Posts filed under ‘Famous Penn Staters’
Here’s a guest post from our colleague John Patishnock ’05, editor of AlumnInsider:
Alumni Fellow Award honoree Keegan-Michael Key ’96g spoke with Theatre 100 students Wednesday morning, sharing advice and talking about his process of creating characters and sketches. Co-creator and co-star of the hit Comedy Central show Key & Peele, Key is in town for tonight’s Alumni Fellow awards dinner and has been making the rounds to various classrooms. During his 20-minute talk, he told students that comedy is about zigging and zagging and challenging misconceptions about what the audience expects to see.
Key displayed big-time energy with his gregarious personality, even obliging one student who asked for his autograph amid the Q&A. Key also spoke to the work ethic that’s needed in his profession, saying he routinely wakes up at 4:30 a.m. for a 15-hour workday. What keeps him going, he said, is that he’s doing what he’s passionate about. That’s one reason why he worked so much when he was studying at Penn State, saying he wanted to stay busy because he wasn’t sure if the work would stop when he graduated. Fortunately, he said, the work didn’t stop then and hasn’t stopped since.
At one point, a student asked Key if he envisioned being where he is now when he was at Penn State. “Not in a million years,” Key responded, but he said he made the right decisions at the right time and challenged himself. For example, Key was a dramatic actor at Penn State but has carved out a career as a comedic performer, and he told students they have to allow themselves to see beyond what they think their career path will be and be ready for new experiences.
“I’m not going to lie, so much of this is luck, so much of it is being in the right place at the right time,” he said. “Another thing is you have to have some kind of training, you have to have tools that you can use, but then the opportunity has to strike, as well.”
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
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
Spring breakers: While some of their peers are lounging poolside this week, members of the Penn State women’s soccer team are spending spring break in the Dominican Republic, volunteering at youth soccer clinics and teaching English to local kids. @PennStateWSOC tweeted some great photos (like the one above) of the ladies in action this morning.
Making the ranks: Yet another impressive ranking from U.S. News & World Report to tell you about — this time for Penn State’s graduate programs, 14 of which were ranked in the top 10 in their respective categories. Grad programs in geology and technical/vocational education each nabbed the top spot in their categories; environmental sciences and geochemistry programs came in at No. 2; and the higher education administration program made the No. 3 spot. Check out Penn State News’ coverage to see the other grad programs on the list.
Getting animated: In the March/April issue of the magazine, we told you about Keegan-Michael Key ’96g and his growing fanbase (including a certain Barack Obama) and some exciting projects the Key & Peele star has in the works, including an upcoming Judd Apatow flick. Well, add one more to that list: A popular sketch from Key & Peele, in which the title characters play TSA agents/aspiring comedians, is being developed into an animated series. Do yourself a favor and watch the clip that started it all.
Mary Murphy, associate editor
Jay-running: His political aspirations were long-rumored, and on Thursday, Jay Paterno ’91 confirmed them: he’s running for the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor. In launching his candidacy (and his website), Paterno wrote, “I am not a politician, but someone from a family dedicated to hard work, public service, and charity to all.” The Democratic primary is set for May 20.
K-9s on campus: University Police this week hosted a training exercise for K-9 units, which gives us an excuse to post this great shot of Rudie, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois who helps keep campus safe. Thanks to our buddy Bill Zimmerman for the shot.
Exit interview: With just a few months left in his presidency, Rodney Erickson sat with Daily Collegian reporter Katie Murt earlier this week to talk about his tenure and offer thoughts on incoming president Eric Barron. It’s worth a read.
Restless Robinson: So: Michael Robinson ’04 on The Young & The Restless? Michael Robinson on The Young & The Restless.
Happy THON: With the latest edition of the world’s largest student-run philanthropy kicking off later today, here’s a cool feature on the Penn State Schuylkill students who are among the thousands who will cram into the BJC this weekend. Best of luck to everyone involved.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Making the grade: In the NCAA’s annual study of graduate rates, Penn State checked in with an 88 percent graduation success rate, seven percentage points above the Division I average. The data includes students who entered between the 2003-04 and 2006-07 academic years. Especially notable: football graduated 85 percent of its players, and men’s and women’s basketball each graduated 100 percent.
Celebrating 50 years: The Pennsylvania Ballet honored its founder, Barbara Weisberger ’45, this week at the opening of its 50th season, and Philadelphia magazine’s Scene column has the scoop—and the photos, including the one at right with Weisberger posing with artistic director Roy Kaiser. The magazine writes: “She told the crowd that she had it all, a family, a career, and a loving husband for 63 years. It was hard, and she wasn’t home a lot, but they supported her love of dance, which she shared with all of us.”
The science of ice cream: Chalk up another success for the Berkey Creamery’s famous ice cream short course. The Phillipine Star covered the journey of Paco Magsaysay, founder of Carmen’s Best Ice Cream, in this story, which details how Magasaysay won the Keeney Award, which, like one of my favorite Creamery flavors, is named for course founder Philip Keeney ’55g. Essentially, Magasaysay was named most likely to succeed. His ice cream, he says, is now “a perfectly balanced product.”
A Paterno in politics? Buzz is growing that Jay Paterno ’91 may run against U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson ’81 for the 5th district Congressional seat. PennLive.com reports that state treasurer Rob McCord urged Paterno to run at the Centre County Democrat Dinner—with Paterno in the audience. “Jay is a smart, capable leader who really wants to help people,” McCord told PennLive.com through a campaign spokesman. “I believe he would win that congressional seat and make a great member of Congress. I’d love to see him get in that race.” Paterno did not comment for the story.
Big tipper: Onward State alerted us to this story from a Kansas City television station about Tamba Hali, who played a big role in Penn State’s 2005 victory over Ohio State. (It’s always a good day to click that link of “The Fumble,” and with Penn State playing Ohio State in the Horseshoe tomorrow night, it’s even more appropriate now.) Hali, now a linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, and 15 friends and family members celebrated last week’s victory over the Houston Texans with a meal at a steakhouse. The bill: about $1,800. Hali’s tip: $1,000.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
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A “legend” passes: Larry Foster ’48, a giant of the public relations industry and one of Penn State’s most prominent and dedicated alumni, died Thursday. He was 88. Foster’s great impact on the PR world came in the early 1980s, when he guided Johnson & Johnson’s response to the infamous and still-unsolved Tylenol poisoning of 1982. It remains a case study in the right way to handle a corporate PR crisis. His impact on his alma mater has been similarly profound. Along with his wife, Ellen Miller ’49, Foster was a generous and far-sighted donor to Penn State, and particularly to the College of Communications, where they endowed faculty positions and scholarships and supported renovations to the Carnegie Building. A three-term member of the Board of Trustees, Foster also served as president of the Alumni Association, and was instrumental in creating the Alumni Fellows program.
Courting success: The men’s basketball team held its preseason media day Thursday, and while third-year coach Patrick Chambers wouldn’t be specific about how many wins he’s aiming for, or whether this squad has NCAA tournament potential, he made one thing clear: He likes this team. (more…)