Page 1

UNIVERSIT Y IMPACT IN COMMUNITIES

FALL 2010

ABOUT|FACE Adult learners go back to school to pursue new career passions


Letter From Student Affairs and Outreach

P

enn State has a long history of providing programs and services that serve adult students. We are now using that experience to better serve today’s adult student. While many adult learners show trepidation when returning to school amidst a traditional college age population of 18 to 22 year olds, they are embraced by traditional students and often sought out for guidance and insight. Adults have rich career and life experiences to draw on in the classroom, and insecurities quickly give way to a leadership role. The cover story in this issue (page 2) features a few adult learners who have taken the step to return to school mid-life for a number of reasons—for example, a desire to switch to a career they’re passionate about or a motivation to complete a degree after a layoff. Pennsylvania demographics clearly indicate that the traditional college-age population is declining. One in seven current Penn State undergraduates is an adult learner, and our adult student cohort is growing. Recognizing this shift in our student population requires that we reorient and broaden how we think about our students. To meet a growing demand from adults who want a Penn State degree, we are tailoring what we have to offer in order to meet the demands of adults who are balancing family, career and school. We’re doing this by creating programs and support structures and opportunities that are attractive to adults. For example, we offer face-to-face classes at convenient times—early morning, lunch hour, nights and weekends. Using technology to broaden access for those adults who are placebound or need flexibility in their schedule to fulfill their many responsibilities, Penn State is

Craig Weidemann and Damon Sims

aggressively ramping up its online and blended offerings. And we provide opportunities for adults to hone their leadership skills and engage in active learning outside the classroom—opportunities that are critically important to adults. Penn State also supports the adult student with supplementary services and resources that make pursuing their education a little easier, such as child care, health care and student insurance. Penn State recognizes that efforts to attract, retain and support adult learners is a Universitywide responsibility. In Student Affairs, Outreach, the colleges and other units, we’ll continue to look at best practices that envision, evaluate and support success for all students—creating a Penn State experience that is inviting, challenging and rewarding for every adult learner. Damon Sims, Vice President for Student Affairs Craig Weidemann, Vice President for Outreach


CONTENTS

Steve Tressler, Vista Professional Studios

Volume 13, No. 2

Features COVER STORY: ABOUT FACE

2

Adult learners go back to school to pursue new career passions

6

A CARDIOLOGIST BARES HIS HEART Joseph Gascho’s photography exhibit shows medical center visitors that patients are human beings with full lives outside their medical conditions

9

RAISING AWARENESS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE This public media and outreach initiative won’t help Amy McGee, but it will help others

12

Home visits—and an iPod Touch app—aim to reduce falls among the rural elderly

ASK THE EXPERT: A FASTER PATH TO A COLLEGE DEGREE

14

Judith Wertheim talks about converting knowledge and skills from life experiences into college credits

ADULT LEARNERS DEMONSTRATE HOW TO STAY HUNGRY FOR LEARNING AND GROWTH. Janet Mesic Mackie

Phillip Mackenzie

2

HOUSE HAZARDS

Departments INSIDE OUTREACH t Warriors to Scholars

16

t Online Portfolio Grows

EDUCATION t Making Sense of Text Messages

23

t Unlocking Barriers for Pittsburgh Girls

t Outreach Giving

ARTS & HUMANITIES t The Virtual Psychology Society

18

ENERGY & THE ENVIRONMENT

24

ENDNOTE t Reel Important Films

t Greener Pastures t Students in the Spotlight: Computing Solutions t Extreme Weather

CHILDREN, YOUTH & FAMILIES

19

t Bullies Be Gone

t Raising the Roof

HEALTH

t Dealing With a Parent’s Cancer

t Freedom of Expression

t Teen Drinking

t Better Smiles

27

t Cardiac Care for Children

THE ECONOMY & WORKFORCE t From Materials to People

21

INTERNATIONAL t Focus on Vietnam

29

t More Than Leadership t Getting Wired

C ARDIAC CARE F OR CHIL DREN

Cover Photo by Phillip Mackenzie

30

t You Are Here

t Combat Boredom

t On the Web

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

28

32


| Adult learners go back to school to pursue new career passions

W

hen Eric Gayle began his first semester at Penn State York after graduating from Susquehannock High School in 1989, he realized he wasn’t ready for college. “I was young and didn’t focus,” he admitted. Gayle worked for awhile and then joined the Navy, serving four years, including as a gunner’s mate on the cruiser U.S.S. Dale, stationed at Naval Station Mayport in Florida. In 1996, Gayle returned to Penn State York, using his GI Bill benefits, but left again to take a job to support his growing family that now includes wife, Gina, and children Zachary, Hannah and Micayla. Then, after working in excavation and construction for 10 years, he was laid off. Like millions of other out-of-work Americans, Gayle faced a choice: look for another job that doesn’t require a college education or prepare for a new career. As the poor economy plods on, some believe that those jobs requiring only a high school diploma are gone for good, and existing and new jobs will require at least some college education. That’s what researchers at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce concluded

2 · Penn State Outreach Magazine

in “Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018.” They predicted that “by 2018, the economy will create 46.8 million openings.” Nearly two-thirds of these openings will require workers with at least some college, but during the next eight years, “the postsecondary system will have produced 3 million fewer college graduates than demanded by the labor market.” Penn State is helping to buck this trend by offering adults multiple ways to acquire the education and training they need to succeed: on-campus and online and a combination of both formats, called blended learning.

Third Time’s a Charm Gayle, now 39, chose to re-enroll at Penn State York for a third time in 2008 and take classes on campus. His goal was to be accepted into the chemical en-

gineering program in the College of Engineering at University Park campus. He’s currently a full-time student in the program and expects to graduate in May 2011 (see box, page 5). For his perseverance, Gayle was honored with the 2010 Outstanding Adult Student Award, which recognizes an exceptional adult learner at University Park. Gayle’s GI Bill benefits had expired, so he was grateful to be the first recipient of this award, which provide monies from the new Adult Learner Opportunity Fund. The grant was applied to his fall tuition. “I couldn’t do this without my wife and kids’ support,” added Gayle, whose wife works at The Arc of Centre County. There are more than 13,000 adult undergraduate students throughout the Penn State system—learners 24 years or older, veterans, students returning to college after four or more years of employment, or those with multiple life roles. With high unemployment, there’s no guarantee that all the effort will result in an immediate job opportunity. But many agree that achieving a college degree gives candidates a leg up when economic conditions improve.

