Author Archive

The Penn Stater Daily — April 21, 2014

Smile, you’re in Beaver Stadium: Security is a major priority in the second-largest stadium in North America, and as our buddy Bill DiFilippo writes in today’s CDT, that means lots and lots and lots of cameras in the most prominent building on campus. Penn State’s director of physical security, Scotty Eble, says there are “approximately” 63 cameras in the stadium, a number he says is “constantly changing.” That of course doesn’t count the 100,000 or so phones and handhelds in the building seven Saturdays each fall.

The winds (and drought, and flooding…) of war: Retired Navy Rear Admiral David Titley arrived on campus last fall to direct the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, and as this story from Slate reinforces, there’s a very real impetus for his and the Center’s work: the growing threat of political instability caused or exacerbated by a warming planet. The story includes a Q&A with Titley in which he talks about striving not to politicize the climate change discussion while emphasizing that it’s not “just an environmental issue; it’s a technology, water, food, population issue.”

On the bench, and off: A couple of cool behind-the-scenes features on Penn State sports from student media outlets: The Collegian profiles Dwayne Anderson, a Nittany Lion basketball assistant coach who earned the respect and admiration of Pat Chambers when Chambers was an assistant, and Anderson a player, at Villanova; and Onward State introduces us to the women of Penn State’s nationally competitive club power-lifting team.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

April 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — April 18, 2014

No place like home? A team of astronomers that includes Penn State scientists might beg to differ after the discovery of Kepler-186f, the first Earth-sized planet orbiting a star (not our sun) in a “habitable zone” that would allow for the presence of liquid water. Astronomy and astrophysics professor Eric Ford is co-author of a paper on the discovery, which utilized NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope. It’s a big deal, although probably not somewhere any of us should plan on relocating to anytime soon: Kepler-186f is about 500 light years from Earth.

How their garden grows: Here’s a cool example of collaborative learning and making a positive impact in your community, compliments of students and faculty at Penn State Berks. Undergrads Melissa Sauer and April Moore, both future schoolteachers, were looking for a way to contribute to the local elementary school where both are student teaching. The decided to create a garden, and with the help of Berks faculty from social sciences and biology, as well as classmates majoring in biology, they turned the idea into reality. Now, the garden at Glenside Elementary is a hit, inspiring hands-on learning among a growing number of young students. Says Sauer, “some of the shyest, most withdrawn students are the most involved.”

Diamond days: The State College weekend forecast is 60s and sunny—not quite Blue-White Weekend warm, but still perfect weather for some baseball. The Nittany Lions, who host Illinois in a three-game series starting tonight at Medlar Field, are off to a great start under first-year coach Rob Cooper, including an 8-0 mark at home. I met Rob recently and came away impressed by his positive approach to building a winner in Happy Valley; he also claims to have beat James Franklin to the “dominate the state” recruiting motto, although, as he laughingly admits, “When Coach Franklin says it, they put it on the front page of the newspaper.”

Ryan Jones, senior editor

April 18, 2014 at 12:03 pm Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — April 14, 2014

DSC_9230_med_Tombros_deLorean

Why yes, that is campaign chair Peter Tombros in a DeLorean… Photo by Tina Hay

The future is now: Seven years, 600,000 donors, nearly $2.2 billion raised, and an immeasurable impact on the university. Those are the (almost) final numbers from For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, which was celebrated this weekend at University Park. The fundraising total for the campaign, which officially wraps June 30, stands at $2.158 billion, making Penn State one of just 12 public U.S. universities to exceed a $2 billion goal. As you can see from that shot of campaign chair Peter Tombros ’64, ’68g, the “future” theme allowed for some fun during Saturday’s unveiling of the campaign total. Our Tina Hay ’83 was there and will post some photos from the weekend celebration later today.

A beauty for Blue-White: The Happy Valley weather was glorious this weekend, which was good timing both for the campaign celebration, but also for the return of Penn State football. More than 70,000 fans made their way into Beaver Stadium Saturday afternoon for the Blue-White Game. The game coincided with at least one national recruiting service elevating the Nittany Lions to the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation based on oral commitments for 2015, and with the announcement that John Urschel ’12, ’13g has been named the 2014 winner of the Sullivan Award as the nation’s top amateur athlete. All in all, not a bad weekend for our football program.

