Page 1

Summer 2010

The College of Health and

Human Development

Providing Opportunity

Gene Maylock

Welcome Dear alumni and friends, The College of Health and Human Development (HHD) can look back on some excellent accomplishments this year. Our undergraduate enrollments continue to climb and we now have record levels of majors in our college. Our research awards are reaching new heights, and we have hired a very talented cadre of new faculty in several areas of the college. To continue to build HHD and to achieve the levels of excellence we have set for ourselves, we need your help. This issue of the college’s alumni magazine is all about ways alumni can become engaged in the life of HHD—as mentors, career advisers, guest instructors, committee members, and donors. There are two special areas in which we need your involvement and guidance. The first is the international arena. The undergraduate minor in Global Health offered through the Department of Biobehavioral Health begins this fall, and we are looking for alumni with related expertise to guest-lecture and meet with students. We are also launching the exciting, collegewide Global Leadership Initiative, which offers special training prior to and following students’ international experiences, as well as a mentoring component. If you have international experience related to any area of HHD and might be interested in mentoring, I would love to hear from you. The second area in which we need your participation is Penn State’s new capital campaign, titled For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. As you will see in these pages, we kicked off the HHD campaign in April with a wonderful event that highlighted the vital importance of philanthropy for students, faculty members, and academic programs. We have embraced an ambitious goal of raising $90 million in the next few years; with your help, we will surpass that goal and give the college a strong foundation on which to build in these challenging economic times. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those that have already committed so much of their time, talent, and treasure to this campaign, to HHD, and to Penn State. Your leadership and energy are examples of the very best at this University. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy seeing and hearing from you. Your engagement, participation, and support make all the difference. Best Wishes,

Ann C. Crouter Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean College of Health and Human Development

Penn State Department of Public Information

table of CONTENTS 2 Alumni Involvement

Alumni support helps prepare students and strengthens the college.


For the Future College plays its role in student-focused campaign. Dean Dr. Ann C. Crouter

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Outreach Dr. Anthony D’Augelli

Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education Dr. Neil Sharkey

14 Academic Unit Updates 19 New Faculty 20

Experiential Learning Hands-on experiences give students a chance to test their skills and preview career paths.


Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education

Milestones Two academic units and one research center are

Douglas Ford

celebrating anniversary milestones.

Assistant Dean for Alumni and College Relations and Leadership Initiatives

27 Global Leadership Initiative Begins Fall 2010

Dr. Abigail Diehl

The program will broaden student perspectives, skills, and careers.

Director of Development

29 Alumni Awards

Maggie Crispell

Magazine Production Creative Direction Scott Sheaffer

30 Affiliate Program Group Updates 33 Class Notes

Writing/Editing Liam Jackson

Design Dennis Maney

Class Notes

For news about the School of Nursing, visit

V. Diane Collins Articles may be reprinted with permission; for more information please contact the Office of Alumni and College Relations at 814-865-3831 or For general correspondence, please write to the Office of Alumni and College Relations, College of Health and Human Development, The Pennsylvania State University, 201 Henderson Building, University Park, PA 16802-6501; e-mail; or visit Cover photo by Douglas Stanfield (Penn State Department of Public Information)

This publication is available in alternative media on request. Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce. (HHD10121) U.Ed. HHD 10-101

Paul Hazi

Alumni Involvement Alumni Support Helps Prepare Students and Strengthens the College Caitlin O’Neill and Mary Good exemplify the power of the Penn State network. A casual chat at a networking reception blossomed into a fulfilling experience for both. After becoming O’Neill’s mentor, Good had the opportunity to be a guiding voice for an eager, motivated student. For O’Neill, this encounter was a springboard to her current career.



Summer 2010

Leaders of the college’s Affiliate Program Groups (APGs) speak casually outside of Henderson building before a meeting of the HHD Alumni Society Board. the College of health and human Development



The Domino Effect When she was a student, O’Neill ’09 HRIM was a member of the 2008-2009 class of the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI), who traveled to Washington, D.C., and heard a presentation from Good ’85 I F S, senior vice president of human resources for SRA International. O’Neill was inspired after the speech and she wanted to express her gratitude to Good—so she walked up to her afterward. She was nervous at first, but that quickly faded a few minutes into the conversation. “She had a very warm personality, and our conversation was very low-key,” recalls O’Neill. “She was straight to the point, and explained right away how she wanted to help me.”

“I have a real love and passion for Penn State, particularly our college. People from our college bring something really unique to the table in terms of their experience,” says Good, who also gives financially to the WLI, sits on the WLI External Advisory Board, and is a member of the Development Council for the college on For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students (see page 8). As Good illustrates, alumni mentors can significantly impact students’ education, and the college maintains a number of programs that utilize this mentor support, including the Women’s Leadership Initiative, the upand-coming Global Leadership Initiative (see page 27), and the college’s mentoring program. Paul Hazi

Steve Wagman shares his professional experiences with students. According to Wagman, “Being a mentor can provide students with real-life guidance, help them position their résumés to their advantage, prepare for professional jobs, and connect with other alumni.”

The pair stayed in touch, and Good eventually took O’Neill under her wing, found an internship for her in the human resources department of SRA International, and became her unofficial mentor. The decision to speak with Good that day turned out to be a smart move for O’Neill because it led to a series of events that, like dominoes, cascaded and opened up more opportunities, eventually landing O’Neill a career working alongside Good. O’Neill took initiative, and Good was attentive, helpful, and caring—which helped their connection flourish. “The key was to work with her directly,” Good recalls. “We gave Caitlin exposure to people within all levels of HR, also outside of HR—we run a large and complex business. I tried to push Caitlin to do things outside of her comfort zone and help her learn about things she might not have learned about in classes. Caitlin was a real whiz at some newer technologies, which proved advantageous to us in communicating to broad audiences of employees.” O’Neill began her full-time job as recruitment specialist at SRA shortly after her graduation in December 2009. “I feel fortunate to have things work out the way they did,” says O’Neill.



Summer 2010

Steven Wagman ’82 HPA, vice president and practice director of solutions implementation at Siemens Healthcare, is a seasoned mentor in the college’s mentoring program. He has provided guidance to five protégés from the Department of Health Policy and Administration, and he keeps in touch with all of them to this day. “There’s more competition in the job market today than there was even a few years ago, and being a mentor can provide students with real-life guidance, help them position their résumés to their advantage, prepare them for professional jobs, and connect with other alumni,” says Wagman. The mentoring program, founded in 2002 by the HHD Alumni Society’s Board of Directors, pairs current students with experienced alumni based on career interests. This provides a one-on-one support system for the student and a direct outlet for any questions or concerns they have about professional matters. As is the case with Wagman, the mentors and protégés often develop lasting personal relationships, too.

McCann, president of Optimum Hotel Brokerage, is highly involved in the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA). AAHOA has one of the largest annual conventions of any organization in the hospitality industry—over 6,000 industry executives attend. McCann knew this would be an eye-opening experience for any student, so he made a few calls and secured a booth for Penn State at the convention. George and two other HRIM students represented Penn State at the conference.

Gene Maylock

The college’s mentoring program has made a major difference in the lives of alumni and students alike. Alumni commonly remain mentors for multiple years, and protégés frequently become mentors following graduation. At times, alumni mentors go out of their way to leverage their own career standing to benefit students. Joe McCann ’78 FS HA, president of the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society (PSHRS), did this for his current protégé in the HHD mentoring program, Justin George, an HRIM student.

The board developed an initiative to provide funding for students’ membership into the Penn State Blue and White Society, which lets students get involved with the Penn State Alumni Association before graduation.

“There were a lot of doors

now I want to help open

Enriching Students’ Education and Lives

Another initiative designed to enhance student life is the Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series, which brings alumni who are leaders in their fields back to campus to speak on a topic of their choice to students, faculty, and others in the University community. The program is a testament to the potential careers the College of Health and Human Development can foster. Alumni who have presented as part of this series are Dr. Mario Lafortune ’78g, ’84g PH ED, director, Nike Sport Research Laboratory (2009); Mary Ellen Clark ’85 PH ED, two-time Olympic diving bronze medalist (2008); and Wendy A. Owen ’85 RC PK, former vice president, strategic communications initiatives and global services at Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services (2007).

One of the main objectives of the HHD Alumni Society’s Board of Directors is to “find ways to keep students involved after graduation,” says Kay Salvino ’69 I F S, past president of the Board of Directors and practice administrator at Heimer Eye Care Associates in State College. “It gives me great satisfaction to see people get involved in the college in response to support they’ve received.”

The board also provides advice and governance on how the college’s Affiliate Program Groups (APGs)—alumni groups affiliated with particular academic programs—can enhance their existing connections with the college and improve upon ongoing initiatives. “The APGs provide a concrete connection between alumni and the college,” says Dr. Idamarie Laquatra ’75, ’79g, ’83g NUTR, director

“The real special part about this is that Penn State was the only hotel school to have an exhibition booth at the convention—and it was free to the students,” says McCann. “Before being involved in the mentoring program, I didn’t do much outside of class,” says George. “This was a great opportunity to get our school’s name out there, and also to look for internships and jobs.” McCann plans to help George and a larger group of HRIM students attend the Mid East Regional AAHOA meeting in the fall 2010 semester.

opened for me because I went to Penn State, and doors for others,” says Kay Salvino (M), with students Samantha Lentini (L) and Kelly McGill (R).

Mentor and Protégé Profile: Sharing a Love of a Career Path Karen Kesterholt is a Communication Sciences and Disorders student interested in working with children. She came to Penn State as an Education major, but switched to CSD because she wanted to specialize in communication disorders. She became involved in the HHD mentoring program and was matched with an alumna who works with children in kindergarten through eighth grade, Jessica Muchoney ’04, ’06g CSD, speech-language pathologist at Central Dauphin School District in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Being a protégé in the HHD mentoring program has given Kesterholt a new perspective on her field. “The program is really good. It’s nice to hear from alumni who are able to tell you more about what you’re interested in.” Kesterholt has been able to get advice and feedback on graduate school, which is required for speech-language pathologists, as well as different facets of the

workplace, such as case loads and various responsibilities of a speech-language pathologist. The duo maintains regular communication, and they had the opportunity to meet at the HHD mentoring dinner, held each spring semester. The two are arranging for Kesterholt to spend a day shadowing Muchoney at her job. Muchoney was one of the first protégés in the CSD mentoring program. “I had such a great experience with it, and I wanted to give back in a similar way,” she explains. She has been involved for four years and has plans to continue her involvement. “I enjoy sharing the love I have for my job, helping people who were once in my shoes get excited about grad school and the future of speech-language therapists,” she says.

the College of health and human Development



of global nutrition at H.J. Heinz Company and a past president and founding member of one of the college’s APGs, the Nutrition and Dietetics Alumni Society (NDAS). In the initial stages of establishing the NDAS, Laquatra and the other founding members were inspired by alumni they spoke with. “We found a terrific response when we contacted alumni,” she says. “People wanted to be involved— they wanted to give back to Penn State, and they had an allegiance to their major.” Laquatra also sits on the HHD Alumni Society Board of Directors. “The APGs serve a very broad role, and each one focuses on engaging alumni, students, and faculty in its own way,” says Jason Diaz ’97 R P M, chair of the HHD Alumni Board’s APG Committee. “We’ve been making a concerted effort to connect with students especially, lately, by finding ways for our alumni to help with professional networking, as well as share their own real-world experiences and perspectives on life in general, such as what it’s like to balance family and career. One of our hopes is that students will get involved in the APGs after they graduate and remain active in giving back for their whole lives.” Volunteer support is the lifeblood of APGs. “What always amazes me is the willingness of people to give of their time and expertise to ensure the success of their organizations—it goes back to the strong connection people feel with Penn State,” says Laquatra.

