Posts filed under ‘Other Penn State sports’
Lessons from crises: As president of Bank of New York Mellon and chairman of the Penn State Board of Trustees, Karen Peetz ’77 is familiar with crises. She reflects on both the financial crisis and the Sandusky scandal in a piece from today’s CNNMoney: Postcards blog and shares lessons learned from both ordeals. Among her remarks: “We have to show we understand that the world in which we operate has changed and that we embrace new ways of thinking and operating. In other words, we have to prove ourselves — prove ourselves worthy of trust.”
All the right moves: If you’ve got a couple free minutes, check out this video featuring a TedXPSU project from earlier this week. On Tuesday, the music school’s chamber orchestra set up shop in the HUB, and passersby were invited to conduct the group in a classical performance. Several students jumped right in—and delivered some surprisingly convincing performances.
More than hockey: We told you about ESPN‘s John Buccigross’s visit to Penn State a few weeks ago, when the famed sportscaster took in a men’s hockey game at Pegula. Buccigross talked more about his Penn State experience with the Centre County Gazette for this piece, posted this morning. A few of his favorite things about State College: Cafe 210, Damon’s mozzarella sticks, and the Pegula Ice Arena’s spacious urinals. Yes, you read that right.
Drop the bass: Ever found yourself wondering if Penn State has a student group for all the bass-fishing enthusiasts on campus? Well, here is your answer, courtesy of Onward State.
Mary Murphy, associate editor
Analyze this: Ready for some math talk? Penn State All-American/mathmetician John Urschel ’12, ’13g proved his own theorem, officially called the Urschel-Zikatanov Generalized Bisection Theorem, and it was accepted by a top journal in the field of spectral graph theory. Don’t know what any of that means? Me neither. But it’s a big deal — and thanks to ESPN The Magazine, Urschel recently had the chance to show off his skills in a more accessible arena. In the latest issue, Urschel authors a feature for which he analyzed player stats and determined how 400 top college linemen will perform in the NFL. To put Urschel’s genius in perspective: I have no idea if those Good Will Hunting-style chalkboard calculations (above) are real, or a prop.
First-time foes: The men’s hockey team is headed to Madison Square Garden next winter. It was announced yesterday that Penn State will meet Cornell in The Frozen Apple on Nov. 29, 2014. It’s the Nittany Lions’ first appearance in the famous arena — and the first time Cornell and Penn State hockey face off as NCAA Division I foes.
For her sister: THON 2014 is a mere day away, and this story from Penn State Altoona is a timely reminder of what it’s all about. Altoona freshman Tiffaney Jarrett will dance this weekend to honor her older sister, Courtney, who passed away in 2009, just one month after being diagnosed with leukemia. “I feel like I’m doing this for her and like she’s by my side,” says Tiffaney. “I know she would be proud of me.”
Mary Murphy, associate editor
Snow what?! Is it snowing where you are? It’s snowing where we are. Man, it will not stop snowing. State College got somewhere between 7 and 11 inches of snow on Thursday, and based on how much time I spent shoveling in front of my house Thursday morning, Thursday evening, and again this morning, I’m going with the high number. It was enough for the university to cancel afternoon and evening classes on Thursday, but we’re back running at full steam today.
Yeezy does it: About the only thing that did happen as scheduled Thursday night: The traveling hip-hop art project known as Kanye West performed at the Bryce Jordan Center. By all accounts, Kanye gave the crowd what it came for: lots of possibly unhinged rants interspersed with some often compelling music. The Collegian was in the building.
Setting up a return: Penn State volleyball legend Salima Davidson Rockwell ’94 is coming back to her alma mater. A three-time All-America setter for Russ Rose and former captain of the U.S. national team, Salima was a Penn State assistant when I moved back to town in 2007, and her son and mine became best buddies in preschool. She left in 2009 to become associate head coach at Texas, one of the Lions’ chief rivals; now, she’s back in Happy Valley with the same title. Salima, if you read this: Welcome back! Let’s get those kids together soon.