Feeling a draft: Maggie Lucas and Ariel Edwards, two standouts from the Lady Lions’ terrific senior class, will be hoping to hear their names called Monday night at the 2014 WNBA Draft. Draft coverage kicks off at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.

Triple-threat Lionettes: The Penn State Lionettes dance team returned from Daytona Beach over the weekend with its third straight national championship. The Lionettes edged Louisville and Virginia Tech to earn the Division I-A title at the NDA Collegiate Dance Championships for the third consecutive year.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

April 14, 2014 at 9:38 am Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — April 11, 2014

A generous parting gift: President Rod Erickson and his wife Shari on Thursday announced a $1 million gift to the university. The donation, which coincides with this weekend’s celebration of the closing of the “For The Future” capital campaign, will benefit the Arboretum, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and the Smeal College of Business. Erickson is set to retire from the university next month.

Klosterman on ethics: I wandered over to the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center on Thursday to hear Chuck Klosterman speak at the “Religion, Ethics, and Choice” symposium hosted by Penn State’s Center for Ethics & Religious Affairs. I met Chuck a decade or so ago through our mutual friend (and occasional Penn Stater contributor) Michael Weinreb ’94; if you know Chuck’s name, it’s probably from his books, his writing for the likes of Esquire and Grantland, or more recently, his role as the Ethicist for the New York Times Magazine. Based in Brooklyn, he generally makes a handful of college speaking engagements each year, but this was the first time he’d been invited somewhere specifically based on the Ethicist gig.

Speaking to a small room—a mix of students, faculty, and campus and community religious leaders—Chuck was, like his writing, often funny and always thought provoking. He read from his latest non-fiction book, I Wear the Black Hat, in which he uses real and fictional villains to grapple with the idea of good v. evil. But for this crowd, the insights into his Ethicist gig were especially interesting:

* He opened by saying he’s not remotely qualified for the job, then added that, in his opinion, “no one is.” (The Times‘ first Ethicist, he noted, was Randy Cohen, a former writer for David Letterman.)

* He was only half joking when he said that, due both to the nature of the job and the reactive tone of so much of modern culture, he’s certain “I’m going to get fired at some point.”

* He said he receives about 100 submissions each week, and that the correspondents are most likely to be “lawyers, new mothers, and academics. Also, a lot of atheists.”

* In helping people solve their ethical quandaries, Chuck says he aims to be “hyper-rational … almost Spock-like” in his responses: “I’ve advised people to do things I’m not sure I would do in my own life.” As for his process: Once he and his editor have chosen which letters to run, Chuck said he thinks about the dilemma, composes a response, and then “I spend two days thinking about all the ways I’d disagree with that response.” He then edits it accordingly. It’s a unique gig, and qualified or not, I think he’s as right as anyone for the job.

Football is back: The forecast calls for temperatures in the high 60s and blue (and white) skies—a perfect day, in other words, for the Blue-White Game. There’s all sorts of fun stuff scheduled in and around Beaver Stadium Saturday. Kickoff is at 1:30. Hope to see you there…

Ryan Jones, senior editor

 

April 11, 2014 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — April 8, 2014

Relief on wheels: I got home Sunday from a few days in New Orleans, one of my favorite places on the planet and the site of this year’s CASE Editor’s Forum, the annual convention for us university magazine types. So it was cool timing today to see this story from The Times-Picayune on Aaron Wertman, a Penn State undergrad trying to help revitalization efforts in the city’s storm-ravaged Lower Ninth Ward. His idea—a specially equipped trailer that would serve as a mobile design studio and tool trailer—has the support of a local non-profit, and he’s currently raising funds for the project on indiegogo. It’s an intriguing concept, and a very worthy cause.

Listen up: The list of spring commencement speakers is out, and it includes a couple of names that might be familiar to Penn Stater readers, including Beverly McIver ’92g, the fascinating painter and educator we profiled in our Nov/Dec 2011 issue. McIver will speak to Arts & Architecture grads. You can find the complete list of speakers, including those at campuses and at each of the colleges at University Park, here. Commencement ceremonies are scheduled the weekend of May 9-11.

