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Faith, science relationship key to evolution teaching

Discussing the relationship between science and faith, rather than avoiding the discussion, may better prepare future high school biology teachers for anticipating questions about evolution, according to political scientists Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer. In a series of focus group meetings with biology students at four Pennsylvania institutions -- three universities and a college -- students from a Catholic college appeared to be more reflective when talking about issues of faith and science.

"We suspect these students are somewhat less anxious around discussions of faith and science that come up in biology classes," said Berkman, professor of political science and director of the Center for American Political Responsiveness. Click here for the full story.

Sociologists study children of undocumented immigrants

Children of undocumented Mexican immigrants have a significantly higher risk of behavior problems than their co-ethnic counterparts with documented or naturalized citizen mothers, according to a team of sociologists. Nancy S. Landale, Liberal Arts Research Professor of Sociology and Demography, notes "We found that treating Mexican children with immigrant parents as a single undifferentiated group masks important differences in outcomes by parental legal status." Click here for the full story.

Anthropology researchers examine prehistoric societies

Anthropology faculty George Milner and George Chaplin found there is a  need to study larger areas of land and link those studies to measurable environmental, societal and demographic changes to understand variations in prehistoric societies. The large areas are necessary to fully understand human behavioral response to social and environmental events. Click here for the full story.

Professor of English receives honorary doctorate

Cheryl Glenn, Liberal Arts Research Professor of English and Women's Studies, recently received an honorary doctorate from Örebro University, Sweden, for her contributions to the humanities, specifically to the study of gender and rhetoric. A leading scholar-teacher of rhetoric and writing, Glenn focuses on women’s contributions to rhetoric as well as rhetorics of silence and listening. Click here for full story.

LER report cites threats faced by El Salvador workers

Mark Anner, associate professor of labor and employment relations and the director of the Center for Global Workers’ Rights, has spent several years researching worker movements and labor practices in El Salvador.  He and his colleague conducted a series of in-depth interviews from 2012 to 2013 with workers, representatives from union and worker organizations, factory monitors, lawyers and labor rights experts, as well as factory owners and managers. The researchers presented their findings in a recent report published through a joint effort between the Center for Global Workers' Rights and the Worker Rights Consortium. Click here for the full story.

Historians describe non-Roman Briton culture

History has never been too kind to a group of early British Isle inhabitants referred to as the Picts, but the often mischaracterized, always mysterious people may serve as a historical laboratory to explore how the island's culture might have developed without Roman intervention, according to Benjamin Hudson, professor of history and medieval studies. He writes about the group in his new book, The Picts, (Wiley Blackwell). Click here for the full story.

English graduate earns Fulbright to Germany

Laura Dzwonczyk graduated in May 2014 as a Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master's degree in International Affairs. She is now a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Germany. Click here for her story.

LER's Center on Global Workers Rights (CGWR) Releases First Research Report

LER's CGWR has just issued its first Research Report.  Issued in conjunction with the Workers' Rights Consortium (of which Penn State is a member), the report focuses on the brutal and violent measures being used to suppress workers' rights and human rights in El Salvador.  The report is co-authored by Professor and Center Director Mark Anner and provides evidence that employers are using fear, intimidation, corruption, and even violent street gangs, against labor leaders and activists trying to exercise their legal rights to organize unions. 

The report will be released this week and we are hopeful it will receive significant media coverage and draw attention to this human rights crisis.  The report is available at

World Campus launches master's degree in psychology of leadership

A new Penn State online master’s degree will help current and aspiring business and organizational leaders learn leadership skills to enhance the motivation, attitudes and performance of their employees. The Master of Professional Studies in psychology of leadership at work is offered by the Department of Psychology in the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts and delivered online by Penn State World Campus. Click here for the full story.

Roger Finke named Distinguished Professor

Congratulations to Dr. Roger Finke, who was named Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies. He will be honored at a ceremony later this year. Please join us in congratulating Roger! Click here for the full list of new Distinguished Professors. Click here for Roger's profile.


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