Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

You are here: Home News


Mellon Foundation supports IAH project in humanities, arts and sciences

Sep 17, 2014

Penn State’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities has received a $260,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a two-year project, "The Boundaries of the Human in the Age of the Life Sciences."

The project will support a wide-ranging series of events aimed at exploring two compelling themes in the arts and humanities: one involves artists and researchers who are exploring the boundaries of our self-definition as a species and the idea of humanism, and the other involves the increasingly influential hypothesis that we are living in a new geological age, called the "Anthropocene." Click here for the full story.

Canagarajah Receives British Association Prize for his book

Sep 15, 2014

Dr. Suresh Canagarajah’s book entitledTranslingual Practice: Global Englishes and Cosmopolitan Relations has been voted the winner of the 2014 British Association for Applied Linguistics Annual Book Prize.  Dr. Canagarajah is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Applied Linguistics, English, and Asian Studies.



Professor Canagarajah’s book argues that it is becoming difficult to insist on a shared norm or homogeneous English when speakers appropriate English according to their values and identities in the context of globalization. Often, certain privileged varieties of English (British or American) are imposed on multilingual students and professionals as relevant for universal communication. Based on research of communicative interactions in academic, professional, and community contexts, Canagarajah argues that multilinguals demonstrate the capacity to negotiate intelligibility and achieve communicative success despite diversity.

Developing a practice-based perspective on language, he argues that focusing on negotiation strategies rather than normative grammar explains effective communication in transnational interactions. He articulates the relevant negotiation strategies that help people shuttle between communicative norms and contexts, as they emerge from his research.

One referee writes: “I chose Translingual Practice because it proposes a reconfiguration of our approach to the analysis of language practices in a globalised world. . .  profoundly original, impressively broad in scope, and so rich in thought-provoking insights.” Another reports: “Meticulously theorised, the book carves its own distinctive path. . . . Most importantly, in a work notable for its engagement with theory across an impressive spectrum, what shines from the pages of this book is the importance of the individual: the voices of its participants carry far and ring loud.”

Deliberative democracy center continues leadership

Sep 12, 2014

As the fall midterm elections approach our nation, Penn State’s Center for Democratic Deliberation (CDD) continues to develop new knowledge and training in rhetoric, debate and deliberation for students, educators and citizens through its initiatives in research, teaching and outreach.

Since its founding in 2006, the CDD has had a significant impact on undergraduate and graduate education at Penn State, launching innovative changes in the University’s speaking and writing courses. For example, Rhetoric and Civic Life, a course for honors students and aspiring Paterno Fellows, offers comprehensive training in speaking, writing, visual and digital communications skills.

In addition, the CDD has had success promoting a deliberative model of classroom teaching in a variety of educational settings. In partnership with the National Constitution Center and the State College Area School District, the center has sponsored K-12 teachers’ institutes on deliberation in the classroom. CDD faculty also helped to create high school educational programs using gaming technologies to teach history and Internet videoconferencing technologies to bring together diverse groups of students for real-time deliberations.

Future plans call for collaboration with other centers and institutes to develop new platforms for online public deliberation, and intercollegiate debate and forensics. Click here for the full story.

World in Conversation to lead talks with NATO cadets, civilians

Sep 09, 2014

World in Conversation, a Center for Public Diplomacy in the College of the Liberal Arts, will partner with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to sponsor trained Penn State undergraduate dialogue facilitators to lead groundbreaking virtual conversations between NATO military cadets and civilians in conflict zones, beginning with Afghanistan. Cadets from academies throughout the NATO alliance will have the unique opportunity to participate in peer-facilitated dialogue with their civilian counterparts from five different universities in Afghanistan through a recent grant to World in Conversation from NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme.

"This is an unprecedented attempt to utilize technology to foster greater understanding between military personnel and civilians in conflict zones," said Laurie Mulvey, executive director of World in Conversation. "Our student facilitators will play a key role in making it possible for groups who will eventually come face-to-face in the most stressful of circumstances to meet informally and develop an understanding of one another first. Their work in creating these simple humanizing encounters could prevent unnecessary violence on the ground." Click here for the full story.

