Posts filed under ‘Alumni Association’

Pushups For the Troops

Photo via Joy Neal Feigles

Photo via Joy Neal Feigles

Twenty-two veterans commit suicide every day. To honor those fallen soldiers, a pair of Penn State alums held an event in which those in attendance participated in the 22 Push-up Challenge.

Ron ’58 and Joy Neal Feigles ’58 invited former All-American linebacker Bruce Bannon ’72 to a committee meeting for the 9/11 Heroes Run, which takes place in several locations and was founded in their hometown of Doylestown, Pa. Prior to the meeting, the Feigles, Bannon, and several other members of the Heroes Run committee went onto the Feigles’ front lawn and did 22 push-ups.

The Feigles were made aware of the challenge – which is growing in popularity on social media and has its participants do 22 push-ups for 22 days with the hopes of raising awareness for the military’s suicide rate – by one of their friends. More information on the 22 Push-up Challenge can be found on 22Kill.com.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

August 10, 2016 at 2:32 pm Leave a comment

The Gold Standard

Photo via Steve Boyle

Photo via Steve Boyle

Heading into the final water jump of the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 1952 Summer Olympics, Horace Ashenfelter noticed that the water pit was getting “messy.”

So Ashenfelter ’49, ’55 H&HD decided to let his main opponent, Russia’s Vladimir Kazantsev, into the water first, hoping it would cause him to slip up.

It was a risky move, as it required slowing down and giving his opponent a small lead, but when they got to the jump, it paid off. Kazantsev stumbled, Ashenfelter passed him, and the American sprinted to the gold medal with a world-record time of 8:45.4.

Looking back on the race recently from their home in Glen Ridge, N.J., Ashenfelter’s wife of 71 years, Lillian, said he was never much of a sprinter—but down the final stretch of the race, she had never seen him run faster in his life.

Ashenfelter’s gambit showed a savvy you’d expect from a veteran steeplechase runner, not someone who estimates that he ran the race only seven times in his life. Twenty-nine years old at the time, he worked for the FBI during the day and trained during his downtime; even so, he was still one of the best American runners. He had been a three-time All-American at Penn State, and in the years since graduating, Ashenfelter traveled all over the country and competed for the New York Athletic Club. His training consisted of running for, at most, two hours a day. He would sometimes train for the steeplechase by jumping over a hurdle that he stashed in a bush at the park near his home in New Jersey.

Photo via Penn State Archives

Photo via Penn State Archives

And while he wasn’t the most experienced steeplechaser, he knew that’s what he wanted to do in Helsinki. Ashenfelter had the option to run either the steeplechase or the 10,000 meters; he decided on the former and set an Olympic record in prelims. Two days later at the finals, Ashenfelter lopped nearly six seconds off of his time and set the world record.

Lillian recalls a chorus of “Ash-en-fel-ter” ringing through the crowd in Helsinki, as those in attendance desperately wanted the American to beat the Russian. Despite that, and despite the fact that he won the gold, Ashenfelter compared this win to winning a race back when he was in high school.

“That’s what you should do,” Ashenfelter said. “You’re supposed to win.”

This story appears in the July/August 2016 issue of The Penn Stater, the official publication of the Penn State Alumni Association. Not a member? Click here to join.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

August 2, 2016 at 12:15 pm Leave a comment

Ava Terosky Cooks Her Way to the White House

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There may come a day where we write about Ava Terosky as a Penn State alumna who is revered for her work in software engineering or photography.

For now, Ava—the 9-year-old daughter of two alums, Jeff ’95 and Aimee LaPointe Terosky ’95—is one of the best young chefs in America. She recently won a cooking contest which gave her the opportunity to go to the White House and have lunch with Michelle Obama and 55 other chefs between the ages of 8 and 12.

Her winning dishes were a spinach and mushroom omelette and a fruit and yogurt parfait, both shaped like dogs in honor of the Obama family’s two Portuguese water dogs. Part of the inspiration for the way she presented her dishes came from the food she prepares for her younger sister, a picky eater who is more compelled to eat Ava’s cooking when it looks like an animal.

When asked if she was surprised by the fact that her dish won, Ava (who also recently cooked with famed Philly chef Marc Vetri) told Billy Penn “I knew I was going to win, I just knew it.”

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

July 21, 2016 at 9:05 am Leave a comment

Ty Burrell Talks ‘Finding Dory’

Ty Burrell is one of the many big names in Finding Dory, the sequel to 2003’s Finding Nemo. Burrell ’97g provides the voice for a beluga whale named Bailey who is convinced that he cannot use echolocation after hitting his head.

As is the norm for a movie this big (so far, it has made nearly $650 million worldwide), Burrell made a number of media appearances prior to its release where he discussed various aspects of his character’s role. During one appearance on The Talk, Burrell explained how he had an idea for what Bailey should sound like, which was shot down after one take.

In an interview that Burrell gave to ABC Radio, he explained how he was excited to join this project. Burrell knew that he was about to get a phone call from Pixar regarding Finding Dory, so when the call came, he picked up the phone and answered “Yes, I’ll do it. Who is this?”

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

July 12, 2016 at 12:34 pm Leave a comment

Jean Craighead George is a Hall of Famer

via http://www.jeancraigheadgeorge.com/bio.html

via jeancraigheadgeorge.com

The New York State Writers Hall of Fame enshrined eight new members on June 7. Among those inducted was Jean Craighead George ’41, who passed away in 2012 at 92.

George was a renowned author of books for children. Her most famous work is Julie of the Wolves, which won the Newbery Medal – given annually to “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” – in 1973. Additionally, her book My Side of the Mountain was a runner-up for the same award in 1960.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

June 15, 2016 at 12:04 pm Leave a comment

Mandy Eagler’s Graduation Day

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 3.09.03 PM

Last Wednesday’s episode of The Today Show featured a video package about the stigma surrounding women’s mental health. Included in the video was Mandy Eagler ’16, a Penn State alumna who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from her time serving in Afghanistan with the United States military.

Eagler’s full story was published in a recent edition of AlumnInsider. She took courses via Penn State World Campus while she was overseas and attended Penn State Shenango when she came back to the U.S. She has since become an advocate for female veterans who suffer from PTSD.

Earlier this month, Eagler graduated from Penn State and served as Shenango’s commencement speaker.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

May 31, 2016 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment

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