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The Penn Stater Daily—April 9, 2014

Consent decree challenged: Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court may have opened the door to a challenge of the consent decree, the basis for the NCAA’s sanctions against Penn State, in a ruling today in the NCAA’s challenge to a bill written by state Sen. Jake Corman that would require the $60 million fine to be spent entirely on child-abuse programs in Pennsylvania. This Patriot-News story will give you the basics, and you can click here to read the decision yourself.

BOT election starts tomorrow: The election for three alumni seats on the Board of Trustees begins tomorrow, Thursday, April 10, and runs through 9 a.m. Thursday, May 8. Before you cast your ballot, learn about the 31 candidates with our Three Questions project.

A creative thank-you: Men’s hockey coach Guy Gadowsky released this video to thank the team’s alumni for their support. And,  yeah, that’s a cool gesture. But what will really keep you watching is Gadowsky showing off his juggling prowess. I couldn’t look away. I’m off to work on my hand-eye coordination.

Lori Shontz, senior editor



April 9, 2014 at 1:54 pm Leave a comment

Another Three Questions for the Board of Trustees Candidates

old_main_3_questionsThree years ago, when the Sandusky scandal prompted unprecedented interest in the election for alumni seats on the Board of Trustees, we at the alumni magazine weren’t sure how we’d ever choose among so many candidates.

Our solution: The Three Questions project, in which we asked candidates to answer questions about major issues and challenges that Penn State is facing. By having everyone answer the same questions, we figured, we’d have an easier time comparing their positions and opinions—and choosing for whom to vote.

The number of candidates has shrunk, but the need for information and consistent points of comparison haven’t changed. We’re happy to introduce our third Three Questions for the Candidates project, and we’re even happier that for the first time, we have 100 percent participation. All 31 candidates responded.

Voting starts on Thursday, April 10, and continues through 9 a.m. EDT Thursday, May 8. We hope you’ll take the time to become informed before you cast your ballot.

We’ve given each candidate a page that includes an official bio and position statement (from the Board of Trustees’ website) and links to social media sites (be aware that you may need to be logged into Facebook or LinkedIn to get the full effect). You can browse the responses either by candidate (you’ll need to scroll down) or by question.

We have presented the responses just as the candidates wrote them—our only stipulation was that they stay under 250 words for each answer. A few people went over, and we did some light editing to make them fit. If we didn’t understand something, we contacted the author to clarify. But otherwise, as has been the case for the past two years, their responses are unvarnished and unedited.

Please let us know what you think, either in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Lori Shontz, senior editor



April 3, 2014 at 11:52 am 1 comment

The Penn Stater Daily—March 27, 2014

Reforming gen eds: One of the interesting initiatives going on here is a look at general education requirements to, as Kevin Horne of Onward State puts it, increase “the rigor, meaning and scope” of options. Among the suggestions: fewer credits concentrated in a themed area. The Onward State story is worth a read, as is this blog post by Christopher Long, associate dean of The College of Liberal Arts, who chairs one of seven task forces looking at the issue.

Help for caregivers: Here’s the takeaway from the latest study by distinguished professor Steven Zarit: Caregivers for family members with dementia need to take care of themselves, and one way to do that is to put their loved ones in adult day care. The study showed that doing so increases the level of a beneficial stress hormone, DHEA-S, which in turn controls cortisol and results in better-long term health. That’s important because the  caregivers have a higher risk of illness. This is among the study, Zarit says, to show the biological benefits to having help.

Watch your portion size: New research from Barbara Rolls, professor of nutritional science and author of the popular Volumetrics diet, shows that when cereal flakes are smaller, people pour less into their bowls–but still consume more calories. “People have a really hard time judging appropriate portions,” she says in this news release. Now I’m worrying about my breakfast cereal of choice—Cheerios, which are awfully tiny.

Lori Shontz, senior editor




March 27, 2014 at 11:54 am Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — March 19, 2014

Arnelle withdraws from BOT race: The Board of Trustees office posted the official bios and position statements submitted by the 31 candidates for the three alumni seats on the board on Tuesday afternoon. One prominent name is missing: Jesse Arnelle ’55, ’62g, a trustee since 1969, has withdrawn from the race. That long tenure has made Arnelle part of the establishment, but when he joined the board, it was as a force for change. Mitchell Wilston of Onward State recently recounted Arnelle’s undergraduate career as a football and basketball star—and the first black student body president at “a major white university.”  Wilston then focuses on how Arnelle advocated for civil rights on campus after graduation, including snippets from his famous speech about his “love-wait affair” with the university: “Let no one doubt that I love this Pennsylvania State University deeply, but freedom is dearer to me.” It’s a great read, and a great Penn State history lesson.

