The Centurion staff members posing for photo

The Centurion Student Newspaper Wins a Record 22 Keystone Media Awards

 Bucks County Community College’s student newspaper, The Centurion, won a record 22 awards in the statewide 2024 Student Keystone Media Awards competition, including firsts in categories like general news, public service/enterprise reporting, sportswriting and video news. Since 2010, The Centurion has won more than 180 awards, making it one of the most-honored student newspapers in Pennsylvania. This year’s awards were for work done in the spring and fall 2023 semesters. The paper is produced mostly by students in the College’s journalism program, though non-journalism majors are also welcome to take part. The Student Keystone Media Awards are administered by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association. The Centurion competes in Division III for two-year colleges. Raeanne Raccagno, a 20-year-old journalism major and the editor-in-chief of The Centurion, said, “My biggest goal for the paper has been for us to cover a diverse range of topics. I communicated that with the staff, and they answered with no problem. We added some new content to the paper as well this academic year like comics, more column writing and word games.” Raccagno said the paper is still trying to attract readers on campus. “I’m not sure if it’s cause students don’t expect there to be a paper newspaper, but most students will have no idea about us,” Raccagno said. “I always hear I want to hear about what’s going on at campuses and we’re the place to do that.” Raccagno added that at Bucks, “There are so many impressive departments with experienced professors on campus and they all deserve to have a story.” Tony Rogers, Bucks’ journalism professor and the paper’s faculty advisor said, “Between environmental contaminants being found in several campus buildings and the sudden resignation of the College’s president, this has been a tumultuous year at Bucks. Our students have covered all these events and many others with real professionalism, and I’m extremely proud of the work they’ve done.” The Centurion website is located at and the Instagram is @centurion_bucks. The paper is distributed across the College’s three campuses in Newtown, Bristol, and Perkasie. The Centurion is financially independent. For more information about The Centurion or the College’s journalism program, email The awards will be presented during an awards luncheon on April 11 in Harrisburg. A complete list of the award winners follows: General News - First Place: The Centurion Environmental Findings in Campus Buildings Spark Concerns and Class Changes, Raeanne Raccagno General News - Second Place: The Centurion Bucks County DA Sues Social Media Firms, Raeanne Raccagno Ongoing News Coverage - First Place: The Centurion Environmental Concerns On- and Off-Campus Christian Grosso, Leila Kelley & Raeanne Raccagno Public Service/Enterprise Package - First Place: The Centurion Environmental Findings in Campus Buildings Spark Concerns and Class Changes, Raeanne Raccagno Public Service/Enterprise Package - Second Place: The Centurion Forever Tainted - How PFAS Pollutes Some of Bucks County’s Drinking Water, Christian Grosso Feature Story - First Place: The Centurion SEPTA Looks To Modernize Its Aging Public Transit System, Christian Grosso Feature Story - Honorable Mention: The Centurion ‘Never Forget,’ A Trip To The 9/11 Memorial And Museum, Christian Grosso Personality Profile - First Place: The Centurion Founder of Bucks’ Nursing Program Promotes Never-Ending Compassion, Raeanne Raccagno Personality Profile - Second Place: The Centurion In the Wake of Ganther’s Resignation, New Bucks Provost Faces a Host of Problems, Madison Kifolo Sports Story - First Place: The Centurion Bucks Women’s Basketball is Ready to Bounce Back After An Unsuccessful Last Season, Chris Lopez Sports Story - Second Place: The Centurion Men’s Basketball Struggling; Looks to Make a Comeback, Chris Lopez Sports Story - Honorable Mention: The Centurion Bucks Men’s Basketball Team Brings Home ESAC Championship Title, Raeanne Raccagno Column - First Place: The Centurion Philadelphia 76ers Trade James Harden to LA Clippers; Take Me Out to The Ball Game; Bucks’ Softball Team Comes Back Swinging, Daulton Parry Column - Second Place: The Centurion Attention Ghostface Fans… New “Scream” Video Game in Development; Zoo Wee Mama!; Hold on to Your Golden Ticket?! Raymundo “Ralph” Varela-Urizar Review - First Place: The Centurion ZTSD Punk Bash Lights Up Fishtown, Colt Gunn Cartoon/Graphic Illustration - First Place: The Centurion Dog Life parts 1, 2 and 3, Connor Sturza Feature Photo - First Place: The Centurion Therapy Dogs Visit Bucks, Jesse Fischer Photo Story - First Place: The Centurion ‘Never Forget,’ A Trip To The 9/11 Memorial And Museum, Christian Grosso Website - First Place: The Centurion Raeanne Raccagno, Raymundo “Ralph” Varela-Urizar, Colin Riccardi, Megan Pizarro, Parker DeStefano & Christian Grosso Video Story - First Place: The Centurion Septa Bus Route Changes, Christian Grosso Video Story - Second Place: The Centurion Andy’s Brick Shop is Building Success, Parker DeStefano Video Story - Honorable Mention: The Centurion Sixers Fans Excited About Playoffs, Evan Boyle Photo of Centurion staff: Front row (l to r): Madison Kifolo, Raeanne Raccagno, Raymundo Varela-Urizar, Christian Grosso. Back row (l to r): Chris Lopez, Parker DeStefano, Daulton Parry, Jesse Fischer.
Tom Smarr

