Posts tagged ‘Schreyer Honors College’

Neha Gupta Lives B1G

You might remember Neha Gupta from our July/August ’15 issue. Now, her story is going beyond the pages of our magazine. Gupta is featured in a new advertisement for the Big Ten Network’s LiveB1G campaign, which “shines a light on the community of Big Ten students, faculty and alumni who are making a difference in the world through innovations in research, education and community service.” It touches on Gupta winning the 2014 International Children’s Peace Prize and the non-profit she founded, Empower Orphans. Eric Barron also appears in the video to praise Gupta’s work.

If you’re interested in reading about some of the other Nittany Lions who have been featured in this series, click here.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

January 28, 2016 at 2:39 pm Leave a comment

Mack’s Day of Kindness

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASupport a local business. Share an inspiring quote. Tell someone a joke to brighten his/her day. Penn State students performed these small, yet meaningful, random acts of kindness Wednesday on what would have been John William McKenzie Brady’s ninth birthday. John, more commonly known as Mack, was Schreyer Honors College Dean Christian Brady’s son, who died on New Year’s Eve from a rare blood infection.

Brady released a statement on New Year’s to inform others of the tragic event: “Words cannot begin to express the deep, wrenching sorrow that our family feels at the sudden and unexpected death of our boy. He contracted a blood infection on Sunday and by last night had returned to God. He was a special treasure, a true blessing sent from God.”

Following the release of the statement, the Schreyer Honors College Student Council organized “Mack’s Day of Kindness” for his birthday. “We had a lot of students come forward saying they wanted to do something and help,” said Erin Platz, president of the student council. “Even though the students did not know Mack at all—I did not know him either—we are very close to Dean Brady. He really makes an effort to get to know all of the students in the Honors College.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARandom acts of kindness were written on slips of paper and tacked on boards in Atherton and Simmons halls. Students were encouraged to pass by either hall and take a slip of paper to complete throughout the day. (Click on the photos for a closer look.)

At 5:30, students and faculty were invited back to the Atherton Hall lobby to write a message for the Brady family on luminaria bags, which were lit up by fake candles and placed in the Atherton courtyard. The Schreyer Honors College Student Council hopes to make “Mack’s Day of Kindness” an annual event to help the Brady family through what will be a difficult day.

The Schreyer Honors College Student Council created a Facebook event and the hashtag #MacksDayofKindness, which was used on Twitter throughout the day. One example from Twitter user Anthony Shelton: “Just thanked anonymously a great member of our @penn_state faculty for all that she’s done for our community. #WeAre #MacksDayofKindness.”


From left to right, Dean Brady, wife Elizabeth Brady and daughter Isabel Brady

Mack was a huge soccer fan, which led the Brady family to establish a scholarship in Mack’s honor. The scholarship will benefit a member of the Penn State men’s soccer team.

Brady, his wife, Elizabeth, and their daughter, Isabel, stopped by Atherton Hall during the event. They were grateful to all of the students in remembering their son and were touched by what the students made possible.

Kimberly Valarezo, intern

January 17, 2013 at 11:48 am 1 comment

Are We Prepared for Cyberwarfare? Mary Beth Long Thinks Not

Mary Beth Long also spoke earlier this month at Indiana University.

Partway through her speech Thursday night, Mary Beth Long ’85 Com, the first woman assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, paused and half-smiled at the audience. “If you’re not worried that the world is a dangerous place,” she said. “Stay tuned.”

Long had just spent about 20 minutes talking about terrorism, including how Al Qaida has been making up for lost ground by gaining a stronger foothold in Pakistan. I was already worried. But then she launched into the issue of nuclear proliferation, making the case that there is no possible way that Iran is enriching uranium for solely peaceful uses. And she wrapped up with a warning that the U.S. is unprepared to respond to cyberattacks, noting that no one is sure what would happen if, say, hackers shut down the computer system at Three Mile Island.

It wasn’t exactly uplifting, but it was thought-provoking—and that was the goal. Long was giving the 15th annual Mark Luchinsky Memorial Lecture, an event in honor of a University Scholar who died in 1995. Speakers are supposed to exemplify “intellectual honesty, personal integrity, and joy in learning,” and Long qualified on every count.