From THON to Quidditch, leaders in their field: Our student media outlets have served up a couple of cool profiles to start the week. The Collegian features the story of Megan Renaut, a junior who was inspired to get involved in THON after a childhood friend was diagnosed with cancer. She was recently named executive director of THON 2015. And over at Onward State, there’s an in-depth profile of Matt Axel, the starting “beater” for Penn State’s club Quidditch team. The piece is loaded with information on the sport itself, which gets more popular by the year on college campuses, and also gives some insight into what makes Matt one of the best beaters in the country.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

April 8, 2014 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — April 7, 2014

What is “Should I watch Jeopardy tonight?” This answer is “yes,” if you want to see a fellow Penn Stater compete for top honors on the classic TV quiz show. Michelle Leppert ’92 of Danvers, Mass., will begin what we hope is a long run of success when Jeopardy starts a new week of shows Monday night.

A big night in the Big House: Michigan announced Monday that the Nittany Lions’ visit to Michigan Stadium on Oct. 11 will be a 7 p.m. kickoff, making it the first Big Ten night home game in Wolverine history. Of course, Penn State and Michigan have some history playing under the lights, including memorable home wins at Beaver Stadium in 2010 and 2013. As for the Big House, there were temporary lights up for the 3:30 kickoff back in 1994. Hopefully you remember how that one ended.

Joining the dance: THON’s spread isn’t just limited to the mini-THONs held at a growing number of middle and high schools. The Alumni Association’s Washington-Greene Counties Chapter recently held its “We, too, Can Dance” charity social. Inspired by Dance Marathon, the event raised $4,750 for the Four Diamonds Fund.

An honor for Mary Jo: The United States Basketball Writers Association announced over the weekend a new award will be named for Mary Jo Haverbeck ’76g, the women’s sports media pioneer who died in January. The Mary Jo Haverbeck Award will honor those who provide special service to writers covering women’s basketball.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

 

April 7, 2014 at 2:59 pm Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — March 31, 2014

Bittersweet end: The Lady Lions’ season came to an end Sunday evening in California with an 82-57 loss to No. 2 seed (and host) Stanford in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. Penn State, a No. 3 seed, wrapped up its second straight Big Ten championship season with a record of 24-8. Senior Ariel Edwards led the Lady Lions with 22 points in the loss.

State of State: A broad range of topics, and speakers ranging from faculty and recently alumni to current students, were the order of the day Sunday at the first annual State of State conference, held at the HUB-Robeson Center. The TED-style conference, a student-run endeavor, focused on challenges and issues facing the university community. Onward State and the Daily Collegian had it covered.

Amateur hour: Former Nittany Lion football standout John Urschel ’12, ’13g has been named one of three finalists for the AAU Sullivan Award. The award is given annually to the top amateur athlete in the nation. This year’s winner will be named on April 11.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

March 31, 2014 at 9:08 am 1 comment

The Penn Stater Daily — March 28, 2014

Elite company: For the second time, Maggie Lucas has been named a finalist for the Wade Trophy given annually to the top player in women’s college basketball. The senior guard, a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, is one of 12 finalists for the award. You can read the latest of Maggie’s ESPNW blogs here, and watch the Lady Lions in action Sunday night when they face Stanford in the NCAA Sweet 16.

Far-reaching roots: The cast of Blood at the Root, a play in production this week and next at Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, is making an international impact. The Centre Daily Times details how the production will travel this summer to South Africa and Scotland. It’s tremendous exposure for a university production.

Coach Chaos is a hit: James Franklin’s coaching staff has already revealed some fun personalities. You can start with the pizza-reviewing, hip-hop-video sharing, daughter-defending Twitter standout, Herb Hand. Then there’s Charles Huff, dropping marine biology terms to describe his special teams. And then there’s the most intense guy on the staff, Sean Spencer, aka “Coach Chaos.” Over at The Football Letter Blog, we dug up video of Spencer from his playing days at Clarion University, and let’s just say this guy’s intensity is nothing new. In a word? Ouch.

By the people: Tracy McCourtney ’65 and her husband Ted have made a $3 million gift to endow the Institute for Democracy in the College of Liberal Arts. The “transformative” gift will “enable the institute to pursue excellence and leadership in advancing the cause of democracy.”

