Posts tagged ‘Onward State’
One of the adjustments I’ve had to make as I moved from daily newspaper journalism to every-other-month magazine journalism is how much time we at The Penn Stater devote to story selection. We don’t just come up with an idea, assign it, edit it, publish it. We can spend months and months figuring out the best writer for a story, the best angle to take on a story, and the best way for it to fit in our magazine, which averages only three full-length features an issue. We like to think of that space as prime real estate, and we want to use it to its best advantage.
One of the stories in our current issue, “Paper Chase,” has been in the works even longer. When I returned to campus in 2009, I noticed right away the changes in The Daily Collegian—where I had spent the vast majority of my time as an undergrad—and began paying careful attention to a new information source founded by students, the website Onward State. It turns out that my colleague Ryan Jones ’95, who had already been here for a couple of years and who had also worked at the Collegian, was doing the same thing. We needed a story, we said, about the state of student media. Was it mirroring, we wondered, the evolution of media everywhere?
I’m not kidding when I say we kicked that idea around, on and off, for nearly four years. (Yes, perhaps we could stand to streamline our story pitching process.) But news got in the way, and more timely stories popped up. But we kept kicking it around. We watched how the students covered the Sandusky scandal. We got to know many of the students who work at the Collegian and at Onward State. Some are my students. Some, Ryan and I mentor. Some, we know basically as fellow media members, sitting side-by-side in the Beaver Stadium press box or at the Board of Trustees media table.
Last spring, we finally settled on the perfect writer: another Collegian alum, Brian Raftery ’99, who is plugged in to the new media side of things as an intelligent and involved journalist and a contributing editor at Wired. He delved into the reporting and found a fabulous tale to tell. It’s in the issue that should be arriving in Alumni Association members’ mailboxes any day now (if it hasn’t already), but because we suspect this will have wider interest beyond our usual readers, we’re making an exception and posting it online. Click here to download a PDF.
We also want to note one clarification: Onward State managing editor Kevin Horne says that based on updated statistics from September 2013 to March 2014, their website averages about 50,000 page views a day, and has upward of 100,000 on a good day.
We hope you’ll enjoy the story. Let us know what you think.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
These recently hatched ducklings are four of a few dozen who are stumbling about and charming visitors outside the Hintz Family Alumni Center. If you have a chance to swing by the duck pond before they get too big, we highly recommend it. Just don’t feed them any bread — it’s bad for the little guys — and keep an eye out for stragglers who might have fallen down grates, as seems to happen a few times every year. Thankfully, our friends from OPP — or, as I saw this weekend, a group of students who took it upon themselves to lift off grate covers and rescue one duckling themselves — are generally around to save the day.
Big man on campus(es): President Eric Barron spent part of his Saturday speaking to the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments, where he revealed he’s already traveled to about half of Penn State’s campuses as he works to familiarize himself with issues across the university system. Onward State has more.
Calling different signals: Over at StateCollege.com, Mike Poorman ’82 writes about two former Nittany Lion quarterbacks at very different points in their NFL careers. There’s Michael Robinson ’04, ’06, a Super Bowl winner this year with the Seattle Seahawks, who is moving into broadcasting (and even occasional soap opera cameos) as his playing career appears likely to be over. And there’s Matt McGloin ’12, the former walk-on who emerged as an unlikely NFL starter last season, and who believes his NFL career is just beginning.
Sunday on the sidewalk with Herb: The State College weather Sunday afternoon was perfect for all sorts of things, among them: wandering around State College for a few hours eating pizza with assistant football coach Herb Hand. That’s just what about 180 folks did on the inaugural Herb Hand Pizza Crawl, organized by Onward State and benefiting Uplifting Athletes and Bands4RAINN. The Daily Collegian has the coverage, presumably because all the OS staffers (as well as yours truly) were too busy walking and eating pizza.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Herb Hand Pizza Crawl! I have no idea what kind of an offensive line coach Herb Hand is, although we’re soon going to find out, given that the Nittany Lions barely have enough linemen to fill a two-deep. But there’s no doubt that the guy is a social media genius. Hand tweeted in February about stopping at Canyon Pizza for lunch. This understandably shocked the Penn State corner of Twitter, many of whom had no idea Canyon served food before, oh, 11 p.m. or so. Soon everyone was tweeting their favorite pizza places at Hand, and then Onward State got involved, and now there’s a glorious result: the Herb Hand Pizza Crawl. For $20, on April 27 you can accompany Hand and, as Onward put it, “explore the State College pizza scene.”
You also get a limited edition T-shirt, which I very much hope looks like the logo (above) I borrowed from Onward State’s website, and the proceeds go to Uplifting Athletes and Bands 4 RAINN. I imagine this will fill up soon, so if you’re interested, sign up quickly.
Dare I hope that the next such charity event is a James Franklin Balloon Party?