For alumni, being highly involved in and caring about the college often leads to financial support. “If you think highly enough of an organization to give your time and expertise, you should go the extra step and contribute financially,” says Salvino. “The things we believe in deserve financial support as well—no matter how much you give.” Salvino has supported the college financially in numerous ways, including giving to the Women’s Leadership Initiative and establishing endowments, such as the Ernest F. and Kay Frantz Salvino “Discovery” Scholarship, which supports HPA students. “There were a lot of doors opened for me because I went to Penn State, and now I want to help open doors for others,” says Salvino. The Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society (PSHRS) created two major endowments that provide hospitality students with financial assistance in gaining pre-professional experiences at national conferences. In 2000, its first endowment was established at $100,000 and in 2008 it created a second fund at the $250,000 level, titled the PSHRS Pre-Professional Leadership and Hospitality Industry Experiences Endowment. “The hospitality industry places a high value on a Penn State degree,” says Joe McCann, president of PSHRS. “With Penn State alumni already in many leadership positions around the world, the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society wants to leverage its members’ influence in the industry to give our students real-world experience and introduce them to the many facets of the hospitality industry.” McCann has endowed several scholarships on his own, one of which supports students interested in real estate management and another that supports students interested in hospitality entrepreneurship.

Paul Hazi

For Laquatra, being involved with the college is an experience like no other. “It’s amazing to learn about how the college is enriching the lives of each new group of students,” she says. “It gives me the sense that the college has a higher purpose—for developing individuals, rather than just providing curricula. The college looks holistically at each student, cultivating them into individuals who will make a contribution to society.”

Going the Extra Step

“It’s amazing to learn about how the college is enriching the lives of each new group of students,” says Ida Laquatra. “It gives me the sense that the college has a higher purpose—for developing individuals, rather than just providing curricula.”



Summer 2010

McCann enjoys the chance to meet with recipients of the scholarships and awards he has endowed, to see how his contributions have made a difference in their lives. “Anything I do monetarily is targeted for financially deserving students. Naturally, the funds help them achieve their educational goals. However, more importantly, the combination of personal involvement and financial support teaches these students the value of alumni involvement and reinforces their responsibility to, in turn, represent Penn State with pride and help more students in the future.” NDAS rallied support to establish the Helen Wright Trustee Scholarship in honor of Wright, a professor emerita of nutritional sciences. The scholarship, established in 2008 while Paula Leuenberger ’76 NUTR was president of NDAS, provides support for financially deserving students. “We’re always looking for ways to honor faculty of the college,” Leuenberger says. NDAS has honored a number of other past faculty members of the Department of Nutritional Sciences through the establishment of other awards, such as the John E. Smith Outstanding Senior in Nutrition Award.

Programs such as Alumni in the Classroom and Professionals in the Classroom give alumni such as Joe McCann the chance to reach out and share invaluable knowledge and experiences with entire classes of students.

Steve Tressler

“The greatest tool that APGs have is their ability to make an endorsement and inspire others to make gifts, no matter the size of the gift. They have the power to guide and unite people who have the same priorities—for creating a legacy for the college,” says Maggie Crispell, director of development for HHD. “All our alumni who have supported the college and its many initiatives—financially or otherwise—have played an important role in turning someone’s dream into a reality.”

From Student to Teacher In two programs in the college—the Department of Health Policy and Administration’s Professionals in the Classroom (PiC) program and the School of Hospitality Management’s Alumni in the Classroom (AITC) program—alumni assume the role of faculty for several days. This provides a chance to share valuable tips, advice, and personal stories about individualized career paths with students. “It’s a very rewarding experience,” says Shannon Egan ’07 HRIM, manager of development planning and feasibility at Marriott International, who has participated in the SHM AITC program three times since she graduated. “Each year, I understand more about what students are going through and how my experiences in the working world can help them.” Egan and other alumni share information they know will help students be confident as they transition from

the classroom to their careers. Because she graduated recently, Egan has valuable, relevant information about this transition, and talks with students about “what it’s like being young in the workplace, generation gaps, and how to distinguish yourself from someone who has ten years of experience.” The program helps not only students, but alumni, too: it provides additional opportunities to network with fellow alumni, and for many, it provides an enormous sense of satisfaction from seeing each group of motivated students. “Coming back energizes me after a long week. You see that nothing is impossible, with all of the talent and potential here,” says Wagman, who regularly participates in the HPA PiC program. “It’s very eye-opening to see how recent graduates have progressed, and it helps me to know what to anticipate after graduation,” says recent graduate Regina Cerra ’10 HRIM. “All of the alumni are interested in helping me, whether it’s through answering my questions or looking over my resume. I already plan on being a part of the Alumni in the Classroom program after I graduate.” Alumni of the college have an invaluable opportunity to improve upon the already-strong educational program in the college by pledging their support. The ties they maintain through their continued involvement serve as bonds that connect students with the industry and their futures. The college’s network of supportive alumni is reinforced not only when new classes of students graduate, but every time an alumna or alumnus makes the decision to give back.

the College of health and human Development



College plays role in Penn State’s capital campaign 8


Summer 2010

the College of health and human Development



inding one’s way around campus on that bewildering first day of classes. Forging friendships with roommates. Pulling an “all-nighter” before a tough exam. Cheering the team on in Beaver Stadium. All memories of a Penn State graduate begin with one essential element: opportunity. To be certain that the students of tomorrow have the opportunity and the ability to attend a University steeped in tradition and excellence, private gift support has become a necessity for those who benefit—and a privilege for those who provide it. Penn State’s current multi-year fundraising effort, titled For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, is committed to increasing scholarship opportunities for future generations of Penn State students; to ensuring that Penn State students have access to the brightest and best faculty members; and to providing the tools, spaces, and innovative programs that will enable Penn State to maintain its reputation for excellence. Made public in April 2010 after a “quiet” phase that began in 2007, For the Future, like the College of Health and Human Development itself, offers a place for everyone’s involvement. The campaign has an overall goal of raising $2 billion by the spring of 2014. While this is an ambitious target, it is essential in order to fulfill the single vision of the campaign: advancing the frontiers of learning at the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America. The College of Health and Human Development’s objective is to achieve at least $90 million by the time the campaign concludes. Already having reached the halfway mark, the achievement of its goal relies upon the three cornerstones on which the college is built:

a world-class faculty that is dedicated to excellence, talented and motivated students, and loyal and engaged alumni. The college has each of these in great abundance. The college is focused on areas of the human experience that touch nearly everyone. Through its eight superb academic units, HHD addresses the most critical of human issues—improving health, development, and the quality of life for people of all ages and walks of life. Similarly, the new campaign offers a range of funding opportunities that nearly everyone can connect to: boosting scholarship support and ensuring opportunity and access for undergraduate and graduate students, enhancing honors education, building faculty strength and capacity so that students work with the finest teachers and researchers, enriching the student experience inside and outside the classroom, and fostering discovery and creativity. Students are the heart and soul of the college, and they are the single biggest campaign priority. For many, having access to scholarship support is the deal maker—or breaker—when it comes to being able to attend Penn State. Thus, many alumni and friends see the meaning in making gifts that enable young people to afford to become a Nittany Lion. HHD—known affectionately as the “people college”—continues to deserve its nickname by virtue of the numerous individuals, each with stories of their own, who have decided to get involved and see to it that HHD students now and in the future can afford their dreams. Suzie Martin ’74 C R S and her husband, Allen, for example, decided to honor Suzie’s mother, Joanne, by establishing a Trustee Scholarship in her name. “My mother worked tirelessly to make sure

HHD volunteers and donors gathered during the official campaign kickoff weekend in April. Dr. Connie Rogers (R), the first occupant of the Broadhurst Career Development Professorship for the Study of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, speaks with donors Jim and Suzy Broadhurst about how their gift has enabled her to perform critical research.

Christopher Weddle (3)



Summer 2010

At the kickoff celebration, donors had a chance to meet the individuals whose lives they had touched through their contributions. Jean Priem Mickley ’48 H EC shares a conversation with student Valerie Sullivan, the recipient of an award Mickley endowed.

I was able to attend college,” says Suzie Martin. “She understood the importance of an education in being the driving force behind my dreams and my future. I want to make sure that other HHD students have that opportunity just like I did. It means so much to me knowing that my mother’s name will be forever attached to such a wonderful cause that secures a real future for students.” The recipients have powerful stories as well. Laura Karp, a Biobehavioral Health student and Schreyer Scholar, owes not only her traditional education but her pre-professional and out-of-classroom learning opportunities to the financial support she has received from the Schreyer Honors College and HHD. A recipient of a Francis A. and Ruth C. Wodock Scholarship for Students in HHD, Karp comes from Maryland and aims to be an occupational therapist. “Without my scholarships, I wouldn’t have been able to observe doctors, visit medical centers, or travel to gather information and perspective,” she says. “I love BBH because it is so interdisciplinary and offers so many options. Rather than working somewhere to help pay expenses, my scholarship enabled me to spend time working in the Center for Childhood Obesity Research, which was extremely helpful and motivated me as a student.” Kelly McGill, a student enrolled in Health Policy and Administration, was chosen to receive the Healthcare Executives Forum Award because she exemplified student leadership in the health care field. “Receiving this award meant everything to me,” she says. “I have been actively involved in programs focused on developing leadership skills and abilities, such as the Women’s Leadership Initiative and the HPA Executive Board, so I was thrilled to know that I had the support financially to continue with not only these activities but with my ultimate goal of a world-class education in health policy. Without the contributions of HHD alumni, such awards would not be possible for a student like me to obtain, making it harder not only to be part of the HPA program but to attend Penn State at all.” Behind these scholarships are the visionary alumni and friends who make these funds possible. Suzann Tedesco ’64 H EC, a past HHD

