Posts tagged ‘Eric Barron’

Inside Our March/April 2016 Issue

MA_BlogpostWe blinked and it was the end of February, which means that our latest issue will be headed your way any day now. For our cover story, Ryan Jones talked to five Muslim students at Penn State and learned about what life is like on campus, and in America, today. The interview, “People Have to Understand Who We Are,” starts on p. 28.

You’ll also find a feature on the Nittany Lion baseball team, which traveled to Havana in November to play against professional teams from Cuba. Penn State journalism students and faculty were there to document the historic trip.

Later in the issue, “On the Right Path” shares the stories of nine alums who followed unconventional routes to land the jobs of their dreams.

Don’t miss the interview with Chewbacca—er, rather, Joonas Suotamo ’08, the former basketball player-turned-actor who played him in Star Wars: The Force Awakens—on p. 24. The magazine also includes a recap of President Barron’s recent entrepreneurial trail; a look at freshman wrestling standout Bo Nickal; and a profile on award-winning medical student Allison Cleary.

Let us know what you think of our latest issue by commenting below or emailing us at heypennstater@psu.edu.

Amy Downey, senior editor

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February 23, 2016 at 2:28 pm 6 comments

Eric Barron to Start ‘Digging Deeper’ Into the Blogosphere

President-Barron

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

January 5, 2016 at 4:18 pm Leave a comment

Getting a Read on “Madness,” One Book at a Time

Kicking off Thursday at noon, this year’s Penn State Marathon Reading will feature 10 books united by “madness and psychological themes.” For 24 (or so) hours straight, the normally tranquil lawn in front of Pattee and Paterno Libraries figures to get pretty intense.MARATHON

This year marks the fourth annual Marathon Reading, and after taking part in the first two—we read Catch-22 in 2012 and One Hundred Years of Solitude in 2013—I can vouch for this being a really cool event. I’m still kicking myself for missing last year’s marathon read, which introduced the theme concept with readings of famously banned books Brave New World, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Fahrenheit 451. Sarah Denes of the School of Languages and Literatures, which co-hosts the reading, says a theme event gives readers and curious listeners alike the chance to “come and sit for maybe an hour and hear an entire reading.”

Whether you’re reading, listening, or (ideally) both, the marathon reading is a group effort. Denes says 328 people read at last year’s event, most for just five or 10 minutes at a time. Exceptions include the classes that drop in as a group—meaning each student might only read for two minutes—and the hearty bibliophiles who stick around for the overnight stretch. Denes says that last year, “there was one person who read for 25 minutes at 4:30 in the morning.”

I’m not quite that enthusiastic—or, well, crazy—but I’m excited to read during daylight hours on Thursday, hopefully while the opening book, Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, is still underway. The marathon is set to end early Friday afternoon with Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, and like nearly all of the titles, you can expect to hear it both in English and at least one other language. Depending on when you show up, you might hear Kafka in German, Lu Xun in Chinese, or Camus in French.

Oh, and if you’re there Thursday afternoon, you might also recognize some of the readers: President Eric Barron and women’s volleyball coach Russ Rose are both set to read in the opening few hours, not long after we kick things off with the event’s now-traditional opening reader, Sue Paterno.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

September 23, 2015 at 9:02 am 1 comment

Coming Soon: The July/August Issue

2015 J-A Creamery[1]A photo shoot of ice cream on a hot day is harder than it looks—or, should we say, softer? Art director Marc Kauffman scooped quickly while photographer Nick Sloff ’92 A&A snapped his camera even faster to capture the perfect Creamery cone for our July/August cover. The issue, which should be in your mailbox soon, celebrates the sesquicentennial anniversary of one of the greatest traditions at Penn State: the Berkey Creamery. We look back at its storied history, plus learn about what’s in store for the next 150 years.

Also in this issue is an interview by senior editor Ryan Jones ’95 Com with Eric Barron. The Penn State president reflects on his first year in office and talks about why he’s optimistic about the future of the university.

Ryan also wrote a piece on philanthropist and freshman Neha Gupta in “The Unrelenting Power of One.” We discover that Gupta, who already leads an international charitable network, is just getting started.

We also welcome the 79th president of the alumni association, Kevin Steele ’92 JD Law, on page 54. The Dickinson Law grad brings a decade’s worth of Alumni Association volunteer experience to the position.

Another noteworthy story in this issue is on the late Fran Fisher. Read about how the Voice of Penn State Football was loved—and will be missed—by the Penn State community on page 24.

There’s also a recap of the spring sports programs, which includes a national powerlifting title for Eliraz Katz. And, on page 18, find out what Joel Myers ’61, ’63 MS, ’71 PhD EMS has to say about his new AccuWeather television network.

We’d love to hear what you think about the new issue. Drop us a line at heypennstater@psu.edu or comment below.

—Amy Downey, senior editor

June 29, 2015 at 3:56 pm 3 comments

President Barron’s Comments on the NCAA Settlement

Penn State president Eric Barron addressed the media for about 20 minutes this afternoon, talking about the agreement that repeals the NCAA’s sanctions against Penn State. Here are a few of his comments:

—”I’m pleased we can close this chapter,” he said, “and look ahead to the important challenges and opportunities that face Penn State.”

—In addressing “a few key details” of the agreement, he mentioned that the $60 million fine imposed on Penn State “remains in the state of Pennsylvania, first and foremost.” Of that, $48 million goes to the Commonwealth, and the other $12 million “will remain at Penn State, to create an endowment, which is a long-term investment in [programs] … to help eradicate child abuse.”