Her talk was titled “Terrorism, Nukes, and Cyberwarfare: Are We Prepared?” and it made clear how complicated the issues are. In about an hour, she touched on some international history, some politics, some geography, some technology, and some some cultural differences. I can’t possibly do justice to everything, but here are some of the key points I went home thinking about:

— She talked a lot about Iran, and especially its ties to Hezbollah. “You hear a lot about the Taliban and Al Qaida, but Hezbollah, I believe, is one of the overlooked but most dangerous terrorist groups we need to look at right now.”

— Among the big challenges for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Long said, is needing to clear IEDs away from schools built by coalition forces. Yes, the insurgents are targeting schools. “They lay them during the lunch hour,” she said, to target students, teachers, and aid workers.

— She painted a vivid picture of the problems that enemies of the United States could cause by going after our computer systems. Electrical grids, wastewater treatment facilities, mass transit, ports—if their computer systems were compromised, chaos would ensue. The U.S. needs to do a better job, she says, of organizing information and preparing for such an attack.

Long, who left government in 2008 and is now a senior vice president at NeurallQ Goverment Services Inc., loosened up a little at the end, during the Q-and-A.

Asked for her role models, her first answer, which she labeled “a little flip,” was Wonder Woman. (She didn’t need to apologize; Wonder Woman has a great history as a role model.) She told a great story about wearing “Wonder Woman” bracelets to a meeting in the Situation Room at the White House, and how surprised she was when Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser, recognized them. “You know what Wonder Woman bracelets are?” she asked.

The final question came from Christian Brady, dean of the Schreyer Honors College, who asked what the title would be of a movie of her life, and who would play the starting role. Long laughed and said that she and her staff had actually kicked around such questions, and there was only one answer: Angelina Jolie.

That got a big laugh, but as far as I know, Angelina hasn’t completed the CIA’s clandestine operations in dangerous areas course or paramilitary training, both of which Long has done, and she hasn’t won awards for her roles in covert action, as Long has. Sometimes, real life is just more compelling than the movies.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

March 26, 2010 at 6:41 pm Leave a comment

Penn State Trombone Choir Does ‘Mr. Grinch’

Christian Brady, dean of the Schreyer Honors College, posted on his Twitter feed a link to this excellent video—the Penn State Trombone Choir doing a rendition of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” Less than two minutes long, and highly recommended.

What a concept: a trombone choir. It turns out Penn State has had one since 1986—and they even have a Facebook page.

Tina Hay, editor

December 13, 2009 at 10:08 am Leave a comment

More Wide Views

We had a nice sunny day on Sunday (here in central Pennsylvania, you notice those rare sunny days) and I took my new ultra-wide-angle lens out for some more experimenting on campus. I’m still feeling my way—you get very different results depending on whether you’re shooting from a standing, kneeling, or lying position, and depending on how you tilt the camera. Anyway, here are a few shots from Sunday.

The Beta Theta Pi house on Burrowes Road. I'm not sure in what month they actually take down their Christmas wreaths.

The Beta Theta Pi house on Burrowes Road. I'm not sure in what month they actually take down their Christmas wreaths. Click on photo for bigger version.

Phi Delta Theta. Currently embroiled in a dispute with the University (

Phi Delta Theta. Currently embroiled in a dispute with the University (

The IST Building, which is definitely funky, but not THIS funky. It's partly distortion from the wide-angle lens.

The IST Building, which is definitely funky, but not THIS funky. Some of it is distortion from the wide-angle lens.

The plaza at the intersection of Shortlidge and Pollock. The two-story building in the center of the photo is Ritenour.

The plaza at the intersection of Shortlidge and Pollock. The two-story building in the center of the photo is Ritenour; to its right, the new Chemistry Building.

The lens doesn't always create wacky curves. It can also straighten things out. This is the former Atherton Hall, along College Avenue.

Schreyer Honors College headquarters, in the former Atherton Hall, along College Avenue.

Tina Hay, editor

February 17, 2009 at 5:59 pm 5 comments

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