Diana Bishop and Justin Scheman’s Amazing Race

You may have seen the elaborate, Amazing Race-themed proposal video orchestrated by Justin Scheman. The video featured Scheman and his then-girlfriend Diana Bishop ’07 completing tasks in several states, and culminated in the two getting engaged in Iceland.

The video must have caught the attention of someone at The Amazing Race, because Bishop and Scheman are competing on Season 27 of the show. It was filmed earlier this year, debuted on Sept. 25, and through three episodes, the pair have done great, finishing in the top two in two of the first three weeks. So far, this season has brought “The Green Team” to Brazil and Argentina.

Good thing that Scheman and Bishop came into this season with some experience, eh?

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

October 12, 2015 at 12:38 pm Leave a comment

Penn State’s ‘Titanic’ an Engrossing Tale

SHIP'S CREW: From left, musical theatre major Benjamin Nissen as Second Officer Lightoller, School of Theatre faculty member Ted Christopher as Captain Smith, and musical theatre student Khaleel Mandel as First Officer Murdoch.

From left, musical theatre major Benjamin Nissen as Second Officer Lightoller, School of Theatre faculty member Ted Christopher as Captain Smith, and musical theatre student Khaleel Mandel as First Officer Murdoch.

A Broadway musical may seem like an odd way to tell a tragic tale, but author and composer Maury Reston pulled it off with Titanic, which debuted at New York’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in early 1997. The play went on to win five Tony Awards, enjoyed modest success before closing two years later, and lives on today in regional theatre.

(The play is no relation to the James Cameron movie of the same name, which came out in December of 1997.)

In the Penn State Centre Stage production of Reston’s musical, which opened last night in the Pavilion Theatre, theatre students and faculty bring to life the complicated characters involved in the 1912 disaster—from the ship’s proud owner (Bruce Ismay, played by Steve Snyder) and designer (Thomas Andrews, played by Richard Roland), both of whom are on board for the maiden voyage, to the snooty first-class passengers, to the wannabes in second class, to the emigrants in third class sailing toward a better life in America.

Richard Roland as the ship's designer, Thomas Andrews.

The Titanic‘s designer, Thomas Andrews (played by Richard Roland), is overcome with anguish as the ship goes down.

The musical traces a trajectory that starts with the optimism and opulence of the first few days on the ship and ends with the encounter with an iceberg and the disbelief, anger, and grief that follows.

In an especially intense scene, Ismay, Andrews, and the ship’s captain (Edward Smith, played by Ted Christopher) hurl recriminations at one another. Later, after the lifeboats are full and those left on the ship face the inevitable, Andrews agonizes over whether his design is what has led so many people to their deaths.

Titanic runs through Oct. 17 in the Pavilion Theatre. Highly recommended.

Tina Hay, editor

October 9, 2015 at 11:22 am 1 comment

A Look Back At Our September/October 1994 Issue

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 2.15.41 PM

Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1990. Along with the athletic benefits that came from joining a major conference, our Sept./Oct. 1994 issue points out that there were academic benefits that came with the move. Namely, Penn State joined the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, which is made up of every Big Ten school and the University of Chicago. Here’s what then-executive vice president and provost John Brighton had to say about the CIC:

“The academic implications of the Big Ten and the CIC are far more important than the athletic implications, though the two are not in conflict or competition. The vastness and magnitude of CIC efforts will help us improve the way we do things. We are are now exchanging ideas—on a regular basis—with a group of schools that rank among the best research universities in the country.”

This issue also includes a look at some of the diners that used to be in State College, which was a diner hotbed. There is also a profile on author Alecia Swasy ’85, a story on beagles tasked with sniffing out agricultural contraband, and a collection of the best student poetry from the College of the Liberal Arts’ Katey Lehman Creative Writing Awards.

Do you have a copy of the issue? If so, we’d love to see it. Feel free to post it on our Facebook wall, or send a tweet to @PennStaterMag.

October 8, 2015 at 1:47 pm Leave a comment

Penn State Pizza Squirrel Trumps NYC Pizza Rat

photo-5The NYC pizza rat—you know, the rat who dragged a slice of pizza down a flight of subway steps last month and achieved instant fame—is still making headlines. Well, this morning on my walk to the office, I noticed this focused friend having his morning pizza outside the Hintz Family Alumni Center. (New Yorkers aren’t the only ones who brunch.) We don’t know much about Penn State Pizza Squirrel, but we do know that he deliberately chose to take a break from hoarding nuts for the upcoming winter to snack on this likely hours-old cold slice from—just a guess—Canyon Pizza. We won’t judge, Penn State Pizza Squirrel. You do you.