Scandal updates: The Sandusky-scandal related news continues: The top story in today’s Centre Daily Times was about a judge ruling that Penn State must release the names of some people interviewed for the Freeh report in response to a lawsuit by Victim 6, and as I was compiling this blog post, the CDT posted this story, based on emails obtained by Ryan Bagwell ’02 in a Freedom of Information Request, that Louis Freeh was chosen to lead the investigation over former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff. Busy week for the CDT’s Penn State reporter, my friend Mike Dawson ’02.

Remembering Sean Smith: I’ve been catching up on podcasts this week, and walking to work yesterday I listened to this fascinating piece from On The Media about Sean Smith, a Penn State World Campus student who was killed in the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Smith, an information management specialist with the U.S. Foreign Service, was a prominent figure—a diplomat, basically—in an online game called EVE Online. Alex Goldman interviewed one of Smith’s best friends, who runs the game, and provides a fascinating profile of Smith and his corner of the Internet. Click here to listen to the podcast and here to read the transcript. It’s worth your time to learn a little about someone who’s usually, as the story puts it, referred to only as one of three other Americans who died that day with the U.S. ambassador.

March 19, 2014 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

Official Bios and Positions for BOT Candidates Available

The official biographies and position statements provided by alumni candidates for the Board of Trustees are now available on the board’s website.

There’s one notable name who’s out of the running—Jesse Arnelle ’55, ’62g, who has served on the board since 1969, notified the board office that he has withdrawn from the field. Arnelle’s name still appears on the ballot to keep the ballot numbers of the other candidates consistent, the board office staff said. But voters will be unable to vote for him. When the the electronic ballots are issued April 10, there will be no box to check next to his name.

That leaves 31 candidates in the running for three alumni seats. 

Lori Shontz, senior editor

March 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm 1 comment

The Penn Stater Daily — March 12, 2014

Gift of life: Cheryl Green was a 19-year-old Penn State sophomore when her kidneys failed and she went into cardiac arrest. Two years later she received a transplant with the kidney of her mom, who was 51 at the time. Today, 37 years later, Green is still living with her mother’s kidney, as recounted in this feature from Lancaster Online. “I have an 88-year-old kidney in me,” Green says. “People said it wouldn’t last.”

Another day, another honor for John Urschel: Penn State’s offensive lineman/math genius is a semifinalist for the Sullivan Award, which the AAU awards annually to the nation’s top amateur athlete. Past award winners include everyone from Wilma Rudolph to Bruce Jenner to Tim Tebow. Fan voting counts in choosing the finalists, so click here to cast yours. Voting ends March 23.

Video of the day: Our friends at Onward State, who alerted us to this video, described it as “Dude Writes a Song About David Taylor.” And, yes, that’s true, but Mark Bader’s karaoke version of “Piano Man,” apparently titled “Magicman” in honor of the four-time Big Ten champ’s Twitter handle and nickname, is really so much more. It’s got shutouts to everything from Ed Ruth’s cradle to Cael Sanderson’s bald head, to everyone from Nico Megaludis to the team’s sports information director, Pat Donghia. Taylor gets the best lyric, though: “He’s slick and he’s sleek/And he wrestles complete/except for he never does throws.” Funny and accurate. You’ve really got to see this and hear this to believe it, so click here. Just don’t have the volume on your computer up too high.

Dottie Sandusky speaks: The Today show interviewed Dottie Sandusky, who says her husband did not sexually abuse young boys in their basement. She also showed interviewer Matt Lauer around the basement. If you want to watch, here the link to the seven-minute segment that aired Wednesday morning, and here’s the link to the full 50-minute interview posted later in the morning. The interview is receiving some criticism online, notably from Jennifer Storm ’02, executive director of Pennsylvania’s Victim/Witness Assistance Program and an abuse survivor herself. She tweeted, “It’s morally reprehensible that @todayshow takes its victims to crime scene where many young men were sexually abused by Sandusky” and “sexual assault victims deserve to be believed & once cases are concluded left alone to heal, not be revictimized by @todayshow.”

Lori Shontz, senior editor

March 12, 2014 at 1:15 pm Leave a comment

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