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Liberal Arts Faculty Recognized for Winning External Funding for Their Research

At the 3rd Annual Researcher Appreciation Reception, Dean Susan Welch and Eric Silver, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies expressed their appreciation to faculty who received external funding for their research during the past year. During this period, Liberal Arts faculty submitted over 200 proposals to over 80 different funding agencies in the social sciences and humanities.

In addition to the 21 faculty members who were awarded their first grant at Penn State this year, special recognition was given to those who have received external funding for their research for 15 or more consecutive years. Those honors included Lynn Liben, James Tybout, and Pamela Cole (15 years), Jim Lantolf and Joan Richtsmeier (16 years), John McCarthy, Mark Shriver, and Judy Kroll (17 years), and KenWeiss, Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus (23 years).

Karen Bierman, McCourtney Professor of Child Studies and Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies was honored for having 25 years of consecutive funding. She currently has an NIH R01 grant that goes through 2020.

We are extremely proud of these faculty members’ accomplishments and greatly appreciate their outstanding work.

Students meet Holocaust survivors in France

Students meet Holocaust survivors in France

Clare Belmonte and Georgette Blajchman, a child survivor of the Holocaust, walking in the Belleville neighborhood of Paris

Over spring break, seven Penn State undergraduate students and one graduate teaching assistant traveled to Paris to participate in a week-long study tour led by Willa Z. Silverman, Malvin E. and Lea P. Bank Professor of French and Jewish Studies. The trip was designed as an extension of Silverman’s Spring 2016 residential course, “France and the Holocaust in Film and Literature.” Students met with concentration camp survivors, historians, hidden children and Resistance members, and visited Holocaust memorials and a former concentration camp.

“Often when we learn about the Holocaust, we hear about it in terms of numbers,” said Mackenzie Moon, a sophomore biology major. “However, this trip helped me to understand that the victims of the Holocaust are more than just numbers—they were and are real people, just like you and me, people with personalities and surrounded by people who love them. This devastating realization is something that I think will stick with me in my future studies.”

The class met with four of the dwindling number of concentration and extermination camp survivors remaining in France, of the approximately 76,000 deported from that country. Aubrey Reeher, a junior in criminology, said hearing their stories first-hand was an experience she will never forget. Full story...

In human development research, big data could mean better results

While there is no Hubble telescope gathering data about the universe of human development, projects to make large amounts of information -- big data -- more accessible to developmental researchers could bring behavioral science's biggest questions into focus, according to Rick Gilmore, Penn State associate professor of psychology.
In human development research, big data could mean better results

"It's still too hard for a researcher who wants to reuse another person's data to find it, reuse it, get it in interoperable form [and] to eventually build upon it." (Image © iStock Photo petehowell)

March 24, 2016 -- While there is no Hubble telescope gathering data about the universe of human development, projects to make large amounts of information -- big data -- more accessible to developmental researchers could bring behavioral science's biggest questions into focus, according to a Penn State psychologist.

"Many people, when they think about big data, think about astronomy, or physics, or biology and cancer research, but, in fact, there are big data approaches to studying human development," said Rick Gilmore, associate professor of psychology. "It's exciting that we now have the opportunity to learn how people emerge through the developmental process by taking empirical work from large numbers of investigators and aggregating that data."

Full story ...

Professor named one of 50 leading scholars in discipline, receives additional accolades

Suresh Canagarajah, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Applied Linguistics, English, and Asian Studies and director of the Migration Studies Project at Penn State, has been awarded the American Association of Applied Linguistics’ inaugural Best Book Award for his book, Translingual Practice: Global Englishes and Cosmopolitan Relations (Routledge, 2013). He has also been honored as one of the top 50 scholars who have shaped the field of Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in the past 50 years by TESOL International Association.
Professor named one of 50 leading scholars in discipline, receives additional accolades

Suresh Canagarajah, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Applied Linguistics, English, and Asian Studies and director of the Migration Studies Project at Penn State

March 21, 2016 , Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Applied Linguistics, English, and Asian Studies and director of the Migration Studies Project at Penn State, has been awarded the American Association of Applied Linguistics’ (AAAL’s) inaugural Best Book Award for his book, Translingual Practice: Global Englishes and Cosmopolitan Relations (Routledge, 2013).  Canagarajah will receive the award on April 12 during the AAAL’s annual conference in Orlando, Florida.

This is the third noteworthy award that Canagarajah has received for Translingual Practice.  It is also the third noteworthy award that he has received in 2016.  His 2015 article, “‘Blessed in My Own Way’: Pedagogical Affordances for Dialogical Voice Construction in Multilingual Student Writing,” was recently named 2015 Article of the Year by the Journal of Second Language Writing.  More recently, Canagarajah was named one of the top 50 scholars who have shaped the field of Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in the past 50 years by TESOL International Association.