International politics senior pursues Ireland opportunity

Sep 03, 2014

Bobby Chen, a senior in international politics and economics, took advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tackle all of his interests in one trip. A self-described “nerd” for athletics and photography, he joined seven fellow Penn State students in photographing the Penn State opening game in Ireland for the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. “Ireland has a fascinating political and cultural history,” Bobby said. “So having the opportunity to cover a Penn State game as a photojournalist, while in a storied foreign country, is somewhat of a dream come true for me.”

Aside from taking photos and taking in the sites of Ireland, Bobby wanted to further his knowledge of producing news content for media organizations and broaden his experience in international politics and economics.

Click here for the full story.

Sociology researchers to study child well-being in 2 states

Sep 03, 2014

Molly Martin, associate professor of sociology and demography, is leading an interdisciplinary team of researchers to study the well-being of children in two states: Pennsylvania that allows natural gas drilling and New York that bans such activities. The project is supported by a $150,000 grant from The Russell Sage Foundation, a leading foundation dedicated to the improvement of social and living conditions in the U.S.  The researchers will review and analyze data from Pennsylvania and New York school districts located above the Marcellus Shale region, one of the largest natural gas reserves in the U.S.

''We all think that money matters for so many life experiences, while some believe money can solve any problem,'' Dr. Martin said. ''But is that really true? Children from wealthy families are often successful and tend to be healthier. Is it really money that fosters success and health? There may be other factors that are tightly intertwined: their parents’ good education and jobs, supportive parents and teachers, and other positive traits.''

Click here for the full story.

Brazilian World Campus student receives degree

Aug 21, 2014

World Campus psychology major Fernando Ribeiro flew to University Park from Brazil to receive his degree in person. His degree gave him greater insight for his work at his executive coaching company, Phercoh. Ribeiro is among the nearly 120 World Campus students traveling from across the globe to State College for Penn State’s summer graduation. World Campus honored them during a recent ceremony at the Jordan Center. For the full story, click here.

Paterno Fellow selected as summer college marshal

Aug 15, 2014
Paterno Fellow selected as summer college marshal

Carl Boswell with Sue Paterno

Carl Boswell has been selected as the College of the Liberal Arts student marshal, representing Liberal Arts graduates, at the summer commencement on Aug. 16, 2014. He will receive a B.A. degree in International Politics and a Master's degree in International Affairs.  He is a Paterno Fellow, a Chapel Executive Intern, and a participant in Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program.



A member of the Schreyer Honors College, Carl enrolled in the Integrated Undergraduate/ Graduate degree program which allows students to  simultaneously pursue a Master's and an undergraduate degrees. In addition, he is a member of the Presidential Leadership Academy, The Schreyer Consulting Club, The Paterno Fellows Program,  and the Penn State Lion Ambassadors. In his downtime, Carl ran in intramural track meets and played flag football.

In addition, Carl studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he learned more about the Spanish culture while traveling around the country and walking on a glacier. His love of experiencing different cultures has also taken him to Europe where, in the summer of 2013, he backpacked through five European countries.

Carl has interned and worked at the former International Center for the Study of Terrorism, the Smeal Center for Global Business Studies, and two government relations firms located in Washington D.C. In the Spring of 2014 he served as a teaching assistant for Professor Fariborz Ghadar in his two MBA courses on the topics of international finance and business strategy. This experience served him well as he focused his Schreyer Honors College thesis on the economic impact of the Olympic Games on the host country.

During his time at Penn State, he received various scholarships to help him focus on his academic studies and pursue study abroad and internship opportunities . These scholarshps included the Bunton Waller Fellowship, the Virgina Todd Chapel Executive Internship Award, and other Schreyer Honors College and Liberal Arts funding.

When asked about the future, Carl responded “ I feel most excited when immersed in new social and professional environments where I am able to learn from those around me. There are over 7 billion people in the world. I will not meet all of them, but only I can set my own social, professional, and boundaries."  After graduation, he plans to move to Washington D.C.


