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WELCOME TO PENN STATE
Vol. 113 No. 150
Published independently by students at Penn State
Tulips are pictured in front of the Pattee-Paterno Library on Penn Stateâ€™s campus.
2 | Summer 2013
THE DAILY COLLEGIAN
FTCAP changed to overnight program BY MEGAN HENNEY COLLEGIAN STAFF WRITER
To help incoming freshmen better adjust to their first year at Penn State, the Office of Student Orientation and Transition Programs has changed the First-Year Testing, Consulting and Advising Program to a twoday, overnight New Student Orientation program. Director of the Office of Student Orientation and Transition Programs Daniel Murphy said the change will support incoming students and their parents in the transition to college. Murphy said the program would take the core of what was FTCAP — a general educational curriculum, a degree major, class registration and an opportunity to meet with an adviser — and expand it. “The FTCAP program was quite successful in making sure students had what they need to get started,” he said. “The overnight program will provide a general sense of comfort and they’ll be more prepared in that aspect.” The new program, Murphy said, will include information about alcohol abuse, developing friendships, realities of peer pressure, importance of consent, resources that are available for sexual assault awareness and general campus safety. Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims said via email that the program will also feature tours of the
campus, welcoming receptions, an introduction to student organizations, exposure to Penn State traditions and a panel discussion. Murphy said the students will be divided into small groups, each with an older student working as the orientation leader. The leader will be able to answer any questions the students have about the system, and will be able to share information about Penn State, Murphy said. “Student groups talk about the desire to meet more people when they came to [FTCAP] and have more opportunities to start developing friendships,” he said. “I do believe students will be more prepared.” Murphy said he thinks the program is a “big step” in connecting students between the admission progress and the start of freshman year. He said it will allow them to begin building a connection to the university, as well as other students. Sims said that he hopes the program will minimize any anxieties incoming students and their parents may be feeling. Sims said everyone, from students to parents to staff, is excited for the new opportunities offered by the program. He said other universities and colleges have similar programs, and said students and parents will be pleased that Penn State is now offering an expanded summer orientation as well.
New student orientation events
Welcome to Penn State
The Business of Being a Student
2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
8:20 a.m. - 9 a.m.
Life at University Park (Living on Campus)
Your Student’s Success at Penn State
3:15 p.m. - 4 p.m.
9:10 a.m. - 10:25 a.m.
Life at University Park (Commuter Students)
Educational Planning Session
3:15 p.m. - 4 p.m.
9:10 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.
Life at University Park Continued 4:15 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.
Current Penn State Student Panel
Student Health, Safety and Personal Responsibility
Creating a Career Pathway
10:50 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
11:30 a.m. - 11:55 a.m.
Parent and Family Welcome Reception
Academic College Meetings 1:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.
5:45 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Involvement and Engagement 7:20 p.m. - 8:10 p.m.
We Are... Penn State 8:10 p.m. - 9 p.m. Source: Daniel W. Murphy, Student Orientation and Transition Programs Kelsie Netzer/Collegian
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Tips to stay fit by using PSU’s gyms, facilities BY BROOKE OWEN COLLEGIAN STAFF WRITER
Leete and Runkle Halls flank North Halls’ Warnock Commons on a mild and sunny day, Thursday, April 25 in University Park. Freshmen attending New Student Orientation will stay in North Halls.
Freshman’s guide to PSU BY MARY CHUFF COLLEGIAN STAFF WRITER
Freshmen, don’t let the empty halls and quiet streets fool you. Yes, Penn State is decidedly more subdued in the summer as students are scattered to the four corners of the world working at internships, studying abroad or relaxing at wherever home is located. But fear not. Penn State is full of hidden gems and the summer provides a great opportunity to explore them all before the seasoned students return to campus and the slow pace of summer is replaced by the hustle of fall. This year, incoming freshmen won’t get to experience a First Year Testing Consulting and Advising Program like previous generations of Penn State students. Instead, freshmen will participate in an overnight program, New Student Orientation. Freshmen attending NSO will stay in North Halls overnight. Although freshmen will certainly be busy with orientation, there’s bound to be some free time. And staying in North Halls will give incoming freshmen the chance to explore Penn State before the campus explodes with returning students. Katie Andrews, a North Halls resident, said her favorite aspect of living in North is the room setup. Because most of the rooms in North are suites, Andrews (sophomoreanthropology) said the extra space is the best part of North Halls. Staying in North Halls makes a visit to the Arboretum at Penn State a necessity. Less than a five minute walk from Warnock Commons, the Arboretum is open from dawn to dusk every day. It’s quiet, peaceful and a great spot to ready, study, jog or just hang out. But summer temperatures at Penn State can get pretty
hot. After touring campus in the blazing sun, take a fiveminute walk and head over to the world-famous Berkey Creamery. Many of the flavors are named after prominent Penn State people or places, so be sure to grab a scoop of Peachy Paterno or LionS’more. But beware. Do not ask to mix two different flavors on one cone. Never mixing flavors is the cardinal rule of the Berkey Creamery. But for those craving a little more culture, there is the Palmer Museum of Art and the sculpture garden. The Palmer Museum of Art is only a few minutes from North Halls and is one of the most underrated spots on campus. It’s completely free and open to the public. The museum hosts an impressive permanent collection as well as special exhibits throughout the year. It’s also air-conditioned, so it’s a perfect escape from the intense heat that can hit Penn State during the summer. Behind the museum is one of campus’s best-kept secrets, the sculpture garden. There are several abstract sculptures arranged around a shaded walking path. Andrews added the benches near the museum and the Forum Building are one of her favorite parts on campus. With the warmer weather here to stay, Andrews said the benches provide a great study spot. But if the heat is too much to handle, take a 10-minute walk to the HUB-Robeson Center, the student union building. It’s air-conditioned, which is always a plus during a Happy Valley summer. Besides the cool fish tanks, there’s a game room with billiards tables where someone is always up for a quick game of pool. No stay in State College is complete without a stop at one of the more famous landmarks in town. Ye Olde College Diner, only a 15 minute walk from
North Halls, has been a staple in the lives of Penn State students for decades. The Diner’s grilled stickies are a fan favorite and even garnered a mention in “Perks of Being a Wallflower.” It only takes 10 minutes to walk from North Halls to the Hintz Family Alumni Center and the duck pond by the center is one of the most serene spots on campus. Penn State is known for its friendly wildlife and the ducks are no exception. The duck pond is a favorite among students who enjoy a quiet spot in the shade. The HUB lawn is known fondly as the “HUB Beach” during the warmer months because of its popularity among students. But with the HUB lawn under construction, Old Main, only a 10-minute walk from North, is a great alternative. The lawn looks out over College Avenue and provides some great chances for people watching. The lawn is also great for picnics, studying or hanging out with friends. Although it’s hard to rival the Berkey Creamery, Kiwi, a frozen yogurt shop, is another student favorite. With a wide range of toppings, patrons can make their dessert as healthy –– or unhealthy –– as they wish. Kiwi is located on College Avenue, the main street of the area surrounding campus. Because Kiwi usually sets up a few tables on the sidewalk, it’s common to see students people-watching and enjoying the summer weather. Penn State might be more subdued in the summer, but there are plenty of places both on and off campus to keep summer boredom at bay. With a little sense of adventure and a willingness to wander around, there are plenty of hidden gems that can make a good college experience a great college experience. To email reporter: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Our gyms are not crowded, we offer free WiFi and even have coffee on hand for our members.”
