Posts tagged ‘Russ Rose’

A Lovely Day for a ‘Metamorphosis’


Walking up the mall toward Pattee Library a little before noon on Thursday, you could hear the beat of a semi-recent pop hit coming from speakers set up under a crowded white canopy. The song was “Crazy,” followed in short order by the Prince classic “Let’s Go Crazy.” If you were paying attention, you knew the titles weren’t coincidence, but part of a theme.

Madness was the theme of the fourth annual Penn State Marathon Reading, which kicked off Thursday at noon. I hung out at the tent for the first hour or so Thursday, both to catch the headliners, and to make my own five-minute contribution to chipping away at Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, the opening book.

As she has since the event began in 2012, Sue Paterno ’62 opened the reading. Before she started, she talked about reading Kafka as an English major “fifty-some years ago,” and, if I heard her correctly, seeing the author’s childhood home on a trip to Czechoslovakia some years later with Joe.

Sue handed things off to women’s volleyball coach Russ Rose (above), who was followed by Susan Welch (below), long time dean of the College of the Liberal Arts, and then State College mayor Elizabeth Goreham. After that came the non-celebrity readers, me included—although I didn’t realize quite was I was getting myself into.

Liberal Arts dean Susan Welch takes her turn with "Metamorphosis"

Susan Welch takes her turn with “Metamorphosis”

I knew in advance that the organizers planned to have readers in multiple languages, including The Metamorphosis in its original German. What I didn’t know was that I had signed up for a time slot in the midst of the grad-student readers who were going to be handling the Deutsche translations. Among them was Katherine Anderson (below), a graduate student in German literature; like all the readers who tackled the book in its original tongue, they added an emotional punch the rest of us couldn’t quite match.

Grad student Katherine Anderson & English department head Mark Morrisson

Grad student Katherine Anderson & English department head Mark Morrisson

Of course, they also made things a bit tricky for those of us (ahem) who had to pick up (in English) where they left off (in German). But it wasn’t so bad. If I want to be able to really immerse myself in Kafka (and one of these days I suppose I should), I can do that on my own time. On this day, the communal vibe of sharing in a good book trumped anything that might get lost in translation.

Ryan Jones, senior editor


September 25, 2015 at 8:13 am Leave a comment

Getting a Read on “Madness,” One Book at a Time

Kicking off Thursday at noon, this year’s Penn State Marathon Reading will feature 10 books united by “madness and psychological themes.” For 24 (or so) hours straight, the normally tranquil lawn in front of Pattee and Paterno Libraries figures to get pretty intense.MARATHON

This year marks the fourth annual Marathon Reading, and after taking part in the first two—we read Catch-22 in 2012 and One Hundred Years of Solitude in 2013—I can vouch for this being a really cool event. I’m still kicking myself for missing last year’s marathon read, which introduced the theme concept with readings of famously banned books Brave New World, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Fahrenheit 451. Sarah Denes of the School of Languages and Literatures, which co-hosts the reading, says a theme event gives readers and curious listeners alike the chance to “come and sit for maybe an hour and hear an entire reading.”

Whether you’re reading, listening, or (ideally) both, the marathon reading is a group effort. Denes says 328 people read at last year’s event, most for just five or 10 minutes at a time. Exceptions include the classes that drop in as a group—meaning each student might only read for two minutes—and the hearty bibliophiles who stick around for the overnight stretch. Denes says that last year, “there was one person who read for 25 minutes at 4:30 in the morning.”

I’m not quite that enthusiastic—or, well, crazy—but I’m excited to read during daylight hours on Thursday, hopefully while the opening book, Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, is still underway. The marathon is set to end early Friday afternoon with Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, and like nearly all of the titles, you can expect to hear it both in English and at least one other language. Depending on when you show up, you might hear Kafka in German, Lu Xun in Chinese, or Camus in French.

Oh, and if you’re there Thursday afternoon, you might also recognize some of the readers: President Eric Barron and women’s volleyball coach Russ Rose are both set to read in the opening few hours, not long after we kick things off with the event’s now-traditional opening reader, Sue Paterno.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

September 23, 2015 at 9:02 am 1 comment

A Roseberry by Any Other Name…

Photo by Mark Selders

Hall of Flavor—er, Famer—Russ Rose. Photo by Mark Selders

The Creamery pitched it. His wife came up with the finishing touch. And Russ Rose? He’s just the guy they named it after.

