Penn State Will Return To Rec Hall (Again)

(c) Annemarie Mountz

(c) Annemarie Mountz

The Nittany Lion basketball team’s 2015-16 non-conference schedule was released today, and it includes a pair of games in Rec Hall. The games will be on Dec. 10 and 12 against Canisius and Louisiana-Monroe, respectively. Penn State most recently played in its old home in 2013.

We’ve written pretty extensively about how spectacular of a venue Rec Hall was during its halcyon days—ESPN’s Jalen Rose has even gone as far as saying it was “easily the hardest place to play in the Big Ten,” according to Grantland’s Kirk Goldsberry ’99. The venue was at its best when the Bruce Parkhill-led Lions took on top-ranked Indiana in 1993, which you can read about right here. Hopefully we see this electric environment again soon.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

August 4, 2015 at 2:16 pm Leave a comment

Michael Mauk Learns That Penn Staters Are Everywhere

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As we all know, Penn Staters are everywhere. But identifying Penn Staters can be a bit difficult, so Michael Mauk ’89 decided to try an experiment: He brings a Penn State flag with him when he travels. It works. “Regardless of where I am when I pull it out, someone always yells ‘We are…'” And sometimes even when they’re not Penn Staters—Mauk says he’s met alumni from other schools who like the idea.

Check out the slideshow above, which features pictures of Mauk’s travels to places such as Paris, Rome, and Beijing.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

August 4, 2015 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Looking for a Lift to Rio

The road to the Olympics isn’t cheap, and if you’re an amateur athlete in a lesser-publicized sport—even a world-class competitor—it can be prohibitive. For Monica Aksamit ’12, the 2012 NCAA fencing runner-up and a three-time All-American during her collegiate career, the road to the 2016 Summer Games in Rio goes through qualifying competitions all over the world. The more she enters, the more points she earns toward her overall ranking. The price tag is steep: Last year alone, she says, travel to international and domestic events topped $13,000.

sponsor_monicaTo help defray costs, Aksamit has launched a campaign through the site, a crowdfunding page focused solely on helping athletes. She started the campaign last week, hoping to raise $23,000 in 45 days and by the end of the first week had raised $3,845. As she says on her campaign page:

With minimal funding in this sport, the purpose of this campaign is to assist in the costs of properly training on my Road to Rio. Like many professional athletes are paid to do their jobs, this is not the case with fencing and I need to give 100% focus to bettering myself in pursuit of the Olympics on a daily basis!

Aksamit has relied mostly on social media and the help of friends acting as her personal sports information department to get the word out. She eventually plans to reach out to other organizations, including local political officials, women’s groups, and fellow fencing members across the country. “I have a relatively set game plan,” she says.

B.J. Reyes, associate editor

August 3, 2015 at 8:09 am Leave a comment

A Spirited Group of Lions

Former women’s soccer All-American midfielder Christine Nairn ’12 posted a very cool shot on her Instagram account Thursday: a pride of Nittany Lions who are now teammates on the Washington Spirit of the National Women’s Soccer League.

Penn State Appreciation Day! Biggest divas on @pennstatewsoc then and now the @washingtonspirit ☝🏼️👑

A photo posted by Christine Nairn (@nairnchristine) on

From left, that’s forward Tiffany Weimer ’06, Nairn, midfielder Joanna Lohman ’04, defender Ali Krieger ’07 (fresh off helping the U.S. to World Cup glory), and rookie defender Whitney Church ’15. The Spirit, who play their home games in Boyds, Md., are back in action Saturday when they host the Houston Dash—whose starting goalkeeper is none other Erin McLeod ’06.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

July 31, 2015 at 10:59 am 1 comment

An Update On Time Traveling Professor Ronald Mallett

Ronald Mallett

Ronald Mallett may be Penn State’s most interesting alumnus. Mallett ’69, ’70 MS, ’73 PhD Sci, whom we profiled in our July/August 2009 issue, is a physics professor at the University of Connecticut who wants to build a time machine in the hope that he can go back and save his father’s life. Mallett’s father died when he was 10 years old, and as he told us, “If I could build a time machine, then I could go back and be with him again.”

Mallett was profiled this week in the Hartford Courant, which reports that he will be a subject in the documentary “How to Build a Time Machine,” which is scheduled to come out in 2016, and that he is (still) in discussions with Spike Lee, who wants to adapt his book Time Traveler for the big screen; Mallett says there’s no clear-cut date as to when we’ll see this film. You can watch the trailer for documentary below:

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

July 30, 2015 at 3:32 pm Leave a comment

Everyone Loves The Creamery


Another day, another honor for The Berkey Creamery. Penn State’s legendary on-campus ice cream parlor, which its celebrating its 150 birthday—and is featured in our current issue, of course—was named the seventh-best ice cream shop in the United States by TimeOut New York. The website lauded the Creamery for the freshness of its ice cream, and was especially fond of two of its less obvious offerings: Apple Cobbler Crunch and Coffee with Cream and Sugar.

The list was noticed by Penn State offensive line coach Herb Hand, who in typical fashion, took to Twitter and wisely used it as a recruiting tool.

(photo via Nick Sloff)

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

July 28, 2015 at 11:47 am 1 comment

Walter Bahr Makes the Cut

Penn Staters know Walter Bahr as one of the best soccer coaches in school history, but he is more widely known as one of the greatest soccer players in U.S. history. In fact, a panel of 20 American soccer writers, journalists, and analysts in British publication The Guardian just named the former midfielder the 24th-best USMNT player of all time. One voter asserted that Bahr—who assisted on the only goal in the famous 1-0 upset of England in the 1950 World Cup—is the greatest player to ever wear the red, white, and blue.

Bahr, a National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee who we profiled in the fall of 2013, has Penn State ties that go beyond coaching. Three of his four children were athletes in Happy Valley: Chris ’75 and Matt Bahr ’79 were stars on both the pitch and the gridiron, while Davies Ann Bahr ’81 was an All-American gymnast.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

July 24, 2015 at 12:55 pm 1 comment

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