Author Archive

Headed Your Way: The Nov./Dec. Issue

untitledThe Nov./Dec. 2014 issue of The Penn Stater is hitting mailboxes now, and it just may be my favorite cover to date—a pretty huge statement, considering that A-lister/bus driver we featured earlier this year.

The cover art, courtesy of illustrator Aaron Meshon, is just so darn cheerful. After reading the accompanying story, a compilation of readers’ favorite memories from life in the dorms, you’ll understand what some of those crazy characters are up to. As always, the stories submitted by readers were lots of fun to read, and it wasn’t easy choosing which ones to include. We received so many great stories, in fact, that we’ll be featuring a few of the runners-up here on the blog. Stay tuned for that.

Another highlight in this issue is a story commemorating the 50th anniversary of women’s sports at Penn State. “The Long Game” features lots of archival photos and interviews with the athletes, who share detailed memories of those first years. This was the last piece former senior editor Lori Shontz ’91, ’13g wrote for us before heading to Oregon to teach journalism, and it’s just a reminder of what a thorough reporter Lori is. (We miss her—can you tell?)

You’ll also find a profile of John Kimmich ’93, owner of Alchemist Brewery in Vermont and the man behind Heady Topper—an India Pale Ale widely regarded as the best beer in the world. Kimmich overcame some major setbacks before hitting it big in the beer world, and his story’s a good one.

Also in this issue: A look back at Dr. Dick Bundy’s career as Blue Band director; a cool archeology project that brought a group of undergrads to Israel; an update on former Nittany Lion Devon Still ’11, who’s helping his four-year-old daughter, Leah, fight cancer; and more.

Had a chance to check out the new issue yet? Tell us what you think. Comment below or email heypennstater@psu.edu.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

October 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm Leave a comment

Innovation Through Illustration

Frame ChangersOver the weekend, we heard about this cool project from Khanjan Mehta ’83g, director of Penn State’s Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship program. You might remember Mehta’s piece, called “Why Ideas Fail,” from the Jan./Feb. 2014 issue—or perhaps you caught his Huddle with the Faculty talk on social entreprenuership this past Saturday. In his latest project, a cartoon series called “Frame Changers,” Mehta offers a new take on those same concepts: namely, how smart, sustainable technology can improve lives for people in developing countries.

Since 2004, Mehta has made dozens of trips to rural communities in Africa. In creating “Frame Changers,” illustrated by artist Jabez Issa, Mehta hopes to share some of what those experiences have taught him. He writes on his website: “While this quest for improving the human condition has yielded a few ‘game changers’, there have been countless everyday ‘frame changers’: moments that have challenged my beliefs, values and rational assumptions. Moments that have made me revisit my philosophy of engagement and rethink my concepts of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

To see more, check out Khanjan Mehta’s website, or visit the Frame Changers Facebook page.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

September 9, 2014 at 3:59 pm Leave a comment

The Sept./Oct. Issue is Coming Your Way

SeptOctCoverOur Sept./Oct. issue is arriving in mailboxes this week, and that throwback shot of Ki-Jana Carter ’95 should grab your attention.

The photo is part of “What a Trip,” an eight-page oral history about the 1994 football team’s crazy, Murphy’s Law-inspired road trip to Champaign, Ill.—where the Lions went on to win the national championship. For the story, senior editor Ryan Jones ’95 interviewed 19 former players, managers, and coaches, who recalled the experience in vivid (and sometimes hilarious) detail.

Also in this issue: “For Hire,” an essay by Penn State prof Michael Bérubé, who talks about his son Jamie’s search for employment—and independence. Jamie, who is 22 and has Down syndrome, has faced some unexpected struggles since graduating from high school, and his father reflects on what it all means for Jamie’s future.

Other good stuff in the Sept./Oct. magazine: a collection of photos from an engineering class’s spring trip to China; a Q&A with investigative reporter David DeKok, who has some interesting insights into the 1969 murder of Betsy Aardsma; details on the proposed shake-ups to the Board of Trustees; an introduction to Penn State’s new AD, Sandy Barbour, and much more.

What do you think of the new issue? Let us know in the comments or email heypennstater@psu.edu

Mary Murphy, associate editor

August 28, 2014 at 11:11 am 2 comments

Another Emmy for Ty

Ty Burrell nabs his second Emmy. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Ty Burrell nabs his second Emmy. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

No surprise here: Modern Family was the big winner in the comedy category at last night’s Emmy Awards, and our buddy (and March-April cover boy/bus driver) Ty Burrell ’97g nabbed the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

Ty’s been nominated in the same category every year since 2010. He won back in 2011, too. If you missed his adorable acceptance speech, which he claimed was written by the “kids of Modern Family,” be sure to check out the clip here.

Also, if you stayed up late, you may have caught Keegan-Michael Key ’96g and Jordan Peele introduce the Emmy accountants—turning one of the show’s most notoriously boring segments into an especially LOL-worthy moment.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

August 26, 2014 at 10:19 am 1 comment

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 5 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

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