Alumni Board member and volunteer, created an endowment in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in addition to providing annual support to the college. “It’s hard to know what part of giving back I like most and it’s almost impossible to separate myself from the college.” This affinity—and the concept of being an investor and a part of the future of Penn State, HHD, and its students—is the motivation and drive behind many private gifts. Even with access, an ideal student experience can’t be achieved without the requisite faculty to guide, inspire, and inform HHD’s students. Thus, faculty support is an important priority, especially given the record number of undergraduates currently flocking to the college. Recruiting superb faculty is an exciting part of the college’s activities every year, and For the Future underscores the critical need to provide support to attract and retain the best and the brightest faculty members. HHD achieved a Penn State milestone and made history several years ago in the establishment of the first endowed dean’s chair, made possible by an exemplary gift from Ray Schultz ’55 L M R and Erin Schultz. This chair, now held by Dr. Nan Crouter, provides essential discretionary resources that the dean can direct to priority areas of need throughout the college. Crouter has used the funds generated by the endowment to support faculty and students and to experiment with innovative programs such as the Global Leadership Initiative, which will begin this fall. “Private gifts are the only safety net we have, given the economic times we live in,” says Crouter. “Now, more than ever, HHD relies on individual support to accomplish its goals and to continue to be the relevant and innovative college our graduates recall, our current students depend on, and our future students will gravitate to.” Another groundbreaking venture showing the creativity behind private gift support came when HHD was privileged to create the first collegewide “thematic” Career Development Professorship. This endowment is designed to attract talented junior faculty and support them during their critical first few years. The Broadhurst Career Development Professorship for the Study of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention was made possible by a gift from

the College of health and human Development



Jim Broadhurst ’65 ECON and Suzy Williams Broadhurst ’66 EK ED. They chose an area of focus that is at the core of the college’s mission, relevant to almost every academic unit in the college, and timeless in its importance. “We wanted to enable and support teaching and research around important health initiatives, especially in the areas of nutrition, exercise, and obesity,” says Jim Broadhurst. “Through this endowment we know that our goal can be accomplished without traditional limitations.” Its first occupant, Dr. Connie Rogers ’90 BIOL, ’92g PHSIO, assistant professor of nutritional sciences, cites the endowment as “a deciding factor for me to choose to join the faculty at Penn State. This type of financial support allows junior faculty to attract the most promising students and perform top-notch research, and I am honored to be part of such a wonderful partnership.” Her research on the role of diet and exercise in immune function and cancer prevention is a terrific fit with the goals of the endowment. Although Nutritional Sciences was fortunate to recruit the first Broadhurst professor, the professorship will not always stay in the same academic unit; it is designed to move throughout the college every three to five years, providing opportunities to hire faculty in many different areas related to enhancing human health, and in so doing, knitting the college together around a vital theme. Over time, the legacy of the Broadhursts’ vision will be evident in a growing list of superb scholars who will join the college. Probably no group of individuals understands the needs of the college better than those who already have committed their time, effort, and intellectual resources to HHD: its faculty, staff, and retirees. Thus, a critical part of the For the Future effort in HHD focuses on them. With key contacts in every academic area of the college, former faculty members Dr. Stanley P. Mayers and Janet Atwood are providing great leadership of this effort by co-chairing a committee of more than a dozen faculty and staff volunteers across the college. Their goal is to achieve the highest possible level of gift participation in the effort.

A great example of the concern for and commitment to the college by faculty and staff is seen in the gift of a lifetime made by former faculty member Dr. Marjorie Knoll. A noted Home Economics professor who served Penn State from 1962 to 1980, Knoll made a lasting impact on the students and colleagues she interacted with during those years. Thanks to her generous bequest, she will make an impact on the college’s graduate students for years to come. Knoll’s dream remained private until after her death, when a planned gift she had made during her lifetime enabled the creation of two significant endowments to support graduate students in HHD. Knoll stands as a stellar example of sharing both one’s intellectual talents and tangible financial assets. As a result of her belief in the power of graduate education, her legacy now provides future graduate students with the ability to carry out their own research and fulfill their dreams. The University’s campaign officially kicked off during Blue-White weekend in April 2010. Hundreds of volunteers and donors representing the entire University celebrated the public launch and learned more about the areas of need, providing the chance for donors to meet beneficiaries of their gift support and setting the stage for the final phase of the campaign. HHD held its own celebration of its fundraising achievements to date, thanking those in attendance at a reception and dinner for their continuing support, effort, and loyalty. The event featured stories from students and faculty, personal reflections from donors, remarks from Crouter and University President Graham Spanier (who is also a tenured faculty member in HHD). Over the course of the evening, a clear picture emerged both of the needs of the college and its students and of the satisfaction of knowing that someone’s life has been changed and influenced for the better because of a gift made and a gift received. A group of generous, engaged, and energetic volunteers has been involved in support of this campaign since its quiet beginning in January 2007. Representing a variety of academic majors in the college, HHD’s Development Council meets regularly, dedicating considerable time, treasure, and talent to the college by providing support, serving as HHD ambassadors, introducing new friends to the college, and endorsing the campaign and the college by their personal participation. Chaired by

Dr. Stanley P. Mayers and Janet Atwood are providing leadership for the college’s role in the campaign by co-chairing a committee of more than a dozen faculty and staff volunteers across the college to support and endorse the highest possible level of gift participation from HHD faculty, staff, and retirees. Christopher Weddle (6)



Summer 2010

The focus of For the Future is providing opportunity to students. Dr. Graham Spanier (R), President, Penn State, conveys the need and value of every contribution. Students (Clockwise from top left) Tom Novack, Bethany Koshuta, Aileen Costigan, and Jeanette Bennett discuss how an endowed award has enhanced their education.

Helen S. Hintz ’60 H EC, the council is proactive and dynamic, providing counsel and strategic planning support to the dean and the development staff, as well as to faculty members, alumni, and friends.

times. Annual support is a large part of the giving culture that exists in HHD and its importance has never been stronger than it is now. Every gift, no matter the size, makes a difference.

“The willingness of our volunteers to devote their time and to promote the importance of volunteerism inspires others to contribute both time and tangible assets,” says Crouter. “These volunteers help us to remember where the college has been, they provide perspective and advice on where it is now, and, most importantly, they help move the college forward into the future.”

As the economy continues to pose challenges not only in Pennsylvania but throughout the nation and world, many families are finding it more difficult to afford a Penn State education. Establishing a strong foundation for the college and its students and faculty is more important than ever. HHD looks to its graduates, friends, faculty, and staff to respond to those in need in whatever way is possible. All gifts are vital. Not every donor will be able to make a large gift, but the college will be able to do extraordinary things if everyone contributes what they can.

The college invites alumni and friends to take part in the campaign and to show their support. Many alumni and friends of HHD were able to stand on the shoulders of those who went before them and prepared the way. Many HHD graduates know firsthand how critical it was to have a helping hand. Annual gifts from alumni and friends from across the globe, often made on a monthly basis over the year, provide critical support toward all of HHD’s academic units with unrestricted funding. These gifts enable the college to maintain its buildings and classrooms; replace aging equipment; invest in the start-up needs of new faculty members; support student and faculty professional travel; and maintain an economic safety net during challenging

Summing up the importance of alumni in the college’s future, Crouter emphasizes the importance of re-engaging with Penn State: “As you think through your own opportunities and your own ability to provide support, come back and visit and experience HHD. Interact with our students, spend some time in our classrooms and labs, and walk around a campus that is in some ways very different than you remember and in other essential ways just the same. You will see for yourself that Penn State is just as vibrant as it was when you were here, that our students are just as passionate about their alma mater as you are, and that they are well worth your investment. They are our future. Someday we will be reminding them that we need their support, just as we need yours today.”

the College of health and human Development



Biobehavioral Health

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) presented Dr. Gerald McClearn, Evan Pugh Professor of Health and Human Development, with its Robert W. Kleemeier Award. The award is given annually to a member of GSA in recognition for outstanding research in the field of gerontology, and the winner of the award also presents a lecture at GSA’s annual meeting the following year. The department will begin offering a new minor in fall 2010, Global Health, which is designed to prepare students for working with issues affecting the health of populations around the world. The department is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in the 2010-2011 academic year. For more information, see page 26.

Communication Sciences and Disorders Dr. Ingrid Blood, professor, is the recipient of the 2010 Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award from the Penn State Commission for Women. The award honors a Penn State employee, administrator, faculty, technical-service, or staff member who has a record of outstanding mentoring service going beyond the requirements of his/her employment duties and responsibilities.

Penn State Department of Public Information

Penn State researchers launched two new Web sites to provide more assistance to children

with special needs who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Dr. Janice Light, Distinguished Professor; Dr. David McNaughton, professor of special education; and Dr. Kathryn Drager, associate professor, were involved in this project. The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research plans to highlight one site, “Literacy Instruction for Individuals with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and Other Disabilities,” in their annual report to Congress this year.

Health Policy and Administration Susquehanna Health and Penn State’s Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.) program have announced a strategic alliance that will advance co-curricular learning for students and provide Susquehanna Health with a high-quality resource for strategic research. As part of the agreement, a group of students in the M.H.A. program will undertake one “capstone project” per year for Susquehanna Health during the spring semester from 2010 to 2013. Dr. Marianne Hillemeier, associate professor; Dr. Paul Morgan, assistant professor of special education; and Dr. George Farkas from the University of California, Irvine, are seeking a better understanding of the early risk factors for cognitive delays to give early childhood researchers and practitioners important information about a child’s cognitive development before entering kindergarten. The two-year study received a $400,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Hospitality Management The School of Hospitality Management (SHM) and the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management (RPTM) have been developing a hospitality and tourism research collaboration with the Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. Dr. Amit Sharma, assistant professor; Dr. Dan Mount, associate professor; Dr. Vivienne Wildes, assistant professor; and Dr. Deborah Kerstetter, associate professor of recreation, park, and tourism management, are involved in this collaboration and have visited the Netherlands several time during 2009-2010 academic year. Dr. Peter Bordi, associate professor, was awarded a $750,000 research grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study and combat childhood obesity through school food service. The initiative, spearheaded nationally by Michelle Obama, is in collaboration with Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutritional Sciences; Dr. David Cranage, associate professor; and Dr. Meg Small, research associate in the Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development. SHM received funding from the East Hill Woods Foundation to develop a program of studies to promote management of Continued Care Retirement Communities. Faculty members from the Department of Health Policy and Administration; the Gerontology Center; the John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence at Penn State; and the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management will be involved in delivering lectures on understanding and managing the aging process.

Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management Dr. Linda Caldwell, professor, will be assuming the role of Penn State faculty representative to the NCAA on July 1, 2010. Caldwell was also elected president of the Academy of Leisure Sciences in fall 2009, and she will be the first director of the college’s new Global Leadership Initiative (see page 27). The Professional Golf Management program was re-accredited for five years by the Professional Golf Association of America. The Golf Teaching and Research Center opened its doors last fall. Designed to advance golf research and instruction, the center provides a cutting-edge, high-quality learning environment for Penn State students in the Professional Golf Management option.



Summer 2010

Greg Grieco, Penn State Department of Public Information

Academic Unit Updates

Research Snapshots Legumes vs. Cancer A diet enriched with legumes (peas, lentils, beans) and with a low glycemic index has been shown to decrease biomarkers that have been linked to a risk of developing colorectal cancer. In collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, several HHD researchers (Dr. Terry Hartman, associate professor of nutritional sciences; Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutritional Sciences; Zhiyang Zhang, Nutrition graduate student; and Dr. Jan Ulbrecht, professor of biobehavioral health) looked at insulin sensitivity and inflammation in men who had undergone a screening colonoscopy in the two years prior to entry into the study. The World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research have stated that inflammation and insulin sensitivity are important risk factors for colorectal cancer. Those who ate the legume diet showed reduced signs of both of these factors, compared to an uncontrolled pre-study diet. The study also found that the high-legume diet reduced the rate of absorption of carbohydrates and lowered insulin production after a meal. Toddler Development Linked to Adult Food Supply We know food is related to health, but a new study by Dr. Daphne Hernandez, assistant professor of human development and family studies, demonstrated that an adult’s access to food is related to child development. When adults temporarily lacked access to healthy food or decreased their intake, toddlers in the same household experienced declines in cognitive development and health status. Hernandez explains that parents who experience “food insecurity” (i.e., lack of access to nutritious food) could suffer from lower energy, depression, or anxiety because of their diminished health, which in turn could affect their relationship with their child. Interestingly, children’s development was only affected when adults experienced temporary food insecurity; permanent or prolonged food insecurity led to no developmental delays. A possible explanation for this, Hernandez hypothesizes, is that adults who experience prolonged food insecurity may have developed effective coping mechanisms that buffer their children. Life-Long Language Problems People who reported having language or reading difficulties as a child often continue to have problems as adults. Dr. Carol Miller, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders (CSD), and Gerard Poll, CSD doctoral candidate, tested language ability and response times in adults age 18 to 35. Individuals with language problems in childhood had slower response times and scored lower on language tests than those who had not reported problems in childhood. These findings shed light on the lasting impact of language impairment. The findings also suggest that, even though certain language problems appear to have been “resolved,” they still affect the individual in some way. Miller and Poll suggest that more research is required to understand how language differences affect the day-to-day lives of adults with a history of language difficulties. Zero Tolerance Alcohol Policy Good Choice Parents who let underage children drink, believing it fosters a healthier attitude toward alcohol, should be careful—it may increase the likelihood that their children binge drink in college. Research conducted by Caitlin Abar and Beau Abar, graduate students in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and Dr. Robert Turrisi, professor of biobehavioral health, found no scientific basis to the common belief that prohibiting alcohol turns it into a “forbidden fruit” and encourages alcohol abuse. Abar surveyed almost 300 college first-year students in the United States and related their drinking habits to their parents’ modeling and permissibility of alcohol use. Those students whose parents did not permit them to drink underage—about half of the group—were significantly less likely to drink heavily in college, regardless of gender. The study also found that the greater number of drinks that a parent had set as a limit for the teens, the more often they drank and got drunk in college.

the College of health and human Development



Academic Unit Updates Gene Maylock

Kinesiology Dr. Mark Dyreson, associate professor, coedited two books that explore the role of sport in shaping cultures. The Rise of Stadiums in the Modern United States: Cathedrals of Sport examines the history of and perceptions surrounding several stadiums built (or planned to be built) in the United States, and Olympic Legacies: Intended and Unintended explores how the Olympics have changed cities across the world—and how those cities have changed the Olympics. Dyreson was also selected by the Organization of American Historians (OAH) to receive an OAH-JAAS Short-Term Residency at Musashi University in American sports history. Dr. Lacy Holowatz, assistant professor, is the principal investigator on a five-year, $1.7-million grant funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, for a project that seeks to understand how hypertension develops. The multidisciplinary Penn State Center for Motor Control opened in fall 2009. The center brings together faculty in the areas of kinesiology, psychology, engineering, orthopedics, and neurology, with the intention of facilitating translational research on the underlying mechanisms of motor coordination. Founding members from the department include Dr. Robert Sainburg, associate professor; Dr. Mark Latash, Distinguished Professor; Dr. Karl Newell, Marie Underhill Noll Chair and head

of the Department of Kinesiology; Dr. Vladimir Zatsiorsky, professor; Dr. Steven Piazza, associate professor; and Dr. Jinger Gottshall, assistant professor. In the fall 2009 semester, a new historical marker was unveiled on the University Park campus, next to the Biomechanics Teaching Lab (also known as the “Water Tower”). The marker celebrates the history and significance of the Biomechanics Lab at Penn State. Dr. R. Scott Kretchmar, professor of exercise and sport science, received two prestigious teaching awards from Penn State, the President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Integration and the Graduate Faculty Teaching Award. In the summer of 2010, Kretchmar will also be concluding ten years of service as Penn State’s faculty representative to the NCAA.

Human Development and Family Studies Dr. Leann Birch, Distinguished Professor, was appointed chair of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Obesity Prevention Policies for Young Children. The committee will be reviewing factors related to excess weight in children 5 and under, with a focus on nutrition and physical activity. Researchers led by Dr. Douglas Coatsworth, associate professor, are adapting the Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth Stephanie Petulla

Dr. R. Scott Kretchmar, professor of exercise and sport science, is honored for his tenure as Penn State’s faculty representative to the NCAA. Pictured (L-R): Dr. Lee D. Coraor, past chair of the University Faculty Senate; Dr. Nan Crouter; Dr. Rodney Erickson, executive vice president and provost, Penn State; Kretchmar; Dr. Graham Spanier, President, Penn State; and Tim Curley, athletic director, Penn State.



Summer 2010

Research Snapshots 10-14 (SFP 10-14), which educates parents and youth on ways to enhance their relationships. The study is funded by a $3.3-million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Nilam Ram, assistant professor, received a $1-million grant from the National Institute on Aging for a new study that is giving researchers a detailed description of how emotions, physical health, and personal interactions affect each other throughout the day. Dr. Cynthia Stifter, professor, received a $1-million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to research whether parents who soothe their infants with food may be putting them at risk for obesity or overweight. Dr. Steven Zarit, professor and head of the department, is the recipient of the Distinguished Career Contribution to Gerontology Award from the Gerontological Society of America. The award is presented annually to an individual whose contributions over the course of his or her career have articulated a novel theoretical or methodological perspective or synthesis that addresses a significant problem in the literature.

Nutritional Sciences Drs. Terry Hartman and Shelly NickolsRichardson, both associate professors, have been selected for the Academic Mid-Career Nutrition Leadership Institute, sponsored by the Dannon Institute. The leadership program consists of an intensive three-day training program designed to provide an opportunity for participants to determine desirable characteristics of senior leaders. Dr. Gary Fosmire, associate professor, received the College of Health and Human Development’s Alumni Society Excellence in Teaching Award. The award honors a tenured or tenure-track college faculty member’s excellence in teaching and contributions to the art of teaching. Dr. A. Catharine Ross, professor and holder of the Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair, received the College of Health and Human Development’s Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Research Career Award. The award honors a senior faculty member who has made outstanding research contributions to the field across a major portion of his or her career. Dr. Gordon Jensen, professor and head of the department, is a member of the Food Forum of the Institute of Medicine and the Standing Nutrition Risk Review Panel for the Human Research Program at the NASA Johnson Space Center.

Buying Local Buying locally grown food is becoming more popular, especially among independent restaurant owners, but there are crucial factors owners should keep in mind to maintain low costs. Dr. Amit Sharma, assistant professor of hospitality management, conducted research in ten restaurants in the Midwestern United States and found that locally grown ingredients took more time to be purchased and delivered to the restaurant, compared to nonlocal ingredients. Sharma suggests that improving relationships with locally grown food suppliers and improving access to information about where to buy locally grown food would help trim costs. Sharma’s research also indicated that in certain situations, using local food was more efficient than nonlocal food—when restaurants carved out a niche market, promoted locally grown foods on their menus, and employed a skilled chef. Skin Color Clue to Nicotine Dependence Dr. Gary King, professor of biobehavioral health, has found a potential link between skin and hair color and nicotine dependence. Studying individuals in inner-city Harrisburg, King found that people with a higher concentration of melanin—the color pigment in hair and skin— were more susceptible to tobacco addiction and the negative effects of tobacco-related carcinogens. “The point of the study is that, if in fact nicotine does bind to melanin, populations with high levels of melanin could indicate certain types of smoking behavior, dependence, and health outcomes that will be different from those in less pigmented populations,” explained King. “And the addiction process may very well be longer and more severe.” King says that additional studies with larger samples of smokers with varying levels of skin pigmentation will provide a clearer picture of the link between skin color and nicotine addiction. Income Not Connected to Weight Bringing home more bacon doesn’t mean you’ll be adding on more pounds. Many people in the public health community have speculated that income influences body weight, both over time for society as a whole and when comparing individuals at a point in time. However, Dr. John Moran, assistant professor of health policy and administration, and colleagues from Cornell University recently concluded a study that finds no statistically significant link between income and weight among the elderly. After analyzing data on 70,000 elderly men and women, Moran and his colleagues found that a permanent income difference of $1,000 per year at retirement was unlikely to change a person’s weight by more than a pound or two—which is too small to affect one’s health. Longer Toes, Unique Ankle Structure Aid Sprinters Track coaches may be right when they say sprinters are born and not made. Past research indicates that muscle size and composition play a role in sprinters’ speeds; new research conducted by Dr. Steven Piazza, associate professor of kinesiology, and Dr. Sabrina Lee ‘06g KINES, currently a postdoctoral fellow at Simon Fraser University, shows that longer toes and a unique ankle structure can also help boost sprinters’ acceleration. The researchers studied the musculoskeletal architecture of the foot and ankle to identify differences between sprinters and nonsprinters. They found that the Achilles tendons of sprinters actually had worse leverage than those of nonsprinters. Further computer analysis revealed that the lack of leverage permits the calf muscles to shorten more slowly, allowing for greater muscle force production and forward acceleration during a race. The computer model also showed that sprint performance benefits from longer toes, perhaps because longer toes allow sprinters to slightly prolong the forward push off of the ground. Interestingly, cheetahs also have longer toes than their feline counterparts who are less accomplished sprinters.

the College of health and human Development



Research Snapshots Stress, Depression Trigger Obesity in Girls

Watch the Extra Weight

Obesity is an important health issue in youth and is considered by many to be an epidemic; improving our understanding of the psychology and physiology involved will give researchers better tools to prevent it. Dr. Elizabeth Susman, the Jean Phillips Shibley Professor of Biobehavioral Health, has been studying levels of cortisol, a hormone that is released in reaction to stress, in children. She found that depression raises stress hormone levels in adolescent children and may also lead to obesity in girls. After taking a “stress test” (telling made-up stories and performing math tests in front of judges), girls who were obese and depressed had much higher spikes in cortisol than anyone else in the study. She believes that this difference between genders may have something to do with how the genders cope—physiologically, estrogen is released in girls, and behaviorally, girls tend to “stress eat.”