Bucks Announces 16th Annual Tyler Formal Gardens & Landscaping Lecture

Bucks County Community College Announces the Sixteenth Annual Tyler Formal Gardens & Landscaping Lecture, April 27, featuring Tom Smarr, Executive Director of Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens Bucks County Community College is pleased to announce the sixteenth annual Tyler Formal Gardens & Landscaping Lecture featuring Tom Smarr, Executive Director of Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens, to be held on Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. at the College’s Newtown Campus (275 Swamp Road, Newtown, Pa. 18940). The lecture topic is “For Love of Garden: Establishing Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens as a Community Resource.” Smarr will discuss one of the region’s great horticultural and botanical garden assets located near Valley Forge Park, and how its story began in 1968 as a loving gift that envisioned the property as a public space to explore a naturalistic botanical garden. Encompassing 48 acres of diverse plant collections, it is home to nationally accredited rhododendrons, azaleas, mountain laurels and eastern North American plants. A tour of the impressive Tyler Formal Gardens will immediately follow the lecture. There will also be an opportunity to purchase raffle tickets to win accents for your garden. Tickets for the sixteenth annual Tyler Formal Gardens & Landscaping Lecture are $15 general admission, free for students with ID, and $10 for veterans and Bucks alumni. Register online or mail your check payable to the BCCC Foundation and the registration form to: Bucks County Community College Foundation, Tyler Hall, Room 221, 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA 18940. The Tyler Formal Gardens & Landscaping Lecture series is part of the Bucks LIVE! series of innovative programs to inform, inspire and enrich the lives of greater Bucks County residents. Please contact Professor Emeritus Lyle Rosenberger at for more information. About Tom Smarr: Mr. Smarr has worked for numerous horticultural institutions from Longwood to West Coast botanic gardens and led the early establishment of horticultural programs at newly opened parks such as the Rose Fitzgerald Greenway in Boston; the High Line in New York City; and the Parklands of Floyds Fork in Louisville, Kentucky. About Tyler Formal Gardens: Tyler Formal Gardens served as the “outdoor parlor” of George F. and Stella Elkins Tyler, original owners of the estate that became Bucks County Community College. The gardens were constructed in the early 1930s to provide a formal landscape setting for the Tylers' magnificent home and to accommodate the large social gatherings that the couple enjoyed hosting. The four-tier gardens, positioned on an acre of land, were greatly influenced by French and Italian gardens and demonstrated characteristics that were common in formal gardens in the Philadelphia area at that time. Architectural plans and photos from the 1930s show four terraces that included gravel walks, fountains, sculptures, staircases, parterres, planting spaces, swimming pool, and tennis courts. The Tyler mansion is arguably the grandest home ever built in Bucks County and believed to be the last of the great estates ever constructed in the United States. In 1987, Tyler Hall (as the mansion is now known) and Tyler Formal Gardens were placed on the National Register of Historical Places.
Weekend art workshops