Looking for ways to stay active Happy Valley this summer? While going for runs around campus is a great workout, those of you who want to head Eric Weidenhof to the gym and pump some iron Athletic clubs of State College or sweat off some calories in the manager many fitness classes offered are in luck. The most convenient way 127 Sowers St., or The North to stay fit would be to take Club, 1510 Martin St. advantage of LionHeart, Penn State’s which is just fitness facilities, a short walk like the Whifrom South te Building, Halls and locaRec Hall and ted downtthe Intramural own behBuilding. ind McDonald’s, S t u d e n t s - Valid through September 15 offers the can purchase a - Costs $54 popular Crosummer fitness - Allows access to all fitness ssfit prom e m b e r s h i p , centers, classes and indoor gram, personal valid throu- pools training and gh September martial arts. 15, online at The North Club, a t h l e t i c s . p s u . e d u / f i t n e s s / located in Park Forest Village, is for $54, according to the approximately a seven-minute website. The sum- drive from East Halls and offers mer fitness membership group fitness classes as well. allows students to access Both clubs have a great summ all the fitness cent- er membership deal: For ers, regularly scheduled $99 you can join either gym fitness classes and the at your convenience from indoor pools located May through September, and at the White Building and the waive the processing fee, McCoy Natatorium. The fitness Athletic Clubs of State College loft inside the Natatorium is Manager Eric Weidenhof closed during the summer, but said. You can even attend the indoor pool is open during the gym for a free workout recreational swimming hours, before fully committing to the which is 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 membership, Weidenhof said. a.m. Monday through Friday, “Our gyms are not crowded, according to the Penn State we offer free WiFi and even Athletics website. Students have coffee on hand for our should note that from May 6 to members,” Weidenhof said. June 6, the indoor pool stays To email reporter: email@example.com open until 1:30 p.m., according to the website. During the summer, the indoor pool will be closed on The Daily Saturdays (except for May 4, 11 and 18) and Sundays, according to the website. Collegian Inc. James Building, 123 S. Burrowes St. State College, PA 16801-3882 ©2013 Collegian Inc. Students can check the fitness website for updates on gym hours and special changes to the schedule (like for Memorial Editor in Chief Brittany Horn Day). The fitness class schedule Managing Editor Kristin Stoller is also available at athletics.psu. News Editor Sam Janesch edu/fitness/. Hours are slightly Visual Editor Kelsie Netzer abbreviated over the summer Sports Editor Lee Cary compared to the fall and spring Arts Chief Samantha Cressman semesters due to a decrease in Copy Desk Chief Josh Glossner demand, Penn State’s Director Copy/Wire Editor Sarah Becks of Strength and Fitness Chip Photo Editor Lucia Sofo Harrison wrote via email, but Visual Editor Kris Bryan this just means you’re able to Summer 101 Editors Tim Gilbert, Alex work out in a less crowded gym. Steinman, Kelsey Tamborrino The summer hours have not To contact News Division: yet been finalized, so be sure News, Opinions, Arts, Sports, Photo, Graphics, The Daily Collegian Online and The Weekly Collegian to check Penn State’s Athletics Phone: (814) 865-1828 | Fax: (814) 863-1126 website for more information, Harrison said. Those who prefer to gravitate Business Manager Anjali Krishnan outside of Penn State can join Advertising Manager Brandon Lea the Athletic Clubs of State To contact Business Division: College and take advantage of Advertising, circulation, accounting and classifieds Phone: (814) 865-2531 | Fax: (814) 865-3848 two of their gyms, LionHeart,
Summer fitness membership
Board of Editors
Board of Managers
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays
THE DAILY COLLEGIAN
SUMMER 2013 | 3
CAPS seeing highest turnout Editorâ€™s note: This story originally ran in the April 24, 2013 edition of the Collegian.
BY SARAH RAFACZ
On the rise Counseling Centers have seen an increase in students wanting to use services. Three Penn State campuses have provided information about the number of students using their services.
COLLEGIAN STAFF WRITER
A survey administered by the Association for University and College Center Directors and published in the Chronicle of Higher Education has found an increase in the number of people requesting help from campus counseling centers. And several Penn State campuses â€” University Park; Erie, The Behrend College; and Harrisburg â€” have experienced a similar trend. Kathy Bieschke, professor of education (counseling psychology), said there are three reasons why college counseling services are seeing an increase in the number of people requesting help and in the severity of their cases. She said the first reason is simply because more people attend college due to societal pressures for a college degree. Second, people who may not have been able to attend college previously because of mental health concerns are now able to with the increased availability of medicine. The third reason, she said, is that the stigma associated with mental health is decreasing. At University Park, students can seek counseling services at the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services. Ben Locke, associate director of Clinical Services at CAPS, said CAPS offers a range of services from ongoing treatment to crisis response and evaluation. CAPS has about 20 full-time staff and a range of part-time staff and trainees, Locke said. The staffing has remained even, but the wait list during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 is roughly twice as long as it ever was prior to this, Locke said. â€œThe challenge we face is that weâ€™re typically full by October and we remain busy until May,â€? Locke said. Though Locke said CAPS still has graduate assistants working in the center and will for the next one to two years, there are
Waiting list during 20112012 and 2012-2013 is roughly twice as long as it has ever been
Erie, the Behrend College
33 percent more
students used counseling services
percent more counseling sessions scheduled
Over the past nine years, there has been a
65 percent increase in
requests for services. In 2011-2012, they had 2,000 counseling appointments.
Source: Ben Locke (UP), Steve Backels (Harrisburg), Susan Daley (Erie) Nicole Berezo/For the Collegian
no longer practicum students working, after the closing of the Counseling Psychology doctoral program. â€œIt is possible this may be one of many contributing factors in our increased waiting list,â€? Locke said. â€œThat being said, it is clear that our waiting list has increased for reasons in addition to this.â€? A wait list is developed for ongoing individual treatment when treatment providers are full. Students may have faster access to ongoing treatment at the beginning of the year than the middle. But at the end of the year, CAPS encourages students to seek ongoing individual treatment at home because there isnâ€™t enough time to begin individual treatment with CAPS, Locke said. Fifty percent of students finish
â€œThe challenge we face is that weâ€™re typically full by October and we remain busy until May.â€? Ben Locke associate director of Clinical Services at CAPS treatment in three sessions or fewer, 70 percent finish in seven sessions or fewer and the vast majority of students finish in nine or fewer sessions, Locke said. But CAPS does not work alone. Due to the shortage of individual counseling at CAPS, students may be referred to providers in the community, Locke said. Yet, appointments with these providers also fill up quickly, as Locke said many are booked for the year by November. â€œAccess to mental health treatment is a national problem at institutions of higher
education,â€? Locke said. Not only did Locke say CAPS is experiencing a surge in the number of people seeking help but also in the severity in their cases. There has been a greater prevalence in severe mental illness cases at CAPS, Locke said. But he said more people attending college than ever before could account for the increase of severe cases. The college community is going to experience the full range of mental health concerns. â€œSeeking help is a wonderful thing,â€? Locke said.
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College and Penn State Harrisburg have also noticed an increase in students wanting to use their counseling services. Steve Backels, director of Counseling and Student Support at Penn State Harrisburg, said that in the 2011-12 academic year, 33 percent more students used the counseling services than the previous year. He added that in the 201112 academic year, 35 percent more counseling sessions were scheduled than were scheduled in the previous year. Students of this generation are more used to seeking help, he said. In the 2011-12 academic year, the Penn State Harrisburg Counseling Services saw 289 individuals and held 1,151 counseling sessions, Backels said. Though the numbers for the 2012-13 academic year are not yet available, Backels said, he expects the numbers to increase. Backels said the administration at the Harrisburg campus is aware of the increasing numbers and has backed the counseling services. He added that they will be able to hire a new full-time position for next fall. Susan Daley, director of the Personal Counseling Office at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, said via email, â€œthe advance and availability of psychotropic medication has made coming to college possible for many students.â€? Twenty-eight percent of Erie, The Behrend College students have come with a previous mental health diagnosis for which they are receiving medication, Daley said. She said that over the past nine years, the Counseling Office has seen a 65 percent increase in requests for services and last year it handled 2,000 counseling appointments. â€œWeâ€™re making progress with overcoming the stigma of asking for help. Many students come to the Counseling Office for personal growth issues, grief issues, trauma and adjustment to college concerns,â€? Daley said. To email reporter: firstname.lastname@example.org
Career Services is here to help you create your career pathway! tCareer Counseling tInternship and Job Search Assistance tCareer Information Resources tResume and Cover Letter Reviews tCareer Fairs tGraduate School Preparation
a y ...