Due to how much it makes a person’s body sway, an 18.1 kg (40 lbs.) military backpack can greatly increase the risk of falls or injuries. Drs. John Challis and Neil Sharkey, both professors of kinesiology, found that women aged 18 to 25 were thrown off balance as much as 229 percent more while wearing backpacks, compared to not wearing them. 22 kg was the maximum weight recommendation set by the U.S. Army in 1990 for soldiers in combat, but this finding has implications for more than military personnel—hikers, obese individuals, and others with extra weight on their torso should watch their backs.

The State of State Parks State parks have potential not only to help individuals—by creating outlets for increasing physical activity—but communities, too—by increasing economic income through programming they offer. Faculty from the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management (Drs. Alan Graefe, Andrew Mowen, and Harry Zinn, all associate professors) and other faculty at Penn State coordinated several statewide surveys of Pennsylvania citizens to figure out what is working or not working in Pennsylvania’s state parks. They found that safety of and transportation to parks are two major issues for urban youth and baby boomers. They also learned what makes people return to parks (clean bathrooms and opportunities for educational programming), what needs improvement in state parks (better lighting, more recreation programming), and where gaps exist in the state’s trail system, which includes hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling trails. This research formed the basis of Pennsylvania’s five-year Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), which lays out plans to increase participation in outdoor learning programs, connect the state’s trail system, improve marketing campaigns, and develop more hiking and biking trails close to neighborhoods. Staying Cope-acetic Recovering alcoholics can benefit from using problem-solving coping methods (e.g., gathering information about a problem or implementing a plan of action) instead of avoidance tactics (such as venting or day-dreaming). Dr. H. Harrington Cleveland, associate professor of human development and family studies, studied college-age recovering alcoholics and found that coping strategies were associated with different amounts of cravings on a given day. People who experienced hostility in a personal interaction and used high amounts of avoidance coping were four times more likely to experience a craving that day than people who used low amounts of avoidance coping strategies. The study also indicated that everyone involved had similar amounts of cravings over a given time period, and those cravings rose and fell drastically on a daily basis for each person, based on factors such as negative emotions and interactions. Cravings are a common trigger for relapse, so understanding that coping methods can play a major role in reducing the likelihood of cravings is an important tool for recovering alcoholics.



Summer 2010

A High-Quality Preschool Can Go a Long Way New research shows that the environment in which we learn at a young age has a lasting impact on later success. Participation in a high-quality preschool program— which includes well-trained, wellequipped teachers; a vital and challenging curriculum; and a supportive classroom environment— can greatly improve children’s math and literacy skills, even years after preschool is over. Dr. Mark Greenberg, Edna Peterson Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research, and Dr. Celene Domitrovich, assistant director of the Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development, studied one example of this kind of preschool, the Harrisburg Preschool Program (HPP). Third-grade children who had participated in the HPP scored significantly higher on Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests than their peers who had not participated in the HPP program: 51 percent of those who participated in HPP were classified as advanced or proficient in the math portion of the test (compared to only 29 percent of children who had not participated in HPP). Reading achievements were similar: 45 percent of HPP attendees were proficient vs. 23 percent of non-attendees.

New Faculty in the College of Health and Human Development Connie Rogers

Assistant Professor of Hospitality Management

Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences

Dr. Michael Tews’ research focuses on the application of industrial and organizational psychology to the hospitality industry, especially issues relating to employee selection, training, and development; employee retention; and workplace substance abuse. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. in hotel administration from Cornell University and his M.S. in industrial relations from the London School of Economics.

Broadhurst Career Development Professor for the Study of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Gene Maylock

Steven Branstetter

Dr. Connie Rogers studies how changes in the body’s energy levels can impact inflammation, immunity, and cancer risk. Before coming to Penn State, she worked as a senior research fellow at the National Cancer Institute’s Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology. She received her B.S. in Biology and her M.S. in Physiology, both from Penn State; and both a Ph.D. in cell biology and physiology and an M.P.H. with a focus in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh.

Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health Dr. Steven Branstetter’s research interests include youth tobacco use; tobacco cessation; and the influence of family, peers, and social context in adolescent behavior. He shares a joint appointment with Penn State College of Medicine, working in the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute. He received a B.A. in psychology and sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, an M.A. in clinical psychology from the University of Colorado Denver, and a Ph.D. in child clinical psychology from the University of Denver.

Martin Sliwinski Director of the Gerontology Center and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Gene Maylock

Gene Maylock

Michael Tews

Dr. Martin Sliwinski has significant experience in gerontology, statistics, and psychology and over fifteen years of continuous funding from the National Institute on Aging. Prior to coming to Penn State, he spent nine years in Syracuse University’s Department of Psychology. He is editor of the journal Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition, and his research focuses on stress, aging, and working memory. He received his B.A. in interdisciplinary studies from Georgetown University in 1992 and his Ph.D. in psychology from the City University of New York.

the College of health and human Development



Chris Wilson shows children how to complete a segment of an obstacle course he designed as a tool to promote physical activity and improve dexterity. 20


Summer 2010

Paul Hazi

experiential learning Everyone learns in different ways. Some like the lecture hall best; others prefer a more hands-on approach. Combining both strategies can give students a unique and beneficial experience. In hands-on learning opportunities—internships, service learning, and more—students have a chance to apply what they’ve learned in class to real-world situations; make an impact in the community; “test drive” a career or two; and learn valuable lessons about themselves, the community, and their careers. These valuable experiences are playing an increasingly large role in students’ education in the College of Health and Human Development. The broadened perspective students gain will give them an advantage in the job market. Promoting Health among Students Students in the college find many ways to improve other students’ quality of life through health promotion. By getting involved in the HealthWorks peer mentor program, a collaboration between the Department of Biobehavioral Health (BBH) and Penn State’s University Health Services, students can design and implement initiatives that advocate smart health choices. HealthWorks peer mentors can apply information they’ve learned in Biobehavioral Health, Health Policy and Administration, Kinesiology, and Nutrition courses in a realistic, practical way. “It’s good to get experience like this before reaching the professional world,” says Amy Tomasko, a Nutrition major and HealthWorks peer mentor. “We get a lot of work with our interpersonal skills, and we also get practice working in a group and seeing how what we do can affect people.” A main goal of the HealthWorks program is to “change the Penn State environment so that students can participate in healthy behaviors,” says Dr. Linda LaSalle, associate director of educational services for UHS. This is especially important at college, as health plays a vital role in academic performance. HHD students who are peer mentors can improve not only their peers’ health, but their grades as well.

mentor, helped plan a health fair as a way to promote awareness of international health issues. The day-long event brought together representatives from various international service organizations on campus, such as the Global Medical Brigades and Project Haiti, to provide information to any Penn State student interested in helping out at the global level. Peer mentors also gain valuable leadership experience by partnering with other health initiatives on campus, such as the HIV/AIDS Risk Reduction Advisory Council (HARRAC), which promotes positive sexual health. “We try to make an impact now, and hopefully the people we talk with will be able to use that same information later in life,” says April Nickerson ’10 NUTR, a HealthWorks peer mentor in the spring 2010 semester. At Penn State’s annual Green Health Week, HealthWorks peer mentors April Nickerson (L) and Candace White (R) shared tips on how to stay healthy while being environmentally aware, and they gave out eco-friendly items.

Tomasko led a team of mentors in promoting healthy nutrition, and she frequently looked to her course textbooks—and occasionally college faculty members—for support. Some of their projects included creating tips on making healthy meals with a microwave (which is the only cooking appliance many students have access to) and outlining easy ways to find credible nutrition information in popular magazines. HealthWorks mentors work with a number of health topics relevant to college students—stress, physical activity, alcohol, tobacco, nutrition, sleep, sexual health, and global health. Queenna Damour, a Biobehavioral Health major and HealthWorks peer

the College of health and human Development



Imagine thirty 8-year-old children sprinting through the confines of an elementary school gym, shoes squeaking, belting out peals of ecstatic laughter, or a few occasional cries. It’s a difficult group to keep an eye on, let alone teach. But Lindsey Heck ’10 KINES learned effective ways to rein in their attention through her student-teaching experience, which is the culmination of her studies as a student in the Physical and Health Education Teacher Education (PHETE) option of Kinesiology.

Paul Hazi

The Foundations of Effective Teaching

Kneeling on the ground, Heck gathers the children into a tightly packed huddle and talks in a quiet voice. “Today, we’re going to use different body parts and locomotor skills so we can make all of the muscles in our body stronger. After I see how well you can skip, hop, and roll, we’re going to have some fun—with scooters!” Heck learned the huddling and quiet-talking techniques from her mentor, the physical education teacher at the Landisville Primary Center, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Over the course of the semester, Heck has the chance to pick up tidbits of knowledge from several experienced teachers. PHETE students spend a semester teaching elementary, middle, and high school in one school district. “What we’re trying to do is prepare our future teachers help kids become physically active for a lifetime,” says Dr. George Graham, professor of kinesiology. “In all schools—elementary schools, particularly—we teach the fundamentals of movement. We want children to become confident movers, because if they feel good playing sports or being physically active, they’ll do those activities more.” For Heck, the experience was unmatched. “I can’t imagine going into teaching without doing this student-teaching experience first,” she says. The skills reinforced through the experience—being patient, being people oriented, and knowing when to stray from lesson plans—are building a foundation of teaching that is effective for her. “It’s great to connect with different ages of children, seeing how they think and learning how to tailor my lesson plans to their interests,” she says. “It really is preparing me for what I will be doing in my career.”

Lindsey Heck

Lindsey Heck engages a class of elementary school students in a physical education lesson for her student-teaching experience.

Chris Wilson receives valuable mentorship from Joan Sloyer, teacher, on how to refine lesson plans to promote positive development in preschoolers.

