Posts tagged ‘Ryan Jones’

Inside Our Latest Issue

JF_coverHad a chance to peek through our latest issue? The Jan./Feb. 2014 issue of The Penn Stater likely arrived in your mailbox sometime over the last week or so; our office copies were patiently awaiting us yesterday when we returned from the holiday break.

Some highlights from the new issue:

—The cover story, “Wired for Learning,” is a photo-filled virtual tour of the Paterno and Pattee Libraries. Especially if you haven’t been on campus in a while, you’ll be surprised by how much has changed. The library is not only outfitted with the latest technology, but, as senior editor Ryan Jones ’95 discovered firsthand, it’s becoming the place to “see and be seen” on campus. Thanks to group study rooms, TV lounges, and tons of computer workstations, the library now rivals the HUB as University Park’s most social spot.

—In November, when senior editor Lori Shontz ’91 came back from Discovery-U, a daylong event at which Penn State scientists and engineers gave brief presentations on their research, she raved about the fascinating talk by Khanjan Mehta ’03g. Mehta’s controversial concept: that even the most brilliant-seeming ideas can—and often do—fail to effect real change. As director of Penn State’s Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship Program, Mehta helps students engineer ways to improve life for people in developing countries—and turn good ideas into workable solutions. An adapted version of his talk, “Why Ideas Fail,” is featured on page 26.

—”Shows of Support” is a behind-the-scenes look at USO tours as seen through the lens of Steve Manuel ’84, ’92g, who’s photographed dozens of USO tours all over the world. You’ll see some familiar faces in Manuel’s photos, as the tours often include big-name athletes and performers. And Manuel’s stories (like the one about comedian Dane Cook’s brush with heat stroke in Kuwait) are just as interesting as the images he’s captured.

What do you think of the new issue? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or send an email to

Mary Murphy, associate editor

January 3, 2014 at 4:53 pm Leave a comment

A Fabulous Time-Waster

The Alumni Association's own John Black ’62.

The Alumni Association’s own John Black ’62.

This could be one of the best Penn State-related time-sinks ever. The University Libraries today officially launched the new online La Vie project: All of the old yearbooks from 1890 through 2000 have been scanned so that you can view them online. Just go to, find the year you’re interested in, and browse away.

[Update as of Oct. 14: The link has moved. Try here instead.]

I’ve already located the senior photos for our senior editor, Ryan Jones ’95, our class notes editor, Julie Nelson ’86, and longtime Football Letter editor John Black ’62 (shown here). And it’s not just the senior portraits that are online—it’s the entire contents of the yearbooks.

The interface takes some getting used to—I can zoom in, for example, but haven’t yet figured out how to zoom back out. But some evening when I have nothing better to do, I plan to waste a few hours on the couch with my laptop, looking up famous Penn State alums—from Lydell Mitchell ’72 to Jonathan Frakes ’74 to Valerie Plame ’85. The possibilities are endless.

Tina Hay, editor

April 24, 2009 at 6:02 pm 2 comments

Up Against the NIT

img_0581-han-slideThe Schreyer Honors College’s annual Mark Luchinsky Memorial Lecture had the misfortune of being scheduled for 7 p.m. last night—exactly the same time that the Nittany Lions tipped off against Baylor in the NIT championship game at Madison Square Garden. Still, there was a great turnout for the lecture, which featured Penn State vascular surgeon David Han ’88, ’95g talking about the state of health care today.

David, himself a former honors student at Penn State, is the current president of the Penn State Alumni Association. His talk—held at the State Theatre downtown—covered a lot of ground, from the high cost of attending medical school (the average student leaves medical school with more than $140,000 in debt), to the fancy  technologies that make surgery today easier and safer, to the likelihood of a substantial physician shortage by the year 2025. The first image, above, shows what medical students today expect their profession will be like in the future. (Click on it to see a bigger version.)

img_0594-han-slideDavid also lamented that physicians have so little time for one-on-one interactions with patients, and offered some advice on how patients can get the best out of that limited time, as you can see in the second image.

He talked a bit about Mark Luchinsky, the person for whom the annual lecture is named; Luchinsky was a Penn State honors student who died of a pulmonary embolism at the age of 20, back in January 1995. David even showed slides explaining what a pulmonary embolus is, and a video showing a high-tech way of treating it—where surgeons send a tiny filter up through a vein to trap the embolism.

img_0604-nitAfter the talk, the folks at the State Theatre replaced David’s PowerPoint slides with the  telecast of the NIT game—and we all know how that turned out. Senior editor Ryan Jones drove to New York City yesterday for the game, and I’m sure he’ll have lots to tell when he gets back.

