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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: www.wpsu.org/live/liberalarts
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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)
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.
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
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.
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:
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.
Joan T. Richtsmeier, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Penn State, and her team looked at two sets of mice, each having a different mutation that causes Apert Syndrome in humans and causes similar cranial problems in the mice. Click here for the full story.
Kimberly Foecke, a senior in archaeological science, was one of 18 students highlighted for their accomplishments by Business Insider, a U.S. business and technology news web site. She is a research fellow at Smithsonian's Museum Conservation Institute. Click here for the full story.
Penn State alumni Larry and Lynne Brown have made a leadership gift to endow a new award that recognizes an outstanding individual, organization or a group of individuals for exceptional innovation in the advancement of democracy in the United States or around the world. The award will be coordinated by the Penn State Institute for Democracy. Each year, the award recipient or a representative of the honored organization will present a fall lecture series and interact with students at Penn State, with the lecture eventually being published for future study and teaching by scholars and students.
The Laurence and Lynne Brown Democracy Medal spotlights and honors the best work being done to advance democracy here and internationally. Under the award program, the Penn State Institute for Democracy will recognize practical innovations, such as new institutions, laws, technologies or movements that advance the cause of democracy. In addition, future awards will highlight advances in democratic theory that enrich philosophical or empirical conceptions of democracy.
Click here for the full story.
In March and April students who meet with their advisers in an appointment will have the opportunity to share what they learned in that meeting through a half-page survey. The survey will be anonymous and is intended to give advisers information about how well they are answering students' questions and conveying information that students need when developing an academic plan. Advisers will use the feedback to better prepare for future student appointments and to provide the resources that students need most. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey when you visit your adviser in March or April.
In a recent issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dean Susan Welch and Associate Dean Chris Long shared findings from their survey of Ph.D. placements across 16 graduate programs in the humanities and social sciences since 1996. There are now records on nearly 1,600 of Ph.D.’s from the College of the Liberal Arts.The College began collecting the data in a quest to measure one important indicator of the success of a Ph.D. program. Over the years, these data, among others, have informed the College's financial decisions about graduate education and whether to decrease or increase the size of specific programs.
Click here for the full article.
Robert C. Marshall, Department of Economics, and Joan T. Richtsmeier, Department of Anthropology, recently were named Distinguished Professors by Penn State. Distinguished professors have demonstrated significant leadership in raising the standards of the University with respect to teaching, research or creative activity, and service; and contributed significantly to the education of students who subsequently have achieved recognition of excellence in their fields.
Bob is Head of the Department of Economics and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Auctions, Procurements, and Competition Policy at Penn State. He is a recognized leader in the areas of industrial organization, collusion, applied game theory, auctions, and procurements. His 2011 Michigan Law Review paper, “Plus Factors in Agreements in Antitrust Law” won the Jerry S. Cohen Memorial Fund Writing Award for best antitrust scholarship of 2011.
His book co-authored with Leslie M. Marx is titled The Economics of Collusion: Cartels and Bidding Rings (MIT Press, 2012). He has served on two panels for the National Research Council and he is on the editorial board of the Journal of Antitrust Enforcement.
Joan is a leading biological anthropologist in the U.S. She has authored a book , “Statistical Analysis of Shapes” with her collaborator Subhash Lele and conducts cutting-edge research in genetics and developmental biology, with a focus on the genetic bases of craniosynostosis and Down syndrome. Her work with mouse models of these diseases has led to discoveries of how changes at the cellular level contribute to craniofacial dysmorphology. She also holds faculty appointments in the Graduate Program in Genetics and the IBIOS Graduate Program Option in Bioinformatics and Genomics of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.
Joan is an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology; a standing member of the National Institutes of Health Skeletal Biology and Developmental Disorders Study section, Center for Scientific Review; and President of the Society for Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology.
For the full story and complete list, click here.
Burrowes Building, one of Penn State's landmark buildings on the Pattee Mall, is scheduled for renovation starting in mid to late February. After two years of careful planning and the recent authorization by the Board of Trustees, the project will begin construction to update electrical, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems as well as reconfigure office and classroom space for greater efficiency and access.
Burrowes is home to the Department of English and the School of Languages and Literatures, which recently moved to temporary spaces on campus and downtown State College.
“This project has been a very successful collaboration with the engineers, architects and specialists from the Office of Physical Plant and two planning committees involving our faculty and staff in the college,” said Susan Welch, the Susan Welch Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts. “Once completed, the project will transform the space for greater learning and scholarship by our faculty and students, will preserve the central building’s historic appearance and will improve Burrowes’ face on the mall by redesigning the connectors.”
Click here for the full story.
The Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Penn State is a member of the new Humanities Without Walls consortium, a consortium of 15 universities encompassing the following Committee on Institutional Cooperation institutions (Penn State, Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, Illinois,Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern and Chicago), as well as the University of Illinois at Chicago and Notre Dame. Founded in 1966, Penn State’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities is one of the oldest and most distinctive interdisciplinary centers in the nation and is one of a handful of universities whose interdisciplinary institute was designed from the outset to bring together innovative work in the arts and humanities– under one roof, across two colleges: the Liberal Arts and Arts and Architecture.
Read the full story: http://news.psu.edu/link/YfN7pFTb
Steven H. Brose, a 1969 political science graduate, was named a Penn State Distinguished Alumnus, which is the highest award given by the University in recognition of alumni who have achieved major accomplishments in their professions and made significant contributions to their communities.
Steve is a renowned attorney and partner with the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C., where he heads the Regulatory and Industry Affairs Department. He is a recognized leader in the field of energy regulation, particularly the oil and gas pipeline industry, and has served as lead counsel in a number of the most complex oil pipeline matters to come before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He has served on expert task forces for the World Bank and AID involving pipeline projects in other nations and is chair-elect of the American Bar Association’s Section on Public Utilities, Communication, and Transportation Law. He also is active in pro bono work for his law firm, currently helping a death row inmate to secure a new trial.
On behalf of Penn State and the College of the Liberal Arts, Steve has provided key leadership to the Grand Destiny Campaign and the current For the Future campaign. For example, he and his wife, Jan, endowed a distinguished lecture and book series in 1998 in the Richards Civil War Era Center. The original scholarship from the series has contributed to the Center’s growing reputation as a national leader. A pivotal member of the Board of Visitors, Steve and Jan also created a graduate scholarship for outstanding graduate students and an estate commitment for an endowed professorship in American history.
Steve has been a major inspiration to the Liberal Arts Development Council and the College of the Liberal Arts, especially through a national recession and the recent scandals. Under his leadership in this campaign, the College was the first college within its peer group to surpass their campaign goal by double of the amount raised in the last campaign.
The Distinguished Awards will be presented by Penn State at a ceremony in late spring 2014.