Rock Ethics Institute enhances University ethical leadership

Aug 07, 2014

The Rock Ethics Institute has played a key role, along with other offices and programs at Penn State,  in the University's solid legacy of ethical integrity and leadership. Established in 2001 through a $5 million initial gift from Doug and Julie Rock to the Department of Philosophy and the College of the Liberal Arts, the Institute has a mission to increase "ethical literacy" in the campus community, identify "ethical challenges, weigh options, consider other viewpoints, and take a stand for their beliefs and the interests of others."

"We're looking specifically at enhancing ethics literacy in research projects in the sciences, engineering, humanities and social sciences," said Susan Welch, dean of the College of the Liberal Arts, "as well as to advance the integration of ethics into the curriculum at all levels, including graduate and postdoctoral mentoring in research ethics." Click here for the full story.

Professor emeritus of French receives Lifetime Service Award

Aug 07, 2014

Norris Lacy, the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor Emeritus of French and Medieval Studies at Penn State, has received the North American Branch of the International Arthurian Society’s Award for Lifetime Service to Arthurian Studies. The society comprises nearly 1,200 scholars interested in the study of the Arthurian realm in history, literature, art, film and popular culture; more than 300 libraries subscribe to its annual Bibliographical Bulletin. Click here for the full story.

Psychology research links decisions and physical tasks

Jul 24, 2014

Psychology research on people's pre-crastination, or hurrying to complete a task as soon as possible. has received much attention from prominent media such as the New York Times. Distinguished Professor of Psychology David Rosenbaum and co-authors Lanyung Gong, graduate student in psychology, and Cory Adam Potts, then-undergraduate in psychology, recently published their research exploring decision-making when it involves physical effort. Click here for the full story, or here for the NY Times article.

LER faculty member examines work and stress

Jul 24, 2014

Dr. Sarah Damaske, Assistant Professor of Labor and Employment Relations, Sociology, and Women's Studies, led a Penn State team of researchers who found that men and women had less stress, as indicated by lower cortisol levels, when they were at work than when they were at home. Although their overall findings published in the journal Social Science and Medicine, are consistent with the “work as haven” hypothesis, it may also be that combining the responsibilities of work and home may increase people’s subjective experience of stress. The study has attracted national media such as ABC News and NPR. Click here for the full story and here for the NPR story.

In memoriam

Jul 01, 2014

Paul Harvey Jr., Associate Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, History, and Jewish Studies, died July 13, 2014, in Italy. He joined Penn State in 1972 and focused his teaching and scholarship on ancient republican Rome, Roman religion, and early Christianity. Paul also served as head of the Classics and Ancient Mediterranean studies Department. Click here for the full obituary.


Joseph Flay, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, died June 27, 2014 in State College, Pa. He joined Penn State in 1963 and taught both undergraduate and graduate courses, served on college and university committees, and directed dissertations. His honors include the Class of 1933 Award for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of the Humanities, the Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching, and an Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award. Click here for the full obituary.


Stanley Rosen, Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, died on May 4, 2014, in Philadelphia. He joined Penn State in 1956 and authored more than twenty books and 125 articles and book chapters over his tenure. He was the recipient of numerous honors and awards. Penn State appointed him an Evan Pugh Professor, the highest honor given by the University, in 1985.Click here for the full obituary.

New book explores Northern attitudes toward rebels

Jun 30, 2014

In his new book, "With Malice Toward Some: Treason and Loyalty in the Civil War Era" (University of North Carolina Press), William Blair, the Liberal Arts Research Professor of History, examines how the Northern states reconciled what appeared to be a heartfelt hatred of the rebels with a demonstrable record of leniency toward them. Click here for the full story.

Sociologist examines teen peer pressure and smoking

Jun 30, 2014

Steven Haas, associate professor of sociology and demography, is co-author of a study that found teens tend to be more powerful in influencing their friends to start smoking than in helping them to quit. In a study of adolescent friendship networks and smoking use over time, the researchers found that friends exert influence on their peers to both start and quit smoking, but the influence to start is stronger. Click here for the full story.


