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Our New Issue is Headed Your Way

July August 2014The July/August 2014 issue of The Penn Stater is hitting mailboxes this week. If you’ve already received your copy, you know that the cover features a striking image of war-torn Belgium during World War I. In the cover story, “World War I Revisited,” associate professor Sophie De Schaepdrijver talks about the lessons we can still learn from the Great War. With the centennial now approaching, De Schaepdrijver’s insights are both timely—and surprising.

In another feature, titled “Critical Condition,” you’ll learn about physician-turned-filmmaker (not to mention cancer survivor) Ryan McGarry ’05. His documentary, Code Black, chronicles life in Los Angeles County Hospital’s overcrowded ER. Released in June, the film is already earning buzz on the film-festival circuit.

“Plant Life” focuses on the career of Holly Shimizu ’76, who spent 14 years as executive director of the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C.. Along with some lovely photos, the story features Shimizu’s best tips for amateur gardeners.

Other good stuff in the issue: A fun look at all the ways the university’s latest capital campaign is helping Penn Staters; a Q&A with a labor relations prof who thinks we should all put in fewer hours (really!); and a short profile of Pennsylvania’s official wine expert, Denise Gardner ’07.

Have you received the July/August issue yet? Let us know what you think. Comment below or email heypennstater@psu.edu.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

 

 

 

 

July 2, 2014 at 8:54 am 2 comments

The May/June Issue: Headed Your Way

May June 2014Our new issue is making its way to mailboxes now. And yep, that’s incoming president Eric Barron on the cover. A feature story—for which senior editor Lori Shontz ’91, ’13g made an impromptu trip to sunny Tallahassee in March—offers a deeper look at Barron’s career, his family, his personality, and the leadership style he’ll bring to Penn State when he takes office on May 12.

Eric Barron is one of three important presidents featured in the issue: You’ll also find a Q&A with outgoing president Rodney Erickson and a tribute to former president Joab Thomas, who passed away in early March.

On the lighter side, there’s a fun collection of classroom memories submitted by readers — who surprised us with both heartwarming and hilarious tales (my personal favorite features a certain Modern Family star). And be sure to check out the quirky and colorful illustrations by talented artist Nigel Buchanan.

Another highlight: In “Paper Trail”, writer Brian Raftery ’99 (a contributing editor at Wired) explores the complicated love-hate relationship between The Daily Collegian and Onward State — and what happens when a snarky web startup threatens a 125-year-old Penn State institution. It’s a great read, for sure.

Let us know what you think of the May/June issue by commenting below or emailing us at heypennstater@psu.edu.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

 

 

April 30, 2014 at 3:59 pm 2 comments

The Penn Stater Daily — April 29, 2014

Going green: The Croke Park Classic is still four months away, but preparations are well underway. Yesterday’s Lancaster Online detailed some of the prep going on in Dublin, which includes turning the soccer field into a regulation-size American football field. And it’s not just the big game on Aug. 30 Coach James Franklin is excited about: “It’s going to be cool for our kids — a cultural experience, since most of them have never been outside of the country. I want them to experience the art, music and culture and I hope our guys get a win — along with some good Irish food.” 

Great sport: ESPN writer Dana O’Neil ’90 is on campus today. Onward State reports that she’s lunching with Comm students this afternoon and speaking to the Association for Women in Sports Media tonight. O’Neil, who joined ESPN in 2007, is the incoming president for the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Cream of the crop: Now here’s a ranking to get excited about: Bon Appetit magazine ranked U.S. colleges with the best food scenes — and it’s no surprise that Penn State (along with Berkey Creamery and the famous ice cream short course) earned a spot on the list. The logic behind the choice: “Having an ice cream school on campus definitely means good vibes.” 

Hand it to him: Yesterday we told you about the inaugural Herb Hand Pizza Crawl, which was a big hit, raising nearly $5,000 for charity. Coach Hand’s rap debut, however? Check out this video and judge for yourself.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

April 29, 2014 at 10:59 am Leave a comment

‘A Norm of Caring’: Experts Discuss Child Abuse Prevention

pinwheelsThe HUB Auditorium was silent.

Jennie Noll, director of Penn State’s Network on Child Protection and Well-Being, had just asked if anyone in the audience knew how many children in the United States were affected each year by abuse. Not one person raised a hand.

Noll revealed the answer: nearly 2 million. Silence again.

“How come we don’t know that?” asked Noll. “How come everyone doesn’t know that?”

