Karen Bierman, McCourtney Professor of Child Studies, was recently named an Evan Pugh University Professor - the highest honor which can be bestowed upon Penn State faculty (Photo: Christie Clancy)
April 28, 2016—Karen Bierman, McCourtney Professor of Child Studies and director of the Penn State Child Study Center, was one of three Penn State faculty members recently named Evan Pugh University Professor.
Being appointed an Evan Pugh University Professor is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a university faculty member. Only 71 faculty members, including the most recent honorees, have received this distinction since its establishment in 1960. It was created to honor preeminent professors at the University.
Faculty who are named Evan Pugh University Professors are nationally or internationally recognized leaders in their fields of research or creative activity; demonstrate significant leadership in raising the standards of the University with respect to teaching, research or creativity, and service; display excellent teaching skills with undergraduate and graduate students who go on to achieve distinction in their fields; and receive support from colleagues who are leaders in their fields.
Seven Penn State alumni and a Penn State faculty member were honored for their distinguished careers and service during the college's 2016 Alumni Awards ceremony on April 15 (Photos: Kathy Swidwa)
April 21, 2016—The Penn State College of the Liberal Arts honored several alumni and one of its faculty members during its annual Alumni Awards Ceremony, which took place April 15 at the Nittany Lion Inn.
“Liberal Arts has many talented alumni who are making a difference in their jobs, communities, and the world,” noted Susan Welch, dean of the College of the Liberal Arts. “It is exciting to be able to honor some each spring.
“Carrie Tendler, Richard Feldman, Mary O’Neill Marsh, Jeff and Sharon Hyde, Binney Wietlisbach, and Annette O’Donnell-Butner represent the best of a liberal arts education. I am also delighted we could honor Michael Berkman for his outstanding work with political science alumni.”
Three Outstanding Alumni Awards and the Chaiken Leadership Award were presented by the college, while three service awards were presented by the Liberal Arts Alumni Society Board of Directors. The 2016 honorees include:
The "Brain in Action" logo used by the Penn State Bilingualism and Language Development Lab at its booth at the 4th Annual Science and Engineering Festival held in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy of BiLD Lab)
April 20, 2016—The Bilingualism and Language Development (BiLD) Lab at Penn State recently represented the National Science Foundation (NSF) at the 4th Annual USA Science and Engineering Festival, which took place April 15-17 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
Founded by serial entrepreneur Larry Bock and Lockheed Martin, the USA Science & Engineering Festival—the nation’s largest science festival—was developed to ignite the next generation’s interest in considering careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). An estimated 350,000 people were expected to attend the three-day event, which featured nearly 3,000 hands-on activities and included a career pavilion where students could meet with scientists, representatives from leading universities and corporate recruiters to learn about internships, mentorships, scholarships, and after-school programs.
The BiLD Lab was one of only 26 NSF-supported projects, and one of the only two arts and humanities projects, to be selected to showcase its research in the NSF’s Exhibit Pavilion. Researchers in the BiLD lab study the neurocognitive processes related to language development, second language learning, and bilinguals’ use of two languages, with a particular emphasis on language development and bilingualism at middle childhood and beyond.
Jeremy Engels (left) and Bryan McDonald have been named Sherwin Early Career Professors in the Rock Ethics Institute (photos provided)
April 20, 2016—Two faculty members in the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts have been named Sherwin Early Career Professors in the college’s Rock Ethics Institute.
Jeremy Engels now holds the title Sherwin Early Career Professor in the Rock Ethics Institute and Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences, while Bryan McDonald now holds the title Sherwin Early Career Professor in the Rock Ethics Institute and Assistant Professor of History. Both appointments are effective March 2016 and continue until June 30, 2018.
“No two faculty members are more deserving of this award then Engels and McDonald,” said Nancy Tuana, DuPont/Class of 1949 Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies and director of the Rock Ethics Institute. “Both have already made important contributions to the Rock Ethics Institute and to ethical literacy at Penn State. This award both recognizes the value of the work in this domain and serves to support its continuation.”
“I am delighted we are able to support the ethics-focused work of Jeremy and Bryan and their collaboration with the Rocks Ethics Institute,” added Susan Welch, professor and dean of the College of the Liberal Arts.
Sherwin Early Career Professorships are awarded to promising faculty in the College of the Liberal Arts who have demonstrated an outstanding record of teaching, research, and service in the first part of their careers and whose work reflects the importance of integrating ethics into teaching and research. The appointment includes support to encourage further development of their ethics-related research and teaching programs. Full story ...
Aaron Rubin has been named a 2016 Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (photo provided).
April 11, 2016—Aaron Rubin, Malvin E. and Lea P. Bank Professor of Jewish Studies, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, and Linguistics at Penn State, has been named a 2016 Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Guggenheim Fellows are selected each year based on their prior accomplishments and demonstration of exceptional promise. The 178 scholars, artists, and scientists selected as 2016 Fellows were chosen from more than 3,000 candidates. Since its establishment in 1925, the Foundation has granted more than $334 million in Fellowships to more than 18,000 individuals, among whom are scores of Nobel laureates, Fields Medalists, Turing Award winners, poets laureate, members of the various national academies, winners of the Pulitzer Prize, and other important, internationally recognized honors.
“It’s exciting to name 178 new Guggenheim Fellows,” said Foundation President Edward Hirsch. “These artists and writers, scholars and scientists represent the best of the best. Each year since 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has bet everything on the individual, and we’re thrilled to continue to do so with this wonderfully talented and diverse group. It’s an honor to be able to support these individuals to do the work they were meant to do.” Full story ...
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.
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...
"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."
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 —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’ (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.
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.