—Asked about the fate of the Paterno statue, and other calls for Penn State to honor Joe Paterno’s career, Barron said: “Those who know me know that I prefer not to talk about things that will be a topic of discussion [publicly] … before chatting with lots of people. [But] there will be a time and place.”

—Asked what becomes of the Big Ten sanctions, including the sharing of football bowl revenues, Barron pointed out that the Big Ten is a party to the Athletics Integrity Agreement that will be renegotiated under the terms of the settlement. “I will discuss it with my fellow presidents,” Barron said. “They’re expecting that discussion to occur.”

—Barron was asked if, with the 2012 consent decree now erased, this might be a good time for academia to take a fresh look at the NCAA and its powers. “Hindsight is a fascinating thing,” Barron began. “I’ve talked to many of my fellow presidents, and did so to my ACC representative when I was at Florida State, suggesting that the NCAA moved too quickly. At the same time, they came to their decisions with the best possible motive—of not wanting to have such things occur, and with the notion that they had a responsibility to look … at institutional control. I see little purpose in trying to fault them.”

—He was asked to talk about how much communication there was with the Board of Trustees in the negotiations with state officials and the NCAA. He wouldn’t say much, except that “I hear frequently from my trustees, and that’s a good thing … but negotiation of details is first and foremost with the attorneys. … Then, when you have a sense of what agreement is possible, that’s the best time to bring it to the board. Then they can make the best possible decision. And, as you can see, the vote was unanimous.” He added that the negotiations were going on “right up to that moment,” presumably meaning right up until the start of the trustees’ meeting this afternoon.

—Asked again about the Paterno statue, he said: “Same answer. [I’m a] boring guy. There’ll be a good time and place.”

—In November, President Barron said he was committed to personally reviewing the Freeh Report. At today’s news conference he said today’s events don’t change that plan. “I am very appreciative that we’ve hit a tremendous milestone today, and that’s what we’re going to focus on,” he said, “but I don’t think my responsibilities change.”

—Asked if he had a message for students who might be inclined to celebrate today’s news, he referred to the spontaneous—but peaceful—rally that took place when Penn State’s bowl eligibility was restored last fall. “Our students acted with a high level of enthusiasm but with a great deal of respect,” Barron said, “and although I think I told you I was always worried about such an activity, I was very pleased by their behavior. And I’m hoping from every inch of my body that I can be equally proud today. This is something to be very happy about; this is not something that should promote destructive behavior in any way, shape, or form.”

Tina Hay, editor

January 16, 2015 at 5:35 pm 4 comments

NCAA Sanctions Repealed, Paterno’s Wins Restored

IMG_3693_trustees_resolutionKeith Masser ’73 stuck to the script when he opened the Penn State Board of Trustees meeting today, saying he had some good news to report: that Penn State’s World Campus scored a No. 1 ranking in the U.S. News rankings of online programs.

But a few moments later, President Eric Barron took the podium and announced the day’s truly big news: that Penn State, the NCAA, and state officials had reached a tentative agreement to roll back the sanctions against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. And not long after that, the trustees voted unanimously to approve the agreement.

The NCAA issued a news release spelling out the terms of the agreement, the major points being that (1) 112 vacated wins—111 belonging to Joe Paterno, and one to Tom Bradley ’78—are restored (or, to quote a tweet by Charles Thompson of the Harrisburg Patriot-News, “And move over Bobby Bowden!”), and (2) the $60 million in fine money stays in Pennsylvania.

But State Sen. Jake Corman ’93, in a Harrisburg news conference, was more blunt: “The consent decree is hereby repealed,” he said, and “all remaining sanctions against Penn State are voided.” You can read a news release from Corman’s office here.

The trustees’ vote on the settlement was quick, with no discussion or debate before the roll-call vote, and the vote was unanimous.

Trustee Anthony Lubrano, who invited reporters to an impromptu news conference in the hallway outside the meeting—while the meeting was still in progress, with President Barron giving a report—said that the agreement isn’t perfect, but is still a win overall.

A point of contention with some in the Penn State community had been the possibility that, in order to see a rollback of the sanctions, the university would have to acknowledge that the NCAA had the right to impose the sanctions in the first place. The wording of the agreement appears to be very carefully phrased in that regard; it says that “Penn State acknowledges the NCAA’s legitimate and good faith interest and concern regarding the Jerry Sandusky matter.”

The restoration of Paterno’s wins has already prompted calls to return the Paterno statue to its spot outside Beaver Stadium. Corman, asked about it at his news conference, said it’s a decision for Penn State to make, but added, “In my personal opinion,” it should be put back. Lubrano also called for the university to return the Paterno statue, suggesting Homecoming might be a good target date.

The Paterno family issued a statement calling today “a great victory for everyone who has fought for the truth in the Sandusky tragedy.” The advocacy group Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship was less pleased, thanking Sen. Corman and state Treasurer Rob McCord but adding, “Unfortunately, we cannot support an agreement that does not require the NCAA to acknowledge its wrongdoing.”

Penn State has posted a news release about today’s settlement announcement, with comments from President Barron and Chair Masser. Barron, Masser, and attorney Frank Guadagnino ’78 will speak with the media after today’s meeting.

Tina Hay, editor

January 16, 2015 at 4:10 pm 3 comments


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