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College, University combat cyberattack

Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts network and systems have been successfully repaired and returned to service, after being taken offline on June 26 in response to two cyberattacks.  Dean Susan Welch thanks our IT staff and its leadership for their dedicated work, not only this weekend in executing the remediation, but in the weeks leading up to this weekend as they prepared for the work necessary to complete this monumental task. 

Starting Monday (June 29), College faculty, staff, and graduate students will be prompted to change their college ID password to enhance network security and better prevent and respond to future cyberattacks. Your user ID will be the same for your College and University accounts, but you will need to change your College password. More information can be found here.

Nina Jablonski elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Nina Jablonski was among 197 scholars and leaders to be elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation’s premiere honorary societies.  Read more at: and at: )

Political scientists analyze impact of business on policy

Although most citizens tend to believe that big business owns Washington D.C., political science researchers suggests that business may have a less dominant and more complicated relationship with government than previously thought. In a study of randomly selected federal policy decisions between 1998 and 2002, the researchers found that when citizen interest groups and other competitors opposed businesses on policies, businesses had roughly an equal chance of success as the citizen group. When the researchers examined a shorter time period, businesses were only successful about a quarter of the time.

"We were pretty convinced that we were going to find that business did have an advantage, but, when going head-to-head against these citizen groups, government officials and other groups that represent occupational interests, business has no inherent advantage," said Marie Hojnacki, associate professor of political science, Penn State. Click here for the full story.

Researchers study Vitamin D, immune response

Nina Jablonski, the Evan Pugh Professor of Anthropology, is part of an international team of researchers who has found that high-dose vitamin D supplementation can reverse a deficiency and also improve immune response. Vitamin D plays an important part in the human immune response and deficiency can leave individuals less able to fight infections like HIV-1. The researchers published their findings from a study of two ethnic groups in Cape Town, South Africa, to see how seasonal differences in exposure to ultraviolet B radiation, dietary vitamin D, genetics, and pigmentation affected vitamin D levels, and whether high-dose supplementation improved deficiencies and the cell's ability to repel HIV-1. Click here for full story.

Women's studies professor and head honored

Congrats to Dr. Carolyn Sachs, head of Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, for being honored with a lifetime achievement award! The Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society has chosen Professor Sachs to receive its 2015 Richard P. Haynes Distinguished Lifetime Achievement in Agriculture, Food and Human Values Award. Sachs' research examines issues of gender and agriculture and gender and environmental issues. Click here for full story. 

Economics PhD graduate receives top prize for young economists

Congrats to 2002 PhD economics graduate Roland Fryer for winning the John Bates Clark Award, the most prestigious award given to young economists. As the Robert Beren Professor of Economics at Harvard University, Roland was honored for his pioneering research on the economics of race and education.  Robert Marshall, Distinguished Professor of Economics and head of the Economics Department, served as faculty adviser to Roland.

"Penn State Economics provided me with the foundation for my career,” Roland Fryer said. “In all candor, I do not think there would have been a faculty or program anywhere in the country that would have benefited me more." Click here for the full story.

Associate Dean to head College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State

Congratulations to Chris Long, Associate Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Education, and Professor of Philosophy and Classics! He has been recommended as the new dean of the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University, pending approval by the MSU Board of Trustees. We appreciate his innovative leadership and dedication to our students in the College and throughout the University! The full story is here.

Penn State no. 1 in online bachelor's programs for veterans

Center for Global Studies announces awards

The Center for Global Studies (CGS) at Penn State recently presented $142,950  in awards to faculty members and students whose work advances research and projects in global studies. The principal mission of the center is to “cross boundaries and build bridges” by linking themes of sustainability, social justice and ethical leadership within a global context. These awards are intended to encourage Penn State faculty and students to engage in cross-disciplinary teaching, outreach, and research that will allow for sustained and engaged dialogues on issues of vital importance to understanding key global issues facing all regions across the world. Click here for the full story.

College honors alumni accomplishments

The College of the Liberal Arts honored seven alumni with careers ranging from business to government and public advocacy for their recent accomplishments in their professions and their communities.

"Our alumni are an important component of our Liberal Arts community. Their achievements in their professional and personal lives are a testament to the importance of a liberal arts education. This year’s award winners have made a transformational difference in business, government, education, nonprofit organizations and in their communities," said Susan Welch, dean of the College of the Liberal Arts. Click here for full story.

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