That difficult question was the focus of last night’s panel discussion, “Making a Difference, Every Day… Preventing Child Abuse Begins With You.” At the event, sponsored in part by the Alumni Association, keynote speaker James Hmurovich, CEO and president of Prevent Child Abuse America, led an honest, emotional discussion about the issues of child abuse, neglect, and maltreatment — and the ways communities can keep kids safe. Some highlights from Hmurovich’s address:

-Because of his background in the Indiana Department of Corrections, Hmurovich became aware of the strong link between child abuse and juvenile delinquency. When he learned that 63 percent of the girls and boys in the Indiana juvenile correction system had been abused as children, “I started to put together the puzzle pieces,” he says.

-In his work with the Child Welfare Department, Hmurovich recalls talking with women who were able to successfully get off welfare. In describing how they did it, he says, their stories all began with the same phrase: “Someone took the time to …” Hmurovich’s takeway: It’s up to us, individually and as a community, to “create a norm of caring.”

-Hmurovich says federal legislators must create public policy and provide tools for parents and caregivers to ensure healthy childhood development, he says. “Our public policy in the U.S. isn’t exactly where it should be.”

Later in the evening, as part of the panel discussion, Montgomery County assistant district attorney and Alumni Association vice president Kevin Steele ’92g talked about the importance of child advocacy centers, like the ones he’s helped establish throughout Pennsylvania with non-profit group Mission Kids. Because these centers employ “investigative teams” of experts to interview children after abuse, victims aren’t forced to retell their stories to multiple people during the legal process — an experience that’s often painful, he says. The goal of Mission Kids and programs like it, explained Steele, is not only to achieve justice, but to promote healing for victims of abuse.

Steele also encouraged students in the audience to stay involved with child abuse prevention programs even after graduation, explaining that many PSAA chapters are active with child protection organizations around the country.

At the end of the evening, guests were invited to take blue pinwheels — a symbol, explained Hmurovich, of “every child’s right to a happy, healthy childhood.”

Mary Murphy, associate editor

 

April 24, 2014 at 3:11 pm Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — April 24, 2014

Ty Burrell

Burrell grabs a cold one in his new digs. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Funny business: Our March/April cover boy, Ty Burrell ’97g, scored a new role: bar owner. Burrell just opened Beer Bar, a cozy brewpub in downtown Salt Lake City. The new spot is right next door to Bar X, a cocktail lounge Burrell co-owns. Like its name, Beer Bar’s menu is nothing fancy (think bratwurst and fries). The real attraction: a whopping 150 brews on tap.

Speaking out: April is sexual abuse awareness month (more on this later today), and a powerful event last night on campus helped spread the word. At “Take Back the Night,” now in its fifth year at Penn State, survivors of abuse — both men and women — gathered in front of Old Main to share their stories. Said senior Nicauris Rosario: “To see men stand up and share how they are affected by these situations, it opened a lot of people’s eyes.” Check out the Collegian‘s coverage here

Big money: Just how successful are the Weebly guys (David Rusenko ’07, Dan Veltri ’07, and Chris Fanini ’12)? Onward State helped answer that question yesterday, in a story about the Web startup’s founders. Thanks to recent funding from Chinese company Tencent and a California-based venture capitalist, Weebly’s now valued at $455 million. So yeah. Pretty successful.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

 

 

April 24, 2014 at 11:18 am Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — April 22, 2014

Screen shot 2014-04-22 at 11.27.12 AM

Photo finish: At last year’s Boston Marathon, Erin Strout ’97, a writer for Running Times magazine, was in a media center one block from the finish line when two bombs exploded. She recounted her experience in our July/Augsust 2013 issue: “There was … an instinct to start reporting, absorbing reactions, setting aside my panic.” This year, the scene at the finish was much more celebratory for Strout, who posed for a photo with (American!) victor, Meb Keflezighi, and posted it to Instagram with the caption: “Sorry. Sometimes you gotta take off your professional hat for a minute & be a fan.” 

She’s a morning person: It was announced yesterday that Good Morning America lifestyles anchor Lara Spencer ’91 has been promoted to co-host. Spencer nabbed the anchor spot in 2011, and since then, GMA has ousted Today as the No. 1 morning show in the country. Says ABC News chief James Goldston:”Lara is clearly an essential ingredient in the success we have enjoyed.” Way to go, Lara!

Instant mood boost: Everyone at Penn State Berks is happy — and we do mean everyone. A huge crew of students, faculty, staff, and a certain mascot all get down to the song of the moment in this fun YouTube video, created by Berks student Connor Hough.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

April 22, 2014 at 11:37 am Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — April 17, 2014

Space jam: It was a party yesterday afternoon at the HUB for the announcement of the Homecoming 2014 Honorary Grand Marshal. The lucky leader: Michael Paul, director of the Lunar Lion team. We told you all about Lunar Lion’s mission to the moon back in the fall (it was the cover story in our Nov./Dec. 2013 issue), and since then, the team has made huge strides, with 120 students now working on the project.

