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Letters to the Editor: Summer 2020

More Pulitzers

As an addendum to your story on alumni who have won the Pulitzer Prize, I was lucky enough to be part of teams at the Los Angeles Times that won two Pulitzers in the 1990s for coverage of the Northridge earthquake in 1994 and the North Hollywood shootout in 1997. Though it doesn’t compare to those who won for work on the front lines, page designers and copy editors are essential to prize-winning work.

I have no doubt that there are others with Pulitzers on their shelves who had their first journalistic experience at the Penn and in the classrooms of [David] Truby and [Bob] Russell. 

Doug List ’78
Glendale, CA

Editor’s Note: Melissa Tkach ’99 also wrote in response to “Paths to the Pulitzer” from the Summer/Fall 2019 edition. As multimedia producer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, she contributed to the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the 2018 Tree of Life Synagogue shooting. More about her is in “All about Alumni” in the print magazine. 

A Lasting Influence

I thoroughly enjoyed your article [“‘Old’ Hawk Soars to New Heights,” Summer/Fall 2019] on DJ Horton, as his commitment and perseverance are an example to all of us. However, you missed an opportunity to recognize an IUP tie that helped him develop his abilities, enabling him to succeed—his high school coach, Tom Cecchetti, a former IUP football player and a 1975 IUP grad.

Tom, my brother-in-law [married to Daleen Danielson Cecchetti ’79], has a history of producing state-champion pole vaulters. Although retired, he still holds summer evening sessions at Kane High School for any vaulters in the area who are interested in his coaching and knowledge, free of charge. It is rare in this age that a person with such expertise is willing to share this freely with any athlete open to putting the time in and working hard. Many vaulters, even those at the university level, love to fit in a few sessions with Coach Cecchetti whenever they can.

Being a graduate of both Kane HS and IUP, I am proud of both DJ Horton and his longtime supporter and coach, Tom Cecchetti.

Jocelyn Danielson Raught ’84
Peoria, AZ

IUP Is Everywhere

I was a career Army officer after graduating from IUP and Army ROTC in 1974. 

My final assignment was ROTC at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and our family decided to call Missouri home. I had just started a part-time job in October 2019 at the local veterans’ homeless shelter, Welcome Home, as a housing specialist. One of the first guys I met was Zachary Warlow, who is an Army combat veteran of Afghanistan. Zach is in his early 30s, and I asked him where he went to college. He said, “Oh, you’ve probably never heard of it—Indiana University of Pennsylvania.” I thrust out my hand, smiled, and said, “IUP Class of 1974.” It turned out Zach had graduated from IUP in 2011 and is now my boss. What are the odds?

Al Vargesko ’74
Columbia, MO

A Hacky-Sack Regular

In the hacky-sack photo that you published in the magazine [Summer/Fall 2019], I have my back to the camera (wearing the striped shirt). I don’t recognize any regulars in this particular photo. Classmate Paul Kohler ’89 identified me and brought that to my attention.

Kirk Anderson ’87
State College, PA

Editor’s Note: The writer, Kirk Anderson ’87, shared additional 1980s hacky-sack photos, which appear below. Taken by Elliott Cramer ’89, a former student photographer in IUP’s University Relations Division, the photos show Anderson, in the striped shirt, and alumnus Rick Maljan.

Click on any image to enlarge.