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Liberal Arts students intern abroad with help from Career Enrichment Network

When Caroline Briselli decided to spend her summer in Barbados, it wasn't because of the beautiful beaches. Instead, she had just received an offer from the U.S. Embassy’s political-economic section to intern in the country.

For 10 weeks, Briselli, a junior majoring in history with minors in business in the liberal arts and Middle Eastern studies at Penn State, updated reports for six different countries and responded to requests from headquarters in Washington, D.C. "I am very fortunate to have found a program that allowed me to make an impact," said the Hershey, Pennsylvania native.

During the 2014-15 academic year, 50 College of the Liberal Arts students worked in 26 countries outside of the United States. Students took part in internships with foreign and U.S. governments, nonprofits and large corporations.

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Public Scholar to lead McCourtney Institute for Democracy

Public Scholar to lead McCourtney Institute for Democracy

Chris Beem, managing director of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy

Public scholar and author Christopher Beem of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, has been named managing director of theMcCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State. Beem is author or co-editor of five books, including "The Necessity of Politics" (University of Chicago Press) and, most recently, "Democratic Humility" (Lexington Books). He will help raise the visibility of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy and coordinate with the Institute’s two affiliated centers: theCenter for Democratic Deliberation and the Center for American Political Responsiveness.

“Chris brings to our Institute tremendous experience and insight,” said John Gastil, director of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy. “He’ll help us integrate the programs developed by the Institute and its affiliated research centers, and that synergy will strengthen our contribution to Penn State research and public engagement. With him on the team, we will have a greater impact even in this current Presidential election cycle.”

Before coming to Penn State, Beem served as grants and communications manager for Next Door, a nonprofit organization dedicated to early childhood education in Milwaukee’s central city. Before that, he directed the Democracy and Community Program at the Johnson Foundation’s Wingspread Conference Center. Click here for the full story.

College offers philanthropic leadership certificate

Penn State is accepting applications for admission to its new online postbaccalaureate certificate in philanthropic leadership, which is aimed at preparing professionals to lead fundraising efforts at nonprofit organizations.

The certificate consists of nine credits of courses in fundraising, leadership and communications and a practicum of up to three credits. The program is offered fully online through Penn State World Campus, and the courses are taught by faculty members from Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts.

“As governments tighten their budgets, nonprofit organizations such as universities, hospitals, museums and service agencies are increasingly relying on donations to help fund their operations and serve their beneficiaries,” said Ray Lombra, professor of economics and lead faculty member of the new program. “Our goal is to develop the next generation of philanthropy professionals and prepare them to lead their organizations and strengthen their communities.” 

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Literature Scholar leads team in publishing new Hemingway book

Literature Scholar leads team in publishing new Hemingway book

Ernest Hemingway carrying his son John, nicknamed "Bumby," on his shoulders, at a beach in the south of France. Hemingway enclosed the snapshot in a July 24, 1926 letter to his father.

Cambridge University Press has released the third volume of The Letters of Ernest Hemingway (1926-1929), edited by Penn State Professor of English Sandra Spanier, along with Rena Sanderson and Robert W. Trogdon.

The new book is part of the Hemingway Letters Project, a projected 17-volume scholarly edition containing the correspondence of “Papa” Hemingway, the iconic Nobel-prize winning American writer whose work played a major role in defining 20th-century American literature.

Spanier is general editor of the Hemingway Letters Project, directing an international team of scholars in locating, editing, annotating and introducing the letters. She was instrumental in establishing the project at Penn State in 2002 and in arranging the acquisition of a trove of more than 100 previously unpublished Hemingway family letters by the Penn State Special Collections Library in 2008.

Hemingway wrote some 6,000 letters during his lifetime, roughly 85 percent which have never been published. The third volume collects 345 Hemingway letters written to 99 correspondents, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, John Dos Passos, Scribner's editor Maxwell Perkins and other literary lights, in addition to family members, old friends, aspiring young writers and fans.

