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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.

Anthy faculty analyze 3-D images

Mar 05, 2014

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.

Archaeological science student among top Penn Staters

Mar 05, 2014

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. 

Larry and Lynne Brown endow Democracy Medal

Feb 24, 2014

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.

Students Have a Voice: Assessment of Academic Advising

Feb 21, 2014

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.

PhD survey tracks placements since 1996

Feb 13, 2014

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.

2 faculty named Distinguished Professors

Feb 10, 2014

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.


Historic Burrowes building set for renovation

Jan 31, 2014

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.

Penn State joins Humanities Without Walls project

Jan 27, 2014

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:

Political science graduate named Distinguished Alumnus

Jan 22, 2014

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.

3 faculty awarded NEH fellowships

Jan 13, 2014
3 faculty awarded NEH fellowships

Debra Hawhee, Hester Blum, and Janina Safran

Congratulations to Hester Blum, Debra Hawhee, and Janina Safran for being awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships to continue their research projects. "NEH Fellowships awards reflect the exceptional scholarship that distinguishes the College of the Liberal Arts and the University as a world-class university," said Susan Welch, the Susan Welch Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts. ''Penn State undergraduates also benefit from this pursuit of new knowledge, which enriches the outstanding teaching being done by our faculty and their graduate students, and has the potential to provide undergraduate research opportunities.''  Click here for full story.

In memoriam

Dec 18, 2013

William Pencak

A memorial service for William Pencak, Penn State professor emeritus of American history and Jewish studies, will be held at 2 p.m.  Saturday, Jan. 18, in Eisenhower Chapel of the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, on the University Park campus. Bill passed away Dec. 9, 2013, following surgery. A great collaborator with friends and colleagues, he was well-known for his support of young historians, working with 30 Ph.D. students and directing seven students. More information can be found here.


Herman Cohen

Herman Cohen, professor emeritus of speech communication, died on Dec. 22, 2013 at age 88.  For many years at Penn State, he served as professor and head of the Department of Speech Communication.  In 1975, Herman was president of the Speech Communication Association. More information can be found here.

Programs partner to help international students

Dec 18, 2013

The College's Intensive English Communication Program collaborates with the Transition Partners Program to provide student mentors to international students attending a U.S. university. ICEP students work with peer student partners who provide practice speaking English, learn about American cultural traditions and practices and generally feel more at home while far from home. IECP is affiliated with the Department of Applied Linguistics, and Transition Partners Program is part of the Office of Global Programs. Click here for the full story.

Psychology major named college marshal

Dec 13, 2013

Nicole A. Colón-Quintana, a psychology and journalism major, has been selected as the student marshal to represent the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State's Fall 2013 commencement ceremony, set for Dec. 21 at the Bryce Jordan Center. A resident of Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Nicole is the daughter of Hector Colon and Marta Quintana. The faculty marshal who will accompany her is Dr. Paola Giuli Dussias, Professor of Spanish, Linguistics, and Psychology.

Nicole will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She plans to attend graduate school and obtain a PhD in clinical psychology. She hopes that her research can advance mental health services for the Latino population.

During her time at Penn State, Nicole was a member of the Presidential Leadership Academy, an Executive Committee Member for the Asian/Hispanic/African/Native American (AHANA) student organization, a Resident Assistant, and a volunteer with Global Medical Brigades. She founded the Oye! bilingual newsletter in 2010 and served as its Editor-in-Chief through 2012. Her numerous honors include The Evan Pugh Scholar Award, The President Sparks Award, and the President’s Freshman Award, all of which recognize the undergraduates with the highest academic achievements.

For more information on the Fall 2013 commencement ceremonies, visit the Commencement at University Park website.