Too much of a good thing: As every music hipster knows, it’s good to be a little bit popular, but not too popular. Seems that logic applies to technology, too. So says S. Shyam Sundar, distinguished professor and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory in the College of Comm. Sundar led a study that found new technologies benefit from being deemed “cool” by tech-savvy subcultures, but once they get popular in the mainstream, they lose that initial coolness, which ultimately hurts their appeal with the mainstream.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
He gets it: Famed ESPN sportscaster John Buccigross paid a visit (his first ever) to Happy Valley last week for the Penn State v. Michigan men’s hockey game. The result is this great story, posted to Buccigross’s Hockey Life blog, about how Big 10 hockey came to be at Penn State — and how the entire community is embracing it. And you’ve got to love Buccigross’s apt description of Penn State hockey icon Joe Battista ’83—”a human energy drink.”
No more roadblocks: UPUA president Katelyn Mullen announced yesterday that the Board of Trustees is expected to approve a proposal that would add a permanent, student-selected trustee to the board— a position that isn’t currently required by BOT bylaws. The current board, however, has supported the bill since UPUA proposed it last August. Said Mullen: “The Board … has put the new policy on the most expedient schedule possible. President Masser has met with Governor Corbett and there are no roadblocks right now, to my understanding.” For more on how the student trustee will be selected, check out Onward State‘s coverage here.
Hail to the victors: The Nittany Lion hockey team recorded its first Big Ten victory in emphatic fashion on Saturday, shutting out 10th-ranked Michigan, 4-0, at Pegula Arena. Sophomore goaltender Matthew Skoff (above) made 32 saves, while classmate David Glen, back on the ice after missing three games to donate bone marrow, scored one of the Penn State goals.
The happiest place at sea: Ever wonder what it’s like to perform musical theater on a ship at sea? Raye Lederman ’12 dishes on that and much more in this Q&A about her time as performer on a Disney cruise ship.
For the Dance: It’s not quite THON, but the 13th annual Spirit Against Cancer dance and cheer competition Saturday at Penn State Behrend did raise more than $5,000 for cancer research. The competition brings together dozens of scholastic cheer and dance teams and honors the memory of former Behrend dance team coach Becky Hubler Decker.
An issue that matters: Penn State student leaders this month will meet (via video conference) with members of President Obama’s newly formed White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. It’s part of an increased effort by the government and universities to prevent and raise awareness about sexual assault.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Feeling good: David Glen, a sophomore forward on the hockey team, tweeted this photo Tuesday from his hospital bed, where he’s recovering after donating bone marrow to a stranger. “12 hours and a couple pokes later I’m all done!!! Can’t express how thankful I am for all the support,” he wrote. He also thanked the staff at Geisinger—and his mom, of course—for “babying me all day.”
Preparing for a new era: Joe Paterno famously claimed he didn’t even read the newspapers, let alone anything online. Bill O’Brien made no secret of his disdain for “Spacebook and Tweeter.” But the new regime in Lasch Building is social media savvy, and Bill DiFilippo of Onward State compiled a list of Twitter handles for everyone on the football team, from head coach @coachjfranklin through the rest of the coaching staff, the starters, the reserves, and the recruits. It’s kind of amazing.
Engaged scholarship: This interesting piece from today’s Collegian by Genae Salinas discusses how “out of classroom experiences” (or engaged scholarship) has become a topic of conversation for a university-wide committee discussing requirements for new general education standards. The committee’s chair, Beth Seymour, who said she requires community projects in her classes at Penn State Altoona, explained, “These experiences are going to help broaden their intellectual maturity.”
Pennsylvania. The capital of snacks: This news release from Penn State public information notes how many of the snacks we’ll be consuming while watching the Super Bowl come from our state, including four brands of potato chips. I heartily concur with Penn State professor of food science Greg Ziegler, who ended a list of said snack items by saying, “Then, obviously, pretzels. And then in the best of all worlds: Chocolate-covered pretzels.”
Lori Shontz, senior editor
Assist of a lifetime: Well, this is just about the coolest story. David Glen is a sophomore forward on the Nittany Lion hockey team, with two goals and three assists in 18 games this season. He didn’t play in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to No. 2 Boston College, but he had the best possible reason: On Friday, Glen began a five-day process to donate bone marrow to a perfect stranger. According to this feature from GoPSUSports.com, Glen and the rest of his teammates were swabbed last season to see if they might be a match for the mother of men’s lacrosse player Drew Roper. None were, but Glen was contacted later and told that he was a match for someone else in need. For a person he’s never met, Glen signed up for some serious discomfort, and also gave up three games of his college hockey career, including a showcase against one of the nation’s top teams. Humbling, and impressive.
