Posts filed under ‘Undergraduate students’
Dreaming of a Blue Christmas: Actually, it’s no dream. The video below is the very real holiday light display set up by Robert Witt ’01 of Schwenksville, Pa. It started blowing up the internet yesterday, and it is something else:
I’m not gonna lie: I’m not sure I’d want to live right next door to that. But it is impressive work.
Hump day hoops: The 10th-ranked Lady Lions continue a tough non-conference schedule tonight when they host No. 4 Notre Dame in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The match-up marks the first meeting between Penn State coach Coquese Washington and her Fighting Irish counterpart, Muffet McGraw, but as the Daily Collegian tells us, the two have serious history: Washington played for and later coached under McGraw at Notre Dame, which won the 2001 national championship while she was an assistant.
The Nittany Lions fell at Pitt last night, 78-69, in their Big Ten/ACC match-up. It was a close game throughout, and an impressive showing for the Lions, who were playing their fifth game in 10 days. Pitt, unbeaten this season, is 106-3 all-time at the Petersen Events Center against non-conference opponents.
He just won, baby: In case you somehow missed it, Matt McGloin ’12 started his first NFL game on Sunday. To be more specific: An NFL rookie who wasn’t offered a Division I scholarship and wasn’t drafted out of college started—and won—in his NFL debut. He wasn’t Peyton Manning, but for a rookie starting on the road, McGloin was nonetheless terrific, completing 18 of 32 passes for 197 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. Most importantly, he led the Raiders to a 28-23 win.
For more, here are game highlights and video from McGloin’s postgame press conference, and good stuff from one Bay Area columnist who celebrates McGloin as “the never-chosen one” who once again excelled in the face of the doubters. Good for him.
The students in Penn State’s Opera Theatre program are staging a production of the tragedy Dialogues of the Carmelites tonight and tomorrow at University Park—and, if last night’s dress rehearsal is any indication, it’ll give you chills.
It’s a 1957 work by a French composer, Francis Poulenc, and is set in the bloody French Revolution of the late 1700s. Blanche, the central character, is an anxious, fearful young woman who becomes a Carmelite nun in hopes of feeling safer in life—and ends up being anything but. As Ted Christopher, the head of the opera theatre program, described it to me last night: “Blanche felt the world closing in on her, so she joined a convent … where she found the world closing in on her even more.”
Blanche’s character is fictional, but the larger story, the martyrdom of 16 Carmelite nuns in 1794, is not.
It’s a dark, intense, provocative production, and the final scene—the nuns singing as, one by one, they head off to their deaths—is incredibly moving.
Performances are at 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow (Nov. 15 and 16) in the Esber Recital Hall, part of Music Building I. Tickets are $4.99 for the general public; students pay $2. More information is here, and some photos I took at last night’s dress rehearsal are below.
Tina Hay, editor
The HUB Green Roof Terrace ended up being the winner in voting for the senior class gift, announced this morning in Heritage Hall of the HUB, by the 2014 Senior Class Gift Committee and President Rodney Erickson.
The HUB Green Roof Terrace will be completed along with the HUB renovations currently taking place and will advance the sustainability effort on campus, including reducing the heat island effect that traditional roofs create, allowing for better management of storm water, and creating a new habitat for plants, birds, and insects, according to the Office of Annual Giving.
Gift development chair Devron Lovick, a senior majoring in economics and sociology, said this year’s gift is especially exciting because it blends the theme of sustainability along with the theme of the student experience: “With the terrace, we can leave our mark on the revolving hub of student life, both literally and figuratively.”
Communications chair Danae Blasso, a senior journalism major, added that the gift choice this year was “very student driven” and hopes that not only students, but also alumni will support this year’s gift and donate. “The HUB is such a big part of student life, so it’s great that the gift this year will be a part of the new wing.”
The Hintz family also hopes that students will pledge their donations to the gift and has consequently initiated the Hintz Challenge: If at least 3,000 students pledge, the Hintz family will donate a $50,000 Trustee Scholarship to the university.
The exact architectural plans for the terrace have not been made yet, but the 2014 Senior Gift committee will definitely be a part of the development, according to Geoff Hallett of the annual giving office.
As for the other two choices, some members of the committee were surprised that the Heritage Willow tree did not win, but also realized that the HUB terrace would also be a great place on campus to return to year after year, with their children, grandchildren, or even just by themselves.
As far as the endowment for Counseling and Psychological Services, the committee members said there was a lot of passion behind those who voted for that particular gift and hope that those voters take their voices to other organizations within the university to make it a reality.
The amount of funding the gift receives will determine the size of the terrace. As of now, it will be built on the roof of the new wing being built.
Maggie McGlinchy, intern
From news to features, your daily dose of everything Penn State.
World class: Another ranking has given Penn Staters something to crow about. This time, it’s the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, which lists Penn State 49th out of 400 institutions from around the globe. We’re one of eight Big Ten schools ranked in the top 100. You can find the complete list and details on the methodology here.