Ways to Enhance Child Development Another opportunity in the college where students can hone teaching skills—with children of a much younger age—is an internship at the Bennett Family Child Care Center on the University Park Campus. There, students interested in child development have the opportunity to lead infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners in activities that promote healthy development in many ways. Like PHETE students, Bennett Center interns learn from other fulltime teachers. “It’s our intention that a student leave the internship fully prepared to accept the challenges of teaching in an early childhood setting,” says Gail Guss, assistant director of the center. Being a part of this teaching team is invaluable because it gives students “multiple perspectives to learn from,” says Samantha Cook ’10 HDFS, an intern in the spring 2010 semester. Interns develop and implement curricula that range in subject matter, including music, art, science, math, literacy, nutrition, and health. “We’re constantly building on the curricula,” says Chris Wilson ’10 HDFS, an intern in spring 2010. “We look at what the children are interested in and try to adapt our lessons to that. It really lets you explore your creative side.” Interns also participate in staff meetings, parent conferences, and home visits. Erin Ullmann ’10 HDFS, an intern who is interested in a career in mental health care, worked alongside the mental health professional who consults with the Bennett Center. She also traveled to state mental health meetings where professionals and state representatives discussed ways to implement programs that enhance children’s learning. “It’s good to see both aspects of mental health, both the planning meetings and the classroom, where programs are implemented,” Ullmann says.



Summer 2010

No matter what aspect of development students focus on, the Bennett Center internship provides an engaging environment in which they can make a difference in the lives of children they teach. “I think the most rewarding part of this internship experience has been seeing kids develop, and knowing I’m a part of it,” says Cook.

Foreshadowing Careers: The Internship Experience In most internships, students are thrown into the proverbial deep end, where they are confronted with a sink-or-swim moment and must fend for themselves. Because so much responsibility is involved, the experiences often result in students having new perspectives on a field or career. Bill McKenna ’10 HPA found a new appreciation for health care after his internship. A Health Policy and Administration major, McKenna spent a summer in the office of Pennsylvania Congressman Joseph Sestak. He worked in constituent services, fielding questions from the general public that related to a range of concerns: from government-administered health care services to the Congressman’s stance on major pieces of legislation. McKenna had to perform extensive independent research to inform people about services available to them and how they would be impacted by political decisions. “There’s so much to government, and it was nice to get this perspective on it. I was also very proud to be a part of that office, since Congressman Sestak is so dedicated to giving a personal response to citizens in his district,” says McKenna. The main concern McKenna heard from people surrounded health care. “Many people I spoke with didn’t know their rights to health care, which is understandable because it’s such a complex issue.” The experience reinvigorated McKenna’s desire to help people make informed choices about health care—which is why became an HPA major in the first place.

“This opportunity to mingle and network with industry leaders not only helps students in honing their professional 'presence,' but also in securing internships and job opportunities.” “A lot of the players didn’t like getting taped, and they would try to fight through their injuries,” he says. “As an athletic trainer in that arena, you have to be much more observant, keep an eye on whether they are changing their shooting or skating styles, and sometimes even approach the players who might be hurt.” Apple learned a great deal from the internship, but he also was able to show how much he had already learned from the Penn State curriculum. “It forces you to display your skills outside of school. You have no safety net there,” says Apple. “At the same time, the athletic trainers were on staff and able to field questions I had. They’re always willing to share their knowledge and help us grow.” Through his internship, Jeff Apple was able to fine-tune and display the skills he had already learned in his Penn State classes.

Paul Hazi

In Jeff Apple’s case, the deep end was frozen solid. A Kinesiology student in the Athletic Training option, Apple spent a week of sixteenhour days with the NHL’s Washington Capitals, keeping a watchful eye on younger players who were hoping to be starters for the team:

rookies, draft picks, and junior Olympians. He and three other interns took charge of all athletic training responsibilities, from taping and stretching players to rehabilitating injuries. This brought Apple close to the players and opened his eyes to the challenges faced by athletic trainers in hockey.

the College of health and human Development



Adam Fisher

Bald Eagle State Park regularly hosts events for home-schooled children—most of which fill up, says Thomas—so the students were able to address that need in the community. Marcie Whiston, a Professional Golf Management student in the class, hosted a golf tournament with her group. “It was nice to do everything on our own,” she says. “It really shows you how much an event costs, not just financially, but in terms of how many hours you put in.” Other events in fall 2009 ranged from creating a haunted house to planning a soccer tournament with LateNight Penn State.

Connecting with Older Adults Health Policy and Administration students can participate in a different type of service-learning activity in Dr. Theresa “Teta” Barry’s Long-Term Care Management course (HPA 442), which provides a broad perspective on the local long-term care (LTC) industry.

RPTM student Mike Crispell shows a child the differences between reptile and amphibian skin. Water can seep through amphibians’ skin (represented by a cotton glove) but not through the reptiles’ skin (the plastic glove).

Planning for the Worst Sometimes planning for the worst is the best thing an event planner can do. That’s one of the key lessons that Kathleen Raupach, instructor in recreation, park, and tourism management (RPTM), teaches in RPTM 356: Programming in Recreation Services, in which students leave the classroom to plan and host an event for an organization in the State College area. The events are complex and varied, and they serve a variety of people.

“Service learning is important from a curricular perspective because it allows students to apply what they’re learning in the classroom to real-life situations,” says Barry. “It takes students out of their comfort zones, and they learn how to become part of a team by completing projects with peers.” For the first few weeks of class, students travel to a local longterm care organization, where they learn about management and operations. After that, students undertake a project that will benefit the organization. Students gain knowledge of regulatory and financing mechanisms unique to long-term care; interact with an organization’s professional, paraprofessional, volunteer staff, and clients; and learn about management issues in this setting.

Students are in charge of all aspects of the planning, from soliciting donations and marketing to managing risks and ensuring that the event runs smoothly. “In a lot of our RPTM classes, we learn about group dynamics,” says Dani Baer, an RPTM student in the class in fall 2009. “The event planning class gave us a chance to apply what we learned.” Baer’s group worked with the Bald Eagle State Park to plan an event for home-schooled children that used a hands-on approach to teach the fundamentals of biodiversity. The RPTM students planned crafts and educational activities that would highlight differences among animals, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. “The class introduces students to our agency, which could lead to future job opportunities, and it provides our organization with extra people so we can facilitate a larger event.” says Nicholas Thomas, environmental education specialist at Bald Eagle State Park and liaison to Baer’s group.



Summer 2010

In Barry’s class, students get exposure to the environment and services provided in long-term care settings, including assisted living facilities and hospice.

Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence

Raupach wastes no time in throwing students at their projects: within two weeks of starting class, students have already assembled into groups, met with local organizations, and begun the detailed, sometimes-arduous event-planning process.

“The goal of the class is to expose students to the environment and services provided in one of the settings along the long-term care continuum,” says Barry, an instructor in health policy and administration and professor-in-charge of the HPA undergraduate program. This includes hospice, assisted living facilities, home health care, senior centers, adult residential communities, and continuing care retirement communities.

Paul Hazi

Korinne Guiliano ’10 HPA, a student in the class in fall 2009, worked with the Bellefonte Senior Center to design promotional flyers and marketing materials. Her group aimed to increase participation in different events hosted by the senior center, which included social get-togethers and health information clinics. Many of the activities were designed to “prevent people from needing help and keep their minds sharp,” says Guiliano. Guiliano says she learned a great deal about facility and time management because the senior center reached out to people in many different ways simultaneously. The project gave her and the other students “a chance to use what you know, learn from others, and gain experience in long-term care setting—all while having a good time,” she says.

“Service learning is important from a curricular perspective because it allows students to apply what they’re learning in the classroom to real-life situations.” Learning with the Pros National conferences are typically where researchers, professionals, and executives convene to learn about new developments and to network. When students attend these conferences, they situate themselves at the forefront of learning, where they can also find ways to advance their careers. Jessica Baker ’10 HRIM found a way to do this as a student by attending the Professional Convention Management Association’s (PCMA) annual meetings. “I got to learn about new trends in the industry, but I learned about them at the same time as the professionals who were at the meeting. It’s definitely giving me a leg up on other job seekers,” she says. Baker and hundreds of students in the college go on trips organized by student clubs or as part of classes, and Penn State faculty members chaperone the trips and give helpful tips on how students can get a head start on building a name for themselves. “National conferences highlight the latest trends in the section of the industry in which they hope to pursue their future careers,” says Brian Black, director of hospitality industry relations for the School of Hospitality Management. “The students hear about the challenges and opportunities that await them from the people they will be working with, and are therefore better prepared for the demands of the industry once they graduate.” In addition to boosting her marketability, Baker is building relationships with future business partners and clients she meets. Another highlight of attending conferences, she says, is seeing alumni perk up when they hear that she is a Penn State student. She has attended the annual meeting three times with the Penn State chapter of PCMA, and she knows she will continue attending these after graduation.

By networking at professoinal events, students have the opportunity to learn about their future careers from professionals in the field.

“The most important benefit that our students derive from attending national conferences is without a doubt the interaction with industry executives,” says Black. “This opportunity to mingle and network with industry leaders not only helps them in honing their professional ‘presence,’ but also in securing internships and job opportunities.”

The Synergy of In-Class and Out-of-Class Learning By creating multifaceted learning opportunities, the College of Health and Human Development is able to remain a leader in training students to focus on improving the health and quality of life of those around them. The synergy of in-class and out-ofclass learning creates an environment in which students can interact with their communities, build lasting connections, sample different career paths, and show different organizations how well Penn State courses have prepared them. The college is continually devising new courses and programs in this vein that will help for students to gain the knowledge and confidence they need to go out, be leaders, make a difference, and improve the world.

the College of health and human Development




Biobehavioral Health Celebrates Twentieth Anniversary The Department of Biobehavioral Health (BBH) is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in 2011. From its beginnings as an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in 1991, the department has become one of the world’s most respected research training programs. It now offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees to nearly 500 students. The department has built a firm base of biological, behavioral, sociocultural, and environmental research, which includes research in the areas of social and health behavior; alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use; stress and physiology; development, aging, and families over the life span; and health promotion, prevention, and treatment.

begin in the fall 2010 semester. “We’re also pushing for an increase in research at the global level by faculty, so that it is available to both undergraduate and graduate students,” says Dr. Collins Airhihenbuwa, head of the department. The department will celebrate this milestone with a weekend of events at the end of April 2011 that will include a panel discussion, a lecture, and a dinner reception. For more information contact Lisa Grove ( or Liz Susman (

Recently, the department has been strengthening its expertise in the area of global health. The department created a new minor, Global Health, which is designed to provide undergraduate students with exposure to issues affecting the health of populations around the world. The Global Health minor is set to

Kinesiology Celebrates a Century of Excellence In 2010-2011, the Department of Kinesiology is celebrating 100 years of the study of physical activity at Penn State. The department’s roots are in the Department of Physical Activity, which was founded in the beginning of the twentieth century and helped train military personnel. Today, the department’s research and academic programs have grown considerably. Faculty and graduate students study numerous areas related to physical activity and movement: Athletic Training and Sports Medicine, Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology, the History and Philosophy

of Sport, Motor Control, and the Psychology of Movement and Sport. The department is continuing to increase its spread of research, today strengthening its focus in physical activity and health. The undergraduate program’s five options—Athletic Training, Fitness Studies, Movement Science, Physical and Health Education Teacher Education (PHETE), and Exercise Science (Penn State Berks only)—prepare students for a diverse range of careers related to movement and physical activity. The department is planning several events to honor its century of excellence. Alumni and friends can learn more at or on Facebook by searching for “Kinesiology Century of Excellence.” “Kinesiology has touched the lives of so many people over the years, not just Kinesiology students, but all Penn State alumni who’ve taken physical activity courses,” says Dr. Bob Ricketts, instructor in kinesiology and coordinator of the Century of Excellence events. “We look forward to bringing faculty and alumni together to reminisce about the history of the department. Adding students to the mix will give it a nice touch.”