Good writing alert: If I’ve got a “coaching tree,” consisting of the young journalists I’ve mentored when they were students, among the most excellent branches are Jenny Vrentas ’06 and former Penn Stater intern Emily Kaplan ’13, who are colleagues at Sports Illustrated‘s MMQB website. So when Jenny tweets a story written by Emily, I click. This morning’s offering is a piece that uses the upcoming film Draft Day as a look at female executives in the NFL. Spoiler: Real life isn’t quite as it’s portrayed in the movie.
Ready for prime time: The Nittany Lions are going to get significant exposure in prime time this fall: The Ohio State game on Oct. 25 will start at 8 p.m. That caps an odd October for the team, which has two off weeks (Oct. 4 and 18) and two prime-time games. The game at Michigan on Oct. 11, as previously announced, will begin at 7 p.m.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
Protective measures: New Penn State assistant coach Herb Hand continues to be a hit on Twitter. Earlier this week he kicked off a heated social media debate about the best local pizza. This time? Well, let’s just say Coach Hand sounds like a very proud—and protective—dad. Any father of a daughter will appreciate this one.
Taking care of business: The Smeal College of Business in recent years has made a point of emphasizing business ethics as part of its educational mission. Forbes.com today looks at the college’s commitment, including the recent appointment of Jennifer Eury ’05, ’07g to the newly created role of Honor and Integrity Director.
Is that odd? With THON 2014 just two weeks, organizers have released the final list of all 711 dancers set to crowd onto the floor at the BJC. And if that number seems a bit curious, here’s why: According to Onward State, it’s not only a record number of dancers, but it’s the first time in THON history that there will be an odd number of participants.
Water, everywhere: We told you last week about the Penn State Public Media-produced documentary Water Blues, Green Solutions, which looks at issues facing America’s water supply, and efforts to protect it. Among those efforts is a stormwater management project undertaken by Penn State students and staff in downtown Philadelphia. Click here for video of that project, and here for more on the documentary, which is airing now on PBS stations across the country.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Signing of the times: Yesterday, we told you about the morning’s National Signing Day extravaganza in the Lasch Building (there was an omelet station, people). But that was just the beginning. Last night’s “Signature Event” at the BJC featured even more fanfare, with help from the Blue Band, the cheerleaders, and LaVar Arrington ’00, who helped Coach James Franklin introduce the recruits. Check out the Football Letter’s recap here.
A powerful message: The Winter Olympics in Sochi are upon us, and on the eve of the opening ceremony, former NBA player John Amaechi ’94 is speaking out against’s Russia’s anti-gay laws. In a piece from yesterday’s The Guardian, Amaechi encourages athletes to use social media to “make their position clear.” Those who don’t speak out, he says, are complicit: “For me, silence in the face of attendance in Sochi is complicity. You become nothing more than another Sochi mascot that people can have their photograph taken with as a memento of the abdication of responsibility.”
Snow daze: It’s a question most of us probably asked ourselves yesterday morning, while trudging through the slippery sludge around University Park: What does it take for Penn State to get a snow day? Well, as Onward State‘s Ali Fogarty found out, the answer is fairly complex — and it involves an official “snow marshal.”
Mary Murphy, associate editor
Making room next to his Nobel: Richard Alley, the Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences and member of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has been honored with the 2014 Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship by the National Academy of Sciences. The prize, given annually by the NAS to “a scientist making lasting contributions to the study of the physics of the earth,” stipulates that the recipient “should also be a good speaker.” On that front, we think Alley (who was elected into the NAS in 2008) more than qualifies:
His ability to teach geology through Johnny Cash covers notwithstanding, Alley has for years been on the forefront of climate science. It’s not just that he can be found hiking glaciers in Greenland or Antarctica, but how he finds ways to make his research—and its massive implications for all of us—accessible. It’s an honor to be on the same campus as this guy.
Latest from the BOT: My colleague Lori Shontz ’91, ’13g is all over this week’s Board of Trustees meetings. In case you missed it, she filed this last night on efforts to boost alumni participation in board elections, and posted this earlier today on the outside consultant brought in to help facilitate discussion on governance reform. She’ll have more later from Friday’s sessions.
A campus menace no more: Onward State takes a celebratory tone in its coverage of the removal of the “colored tiles of death” from in front of the Palmer Museum of Art. If you’re not familiar, the multicolored, geometric patterns that covered the sidewalks in front of the museum had a tendency to get very slippery when wet. They will not be missed.
Keeping Kidd: The University Libraries just made a very cool acquisition, securing the archives of famed graphic designer Chip Kidd ’86. The man responsible for some of the most iconic book covers of the past 20 years is handing over a treasure trove of design artifacts and inspiration, including design work going back to his undergraduate days, correspondence with authors like David Sedaris, John Updike, and Cormac McCarthy, and hundreds of pop-culture collectibles that have inspired his work over the years. Excited for this stuff to go on public display.
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