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Parent program helps sustain learning gains in kids from Head Start to kindergarten

Parent program helps sustain learning gains in kids from Head Start to kindergarten

Intervention Effects on Child Outcomes

An instructional program for parents helps young children retain the literacy skills and positive learning behaviors acquired in Head Start through to the end of the kindergarten year, according to a team of researchers led by Dr. Karen L. Bierman, distinguished professor of psychology and human development and family studies and director of the Child Study Center at Penn State. Their study was published online in the journal Child Development and funded by the National Institutes of Health.

In the current study, researchers evaluated the Research Based, Developmentally Informed Parent (REDI-P) program. The problem of summer loss has long been known to affect children of all ages, but it is especially pronounced among children from disadvantaged backgrounds who are just starting school. The program appears to offset what education researchers call “summer loss,” or the tendency of children to forget during summer break what they learned during the previous year. Click here for the full story.

Luce Foundation grant supports Globally Engaged Humanities Project

The Henry Luce Foundation recently awarded a three-year grant of $395,000 to Penn State to partner with Nanjing University on the Globally Engaged Humanities Project. The faculty and students at both universities will share their understandings of the goals and methodologies of the humanities and borrow strategies from each other on related teaching, scholarly work and professional issues.

Among the planned activities are academic courses embedded with short-term study abroad at either university; learning exchanges of undergraduate students; graduate student and faculty teaching and research collaborations; international conferences; and translation of Chinese academic work from these conferences as a way to broaden access to Chinese-language humanities scholarship. Click here for the full story.

In memoriam to Professor Emeritus Alan Knight

Alan Knight, Professor Emeritus of French at Penn State, died Sept. 21 in Berkeley, California, at the age of 84, due to illness.

An internationally acclaimed medieval scholar, Alan was the author of Aspects of Genre in Late Medieval French Genre (Manchester UP, 1983), as well as of more than thirty essays, including one at PMLA in 1971. He also published a translation of the farce Maistre Pierre Pathelin (Bucknell UP, 1984; in Donald Maddox, Semiotics of Deceit: The Pathelin Era) and edited The Stage as Mirror: Civic Theatre in Late Medieval Europe (Boydell & Brewer, 1997). But he continued to publish well after his retirement in 1997. Having earlier discovered seventy-two unnoticed fifteenth-century mystery plays from Lille in the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, Germany, Alan went on to publish the five-volume critical edition at Librairie Droz from 2001 to 2011. 

The family is planning a memorial service in State College to plant a tree in his honor in late April or early May. Click here for the full obituary.


Criminology scholarship to honor PA state trooper

The Department of Sociology and Criminology has established a scholarship fund to honor the memory of Corporal Bryon Dickson II, the Pennsylvania State Trooper who was killed by a gunman on Sept. 12, 2014. Dickson was a 2003 Schreyer Honors College student and a graduate in the criminology program (then named administration of justice). He was selected as the student marshal for his academic achievements.

The goal is to raise at least $50,000 to create an endowment that, when fully funded, can provide an annual $2,250 scholarship to a hard-working and talented criminology undergraduate major. The criminology major is among the most popular degree programs in the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State. Click here for full story.

Political science launches 'Big Data' undergraduate major

A new innovative interdisciplinary undergraduate major in social data analytics is now offered through the Department of Political ScienceUndergraduate majors will work with “big data” in the rapidly growing field of data science. The social data analytics major at Penn State is the first undergraduate program to organize the development of data science skills around a social science foundation. Graduates will be adept at handling large, complex stores of information and applying them to pressing social problems. Click here for the full story.

'Caring Democracy’ author selected for Brown Democracy Medal

Joan C. Tronto, professor of political science at the University of Minnesota and author of the book "Caring Democracy: Markets, Equality, and Justice" (NYU Press), has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the Brown Democracy Medal, which is presented annually by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy in Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts. She will receive the Brown Democracy Medal and give a public talk 4:30 p.m. Oct. 30, at a ceremony held in 102 Paterno Library, Penn State’s University Park campus. The Brown Democracy Medal honors the best work being done to advance democracy in the United States and internationally. Click here for the full story. 

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