Drop-in counseling is available Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Located in the Bank of America Career Services Center next to the Student Health Center and across from the outdoor pool
ar ur c
4 | Summer 2013
THE DAILY COLLEGIAN
THE MOOC MOVEMENT PSU to offer five free online courses
Editor’s note: This story originally ran in the April 19, 2013 edition of the Collegian.
BY LAUREN INGENO
“I have a 2-year-old grandson who uses my iPad. How will he expect to learn when he’s an 18-year-old college student?”
Craig Weidemann Vice President for Outreach
COLLEGIAN STAFF WRITER
When Penn State created its World Campus in 1998, it became one of the world’s leaders in what was then the relatively uncharted territory of online education. Now, 15 years later, the university is entering a new realm of online learning, which some say has the potential to turn the traditional university structure on its head. Welcome to the MOOC movement.
Jumping on Board As of Wednesday, there were 28,574 learners enrolled in the Penn State Massive Open Online Course called Creativity, Innovation and Change — a number instructional assistant Trey Morris expects, or at least hopes, to grow to 200,000 by the time the course begins on September 1. The course is one of five MOOCs, all of which are free, being offered by Penn State through a leading MOOC website, Coursera. Penn State partnered with Coursera on Feb. 21, joining a group of 61 other universities in 13 countries across the world. “People think of MOOCs as a disruptive technology,” Vice President for Outreach Craig Weidemann said. Coursera, a for-profit online education company, was founded by two computer science professors at Stanford University and currently offers 337 free MOOCs. There is no exchange of money between Coursera and Penn State, and for now, the Penn State MOOCs cannot be taken for credit. So why did Penn State jump on board? “This is truly in the spirit of what we’re supposed to do in higher education, which
is providing education and experimentation,” said Cole Camplese, the senior director of Teaching and Learning with Technology at Penn State. Camplese said the MOOCs could be used as a recruiting tool to extend the university brand throughout the world. “Some students who took a course on Coursera might think, ‘Oh, I’d really like to take this for credit on World Campus,’ ” Camplese said.
Blended Learning On April 5, representatives from Coursera’s 62 partnering universities gathered at the University of Pennsylvania to discuss the potential impact of MOOCs on the future of higher education. Weidemann, who attended the conference, said pedagogy was a main topic of conversation. While he doesn’t think MOOCs will “take over” traditional faceto-face learning, Weidemann said he thinks universities will increasingly utilize “blended learning.” Camplese expressed a similar sentiment, saying that in the future, students will learn lessons online and then classroom time can be used for deeper discussions, projects and group work. Penn State is using MOOCs partially as a way to experiment with different aspects of online learning, Weidemann said. “I have a 2-year-old grandson who uses my iPad,” Weidemann said. “How will he expect to learn when he’s an 18-year-old college student?” While technology has disrupted various industries, higher education has not “fundamentally changed” as a result of it — yet — said John
Cheslock, who is the director of Penn State’s Center for the Study of Higher Education. He said he does not think that technology will entirely change the higher education model, but it could “enhance” it. “I don’t think the residential educational experience will go away in the next 10 years, but there are major shifts happening,” Camplese said.
A movement in Áux The MOOC movement has generated excitement throughout the Penn State community, but there are still many questions about Cousera that remain unanswered. “There are so many ways this can go,” Cheslock said. “Everything is still very much in flux.” At the moment, Cheslock said, MOOCs are “a nice addition to the education landscape.” People around the world have the chance to enhance their knowledge for free, and “everyone is sort of winning,” he said. In February, the American Council on Education approved five Coursera MOOCs for accreditation. And if other universities follow suit, new questions could arise. If more universities offer MOOCs for credit, it could potentially help solve some of the larger financial problems of higher education, Cheslock said. On the other hand, some critics would argue the government is using MOOCs as a way out of funding higher education. Penn State is easing into the MOOC movement though rather than jumping in headfirst. “There are a lot of faculty members who want to offer MOOCs. And we said, ‘Let’s
evaluate and wait and see,’” Weidemann said. “We’re thoughtfully and slowly looking at this as opposed to just throwing them out there. We don’t know what financial model might emerge.” The experimental, unknown nature of MOOCs is the very thing that attracted Penn State Great Valley professor Kathryn Jablokow to the movement. “MOOCs are an educational invention and they’re so new, we’re not quite sure what they’re going to be in the grand scheme of things, but we can’t afford to not get into them,” said Jablokow, a Penn State engineering professor who is coteaching Creativity, Innovation and Change. “We know there is risk, but there is also the potential for great benefits.”
Education Experimentation Morris never liked the idea of sitting in a lecture hall and listening to professors talk at him. Morris, Class of 2011, said his true education came outside of the classroom, when he was working on projects he was passionate about. After graduation, Morris met Penn State environmental engineering professor Jack Matson, and they exchanged “radical ideas” about education. Matson enlisted Morris, two other Penn State professors and various other helpers to create the MOOC long before the Penn State-Coursera partnership. The MOOC is now called Creativity, Innovation and Change. Morris said he thinks MOOCs have the ability to radically change education. “This could de-stabilize the whole tuition model and [Penn State] is still on board,” Morris said. “This isn’t about getting a piece of paper, but about producing some sort of meaningful project that gives value to you and the community at large.” The course’s professors want to encourage “co-creation,”
Morris said, which is easier in a MOOC rather than a lecture format. The idea is that the course is not set in stone; rather it can evolve and cater to the desires of its learners. Creativity, Innovation and Change has its own Facebook page and Twitter account, and the course instructors have begun posting videos and asking users for feedback. “We’re going to do a bunch of things and see what students like best,” Morris said. Learners will work on a course-long project, develop a mission statement, and professors will act as “guides,” teaching them the “science” of entrepreneurship and creativity, said Mike Ghen, who has started several startups of his own at Penn State and was enlisted to help out with Creativity, Innovation and Change. “What’s going to come out of the class are new ventures,” Ghen (senior-computer engineering) said. Anna Divinsky, a faculty member of Penn State’s Digital Arts Certificate Program, is similarly excited to offer her Introduction to Art class to a mass audience. Her course is already offered online to Penn State students for three credits. The Coursera MOOC, which is the first art class being offered through Coursera, will be a condensed version of her online course. Because Divinsky will not be able to provide individual feedback to thousands of online learners, the course’s registered users will provide feedback on each other’s art projects, she said. “I am really excited that an art course can reach people of so many different backgrounds on a global scale,” Divinsky said. The three other MOOCs offered through Penn State are Maps and the Geospatial Revolution, Energy the Environment and our Future, and Epidemics — the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases. To email reporter: email@example.com
THE DAILY COLLEGIAN
Summer 2013 | 5
Philly providing various tours in area BY JAKE ABBATE COLLEGIAN STAFF WRITER
Summertime in Philadelphia brings awe-inspiring fireworks, expansive street celebrations and of course, tour stops courtesy of several big-name artists. Standing out above the rest are a handful of 215 exclusive festivals, the bulk of which are being promoted by local—and competing—radio stations 93.3 WMMR and Radio 104.5 Granted, those festivals may not span as many days or invite as many acts the way Lollapalooza or Bonnaroo can, but the season nevertheless promises A-list musical entertainment and plenty of outdoor venues to choose from. For those headed back southeast after finals, here’s a taste of what you can expect in the city of brotherly love this summer. Radio 104.5 6th Birthday Show (Susquehanna Bank Center, May 12) It took far less than six years for Radio 104.5 to become Philadelphia’s premiere alternative station, thanks in no small part to disk jockey Wendy Rollins having the ideal voice for the medium, but who’s to argue with them when they want to ring in their anniversary with a double headlining set of Phoenix and Paramore? The concert, which moves away from its usual setting of Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing to the Susquehanna Bank Center, will feature a mix of shoegazing, electronica and