Tina Hay, editor

April 3, 2009 at 8:48 am Leave a comment

He’s Back


We see this red-tailed hawk almost daily.

Actually, our red-tailed hawk is around the grounds of the Hintz Family Alumni Center more days than not lately. I guess he’s got a pretty good supply of snacks here, between the squirrels and the goldfinches and the pine siskins. This morning he was perched on the alumni center roof and attracted a small crowd of Alumni Association employees to watch him. Later he flew to a tree right outside my office window—those of us on the magazine staff have offices in the old part of the alumni center, in what used to be the president’s house (some of you may know it as University House). I was able to step out onto the second-floor porch and shoot some photos of him from a distance of maybe 15 or 20 feet.

If you click on the photo, a larger version will open, and you’ll see something that I didn’t notice when I was taking the photo—there are buds on the tree! Maybe spring is closer than it seems.

Tina Hay, editor

P.S. Our senior editor, Ryan Jones, had a very interesting day yesterday—he went to Washington, D.C., in pursuit of a story for our May-June issue. That’s all I’m sayin’ for now, but check back later today for his blog entry.

February 25, 2009 at 12:19 pm 2 comments

Coming Soon to a Mailbox Near You

PS Cover copy 11I’m told that our Jan-Feb issue has “dropped,” as the printer puts it, meaning that all 127,000 copies or so are in the mail to Alumni Association members as we speak. (We actually have more than 160,000 members, but with some members married to other members, we only mail about 127,000 magazines.)

Our printer is in Strasburg, Va., so the first people to get their copies are typically the readers in northern Virginia, Maryland, and south-central Pennsylvania. We can kinda “watch” the magazine make its way across the country as we start getting e-mails and letters to the editor from Texas and Colorado and California—and typically that’s a week or so after the folks on the East Coast get their copies.

The new issue has four feature stories, some of which we’ve already mentioned:

—Senior editor Ryan Jones’ account of his week spent at Paternoville (the cover story);

—A profile on Doug Moorhead ’56, owner of Presque Isle Wine Cellars in Erie;

—A collection of readers’ tales of how they and their college buddies have kept in touch and held informal reunions over the years; and

—A story on the work of Andrew Bieniawski ’89 and others in helping remove Soviet-era nuclear materials from eastern Europe. As mentioned earlier, we actually sent a writer to Hungary to accompany Bieniawski and his crew. The title of the story is “The Hungary Job” and its subtitle gives you a good idea of what the story is like: “A road trip across the Eastern Bloc with dozens of mustachioed Hungarians, a few jolly Czechs, two Slovenians, four Russians, three gung-ho dudes from the U.S. Department of Energy, one Penn Stater, and enough highly enriched uranium to destroy a city.”

Look for the new issue to arrive soon.

Tina Hay, editor

December 29, 2008 at 2:37 pm 3 comments

Deadlines, the Bane of Our Existence

There’s a quote attributed to Douglas Adams that goes like this: “I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by.”

So, the January-February issue was supposed to go to the printer on Monday. As per normal, it didn’t. Actually, in our defense, we did get most of it out, and a few more pages yesterday, and we just have one more feature and the cover to get out the door today. Or tomorrow. (No! Please, let us get this thing out of our hair today.) Luckily we have a very forgiving and flexible printer, and the magazine always manages to get mailed to readers on time.

Layout 1 copyI thought I’d share the opening spread of just one of our four features for January-February. Back in October, in the week leading up to the Michigan game, Senior Editor Ryan Jones spent a lot of time up at Paternoville—he even camped out with the students outside the stadium one night. (The students were in tents, but Ryan, being tough, just slept in a sleeping bag under the stars.) He wrote a first-person account of the experience, called “Our Town.” It’s a lot of fun. Click on the photo to see a larger-size version of the opening spread.

Other features in this issue include a profile of Doug Moorhead ’56, who runs Presque Isle Wine Cellars in Erie, and a roundup of reader-submitted stories about how they and their Penn State buddies have kept in touch over the years. And perhaps the centerpiece of the Jan-Feb feature well (that’s what we call it in the biz: the “feature well”) is a story by Jason Fagone in which he went to eastern Europe to watch as U.S. Energy Department employees, led by Andrew Bieniawski ’89, removed some nuclear fuel from a Soviet Union-era reactor in Hungary and sent it on its way to Russia for reprocessing. It’s part of a global effort to keep nuclear fuel out of the hands of terrorists. Quite possibly the coolest assignment on which we’ve ever sent a writer.

Look for the Jan-Feb issue to be in your mailboxes by about Dec. 31 or early January, depending on where you live.

Tina Hay, editor

December 10, 2008 at 12:05 pm Leave a comment

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