Center for Family Research in Diverse Contexts Turns Ten Gene Maylock (2)

The Center for Family Research in Diverse Contexts is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2010. Founded with the idea of creating synergy among scholars who are interested in ethnic and minority populations, the center pulls together faculty from various disciplines at Penn State to enhance its research. “Linda Burton and the other founders had a vision of the center as being an interdisciplinary hub for researchers, and we are realizing that vision,” says Dr. Emilie Smith, director of the center and professor of human development and family studies. Today, researchers in the center have expanded beyond a domestic view to study international factors that affect health and human development. Parenting, communities, and mental health and health disparities are the three main themes of research in the center; within those themes researchers look at geography; neighborhood characteristics; socioeconomic status; public policy; chronic disease; and youth outcomes such as obesity, substance abuse, conduct disorder, and violence.



Summer 2010

The center commemorated its milestone anniversary with a two-day event that celebrated the diversity of its research. The event included a faculty research panel; a student poster presentation; thematic breakfast roundtables; and a multimedia event focused on student engagement, which included creative and artistic performances.

“We’re particularly interested in researching the factors impacting development that we know can be changed,” says Smith. “We may not be able to change poverty right away, but we can change how poverty-stricken individuals access and interact with their neighborhoods and local communities.”

Global Leadership Initiative Begins Fall 2010 Program Will Broaden Student Perspectives, Skills, and Careers Beginning fall 2010, undergraduate students in the College of Health and Human Development and the School of Nursing will have the opportunity to hone their leadership skills in an international setting. The recently established Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) will let students build their global awareness and prepare them for working with people worldwide through experiences abroad, in-class learning, communicating with an alumni mentor, and sharing experiences with other students. Gene Maylock (2)

Modeled after the college’s successful Women’s Leadership Initiative, the GLI was designed to prepare a select group of academically talented and highly motivated students for future leadership in areas related to global health and human development. “The program will provide students with the tools, experiences, and perspectives to graduate and make a difference locally, nationally, and globally,” says Dr. Linda Caldwell, professor of recreation, park, and tourism management and director of the Global Linda Caldwell, Leadership Initiative. “Students will be exprofessor of recreation, posed to new ideas, challenged about existpark, and tourism ing beliefs, and engaged with leaders from management, has been all parts of the globe in ways that pertain to named director of the their majors.” Global Leadership Initiative.

Dr. Fred Vondracek, professor of human development and family studies (who is retiring in June 2010) and one of the GLI’s creators, says, “We live in a shrinking world. National boundaries no longer pose the same barriers to knowledge, trade, commerce, or people. In this global environment, it is important to train leaders who will understand the importance of international collaboration and cooperation, and the importance of reaching beyond one’s national boundaries.”

The Importance of Mentors Mentors play a key role in several programs in the College of Health and Human Development, and they are crucial to the success of the GLI as well. Alumni and friends who become mentors can ensure that students get the most out of their international experiences and develop the skills they need in becoming global leaders.



Summer 2010

“It is not enough to want to experience something new in a different part of the world. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to prepare oneself to engage with people in other cultures and contexts,” says Caldwell. “Mentors will play a critical role in helping the student interpret and understand experiences both before they embark and while they are abroad.” These mentors will have significant experience at the international level and will maintain close communication with students throughout the duration of the student’s experience. As appropriate, students will also develop a relationship with an on-site mentor, who will assist in making local arrangements and who will supervise students’ on-site activities. “Our desire to involve alumni as mentors is based on our appreciation of the fact that former students have gone out into the world and experienced, first-hand, the opportunities and challenges that lie beyond national borders,” says Vondracek.

Gaining Practical Experience Abroad The focus of the program is the international experience. The Global Leadership Initiative was designed to be flexible, allowing students to select from a range of international experiences. These include participation in the University’s established study abroad programs, participation in faculty-led research overseas, internships with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) or national or international governmental agencies (such as the World Health Organization), or experiences with international companies in fields related to health and Fred Vondracek human development. However, students will not be limited to these options. “We feel it’s important that students have global leadership experiences relevant to their careers and interests,” says Vondracek. Participating students are encouraged to share their experiences with as many people as they can. After returning to Penn State, students will enroll in a final seminar to help them integrate what they have learned, and they will become mentors to future cohorts of GLI students. The first cohort begins an introductory seminar class at Penn State in fall 2010. Alumni and friends interested in becoming mentors may contact Linda Caldwell at or 814-863-8983.

Gene Maylock (2)

A message from the president As I near the end of my term as president of the College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society, I naturally find myself reflecting on the experiences of my eleven years on the board. During this time, the board has developed collaborative programs and operating systems that have become the University standard. These have often been “shared” with other colleges, having a far-reaching impact on the Penn State community. We often report on individual programs and initiatives but I think it’s worth examining the foundation for our success. It’s no surprise (especially to HHD graduates) that our impact within our college and beyond is attributed to people and relationships. The importance of both is often talked about in organizations, but how often are they given the proper support and attention? People: We’ve taken the time to reach out to the “people connectors” (those individuals who know everybody) amongst our faculty, student organizations, administrators, and fellow alumni to identify the best possible candidates to potentially serve on our board. Then, we created a rigorous nominations and election process that clearly expresses our goals and expectations. To borrow from Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great, job number one has been to “get the right people on the bus.” Relationships: Of course, once you have the right people on the bus, you must effectively support them. Recently, a board member shared with me that because his life had become so busy he had resigned from several prominent boards—but not ours. He went on to express that this was not by chance. He continues to make time for us, he says, because we get things done and have a lot of fun while we’re doing it, and because he feels like he’s making a difference. I believe this is a result of robust strategic planning, ongoing communication, recognition of individual and committee accomplishments, and lots of laughter. This is a culture that has been supported and nurtured by the board, Dean Crouter and her staff, and individual department heads and their faculty. My hope for the future is that we never take this culture for granted and that it be passionately protected—it’s truly something special. These concepts are not new or unique; you can read about them in any one of hundreds of motivational business management books. What’s so unique is they have come to life in the board and I’m thankful to have played a part in the process. Our new president, Jennifer Sprankle ’92 NURS, is dedicated to the principles of our success and I am confident that she will excel and passionately move the Alumni Society forward. For the Glory,

Mark Mintzer President, HHD Alumni Society Board of Directors



Summer 2010

Alumni Awards Steve Tressler

Alumni Fellow Award leadership team that has overseen the company’s growth to become a leader in its industry. Ulrich began her career in 1978 as a secretary at Sysco in Miami. She then worked at Sysco Houston from 1983 to 1989—first as an account executive, then as a district sales manager, and finally as director of program sales. In 1989 she joined Sysco’s corporate headquarters, where she spent thirteen years working with sales and developing programs still being used today throughout the corporation. In 2002 Ulrich’s professional accomplishments led to her appointment as vice president of sales at FreshPoint, a specialty produce marketing distributor. Her career advancement continued when Sysco executives named her executive L-R: Barry Simpson, president, Penn State Alumni Association; Dr. Nan Crouter, vice president of Sysco Central Pennsylvania, Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean, College of Health and Human Development; Debbie Ulrich; and Dr. Graham Spanier, President, Penn State where she was responsible for sales, marketing, merchandising, business review and development, finance, credit, training and development, and human The Alumni Fellow Award is the most prestigious award given by the resources. In July 2008 she was named president and CEO of the Penn State Alumni Association. Since 1973, the Alumni Fellow Award company, which has more than $450 million in annual sales, 450 has been given to select alumni who, as leaders in their professional employees, and 4,200 active customers. fields, are nominated by an academic college and accept an invitation from the President of the University to return to campus to share their Ulrich is a member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum. She is also expertise with students, faculty, and administrators. a recipient of Sysco’s Sterling Service Award. Debbie Ulrich ’77 FS HA President and CEO, Sysco Central Pennsylvania During her thirty-one-year career with Sysco, a global leader in the sale and distribution of food products, Ulrich has been part of a

Ulrich is past president of the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society (PSHRS). She is a frequent guest speaker in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management classes.

Alumni Recognition Award The Alumni Recognition Award is presented to an alumnus/alumna of the College of Health and Human Development who has demonstrated professional excellence and exemplary voluntary community involvement in a health and human development field. Dr. Rebecca Landa ’78g S P A Director, Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Kennedy Krieger Institute Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University Dr. Rebecca Landa is one of the world’s leading researchers of autism and autism spectrum disorders. Committed to ensuring that individuals with autism are provided the same opportunities as everyone else, she supports individual families and promotes awareness at the personal, community, and national levels. Central to her work is the idea that early diagnosis and intervention can provide optimal outcomes. She helped establish an early diagnosis and intervention program for children as young as 1 year old; another project she leads examines the younger siblings of children already diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. She serves on the Autism Society of America’s Board of Directors and is the recipient of many awards for her research and contributions to understanding autism.

the College of health and human Development



Emerging Professional——Graduate Degree Award The Emerging Professional—Graduate Degree Award recognizes a graduate of the past ten years who has a graduate degree from the college and who has demonstrated professional excellence and/ or exemplary voluntary community involvement in a health and human development field. Dr. John Williams ’75 FS HA, ’95 MHRIM, ’98g M E R Director, Lester E. Kabacoff School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration, University of New Orleans Co-director, University of New Orleans Hospitality Research Center Dr. John Williams has been described as “the epitome of a forthright, dedicated leader,” and he has made a significant impact on the redevelopment of New Orleans through his leadership and community service efforts. In his roles at the University of New Orleans, he provides information on tourism and hospitality to executives throughout Louisiana and focuses on improving student opportunities within the school. An active member of his community, Williams strives to improve the hospitality industry in and around New Orleans. He created and organized several conferences and summits that brought together key executives from New Orleans’ major hospitality centers, and he organized and presented at several leadership seminars in the community.

