Posts filed under ‘Penn State in the news’
Good instincts: We were all shocked and saddened yesterday morning to hear about the tragic stabbings at a high school in Murraysville, Pa., in which 24 people were injured. The few bright spots in the tragedy are the stories of students and faculty members who reacted quickly and bravely to help one another and subdue the attacker. One of those heroes is high-school senior—and future Penn Stater—Ian Griffith, who is enrolled for the the fall semester. Griffith helped Assistant Principal Sam King hold down the armed student. Griffith downplayed his hero status in an interview with The Pittsburgh Tribune: “I just acted on instinct,” he said.
Sole men: Yes, more than 100 guys walking through campus in high heels might look a little funny, but “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” is raising awareness for a very serious issue. It’s Sexual Assault Awareness month, and the student-run group Men Against Violence wants male students to show support for women on campus by donning high heels (they’re provided) and making the trek down Pollock Road today at 1 pm. Says MAV’s adviser Dylan Howser: “Sexual assault is framed as a women’s issue, and if we continue to frame it that way, men won’t see it as important.”
Pipe dreams: Here’s a fun Throwback Thursday photo, tweeted by Penn State Engineering (@PSUEngineering) this morning — a group of undergrads taking a study break, 1915-style. Who needs an iPhone when you have fancy pipes, jars of peanut butter and, um, a bunch of random pots and pans?
Mary Murphy, associate editor
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
Zeynep Ton’s revolution: When we featured MIT business prof Zeynep Ton ’96 in our Nov./Dec. issue, when knew she was doing interesting and important work in the field of retail labor issues. Turns out she’s making an even bigger impact than we realized. Ton’s research was the subject of a very cool feature in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, in which the writer calls Ton a “revolutionary force” in the field of operations management, and cites examples of major companies that have been influenced by her work. For companies savvy enough to follow Ton’s lead, it’s a (seemingly) simple equation: pay your employees more, and they’ll do a better job; when your employees do a better job, your profits go up.
Still searching: There’s been plenty of talk and rumors (with even a little bit of reporting here and there), but as of Monday morning, Penn State has not found a new head football coach. Much of the weekend buzz centered on University of Miami coach Al Golden ’91, with reports that he had been offered the job—and many hinting he was ready to accept it. On Sunday, Miami released a statement in which Golden said he was “not a candidate for another position.” But could that change? Mike Poorman ’82 of StateCollege.com says it could. Meanwhile, NFL.com is reporting that there’s “mutual interest” between Penn State and Mike Munchak ’82, who was fired over the weekend by the Tennessee Titans.
Feel-good football news: Coaching uncertainty aside, there are still plenty of reminders of why you love Penn State football. Here are two: During the first quarter of tonight’s BCS national championship game, John Urschel ’12, ’13g will be honored on the field as the winner of the Campbell Trophy, which Urschel was awarded last month as “the nation’s premier college football scholar-athlete.” And over the weekend, Nittany Lion linebacker Ben Kline posted an “open letter to Nittany Nation” at Onward State, in which he writes passionately of the commitment of Penn State’s players. Great stuff.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Best for vets: In case you missed it, Penn State earned a timely honor yesterday afternoon, when U.S. News & World Report announced its rankings of “Best Colleges for Veterans.” Penn State, which has more than 900 veterans at University Park alone, topped the list at No. 1. Learn more here.
News you can snooze: The average American gets fewer than six hours of sleep each night—and according to Alan Derickson, a Penn State professor of labor and employment relations and history, that’s not nearly enough. In a blog post in yesterday’s Harvard Business Review, Derickson explains how “manly wakefulness,” the idea that “real men” forgo sleep to log more hours at work, is outdated—and dangerous. It’s also the subject of his new book, Dangerously Sleepy: Overworked Americans and the Cult of Manly Wakefulness.
Have dreidel, will travel: OK, it’s offical: there’s a Guinness World Record for everything. Apparently, the current record for number of dreidels spinning simulatenously is a whopping 734. But members of Penn State Hillel are hoping to hit 1,000 on Dec. 3, when they’re inviting anyone with a dreidel and a thirst for victory to come to Alumni Hall and get spinning. According to Onward State, the event is BYOD—though a few extra dreidels will be available. Check out the event page on Facebook for more info.