Phillip Mackenzie

By Deborah A. Benedetti


Bringing a unique perspective to the classroom: adult students

Fall 2010 路 3


MULTIPLE LIFE ROLES From top to bottom: Armánd Dotsey, the pilot; Eric Gayle and family; Dotsey and family; Gayle in construction, a former career

e, Cen Christopher Weddl

tre Daily Times

“College can be challenging for adult learners, because they often are juggling multiple roles and responsibilities while taking classes,” said Martha Jordan, director of Recruitment and Admission Services, an Outreach unit. “Many adult learners like Eric Gayle are also in mid-life and searching for a career they are passionate about—one where they can make a difference in peoples’ lives. Penn State is committed to helping these learners get started.”

First Campus Visit at Graduation

Penn State Public Broadcasting

As a student, Megan O’Meara Caldwell had never set foot on Penn State’s University Park campus until the day she picked up her diploma last spring. The St. Petersburg, Fla., resident had completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology completely online.

Megan O’Meara Caldwell celebrates commencement with her father Ned O’Meara (left) and friend Kenny Diehl.

“I was very excited about the visit and meeting some of my peers” for the first time, said Caldwell, who worked full time as a proposal development specialist with UnitedHealthcare Student Resources while earning her degree. Caldwell was among the first 28 students to graduate from the B.A./B.S. in Psychology degree programs offered by the College of the Liberal Arts and delivered online through Penn State World Campus (see story on page 18). She had previously majored in psychology at Tulane University and also

4 · Penn State Outreach Magazine


From On-campus to Online

Nabil K. Mark, Centre Daily Times

A former biomedical equipment technician in the Air Force, Armánd R. Dotsey III was able to complete his undergraduate degree, a B.S. in information sciences and technology at Penn State, when his wife Michelle was posted to Penn State to teach Air Force ROTC in 2005. Both had enlisted in the Air Force in the late ’80s, but they didn’t meet until 2001. Dotsey had completed his service and was working at Lucent Technologies when he met Michelle at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix. After marrying, the couple moved often. It became a cycle: Dotsey would find a new university and start classes again. Penn State was the seventh university Dotsey attended. With two tiny children and Michelle in tow at graduation in May 2010, Dot-

sey sported a prized Penn State ring. “I splurged on it because finishing my degree at Penn State meant so much to me,” he said. Dotsey had so many credit hours—210—that he graduated as what’s known as a “super senior.” Michelle retired as an Air Force captain this year, and the couple has settled in State College. Aged 40, Dotsey is now a dual master’s candidate in systems engineering and engineering management through programs offered by Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies and delivered online by World Campus. As a recipient of Penn State’s Bunton-Waller Fellowship, Dotsey’s tuition is paid for; Dotsey also receives a stipend from the University to conduct research under the supervision of Dr. James Nemes (mechanical engineering) and Dr. Nil Ergin (systems engineering). Dotsey juggles family life and part-time work along with his studies. Because of his passion for aviation, he is considering becoming a systems engineer at an aviation or a defense contractor.

Spurred by a Layoff Jonathan “Chip” Powers, 44, had worked for nearly 20 years in the injection molding industry, making plastic parts for medical devices. He had been a production supervisor at Avail Medical Products in Bellefonte for 11 years when the company was bought and closed. He was laid off in 2009. “I thought I could use this time to finish my degree,” said Powers, a married father of three in State College. He used a federal program that helps laid-off workers retrain to re-enroll at Penn State and complete a degree he had begun after graduating from high school in 1984. “With a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership, I’ll be able to get a better job,” said Powers, who graduated last spring and at press time was searching nationwide for a position in manufacturing, process engineering or management. He added: “I’m trying to stay positive as I search for the right job to fit me.”

THE TOP BARRIERS Out of 130 students in Dr. Darrell Velegol’s chemical engineering class, Eric Gayle was the only adult learner. “When I see a tenacious, hardworking, curious student like Eric pursuing excellence, I am inspired,” said Velegol. “It’s not enough for Penn State to graduate ‘smart students,’ because the world keeps changing. We need adult learners like Eric who can show us all how to stay hungry for learning and growth—even while balancing the rest of life.” Gayle ended up receiving the 2010 Outstanding Adult Student Award out of 1,800 adult learners at the University Park campus. For those adults who are pursuing learning, there are certain barriers involved in going back to school— because they are often juggling jobs and families. According to information culled from conferences targeting adult learner recruitment, the top considerations for attending classes are: 1. Convenient time for courses (evening, weekends, daytime) 2. Flexibility in accessing courses (via online, face-to-face, podcasts, video/polycom) 3. Ability to transfer credits 4. Cost and availability of financial aid

Jamie Curott

had attended the University of Florida in Gainesville and Eckerd College in her hometown, amassing 114 credits. “I was interested in finishing my degree,” she explained, “but didn’t want to take forever and needed a flexible program that would allow me to work full time.” Caldwell plans to continue her education in Boston University’s Master of Science in Health Communication program. Caldwell believes her education, combined with her broad work experience, will make her career opportunities much more versatile. “I hope to someday work on initiatives to promote health literacy and health-enhancing behaviors,” she said.

For more information: Jonathan “Chip” Powers is searching nationwide for a job now that he has a bachelor’s degree on his résumé.

Penn State for Adult Learners http://www.outreach.psu.edu/adult-learners

Polycom gives students access to courses.

Fall 2010 · 5


A Cardiologist bares his heart

Joseph Gascho’s photography exhibit shows medical center visitors that patients are human beings with full lives outside their medical conditions

When did you first find out? A little ache one day And then the next a real pain? Or did the food you’d always had two helpings of No longer tempt? I know you know (or do you know?) How bad’s this crab that’s bit and won’t let go. The right side of your heart has gotten big I’d guess from pumping into Pipes plugged up With clots of blood.

