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Rodney Erickson Test Drives Penn State EcoCAR

Rodney Erickson

If you thought you saw Rodney Erickson driving around campus Monday morning but chalked it up to not having enough coffee, your eyes didn’t fool you.

Members of the Penn State EcoCAR 2 team picked up President Erickson at Old Main in their hybrid electric car and allowed him to get behind the wheel. He drove to the Penn State Advanced Vehicle garage located across from Lot 83 on Hastings Road for an informational visit about the EcoCAR project.

Erickson, along with State College mayor Elizabeth Goreham, spoke at the event Monday morning, applauding the team for working toward sustainability and emphasizing the networking opportunity that the team now has with General Motors.

The EcoCAR team tests and refines a GM hybrid car in preparation for an annual competition in May, against 14 other schools across North America.

According to the Penn State Advanced Vehicle Team website, the competition takes place over three years from 2011 to 2014.  Each year the vehicles are judged on different aspects of the vehicle, including modeling, simulation, and integration of components into the vehicle.

For engineering students, being on the EcoCAR team is an opportunity not only to receive academic credit, but also to hopefully secure a job come graduation.

Tim Wilson (senior, mechanical engineering) decided to join the EcoCAR team because it was a class that allowed real, hands-on experience. “It’s nice to be able to come out to the garage and work instead of just being in a classroom,” he said. Tyler Quinn (senior, mechanical engineering), voiced the same sentiment, adding that he always wanted to get involved with vehicles and wants to “help the future” by working toward sustainability in the automotive world.

Between 50 and 70 people are involved with the EcoCAR, which includes team leader Chris Golecki, a mechanical-vehicle team, a mechanical engine team, electrical team, controls team, communications team, business team, and faculty advisers.

The project is sponsored by both GM and the Department of Energy.

Maggie McGlinchy, intern

October 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm 1 comment

Gift from the Class of 2014: HUB Green Roof Terrace

2014 Senior Class GiftInstead of one big willow tree, the Senior class will be giving a whole bunch of trees. And plants. And benches. Maybe even a bird house.

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

October 23, 2013 at 2:15 pm Leave a comment

What’s New: We’ve Got Two Interns

We’ve expanded this semester, and we’ve got two fall semester interns. Here’s an introductory post from Maggie McGlinchy.

Until I walked into my shoebox of a dorm in East Halls, I had no connection to Penn State. I’m not from Pennsylvania, I don’t watch football, and there is no Penn State legacy in the family. Just me.

Graduated from a tiny public school on the Jersey Shore, I thought Penn State seemed like the exact change of pace I needed. Big campus, big school, lots of people, and no hand-holding. I could finally escape the small-town stigma, meeting new people everyday and walking to class unrecognized. Plus, I heard those tailgates were a lot of fun.

Then I got here and realized how tiny a fish I was in this big pond.

I was fine, of course. I joined some organizations, met some people, and went to some parties. So it goes. But the more time I spent at Penn State, the more I realized I hadn’t left my small hometown bubble at all, but instead moved to a bigger, more exciting bubble.

There is no better place to do your undergrad than in State College. It’s like four whole years of summer camp, but at the end you get a degree (and some debt). The feeling that comes along with pulling onto College Avenue is part of being a Penn Stater. There is something about State College that never changes, something about the safety of our home away from home that makes it feel like we never left.

I can always count on Old Main to chime in on my walk to and from class, I can always count on McLanahan’s having literally anything that I may need in stock, and I can always count on the Starbucks line in the HUB to be offensively long.

This semester, I hope to capture the undergraduate exuberance and give it to you wherever you may be reading: from work, from the couch, or even from New Jersey, so you can feel like a doe-eyed freshman all over again.

Maggie McGlinchy, intern

September 23, 2013 at 3:16 pm 1 comment

Blue Out Again Raising Awareness of Child Sex Abuse

TSBLUEOUT2013!000-18205_dWhen student Grant Brown began thinking about designing the T-shirt for the third Blue Out at Beaver Stadium, hosted Saturday during the Kent State game by both One Heart: Students Against the Sexual Abuse of Children and the Blue Out committee, he considered two goals: keeping a sense of continuity and connecting with the previous years’ designs.

The result: The slogan on the back of the shirt is “One team, One school, One heart, One promise.” It plays off the “We Are” chant.

Victoria Smith, the director of the Blue Out, says wearing blue to the game is the most important factor in their effort to raise awareness, but also mentioned that another huge goal is to help raise money, which is done primarily through T-shirt sales. The T-shirts are available at the Family Clothesline and the Penn State Bookstore; all proceeds from the $15 cost will go toward the Pennsylvania Coalition against Rape‘s Vision of Hope fund.

Last year, more than $74,000 was raised through T-shirt sales, canning outside Beaver Stadium, and other smaller fundraisers.

Student volunteers will be canning again Saturday morning before the Kent State game, and those who sign up and specify that they would like a student ticket can qualify for one. Which is a pretty sweet deal. They must register on by 2 p.m. Friday to qualify. (Students can continue to volunteer to can on Saturday here.)

What’s most impressive about this effort: The Blue Out committee is made up of only four students: Director Tori Smith, Logistics Chair Emily Waschenko, Social Media Chair Sean Osgood and Brown, the merchandising chair.

You can learn more about the Blue Out by clicking here on their website and watching the video below.

Maggie McGlinchy, intern


September 20, 2013 at 11:29 am 1 comment

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