Four New Weekend Art Workshops at BCCC's Newtown Campus

 Registration is open for the spring “Weekend Art Workshops” at Bucks County Community College. For the first time, the Arts and Communication Department is offering four workshops taught by experts in woodworking, photography, jewelry, and bookbinding. Each workshop is for two days. Visit Weekend Workshops to register before spots fill! “Turn a Tripod Stool” will be taught by Janine Wang on April 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Design and make a sweet and simple small tripod stool using a wide variety of traditional woodturning and woodworking techniques. Both faceplate turning and turning between centers will be used to produce its parts on the lathe, and machine and hand skills will be used to construct off the lathe. Design possibilities are endless with this template, and you will leave with a unique, handcrafted, functional piece of furniture, as well as exposure to a whole suite of skills including spindle joinery and fitting, paper joining, sacrificial work holding, layout work, through tenon joinery, and much more. All levels are welcome, including beginners. Photographer Sandra C. Davis will teach “Cyanotype Printing” on April 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. This workshop will introduce participants to working with photographic images and light resists (anything that blocks light in various tones) on a variety of alternative surfaces. Participants will learn the steps to make digital negatives from digital captures. Coated surfaces can be exposed in the sun or using an ultraviolet light source. There will be an emphasis on making unique prints that convey a personal vision. This workshop does not require any darkroom or Photoshop experience. On April 20 and 21, metal smith and jeweler Paris Muchanic will guide participants to create a one of a kind “Viking Bracelet.” During day one, participants will learn the basics of wire handling for the weaving process, the Viking weave pattern, and finishing the chain. On day two, attendees will explore soldering and sawing basics, stone setting and finishing touches to complete the sterling silver and stone bracelet. Dave DiMarchi’s “Hardcover Binding, Zines & Journals” workshop on April 20 and 21 will explore the ins and outs of contemporary bookmaking, towards making participants’ own professionally (and archivally!)-bound journal, sketchbook, or albums. This workshop will introduce participants to bookmaking techniques—the basics of paperfolding, adhesives, stitching and sewing, and handcraft—to begin to integrate bookmaking into the participants’ artistic practice. Participants will work with high-quality archival materials, easy-to-master skills, and step-by-step processes towards creating a suite of handmade books. Along the way, participants will establish basic mark-making techniques in printmaking processes to further personalize their book cloths and end papers.   Instructor biographies Janine Wang is a woodworker and educator based out of Philadelphia, PA. She teaches woodturning within the Fine Woodworking department at Bucks County Community College and woodworking at the West Philly-based non-profit Tiny WPA. She additionally leads various workshops and demonstrations across the states every year and continues to explore the wide world of furniture from her woodshop. She has a formal educational background in architecture and furniture arts from the Cooper Union and Rhode Island School of Design, has garnered a working education from the wonderful woodworking and production industry in Philadelphia, and done residencies at various craft institutions including the Museum for Art in Wood, Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, and Goggleworks Center for the Arts. She believes a hands-on approach is crucial in good design and is excited to share in this as much and often as she can. Sandra C. Davis is a fine art photographer whose haunting imagery is about capturing remembered moments from the past to cherish in the future. Most of her work is printed in gum bichromate, palladium, cyanotype, and other alternative photographic processes. She teaches alternative photography classes at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and teaches alternative photography workshops throughout the USA. Her works have been published in several books on alternative processes including: The Book of Alternative Processes, Second and Third Editions by Christopher James as well as Gum Printing and Other Amazing Contact Printing Processes and Gum Printing, A Step-by-Step Guide, Highlighting Artists and Their Creative Practices by Christina Z. Anderson. Her award-winning images have been exhibited internationally and are in public, corporate and private collections. Paris Muchanic has always felt the push pull between science and art. The sciences won out until 2004 when she discovered metal smithing. The properties of metal satisfied the science “geek” in her, while creating wearable art fed her creativity. Her first classes were at Bucks County Community College under instructor Cris Martino who allowed her the freedom to explore. She joined the Pennsylvania Society of Goldsmiths in 2005 where she was invited to join the Board of Directors. As Workshop Coordinator, she had the privilege of continuing her journey learning from world-class artisans such as Marne Ryan, Harold O’Connor, and Allen Revere. Paris has shown her work at area craft shows and galleries. She has taught beginning to intermediate metal smithing at the Wayne Art Center. Dave DiMarchi is a queer, multi-disciplinary artist working in printmaking, papermaking, and sculptural book forms. Nurturing ideas into singular and editioned works, he engages in a relentless material practice. As a multi-disciplinary artist, he has exhibited works on paper, installations, and books in the US and internationally. In addition to teaching printmaking, papermaking and book forms throughout the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania area, he maintains a small collaborative studio and art space in New Hope, Pennsylvania. In autumn of 2022, he was announced as the Arts Council of Princeton’s Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence, through which he developed a practice of collage-based multimedia and print works. He also serves as the Arts Council’s Printmaking Studios Manager and Master Printer, and as Instructor of Printmaking and Drawing at two New Jersey community colleges. For nearly 15 years, he has created his own work, curated exhibitions, provided print exchange opportunities, and published fine art prints as 9INHANDPRESS, a fine art printmaking and education studio located in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
Sara Trudo, Self-Portrait, Adobe Photoshop