Emerging Professional——Undergraduate Degree Award The Emerging Professional—Undergraduate Degree Award recognizes a graduate of the past ten years who has an undergraduate degree from the college and who has demonstrated professional excellence and/or exemplary voluntary community involvement in a health and human development field. William Yahr ’01 HRIM Rooms Executive, Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner William Yahr has become known for his leadership in customer service, business management, and community service. In less than ten years, he has received five promotions at two renowned luxury hotel chains, Waldorf Astoria and Ritz-Carlton. He created a program at the Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park, that increased the “up-sell” revenue 450 percent in one year. While in charge of the front of the house of Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner, Yahr improved the average “customer engagement” score nearly 10 percent. Yahr is a mentor in the College of Health and Human Development’s mentoring program, participates in the School of Hospitality Management’s Alumni in the Classroom program, and is the Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society’s Program Committee co-chair.

Affiliate Program Group Updates Biobehavioral Health APG

Communication Sciences and Disorders APG

President: Elisabeth Donaldson ’06 BB H

President: Leslie Ferree Talford ’98 CMDIS

The BBH APG recently sponsored a Web conference for students in which three alumni panelists shared their career experiences. The APG plans to hold a second Web conference in the fall. Alumni interested in participating should contact Betsy Donaldson for further information. The APG sent a mailing to BBH alumni asking for input on APG activities; all alumni are encouraged to complete the online survey referenced in the mailing. For more information on the APG’s events and initiatives, contact Betsy Donaldson.

The CSD APG is planning its annual “alumni in the classroom” day for fall 2010 and a Web conference with the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association student organization.



Summer 2010

Alumni can reconnect through the group’s Facebook page: “I’m an alum of Penn State CSD.” The APG will also be hosting several regional social events in the summer and fall of 2010. For more information, contact Leslie Talford.

Human Development and Family Studies APG

Nutrition and Dietetics Alumni Society

President: John A. Soubik ’85 IFS

Vice President: Christine Lewis Taylor ’77g, ’86g NUTR

The HDFS APG distributed an e-mail in April 2010 to several thousand alumni regarding their interest in participating in upcoming career panel discussions with HDFS students, as well as becoming involved with the APG in other ways. Alumni who did not receive the e-mail can update their e-mail address with the Penn State Alumni Association or contact the HHD Office of Alumni Relations at 814-865-3831 or

NDAS presented its 2010 Outstanding Senior in Nutrition Award to Sara Konczylo. In addition, NDAS presented travel awards to graduate students Jamis Lomaa and Pao Ying Hsiao for travel to the Experimental Biology conference. NDAS plans to resume its regularly scheduled activities during the 2010-2011 academic year.

In fall 2010, the HDFS APG and the HDFS Undergraduate Student Organization will conduct a joint career panel of alumni for interested students, faculty, and staff. Alumni wishing to participate can complete the online survey at or contact John Soubik.

Penn State Hotel and Restaurant Society

Health Policy and Administration APG President: Steven Wagman ’82 HPA The HPA APG has established a group on LinkedIn that currently has more than 220 members. More than fifty students participated in a “Jump Starting Your Career” workshop sponsored by the APG on February 27. At that time, the APG presented its “Mentor of the Year” award to Cathy Stout ’95 HPA. The APG held a very successful “Professionals in the Classroom” event in October 2009; alumni interested in participating in the fall 2010 event should contact APG president Steve Wagman for more information. The APG presented its alumni awards to Katie Baker Starkey ’04 HPA (Emerging Professional Undergraduate Award), Sandhya Henry ’06g HPA (Emerging Professional MHA Award), Keith Benson ’91g, ’01g HPA (Emerging Professional Ph.D. Award), and Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Cullison ’94 HPA (Alumni Recognition Award). This spring, the APG co-sponsored a program with the Health Leadership Network of the Delaware Valley (HLNDV), a chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), titled “Networking in 2010: How to Make Connections Using Both Traditional and e-Networking.”

Kinesiology APG President: Sheri Parker ’91 EX SCI The Kinesiology APG congratulates its newly elected officers: Patrick Slater ’86 PH ED, president (; Jay Willow ’02g KINES, vice president; Joe Taranto ’01 KINES, treasurer; and at-large members Nick Palladino ’02 KINES, Paula Franetti ’78 H P E, Giampetro (John) Vairo ’00 KINES, and Kelly Dougherty ’04g, ’08g KINES. The APG also wishes to congratulate Lindsey Heck, the third annual 2010 Kinesiology Affiliate Program Group Outstanding Student award winner. The Department of Kinesiology is celebrating a “Century of Excellence” during academic year 2010-2011. Please help commemorate this special accomplishment, April 15-17, 2011, during Blue-White weekend. Become a fan of the “Penn State Kinesiology Century of Excellence” on Facebook to keep up with the upcoming events and to keep in touch with fellow alumni! The APG is sponsoring its annual alumni career roundtable on November 10, 2010, along with a career fair for undergraduate Kinesiology students. Alumni interested in participating can contact

President: Joe McCann ’78 FS HA PSHRS presented its annual Hospitality Executive of the Year Award to Niki Leondakis, chief operating officer of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, in November 2009. PSHRS held its winter board meeting on February 2628 at the University Park campus, at which Maggie Crispell, director of development, College of Health and Human Development, was presented with an honorary membership in the society. The annual Benefield Bash Summer Reunion and Silent Auction will take place at The Nittany Lion Inn on the University Park campus during Arts Festival, July 9-11. PSHRS will sponsor its annual Alumni in the Classroom program and alumni awards reception in October. The 2010 Hospitality Executive of the Year awards reception will take place Sunday, November 14 at the Kimmel Center, New York University, in New York City. Alumni interested in participating in these events should contact Brian Black, director of hospitality industry relations, at

Professional Golf Management APG President: Joe Hughes ’99 RPM Eight PGM alumni returned to campus in December to serve as guest speakers at a meeting of the PGM Student Society. Alumni also spoke in classes throughout the academic year on topics such as teaching, club repair, and facility operations management. At the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida, in January, the APG honored Hans Larson ’97 RPM, a golf professional in Chicago, with the PGM Golf Professional of the Year Pride of Lions Award. The APG also sponsored a reception at the Rosen Plaza, which more than 125 people (including more than sixty alumni) attended.

Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management APG President: Kris D’Alessandro The RPTM APG presented the Deb Kerstetter Outstanding Alumni Award to Denise St. Pierre ’83 RC PK, Penn State women’s golf coach. She received her award on April 11 during the annual RPTM Recreation Celebration. Alumni wishing to nominate fellow alumni for this award can visit for more information The Recreation Celebration is part of an annual “Super Weekend” of events for alumni including a mentoring brunch, speed networking event with students, and APG membership meeting. RPTM alumni wishing to participate should contact Kris D’Alessandro.

the College of health and human Development



Class Notes 50s Marjory Maxwell “Midge” Donn ’53 H EC, outstanding Home Economics Alumni in 1956, is the author of a novel, 2016: A Novel of America and the World, available through Greenbelt Press. For more information, e-mail

70s Ted Farrand ’71 FS HA became Cini-Little’s president and chief operating officer on March 29, 2010. Cini-Little International, Inc., provides design, operational, and management consulting services in the areas of foodservice and hospitality. Jeanette Coufal ’71g CD FR, ’75g HD FS was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to teach at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for the 2009-2010 academic year. She previously directed the Center for Learning and Teaching, Forman Christian College, Lahore, Pakistan. Bud Bilanich ’72 C R S released two books in July 2009, Your Success GPS and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success. Both are follow-up books to his 2008 bestseller Straight Talk for Success. He lives in Denver, Colorado, with his wife Cathy and is an executive coach, management consultant, and motivational speaker. He invites his friends to get in touch at

90s Kelly Richers ’74 H P E received the prestigious John Adams Comstock Award from the international Lepidopterists’ Society for contributions to researching Lepidoptera, a group of insects that includes moths and butterflies. A few days after receiving the award, Richers found out that someone had named a moth after him (Sympistis richersi), which he had discovered the previous summer. In May 2009, he was also named the 2009 California State Middle Grades Principal of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators.

Carol Wakefoose-Barron ’95 H P A received the High Scorer Award for the Managed Care Specialty Exam for 2009 from the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). The award is given for the highest score in the country for those seeking board certification in health care finance. Sharon Whipple Stott ’98 CMDIS and her husband David welcomed a daughter, Ainsley, into the world on August 2, 2009.

Joyce Jackson ’75 S P A, president and chief executive officer of Northwest Kidney Centers in Seattle, Washington, received the 2009 Warren Featherstone Reid Award for Excellence in Healthcare. The award is presented to health care providers and facilities in Washington that exhibit exceptional quality and value in the delivery of health services. Peter Carter ’78 H P E retired from New Hampshire’s Division for Juvenile Justice Services after thirty-one years. He was responsible for all the residential facilities in New Hampshire that provided services to children and youth that were involved in the court system. Marian DeAngelo McLaughlin ’78g NU PH is a Certified Coding Specialist at Inova Health Systems in Fairfax, Virginia. She can be contacted at

Send Us your News Please let us know about your major life events: a wedding, birth, promotion, anniversary, retirement, or award. Send news to: Office of Alumni and College Relations 201 Henderson Building University Park, PA 16802 fax: 814-865-8465

Jennifer Cwynar ’08 HPA died January 6, 2010. Cwynar was employed as an insurance specialist for CVS Caremark and lived in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania. While at Penn State, she was a member of the 2007-08 class of the Women’s Leadership Initiative and she completed an internship with the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH). In her honor, PORH renamed its internship program to the Jennifer S. Cwynar Rural Health Undergraduate Internship Program.

Kevin Robinson ’94g HPA died on February 7, 2010. Robinson was an assistant professor of social work and social research at Bryn Mawr College. His research focused on HIV/AIDS prevention education and the impact of social inequality on health care. A first-generation college graduate, Robinson also received a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Clemson University, a master’s degree in social work from The University of Michigan, and a doctoral degree in public health from Columbia University.

Jim Roese

Gene Maylock

In Memoriam

| class notes

the College of health and human Development



The College of Health and Human Development The Pennsylvania State University 201 Henderson Building University Park, PA 16802-6501

Nonprofit Org. US Postage


State College, PA Permit No. 1

UpComing Events



12-16 Cook Like a Chef: The Basics, University Park

19-23 American Chef: Road Trip, University Park

21 Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series University Park, PA



3-5 Higher Achievement Program, University Park

14 Commencement

18-20 JumpStart

23 Fall Semester Classes Begin

1-3 Parents and Families Weekend 9 Homecoming

12-13 HHD Alumni Society Board Meeting 22-28 Thanksgiving Holiday (no classes)


September 18 HHD Alumni Tailgate at Porter Gardens, Lubrano Park

For more details visit

18 Commencement

Penn State College of Health and Human Development Magazine - Summer 2010  

Magazine for alumni and friends of the Penn State College of Health and Human Development.