Making scents: The Wall Street Journal reports that fragrance company Masik has created a line of Collegiate Fragrances, a collection of colognes and perfumes designed to capture “a University’s essence.” The first few ingredients in Penn State’s fragrance sound pleasant enough—vanilla, lilac, blue cypress, and juniper berries—though some other “notes” are questionable: What exactly does “the elegance of Old Main” smell like? And is it really something you want to dab on your wrists every morning?
Mary Murphy, associate editor
Another day, another ranking for Penn Staters to be proud of.
Especially on Veterans Day.
This one comes courtesy of U.S. News & World Report, which puts Penn State No. 1 in its new ranking of “Best Colleges for Veterans.” The nationwide survey lists 234 schools graded on everything from graduation rates and faculty resources to participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program, a federal initiative that makes college more affordable for vets. At a time when “saluting the vets” often seems more about words than actions, and when many veterans still struggle to find jobs on their return to civilian life, it’s encouraging to see the many tangible ways Penn State works to give current and former military members a chance to succeed.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
In the eye of the beholder: “Ugly” was the word flying around after Saturday’s 24-17 OT win over Illinois. Most fans and media agree that’s exactly what it was, while Bill O’Brien and his players, pretty much to a man, insisted that any win is a thing of beauty. Regardless of your perspective, there were some cool post-game insights from this one. Among them:
* The overtime touchdown pass from Christian Hackenberg to Kyle Carter is Bill O’Brien’s “favorite” play call—and that was before it won the game.
* Junior running back Bill Belton apologized for the goal-line fumble that almost cost the Lions the game, and thanked his teammates for bailing him out. Suffice it to say, without Belton’s 201 rushing yards—the first 200-yard game by a Penn State running back since Larry Johnson ’02 in 2002—the Lions wouldn’t have been in the game.
* And after yet another huge game from junior wideout Allen Robinson, NFL.com singled him out for praise—no doubt, a positive sign for A-Rob’s future employment.
Is that video of Bill O’Brien coaching practice on Halloween dressed as the Nittany Lion? Yes. Yes it is.
Mike McQueary, in context: Monday marks two years since Jerry Sandusky ’66, ’71g was indicted, and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review marks the anniversary with a profile of Mike McQueary ’97, whose testimony will be central to the eventual trial of former university administrators. Trib staff writer Adam Smeltz ’05 mixes anecdotal perspectives on McQueary’s personality with expert opinions on how his testimony will impact the trial. A piece that might be worth bookmarking for whenever the trial gets underway.
A love story, and a lesson: Donald Ford, founding dean of the College of Health and Human Development, hopes the story of his relationship with his late wife—and how he helped manage her later years as she suffered from Alzheimer’s—is an inspiration for others. With Carol’s Alzheimer’s Journey, Ford ’56g combined tales from their six-decade relationship (including letters they wrote each other over the years) with his perspective on how, with creativity, help, and an impressive level of commitment, he was able to care for Carol at home even as her disease progressed. You can find out more about the book, including links to purchase it, here.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
It’s a big, big morning for news about Penn State:
New president to be named: The Board of Trustees will meet at 10:15 a.m. Friday at the Nittany Lion Inn to discuss what this legal notice calls “a personnel matter.” There’s only one “personnel matter” that requires this kind of preparation and special meeting—the naming of a new president. According to this story in the Centre Daily Times, which published the paid legal notice, there are also executive sessions of the board at 7 p.m. Thursday and 8:30 p.m. Friday. Stay tuned. Obviously, news around here doesn’t get any bigger than this.
