Posts filed under ‘The Penn Stater magazine’

From The Magazine: Nate Lee’s International Kicks

NATELEEWhen we spoke to Nate Lee early this summer, he was still trying to figure out his plans for the next few months. “I know on June 6, we report to Guam,” he was saying, “but I’m not sure when we head out after that.” It was hard to blame him: Between a spring and summer itinerary that included trips to Hong Kong and Singapore, and games against opponents from Turkmenistan and India, it would be hard for anyone to keep up.

Lee, a redshirt junior defender featured in our fresh-off-the-printer Sept./Oct. issue, spent his much of his spring and summer as part of the Guam National Soccer Team. Born and raised in Maryland, he and his family qualified for citizenship in the tiny U.S. island territory in the Western Pacific through his great grandparents. For most of their lives, that fact didn’t have much impact on Lee and his brothers, all of whom—Nate, former Nittany Lion Justin ’12, and ex-Maryland star Alex—are or were college soccer standouts. That changed when Guam announced it planned to field a team for World Cup qualifying matches. “They started to find a lot of connections to American players,” Nate says, “so they decided to build a team from there.”

After splitting a pair of exhibition matches last spring, the “Matao,” as the national side is called, hosted and won a pair of qualifying matches in June against Turkmenistan and India. They still have a long way to go until 2018, but for a country with no World Cup history, it was a pretty good start. For Lee and his brothers, it already qualifies as an unforgettable experience. “It’s still kind of mind-boggling how this all worked out,” he says.

Lee is back in State College now, where he’ll be one of the veteran leaders for a Penn State squad that went 13-6-1 last season and made the second round of the NCAA tournament. He was among the players who joined coach Bob Warming earlier this week for the team’s preseason media day; you can check out their thoughts below.

Lee and the Nittany Lions, ranked 23rd in the national preseason poll, open their 2015 campaign this Friday afternoon in a home match against San Francisco. It’s part of a double-header with the sixth-ranked women’s team, who host Duke in the late game. Should be a great night in a perfect setting for futbol.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

August 26, 2015 at 3:55 pm Leave a comment

I Sure Hope I’m Hungry…

ABPI had breakfast this morning at the Au Bon Pain in Kern Building, a fairly unremarkable way to start a Monday—or a brand new semester for that matter. But it was significant in at least one way: For the next four weeks, I’m going to be eating my way across the University Park campus. This is not an experiment in trying to recreate my “Freshman 15” from the fall of 1991, but rather the start of a month-long reporting project on the state of campus dining, which is set to run in our Nov./Dec. issue.

If you’re an alum from 10 or 20 or 40 years ago, and you’ve been back to campus any time recently, you’ve probably been struck by the changes in campus dining options. You also probably don’t know the half of it. With that in mind, I–with occasional help from my magazine colleagues—will attempt to eat at each and every spot on campus over the next month. That means every dining hall (many of which you wouldn’t recognize if you graduated before 2010 or so) and every retail establishment, from the recently renovated HUB to options that range from the Business Building to the Pattee & Paterno Libraries. Stay tuned for regular web updates over the next few weeks, and keep an eye out for the finished product in our Nov./Dec. issue.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

August 24, 2015 at 9:52 am 3 comments

Lions in the Limelight

We’re in the final week (or so) of production on our Sept./Oct. issue, and among the stories we’re putting finishing touches on is a feature package on alums working in New York and national theatre. As it happens, a couple of the Penn Staters featured in the piece—musical theatre grads Caroline Bowman ’10 and Natalie Weiss ’07—have popped up in the news in the past few days.

maxresdefaultBowman currently stars as Elphaba, the misunderstood green witch, in the Broadway smash Wicked. She and co-star Kara Lindsay were featured last week in a behind-the-scenes segment on New York’s WPIX-TV. (Among other things, you get a sense of just how much time she spends every week covering herself in green paint.) Weiss, meanwhile, recently wrapped a headlining concert at New York’s Highline Ballroom, which is featured in a new post at Playbill.com. Among the highlights: A very funny, pop-inflected six-minute version of Les Miserables. There are more videos at the Playbill link, but you can see that one below:

For much more on Bowman, Weiss, and a slew of similarly talented Penn Staters, keep an eye out for our Sept./Oct. issue in a few weeks.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

August 5, 2015 at 2:30 pm 1 comment

There’s a Reason We Called Them a “Dynasty”

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When Catie Benson stopped by the Hintz Family Alumni Center a couple of weeks ago to pick up a box of our May/June issue, I asked her about preparations for her final collegiate rugby game. The fifth-year senior played up the quality of the opposition, a Central Washington University team in its first year of varsity status but loaded with experienced transfer players. On paper, it looked pretty evenly matched, like the Lions would have their hands full.

So much for that.

On Saturday, the Penn State women’s rugby team won its fourth straight national championship in typically dominant fashion, dispatching CWU 61-7. Katie Mueller (that’s her at rear left on our cover) was named MVP of the title game, while Hope Rogers (front and center, cradling the ball) scored a pair of tries in the romp. It’s the 10th overall championship for the Lady Ruggers, a run of dominance we had in mind when we used the word “dynasty” on that cover.

MJ_Cover_Final.inddKate Daley ’09, the former All-American who took over as the Lions’ interim coach last fall, flinched when she heard that word. Perhaps, like Catie and the rest of the team, she really thought Penn State might struggle against CWU. Or maybe she didn’t want to be seen taking an opponent lightly. Our guess? She just didn’t want to ruin the suspense.