29th Annual High School Art Exhibition Opens March 29 at Hicks Art Center

 Hicks Art Center is pleased to host the 2024 United States Congressional Art Competition for the Pennsylvania First Congressional District and to present the 29th Annual High School Art Exhibition. Art teachers from over 20 area high schools will select artworks in digital media, 2D and 3D art categories made by their students between May 2023 and March 2024 to be considered for the US Congressional Art Competition Prize and 29th Annual High School Art Exhibition Awards totaling $1,500 in prize monies. Competitions such as this are held in every congressional district nationwide each spring. The first-place winning artwork from this exhibition will be sent to Washington, D.C., where it will represent Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District and be displayed in the corridors of the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for a year. More than 200 artworks in drawing, painting, photography, digital media, ceramics, fibers, sculpture and furniture showcasing the local, young artists’ creative talents fostered by esteemed high school art teachers will fill the galleries and hallways of Hicks Art Center. On view from Friday, March 29 through Sunday, April 14, an opening reception and awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, April 14 from 12:30 - 4 p.m. Pennsylvania District 1 Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick will present the awards at 1 p.m. Free and open to the public. Hosted by the Bucks County Community College Arts and Communication Department at Hicks Art Center on the College’s Newtown Campus (275 Swamp Road, Newtown, Pa. 18940). Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on the following Saturdays from 12 -4 p.m. during the exhibition: March 30, April 6, 13. For additional information, please visit Hicks Art Center Gallery and the department’s Instagram account @bcccartscomm.
Human Trafficking Forum

Bucks Holds Forum to Raise Awareness About Human Trafficking

Allegra Cressman of Worthwhile Wear, a nonprofit that serves human trafficking survivors, speaks March 7 about how to end modern-day slavery. Human trafficking is a crime that deprives millions of people of their dignity and freedom, as at-risk populations are exploited for labor or commercial sex. According to the U.S. Department of State, an estimated 27.6 million people are currently victims of trafficking worldwide, and, sadly, many of them are often hidden right in front of us. Bucks County Community College seeks to raise awareness of this major problem by inviting the public to a free forum at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, in-person and online. Allegra Cressman, Director of Programming at Worthwhile Wear, will speak about how the nonprofit is working to end modern-day slavery. Worthwhile Wear provides a residential program to help survivors of human trafficking with counseling, education, and training. The organization also operates thrift stores in Plumsteadville and Collegeville to help fund its mission and to offer employment opportunities to women in their programs. As Director of Programming, Cressman oversees the development of Worthwhile Wear’s housing, employment, and community-based outreach and empowerment programs for survivors of human trafficking. Prior to joining the team, she was the Executive Director at Family Promise of the Main Line, and before that spent 19 years as the Housing Program Director at Keystone Opportunity Center. Cressman’s talk takes place at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, in the Gallagher Room, located inside the Rollins Center building on the College’s campus at 275 Swamp Rd, Newtown, Pa. The event will also be streamed live online for those who register in advance. The event is sponsored by the College’s office of DEI Programs and the Bucks Catholic Student Association. To learn more, contact

Unveiling the Supernatural: Bucks County ParaCon!, Saturday, March 9

First Annual Paranormal Conference Set to Thrill Audiences on Bucks County Community College’s Newtown Campus Get ready for a spine-tingling adventure into the unknown as Bucks County Community College presents the inaugural Bucks County ParaCon! This one-day extravaganza, dedicated to all things paranormal, will take place on Saturday, March 9, 2024, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., on the College’s Newtown Campus (275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA 18940) in the Zlock Performing Arts Center. Bucks County ParaCon! promises an immersive and electrifying experience for attendees, featuring a lineup of esteemed speakers, captivating presentations, and an array of vendors offering intriguing merchandise related to the supernatural world. Hosted by Eric Mintel and team member spirit medium Dominic Sattele, this event is a must-attend for enthusiasts of ghosts, Bigfoot, UFOs, and beyond. Special guest speaker Nick Pope, renowned for his work as the host of History Channel's Ancient Aliens, will share his insights and experiences in the realm of ancient mysteries and extraterrestrial phenomena. His presence adds an extra layer of excitement to an already star-studded lineup of speakers. Attendees will have the opportunity to delve into the mysteries of the paranormal with engaging presentations by renowned experts in the field. From discussions on ghost hunting techniques to explorations of extraterrestrial encounters, each session promises to enlighten and enthrall audiences. Additional speakers at Bucks County ParaCon! include: 1-1:45 p.m. Jim Krug: Experienced ghost hunter and founder of a leading paranormal investigation team. 2-2:45 p.m. Eric Mintel and Dominic Sattele: Eric is host of the event and a passionate advocate for paranormal exploration; team member and spirit medium Dominic Sattele, offers unique perspectives on communication with the other side. 3-4 p.m. Nick Pope: Special guest speaker. 4:15 – 5 p.m. Bill Birnes: Noted author and investigator, sharing his expertise on UFOs and government conspiracies. 5:15- 6 p.m. Tom Carey: Renowned UFO researcher and author, shedding light on Roswell and other infamous cases. 6:15- 7 p.m. Eric Spinner: Paranormal investigator and author, delving into the world of cryptozoology and mysterious creatures. Attendees can browse the offerings of vendors in the adjoining theater lobby area, where a variety of paranormal-themed merchandise will be available for purchase. There is ample free parking, food trucks and a lobby (cash) bar. CosPlay welcomed! For more information about Bucks County ParaCon! and to purchase $45 general admission tickets, please visit the Zlock Performing Arts Center.

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