College gives outstanding alumnus awards

Jun 10, 2014

The College of the Liberal Arts honored eight alumni during spring 2014 for outstanding achievements in their professions and their communities. Dean Susan Welch presented the Outstanding Alumni Awards to: (top left to center) Deborah Anzalone, ’78 general arts and sciences, Senior Director of Medical Affairs and Strategic Development for global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca; Michael Bair, ’81 speech communication, executive leader in the media industry such as MSG Media; and Jin-Sik Yoon, ‘87g economics, national legislator in the Republic of Korea and an economics policy adviser and government official. Bottom left, Michael Mitrovic, ’74 political science and history and President of Global Claims, Ironshore Insurance, received the Outstanding Alumni in Business Award. Top right, Katie Krimmel, ’03 psychology and Associate Dean of Leadership, Innovation and the Liberal Arts Center at Bryn Mawr College was recognized with the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

The Liberal Arts Alumni Society Board of Directors bestowed its Service to Penn State Award to: (bottom second left) Larry Brown, ’71 history and a partner with the law firm Brookman Rosenberg Brown & Sandler. The Service to Society Awards were presented to: (bottom far right) John Eidleman, ’66 pre-law and Senior Program Counsel in the Office of Program Performance for Legal Services Corporation; and (bottom center) Robert Faris, ’60 science and a pioneer in global private equity and venture capital industries.

Former associate dean Ted Kiffer dies at age 88

Jun 09, 2014

Dr. Theodore E. Kiffer, former Associate Dean for the Commonwealth Educational System in the College of the Liberal Arts, has died on May 30, 2014 at age of 88.  “Ted was a good and kind person who loved Penn State,” said Susan Welch, Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts. “He did so much for the College and the University."

He joined the University faculty in 1968 as Assistant Director of Resident Instruction and Associate Professor of English linguistics at Penn State Berks. Between 1968 and 1971, Kiffer also had been Chief Academic Officer at the Berks campus. In 1971 he became Director of General Education in the College of the Liberal Arts at University Park and served as Associate Professor of English linguistics and Associate Head of the Department of English. He taught courses in linguistics, English grammar, and the history of the English language.

In 1983, Kiffer was named Associate Dean for the Commonwealth Educational System; in 1990, he served as interim Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts before his retirement in 1991. In 1994, Penn State appointed Kiffer interim Provost and Dean of Penn State Harrisburg. Click here for full story.

MOOC explores social science of wrongful convictions

May 29, 2014

Penn State will offer its newest massive open online course (MOOC) "Presumed Innocent? The Social Science of Wrongful Convictions," produced by the College of the Liberal Arts. The MOOC employs the perspective of the social scientist to understand why and how wrongful convictions occur. The course will open to thousands of students for free on the Coursera platform in late June, and will also be offered for Penn State credit at a reduced tuition rate beginning July 2. Click here for the full story.

College launches online degree in international politics

May 29, 2014

The College and World Campus are offering a new online undergraduate degree program in international politics, and students can now apply for admission in the fall 2014 semester.Undergraduates who enroll in the 123-credit bachelor of arts program will have three options in which they can concentrate their studies: national security, international political economy and international relations.Click here for full story.

BDSS IGERT Trainees Begin 2014 Summer Externships

May 28, 2014

The students involved in the Big Data Social Science IGERT program are gaining experience in a variety of environments during their summer externships. Students are involved in programs in industry, government and academic locations and will be working for 6-10 weeks with their externship hosts. Host locations include the Pew Research Center, The Institute for Quantitative Social Society at Harvard University, the U.S Census Bureau, Caerus Associates, IBM Almaden Research Center, The Family Institute in Chicago, and the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin.

Archaeologist part of dating and DNA team

May 19, 2014

Douglas Kennett, professor of environmental archaeology, is part of an international team of researchers, which has identified a nearly complete Paleoamerican skeleton with Native American DNA that dates close to the time that people first entered the New World.

"Individuals from 9,000 or more years ago have morphological attributes -- physical form and structure -- distinctive from later Native American peoples," said Douglas Kennett, professor of environmental archaeology, Penn State. "What we have here is the unique combination of an adolescent Paleoamerican skeleton with a Native American DNA haplotype." Click here for full story.