Amy Downey, senior editor

October 8, 2015 at 10:05 am 1 comment

Meet Your New Favorite Penn State Poster

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 12.52.58 PMSome time last week, I was notified about a new Twitter follower called School Street Posters. It caught my attention for a few reasons: First, no one follows me on Twitter. Second, it’s got a pretty cool street map of State College. And, finally, I already owned two similar posters, but for cities where I used to live, Philadelphia and Boston. Here was a graphic designer with a similar conceptbut instead of city neighborhoods he’s diagramming the street maps of college towns. Smart. Although Eric Strand launched School Street Posters just last year, he’s already created screen prints for the entire Big Ten and Big 12 conferences, plus plenty of other schools. As for State College, they’re available in several colors, but we’re partial to the classic navy and white version. I’m thinking a campus map like this is much more accurateand way prettier to look atthan the one I drew up for my dorm room my freshman year.

Amy Downey, senior editor

October 6, 2015 at 1:26 pm 1 comment

Ken Denlinger, 1942–2015

Ahead of the 1988 season, when a sports writer from the Washington Post, Ken Denlinger ’64, approached Joe Paterno with the idea of following a class of recruits from start to finish—with unfettered access for five years—and writing a book about their experiences in the larger context of big-time college football, the coach said one thing.

Upon the book’s publication in 1994, Paterno revealed:

“I said, ‘Ken, I want it honest. I don’t want it to be one way or the other. I want it honest. I want it to be a book that somebody could pick up and understand just a little bit, have a little better insight as to what these kids have to go through.’ And from what I understand, Ken’s written an honest book.”

For his part, Denlinger found the experience to be “wonderful,” mostly because of the diverse class of athletes profiled in For the Glory, which chronicles the lives of the 28 players recruited to Penn State in 1988, among them Tony Sacca, O.J. McDuffie, John Gerak, Greg Huntington, and Todd Burger.

Denlinger died Saturday after a long battle with cancer.

In his 18-year career at the Post, starting as a reporter in 1965 then as a columnist from 1976, Denlinger covered every major sporting event from the Super Bowl and World Series to the Olympic Games and the Triple Crown of horse racing. He developed a reputation for not being intimidated by power, whether it be in the form of institution or a coach. Athletes for Sale, a 1975 book he co-authored, was based on a series of investigative articles for the newspaper that detailed the unseemly way college basketball recruited high school athletes.

In a fond tribute to his former colleague, award-winning sports writer John Feinstein recalls:

“Anyone who got mad at Ken Denlinger … was mad at the wrong guy. He could be tough when he needed to be in print, but there wasn’t a mean bone in his body. He was a wonderful reporter, a superb columnist, a mentor to a slew of young writers at The Post and — more than anything — a loving husband, father, grandfather and, as he loved to tell us all, a proud great-grandfather.”

His book on Penn State, Denlinger said, came about due to his relationship with Paterno, who he had known since his days working at the Daily Collegian, and his desire to examine the university’s footprint on the college football landscape. The journal Kirkus Reviews described it as “a thoughtful and compelling book” that “is neither a bronzing of Paterno nor a whitewash of college sports. Given the trajectories of the young men he covered, that would be impossible.”

Denlinger died at his home in Frederick, Md. He was 74.

B.J. Reyes, associate editor

October 6, 2015 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

Some Advice and Humor from Farnoosh Torabi


To say that Farnoosh Torabi has accomplished a few things since I last saw her would be an understatement. Back in the spring of 2008, we asked Torabi ’02 to host a New York City roundtable of economic experts—all Penn Staters—for a story on the economic crisis for the magazine. I don’t think I’ve had occasion to talk to her since then.

But about that “since then”: Let’s just say she’s been busy. She’s written three books, earned the Alumni Association’s Alumni Achievement Award, gotten married, had a kid, launched a podcast (So Money, named the No. 1 podcast of 2015), appeared on the Today show a bunch of times, and formed her own enterprise: Farnoosh Inc. You may have seen our short profile of her in our Sept./Oct. 2015 issue.

Today she spoke at the Penn State Forum luncheon, offering some advice and humor from her most recent book: When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women. 

There’s a lot of evidence, Torabi says, that a woman who makes more money than her husband can face tough challenges: Couples in which the woman is the breadwinner have a 50 percent higher divorce rate, and the husband is five times more likely to cheat, to name just two statistics. Not to mention the frustration and resentment the woman might feel—or the judgmental comments from her family or friends.

Her book offers 10 suggestions; in the luncheon today at the Nittany Lion Inn, Torabi spotlighted three of them: (more…)

October 2, 2015 at 2:42 pm Leave a comment

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