Amy Sussman/Associated Press via Invision
From left, Taylor York, Hayley Williams and Jeremy Davis, of the American rock band “Paramore” pose for a portrait on Monday, April 8 in New York. ska that includes performances by Silversun Pickups, Passion Pit, The Airborne Toxic Event, Twenty One Pilots, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Local band Rivers Monroe was recently chosen for the opening slot. MMRBQ 2013 (Susquehanna Bank Center, May 18) Cue the bouts of nostalgia… now. In keeping with its famous motto, “Everything that Rocks,” WMMR is bringing together two of the biggest bands to emerge from the Seattle scene in the early ‘90s for its annual summer concert season opener: co-headliners Soundgarden and Alice in Chains (the latter previously headlined the festival with fellow alt-rock giants Stone
Temple Pilots back in 2010). With both bands buoyed by the long-awaited release of new material—Soundgarden put out “King Animal” in November and AIC is set to debut “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” on May 28 — the resulting evening is almost sure to answer the question of “Is grunge dead?” with a definitive “no.” Rounding out the lineup are power pop legends and “special guests” Cheap Trick, Disturbed frontman David Draiman’s new band Device, Buckcherry and Philly locals Kid Felix. Radio 104.5 Summer Block Parties (The Piazza at Schmidt’s, Various Dates) No concert beats a free concert. That’s why Radio
104.5 is hosting not one, but five of those over the next few months. The open space of the Piazza guarantees a large crowd, though expect it to get a little cramped by the time the bands finally take the stage. The series kicks off on May 4 with performances by Family of the Year and Atlas Genius (Biffy Clyro recently pulled out of the third spot due to lead singer Simon Neil having unspecified respiratory problems), followed by Metric and Royal Teeth on June 8, then Cold War Kids and Bad Books on July 13. The full details for last two shows, set for Aug. 3 and Sept. 14, have yet to be announced. 311 Unity Tour (Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing, July 10)
G. Love & Special Sauce have been around since 1994, but likely found a new legion of fans after touring extensively through 2012, including two visits to Penn State last semester. It’s no wonder that tenacious reggae rockers 311 asked the Philadelphia-based blues-hip hop outfit to return for a spot on their annual Unity Tour, making its way to Festival Pier on July 10. 311 is rumored to be in the studio working on a new album due out later this year, so don’t rule out the possibility of being the first to hear a few new tracks. Acclaimed West Coast rap group Cypress Hill will also be tagging along for the tour’s 23 dates stretching from Kansas City to Las Vegas. Made In America (Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Aug. 31 – Sept. 1) Jay-Z’s inaugural Made in America festival was a huge success last year, and it looks like that success is to be repeated when it returns to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at the end of August. The Labor Day weekend festival overlaps with the start of the fall semester, but effectively caps off the summer with an eclectic cast of musicians headed by Jay-Z’s main girl Beyoncé and the return of industrial rock collective Nine Inch Nails. Added to the bill are Queens of the Stone Age, Deadmau5, The Gaslight Anthem and Public Enemy, among others. To email reporter: firstname.lastname@example.org
6 | Summer 2013
THE DAILY COLLEGIAN
MY VIEW: STEVEN PETRELLA
Freshmen, here are 10 things not to do
1. Don’t wear a lanyard around your neck.
See there’s these things called wallets, and you can put your ID and key in them. You don’t need to keep all your worldly possessions around your neck, but for some reason, every single freshman does. You’ll stick out like a baby on an airplane and generally look like you have no idea where you’re going or what you’re doing.
2. Don’t buy your books before the Àrst day of class. The only way to combat ridiculous textbook prices is to not buy them. Before you spend $500 on books, go to each one of your classes, get the syllabus, and try to feel out how important the book will be.
Some classes you can get by without it, some you can’t, but here’s a little tip: the library has a ton of textbooks available, so you can do the readings there before your exams.
3. Don’t go to the HUB too often. Anytime you tour a college, you’re probably taken through a student union-type building. You’ll see people studying, sleeping, eating and most importantly, being loud. The HUB is your stereotypical college building, and as a freshman, you’ll feel obligated to spend time there. But you don’t have to. It’s loud, crowded and someone will always ask you to sign up for their club or donate to an obscure cause. Put your headphones in, keep your head low, and push through.
don’t forget about the people on your floor. I wound up making some great friends on my floor that I still keep in touch with today because I spent so much time with them. Keep your door open and get to know everyone. Freshman year is the time to make friends before everyone trickles down into their social bubbles for the rest of college, and it’s always good to keep connections outside your primary circle.
5. Don’t have a catch — baseball or lacrosse — near your dorm. A lot of the dorms, especially in East, have huge windows on the ground floor. Arrant throws can cost you a couple hundred bucks. It happens more than you think.
4. Don’t be that rogue kid 6. Don’t sneak into apartment parties. on your Áoor. Even if you’re heavily involved in a club or greek organization as a freshman,
You don’t know anyone. The lights are on. It’s just weird.
7. Don’t be an idiot.
You’re going to have a great time at Penn State, but be careful in your first few weeks. You don’t know where you’re going, you’ll drink more than you normally do, and cops are on the prowl. One of the worst phone calls to make in college is to your parents after getting a citation first semester. They won’t trust you for a while after that.
8. Don’t drink and eat. Sure, that Are U Hungry sub with chicken fingers, french fries, ranch dressing, onions and a bucket of grease sounds good. Really good. And after a night of drinking, it will sound even better. But your wallet and stomach will thank you later if you resist the temptation.
9. Don’t eat downtown as much as you want to. I’m not saying there isn’t good food downtown, but meal points are magical. You’re
always well fed, there are a lot of different options and it’s already paid for. As soon as you move off campus you’ll miss spending $20 on five bags of pretzel M&Ms, a family size Tostitos with queso and a twogallon Hawaiian Punch that you can scarf down in a few minutes. It’s basically fake money.
10. Don’t make it known that you go to the gym. Please, by all means, go to the gym. You’ll regret not doing so later in your college career. But don’t be that person who let’s everyone on their floor know that they’re going to the gym. This person will knock on every door asking for a gym buddy just to tell people they workout. We get it. You’re more motivated than everyone else. We don’t want to hear it. Steven Petrella is a senior majoring in journalism and is a Collegian football reporter. Email him at sjp5260@psu. edu.
MY VIEW: SHANNON SWEENEY
Summer, fall provide different atmospheres The words “summer school” usually come with a negative connotation. But when it comes to Penn State, summer school couldn’t be better. I came to Penn State the summer of my freshman year for the LEAP program, and I can remember the first time I opened my door in McElwain Hall, my first floor meeting with my RA and the first time I went to dinner with a group of other random freshmen. And to this day, those random other freshmen are my closest friends. Penn State in the summer is a lot smaller than it is in the
fall, which has its pros. For one, you get to know everyone around you. I remember walking to classes everyday and recognizing almost everyone I saw, and it was always nice to have a friendly face around. The first day of fall semester, however, was completely different. I was trekking from East Halls to the HUB-Robeson Center for Starbucks, an eager freshman who had already spent six weeks in Happy Valley. And there were people everywhere. I remember texting my parents saying I felt like I was walking in Times Square, which was obviously an exaggeration, but campus in the fall felt completely different than it did in the summer.
The line for Starbucks had tripled and the number of people I recognized diminished, and I finally caught a glimpse of what it’s like to go to a Big Ten school. And I love it. Sure, there are a lot of people around and waiting 15 minutes for a four-dollar cup of coffee is somewhat ridiculous, but the transition from summer to fall went a lot smoother than I thought. There are a lot of ways to make Penn State feel like it has the summer atmosphere all year long. For me, that was staying close with my summer friends and joining The Daily Collegian. There are tons of ways to meet people here — join a club or organization, participate in THON or even start your own club.