A distinguished duo: Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, are coming to University Park on Nov. 4 as part of the Student Programming Association’s Distinguished Speaker Series.
Careful while canning: It’s a story that comes up every year around this time: Students who travel for canning weekends (more…)
An introductory post from our fall intern, senior Sarah Olah.
My family and I traveled to Aruba a few weeks ago because I’m graduating in the spring and my mom wanted to have “our last family vacation.” During our seven-day trip, we met four Penn State families, had “WE ARE” chanted at us at the pool, and saw lots of Penn State merchandise—from people wearing it to seeing souvenir shops selling T-shirts saying “Penn State Aruba.” Yes, we bought one.
In Aruba—thousands of miles away from our home in the Poconos—we met two Penn State incoming freshmen, both majoring in engineering. And my brother was getting ready to move into his freshman dorm in East Halls—and major in engineering.
Can you say small world? Or incredible?
Leave it to NPR business and financial reporter Jim Zarroli to sum up why so many alumni of The Daily Collegian got together last weekend to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Penn State’s independent student newspaper.
Zarroli ’79, the keynote speaker at Saturday night’s banquet, told the story of his years at Penn State, when he arrived as an uncertain freshman who wasn’t sure where he belonged … until he found himself on the Collegian staff. There, he began growing into the professional he is today because, he explained, “We weren’t just learning journalism. We were doing it.”
But he got something else from the hours and hours he spent reporting and writing and just hanging out in the Collegian office. Said Zarroli, “It really became my home.”
I knew the feeling—both of them, really. (I appeared in a house ad for the Collegian in the mid-1990s, and the copy read something like, “Everything I needed to know about journalism, I learned at The Daily Collegian.” Still true.) And I know each of the other nearly 200 alums who were listening to Zarroli could identify, too.
There’s an immediate kinship among various generations of staffers. It doesn’t matter whether you laid out the paper with the latest version of Quark or wielded a photo wheel and an Exacto knife. Or whether your first assignment was to ask people sitting on The Wall along College Avenue where they bought their pot (true story, related Friday night by a 1970s alum) or, as was true for some students last year, you jumped right into covering the biggest news story in Penn State’s history.
I’m sure there’s a similar feeling among students and alums devoted to other activities. (One of my best friends, Laura Eckert Thompson ’92, made that point in this column geared toward incoming freshmen in a 1991 Collegian magazine.) But one of the things I loved about the Collegian is that although our group was tightly connected, we were never insular. We had to know and understand the other student groups, the other students’ concerns. We felt a true responsibility to the rest of the student body—we were their newspaper.
Which is part of what got last year’s staff through the late nights and long days covering the Sandusky scandal and Joe Paterno’s death.
At a panel Saturday morning featuring 2011-2012 staffers, Anna Orso, now managing editor, then the cops reporter (and a student in my news writing class), explained that the staff believed their role was “to tell the narrative of the student body.” Current editor/last year’s managing editor Casey McDermott told of how they explained the legal terms in the first print paper, realizing that most students wouldn’t know them. (At the time, I commented on what a great idea that was.) Last year’s editor, Lexi Belculfine ’12, said the opinion page was a place “to urge our peers to think critically.”
The news staff showed their story budgets and other planning documents (click here if you’re a news nerd and want a look), told how the opinion editor, Jordan Cole ’12, became a de-facto psychologist for the upset alumni and students who wrote or even called, just wanting to talk to someone, and related how they blew off the national editors who called wanting story tips and tried to sweeten the deal by saying they’d be sure to remember the Collegian kids the next time they had a job opening.
Of course the students would have none of that. No Collegianaire, from any era, would have. What an insult. I’m insulted again, just writing that.
Staffers from the business side spoke, too, explaining how they kept advertising as constant as possible during the scandal and sold thousands of commemorative newspapers. (As Amy Zurzola Quinn ’94 tweeted, “If these students could keep biz afloat, keep advertisers during scandal, just THINK what they’ll do when you hire them.”)
Last weekend reminded me what a great tradition I’m part of. The entire staff of the 2011-12 staff was inducted into the Collegian Hall of Fame. They were joined by Larry Foster ’48, a former managing editor; Jane Murphy Schultz ’43, the first female editor-in-chief, who died in 2010; and the wife-and-husband team of Roberta Hutchinson ’48 and Allan Ostar ’48, who were the other stars of the weekend.
The Ostars donated the first scholarship earmarked solely for Collegian staffers, and it’s easy to see why they feel so connected. They met there. When they stood to be recognized, Allan said, “They say some marriages are made in heaven. This marriage was made at The Daily Collegian.”
Wild cheers and applause, of course. Possibly a few tears, as well.
