.

Chamber member businesses and employees can purchase tickets online at up through June 23. Tickets must be purchased and paid for in advance, with no exceptions.

Participating Chambers of Commerce are the Back Mountain Chamber, The Greater Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, The Greater Hazelton Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce, the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce, and The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

If you want to become a member of The Chamber and receive more benefits like this, visit  

About Montage Mountain Resorts
Montage Mountain Resorts opened to the public in 1984. Located in Northeast Pennsylvania just 5 minutes off Interstate 81, it is convenient and among the best in the East. Easily accessible from major cities like New York City & Philadelphia (just 2-hours) and around one hour from Allentown & Binghamton. You can catch i476, i84, i380, and i81 within 10 minutes of the resort. Offering Daily Admission, Season Memberships, Group Trips, Private Rentals, Events and more, there’s no other park to pick for summer fun.

About The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization that works to improve the area’s economic environment and quality of life by offering programs and services which stimulate economic growth, promote business prosperity and nurture educational opportunities. For more information about the Chamber, visit

Chamber Employee Appointed to Board of National Leadership Organization

Denton, TEXAS—The Association of Leadership Programs (ALP), a national organization located in Texas and supporting the growth and development of Community Leadership Programs, recently announced that Nicole Morristell, Executive Director of Leadership Lackawanna in Scranton, PA was appointed as Treasurer to serve a one-year term. With over 300 members, ALP is THE connection source for community leadership programs throughout the US, and even has a small presence internationally with memberships coming from Germany and Canada. The ALP mission is to enhance the effectiveness of leadership programs and professionals. The association believes true, organic community leadership involves looking at situations, opportunities, or challenges through the lens of the whole community, and pursuing a course that builds the well-being of all. ALP membership is open to leadership organizations/programs, whether based in a chamber of commerce, university, government or similar entity, or as an independent (non-profit) organization.

In this role, Morristell will be responsible for providing financial oversight of the organization, making periodic financial reports to the board of directors and presenting a full financial report at the annual meeting.

“Leadership Lackawanna has been actively involved with ALP for 10 years and I fully believe in their mission and work.  As an already active board member and ambassador for the state of Pennsylvania, I was happy to expand my involvement with this worthwhile national organization. Leadership Lackawanna has benefitting so much from ALP membership – essentially I give them full credit for helping us create our 2 ½ day orientation program, Welcome Scranton! Personally, ALP allows me to interact with fellow community leadership professionals who are doing the same exact work as me – but in their own respective communities!  It’s such an amazing network of leaders who are fully dedicated to growing and improving their communities through the work of leadership programs. Serving as ALP treasurer is a real win-win experience for Leadership Lackawanna since this role helps to elevate our status – yes, we are a nonprofit from Scranton, PA – but now we are on the same level playing field as our counterparts from around the Unites States like Orlando, FL, Austin, Texas, San Francisco, CA and Bend, OR.,” commented Nicole Morristell.

Nicole Morristell is the executive director of Leadership Lackawanna, the non-profit Chamber affiliate dedicated to community leadership and professional development. Leadership Lackawanna consists of a 10-month core program, a five-week executive program, a seven-month youth program, a 2 day community exploration program called Welcome Scranton!, a collegiate program, and an 8-week online fundamentals 2.0 program. Before joining the Leadership staff in 2008, Morristell worked for the local Girl Scout organization, where she served in a number of positions over the years, including marketing and community outreach specialist, public relations director, and special events manager.

She is a graduate of Elizabethtown College and is actively involved with Supporters of Camp Archbald, where she serves as President, Abington Christian Academy’s Parent Advisory Board, LCBC Church Kids Ministry, Countryside Conservancy, and Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA.

Pictured: Lura Hammond, Executive Director of ALP, and Nicole Morristell, Executive Director, Leadership Lackawanna

About Leadership Lackawanna
Leadership Lackawanna, an affiliate of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, is a 501(c)(3) charitable, nonprofit organization in northeastern Pennsylvania dedicated to community leadership and professional development. Leadership’s six programs: Tomorrow’s Leaders Today, Leadership Collegiate, Core, Leadership Fundamentals 2.0, Executive, and Welcome Scranton!—enhance the skills, connections, and knowledge of emerging and established leaders, enabling them better to serve our communities, workplaces, and organizations. Established in 1982, Leadership Lackawanna has created more than 2,600 community leaders. For more information, visit

About the Association of Leadership Programs
The Association of Leadership Programs serves over 275 community leadership programs across the United States and beyond. The association strives to enhance the wellbeing of all communities through the work of community leadership programs. Founded in 2010, the mission of ALP is to strengthen the effectiveness of leadership programs and professionals. Authentic and organic community leadership development requires taking a critical look at situations, opportunities, and challenges our communities face through the lens of the entire community and pursuing a course that enhances the wellbeing of all.

About The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization that works to improve the area’s economic environment and quality of life by offering programs and services which stimulate economic growth, promote business prosperity and nurture educational opportunities. For more information about the Chamber, visit