Posts tagged ‘David Hughes’

The Penn Stater Daily — April 30, 2014

Senior columns: It’s a time-honored student journalism tradition: the senior column. Back in the olden days, when I was at the Collegian, only a select handful—the editor, the managing editor—got space for some final words. The number of senior columns have proliferated, but I always make a point of reading them all. (And, truth be told, being glad I wasn’t high enough up on the masthead to have written one.) One of today’s offerings particularly moved me–it’s by Dan Norton of The Daily Collegian, and it’s worth a few minutes of your time.

Franklin mentioned in court filing: Defense attorneys for a former Vanderbilt football player accused of rape filed court papers Tuesday alleging that the prosecution hasn’t turned over information in a timely fashion, and the filing included two references to James Franklin, who was coach at Vanderbilt t the time. The lawyers allege that Franklin and strength coach Dwight Galt (also now at Penn State) contacted the alleged victim. Here’s the original story from The Tennessean in Nashville, and here’s more local coverage from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which includes a statement from Franklin saying he hasn’t done anything wrong.

David Hughes update: You may have read our September/October issue piece on David Hughes, assistant professor of entomology and biology—and zombie ant expert. A team he leads recently received a $1.8 million National Science Foundation grant to explore whether there are insights to be gleaned from studying ants, which live in communities as humans do, that can be applied to understanding how diseases spread among humans.

You know you’ve wondered: As my colleague Ryan Jones pointed out the other day, the lawn and pond outside our office are populated with adorable little baby ducks. But there are other duck issues, as well, which Onward State’s Sarah Hanrahan does a little digging to figure out, as the headline puts it, “Where the Lady Ducks At?” Turns out there’s a reason most of the ducks hanging around are male.

Lori Shontz, senior editor


April 30, 2014 at 11:42 am Leave a comment

The Penn Stater — Jan. 13, 2014

New semester, new coach, new era: Students are back in class today for the start of the Spring 2014 semester, but they’re not the only ones settling in to a new workload. And you can bet James Franklin was up earlier than most of them. Per @PennStateFball, the Nittany Lions’ 16th head football coach followed up a very busy weekend by getting to his new office by 5 a.m. today.

Bd2hMvFCQAEgRN-If you’re just now catching up on news of Franklin’s hiring, you can read our weekend recap of his introductory press conference here. For broader perspective, a few links worth checking out:

* Franklin’s busy weekend included Saturday’s press conference and photo ops and continued Sunday with appearances at the women’s volleyball banquet, the wrestling meet, and the Lady Lion basketball game. GoPSUSports has video.

* Local fan and media reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, and while a handful of national columnists reacted with skepticism and scorn, most outside the Penn State community have nothing but praise for the hire. ESPN’s Ivan Maisel has some good perspective on this one, while the network’s Big Ten reporter, Adam Rittenberg, weighs the risks and rewards of Franklin’s hire.

* Franklin’s reputation as an ace recruiter is understandably getting a lot of attention. The should be very good news for Penn State, and as a couple of writers familiar with his previous jobs point out, temporarily very bad for Vanderbilt, and indefinitely awful for Maryland.

A really B1G show: Some great Penn State stories are featured on tonight’s episode of “BTN Live BIG,” airing at 11 p.m. Eastern on the Big Ten Network. The university’s nationally respected ability athletics program is highlighted, as is the work of David Hughes, the biologist whose fascinating research into “zombie ants” we’ve featured in the magazine. If you can’t stay up for it, set your DVR.

What’s in a (domain) name? If you’ve got $4,583 burning a hole in your pocket, you can bid on the rights to That’s the reported starting bid for the URL, which the university recently allowed to expire. The university’s home page, of course, is

Closer to take-off: We’ve told you all about Penn State’s Lunar Lion team. The latest update from the (hopefully) moon-bound team? They recently tested their rocket engines, and happily, “everything went as planned.”

Ryan Jones, senior editor

January 13, 2014 at 12:05 pm Leave a comment

From the Magazine: Penn State’s Zombie Expert

Expanded content from the pages of The Penn Stater.

Our Sept./Oct. issue spotlights the work of David Hughes, an assistant professor of entomology and biology who has gotten a bit famous for his work with zombie ants.

Photo by Cardoni

Photo by Cardoni

Yes, that’s a real thing. There are all sorts of great videos on the subject, ranging from artistic to creepily real, which you can find here and here. Our favorite, (more…)

September 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm 3 comments

Introducing the Sept./Oct. Issue

SO coverOur Sept./Oct. issue is on its way to you, and we hope the “cool” cover (pun intended) grabs your attention.

Set against that icy backdrop are the faces of Penn State hockey. In “Welcome to Hockey Valley,” senior editor Ryan Jones ’95 explains how, after decades of hoping, hockey finally made its way to Penn State.

Also in this issue is a fun feature showcasing some Freshman Proclamation posters from way back when (that is, 1904 to around 1950). The Proclamations were rules for new students, written and enforced by the sophomore class. I talked with former university archivist Lee Stout ’69, ’72g about the posters, and he shed some light on the stories behind them—and why embarrassing the freshmen wasn’t the only objective.

Some interesting research by faculty member Pete Hatemi is the subject of another feature, titled “Are We Born Biased?” According to Hatemi’s research, everything from our political viewpoints to our choice in romantic partners is influenced by our genes.

Other good stuff you’ll find in the Sept./Oct. issue: a profile of science prof David Hughes, who’s been helping Hollywood create realistic zombies; a tribute to the late gymnastics coach Gene Wettstone; an introduction to new Alumni Association president Kay Salvino ’69; plus updates on the Board of Trustees, the NCAA sanctions, and other Sandusky scandal fallout.

Once you receive the new issue, let us know what you think. Email us at or comment below.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

August 27, 2013 at 3:36 pm 4 comments

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