Penn State expands faculty in ethics literacy

Dec 03, 2013

Penn State is embarking on a transformative effort to establish itself as a leader in interdisciplinary ethics research and ethical literacy, with plans to make 12 tenure-track appointments across an array of academic disciplines over three years. The positions will be co-funded by the University and the academic colleges. Nick Jones, executive vice president and provost, said “This work is critical to our goal to produce the next generation of thought leaders. Penn State has a strong record of accomplishment in ethics education and research, and these new recruitments will further position the University as a leader in this arena.”

All appointees will work primarily in their home departments but have partial appointments in the Penn State Rock Ethics Institute. The goal will be to integrate ethics into research projects in the sciences, engineering, humanities, and social sciences, to integrate ethical analyses into policy-relevant research, and to enhance collaborations with colleges 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.

Big Data Social Science IGERT Program - Call for Applications

Nov 21, 2013

We are pleased to announce the call for applications for the BDSS IGERT program traineeships, 2014-2016 Cohort. Information can be found at the program website ( for requirements and the application form. Faculty and advisors - please feel free to share this information with students who may be interested in applying. All application materials are due by 5:00p on Dec. 18th to Kristy Boob ( If you have questions, please contact the program coordinator, Dee Bagshaw (

Conference on Migration and Language

Nov 18, 2013

The Migration and Language Conference will be held Nov. 22, 2013, in the Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library.The conference is organized by the Migration Studies Project, Penn State University, and co-sponsored by University Libraries, Penn State, and The Worldwide Universities Network. Among the speakers are faculty from The Chinese University of Hong Kong; University of York, UK; Boston University; University of Pittsburgh; University of Leeds, UK; and University of Wisconsin.

In Memoriam

Nov 15, 2013

Farewell to Dan Walden, Professor Emeritus of English, American studies, and comparative literature, and a long-time affiliate faculty member in Jewish studies, who died Nov. 8, 2013. He was a pioneer in establishing Jewish studies as a field of study, both at Penn State and nationally. He also established African American studies as a disciplinary field at Penn State. Click here for the full obituary.

Democracy Institute launches new prize for innovations in democracy

Nov 15, 2013

The Penn State Democracy Institute announces a call for nominations for the inaugural Penn State Democracy Medal to recognize exceptional innovations that advance the design and practice of democracy. The goal is to celebrate and publicize each year the best work being done by individuals or groups to advance democracy in the United States or throughout the world. Medal recipients also will receive a $5,000 award.  Nominations are being accepted now through Dec. 10, 2013.

There will be two categories: practical innovations, and democratic concepts and ideas, alternating the winner from one category each year. Starting in 2014, the Democracy Institute will select a medal recipient based on practical innovations, such as new institutions, laws, technologies or movements that advance democracy. Starting in 2015, the award will celebrate advances in democratic theory that provide richer philosophical or empirical conceptions of democracy. Click here for the full story.

2013 holiday schedule

Nov 12, 2013

Thanksgiving Day

The Thanksgiving holiday will be on Thursday, Nov. 28. Friday, Nov. 29 should be noted on staff time cards as “Official Campus Closure” (per President Erickson, the University will be closed).


December/January Holidays

This year, Dec. 25 will fall on a Wednesday, as will January 1, 2014. The official University holiday period begins Monday, Dec. 23 and ends Wednesday, Jan. 1. Weekdays during that period are official University holidays – with the notable exception, however, of Tuesday, Dec. 31, which is not a University holiday.

In order to provide a generally more desirable and efficient application of time off, University offices and facilities, except for essential services, will be closed Dec. 31 as well. Staff will need to account for the time appropriately, e.g., with vacation or no pay. Therefore, the University will be closed from the end of normal operations on Friday, Dec. 20 and will reopen on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.