Russ “Digs” Roseberry was unveiled Thursday morning, and as Berkey Creamery manager Tom Palchak ’80 tells us, it’s the first permanent “Hall of Fame” flavor added in more than 20 years. Its namesake is none other than Rose, the six-time national champion-winning coach of the Penn State women’s volleyball team. Dishing out the first scoops on Thursday—and yes, your intrepid reporter sacrificed himself by eating an ice cream cone for lunch—Rose handled the honor much in the way he handles receiving coach-of-the-year awards: By quietly deflecting all the credit.

The idea came from Palchak, who initially approached Rose a few years ago; a communications breakdown led to folks at the Creamery getting the mistaken impression that Rose wasn’t interested. He was, not so much for the ice cream, but for the rare company he’d keep. “To be up there with Coach Paterno,” he says, “that’s pretty special.” As for the finished product, Russ says his wife, Lori Barberich Rose ’85, is the one who figured out how to make it delicious.

BoQD86QIUAAmj91Palchak finally connected with Rose earlier this year, and they began the process of figuring out just what Rose’s flavor would be. The coach’s starting points were caramel and strawberry—two great tastes that really don’t go together—and with Lori’s help, they settled on strawberry ice cream as the base. Wanting to keep the flavor fruity, they decided through trial and error to add swirls of black and red raspberry sauce; with the Roses’ four sons providing a ready-made taste-testing team, reviews were good. But there was something missing, until Lori Rose found it: flecks and small chunks of dark chocolate.

As it was served up Thursday, Russ “Digs” Roseberry strikes a wonderful balance between flavors and texture that it shares (in this reviewer’s humble opinion) with Creamery classics like Death by Chocolate and Alumni Swirl. It’s just really, really good. And while I’d argue there’s never a bad time for Creamery ice cream, its late-May unveiling seems appropriate: all that fruit just screams summer. It probably doesn’t hurt that the annual Happy Volley tournament starts Friday, meaning there will be something like 10,000 high school volleyball players, coaches, and family members in town for the holiday weekend. Most of them will probably hit the Creamery at some point.

I know what they should order.

Ryan Jones, senior editor


May 22, 2014 at 3:59 pm Leave a comment

Kicking Off Another Coaches Caravan


One of the hundreds of fans who got to meet James Franklin on Thursday night.

It felt a lot like the past two years: Loyal Penn State fans turning out for an offseason football fix and a chance to meet the new coach.

It also felt very different. Different venue. Different coach. The start, once again, of a different era.

James Franklin took center stage Thursday night at Pegula Arena, where the third Penn State Coaches Caravan kicked off within sight of Beaver Stadium. More than 400 fans turned out, and it appeared all who wanted to had the chance to take a quick picture with Franklin at the photo station on the upper concourse. Other coaches—Patrick Chambers, Bob Warming, Russ Rose, and a few members of Franklin’s new staff—mingled with the crowd over appetizers, before fans settled into their seats to see Franklin, Rose, and Warming speak from a chilly stage on the ice.

There are plenty of photos and video from the main event over at GoPSUSports, but we also kept an eye out for things fans might have missed. A few tidbits of note:

* The new coach and new president had what we believe was their first meeting Thursday at the pre-event reception. Eric Barron and his wife, Molly, popped in briefly and spent some time talking with Franklin (below), then made their way out—mostly unnoticed—before the coaches took the stage. Barron, the subject of the cover story in our May/June issue, officially takes over as Penn State president on May 12.


* As you’ve no doubt noticed, in nearly every posed photo since he arrived on campus (including the one at the top of this post), Franklin is holding up his index finger in a “No. 1” pose. Hoping to ask him how and why that became the thing he does when the Caravan hits the road next week.

* Roger Williams ’73, ’75g, ’88g, our executive director, presented Franklin with a life membership Thursday night—meaning he’ll now be getting The Penn Stater at home. We expect an occasional letter, Coach.

The Caravan hits the road for real next Tuesday, and I’m excited to be back on the bus for a third year. I plan to have a bunch of updates over the next two weeks, both here and at The Football Letter Blog. If the past two years are any indication, I should come out of it with some great stories. Hope to see you on the road.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

May 2, 2014 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — Feb. 14, 2014


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

February 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — Dec. 20, 2013

Deja McClendon gets a kill in this photo by Bettina Hansen of The Seattle Times.

Deja McClendon gets a kill in this photo by Bettina Hansen of The Seattle Times.

Playing for a … six-peat? The women’s volleyball team pounded Washington—and I mean pounded Washington, which was basically playing a home game—late Thursday night,  25-14, 25-13, 25-16, in the NCAA semifinals. The Nittany Lions will play conference foe Wisconsin (which upset top-ranked Texas) for the NCAA title at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. The Nittany Lions have won five national titles, their last when current star seniors Deja McClendon, Ariel Scott, and Katie Slay were freshmen. Safe to say, those ladies want to go out as they came in—as NCAA champs. In this Centre Daily Times story, McClendon said, “This is the fire I think that you need to win it all.” Play-by-play announcer Beth Mowins called Penn State’s performance “one of the most dominant we’ve seen in the NCAA semifinals.” But Coach Russ Rose, named national coach of the year for the fifth time before the game, was, as usual, a little more laid-back: “I believe the seniors have a pretty good handle on what we need to do. We’ll see if we can do it one more time.”

And a big wrestling match, too: It’s a good thing my in-laws are awesome and my husband is a sports writer, because otherwise I’d be in trouble Saturday night, when I need to watch not only the NCAA volleyball title match, but the wrestling team, which will  be competing at Iowa at 9 p.m. on Big Ten Network.  If you remember, the match was “scheduled on Twitter” after the Big Ten schedule didn’t have these two powerhouses wrestling a dual. (Iowa coach Tom Brands has tweeted once since the early September scheduling flurry, and that tweet was two words: Tony Ramos.) Iowa would like to regain the NCAA dual attendance record, but even if it doesn’t, it’ll be a raucous Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Get ready with this match preview from Jim Carlson for

Semester’s end: Graduation is Saturday—5,133 people will be receiving degrees, including one student who will travel about 6,000 miles to receive her degree—Hiroko Tanako of Japan, who has earned a master of education degree in curriculum and instruction, children’s literature, from World Campus. Tanako said: “I have watched American university graduations on television. I would like to experience commencement with the cap and gown. It will be my first time wearing it.”

Happy Holidays: The university will close for the holidays at the end of business today. We’ll be back publishing The Daily on Jan. 2, 2014.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

December 20, 2013 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — Nov. 1, 2013

The Godfather: The big story on the front page of today’s Collegian is a profile of women’s volleyball coach Russ Rose, who in addition to being a terrific coach is just an entertaining character. Which is why my favorite quote in the piece by Zach Neiner is the one at the end from assistant coach Steve Aird: “Penn State has let Russ be Russ, which has translated into him having the best program in the country.” The Nittany Lions have a big rematch this weekend against Big Ten foe Michigan State, which beat them in five sets in the conference opener. This match is on the road and follows a Friday match-up with Michigan.

Nice photo of John Urschel by Joe Hermitt of The Patriot-News.

Nice photo of John Urschel by Joe Hermitt of The Patriot-News.

Another Day, Another Honor: This is a prestigious one for offensive guard/math whiz John Urschel ’12, ’13g: as a National Football Foundation scholar-athlete, he’ll receive an $18,000 scholarship for post-graduate studies. Which should help on the way to a possible Ph.D. in math … as will his most recently scholarly publication, “A Space-Time Multigrid Method for the Numerical Valuation of Barrier Options.”

The Hayride Saga: We had no idea that hayrides had become a popular part of the fall social scene around here until one of our interns pitched a story on them. Just our luck, right at the time, this turned from a fun story into a more serious one—the owner of Nittany Mountain Trail Rides suspended hayrides after several alcohol-related incidents. The latest, from Onwrad State: The hayrides are back on, but they are now alcohol-free (even if students are 21 or older), and they’re being held at a church camp near Milroy, Pa.

Oh, those Gen Eds: I’ll admit it: For one of my science gen ed requirements, I took the infamous “Rocks for Jocks.” But my art history class turned me into someone who can happily spend all day in a museum, someone who appreciates not just the beauty of the exhibits, but the intellectual and aesthetic theories of the artists. And COMM 150, The Art of the Cinema, has made me a more intelligent consumer of the movies. (That said, when my brother and I happened to take the class the same semester, our dad wasn’t thrilled: “I paid for six credits of movie watching?!?”) Those perspectives—and more—were apparent Thursday when faculty gathered to discuss the future of general education. The Collegian’s piece gives a broad overview of the issues, and this Storify put together by Christopher Dean, associate dean for the College of the Liberal Arts, gives you a sense for how faculty reacted on social media. It’s really interesting.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

November 1, 2013 at 9:48 am Leave a comment

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