People are always saying, “Get involved,” and when it comes to fall semester, they’re right. Joining a club or organization is the fastest way to make friends during the fall semester. The biggest difference between summer and fall, though, isn’t the number of people seen on campus. During the summer, the LEAP program holds your hand and helps you transition into college. Your mentor is there with you every step of the way, and your classes are with the same people everyday. In the fall, however, freshmen are thrown into classes the first day to fend for themselves. It is scary, in a sense, but after a summer of being here, you will feel prepared the first day of fall semester.
Plus, who else can say they go to football games with their 108,000 closest friends? During the summer, you’ll learn your way around campus, know the best spots to study in the library and discover the best places to eat downtown. The first day of fall semester won’t be as hectic, and you’ll always have your friends from summer. So, while you won’t have your last summer at home with your friends before they all go to college, you’ll be starting your college adventure early. And looking back, you’ll realize it was one of the best decisions of your life. Shannon Sweeney is a sophomore majoring in journalism. Email her at email@example.com
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Summer 2013 | 7
MY VIEW: LAUREN INGENO
Six summer spots you should see
Welcome, freshmen. In case you haven’t noticed, State College is not exactly Manhattan, so it may not seem like there are a ton of cool places to explore. You’ll quickly learn about all of the usual places to eat and hang out, whether it be Canyon Pizza, Grillers, the Penn State Berkey Creamery, the Bryce Jordan Center or your brother’s fraternity house. But, there are a few hidden gems that you might not discover on your own. Here are six spots you shouldn’t miss out on during your first summer at Penn State:
Whipple Dam State Park 3527 McAlevys Fort Rd. Embrace the warm weather while it lasts and drive 12 miles outside of State College to this beautiful, peaceful 256-acre state park. Take a dip in the lake, lay out on the beach, hike or bring some burgers to cook on the grills and have a picnic with friends. You can even rent canoes, kayaks, paddleboats and rowboats. The lake is only open from mid-May until Sep-
tember, so take a trip there before it’s too late.
Irving’s 110 E. College Ave. It may be a tad over-priced and service can be slow during busy weekend mornings, but the delicious, fresh food and inviting atmosphere make this café totally worth the small drawbacks. Bread and bagels are baked fresh daily, baked goods are sweet and tasty and smoothies are a cool treat on a hot day. What’s not to love? It’s hard to pick a favorite food item, but you have to try the famous “breakfast special”— it includes your choice of bagel or bread with egg, cheese and bacon or sausage. I’d recommend washing that down with a refreshing Joe Papaya smoothie. With two floors of space, there are plenty of comfortable seating choices and free Wifi, making Irving’s a perfect study spot.
Webster’s Bookstore Café 133 E. Beaver Ave. Webster’s has changed its look and location throughout the years, but the bookstore/
café made a comeback last year and is now bigger and better than ever. It can be hard to miss in its new location — tucked between Lipstick Salon and Color Lounge and Uncle Eli’s art store (another unique State College business to check out). When my English 015 professor told my class to visit Webster’s (when it was still on Allen Street), many of my classmates described it as “pretentious,” “hipster” and “intimidating.” I couldn’t disagree more. Especially in its new space, I think the bookstore is cozy and inviting. There are hundreds of used books, as well as records and cards to browse through on a lazy summer day. There is a full café complete with sandwiches, hot drinks, salads, desserts and more. But, the best thing about Webster’s is that it truly is a community space. Events are hosted here frequently, including dance lessons, film showings, open mic nights and storytelling sessions.
The State Theatre 130 W. College Ave. In my opinion, not enough students visit this cool downtown theater. Not only does it
offer films and documentaries you wouldn’t be able to find in a bigger movie theatre, but it also hosts concerts, plays, speakers and community events. Concerts won’t be as abundant during the summer as during the school year, but if you’re a theatre geek, then you’re in luck. The 50-year-old State College Community Theatre, which used to perform in Boalsburg, will be performing at the State Theatre for the first time this summer, said Executive Director Richard Biever. The production company’s seven-show summer line-up includes “Born Yesterday,” “The Producers,” “The Crucible,” “The Music Man,” “Beyond Therapy” and “August: Osage County.” At the end of May, the State Theatre will broadcast a live satellite feed of London’s National Theatre production of “This House.” Additionally, various local musicians, dance groups and other performers will perform throughout the summer. Keep an eye out on the theatre’s website for new events, screenings and performances. Tickets for students are typically discounted.
A State College Spikes game
Medlar Field at Lubrano Park Nothing says summer like a baseball game. OK, I’ll admit it — I’ve never actually been to a Spikes game, but it’s something I regret. I’ve heard they’re a lot of fun and they offer a nice alternative to a typical State College routine. The season starts on June 17, and tickets range from $6 to $12.
Happy Valley Freez 234C East College Ave. There are tons of places downtown to grab an ice cream cone or a milkshake, but Happy Valley Freez is my personal favorite place to cool off. Due to its somewhat hidden location — underneath Urban Outfitters — it can be easy to miss on College Avenue. You can create your own “freez,” a blended combination of ice cream flavors, fruit and candy. The small restaurant also offers some of the cheapest sandwiches and soups in town. There are also a variety of sundaes available if you’re feeling adventurous. Lauren Ingeno is a former Collegian staff writer.
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SUMMER 2013 | 9
PENN STATE TERMINOLOGY
Get to know the often-heard terms at PSU Compiled by Megan Caldwell Whether it be the “Dorito Church,” “Nittanyville” or the “Willard Preacher,” Penn State has its own vernacular that you will quickly learn in your first few weeks as a student. Here’s a quick glossary to get you started:
Atherton: 1) Penn State’s ¿rst president. 2) A road in State College. 3) An honors dormitory in South Halls.
Bigler: 1) Pennsylvania’s 12th governor. 2) A road running from North to South through campus. 3) A dormitory in East Halls.
Bloop: Penn State’s Blue Loop bus that runs clockwise through campus and downtown.
CCreamery, Berkey: Famous ice cream sold here that you can only ¿nd on campus. Enough said.
Dorito Church: 1) Located on the corner of Beaver Avenue and South Garner Street. 2) Landmark for lost students roaming downtown.
East Halls: First-year dormitories.
F Fracket: A jacket worn at fraternities that won’t be severely missed if stolen or lost.
Forum: 1) Home of some of the largest lecture
Old Main: Home of the administration of¿ces on campus; iconic building.
Pasquerilla Spiritual Center: Location of all the spiritual groups on campus and their leaders.
Quad: Relaxing study sport and place to hang out with friends on a warm sunny day located in the center of groups of dormitories.
RA: 1) Resident assistance -- university of¿cial on each Àoor of every residence hall. 2) Makes sure that residents follow university procedures and rules.
Rec Hall: Home to various Penn State athletic teams. Also a good place to work out.
T Townie: 1) A Penn State student who previously lived in State College before attending the university. 2) Typically refers to someone who has lived in State College for all or a majority of their life.
classes on campus and most uncomfortable seats on campus. 2) You are bound to have classes in this building at some point during your Penn State career, probably multiple times.
GDI: “God D--- Independent,” a term for someone
THON: 1) Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon. 2) Largest student-run philanthropy in the world
UPUA: University Park Undergraduate Association --
who is not in greek life. Slang.
GSA: Graduate Student Association -- student
UHS: 1) University Health Services -- make an
HUB-Robeson Center: 1) Place for studying,
getting food and socializing. 2) Near the center of campus and often walked through on the way to class.
appointment if you are sick or need a Àu shot. Prescriptions can also be ¿lled.
Whoop: Penn State’s White Loop bus that runs counter- clockwise through campus and downtown.
IM Building: 1) Intramural Building. 2) Place for
We Are: verb. “WE ARE... Penn State.” Chant heard around campus during tours and athletic events.
Joe Pa: Nickname for the famous former football
Willard Preacher: Known for his controversial
speeches, the Willard Preacher stands in front of the Willard Building Monday through Friday in rain or shine spreading his ideas of Christianity to Penn State.
