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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.

Anthropology faculty to co-direct new carbon-14 dating lab

Douglas Kennett, professor of anthropology, and Katherine Freeman, Distinguished Professor of Geosciences, will head a new AMS Carbon-14 Laboratory, which is expected to be fully operational in early 2016. Archaeologists, environmental scientists, and other researchers produce thousands of potential AMS carbon-14 samples each year, but only two other high-precision AMS facilities exist in the United States, and access to them is limited. It can take up to six months to have a sample tested. The new Penn State lab, featuring a powerful Pelletron® accelerator built by the Wisconsin-based National Electrostatics Corporation, should ease that crunch considerably.

"This new facility will improve our ability to study human-environmental interactions where chronology is key," adds Kennett. "It will be helpful in areas where we really need to know the order of events." For example, mammoths went extinct near the end of the last Ice Age, but whether the changing climate, disease, humans, or a comet impact did them in is a matter of debate that might be resolved with more precise dating techniques.

Click here for full story.

English professor details maritime culture on whaling ship

Penn State Associate Professor of English Hester Blum has posted an essay about her 18 hours last summer on a restored 19th-century wooden whaling ship as part of her research on and interest in maritime culture and nautical storytelling. In this essay, she explores the challenges of being an academic in the physically unfamiliar and challenging territory of sailors. Click here for the story.

History faculty named Penn State Laureate

Carol Reardon, the George Winfree Professor of American History, has been named the Penn State Laureate for the 2015-16 academic year. The Penn State Laureate, an honorary position established in 2008, is a full-time faculty member in the humanities or the arts who is assigned half-time for one academic year to bring an enhanced level of social, cultural, artistic and human perspective and awareness to a broad array of audiences.

“Carol’s scholarship and teaching on military history, Civil War strategy, and leadership have helped shape our nation’s understanding of military conflicts,” said Penn State President Eric Barron. “She is an engaging speaker with great stories about Gettysburg, Vietnam and other wars; she is sure to make a lasting impact on our community during her laureate year.”  Click here for the full story.

Spanish and linguistics professor receives honor

John M. Lipski, the Edwin Earle Sparks Professor of Spanish and Linguistics, received the Order of Don Quijote, the highest honor conferred by Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.Click here for the full story.

Rock Ethics Institute honors 3 students with 2015 Stand Up Award

Penn State students Melissa McCleery, Carolyn McDonald and Parker Werns are being honored respectively for their work in helping to prevent sexual violence; poverty; and discrimination against the LGBT community. The Penn State Rock Ethics Institute created the Stand Up Award in 2008 to honor Penn State undergraduate students who have the courage and fortitude to take an ethical stand for a person, cause or belief and thereby demonstrate ethical leadership.

"With this award, we celebrate students who honor their convictions by standing up for what they believe is right," said Sarah Clark Miller, acting director of the Rock Ethics Institute. "Through their individual stories, they teach us all about the importance of ethical leaders who rise to the challenge of living and acting with everyday courage in an increasingly complicated world.” Click here for the full story.

Liberal arts faculty, staff honored by University

Congratulations to Rich Carlson, Richard Doyle, and Dana Seballos on their accomplishments!

The Undergraduate Program Leadership Award: Richard (Rich) A. Carlson, associate head and director of undergraduate studies and professor of psychology, The College of the Liberal Arts

The Alumni/Student Award for Excellence in Teaching (2015 Penn State Teaching Fellows): Jane C. Charlton, professor of astronomy and astrophysics, Eberly College of Science; Richard Doyle, Liberal Arts Research Professor of English, The College of the Liberal Arts; and Allen Larson, associate professor of communications, Penn State New Kensington

The Dr. James Robinson Equal Opportunity Award: Danna Jayne M. Seballos, assistant director for the World in Conversation Center, College of the Liberal Arts

Public radio explores course on Ferguson issues

NPR One and WPSU public radio broadcast a story on the African American studies course "The Fire This Time" analyzing the many issues surrounding Ferguson, Missouri, incidents. Click here for the radio story.  An earlier release on the course is here.  Faculty video interviews for the course can be viewed at this site.

Psychology, sociology ranks high in NSF rankings

In the most recent institutional rankings released by the National Science Foundation of total research expenditures for science and engineering, Penn State stands second in the nation, behind only Johns Hopkins and tied with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the number of fields in which it is ranked in the top ten.

Psychology and sociology ranked the top 3 of their fields. Click here for the full story.

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