More than words: Here’s a feel-good story about a Penn State fencer who’s helping promote LGBT equality in college sports. Working with non-profit group Athlete Ally, Heather Nelson wants fellow athletes to understand the power of their words: “It can be hard to be an athlete who isn’t out to their team and be forced to listen to teammates make derogatory comments,” says Nelson. “It can drive you to feel less like you belong and less like a welcome member of the team.” Check out Athlete Ally’s Q&A with Nelson here.

Groovy movie: Well, this is… interesting. Ripped! is a psychedelic, sci-fi, musical film about a British rock group in space. Film profs Rob Bingaman and Maura Shea co-created the film, which premiered last night at the State Theatre. Penn State students and alums make up the entire cast and crew. Trust me — the trailer is worth your 2 minutes and 33 seconds.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

April 17, 2014 at 12:07 pm Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — April 15, 2014

Monday Night Live: Kenan Thompson brought big laughs to Eisenhower Auditorium last night as part of the Student Programming Association’s Comedy Month. Thompson, who’s been a cast member on Saturday Night Live for a whopping 11 seasons, performed stand-up and answered audience members’ questions about SNL. Check out the Collegian’s coverage here (warning: some of Thompson’s material borders on NSFW). My favorite snippet: When asked which celebrity made the worst guest host, Thompson demurred—but admitted that her name just happens to rhyme with “Baris Milton.”

Coming soon: Here’s some cool news about a program coming to University Park in July: The “Summer Academy for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired” is a three-week program that helps visually impaired students transition to a life in a college setting, with networking workshops and career-planning help. The academy is spearheaded by Penn State and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry; Penn State students in the College of Education will work as chaperones. Read more here.

Phoenix rising: Maggie Lucas is headed west: The Lady Lion senior guard was selected by the Phoenix Mercury with the 21st overall pick in the WNBA draft last night. The Phoenix Mercury last won the WNBA championship in 2009; this year, the team finished third in the West conference. Lucas, who’s coming off her own record-breaking season, shared her reaction on Twitter (below): 

Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 11.11.37 AM

Mary Murphy, associate editor

 

April 15, 2014 at 11:35 am Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — April 10, 2014

Good instincts: We were all shocked and saddened yesterday morning to hear about the tragic stabbings at a high school in Murraysville, Pa., in which 24 people were injured. The few bright spots in the tragedy are the stories of students and faculty members who reacted quickly and bravely to help one another and subdue the attacker. One of those heroes is high-school senior—and future Penn Stater—Ian Griffith, who is enrolled for the the fall semester. Griffith helped Assistant Principal Sam King hold down the armed student. Griffith downplayed his hero status in an interview with The Pittsburgh Tribune: “I just acted on instinct,” he said.

Sole men: Yes, more than 100 guys walking through campus in high heels might look a little funny, but “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” is raising awareness for a very serious issue. It’s Sexual Assault Awareness month, and the student-run group Men Against Violence wants male students to show support for women on campus by donning high heels (they’re provided) and making the trek down Pollock Road today at 1 pm. Says MAV’s adviser Dylan Howser: “Sexual assault is framed as a women’s issue, and if we continue to frame it that way, men won’t see it as important.”

1915studybreakPipe dreams: Here’s a fun Throwback Thursday photo, tweeted by Penn State Engineering (@PSUEngineering) this morning — a group of undergrads taking a study break, 1915-style. Who needs an iPhone when you have fancy pipes, jars of peanut butter and, um, a bunch of random pots and pans?

Mary Murphy, associate editor

 

April 10, 2014 at 11:12 am Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — April 4, 2014

He’s got CLASS: Tim Frazier ’13 was named a First Team Senior CLASS Award finalist yesterday. The award, which stands for “Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School,” honors seniors who excel on the court and in the classroom. Finalists are selected by Division 1 coaches nationwide.

Spreading the love: Got spirit? That’s what it’s all about next week, during Blue & White Society’s PSi(heart)U week, a seven-day celebration of Penn State pride. Themed events throughout campus will get alumni and students psyched up for Blue-White Weekend. Check out the full schedule of events here.

Young at heart: Speaking of spirit, have you read yesterday’s post about 102-year-old birthday girl Peg Barnard Chalfant ’34? She’s the second-oldest Penn State alumna in the world, a former May Queen, and a current Kindle lover. I think Peg’s memories from her college days—and her thoughts on growing older—will definitely make you smile.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

April 4, 2014 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

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