Paterno family, et. al., vs. NCAA: The next step in the legal process occurred Tuesday, when NCAA attorneys argued that none of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging the NCAA sanctions filed by the Paterno family, various trustees, faculty members, former coaches, and lettermen have standing to sue the organization. It’s a complicated case; Senior Judge John Leete said, according to this story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that the case has “more citations than any case I’ve seen in 26 years.” You can tell how complicated it was by the different ways reporters wrote their stories. Paul Kelly, a lawyer for the Paterno family, told the story of how the vacated wins, particularly harmed lettermen; the tale of one of the lettermen’s sons is laid out in this CDT story by Mike Dawson ’02. Peter Hall of The Morning Call in Allentown wrote a piece that focuses more on the NCAA’s argument, that Penn State president Rod Erickson accepted the sanctions to avoid worse penalties and that the judge can’t invalidate the sanctions without giving the university a chance to weigh in. Leete did not indicate when he would announce a ruling.
On a lighter note: A Collegian reporter tagged along on the Blue Band’s trip to Ohio State over the weekend and filed this report in Tuesday’s paper. I absolutely loved the story of the sousaphone player who was so overcome for her first pregame in Beaver Stadium that she couldn’t play her instrument—she was crying that hard. But she marched—and as the band members explain to the reporter, that’s what counts. A fun piece.
Finally. It’s time for wrestling season: During the wrestling team’s preseason media day Tuesday, coach Cael Sanderson said, “For the most part I don’t think we really have many guys…if any, that are completely satisfied with the way things ended even last year,” Sanderson said. “There’s a lot of motivation for our guys.” Quick review: Last season the wrestlers won their third consecutive NCAA title, put five wrestlers in the NCAA finals, and had two undefeated NCAA champions. That kind of attitude, I think, goes a lot way toward showing why the wrestlers have excelled recently. For insight into Penn State’s two biggest names, two-time defending NCAA champ Ed Ruth and three-time finalist, one-time champ David Taylor, check out this column from Tim Owen ’11, who consistently delivers some of the best insight into the wrestling program. And if all of this makes you want to watch a match, you’re in luck: Rec Hall is basically sold out, but there are still tickets available for the Dec. 8 match against Pitt in the Bryce Jordan Center.
Lori Shontz, 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
“If it’s a turd, it’s a turd:” That’s the still-irrepressible Matt Millen, explaining why he didn’t shy away from discussing his … let’s be blunt, as he’s always been … awful tenure as president of the Detroit Lions in an NFL Films documentary about his career. (It’s part of the A Football Life series.) Millen talked with David Jones of The Patriot-News about the documentary, and Jones colorfully explained how unusual the NFL Films production is:
What comes across is something fairly rare among major sports figures: A guy with a fiery competitive nature driven by the sizable ego all such competitors must have, yet who speaks evenly and willingly of his failure with as much thoughtfulness and depth as his successes.
Think that’s not unique? Consider the response NBA TV would receive if its documentarians asked Michael Jordan to spend half his bio discussing his abject and continuing pratfall as chief basketball ops exec of the Charlotte Bobcats.
I’m walkin’: I love that I live close enough to campus to walk to work. It’s always beautiful, often peaceful, and good for the environment—I got an emissions waiver because I drove my car so few miles last year. So I wasn’t surprised to see that State College was ranked the No. 2 city for walking to work by MSN Real Estate. (Lots of college towns on that list, BTW.)
Gotta be the shoes: I’ve got a pair of plaid Chuck Taylors for strict fashion purposes, and I have no idea how anyone ever used those flimsy shoes for serious athletic competition. I bet they wouldn’t score very well on the tests that Penn State’s Center for Sports Surface Research does on athletic shoes. Interesting piece here from The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Musical chairs: This is fascinating. The student section for football games is oversold, thanks at least partly to a Ticketmaster glitch, so the athletic department offered some pretty amazing deals to students willing to move their seats for Saturday’s Homecoming game to the Upper South Deck.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
From news to features, your daily dose of everything Penn State.
A healthy decision: Penn State has reversed course on its plans to fine faculty and staff who don’t provide personal health information and submit to screenings as part of the university’s new wellness plan. The story had become national news in recent weeks as faculty members and outside health care experts weighed in; the university’s decision to suspend a $100 monthly fine for noncompliance with the plan made the front page of the Business section of Thursday’s New York Times.