HR benefits Update

Nov 12, 2013

Take Care of Your Health Initiative and Reward

For more information on the latest update, please visit

Time to Choose Benefits Enrollment is from 11/1/13-11/22/13

For more information, please go to


Important: If eligible faculty/staff do not visit the Employee Self-Service Information Center (ESSIC) and make benefit elections, they will be defaulted into the PPO Blue Plan (if already enrolled) and assessed surcharges. ESSIC does not support mobile devices. If faculty/staff wish to change/update personal or benefit information, they must use a laptop or desktop computer:

Psychology faculty part of national mental health summit

Nov 12, 2013

Kenneth Levy, associate professor of psychology at Penn State, joined former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Vice President Joe Biden, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Chelsea Clinton to celebrate the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s Community Mental Health Act at the inaugural meeting of the Kennedy Forum last month in Boston.

Working with Congressman Kennedy, Levy, a noted treatment and psychotherapy researcher, has been consulting on the implications of the existing mental health treatment data for the provision of mental health services. He said he "looks forward to future collaboration with Congressman Patrick Kennedy in working to establish parity guidelines that will assure those suffering from psychological difficulties receive the quality mental health care that they both need and deserve."  Click here for full story.

Stand Up awards honor student ethical leadership

Nov 12, 2013

The Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State is seeking nominations for its seventh annual Stand-Up Awards in recognition of undergraduate students at Penn State’s campuses who have demonstrated ethical leadership in taking a stand for a person, cause or belief. The goal of the award is to recognize courageous individuals and to inform the entire Penn State community of how often the extraordinary act is possible in ordinary circumstances. Selected honorees will receive an award of $1,000 each, will be recognized at a spring 2014 ceremony and in a short video, and will be highlighted in traditional and digital publicity throughout the University.

Any faculty, staff, student or community member at any Penn State campus may nominate undergraduate students who are ethical leaders and have accomplished much during their time at Penn State. For example, in 2013, The Rock honored seniors Taryn Noll and Gizelle Studevent. Noll created a support group at the University Park campus to help students cope with family illnesses or crises. Studevent organized a group to help young people learn about and address the problem of bullying. Click here for the full story.

New course on social media and politics

Nov 08, 2013

Do you use social media? Are you interested in the role of social media in politics? Then CAS 272: Political Communication & Technology is the course for you! Create video mashups and a campaign for a candidate or a non profit of your choice. Write blogs, tweet and talk about viral politics, cyberactivism, and smart mobs. Register for Spring 2014 now.

Former White House adviser to speak on budget crisis

Nov 07, 2013

Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policies Priorities and former economic adviser to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, will speak on  “Making Sense of the Budget Crisis” at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library. His talk is part of the Penn State Democracy Institute’s lecture series. Co-sponsored by the University Libraries, the event is free and open to the public.

Bernstein will speak on the 2013 budget and deficit ceiling crises, as well as those that loom on the horizon for 2014. He will offer an analysis that draws on his experience as economic adviser and policy analyst in the Obama administration. An extended question-and-answer session will follow the talk.

Penn State Democracy Institute brings together the top faculty and graduate students in several disciplines to develop knowledge and training that will provide legislators, policymakers, voters and the public with better ways to improve debate, discussions and governing in our country. Click here for full story.

Dick Lippin makes major gift for ethical learning project

Oct 30, 2013

Penn State alumnus Richard (Dick) Lippin has made a gift of $150,000 to support the development of pioneering, new technology-based learning resources so that parents, teachers, and child care providers nationwide can help young children understand the how and why of acting ethically and morally.

The Lippin Family Fund provided the funding to promote moral development and ethical behavior in young children in the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State. The fund will support a partnership between the Rock Ethics Institute and the Child Study Center, both leading research centers based at Penn State, to create and test innovative resources that will promote the development of social and emotional management skills and moral and ethical behavior in children ages 3-7.

“There are few, if any, early childhood programs in the country that focus on children’s ethical learning,” Lippin said. “Existing programs focus primarily on enhancing academic skills such as reading and writing. There is a nationwide gap in current programs, and Penn State has the opportunity to fill that gap and become a national leader in nurturing children’s overall moral well-being. '' Click here for the full story.