I’m going to give the last word to Lou Bell ’29, a former Collegian editor who wrote an amazing final column, what the students now would call a “senior send-off.” General manager Patti Hartranft quotes it a lot, and no wonder:
Whether it be by the decree of Fate or Circumstance or Death, there must come an end to every joy. There must come a time when the standard-bearer must release his fingers from the banner that he had so ardently striven to hold aloft, when he must pass the banner to other hands, reluctant to give it up but confident that strong and willing hands will keep it afloat and speed it forward until still other hands clutch it. That runs the eternal cycle.
We are proud that the banner still floats, that it goes ever forward. Plainly speaking, we are confident that the new editorial and business staffs of the Penn State Collegian are competent and willing enough to carry on—and on—and on. To our successors, congratulations, good fortune, good heart.
And, above all—good heart.
That, as far as I’m concerned, says everything.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
Tim Vitullo loved his engineering classes. He wanted a job in the field. But when it came time to write his honors thesis, he just didn’t want to do one about civil engineering. That seemed, to him, like a step on the path to a master’s degree, which was not in his plans.
But he had something to fall back on—his music. And thanks to the Schreyer Honors College policy that allows students who enroll as freshmen to choose any field for their thesis topic (if they get permission from their department and can find an adviser), Vitullo ’12 Eng created a unique thesis.
He composed and performed a jazz album titled This is the Thing! You can listen to it here.
“I had the best of both worlds,” Vitullo said. “I dig Schreyer for letting me do this.”
Vitullo grew up doodling and wanting to build things. But he also began taking piano lessons—or, as he put it, “started down the rabbit hole”—in the second grade. He moved on to various band instruments and, by junior high, he’d added the guitar.
He’s played in various bands—mostly rock, at first—back home in suburban Pittsburgh and around State College. He’s currently in Pittsburgh, looking for a full-time civil engineering job and “trying to find the right balance between engineering and music for me,” and playing rock, country, jazz, and blues … whatever he can find. He’s starting to think about another album, too.
I’ve been listening to This is the Thing! on and off since early May, when Christian Brady, dean of the Schreyer Honors College, tweeted out a link to it with this introduction: “Man, I cannot tell you how much better my day just got thanks to this EP.”
So I clicked, and the music saved me during a long day of copy editing. Vitullo composed in a a variety of jazz styles—the first track,”Cold Coffee,” is hard bop, and it’s followed by “Too Flat for Five” (modal), “Bossa Nueva” (Latin), “Minor Incident” (fusion), and “Plus Two Leslie” (ballad).
Vitullo had to turn in a written component, too, so you can click here to read a summary of the thesis and download a PDF. (All of the honors theses are open and available to the public; they’ve been online since 2010.) He discusses the artists who influenced his composition, his thoughts on American jazz and why today’s most popular albums were recorded decades ago, and a little bit about his process.
I figured the hardest part of the thesis would be, you know, actually composing the music. Turns out that while that wasn’t easy, Vitullo had a harder time actually getting the album recorded. He had to line up musicians and secure a studio and time to record—and that costs money. He eventually found musicians to play without pay, but of course that cut into practice time.
Vitullo noted in his thesis, “the sense of personal pride that these recordings and compositions instill in me is overwhelming. However, it would be interesting to hear the hypothetical recordings if a longer preparation and a larger budget were possible before the recording sessions occurred.”
I’m certainly no expert, but I think the album turned out great. I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
On April 20, about 150 volunteers—including five faculty members and 15 students from the environmental studies and honors programs at Penn State Altoona—planted 3450 trees over five acres. These trees will help lessen the impact of strong winds for visitors at the Flight 93 National Memorial, parts of which are still under construction. Organizers plan to reforest the 120 surrounding acres with more than 150,000 donated saplings over the next six years.
The effort also had an educational component: Joe Pizarchik ’79, director of the U.S. Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement (OSMRE), spoke to the students about the challenges of minewater-drainage–-including the drainage problem Pizarchik helped resolve in 2003 to make way for the Memorial’s construction.
Check out this cool video of Pizarchik and the students in action.
Mary Murphy, associate editor
Where’s the only place at Penn State you can study for finals and snag free refills of sweet iced tea?
McDonald’s—an unlikely study spot, for sure. On the Sunday afternoon before spring finals week, I took a quick walking tour of campus to check out where students were studying. Some of the locations are obvious—all rooms in the library were packed, as was the HUB—but others might surprise you.
My favorite was the three students, studying for a biology exam, who picked the basement of Mickie D’s (which has free WiFi, by the way). They said they actually go there a lot.
Two students, who said they walked around the library and it was simply too packed, ended up in an empty room on the first floor of Willard. Panera and Irvings were also popular, as students filled up on coffee and carbs. It was a nice day—probably the first one all week—so I found a few students laying out picnic blankets outside Old Main. What surprised me the most was that Alumni Hall, on the bottom floor of the HUB-Robeson Center, was wide open with rows of long tables and chairs for students to stop by and study at as they please.
Check out the slideshow below, and comment: Where was your favorite place to study at Penn State?
-Emily Kaplan, intern