Kids on a Rope: You can ¿nd preschool-aged children tied together on a rope walking around campus
Vairo Blvd.: Location of Wal-Mart and Megabus stop
students to play a variety of sports.
Subway: Eight. Yes. There are eight of these sandwich shops found in State College.
LGBTA: 1) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Ally. 2) Holds various events on campus for students
McLanahan’s: Popular convenience store on College Avenue and on Allen Street.
Nittanyville: Student encampment that sets up
shop outside Beaver Stadium on football weekends.
TedX: Various lecturers give talks to speak ideas people think are worth spreading.
Ye Olde College Diner: Home of the famous grilled stickies and never-ending macaroni and cheese. Zeno’s: Famous bar located on Allen Street.
10 | Summer 2013
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Spikes working with Cardinals BY ROBERT DAVIDSON COLLEGIAN STAFF WRITER
The St. Louis Cardinals have flown back to State College to replace the Pittsburgh Pirates as the State College Spikes Major League Baseball affiliate. After the Pirates chose not to extend their player development contract with the Spikes this past September, the Cardinals jumped at the opportunity to return to State College. The Spikes opened their inaugural 2006 season as the minor league, Class A Short Season affiliate of the Cardinals, but for the next six seasons would be affiliated with the more geographically relevant Pittsburgh Pirates. Having played lackluster baseball at best under the Pirates watch, the Spikes are looking for the Cardinals to breathe life back into the franchise and, if all goes according to plan, bring back the excitement that State College saw in the Spikes’ first season. “We definitely feel like the Cardinals give our franchise a better chance to enjoy not only winning baseball, but a fun and competitive product on the field,” Spikes Senior Vice President and General Manager, Jason Dambach, said. “I think that’s all that anybody could ask for.” If St. Louis can match the type of talent they gave the Spikes in 2006, it could be a very fun summer in State College. Dambach said 2006 was the highlight season for the club. The 2006 Spikes squad featured seven future Major Leaguers, including current Cardinals closer Jason Motte, and first baseman Allen Craig. While the change in affiliation may be reflected on the field, Dambach said to expect the same atmosphere, promotions, and affordability that has been provided in years past. “There will be absolutely no change to the fan experience at the ballpark,” Dambach said. “The switch in affiliation, from the Pirates to the Cardinals, doesn’t really impact that at all.”
Collegian file photo
Luke Maile of the Hudson Valley Renegades smiles as he warms up prior to the start of the 5th inning while the Pirate Parrot dances on his head at the State College Spikes home game on Thursday night at Medlar Field. The Spikes will be affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals this season. Despite only spending one year in State College, John Vuch, the Cardinals Farm Director, and his staff have been eager to return to Happy Valley. “Every two years, when our PDC expired, and it was time to look around, all of our staff would say, ‘Can we see if State College is available? We would love to go back there,’” Vuch told the Collegian in September. “This time, we look around and we were pleasantly surprised to see that State College was open.” It was more than the Happy Valley atmosphere and Mt. Nittany air that brought the Cardinals back to Centre County. “As part of our player
development model, we are always striving to improve the overall training and development environment for our players, and Medlar Field and the State College ballclub offer us a firstclass experience at all levels,” Cardinals’ Senior Vice President and General Manager, John Mozeliak, said in a press release. Despite the area likely being populated by more fans of the Bucs than the Red Birds, Dambach doesn’t believe the switch will hinder fan turnout. Dambach said the club recognizes there are many Pirates fans in the area, but after some community research and speaking with season ticket holders, the club came to the
realization that most of their supporters just want what is best for the Spikes organization. “The alignment with the Cardinals has been very popular. Most folks recognize the Cardinals have one of those brand names, and do things the right way,” Dambach said. “If you look at the Cardinals’ track record, even going back to the early days of minor league baseball, when Branch Rickey was running the minor leagues for the Cardinals, they have a way of doing things, that not only lends itself to developing future major league talent, but getting results on the field as well.”
On opening night, June 17, the Spikes will be honoring their 1,000,000th fan to walk through the gates of Lubrano Park, and Dambach believes that will only be the beginning to a special season. “Regardless of our Major League affiliation, we’re just proud to be a summer gathering point and one of the most affordable family entertainment options in Centre County,” Dambach said. “We feel like this is going to be our best season yet.” The Spikes open the 2013 season on June 17 against the Williamsport Crosscutters. To email reporter: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Summer 2013 | 11
Runner perseveres despite cancer
Editor’s note: This story originally ran in the April 23, 2013 edition of the Collegian.
BY EVAN ROMANO COLLEGIAN STAFF WRITER
On Aug. 28, 2012, everything seemed normal for runner Rachel Casciano. It was the second day of classes for her sophomore year at Penn State, and she was looking forward to a strong and successful year in the classroom, and running distance for the track team. And then everything changed. Rachel’s parents came up to campus, and let her know the earth-shattering news: She had been diagnosed with cancer. “You just never think it will happen to you, you just think ‘oh cancer, that’s not going to affect me,’ ” she said. The sophomore was coming off a successful 2012 outdoor running season, in which she finished as high as third place in numerous distance races, while also competing in numerous relays, as well as at the Big Ten championships. She had been having an issue with swelling in her neck, so much to the point that she needed to have a catscan done to check it out. It was here that the cancer was found in her thyroid. News of this nature would be devastating for anyone, but Rachel wouldn’t let it faze her. “It was scary, but my parents were incredibly supportive and all of my friends and teammates were, too,” she said. “Coach [Beth Alford-Sullivan] was great, and the whole coaching staff really worked with me.” Her mother, Melanie Casciano, spoke to the extent at which she provided support to her daughter. “My husband really researched the whole situation,
“She switched to he talked to a lot of track, and found that people, he talked to a she was best at that than lot of doctors,” she said. anything,” her father Melanie said that she and said of the decision that her husband would always eventually led to a Penn try to keep her daughter State scholarship. thinking and feeling In fall of 2012, Rachel, positive. again stricken with “We just tell her always factors and struggles do your best, and we’re from outside of her own always proud of her no control, didn’t lose any matter what,” she said. focus. Despite all of A key piece of the her health struggles, relationship, and staying Rachel made it a point positive amid all of the to keep up with her troubles and all of the grades, finishing the fall adversity, has simply been semester with a 4.0 GPA, to keep in contact with despite missing more each other. than 30 days of class. “We’re just there for her Throughout all of this, all the time, 24/7, and we Rachel’s teammates talk a lot,” Melanie said. and coaches always Rachel said she was made sure she felt like lucky that the cancer was she was a true “part of found “early,” and that the team.” the doctors and surgeons “I wasn’t able to could get right to it. Collegian file photo compete or really Rachel was set to have surgery in October, about Rachel Casciano runs the 6K during a 2011 meet. practice with everyone, but they constantly two-and-a-half months Casciano was diagnosed with cancer in Aug. 2012. made me feel like I was following her initial still with them on the diagnosis, and at one point, as her expected recovery time briefly considered withdrawing went from a few days, to more runs,” she said. Casciano lives with two of her for the semester. than a month. As the date of her surgery, Oct. The news of the cancer wasn’t teammates, sophomore Leigha and sophomore 5, approached, so did a shocking the first struggle that the runner Anderson and game-changing bit of news has had to overcome. During her Anna Benson, who she said — the cancer had spread from high school athletic career, she were integral in keeping her her thyroid to also affect her played basketball, soccer, field constantly in the loop. “[We] were with her the whole lymph nodes. This disheartening hockey, and volleyball before she time,” Anderson said. “She was development turned what was ever even decided to run track. intended to be a quick, hour-long After her third concussion pretty strong — she missed a surgery, into a five-plus hour came playing basketball, she had lot of class and didn’t complain surgery, consisting of surgeons begun suffering from memory about it at all, and she never removing her entire thyroid, and loss, among other concussion- really felt sorry for herself.” For the first time in nine more than 40 lymph nodes. related issues, and her athletic months, she returned to The news of the cancer future at large was in question. competition at the Bison spreading came a mere two days Her father, Daniel Casciano, prior to the surgery, so Rachel said that Rachel, who grew up Outdoor Classic, running in a said that she didn’t even have in Wyomissing, Pa., had always race on April 13. “I’m just excited to go and time for the morose information wanted to play a sport at Penn to set in. State, and when doctors advised race again because it will keep “I knew it was going to make against Rachel playing soccer getting better,” she said. “I’m everything longer,” she said, of again, she made the decision to really far back from where I had been, but I’m trying to be the extensive recovery process, try out running track.