Regardless: Congrats to Kate, Catie, Hope, and the rest of this terrific team, and thanks for making us smart.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

May 11, 2015 at 1:16 pm 1 comment

Leaping Toward Greatness

Look for more of Steve Waithe in our May/June 2015 issue.

A few short years ago, Steve Waithe couldn’t have imagined his future. If anything, his future wasn’t something he thought much about.

“I didn’t have much of a mentality to do well in school—I didn’t really think I had anything to work for,” Waithe says. He’s thinking back to his high school days in Maryland, when by his own admission, he didn’t take his academics or athletics seriously. “Honestly,” he says, “I was just kind of playing around.”

Waithe Jump

Photo by Cardoni

Waithe is hardly the only 15- or 16-year-old kid who lacked motivation, but when he finally found it, it was almost too late. In his final two years of high school, Waithe realized he had the potential to be good—maybe even great—in the long and triple jumps. He quickly became one of the best prep jumpers in the nation, but having dug himself into a hole academically, he couldn’t get his grades up in time to qualify for a Division I college. When he landed at Shippensburg University, it was with a very different mindset. And a plan.

“Before I even started to compete at Shippensburg, I told my coach, ‘I believe I’m a Division I-caliber athlete,’” Waithe recalls. “He was just happy to have me there in the first place, and he was really supportive. We came up with a program to make sure my academics were where they needed to be. There was no hostility. It was a good experience.”

Waithe spent a year and a half at Ship, where he set school records in the triple jump and earned DII All-America honors. While there, he also competed in the Junior World Championships for Trinidad & Tobago, where his parents and two older brothers were born. Both experiences were launch pads to bigger dreams: A transfer to Penn State, with its world-class facilities and coaches, and a chance to represent the nation of his roots at the Olympics.

With his academics in order, Waithe adapted to the higher DI competition in no time, winning the Big Ten outdoor title last spring in the triple jump, his top event, and placing fourth in long jump for good measure. He posted top-six finishes in the triple at the NCAA indoor and outdoor championships, earning All-America status in both events. He’s aiming for more of the same this spring.

As for the Olympics? Waithe says he’s already earned a slot on T&T’s 2016 team; assuming he hits the standard distance, he expects to be in Rio next summer. “It’s becoming less of a goal and more of a reality,” he says. “I just need to keep progressing the way I’ve been progressing. I know I have so much more potential.”

Ryan Jones, senior editor

April 30, 2015 at 3:49 pm Leave a comment

Headed Your Way: The Nov./Dec. Issue

untitledThe Nov./Dec. 2014 issue of The Penn Stater is hitting mailboxes now, and it just may be my favorite cover to date—a pretty huge statement, considering that A-lister/bus driver we featured earlier this year.

The cover art, courtesy of illustrator Aaron Meshon, is just so darn cheerful. After reading the accompanying story, a compilation of readers’ favorite memories from life in the dorms, you’ll understand what some of those crazy characters are up to. As always, the stories submitted by readers were lots of fun to read, and it wasn’t easy choosing which ones to include. We received so many great stories, in fact, that we’ll be featuring a few of the runners-up here on the blog. Stay tuned for that.

Another highlight in this issue is a story commemorating the 50th anniversary of women’s sports at Penn State. “The Long Game” features lots of archival photos and interviews with the athletes, who share detailed memories of those first years. This was the last piece former senior editor Lori Shontz ’91, ’13g wrote for us before heading to Oregon to teach journalism, and it’s just a reminder of what a thorough reporter Lori is. (We miss her—can you tell?)

You’ll also find a profile of John Kimmich ’93, owner of Alchemist Brewery in Vermont and the man behind Heady Topper—an India Pale Ale widely regarded as the best beer in the world. Kimmich overcame some major setbacks before hitting it big in the beer world, and his story’s a good one.

Also in this issue: A look back at Dr. Dick Bundy’s career as Blue Band director; a cool archeology project that brought a group of undergrads to Israel; an update on former Nittany Lion Devon Still ’11, who’s helping his four-year-old daughter, Leah, fight cancer; and more.

Had a chance to check out the new issue yet? Tell us what you think. Comment below or email heypennstater@psu.edu.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

October 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm Leave a comment

Innovation Through Illustration

Frame ChangersOver the weekend, we heard about this cool project from Khanjan Mehta ’83g, director of Penn State’s Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship program. You might remember Mehta’s piece, called “Why Ideas Fail,” from the Jan./Feb. 2014 issue—or perhaps you caught his Huddle with the Faculty talk on social entreprenuership this past Saturday. In his latest project, a cartoon series called “Frame Changers,” Mehta offers a new take on those same concepts: namely, how smart, sustainable technology can improve lives for people in developing countries.

Since 2004, Mehta has made dozens of trips to rural communities in Africa. In creating “Frame Changers,” illustrated by artist Jabez Issa, Mehta hopes to share some of what those experiences have taught him. He writes on his website: “While this quest for improving the human condition has yielded a few ‘game changers’, there have been countless everyday ‘frame changers’: moments that have challenged my beliefs, values and rational assumptions. Moments that have made me revisit my philosophy of engagement and rethink my concepts of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

To see more, check out Khanjan Mehta’s website, or visit the Frame Changers Facebook page.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

September 9, 2014 at 3:59 pm Leave a comment

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