By Roger Sands

6 · Penn State Outreach Magazine

best course for each patient. Cardiologists study the science of the heart and solve problems of life and death each day. But cardiologists don’t just study the heart. They have hearts. Take a glimpse into one cardiologist’s heart.

Tonight I’ll taste each bite, Put down my fork before the next And tell my wife how good she looks. Those are words written by Dr. Joseph Gascho (M.D.), professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and member of the Doctors Kienle Center for Humanistic Medicine, a unit of the Department of Humanities (see page 8). Gascho, whose poem was published in the “Journal of Medical Humanities,” has merged his interests in medicine and the arts to create a series of compelling projects—some on permanent exhibit—that serve as a reminder that patients are human beings with full lives outside their medical conditions. It started in 2004 not with poetry, but with photography. Gascho began visiting his patients in their homes and communities, then capturing them with his lens. “Patients are generally very happy to participate,” said Gascho. Gascho captioned his photography with the abbreviations, acronyms and language of medicine. For example, a photo of a man at home with his wood carvings is captioned “81M; S/P 5V CABG; HTN; hyperlipidemia.” The message: It’s easy for a physician to see only symptoms and a diagnosis, a scientific problem to solve. But that’s a narrow view. As Gascho explains, “These images help me see my patients as persons. When that happens, I become a

Photos by Joseph Gascho

P

hysicians are scientists. Theirs is a lifelong study of biology, anatomy and chemistry, so they can diagnose, treat and cure disease. They are problem solvers. They take a complex set of circumstances and symptoms, consider a variety of options, and choose the

I suck in air through open lips, Then stop, And blow it out.


“Dr. Gascho’s work combines his professional medical training and his expertise as photographer and poet to edify individuals, our medical center and the communities beyond—where his patients live.”

ON DISPLAY: Facing page and above, Dr. Joseph Gascho incorporates medical language into photos of his patients doing what they love.

better doctor. I can more accurately interpret symptoms, more clearly explain medical issues and better tailor treatment.” Fred Richter agrees. Richter of Annville has been a heart patient of Gascho’s for 10 years and was photographed with his bicycle. “I’m not just a number, I’m a person. He knows what I like, where I live. It creates a healthier environment.” Gascho’s photographs of Richter and others are on display at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center, where it clearly has an impact. “It is one of the most creative humanitarian projects I have ever seen,” said Dr. Kimberly Myers, associ-

ate professor in the Department of Humanities at the Penn State College of Medicine. “His work combines his professional medical training and his expertise as photographer and poet to edify individuals, our medical center and the communities beyond—where his patients live.” Gascho brings his philosophy to his position as director of the medical center’s Cardiology Fellowship Training Program. The three-year program trains the next generation of cardiologists, taking doctors fresh from their medical residency and into a busy schedule of seeing patients, reading tests, doing procedures and conducting research. Penn State’s program is highly competi-

tive with more than 500 applying each year for five spots. Gascho has directed this program for 23 years and worries about young doctors, afraid they will neglect the human side of medicine. “I see them coming in from their medicine residency spending so much time trying to grasp the science,” he said. “It’s easy for them to forget these are people with heart attacks—not just heart attacks. My hope is that people in training can reflect a bit on treating more than just the disease and not forget that these are people.” Gascho makes humanistic medicine an informal part of the curriculum, incorporating it into some lectures, explaining he aims for a “role model kind of teaching.” In another project, Gascho combines the echocardiographic images of patients’ hearts with poetry he writes about a person whose test results he is interpreting but has not met, as in the quoted poem on the preceding page. His latest project is a work in progress, taking photos of his patients and often their spouses in his clinic. He superimposes on the photograph their thoughts that day, as well as his own. One subject in this project is Jim Thomas of Hershey, Gascho’s patient for three years. Thomas calls Gascho “gifted” and explains, “A good doctor is attuned to the personal aspect. I’m a big admirer of him as an artist and as a physician.” Added Myers, “The impact of a specialist interacting with patients in such carefully considered ways is significant for the patient; it transforms the doctor-patient relationship altogether.”

Fall 2010 · 7


Kelly Hollenbeak

“W;t” audiences saw a woman deal with disease and death.

THE DRAMA of

Medical Ethics By Melissa W. Kaye

E

ric Martens recently completed a one-year clinical pastoral education residency program at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. During his residency, he learned that Penn State’s Doctors Kienle Center for Humanistic Medicine was looking for staff members with an interest in medical drama to participate in staged play readings. He participated in two readings at the Medical Center and in the spring had the opportunity to act in the play “W;t” (pronounced “wit”), a professional production jointly sponsored by the Kienle Center and the local community theater, the Hershey Area Playhouse. “W;t,” written by Margaret Edson, deals with the final hours of an English professor who is dying of ovarian cancer. “My father passed away from leukemia in 2003, and my mother is a breast cancer survivor. Advocating and educating about cancer is very significant to me,” said Martens. “I think what surprised me the most [about participating] was the way I would bring the

8 · Penn State Outreach Magazine

play back to my work in the hospital. I was more aware of the shared humanity that links my patients and me.” The Kienle Center, which is closely allied with the Department of Humanities, has been staging readings for two years with the goal of offering a venue where faculty, students and staff of the College of Medicine and the Medical Center can experience and discuss issues in medical care and ethics. Recent presentations have included plays dealing with issues such as assisted suicide, termination of life support, the experience of cancer diagnosis and treatment, and ethical dilemmas surrounding organ transplantation. “People want to talk about these issues,” said Dr. J. O. Ballard (M.D.), professor of humanities and medicine at the college and coordinator of the Kienle Drama Group at the Kienle Center, whose mission is to support projects and programs that will render the delivery of health care more humane, both locally and nationally. “It’s an emotional outlet for them.” After watching one of the group’s noontime performances, Skip Becker, the director of the Hershey Area Playhouse, approached Ballard to collaborate

on plays that would focus specifically on medical care. “Hershey Area Playhouse has an obligation to reflect the community it serves,” explained Becker. “Our community consists of a profound number of health-related professions and occupations.” The first play, Billy Doswell’s “Full Moon Over Montmartre,” ran in November of 2009 and dealt with a couple facing the slow evolution of Alzheimer’s dementia. The second, “W;t,” ran in the spring. Incorporated into the productions are receptions and panel discussions. “Our audiences have reacted with remarkable interest and emotion,” reports Becker. “[The play about Alzheimer’s] attracted an audience that seldom sees that problem represented dramatically. Because of the rare opportunity to discuss it with others of similar experience, meeting with them and professionals in the field was rewarding.” In 2011, Becker expects to produce another health-related script as part of the playhouse’s special performances schedule.


