Author Archive

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 1 comment

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 4 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

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