positive that everything is just going to fall back into place.” Rachel finished 74th overall in the 1500-meter run, with a time of 5:01.18. She said that she is still adjusting to her posttreatment body, as, now without a thyroid, she had adjustments to make, but simply doing the same things as her teammates has her feeling positive. “I think everyone was just waiting for her to have a comeback race,” Anderson said. “It was good to see her in a uniform again.” Rachel was honored at last Monday’s Student-Athlete Advisory Board Banquet with this year’s “True Grit” award, sharing the honor with James English of the wrestling team. “It was really rewarding because it was hard this year, and I definitely didn’t need any acknowledgement, because I had so much support from everyone,” she said Rachel’s expectations for the future are modest, and for someone making so much progress in such a short time, seem reasonable. “I just would like to be able to make a greater impact on the team and get back to where I was,” she said. Anderson, her teammate and roommate said that she thinks that she has a tremendous future going forward, and is just scratching the surface. Melanie Casciano feels the same way about her daughter, saying that she knows she can come back strong because of her strong work ethic. Aug. 28, 2012 was the day everything changed. Nearly nine months later, things are still different. But for Rachel Casciano, it’s as close to the same as it’s been in a long time. To email reporter: email@example.com
12 | Summer 2013
THE DAILY COLLEGIAN
John Urschel: teacher, star guard Editor’s note: This story originally ran in the April 19, 2013 edition of the Collegian.
BY JOHN STUETZ COLLEGIAN STAFF WRITER
Four and a half years ago, John Urschel sat through classes in the fall of his senior year at Canisius High unsure of FOOTBALL School his place in the world. The Buffalo resident knew he liked football. He knew he was good at math. But, he wasn’t sure where that would lead him. “I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to play Division I football,” the late-blooming two-star recruit said. “I didn’t really know if I was going to be a great student in college. I wasn’t even 100 percent sure what I was going to go into, what I was going to do with my life, if I was going to be successful.” Now, looking back on his unique path, Penn State’s AllBig Ten offensive lineman, Academic-All American and unofficial poster boy couldn’t help but chuckle at a quandary that took him a little longer to solve than most. Urschel sat comfortably in the back of the 106 Boucke Building classroom on a Wednesday morning in early April, checking his watch every few minutes in anticipation for his 9:05 a.m. class, MATH 041 (Trigonometry and Analytical Geometry). As the instructor of the three-day-a-week section, the graduate student made sure not to be late in repositioning to the forefront. The articulate math genius spoke with a sense of humility in retelling his journey to Happy Valley, smiling as he recalled nearly being held back from the first grade. But, Urschel also presented a strong sense of recognition of how far he’s come — knowing he wouldn’t need to walk more than a half mile south in order to see his own portrait on a “We Are” banner on Allen Street, as part of the university’s Faces of Penn State campaign. Just nine months after NCAA president Mark Emmert announced Penn State’s football program would face four years of sanctions, at least in part to
Collegian file photo
Penn State guard John Urschel teaches a MATH 041 (Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry) class Wednesday, April 10 in 106 Boucke Building. He was a First-Team All-Big Ten guard in 2012. help fix what Emmert called its “football culture,” Urschel serves as perhaps the easiest reminder that not all is out of whack within the Nittany Lion program. The rising senior offensive lineman graduated as the student marshal of the Mathematics department with a 4.0 GPA last May — less than three years after enrolling at Penn State. Urschel already plans to complete his Master’s degree this spring, and recently had his first paper, “Instabilities in the Sun-Jupiter-Asteroid Three Body Problem,” published in a well-respected scientific journal. But before rising the depth charts of both the Penn State football team and math department, Urschel grew up as a challenge to his parents for all the right reasons.
Toys ‘R’ Solved
Born in Winnipeg, Canada of a native father, John, and Ohio native, Venita Parker, the only child says he enjoyed the gift of good genes. Urschel’s father is a retired thoracic surgeon and his mother an active attorney. While they separated before his older
years, both preached the power resulted in an aspiring young of education upon landing in mathematician. However, despite estimating Buffalo a few years into their that her son was about three son’s life. Parker said the educational grades ahead of the work he games that tend to challenge was doing in school, Parker most children — from basic actually had to defend her son’s video games to Rubik’s cubes — abilities when the public school didn’t even entertain her son for employees misread Urschel’s intelligence in first grade. more than a few days. “They said [to my Mom], ‘We And the employees at the local think your son is challenged. We Toys ‘R’ Us began to catch on. “I’d buy something thinking, think maybe he should repeat the first grade, ‘OK, not a and maybe problem. He’s we should put good to go,’ ” him in the Parker said. special class,’ “Maybe about ” Urschel said, three, four struggling to days in, he’s - First team All-Big Ten guard in 2012 keep a straight accomplished face. the goals of that - Graduated with a “ H o n e s t l y, game already. mathematics degree in I wasn’t There’s no three years with a 4.0 GPA talking and more quizzes or wasn’t really challenges left. - Taught MATH 041 course this participating. So it was like, past semester I guess ‘OK, time to buy something else.’ Even the people my drawings weren’t as nice as at Toys ‘R’ Us would be like, ‘Oh, the other kids’, maybe. My mom didn’t really take too kindly to it.” you’re back again?’ ” In fact, Parker asked that her Parker said Urschel showed an incredible zest for learning son be tested, and his “genius — often flipping through math level” scores led teachers workbooks in a day’s time to go back on their original — which, combined with an suggestion — ultimately ruling innate ability to solve problems, Urschel should actually skip a
grade (Parker removed her son from this public school before considering the option). Urschel’s love for learning continued to increase, but his relationship with football didn’t get off to similar beginnings. As a child, he played sports such as soccer, hockey and lacrosse, as he was too big to play in the Pop Warner football leagues, his mother said. This trend continued in middle school, where Urschel said, “they didn’t have a helmet to fit my head.” He finally got a chance to try his hand at football upon entering Canisius and, though the learning curve presented itself at first, Urschel quickly immersed himself in the sport at the Catholic high school. However, save a few Ivy League schools — Urschel’s intellectual ability was never again questioned — the offers did not come rolling in prior to his senior year like many eventual Division I players. He was prepared to attend Princeton until the late former coach Joe Paterno and company sent Urschel a late offer in January, leading to what he referred to as a “humble start.” “People really didn’t think much of me to be honest,” Urschel said of his recruitment process. “Penn State decided to believe in me, to give me a shot and give me a chance to show that I could be a successful student and football player. And I’m very, very grateful for that.”
A juggling act The conservative Jesuit teaching style of Canisius — where Urschel said a punishment called “Justice Under God” was used to deter bad behavior — helped gear the New Yorker to handle a rigorous work load earlier than most. While originally enrolled in Penn State’s engineering school, Urschel quickly ran out of math courses to take within his major and decided he wanted to stick to his mathematical roots — at just a little more of an advanced level than his childhood workbooks. A transfer to the mathematics department led Urschel to take some of the most challenging numerical classes offered at Penn State, such as Real and Complex Analysis, Numerical See URSCHEL, Page 13.
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“It definitely negates some stereotypes, with people seeing we have the prime example of a student-athlete. He’s a student first.”