RAISING AWARENESS of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE This public media and outreach initiative won’t help Amy McGee, but it will help others By Melissa W. Kaye

I

n the fall of 2001, Uniontown, Pa., police were called to the local hospital when Amy Homan McGee turned up there with a broken nose. McGee had told hospital staff that her husband punched her in the face. Her husband, Vince, grew up in the area, a small town. The police gave McGee a pamphlet with information on restraining orders and sent her on her way. Later, during a followup appointment, McGee ended up changing her story, telling doctors that she had been hit in the face with a softball. “Once you find the courage to disclose to someone and nothing happens, why would you put yourself out there again?” points out State College Detective Deirdri Fishel, the narrator of a documentary about the murder of McGee, who was shot and killed by her husband. The documentary is part of a Penn State Public Broadcasting public media and outreach initiative, “Telling Amy’s Story—Raising Awareness of Domestic Violence.” The project, funded by the Verizon Foundation, combines the documentary—produced, written and directed by PSPB’s Joe Myers—with a public engagement effort that focuses on the issue of domestic violence both

The training program includes the documentary and a curriculum developed by the Centre County Women’s Resource Center. Since 2007 it has been implemented at nearly 90 locations around the state, mostly at Penn State campuses and units, reaching more than 2,000 individuals.

Individual Impact

on an individual level and at the community level. The initiative grew out of a training program on domestic violence for the workplace, to help people identify signs of abuse in their co-workers. “If a stranger came into the office and began pounding on a colleague’s door, you’d call the police,” said Melanie Doebler, project director of the initiative. “But what if the person pounding on the door is your colleague’s husband? Would you behave differently? We have to talk about that.”

At the individual level, the training program has had an impact. For example, one participant approached the facilitator of a workshop and asked how to talk to his daughter, who he suspected was in an abusive relationship. Using the facilitator’s suggestions, he went to his daughter and found that his intuition was correct. He helped his daughter to get out of her abusive marriage. Now, as part of the Public Service Media initiative, Amy’s story has gone national. As of press time, 185 public broadcasting stations across the country have aired the documentary since June. October, Domestic Violence Month, marks an additional push to air the film. Accompanying the documentary is a Web site that incorporates tools and resources in English and Spanish that allow the public to share the film, discuss it with others and refer those in need to domestic violence resources.

Fall 2010 · 9


“We want communities to use the film beyond the broadcast,” said Doebler. “We want them to use it to initiate discussions in their communities, with their friends and family, with their co-workers, and with their churches and temples.” The documentary also includes an introduction by actress Mariska Hargitay from “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” and president and founder of Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization that works with survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse. “The act of reaching out for help and breaking the silence is an act of utmost courage,” said Hargitay at a premiere of the documentary last spring held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. “The

10 · Penn State Outreach Magazine

film brings together the power of media with public broadcasting. For so many survivors, the path to safety is sustained by the community.”

Power of Community Fishel, who is a member of a State College police department unit that focuses on a coordinated response to reports of domestic violence, is a strong believer in the potential power of community. “Communities need to band together to say violence in any relationship is not okay, and we will not tolerate it,” she said. “A community needs to recognize that domestic violence is not a family problem to be addressed behind closed doors.”

As such, people are using it in a way that makes sense for their communities, said Doebler. For example, in New Orleans, WYES, the public broadcasting station; the New Orleans Family Justice Center; and the Catholic Church Archdiocese of New Orleans teamed up to hold a screening and a moderated panel discussion in the city hall. In San Francisco, the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, with Verizon, held a screening, discussion and a drive to collect cell phones at the Fort Mason Center. Organizers worked with local PBS stations KQED and KTEH to air the documentary around the same time as the event.


The fact that such women can now come forward and help others means that Amy McGee’s death won’t be in vain. Amy’s mother, Diana Homan, attended the film’s premiere in State College. She said: “I wanted to tell Amy’s story to other women who might be in a similar situation, so they know help is available. The documentary is not going to help Amy, but it may help someone else. If you watch the program, you can go home or back to work and talk to family or co-workers and get help to those who need it.” For more information: Web site: http://telling.psu.edu Melanie Doebler, project director: fn7@psu.edu

Photos by Riccardo Savi

While there is a survey on the Web site asking participants how they are using the film, Doebler also learns of events through e-mails and the project’s Facebook page. For example, a woman in Washington, D.C., shared the film and held a discussion with her book club. Several high school teachers are planning to use it in their classes focusing on social responsibility and social problems. Neighborhood councils across the country are having screening get-togethers. “It’s about bringing this issue into the open and talking about it,” Doebler said. She added that she has had women approach her and disclose past abusive relationships after watching the film, which includes information about how to get help.

Facing page: An event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., featured a premiere of the documentary. The film includes narration by Detective Deirdri Fishel, above left, and an introduction by actress Mariska Hargitay.

Fall 2010 · 11


HOUSE HAZ RDS Home visits—and an iPod Touch app—aim to reduce falls among the rural elderly

Photos by Amy Milgrub Marshall

By Amy Milgrub Marshall

Aging Gracefully

An iPod Touch app, created by Jessica Cook, surveys participants as part of an effort to increase home safety.

