Posts filed under ‘Penn State in the News’
While most of us will watch the Grammy Awards next month from our living rooms, Penn State Altoona professor Jerry Zolten will be at the ceremony in Los Angeles. That is because Zolten ’69 will act as the liaison and assist in a pre-show performance for The Fairfield Four, a Nashville-based vocal group that is up for the Best Roots Gospel Album award.
According to a release, Zolten has strong ties to the group, as he produced one of its albums and produced one member’s solo album. He also played a role in the record that’s up for a Grammy, Still Rockin’ My Soul – Zolten was a repertoire consultant and wrote the album’s liner notes.
This will mark the second year in a row that Zolten is involved with a Grammy-nominated project. In 2015, Zolten was a writer and researcher for The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records Volume I (1917-27), a series of vinyl records which took home the Grammy for Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package.
Bill DiFilippo, online editor
By now, you know everything there is to know about Leah Still, the five-year-old daughter of former Nittany Lion defensive tackle Devon Still whose battle with cancer has captured the hearts of just about everyone. Today, Devon announced that Leah got the best news possible: she is cancer free. He posted the announcement on his Instagram account, which you can read right here (be warned, you may tear up a little):
With Leah finishing her last treatment last night, I can really say my daughter BEAT CANCER! Words can't describe how proud I am of this girl. No matter how hard it got or how painful the treatments were (and it was pretty bad a lot of the times) she never gave up! I want to thank everyone who followed us as I documented her fight on social media. The amount of support we received was beyond amazing! I can honestly say that you all made a big difference. Every time we received bad news or felt like it was coming to a point were we couldn't fight anymore, I would go to the comments you all wrote cheering us on and it would make us fight so much harder. I ask that since Leah's fight is at the end that you follow other families journeys and cheer them on just as you did us! My advice to any family going through this battle: no matter how hard it gets, no matter what the doctors tell you, always remain positive! Speak victory into existence. Give your child's fight with cancer a purpose. Use it to raise awareness so that you can help all kids fighting this disease. No matter how big or small your platform/following is, you will reach that one family that just needs to know they're not alone in the fight so they don't give up. drop to your knees everyday and pray. I was never a big spiritual person but I always believed in God and knew who to turn to in the time of need. Keeping faith that God will see you through doesn't make the battle easier but it makes winning possible! It gives you back the hope that is stripped away from you every time you watch your kid endure the pain from the treatments and the bad news you often receive from the doctors. #LEAHSTRONG #STILLSTRONG
Bill DiFilippo, online editor
On Monday, Eric Barron announced that he will start a personal blog in an attempt to “better tell the Penn State story.”
“As the means for communication expand, leaders need to seize the opportunity to build connections,” Barron said. “I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts with students, faculty, staff, alumni and the public.”
Barron said in a release that he wants people to hear and see what he hears and sees as the university’s president, saying that he is “witnessing thrilling examples of our research prowess, witnessing inspiring efforts by our students in the classroom and beyond, and hearing touching stories about what this University means to so many people.”
The blog is called “Digging Deeper,” which works on several levels – it pays homage to Barron’s roots as a geologist and expresses his desire to deeply examine topics that impact Penn State and beyond.
Bill DiFilippo, online editor
Back in our July/August 2014 issue, we told you about ER doctor-turned-filmmaker Ryan McGarry ’05, who directed the acclaimed documentary Code Black. In our last update, it looked like a dramatic adaptation of Code Black was headed for a prime-time TV run. Now, it’s confirmed: Code Black will debut on Wednesday, Sept. 30 on CBS, and will feature a loaded cast, including Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden.
Code Black made a cameo at Monday’s annual Television Critics Association event, where several of the show’s stars gave a brief overview of what we can expect. Harden called the medical drama “real” and “gritty,” while co-star Luis Guzman said “I’ve been doing this for a long time, but this show is different in that … you’re showing up to do a real shift,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Per The Reporter, the show “is set in the busiest and most notorious ER in the nation, where the staff confronts a broken system in order to protect their ideals and the patients who need them the most.” You can check out a preview right here.
Oh, and McGarry was on his way to the TCA event Monday when he sent us this shot of a downtown L.A. billboard promoting the show. Pretty cool.
Bill DiFilippo, online editor
Good instincts: We were all shocked and saddened yesterday morning to hear about the tragic stabbings at a high school in Murraysville, Pa., in which 24 people were injured. The few bright spots in the tragedy are the stories of students and faculty members who reacted quickly and bravely to help one another and subdue the attacker. One of those heroes is high-school senior—and future Penn Stater—Ian Griffith, who is enrolled for the the fall semester. Griffith helped Assistant Principal Sam King hold down the armed student. Griffith downplayed his hero status in an interview with The Pittsburgh Tribune: “I just acted on instinct,” he said.
Sole men: Yes, more than 100 guys walking through campus in high heels might look a little funny, but “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” is raising awareness for a very serious issue. It’s Sexual Assault Awareness month, and the student-run group Men Against Violence wants male students to show support for women on campus by donning high heels (they’re provided) and making the trek down Pollock Road today at 1 pm. Says MAV’s adviser Dylan Howser: “Sexual assault is framed as a women’s issue, and if we continue to frame it that way, men won’t see it as important.”
Pipe dreams: Here’s a fun Throwback Thursday photo, tweeted by Penn State Engineering (@PSUEngineering) this morning — a group of undergrads taking a study break, 1915-style. Who needs an iPhone when you have fancy pipes, jars of peanut butter and, um, a bunch of random pots and pans?
Mary Murphy, associate editor
Hail to the victors: Penn State lined up against No. 12 Michigan on Thursday in the first ever Big Ten hockey tournament game, and for the third time in five meetings this season, the Nittany Lions came out on top. It took 52 saves from goalie Matthew Skoff, a breakaway goal from Taylor Holstrom, a spinning puck kicked off the goal line—with about a millimeter to spare—by Eric Scheid, and a 93rd-minute goal by freshman Zach Saar, but the Lions advanced with a 2-1, double-overtime win. You can see all the highlights below:
Penn State is set to face Wisconsin in the tournament semifinals at 3 p.m. today.
Dynasty building: The top-ranked Nittany Lion wrestling team stands in first place after Thursday’s opening day at the NCAA championship meet in Oklahoma City. The meet continues Friday and wraps up Saturday night, when coach Cael Sanderson’s squad will be looking to clinch its fourth straight national title. Meanwhile, the men’s and women’s fencing teams—ranked 1st and 5th nationally—enter the NCAA Championships in Columbus today looking to add the program’s 13th overall national title. And the Lady Lion basketball team, a No. 3 seed, opens NCAA tournament play at home Sunday against Wichita State.
A hazing death? The suicide of a Penn State Altoona freshman has become national news as police investigate a possible connection to fraternity hazing. Marquise Braham died Friday in Long Island, and the Altoona chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa has been suspended by the campus pending an investigation.
Change is constant: In the latest in a series previewing spring football practice, Mike Poorman ’82 of StateCollege.com focuses on redshirt junior Anthony Alosi, one of the few Lions to be suiting up for their fourth spring practice—meaning, of course, that’s he’s done so for three head coaches. It’s a cool perspective, and a reminder of how just much change the veterans on this team have witnessed during their careers.
Ryan Jones, senior editor