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By Stephen Wilson

Broken shards of tile forming something bold, bright, and bigger than the pieces themselves. Such was the theme for the Landis Center for Community Engagement second anniversary.

Last year when the center united under a common name and goal, guests broke tile. That tile was transformed into a mural dedicated by College and community leaders at Fisher Stadium.

Emma Rose Biason, a former March Elementary and Easton Area Middle School student, created the mural, which is a representation of the three figures from the Landis logo surrounded by colors that represent the eclectic nature of a diverse and vibrant community.

Emma Rose Biason stands next to the mosaic she createdArt Kney, professor of civil and environmental engineering and Landis Center director, centered the ceremony around the driving idea that “by working together toward common goals we genuinely become better together … the College, Easton, and the greater Easton community.”

Kney noted that Fisher Stadium was a fitting location as countless community members visit the field, citing the annual Easton–Phillipsburg football game. “Each time they come here, the mosaic will remind them of the strength of the Lafayette/Easton relationship,” he says.

Special guests included Frank D’Angelo, Easton Area School District interim superintendent, and State Rep. Robert Freeman.

Art Kney receives certificate of recognition from state representative Bob Freeman“No measure of any test can determine the impact and value of the programs offered through Landis and at the College,” says D’Angelo. “The bonds built between our students are immeasurable.”

Landis programs include Aspirations, a college-awareness program that helps inspire elementary students who face a number of barriers to success to think about their future and engage in meaningful lessons created by College faculty, school district faculty, and Lafayette students. Other programs include mentorship from College athletes.

Sherryta Freeman, director of athletics, praised the number of athletes who help in the community and made clear that “area youth always have a place in our facilities.”

Freeman passed a certificate of recognition to the Landis staff, thanking them for the ways “the faculty and students enrich the quality of life in our community.”

Kney also thanked the community partners in attendance, saying, “Your time, expertise, and support help our students find creative ways to serve our community, ways that meet the mission of the College and enhance student experiences, and help us graduate informed and active citizens who will continue to make their communities, wherever they live, a priority in their daily lives.”

Guests then took a turn to place the final golden screw that helped secure the mosaic to the wall. 

Athletic Director Sherryta Freeman takes a turn placing the final gold screwProvost John Meier and Melissa Starace, assistant to the president for community relations, both added how Landis is a symbol for the growth of experiential learning where students learn as much as they give.

“This is a true partnership,” says Starace.

Categorized in: Academic News, Campus life, Community, Community-Based Learning and Research, Innovative Teaching and Learning, Landis Center, News and Features, Students