Human touch: We’re happy to congratulate Steve Sampsell ’90 Com on being the 2014 recipient of the Barash Award for Human Service. The award, created by the family of the late Sy Barash ’50, annually honors a faculty or staff member at University Park for contributions to “human causes, public service activities, and the welfare of fellow humans.” We know Steve as a senior lecturer and director of college relations for the College of Communications, a Daily Collegian alumnus, and an all-around good dude.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

 

March 28, 2014 at 8:34 am Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — March 24, 2014

Ruth

The champs are here: So, how was your weekend? If you’re a Penn State sports fan, it was probably pretty great. The highlight came Saturday night in Oklahoma City, when the Nittany Lion wrestlers emerged from a tight team battle with Minnesota and Oklahoma State to clinch the program’s fourth straight NCAA championship. Ed Ruth (above) made history at 184 pounds, becoming Penn State’s first three-time NCAA champ, while fellow senior David Taylor was named the tournament’s Most Dominant Wrestler en route to his second 165-pound title. Seven Lions earned All-America status on the weekend—maybe none more impressively than sixth-year senior James English, who capped an injury-plagued career with a win in his final bout. And for some great post-tournament color, Tim Owen’s column at Blue-White Illustrated is worth a read.

Lucky 13: Speaking of national championship dynasties… On Sunday morning in Columbus, the Penn State fencing team out-dueled Princeton and the rest of the field to claim the program’s 13th combined NCAA title. Sophomore Kaito Streets not only has a very cool name, but he also claimed the national title in men’s saber, making him the 13th individual champ in school history.

Hoop on: The women’s basketball team opened NCAA tournament play Sunday with a 62-56 victory over Wichita State. The third-seeded Lady Lions will back back in the BJC Tuesday night, when they host Florida for a chance to go to the Sweet 16. Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions travel to Siena tonight for a quarterfinal CBI matchup. That game airs at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

Make a face: Well, this is cool. Researchers led by Penn State anthropologist Mark Shriver have figured out a way to create crude but recognizable 3D models of human faces using nothing more than DNA. It’s complicated and fascinating stuff.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

March 24, 2014 at 8:59 am Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — March 21, 2014

Hail to the victors: Penn State lined up against No. 12 Michigan on Thursday in the first ever Big Ten hockey tournament game, and for the third time in five meetings this season, the Nittany Lions came out on top. It took 52 saves from goalie Matthew Skoff, a breakaway goal from Taylor Holstrom, a spinning puck kicked off the goal line—with about a millimeter to spare—by Eric Scheid, and a 93rd-minute goal by freshman Zach Saar, but the Lions advanced with a 2-1, double-overtime win. You can see all the highlights below:

Penn State is set to face Wisconsin in the tournament semifinals at 3 p.m. today.

Dynasty building: The top-ranked Nittany Lion wrestling team stands in first place after Thursday’s opening day at the NCAA championship meet in Oklahoma City. The meet continues Friday and wraps up Saturday night, when coach Cael Sanderson’s squad will be looking to clinch its fourth straight national title. Meanwhile, the men’s and women’s fencing teams—ranked 1st and 5th nationally—enter the NCAA Championships in Columbus today looking to add the program’s 13th overall national title. And the Lady Lion basketball team, a No. 3 seed, opens NCAA tournament play at home Sunday against Wichita State.

A hazing death? The suicide of a Penn State Altoona freshman has become national news as police investigate a possible connection to fraternity hazing. Marquise Braham died Friday in Long Island, and the Altoona chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa has been suspended by the campus pending an investigation.

Change is constant: In the latest in a series previewing spring football practice, Mike Poorman ’82 of StateCollege.com focuses on redshirt junior Anthony Alosi, one of the few Lions to be suiting up for their fourth spring practice—meaning, of course, that’s he’s done so for three head coaches. It’s a cool perspective, and a reminder of how just much change the veterans on this team have witnessed during their careers.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

March 21, 2014 at 11:51 am Leave a comment

Older Posts


Recent Posts

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,093 other followers


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,093 other followers

%d bloggers like this: