Penn State Rugby Is Heading to Philly

Photo via @USASevensCRC

Penn State’s men’s and women’s rugby programs will compete for national titles next month. Both squads are going to Talen Energy Stadium in Philadelphia on June 2-4 for the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby 7s Championships.

The women’s team—which has won three championships at this event and took home its sixth-straight DI college national title earlier this year—will begin pool play on Friday, June 2. Knockout rounds will occur on Saturday, and the finals and consolation games are on Sunday. As for the men’s squad, pool play begins on Saturday and the playoff rounds are a day later.

Pool assignments for the women have not yet been released, while the men have been drawn into a pool with Clemson, Delaware, and the four-time defending CRC winners California.

If you are interested in attending, you can purchase tickets through the program. Additionally, portions of the tournament will be shown on NBC and NBC Sports Network. Head here for the full broadcast schedule.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

May 23, 2017 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

Danielle Joliet Gets Her Long-Deserved Degree

U.S. Army veteran Danielle Joliet ’17 received her degree from the College of Education earlier this month. The 34-year-old mother of two joined the military when she was 17 and spent more than a decade in the armed forces.

As Joliet told Good Morning America, she enlisted in an attempt to change her life after dropping out of high school, saying “I kind of woke up one day wanting a better life and not knowing how to do it, and for me that was going into the United States Army.”

Three years after returning stateside due to an injury that ended her military career, Joliet had her second child and decided to enroll at Penn State. While she received her degree—posting a 4.0 and earning the title of 2017 Outstanding Adult Student from her college—Joliet’s education isn’t over just yet. In addition to getting a job out of school with Penn State’s Collegiate Recovery Community, she began graduate school this week.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

May 18, 2017 at 11:08 am Leave a comment

Alumna’s Coasters for Sexual Assault Awareness Month Underscore Consent is Non-Negotiable

Photo via Kristine Irwin

Throughout the month of April, seven Pittsburgh restaurants have been serving drinks on a special set of coasters designed and donated by Kristine Irwin ’09, a rape survivor and founder of the nonprofit Voices of Hope. The coasters are colorful—they’re fun and playful, even. But on the back, each one carries the dictionary definition of consent, and Irwin hopes the Consent Coaster Campaign will help spread the critical message that consent is a non-negotiable.

Irwin was 19 when she raped by a man she’d worked for the summer before she began college. She had had a few drinks with him, but recalled nothing else when she woke up in a hospital bed the next morning. Still, she considers herself lucky, because on that morning in 2004 when she was thrown out of a car onto an unknown street with no idea of how she got there or that she had been raped, a woman happened to be looking out of her window and called 911.
(more…)

April 27, 2017 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

Inside Our May/June 2017 Issue

A look back at some of the musical acts to make their way through Happy Valley, starting on the cover with Jon Bon Jovi.

If you’re feeling nostalgic, our May/June issue will help you relive some of the more memorable and iconic musical acts to play the Bryce Jordan Center since its opening in 1996. Starting with Jon Bon Jovi on the cover, longtime BJC marketing director Bernie Punt ’84 takes us backstage to talk about what it took to land Paul McCartney, the parenting skills of Gene Simmons, and what makes Garth Brooks a favorite among BJC staff, among other behind-the-scenes stories. The retrospective begins on p. 44.

The new issue, arriving in mailboxes soon, also tells how Dr. J. Richard Ward ’66, a civilian chemist, befriended a Russian defector in the waning days of the Cold War and unwittingly became a secret operative for the CIA. The tale of “The Accidental Spy” begins on p. 38.

You’ll also get a look at how Penn State experts are helping the Central American nation of Colombia move away from the cocaine trade by instead growing the key ingredient in chocolate (p. 30). You’ll meet Rob Turrisi, a professor whose research has shown that short, targeted conversations with teenagers can have a substantial impact on reducing high-risk behaviors like tanning and binge drinking (p. 52). Plus a look back at memorable seasons for Penn State wrestling (again) and men’s ice hockey.

What do you think about the new issue? Let us know by commenting below or emailing us at heypennstater@psu.edu.

B.J. Reyes, associate editor

April 26, 2017 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

Emily Frederick Forged Her Own Path to Rio

Photo via Cardoni

If it wasn’t for an error on a GPS, it’s possible that Emily Frederick wouldn’t have found herself in Rio for the Paralympics last fall.

No, so she didn’t drive all the way down to Brazil on accident or anything like that. Frederick, an Alabama native who was born with dwarfism and stands 4-foot-1, needs special pedals to drive. When she was in high school and eager to get her license, her mother drove alone to a facility in Birmingham, Ala., called Lakeshore.

There are two Lakeshores in Birmingham. The one they needed was a rehabilitation center that had those pedal extensions; the other was a training facility for athletes with disabilities. They’re right next door to one another. The GPS brought Frederick’s mom—an assistant high school track coach—to the training facility. She got a tour and realized it was the perfect place for her daughter, who grew up playing sports but had stopped because she struggled to keep up with her teammates.

Initially, Emily wasn’t on board with her mother’s idea. (more…)

April 26, 2017 at 9:25 am Leave a comment

Good Ol’ Garth

Photo by Mark Selders

Back in March, we spent a couple of very fun hours listening to Bernie Punt ’84 share his memories of 20-plus years of concerts at the Bryce Jordan Center. (Check out the cover story in the May/June issue of The Penn Stater, which Alumni Association members should be getting any day now.) And no one inspired more—or fonder—memories than country superstar Garth Brooks.

Brooks has played a record 11 shows at the BJC: a five-night stint in 1997, the arena’s second year in existence, and a six-night run in 2015. His popularity with concert-goers is hardly surprising: By at least one measure, he’s the second-best selling musical artist of all time, behind only The Beatles. But according to Punt, the BJC’s longtime sales and marketing director, Brooks’ success goes beyond the music. Despite his massive fame, Brooks might just be the most down-to-earth star in the biz.

We’ll let Punt tell it: (more…)

April 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm 1 comment

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