“I

’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” That familiar refrain from an old television commercial may elicit chuckles from some, but falls among the elderly are a serious concern. One-third of people age 65 and older fall each year, often due to safety issues in their own homes. That’s why

12 · Penn State Outreach Magazine

Community Health (REACH) Network, established in March 2009, is a community-based research project developed to help reduce in-home falls and increase seasonal flu vaccines in adults age 65 and older. In Pennsylvania, rural elderly are the fastest growing segment of the population and are projected to increase by 30 percent over the next 20 years. The study is using local nurses and EMTs, referred to as Community Health Assistants (CHAs), to collect data from participants using an iPod Touch app. The data is then used to create personalized home safety recommendation brochures.

the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State Cooperative Extension and other partners are working together to remove in-home hazards through a network of health professionals targeting residents of Mifflin and Juniata counties. The Rural Embedded Assistants for

Kimbra Shoop has been certified as an EMT for 20 years, and her personal experience prompted her to participate as a CHA. “We have a scanner at home, and I hear so many ambulance calls for falls. This made me realize the importance of fall prevention,” she explained. Each year, more than 1.6 million older U.S. adults go to emergency departments for fall-related injuries. Hip fractures are one of the most serious types of fall injury and are a leading cause of loss of independence among older adults. While there are a number of risk factors for falls, including chronic disease, the elderly participants’ homes tend to have minor issues that could lead to major injuries, such as slippery bathroom floors, loose throw rugs and poor lighting. The CHAs do a home safety assessment during their initial visit and then follow up during quarterly in-home meetings. They began administering flu vaccine surveys and recommendations this September. The iPod Touch app used to survey the participants was developed by Jessica Cook, former project coordinator for the Penn State Hamer Center for Community Design, another partner in the REACH Network. The Hamer Center, a unit of the H. Campbell and Eleanor R. Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, got involved through center director Dr. Mallika Bose’s work with the Smart


Spaces initiative, a University-wide effort that promotes aging in one’s own home rather than in an assisted living facility or nursing home. According to Bose, people are more comfortable—and healthy—in their own environment, with their own support network. “When the elderly are able to age in their own homes, there

is a naturally occurring retirement community,” she explained. Community involvement—among the elderly, the CHAs and project partners—is key to REACH Network’s success, said Leigh Gordon, project coordinator. Gordon recruited the CHAs, who in turn identified potential participants. “We have to engage the

community to learn what residents need, health-wise,” she said. According to Dr. Thomas Terndrup (M.D.), principal investigator for the project, using local nurses to reach out to the elderly in their communities just makes sense. “I grew up a rural farm kid, and my father was an Extension officer in Cambria County for 35 years,” said Terndrup, professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine and associate dean for clinical research at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. “I know from experience that Extension work has unique capabilities in rural areas.” Dr. Marilyn Corbin, associate director and state program leader for children, youth and families with Penn State Extension, is co-principal investigator. Terndrup said that long-term goals include expanding the program to other counties and states, as well as addressing other public health issues, such as obesity and smoking cessation. Participation in the REACH Network is voluntary. As of June 2010, there were approximately 155 seniors, with eight CHAs. The goal is to have 200–400 seniors taking part in the study over its two-year duration. Data collection began in January 2010 and will continue through January 2012. For more information on the REACH Network, contact Gordon at lgordon@hmc.psu.edu.

PROJECT PARTNERS In addition to multiple Penn State units, external partners in the REACH Network include Lewistown Hospital, Fame Emergency Medical Services, Mifflin-Juniata Area Agency on Aging and the Visiting Nurses Association of Pennsylvania. The project is funded, in part, with a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, using Tobacco Settlement Funds.

Fall 2010 · 13


ASK THE EXPERT

Interview by Deborah A. Benedetti

A Faster Faster Faster Faster Path to a

College Degree Judith Wertheim talks about converting knowledge and skills from life experiences into college credits

14 · Penn State Outreach Magazine

Janet Mesic Mackie

S

ince taking office, President Barack Obama has stressed the need “to expand the promise of education in America,” pointing out that most of the fastest-growing occupations today require more than a high school diploma. Yet more than 59 million Americans have no college education, according to a Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) report. CAEL, a national leader in adult learning and workforce development, is taking on this challenge. During last spring’s Hendrick Best Practices for Adult Learners Conference at Penn State, Dr. Judith Wertheim, CAEL Vice President for Higher Education Services, outlined a strategy for helping adults progress more rapidly toward a degree: Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), a process higher education institutions can use to evaluate and award college credit to individuals for the knowledge and skills they have gained from life experiences.


Q:

What kind of life experiences count in Prior Learning Assessment?

A:

This would include employment, travel, civic activities and volunteer service. There are a variety of ways to assess a learner’s prior knowledge—through College Board (see box) and other standardized exams, American Council on Education credit recommendations for military and civilian training, institution-specific challenge exams, and individualized portfolio assessment.

Q:

Why should this assessment be offered?

A:

Earning credit for prior learning can boost students’ self-esteem and self-confidence by validating their existing knowledge and skills. It can also save them time and money. For students who prepare a portfolio about what they have learned, there is an added benefit. The process of preparing the portfolio leads to cognitive skills development, according to research by the University of Connecticut.

Q:

Your organization conducted its own study on learners who went through the assessment. What did you find?

A:

We conducted a large, multiinstitutional study using student record data from 48 colleges and universities, including Penn State, and found that students who used PLA options graduated at more than double the rate of non-PLA students—56 percent of PLA students earned a postsecondary degree within seven years, while only 21 percent of non-PLA students did so. PLA students also saved between 2.5 and 10.1 months of time in earning their baccalaureate degrees. [Editor’s note: The study, Fueling the

Race to Postsecondary Success, is at the CAEL Web site, http://www.cael.org.]

Q:

Q:

A:

Why encourage PLA?

A:

The pipeline of traditional-age students will not be enough to keep the United States competitive in the global economy. The jobs that are being created will require a college educated and skilled workforce. To help fill these jobs, we will need to educate millions of adults who never completed high school, who have high school diplomas, but no college, or who have some college, but no degree. Because offering PLA options will help these adults complete their degrees, we will need more higher education institutions offering prior learning assessment.

What will the center focus on?

The center, established with generous foundation funding, will have a national client base and will provide services in an online format. The center’s purpose is to provide prior learning assessment services to students and potential students and to organizations serving current and potential adult learners. Updates about implementation will be available at the CAEL Web site throughout the two-year pilot phase.

CREDIT BY EXAM

Q:

There’s a high rate of PLA participation in Pennsylvania, and the state has its own PLA Consortium. Why do some institutions argue against it?