Federal investigation: The Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education is investigating Penn State to determine if the university reacted “immediately and appropriately” to complaints of sexual harassment and violence. The investigation intends to determine if Penn State is in violation of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits gender-based discrimination in education. The Centre Daily Times reports the investigation was spurred by an increase in the number of sex offenses reported to campus authorities in 2011 and 2012.
So, about that nekton: We told you last week about how new assistant football coach Charles Huff promised the Nittany Lions special teams would play with a “nekton mentality.” We also promised we’d look into what, exactly, that meant. Well, thanks to Penn State marine biologist Iliana Baums, we’ve got an answer. If you haven’t already, head on over to The Football Letter blog for a quick explanation of how nekton applies to football.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
With shoulder length blond hair, a red cape, and a hammer, Thor walks up and down the stands of Pegula Ice Arena’s student section.
The Penn State sophomore, who’s choosing to remain anonymous for now, attends each home hockey game as Thor. He stays in character through his mannerisms—hitting the glass with his hammer while shaking his other fist—and even created a new voice for himself, which sounds something like a British accent from a century ago. “Indeed I do,” says Thor.
He says since he dressed up once, both players and fans expect him to attend games in character. Thor is even looking ahead to future seasons and saving up for a new costume, which he says is not something you’d find at a costume store, but rather at some sort of comic book convention.
Other students come dressed as hotdogs, burritos, or simply, in Penn State garb. And you can see the whole array Saturday night, as the Nittany Lions take on Boston College.
The student section gets intense with 1,000 seats where the bleachers are as steep as regulations allow with the goal of making the arena as loud as possible. Shakers, foam fingers, or thunder sticks are supplied at most games. The energy remains high with familiar songs and chants from Beaver Stadium, including “Hey Baby, “Shout,” and “Living on a Prayer.”
However, hockey fans take the songs and chants a little further by yelling, “It’s all your fault,” when the opposing team’s goalie allows a Penn State goal. They also torment the opposing team’s goalie by echoing his name over and over again to get inside his head.
Sophomore Kyle Hoke says hockey fans tend to be more wild and crazy than other fans due to the game’s fast pace. He says there’s hardly any downtime, so it’s easy to keep the energy high. Hoke, along with senior Nick Panos, runs the student section as members of the Hockey Management Association, which was looking for students to build hype and organize chants to keep the student section enthused throughout the game.
Panos says he was born into hockey. The Pittsburgh native was born the day the Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 1991 and has been a Pens—and hockey—fan ever since. Hoke didn’t become a hockey fan until after he saw the New Jersey Devils play when he was 11, but after that he was hooked and became a true hockey fan. It’s because of students like him that the arena is so loud.
“True fans of hockey are really passionate about it and doesn’t take much for them to get into the game,” says Hoke.
– Sarah Olah, intern
Road to Seattle: Senior women’s volleyball players Deja McClendon, Katie Slay, and Ariel Scott began their Penn State careers with a national title—they were freshmen when the Nittany Lions won the last of their four consecutive national titles in 2010. They’re hoping to end their careers in the same way. The Nittany Lions open NCAA tournament play in Rec Hall at 7:30 p.m. tonight against LIU-Brooklyn. The winner of that game will face Yale or Utah, which play tonight at 5, on Saturday. The Nittany Lions are seeded No. 2 overall, and they’re a blast to watch.
Art and football: What is it with Penn State football players and the art world? Former defensive end Matthew Rice is making a name for himself as a mural painter, and now here’s former defensive end Aaron Maybin, whose NFL career never really took off after he left Penn State early in 2009 with an exhibition at Art Basel, a big-deal festival in Miami that’s going on right now. In this video, Maybin discusses the relationship between football and art, saying he gets the “same joy” creating art as he gets from athletic competition, that he believes an artist is “the truest version of a storyteller that still exists,” and that he’s ready to paint when “I’m tormented by an idea.” There’s some adult language, but it’s an interesting conversation. And you can check out some of his work here.