URSCHEL, From Page 12. Linear Algebra, Numerical Solutions to Ordinary Differential Equations. He aced every single one. ENGL015 his freshman year has been the toughest task he’s faced in the classroom. “How I got an A in that is a mystery to me to this day,” he said, shaking his head with a wide grin. However, due to what he describes as more natural ability than anything else, the perfect scores kept coming for Urschel until graduation day last May, when the then-20year old graduated first in the Mathematics department with a perfect 4.0. Professor Victor Nistor said Urschel stood atop his MATH497 class with unblemished grades, a trend that doesn’t frequently occur in high-level math classes, let alone entire semesters. “It’s by no means trivial,” Nistor said. “It’s very easy to make a mistake here and there and not get the perfect A.” Nistor, who is one of the graduate professors overseeing Urschel’s Masters program, said the student has also shown a great passion for research, as evidenced by his voluntary attempt to have a paper accepted for publication. The research paper was officially published in the “Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy” journal in January. Most recently, Urschel has successfully balanced the intense offseason workout regimen of coach Bill O’Brien’s spring season with teaching his MATH041 session, in addition to his graduate course work. The energy and awareness he shows in the classroom may lead some to wonder where he found the time and effort to have already submitted his Masters thesis in March, let alone suit up for spring practice several times a week. So, how does he do it? Urschel said it all comes down to honing his attention in on what’s most important. “I’ve really focused on math and focused on football,” Urschel said. “I’ve let a lot of hobbies go, things that other people really have time to do, and I don’t. I don’t try to do everything, because then really, I’m not going to end up doing everything really well.”
Summer 2013 | 13
Ty Howle Offensive lineman bashing,” going on among the national media. “The people in this campaign are Penn State, not the one that was convicted of child molestation,” Hermann said of the campaign’s wide-arching nature. “…[Urschel] is just an amazing individual and we’re lucky to have several people like that around here. He’s a good example, in a lot of cases, of what’s really good about Penn State, and people in general.” And despite the overall perception of the football program improving since last summer, teammates still see the importance of having a team member as multi-dimensional as Urschel. “It definitely negates some stereotypes, with people seeing we have the prime example of a student-athlete,” Urschel’s former roommate and current line-mate Ty Howle said. “He’s a student first.” Collegian file photo
John Urschel is one of four student-athletes featured on banners around State College as part of the Faces of Penn State campaign.
Face of Penn State “Our goal is not to be just punitive, but to make sure the university establishes an athletic culture and daily mindset in which football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people.” Mark Emmert’s words were heard loud and clear on July 23, 2012 throughout not just State College, but the entire nation when he announced the grave details of the sanctions Penn State would face in light of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case. Urschel remembers hearing the news, dismissing the claims of a “football culture” problem and focusing on the things he could control, such as strengthening ties with teammates and improving on the practice field. Penn State public relations representatives, such as Director of University Relations Jeff Hermann, however, had a bit of a different task on their
hands. After dealing with the initial media blowup, they had to address the struggling perception of the athletic program. “Obviously, we were interested in showing that our athletes around here are not just dumb jocks,” Hermann said in a phone interview last week. Hermann was part of a Campus Advisory Board that came up with the idea to create a new Faces of Penn State campaign — which includes successful students, faculty and alumni, placing their portraits on banners around campus — as a way to revive the school’s image as a whole. As one of only nine Penn State student-athletes to secure a 4.0 GPA in the 2011-12 school year, Urschel became an immediate candidate for the campaign. Hermann said the board members hoped incorporating Urschel and three other student athletes in the campaign would help to counter the misconceptions, or “Penn State
‘Just the beginning’ Meanwhile, the initially reserved math whiz from Buffalo is still adjusting to becoming a frequent focus of one of the most storied programs in college football. In Urschel’s perfect world, he would be flying under the radar — focusing on his studies and perfecting his craft on the Penn State offensive line, without receiving the attention that’s
ultimately come along with it all. However, he recognizes a lessthan-perfect world when he sees one. “I realize that I kind of have a duty to my team and my university to do these things and to represent both of them extremely well,” Urschel said. “I acknowledge that and recognize that a lot of the things, like the interviews I do…it’s more important than just myself.” Still, Urschel also understands the importance of focusing on his personal improvement, continuing to successfully juggle his demanding lifestyle — which he said he hopes will lead to a future involving football at the professional level. To those, like his mother, who encourage him not to work so hard, Urschel’s message is simple. “I’ve made it this far. I’m really too close to not get to where I want to be,” Urschel said. “And I really hope that this is just the beginning for me.” And after an offseason filled with questions about his success in the world of academics, the returning First-Team All-Big Ten guard looks forward to reminding people of his talents outside the classroom, too. “Sometimes people kind of forget…” Urschel said, pausing briefly. “I can play football, too.” To email reporter: firstname.lastname@example.org
Collegian file photo
John Urschel writes football plays and mathematical proofs on a window in the Boucke Building.
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SPRINGING INTO SUMMER
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THE DAILY COLLEGIAN
MY VIEW: LILY BEATTY
Advice: Go confidently in what you do “Looks like I’ll be attending the University of Wisconsin next year! #GoBadgers” I sent this obligatory “decided-on-college” tweet at this time last year during my senior year of high school. I was going to be a student at the University of Wisconsin. I had turned down a hefty scholarship to the University of Alabama to do so. Needless to say, I was quite undecided on Penn State when I chose to attend here instead of Wisconsin at the encouragement of my family in late April 2012. I spent much of my first weeks of last fall thinking of the possibilities if I had taken another path. But amid my “what ifs,” I decided to join things. The Daily Collegian first, then a THON Morale committee. In the beginning, it was a choice I begrudgingly made; I felt like it was just a social expectation. But once I did, I realized it
My advice to you, though, as cliché as it seems, is to not think “what if.” Instead, go confidently.
was my best choice in college thus far. Why? Well, it kept my mind off the fact that I was 12 hours away from home. Also, it gave me the opportunity to meet people. My advice to you, though, as cliché as it seems, is to not think “what if.” Instead, go confidently. So here are a few reminders that will make everything a little bit more bearable once you have to start doing your own laundry. The more time you spend out of bed and out of your dorm room, the happier you will be. The busier you are, the less time you will have to think about missing home or old friends. Also, it will keep you active and it allows you to maximize your time at college.
Trust me, my freshman year went fast. Plus, dorms can be a bit depressing sometimes, and during summer session or early fall, you will want to maximize air conditioning access. Don’t forget why you are here. You are here to get a degree, not to party or be the president of a club. Don’t be the kid who has to drop CHEM 110 or MATH 140 because you would not do the work. Bottom line: Don’t waste your — or your parents’ — money. Going to class is a good idea, too. I have heard of many freshman getting a nice little notice at the end of the fall semester informing them that they would be put on academic probation. Be friendly and meet people in the first couple of weeks. Everybody is friendlier then
because everyone is trying to find their place or friend group in college. I came here knowing exactly zero people from my graduating class, but the people I met in the beginning of the year are largely the people I still talk to today. Join something. If anything, it gives you something you are required to do. This could be your savior if you are on a 24-hour Netflix marathon that you cannot seem to stop. Just join. But hey, if what you join is not for you, join something else. There are so many clubs, organizations or causes to support. A searchable list can be found at studentaffairs.psu.edu. Not all of them operate in summer session though, but keep your eyes peeled for notices on bulletin boards. Join listservs of random clubs too! But don’t overload yourself and get mono during like your first finals week. It’s not fun, speaking from experience. Get a warm coat. Minus what you may hear on
Twitter, State College winters are bearable if you have a good coat and winter boots. Winter comes every year, and I’m still alive. But alas, you still have those people trying to brave the cold in a sweatshirt. On another weather-related note, always have an umbrella for rain AND snow. Do homework in public places... ...such as the lobby of your dorm building. I met a lot of my friends by doing my homework there. But honestly, if you need to get work done fast, I do not suggest sitting there. Go to the library. Penn State can be daunting, rewarding, disheartening and fulfilling all at the same time. Just stick with it. You are about to experience freshman year triumphs and mistakes. It could be good or bad, but that’s up to you. Lily Beatty is a Collegian staff writer and a sophomore majoring in supply chain management. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.