Psychology faculty explores anxiety in children

May 19, 2014

Dr. Koraly Pérez-Edgar is the McCourtney Early Career Professor of Psychology at Penn State and director of the University's Cognition, Affect, and Temperament Lab. She has a team of nearly 30 people working with her: one postdoctoral fellow, three research assistants, five graduate students, and about 20 undergraduates. The researchers work with children from 4 months old through young adulthood, using a variety of tools to aid their work in exploring anxiety. Click here for the full story.

Political scientist studies model to measure human rights climate

May 19, 2014

Many political scientists and sociologists believe that allegations of human rights abuses drawn from sources such as the U.S. State Department and Amnesty International over the past few decades show that attention to human rights is stagnating, said Christopher Fariss, assistant professor of political science. However, a new measurement model of the data, which recognizes the changes in how that information is collected and categorized, indicates that the human rights climate is actually improving.

"By allowing the standard of accountability to vary with time, a new picture emerges of improving respect for human rights over time," Professor Fariss said. Click here for the full story.

Anthropology faculty named Evan Pugh Professor

May 12, 2014

Congratulations to Dr. Nina Jablonski, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, for being appointed an Evan Pugh Professor of Anthropology at Penn State. The Evan Pugh Professorships are the highest distinction bestowed by the University on its faculty. Click here for the full story.

Commencement ceremony to be streamed live

May 05, 2014

The College of the Liberal Arts spring 2014 commencement ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, May 10, in Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center.  At that time, go to:


The keynote speaker is college marshal Laura Brown, who is graduating with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music and Russian, as well as a Master of Arts degree in Musicology. She is also a scholar in the Schreyer Honors College. Click here for more information about Laura.

Finally, congratulations to the nineteen students who were selected as department marshals for their  accomplishments during their Penn State tenure. Click here for their information.




Freed makes major gifts to French and Francophone studies

May 02, 2014

A lifelong love of French culture and literature has led Marian Trygve Freed, of State College, to make two major gifts to support faculty and graduate students in the Department of French and Francophone Studies in Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts. Using an inheritance from her late father, Mrs. Freed established the Marian Trygve Freed Early Career Professorship and the Marian Trygve Freed Centennial Graduate Endowment, both in the Department of French and Francophone Studies.

Susan Welch, the Susan Welch Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts, said, ''We are very grateful for Marian’s generosity, which will have a profound impact on the French and Francophone Studies department and the College. Her gifts give us a tremendous opportunity to support outstanding junior scholars in French who have the potential to be leaders in their field. And her support for graduate students in French will enable talented students to have access to more resources to enhance their teaching and research. We thank Marian very much for her vision and support of the department and college.'' Click here for full story.

World Campus student wins creative writing award

Apr 30, 2014

World Campus student Holly Pritchard of Dugway, Utah, has won the 2014 Katey Lehman Award for Nonfiction/Journalism for her piece “Alcoholic, Anonymous” about a man who works for the military as a reservist and the federal government, but lives a secret life as a functioning alcoholic. The Katey Lehman Creative Writing Awards are sponsored by Penn State’s colleges of the Liberal Arts and Communications.

Pritchard is studying organizational leadership online and plans to graduate in December 2014.Click here for full story.

Participatory Budgeting Project wins Brown Democracy Medal

Apr 23, 2014

A national organization that empowers citizens to exert greater control over public spending was selected as the first recipient of the Brown Democracy Medal, an award that will be presented annually by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy in the College of the Liberal Arts.The Brown Democracy Medal was endowed in 2013 by Penn State alumni Larry Brown (Class of 1971, history) and Lynne Brown (Class of 1972, education). The medal spotlights the best work being done to advance democracy in the United States and internationally.

The McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State promotes rigorous scholarship and practical innovations to advance the democratic process in the United States and abroad. The institute examines the interplay of deliberative, electoral and institutional dynamics. It recognizes that effective deliberation among citizens has the potential to reshape both the character of public opinion and the dynamics of electoral politics, particularly in state and local communities. Likewise, political agendas and institutional processes can shape the ways people frame and discuss issues. The institute pursues this mission, in part, through supporting the work of its partner units, the Center for Democratic Deliberation (CDD) and the Center for American Political Responsiveness (CAPR). Click here for the full story.

College marshal selected for commencement

Apr 18, 2014

Congratulations to Laura Brown, who has been selected as the Liberal Arts Student Marshal to represent the College at the Spring 2014 commencement ceremony. Laura is the daughter of Arden and Mary Brown of Waterford, Pennsylvania. Enrolled in an Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) program at Penn State, she is graduating with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music and Russian, as well as a Master of Arts degree in Musicology. She is also a scholar in the Schreyer Honors College.

At Penn State she has received a number of awards, including the Evan Pugh Senior Scholar Award, the Brewster and Presser Awards from the School of Music, and an Alumni Association scholarship from the College of Arts and Architecture, and she was also the winner of the Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Competition in 2012.

Laura has taken part in a range of activities at Penn State, ranging from the Blue Band to the Penn State Association of Students in Russian, and she has also completed international study in St. Petersburg, Russia. With a focus on the academic study of music and its place in Russian culture, she has presented research at conferences both in the US and in Russia, and in the fall she will be entering the PhD program in Musicology at Yale University.

For more information on the Spring 2014 commencement ceremonies, visit the Commencement at University Park website.

Students recognized for ethical leadership

Apr 15, 2014

Two Penn State students received the 2014 Stand Up Award for showing courage and fortitude and demonstrating ethical leadership through personal example. This year's honorees are Zachary Brubaker, a physics major and president of the Penn State Alliance of the Blind and Sighted, and Maggie Cardin, a childhood and early adolescent education major and President of Penn State’s chapter of Aevidum.

The Stand Up Awards are sponsored by the Rock Ethics Institute in the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State.

"It takes courage and conviction to stand up for the beliefs that we hold dear, especially in the face of social pressures and difficult challenges, and we believe that it is important to acknowledge the efforts of those who have answered this call for ethical leadership and tell their stories so that they serve as moral exemplars who inspire us all," says Nancy Tuana, the Nancy Tuana Director of the Institute and DuPont/Class of 1949 Professor of Philosophy. Click here for full story.

Sustainability Unites

Apr 07, 2014

The first Sustainability Unites event, hosted by Sustainability at Penn State Because the Sustainability Institute is relatively new, many students do no know what they can offer! But don't worry, this is your chance to find out! Sustainability Unites will be styled somewhat like a mixer for students to meet one another, see what different student sustainability groups are working on and learn more about the Sustainability Institute as a whole. At Sustainability Unites, students will be able to: - Gain information about the Sustainability Leadership Minor - Learn about the Reinvention Fund (awards money for selected sustainable projects and proposals) - Provide feedback on how the Sustainability Institute can benefit you most - Review the student portal on the Sustainability Institute's website and let us know how they can better represent sustainability-related student groups on the site - Check out what student sustainability groups have been working on all year and how you can get involved - Take a picture at our sustainability photo booth with your group - Have the chance to win a pizza party for you organization, provided by the Sustainability Institute The entire event will only be an hour an a half, with time at the end to give your feedback about the institute. It's a great chance to talk with other students in the sustainability community and grab some free food! Come tell us what the Sustainability Institute can do for you! We can't wait to see you there!

Earth Hour Recycling Challenge

Apr 03, 2014

Congratulations to all of the Liberal Arts buildings who participated in the first ever Penn State Earth Hour Challenge. Earth Hour is the world’s largest grassroots movement where people from over one hundred countries switch off their lights for one hour in promotion of sustainability and awareness about climate change. In conjunction with Penn State’s Third Annual Earth Hour Celebration, sponsored by Eco Action, the buildings of the College of the Liberal Arts took to tallying their recycling habits in an effort to be named the Greenest Building, or at least in terms of trash!