Eric Silver to present teaching lecture

Oct 25, 2013

Eric Silver, Penn State professor of sociology and criminology, will give a presentation titled “Elephants in the Classroom: How I Talk About Difficult Topics, and Why” as part of an annual lecture on outstanding teaching at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, in the Foster Auditorium, Pattee Library, on the University Park campus. Co-sponsored by the Social Sciences Library, the talk is free and open to the public. Silver is the inaugural recipient of the Malvin and Lea Bank Outstanding Teaching Award in the College of the Liberal Arts. The annual award was established with a generous gift by Mal and Lea Bank, who are alumni and longtime benefactors of the College of the Liberal Arts and Penn State.Click here for the full story.

Author to talk on democracy in Islam and the West

Oct 21, 2013

Anne Norton, professor of political science and comparative literature at the University of Pennsylvania, will speak “On the Muslim Question” as part of the Penn State Democracy Institute’s lecture series. The talk will be held Wednesday, Oct. 23, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in 111 Wartik Building, on Penn State’s University Park campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Norton will discuss the compatibility between democracy, the West, and Islam, as well as challenge Islamophobia by focusing on the values of Western civilization, similar to the topic of her latest book “On the Muslim Question.” Her other books include Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire; 95 Theses on Politics, Culture, and Method; and Republic of Signs.

Based in the College of the Liberal Arts, the Penn State Democracy Institute brings together the top faculty and graduate students in several disciplines to develop knowledge and training that will provide legislators, policymakers, voters, and the public with better ways to improve debate, discussions, and governing in our country. Through teaching, creative research projects, and public programs, the Democracy Institute will explore better routes to deciding controversial issues, like healthcare and environmental regulation, and address how government can become more responsive to the people.


For more information on the Democracy Institute, go to

African American studies launches dual-title PhD

Oct 18, 2013

Penn State’s Department of African American Studies has launched a new dual-title doctoral degree program in African-American and diaspora studies, training future professors and scholars to teach about and study the history and culture of nearly 1 billion people of African descent in key regions around the world.

"The new waves of transnational migrations of black people from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa to the United States, Europe, and elsewhere have increasingly influenced the interdependent contemporary world and its diverse patterns and politics of representation," said Paul Taylor, head of the African American Studies Department and associate professor of philosophy. "These new population movements have compelled scholars to rethink conventional debates about freedom, citizenship, experience, and knowledge. Our new Ph.D. program will train students to teach and produce new knowledge on understanding the forces that shape and link the worlds of African descended populations, beginning with the U.S. and the broader Americas, but also in Europe and Asia." Click here for the full story.

Dean, distinguished professor make leadership gifts

Oct 14, 2013

Susan Welch, dean of the College of the Liberal Arts, and Alan Booth, distinguished professor of sociology, human development, and demography, have made new leadership gifts to Penn State to support outstanding graduate students, faculty, and staff in the college.

Over the past two decades, Susan and Alan established endowments to support current research and professional development activities for graduate students in the liberal arts and for graduate and undergraduate students in sociology. During the University’s current capital campaign, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, Susan and Alan have donated in excess of $500,000 in current and deferred gifts.

Alan will create a graduate student research fund in sociology through an estate commitment, which will fund the purchases of new technology or software, research travel, and support for graduate students. Susan  will expand a graduate fund named in honor of her parents, which recognizes academic excellence by graduate students throughout the College of the Liberal Arts.

Through a multi-year commitment, Susan also is endowing a new staff recognition award, in honor of Ron Filippelli, retired associate dean and professor of labor studies and employment relations. The Filippelli Award will support a full-time member of the Liberal Arts staff who is pursuing a degree at Penn State. In addition, Susan is creating a new endowment to honor outstanding research in the social sciences by the faculty in the College of the Liberal Arts. This award will be named for Ray Lombra, special adviser to the dean and professor of economics. Ray served the College of the Liberal Arts as associate dean for more than 18 years.Click here for the full story.

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