Posts filed under ‘The Penn Stater Magazine’

Heroes Among Us

 

In a different time, I would’ve hoped to spend a few days shadowing Brett ’03 and Corinne Andria Feldman ’02 as they made their rounds on the streets of Los Angeles. If only we’d found out about them a few months earlier.

Instead, we didn’t learn about the Feldmans until March, right as COVID-19 was beginning to take hold around the country. The alumni couple, who met as undergraduates in the kinesiology department at University Park, work together as physicians assistants and leading practitioners of street medicine—the provision of basic health care and social services to unsheltered homeless populations, delivered on the streets where they live and sleep. After running their own innovative practice in the Lehigh Valley for years, they were drawn in 2018 to Los Angeles, where the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine recruited them to establish the first dedicated street medicine program at a major university. There, they serve the largest unsheltered homeless population in the United States.

Work that was already hugely relevant became even more so with the outbreak of a pandemic, and as we pulled together features for our July/August issue, the Feldmans’ story seemed too timely to ignore — even if the timing did rule out a trip to Los Angeles. Instead, they found time to share their story by phone, and we’re proud to be able to include that in our current issue, and to share it as a PDF here.

Ryan Jones, editor

 

 

July 5, 2020 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

Inside our May/June issue

We don’t operate in a vacuum, and for that reason, while much of the Penn Stater that will be arriving in members’ mailboxes in the coming days is the issue we had mapped out before the campus closures and self-quarantine orders, the final product does reflect our current reality: insight from Penn State President Eric Barron, a look at university researchers’ response to COVID-19, first-person perspective from graduating senior and lacrosse standout Brittany Dolan, and a look at how the pandemic tabled promising seasons for basketball star Lamar Stevens and other Nittany Lion athletes.

You’ll also learn about the service and sacrifice of WWII veteran Milt Feldman ’47, a Jewish-American soldier who survived both the Battle of the Bulge and a Nazi prison camp. Feldman’s reflections on war and his prayers for peace are detailed in a recently published book, Captured, Frozen, Starved, and Lucky: How One Jewish American GI Survived a Nazi Stalag, excerpts of which appear beginning on p. 44.

Plus, you’ll meet Jess Weiner ’95, a consultant who has made a career out of helping women and brands see the value in inclusiveness and female empowerment. Her story begins on p. 34. And see how Rob Roeser, Penn State’s first professor of caring and compassion, combines mindfulness with modern neuroscience to help students be calmer, focused, and more engaged. His story begins on p. 28.

Also inside: a feature spread taking you inside the Penn State Bakery and how it manages to fulfill orders for baked goods, in particular its signature chocolate chip cookie (p. 42); a look at how World Campus is helping one Brandywine student finish her degree 40 years after she started (p. 14); and an appreciation on the legacy of retiring editor and industry legend Tina Hay ’83, whose vision and storytelling prowess shaped this magazine into one of the nation’s best (p.56).

Finally, we want to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting you. We’re asking readers to share stories of how you’re adapting to this new shared reality, and how it’s impacted your family, your work, your studies, and your community. We plan to incorporate your stories in our expanded coverage of the virus in our July/August issue. Email your stories, 250 words or less, to heypennstater@psu.edu. Submissions may be edited for length and clarity.

It’s all in our May/June issue, arriving in mailboxes soon.

 

—B.J. Reyes, associate editor

 

April 23, 2020 at 11:41 am Leave a comment

Inside our March/April issue

Who knew a magnified image of T cells attacking a cancer cell could double as art? (Image by Madhuri Dey)

When materials science researchers dive deep into the substances they study, the resulting images are often surprisingly artistic, especially when colored to display the researchers’ creative sides. The annual Materials Visualization Competition encourages these researchers to be creative with some of their findings, with the elemental particles of the materials resembling everything from a child’s toy xylophone to scoops of ice cream. The cover story of our March/April issue features some of the most compelling images from the competition in a photo feature beginning on p. 28.

We also take a look at science from another angle: In an era of dizzying, sometimes unchecked, scientific progress, how much is too much? Renowned biochemist Paul Berg, Penn State’s sole Nobel Prize winner and a giant in his field, might ultimately be remembered for sounding the alarm and urging restraint on such progress. Our profile of Berg begins on p. 38. And a new book by Penn State historian A.K. Sandoval-Strausz showcases how Latinx immigrants helped prop up America’s cities during the postwar period, and how that influence continues today. A Q&A with Sandoval-Strausz begins on p. 44.

Plus: Learn how the “Living Filter” at University Park converts wastewater to groundwater for irrigating fields and farmland (p. 36); get up-to-date on research behind a potential new fast-charging battery for electric cars (p. 19); and meet the unlikely running duo of Tom Sciabica and Gregory Fleck (p. 24).