Full story ...

Co-founder of Black Lives Matter movement to speak at Penn State

Opal Tometi to keynote March 25 symposium examining citizenship, civil rights and new racisms in the 21st century.
Co-founder of Black Lives Matter movement to speak at Penn State

Opal Tometi will keynote a day-long sympsium taking place at Penn State on March 25. (Photo provided)

March 10, 2016 -- Opal Tometi, a Nigerian-American writer, strategist, community organizer and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, will be the keynote speaker at an upcoming Penn State symposium.

The symposium, titled The Fire This Time: Citizenship, Civil Rights, and New Racisms in the 21st Century, will take place on Friday, March 25, in the Paterno Library’s Foster Auditorium on the University Park campus of Penn State. The daylong event is free and open to the public.

The symposium is co-sponsored by the Africana Research Center; the Institute for the Arts & Humanities; the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center; the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts’ Office of Undergraduate Studies; and the University Libraries.

Full story ...

Penn State launches new associate’s degree in labor, employment relations online

Penn State is now offering an associate of science degree in labor and employment relations online.

March 3, 2016 -- Penn State is now offering an associate of science degree in labor and employment relations online, which has been designed to give professionals the knowledge and skills they need to successfully compete for entry-level jobs in the field.

The degree is being offered fully online through Penn State World Campus, and applications are being accepted for admission in Penn State’s fall 2016 semester, which begins in August. Faculty from Penn State’s School of Labor and Employment Relations (LER) will teach the courses.

Full story ...

Eight Penn State faculty members receive Fulbright grants

Eight Penn State faculty members receive Fulbright grants

March 2, 2016 -- Eight Penn State faculty members are recipients of Fulbright grants for the 2015-16 awards cycle. These awards give recipients opportunities to teach, do research, and immerse themselves in other cultures. Penn State is consistently among the nation’s top Fulbright producers in a program that is highly competitive and rigorously reviewed.

Full story ...

Data-sharing video library aids developmental studies

The first large-scale, open data-sharing video library is expanding at a rapid pace, providing developmental researchers at Penn State and across the world unprecedented access to data in a rich, new way.
Data-sharing video library aids developmental studies

These two pre-adolescent girls were instructed to show the camera operators the various ways in which they play for developmental research purposes. (Image: K. Adolph, Databrary)

March 1, 2016 -- The first large-scale, open data-sharing video library is expanding at a rapid pace, providing developmental researchers at Penn State and across the world unprecedented access to data in a rich, new way.

Called Databrary, the Web-based video-data library has grown to include data from more than 270 investigators from 166 institutions. The Databrary team, lead by Rick Gilmore, associate professor of psychology and faculty researcher with the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences at Penn State, and Karen Adolph, professor of psychology and neural science at New York University, are excited by the data sharing systems’ growth in the just over two years since it was established.

Full story ...

Eight selected to receive 2016 Penn State Distinguished Alumni Award

Eight Penn State alumni, including three Liberal Arts graduates, have been selected to receive the 2016 Penn State Distinguished Alumni Award.

February 28, 2016 -- Eight Penn State alumni have been selected by the Penn State Board of Trustees to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, the University's highest award for an individual.  Liberal arts graduates slated to receive the award in 2016 include:

  • H. Jesse Arnelle (1955), of San Francisco, retired senior partner in the law firm of Arnelle, Hastie, McGee, Willis & Greene; and retired counsel of Womble, Carlye, Sandridge & Rice;
  • Kathleen Mullan Harris (1972), James E. Haar Distinguished Professor of Sociology, adjunct professor of public policy, and director of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina; and,
  • Thomas A. Ulmer (1996), former commanding officer of the U.S.S. Fort McHenry and current naval strategist and surface warfare officer for the U.S. Navy at the Pentagon.

 Full story ...

Ten Penn State Students Receive 2015-16 Fulbright Awards

For the fourth year in a row, Penn State is included on the U.S. Department of State’s complete list of colleges and universities that produced the most Fulbright U.S. students.
Ten Penn State Students Receive 2015-16 Fulbright Awards

Theresa Kutasz is one of ten University Park students to have received a 2015-16 Fulbright award. (Photo provided)

February 22, 2016 - For the fourth year in a row, Penn State is included on the U.S. Department of State’s complete list of colleges and universities that produced the most Fulbright U.S. students.  This year, 10 students from the University Park campus received Fulbright awards. 

Full story ...

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