A:

Institutions might argue that by offering PLA, students will take fewer credits and pay less tuition at their institutions, but our recent study shows that PLA students earned an average of 53.7 credits in course work at their institutions in addition to the credits they earned through PLA, compared with 43.8 credits by non-PLA students. One reason for this, which was suggested by PLA administrators at institutions participating in our study, is that students who pursue PLA credit are already highly motivated or academically successful, and that is leading them to complete their degree. Another reason why some institutions aren’t adopting PLA is that they are constrained by resources. To help these institutions, CAEL is developing a Virtual PLA Center that will be available to both institutions and students.

David Koelle is hoping to shorten the time it will take him to earn his Penn State degree. A part-time student who works full time, Koelle has already passed five CollegeLevel Examination Program® (CLEP) exams from The College Board and plans to take more. “I’ve calculated that with CLEP exams, I can get my degree in four years, instead of eight,” said Koelle. Anyone can earn credit for the collegelevel learning and knowledge they have acquired through independent study, prior course work, on-the-job training, professional development, cultural pursuits or internships by passing CLEP exams, explained Michael Steese, Outreach Testing Center coordinator. “CLEP is a valuable resource for adult learners.” CLEP exams are available at the Outreach Testing Center at University Park and at Penn State New Kensington, Greater Allegheny, DuBois and York campuses and Pennsylvania College of Technology. For information: http://ceup.psu.edu/clep.

Spring 2009 · 15


INSIDE OUTREACH

ENHANCING RECRUITMENT and services for military veterans who are now students is the aim of a University-wide team convened by Penn State Outreach more than a year ago. “Since spring 2009, there has been a 28 percent increase in the number of veteran students University-wide, from 2,033 to 2,611,” said Ginny Newman, Outreach’s assistant director of Military Education and team chairperson. “Having a coordinated recruitment and retention program for this growing student population is important, because student veterans have some unique needs when it comes to helping them achieve academic success.” Among them are how to: transfer academic credits earned from multiple institutions due to frequent relocations; maximize GI Bill benefits; manage deployments while enrolled; and handle war-related physical and mental health disabilities. Composed of representatives University-wide who work directly with veteran students, the team is implementing two key recommendations this academic year. For the first time, Penn State will have a single unified marketing campaign for veterans. The aim is to send veterans a consistent message about Penn State, regardless of which campus they plan to attend, said Cyndee Graves, assistant director, University Marketing and Advertising. In addition, a series of five Webinars developed in collaboration with Penn State’s Human Resource Development Center is being offered this spring. The Webinars are for faculty and staff members who assist these students with admissions, advising, financial aid, outreach, and psychological and disabilities services. Another training program is in the works from World Campus that will help faculty better understand the education needs of this population.

16 · Penn State Outreach Magazine

The veteran student population is increasing.

OUTREACH GIVING

Joshua Potter

Warriors to SCHOLARS

Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center’s new ADA-accessible trail


By Deborah A. Benedetti and Elizabeth Bechtel

ONLINE PORTFOLIO When Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard Bright heard in one of his Penn State classes about a labor and employment relations bachelor’s program starting this fall, he jumped at the chance to switch to a program more aligned with his Army role. “Labor and employment relations and human resources are interrelated with my work,� said Bright, who serves in Retention and Attrition Management and lives with his wife and three children in northern Virginia. It’s just one of the 13 new online programs that colleges and schools across the University have debuted with Penn State World Campus since fall 2009. They are: t &OFSHZBOE4VTUBJOBCJMJUZ1PMJDZ #BDIFMPS of Arts t -BCPSBOE&NQMPZNFOU3FMBUJPOT #BDIFMPS

Joshua Potter

of Arts and Bachelor of Science

GROWS t %JHJUBM"SUT 6OEFSHSBEVBUF$FSUJmDBUF t 4PGUXBSF&OHJOFFSJOH .BTUFST t 5VSGHSBTT.BOBHFNFOU .BTUFSPG1SPGFTsional Studies t 5VSGHSBTT4DJFODFBOE.BOBHFNFOU "TTPDJate in Science t )PNFMBOE4FDVSJUZ *OUFSDPMMFHF.BTUFSPG

ON THE WEB Outreach’s redesigned Web page features news stories, multimedia magazine stories and videos—plus a tab leading potential donors to ways they DBOTVQQPSU0VUSFBDI(PUP http://www.outreach.psu.edu.

Professional Studies t 1VCMJD"ENJOJTUSBUJPO .BTUFST t "QQMJFE4UBUJTUJDT .BTUFST t "SU&EVDBUJPO .BTUFSPG1SPGFTTJPOBM4UVEJFT t *OGPSNBUJPO4DJFODFT .BTUFSPG1SPGFTTJPOBM Studies t 4ZTUFNT "QQMJDBUJPOTBOE1SPEVDUTJO%BUB Processing, Undergraduate CertiďŹ cate t (FSJBUSJD/VSTJOH&EVDBUJPO (SBEVBUF CertiďŹ cate

For information: www.worldcampus.psu.edu or 800-252-3592.

IN 2009–10, GENEROUS DONORS supported Outreach activities with more than $5.6 million in gifts, surpassing the Outreach goal for private philanthropy by $97,000. Here are some highlights: t NURSING: As a hospice and home health nurse, Patty Tunno recognized the growing need for a new generation of nurses. She and her husband, Bob, a graduate of the Smeal College of Business and a member of both the Outreach Advisory Board and the iMBA Advisory Board, have established the Tunno Family Trustee Scholarship in the World Campus. The scholarship, which is backed by additional funds from the Penn State Board of Trustees, is available to students with a demonstrated ďŹ nancial need who are enrolled in or planning to enroll in the Penn State World Campus, with ďŹ rst preference given to students in nursing. t PERFORMANCE: Thanks to the Bill and Honey Jaffe Performance Endowment at Penn State Public Broadcasting, audi-

ences of WPSU-TV can enjoy musical acts by talented students in the College of Arts and Architecture’s Musical Theatre program. The students reap the beneďŹ ts of on-air experience as part of WPSU’s “Music Theatre Spotlight,â€? resulting in professional-quality DVDs they can take to auditions. t 4-H ENDOWMENTS: As of June 2010, donors to the Pennsylvania 4-H Keystone Society had pledged more than $300,000 to build 4-H endowments. “More than half of all Pennsylvania counties now have 4-H endowments,â€? said Dan Nestlerode, president of the 4-H Development Council. t NATURE TRAIL: The opening of an ADA accessible trail and a lakeside pavilion are the latest in modern facilities at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center. Plus, the annual Birding Cup—a contest to see which team can identify the most species in a 24-hour period—raised more than $10,000, according to Shaver’s Creek director Mark McLaughlin.