—B.J Reyes, associate editor

March 2, 2020 at 3:03 pm Leave a comment

Inside Our September/October Issue

For the cover story of our September/October issue, we gathered student, administrative, and alumni perspective on the challenges facing a Greek system that has faced increasing scrutiny in recent years, particularly since the 2017 hazing death of undergraduate Timothy Piazza. Our feature package includes a conversation with President Barron and student affairs vice president Damon Sims focused on the university’s efforts to create a sustainable future for Greek life on campus, and position Penn State as a leader in a national reform effort. We also hear from former IFC president John Lord ’19, while writer Michael Weinreb ’94 examines the history of the Greek system, and looks back on his own fraternity days. The cover feature begins on p. 30.

Also inside: Meet Jamal Itani ’85, the mayor of Beirut, Lebanon, who seeks to transform his historic hometown into a gateway between East and West, while simultaneously dealing with everyday civic issues. Senior editor Savita Iyer traveled to Beirut to spend time with Itani for the feature that begins on p. 42. And take a trip down memory lane to see how downtown State College has transformed over the years, from the names on the storefronts to two-way traffic on College Avenue. The photo feature begins on p. 50.

Plus, see how one Penn Stater is seeking to make the tech industry more inclusive; get the low-down on how to cut down on your sugar intake; and get to know one alum trying to keep the Los Angeles Dodgers in World Series contention—by keeping them healthy.

It’s all in our September/October issue, arriving in mailboxes soon.

—B.J. Reyes, associate editor

 

 

 

 

August 21, 2019 at 1:26 pm 1 comment

Inside our May/June Issue

MJ19_Cover_BlogJust in time for pool and beach season, it’s our collection of must-read books, chosen by faculty from across Penn State. Whether you’re looking for a mystery to solve, some history to brush up on, or just an easy page-turner, we’ve got you covered. The list begins on p. 34. 

You’ll also get a glimpse of the innovative film project conceived by professor Andrew Belser, who pairs off young adults with aging seniors to challenge generational boundaries. The story of FaceAge begins on p. 44. And finally, Penn State DuBois geoscientist Neyda Abreu talks about efforts to mine cosmic metals, and the implications for life on Earth. Her interview begins on p. 28.

Plus: Meet the World Campus student and gaming wiz who plays for the New York Knicks in the NBA2K League, part of the fast-growing world of esports; learn about Good Day Cafe, a new State College establishment that creates much-needed job opportunities for local local residents with Down syndrome, autism, or mental illness; and enjoy an essay from a new alum who found himself asking to “un” graduate. It’s all in our May/June issue, arriving in mailboxes this week.

 

—B.J. Reyes, associate editor

 

 

May 1, 2019 at 9:56 am Leave a comment

Derrick Campana: A Dog’s Best Friend

Derrick Campana shaping a leg mold at his Sterling, Va., facility.

I spent yesterday in Sterling, Va., not far from Dulles airport, immersed in the world of Derrick Campana, a 2001 Penn State kinesiology grad who has an unusual occupation: He makes braces and prosthetics for animals.

We first heard about Campana when a reader sent us a newspaper clipping about his work some months back. We did a little Googling, wondered, How have we not heard about this guy before?, and knew right away it would be a great story for the Penn Stater. The only question was deciding on a writer to assign it to. Then on Oct. 1 I stepped out of the editor role and Ryan Jones stepped in, and I became “editor-at-large,” with an assortment of responsibilities that includes finding and writing stories for the magazine. So I volunteered myself for the Derrick Campana piece, Ryan agreed, and I emailed Campana to schedule a visit to his company, Animal OrthoCare.

Campana is one of only a handful of people in the world who do what he does—and in fact he does his work all over the world. Animal Planet devoted a one-hour documentary last June to his efforts to fit a leg brace to a six-ton elephant in Botswana named Jabu, and when I visited him yesterday, he was freshly back from England, where he constructed prosthetic front legs for a cow named Nipper Jackson at the Hugletts Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary. He has also developed braces and prosthetics for goats, camels, turtles, and birds.

But the majority of his work is with pets—dogs, mostly—and during yesterday’s visit I had a chance to meet three different people who had brought their dogs to Campana for help with arthritis and other problems. I also was able to watch Campana and his staff in their workshop, a large, warehouse-like space where they work with molds of animals’ legs to create the custom-fitted devices. And I chatted with Campana about his undergraduate experience at Penn State, his unusual career path, and the satisfaction he gets from helping alleviate a pet’s pain, save it from costly surgery, and in some cases save its life.

Below are a few photos from yesterday’s visit. Click on any of them to see a larger version. First, here’s one of the workspace, complete with Campana’s dog, Henry:

Next, Campana and an assistant test the fit of a leg brace on an arthritic 10-year-old boxer named Frank.

Frank may not look too pleased in the photo above, but he was plenty happy to give Campana some kisses afterward:

And here’s one of several walls of the office space at Animal OrthoCare that have photos of the animals Campana has helped:

Look for a story about Derrick Campana in the magazine in an upcoming issue.

Tina Hay, editor-at-large

 

December 13, 2018 at 1:43 pm 3 comments

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