Archived News Stories
Students talk about Engaged Scholarships, benefits and opportunities
November 18, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – From serving as president of the Nittany Lion Fund to interning at Super Bowl XLIX, Penn State students are always moving beyond the classroom and furthering their studies with real-life experiences.
Ten “lightening” presenters took to the stage during the Engaged Scholarship Expo in Heritage Hall last night, inspiring students in a series of brief speeches to follow their academic passions. During the second half of the expo, students gave presentations about their extra-curricular experiences in the Noontime Lounge as well.
“Engaged scholarship is out-of-classroom learning experiences that complement classroom learning,” Janine Gautiere, marketing communications chair for the Council on Engaged Scholarship, said. “What we’re really looking at in engaged scholarship is practical application of the skills that are learned in the classroom.”
Student completes NSF International Research Experience in Austria
November 12, 2015
READING, Pa. – Penn State Berks biochemistry and molecular biology major Margaret “Maggie” Neiman completed a National Science Foundation (NSF) International Research Experience for Undergraduates (iREU) at the University of Graz, Austria, in August 2015. Offered through Syracuse University, this competitive summer research program is for students who have a serious interest in chemistry and prior research experience.
Neiman’s summer research experience focused on X-ray crystallography, a tool used for identifying the atomic and molecular structure of a crystal. She studied how the single crystal X-ray diffraction machine works, learned how to operate computer programs to build chemical structures, and analyzed various chemical samples.
“My NSF-iREU experience opened my eyes to not only other techniques and aspects of chemistry, but also to the many cultures found throughout Europe. This experience gave me more knowledge of chemistry and its applications in order to succeed within my career,” said Neiman, who is currently a senior.
Students to solve global engineering challenges as Grand Challenge Scholars
November 3, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Chemical engineering student Nicole Bernstein and bioengineering student Nick Frazzette are leaders in a new program that will allow students to take the skills they learn in the classroom at Penn State and solve real-world engineering challenges across the globe.
Bernstein and Frazzette are the first students in Penn State’s implementation of its own Grand Challenge Scholars Program — a combined curricular and extra-curricular program with five components that are designed to prepare students to be the generation that solves the grand challenges facing society in this century.
Journalism students travel to Hong Kong for real-world international reporting experience
October 13, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In late 2014, protesters flooded the streets of Hong Kong in opposition to proposed reforms to the region’s electoral system. Known as the Umbrella Revolution, the movement made international headlines.
Penn State College of Communications Foster Professor of Writing and Editing Tony Barbieri, course leader of an international reporting class that takes an annual trip abroad, said this was one of the reasons he chose Hong Kong as the class’ spring 2015 destination.
Political science students, faculty work to advance human rights research.
McCourtney Institute for Democracy funds project to bring more than 14,000 human rights reports online
October 12, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For decades, organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Lawyer’s Committee for Human Rights, and the United States Department of State have compiled reports on human rights around the globe. This summer, Chris Fariss, assistant professor of political science at Penn State, along with a team of graduate and undergraduate students, digitized more than 14,000 of these reports and made them publicly accessible online.
“This information has been publicly available for years, but this is the first time it will be publicly accessible in digital form,” said Fariss, the Jeffrey L. Hyde and Sharon D. Hyde and Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professor in Political Science.
Electrical engineering student does collaborative work in robotics lab
October 8, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Growing up with an electrical engineer as a father, Chris Miller, a Penn State senior from Audubon, knew at a young age that he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an electrical engineer. He’d tinker around with his dad’s tools and create his own projects. When his father passed away, he continued to use the gadgets and felt they helped him cope with his grief.
As a first-year engineering student at University Park, Miller knew he wanted to earn his degree in electrical engineering, had a four-year plan laid out, and was focused on working in robotics. But during his first semester, while searching for labs on campus, he stumbled upon one in the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering: the Intelligent Vehicles and Systems Group advised by Associate Professor Sean Brennan. Miller applied to join, and by his sophomore year he was the lead electrical engineer working on creating an autonomous wheelchair for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, patients, alongside Brennan and a graduate student.
“Dr. Brennan has really given me a unique opportunity,” said Miller. “I get to build hardware, write software, debug circuits and design algorithms. I feel like I’ve become a jack-of-all-trades in robotics. I’m working on one end goal but I get to work on various tasks and learn a lot to get there.”