ARTS & HUMANITIES

By Deborah A. Benedetti

The V i r t u a l PSYCHOLOGY SOCIETY First-of-its-kind online club unites students from far-flung locations and gives them a sense of community SIGMUND FREUD HAD ONE. Now so do Penn State psychology students— a psychology club, that is. But unlike Freud’s weekly gatherings at his apartment, Penn State’s Psychology Club meets only in the virtual world. “The World Campus Psychology Club is the first fully online psychology club in the world,” said Psychology Club adviser Brian Redmond, who has searched for and not found any similar clubs. Students enrolled in the online psychology bachelor of arts and bachelor of science programs offered by the College of the Liberal Arts through Penn State World Campus used the University’s student clubs guide to start their club. They elected officers in spring 2009 and held their first events that fall. During one online “chat,” four faculty shared their knowledge and experiences about subspecialties in the psychology field to give students ideas about career paths. There are now more than 130 members in the United States and Europe, as well as Afghanistan and Iraq, where students are in the military. “The club is a way for students to build relationships with other students and faculty members,” said Debra Mynar, the club’s first president. As a former commuter student at a community college, Mynar wasn’t able to connect with many students. So when she enrolled at Penn State World Campus, she didn’t want that to happen

and thought an online club would be an ideal solution.

Creating a Learning Community Reflecting on her one-year tenure as president, Mynar says she’s proud to have played a role in creating “a learning community where students can actively engage and support each other while learning more about psychology.” Dr. Rich Carlson, associate head and professor of psychology, says the club not only allows students to learn more about psychology and opportunities in the field, but it also provides a way for them to network, much like on-campus

students do—only online. For example, members use video conferencing with Department of Psychology faculty and staff to talk about the psychology program, graduate education options, internships and jobs. The club also produces a newsletter, “Mind Over Matters,” and has a Facebook group. Mynar and other club members celebrated another milestone last spring: They were among the first 28 students to graduate from the online psychology degree programs. As the club continues its success and growth, the focus will shift slightly. During its start-up year the club members worked on getting organized and expanding themselves academically. Members have elected new leaders for the 2010–11 academic year, and as the organizational aspects wind down, the club will add a service component to its mission in the form of peer mentoring. For information about the Psychology Club, contact Brian Redmond at bfr3@psu.edu; for information about the online bachelor’s degrees: www. worldcampus.psu.edu/onlinepsych.

Debra Mynar, pictured here with her daughter at a Penn State football game, helped create an online psychology club.

18 · Penn State Outreach Magazine


CHILDREN, YOUTH & FAMILIES

By Melissa W. Kaye

Bullies B

GONE Students at Erie high schools are taking action against violence

Andy Colwell

AT STRONG VINCENT HIGH SCHOOL IN ERIE, PA., the students have a plan. They have one at General McLane, too. They’ve had enough with the bullying, youth violence and drug abuse to do something about it. Students at these schools, where up to half of eighth-graders have reported feeling sad and detached from their teachers, are involved in a campaign with Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, to reduce violence and substance abuse and promote a positive climate in their schools. “The students have developed a community-level strategic plan for positive youth development, and they even secured some funding to support their efforts,” said Joe Markiewicz, project director for The Susan Hirt Hagen Youth

Center for Organizational Research & Evaluation (CORE) at the campus, who is a 1980 Strong Vincent graduate himself. For example, Strong Vincent students received a $14,000 grant from Highmark to sponsor a community forum last spring on youth violence, teen pregnancy and depression reduction. At General McLane, which has completed two years of its three-year strategic plan, students organized “You Make a Difference Week”—part of a “Blue Ribbon” campaign to highlight student depression and substance abuse. At the event, organizers gave students three ribbons—one to keep and two to give out to others to show their appreciation. For example, some gave a ribbon to their teacher, parent or another student they may normally not socialize with. “It’s become a mainstay of our spring activities and a priority of our Principal’s Cabinet,” said Dan Mennow, principal at General MClane, referring to the group of students selected by the principal to lead these efforts. Markiewicz of CORE works with these students on leadership training. Mennow added, “Our students look forward to the assembly, and the week has been so positive to our school.” Events this fall include Erie Peace Fest, organized by both schools, featuring music and workshops focused on relational aggression. In November, 15 students will participate in the 2010 Healthy Communities, Healthy Youth conference in Dallas, Texas.

Joe Markiewicz, left, with the 2009–10 Principal’s Cabinet at General McLane High School

Fall 2010 · 19


CHILDREN, YOUTH & FAMILIES

DEALING WITH A PARENT ’S

CANCER SEVERAL YEARS AGO, DR. RENA KASS HAD A PATIENT WITH BREAST CANCER whose children were struggling over her illness. The patient told Kass—assistant professor of surgery at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at the Penn State College of Medicine—that while she could find support groups for children with cancer and support groups for adults with cancer, she could find nothing to help children whose parents had cancer. “I tried to find one for her and couldn’t,” said Kass. She continued her search, however, and came across Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery (CLIMB), developed by the Denver, Colo.-based Children’s Treehouse Foundation. The founder, Peter van Dernoot, created CLIMB after he had trouble finding resources to help his children deal with the cancer of his wife (coincidentally, a Penn State alum). The Penn State Hershey Medical Center now offers CLIMB biannually, in both the fall and spring. “We provide an atmosphere where the children feel safe and comfortable to express themselves,” said Kass. The six-week program features a different theme each week, covering an emotion and a corresponding craft to help deal with that emotion. For example, during one session participants made a “strong” box. The children decorated the outside of the box

with things that made them feel good, and inside they placed things that they were afraid of, such as written descriptions of their fears or worries. “The goal is to use what’s on the outside of the box to help cope with things inside,” said Michelle Farnan, coordinator for the program. In another session participants focus on anger and frustration. They make dice that they illustrate on each side with things they like to do that help calm them down—anything from listening to music in their rooms to playing video games. Upset kids can roll the dice for a choice of ways to cope. Parents meet together concurrently and complete evaluations. “The feedback is positive,” said Kass. “Parents say that there’s a new comfort level at home, allowing them to focus more on their own treatment.” For more information, contact Michelle Farnan (mfarnan@hmc.psu.edu or 717-531-7942).