Yoga with Doug: I love that Onward State decided to write about Doug Hayward, teacher of the only Penn State fitness class that has a name attached to it—yes, Yoga With Doug, which is not to be confused with any other yoga classes around here. I was lucky enough to take an on-campus class from Doug a couple of summers ago, and it is truly an experience. I spent half the time in awe of the way he contorted his body (and he didn’t need a mat!) and the other half learning that my body was capable of way more than I’d realized. If you’re in town, you can always check out the offerings at his State College studio, too.
Big stage: One of the cool things about covering Penn State’s wrestling team is the atmosphere in sold-out Rec Hall, which is always packed with fans who know the sport and who can be loud when the occasion calls for it. We’ll see this weekend what that fan base can do in a larger arena—the Bryce Jordan Center, which is sold out for Sunday’s match against Pitt. That’s 15,000 wrestling fans. This also gives me the chance to quote the most entertaining two paragraphs I’ve read this week, from the last item in the weekly notebook by Centre Daily Times wrestling writer Travis Johnson ’09:
“The plan is to have our guys running out like they do at the nationals and just kind of having fun with it,” Sanderson said. “There’s been talk of fireworks and cannons and those kind of things. I’ve kind of lost track of what they’re doing. We talked about it a couple of months ago. I think that’s the plan.”
A Penn State spokesman said pyrotechnics would not likely be used.
The wrestling team is warming up for that spotlight match in an awesome way—competing tonight at Boston University, which is dropping its team at the end of this season. When Sanderson, who’s been an ambassador and advocate for the sport asked the BU coach if there were anything to he could do to help, the coach asked if Penn State could come up and wrestle them. So Penn State is, and it’s hoping the attention will help to save the program.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
Weekend sports recap: Another home game in Beaver Stadium, another overtime. It’s getting to be routine. This time, however, Nebraska defeated the Nittany Lions, although David Jones of The Patriot-News points out that Penn State always plays hard, and unlike most other teams, it doesn’t have any room for error. … A cross-country flight didn’t bother the men’s soccer team, which advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 1-0 victory over UC-Santa Barbara. Next up: seventh-seed New Mexico, on the road, Dec. 1. … The No. 2 women’s volleyball team won its 17th consecutive match and clinched a share of the Big Ten title over the weekend as it honored seniors Ariel Scott, Deja McClendon, and Katie Slay. … Brandon Taylor’s career-high 25 points led the men’s basketball team over Longwood. … For the third consecutive season, the wrestling team opened its schedule by raising the NCAA championship banner. It then won eight of 10 matches—one by pin, two by tech fall—to beat Lock Haven 34-6.
Born to help children: In the wake of the Sandusky scandal, the university made a commitment to increase its research on child abuse and outreach to victims. The result: the Network on Child Protection and Well-Being, which is led by Jennie Noll, who came to Penn State as part of a group hire to beef up the university’s experts in the field. Jack Small, a Penn State journalism student who is writing for the Centre Daily Times as part of an advanced news writing class this semester (and, full disclosure, one of my former students), did a great job profiling Noll and tracing her path to Penn State. “Part of the reason I decided to join Penn State is because of the efforts I saw the school making after the scandal,” she said. “The only silver lining out of that terrible situation is that we now have a great opportunity to do some good.”
Final bow for feature twirler: Matt Freeman’s high school principal told him there was no way he could ever achieve his goal—becoming the feature twirler for the Penn State Blue Band. Goes to show what that principal knew. Freeman gave his final Beaver Stadium appearance Saturday, and Sue Snyder of The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote a nice piece about his rise to prominence—and a world championship.
Oldsey named to presidential selection council: A surprise announcement began Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting: Bill Oldsey ’76 was named to the Trustee Presidential Selection Council, meaning another trustee elected by alumni and another trustee with experience in higher education will be part of the group that interviews finalists for the president’s job. The search has been extended, but trustees say a new president will be hired before Rod Erickson retires June 30, 2014.
Lori Shontz, senior editor