Students explore global sustainability challenges in EMS LEAP course
September 11, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In one of her first experiences as a Penn State student, Callan Glover went caving in Jamaica to see the island’s underground aquifer system.
“We learned about Jamaica’s water system and how that relates to sustainability on the island. We got to see underground aquifers where water goes. It was a great first-hand experience,” said Glover, a first-year student majoring in geosciences.
Glover and 14 other first-year Penn State students spent a week in Jamaica as part of their Learning Edge Academic Program (LEAP) offered through the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS).
Penn State Brandywine students contribute to national science wiki
September 4, 2015
MEDIA, Pa. — The ideal pairing of Penn State Brandywine communication arts and sciences major Mattie Mylonas and former Brandywine geography student Judy Smith has resulted in a project that will help students, researchers, professionals and educators learn about geology and geophysics.
With guidance from Laura Guertin, professor of earth sciences, Smith and Mylonas teamed up to create a series of geology and geophysics “101” information pages for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists’ (SEG) wiki page.
Student-built bridge provides access to education, health care in rural Panama
July 14, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Members of the Penn State student chapter of Bridges to Prosperity have returned home after constructing a pedestrian footbridge near the remote village of Tucuecito, Panama.
“Overall, the trip went really well,” said project manager Jacob Rausch, senior in civil engineering. “We really connected with the community, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that we all learned a lot and grew as individuals.”
The 10 students spent four weeks in Tucuecito, a poverty-stricken village roughly four hours southwest of Panama City, assembling the framework for the new bridge, which is 30 meters long and one meter wide.
National Park offers unique opportunities to students
July 9, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — On any given day Penn State student Cassidy Crawford is responsible for opening and closing a visitor center and all things in between at Jenny Lake — Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
“I spend time behind the Jenny Lake Visitor Center desk answering questions about the trail system, wildflowers, wildlife, and geology,” Crawford said. “I also spend time developing programs and studying the ecology and natural history.”
Bridging the rift between classroom and online learning
June 15, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The group of engineering students is getting rowdy.
Gathered in the Design Analysis Technology Advancement (DATA) Laboratory at Penn State University Park, they joke and laugh as they prepare their virtual reality demo, teasing and poking fun at each other. A nearby microwave sports a sign reading, “For Food Only,” hinting at the type of mischief the room has seen.
But the students are definitely serious about their studies. When it comes to the project — funded by a Center for Online Innovation in Learning (COIL) Research Initiation Grant (RIG) — they’re working on with assistant professor of engineering design and industrial engineering Conrad Tucker, they’re all business.
Student Stories: Water world: Fisheries major interns at aquarium
June 9, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Back in high school, Taylor Marino volunteered at the Pittsburgh Zoo with the hope that one day she would score a dream internship at the zoo’s aquarium. In spring 2015, the Wildlife and Fisheries Science major made that dream a reality when she was offered a Saltwater Aquarium internship at the zoo.
Penn State World Campus student completes her studies while traveling the world
June 8, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Exploring the Swiss Alps, working with American diplomats around the world and living in a rural village in West Africa are just a few of the adventures Hannah Hernandez has experienced while she has been a Penn State World Campus student.
The 22-year-old native of Tucson, Arizona, has worked abroad and pursued her degree through World Campus since she was 19. She is majoring in letters, arts, and sciences with a concentration in international security and plans to graduate in fall 2015.
Student Stories: Sold on Snakes — Environmental major interns at ecology center
June 4, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Delainey Loedding found herself in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, last summer with her hands full — of snakes. She interned with the Urban Ecology Center, a small nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting community members to nature through habitat restoration, environmental education and citizen science.
Loedding, a December 2014 graduate in Environmental Resource Management, spent her evenings setting traps for small mammals throughout the center’s acreage. Each morning, she took community volunteers onto the property to survey the number of small mammals that turned up in the traps, recording data such as their sex and weight.
Penn State students partner with Centre Daily Times to cover NASCAR race
June 2, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A “non-traditional classroom” might not get any more non-traditional, or loud, than Pocono Raceway — the 2.5-mile, triangle-shaped super speedway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.