Eco Action would like to thank all who participated and supported our efforts for planning a fantastic event. Penn State and the new Mobius program are a great step in having a greener and more sustainable tomorrow, and it all starts with the flick of a switch and the tossing of a bottle into a recycling bin!

The buildings and people who participated in this year’s Earth Hour Challenge, spanning March 24-28, recycled and composted over 3,710 items in one week! Congratulations to all!


First Place: Sparks Building (1,086 items)

Second Place: Oswald Tower (842 items)

Third Place: Kern Building (812 items)

Fourth Place: Carpenter Building (668 items)

Fifth Place: Pond Lab (302 items)

McCourtneys endow Institute for Democracy

Mar 27, 2014

Penn State 2013 Philanthropists of the Year Tracy and Ted McCourtney have endowed the Penn State Institute for Democracy with a transformative gift of $3 million that will enable the institute to pursue excellence and leadership in advancing the cause of democracy.Their gift provides the institute with a permanent endowment that will help fund student and faculty research and public outreach programs that aspire to elevate the quality of public and policy makers’ discussions of important public concerns. In response to the couple’s tremendous generosity, the University will name the Institute in their honor: The McCourtney Institute for Democracy.

“Tracy and Ted have been leading benefactors to the college for nearly two decades with their visionary gifts for many college priorities, including the Richards Civil War Era Center,” said Susan Welch, Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts. “Their latest gift gives us a tremendous opportunity to make the College of the Liberal Arts and Penn State the epicenter of innovations in democracy. We are deeply grateful for Tracy and Ted’s dedication and support of the college.”

John Gastil, director of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy, noted, “Faculty and students engaged with the institute are seeking to address difficult issues from two perspectives: first, encouraging civil discussions and rhetoric aimed at solving problems, and then, helping to understand the appropriate balance among government responsiveness, majority rule, and minority rights. We thank Ted and Tracy very much.”

Click here for the full story.

Book launch

Mar 25, 2014

My biography of the Polish second world war spy Christine Granville is now available from Amazon. The title is THE ELUSIVE MADAME G, a life of Christine Granville. My first book was WARSAW, the cabaret years (1992). Prior to writing books I was the founder and editor of the San Francisco Review of Books (1975-1988). I was a Liberal Arts major at PSU (class of '60) and editor of the now-defunct humor magazine, Penn State Froth. Best regards Ron Nowicki

University honors faculty and staff

Mar 21, 2014

Hooray for the Liberal Arts faculty and staff who are being honored Monday for their excellence and accomplishments:

Faculty Scholar Medals: Eric Hayot, Comparative Literature and Asian Studies, for Arts and Humanities; and Joan Richtsmeier, Anthropology, for Health and Life Sciences. Click here for full story.


Graduate Program Chair Leadership Award: David G. Atwill, History and Asian Studies. Click here for full story.

President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Integration: Paul Clark, Labor and Employment Relations. Click here for full story.

Dr. James Robinson Equal Opportunity Award: José Soto, Psychology. Click here for full story.

Support Staff Award: Lynn Sebulsky, Office of Research and Graduate Studies. Click here for full story.

McKay Donkin Award: Mark Luellen, Alumni Relations and Development. Click here for full story.

Congratulations to student award winners

Mar 21, 2014

There is exciting news about several Liberal Arts undergraduate and graduate students being recognized with 2014 University awards for excellence.

Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Awards: Anne Kretsinger-Harries, Communication Arts and Sciences; Kristopher Lotier, English; Ryan Pollock, philosophy; Andrew Stafford, French and Francophone Studies. Full story

John Oswald Awards and special categories:Scholarship: Cortlyn Hagman, Anthropology, Political Science, and Spanish; and Journalism/Mass Media: Jessica Tully, Journalism and Political Science. Full story

Jackson Lethbridge Tolerance Award: Charisma Ricksy, African American Studies and Criminology. Full story:

Asia and East-West relations focus of new department

Mar 18, 2014

The Department of Asian Studies is reshaping undergraduate and graduate coursework at Penn State and faculty and student research projects to analyze and understand the trans-regional issues facing Asia and the United States.Click here for the full story.

Personal tools
Log in