Four Penn State students working as part of a partnership with the Centre Daily Times this weekend might have little time to slow down or hear the noise, though. The quartet, structured as a student-driven news bureau through the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State, will be providing coverage of the June 7 NASCAR race and related activities at the speedway.
The engaged scholarship opportunity provides an unrivaled experience for students in the College of Communications whose work will be available to Centre Daily Times readers online and in print.
Student films set to air across Pennsylvania
May 28, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A group of 19 student-produced films, a variety of productions that originally screened during the annual Blue and White Film Festival, will air twice on PCN-TV, reaching viewers across the state of Pennsylvania.
The films, a mix of documentary, experimental and narrative style, will air at 7 p.m. Friday, May 29, and again at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 31. All of the films were produced during the 2014-15 academic year at Penn State, and were initially featured at the festival sponsored by the Student Film Organization.
Sands Bethlehem casino internship leads to big wins for students
May 28, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As a second-year student majoring in hospitality management, Greg Butto, who gravitated toward casino management courses, had a unique opportunity to work on the casino floor at Sands Bethlehem.
As it turns out, Butto’s experience became the model for a new internship program between the Penn State School of Hospitality Management and Sands Bethlehem.
SIA students gain experience through one of a kind experimental mediation class
May 13, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Does a mediator with power, or maybe even bias, produce better or worse conflict resolution? Penn State School of International Affairs students studied that question firsthand in Professor Scott Sigmund Gartner‘s Experimental Mediation class (INTAF 597B) through an experimental simulation.
Students conceptualized the study, created and implemented a computer questionnaire, recruited subjects, conducted the study, compiled the results, created a presentation for conferences, and co-authored a paper to submit for publication. This year, the project has been accepted for presentation at the Folke Bernadotte Academy Workshop on Conflict Prevention. Gartner will present the project in June at the workshop held in Stockholm, Sweden.
Engineering students will travel to Peru as part of Pathways Fellows program
May 11, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Jordan Smith, of Frederick, Maryland, is excitedly nervous for his trip to Peru. He has spent the past year learning Spanish and about Peruvian culture, in addition to taking the regular sophomore mechanical engineering course load.
Smith and 10 of his College of Engineering peers are leaving for Peru this month to attend classes at the Universidad de ESAN (UESAN) in Lima and work on an electrical engineering project with their Peruvian peers at the university.
Penn State Mont Alto students improve health care services at local nonprofit
May 6, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — During spring 2015, Penn State Mont Alto nursing and information sciences and technology students collaborated on a capstone project to help improve the quality of services Waynesboro Community and Human Services (WCHS) can provide through an updated website and secure portal. The project was presented to WCHS administrators and board members April 30.
Located in Waynesboro, WCHS is a nonprofit organization that provides a variety of human services for underserved residents living within the Borough of Waynesboro and more recently, Washington Township, due to a grant from Summit Endowment.
Penn State recognized by Carnegie Foundation for community engagement efforts
January 7, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As a result of Penn State’s far-reaching community partnerships, including cancer prevention efforts in Appalachia and sustainable greenhouse design and production in Africa, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected the University for its 2015 Community Engagement Classification.
The classification recognizes “excellent alignment among campus mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy engagement,” according to the Carnegie Foundation. Some 361 U.S. colleges and universities have earned the classification.
Penn State senior selected as Marshall Scholar
November 24, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Ryan Henrici, a Penn State Schreyer Honors College scholar, has been selected to receive a prestigious Marshall Scholarship, a highly sought-after program that finances American college students to study in the United Kingdom. The senior from Wayne, Pennsylvania, will graduate in May with a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology and has chosen to study malaria at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Penn State President Eric Barron noted, “As an exemplary engaged student, Ryan has contributed to Penn State and the research community in many extraordinary ways.”
Berks’ Grobman wins Outstanding Baccalaureate College Professor of the Year
November 20, 2014
Laurie Grobman, professor of English and women’s studies at Penn State Berks, will be recognized as one of the best in American higher education when she is named Outstanding Baccalaureate College Professor of the Year today (Nov. 20) at a luncheon and awards ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. She is one of four national winners of the 2014 U.S. Professors of the Year awards.