SEVENTY-FOUR PERCENT OF TEENAGERS report that their parents are still the #1 influence in their lives. That’s news that Dr. Rob Turrisi, Penn State professor of biobehavioral health, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have teamed up to use to their advantage. Officials at MADD enlisted Turrisi’s help for its new campaign, The Power of Parents: It’s Your Influence, after listening to him speak about his work in preventing underage drinking at a symposium held by the organization a couple of years ago. “We were so impressed we immediately approached him,” said Vicki Knox, vice president of programs and field relations for MADD, about Turrisi. MADD has now adapted a book Turrisi developed in his own alcohol prevention work for use in its campaign. The

resulting new 25-page handbook, available this fall on the campaign Web site, http://www.thepowerofparents.org, will help parents to: start a conversation with their teens about drinking; understand peer pressure; and set clear rules and consequences. “We want to engage parents, educate them and help them understand the importance of setting a family rule of no alcohol use before age 21,” said Knox. Turrisi explains that parents differ on the issue—ranging from those who are concerned and want to prevent their teens from drinking to those who actually go out and purchase alcohol with their teens. “In the latter group, the kids are going to drink more heavily,” said Turrisi. “Parents should be aware of where they stand and know how it impacts their child.”

20 · Penn State Outreach Magazine

Craft projects address a range of emotions.


THE ECONOMY & WORKFORCE

By Melissa W. Kaye

FROM MATERIALS TO PEOPLE Industrial engineering students gain experience for careers in health care THE PROBLEM: A small community hospital in Tyrone, Pa., had an inefficient supply chain—nurses were manually noting when supplies were removed from the closet and provided to the emergency and operating rooms, intensive care unit, and medical surgical department. The solution: Penn State industrial engineering students worked with hospital administrators to improve the hospital’s supply chain process— designing an automated materials management system. The costs associated with supplies are the second highest cost to operations in Tyrone Hospital, designated as a critical access hospital—a hospital that receives cost-based reimbursement from Medicare. “We don’t have a lot of layers of staff, and putting a plan together to fix the supply chain problem was difficult,” said Michael Zenone, then-chief financial officer of Tyrone Hospital. “The students were able to come in and act as consultants and put together a detailed plan.” Zenone added he expected the new process to be in place this fall.

helps coordinate IE’s senior capstone design program with Michael Immel, IE’s director of Corporate Relations. Working with the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health at Penn State, critical access hospitals are invited to be a part of the program. “Before the start of the semester, we let them know that the students’ services are available,” said Larry Baronner of the Office of Rural Health. A graduate student in

health policy and administration that works with the office was also involved in the Tyrone Hospital project. Interested hospitals (IE’s budget allows for at least two each semester) join the project kickoff at the beginning of the semester, along with other participating organizations—from entrepreneurs to multinational corporations. Simpson said that the healthrelated projects are proving increasingly popular. For example, one semester, more than half of the 60 students in the class picked the critical access hospital project as their first choice of projects to work on. Only four or five students can be on a project team. Simpson explains their popularity: “Many IE applications can be very abstract, but in these health care projects, students can go in and improve people’s lives directly.”

Improving Lives Directly The project was part of a new effort of Penn State Industrial Engineering (IE) to allow its students to gain experience working in the health care field. “In these projects, students use the same tools we teach them for manufacturing and quality control, such as Six Sigma and lean production, but rather than work with material flow, they work with people,” said Dr. Timothy Simpson, who BEFORE: Students help improve the supply chain at a critical access hospital.

Fall 2010 · 21


THE ECONOMY & WORKFORCE

DON’T LET ITS NAME FOOL YOU, but the Executive Leadership Academy, offered by Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, is not just about leadership. “It’s a comprehensive, integrated program focused on management topics that are going to help today’s and tomorrow’s leaders,” said Dr. James Fairbank, associate professor of management at the campus’ Sam and Irene Black School of Business, which collaborated on the program with Continuing Education. “Some of the topics include strategy, accounting, finance, marketing and global business opportunities, in addition to leadership.” The eight-month program, aimed at seasoned business professionals, starts this fall and is offered in half-day sessions, four days a month. The inaugural class completed the program last spring. Philip Katen, general manager at Plastikos and Micro ram. “II have Mold, based in Erie, participated in the program.

GETTING WIRED BROADBAND HAS A HUGE IMPACT ON THE ECONOMY. Those that have it can compete locally, nationally and globally, but those who don’t fall behind. Bringing broadband technology to Pennsylvania’s rural, mountainous and heavily forested regions has been a challenge, despite state legislation enacted in 2004 stating that every Pennsylvania community will have broadband access through its local telephone company by 2015. To further its goal, in 2009, Pennsylvania released its Statewide Broadband Plan, which outlines the Commonwealth’s strategy to provide all citizens, businesses and institutions with affordable, reliable and sustainable broadband services. The state was also recently awarded

22 · Penn State Outreach Magazine

Courtesy of Penn State Erie, The Behrend College

MORE THAN LEADERSHIP

taken at least one idea from each classroom topic and been able to apply it to the day-to-day operation at Plastikos in order to advance our organization,” he said. Fairbank added that participants tend to be people who may not have the time to take a full-blown graduate program. “We took elements from some of the most successful programs out there and put them all into this one,” he said. “There’s nothing like it in northwest Pennsylvania, so it fills a niche.”

Penn State Behrend ‘s Jack D. Burke Research and Economic Development Center, which houses business and engineering

$28 million in stimulus funds to expand broadband access to 32 counties in northern Pennsylvania, and $2.5 million to collect broadband mapping data. In its latest effort, the state organized a two-day 2010 Broadband Summit in Harrisburg this fall, with the help of Penn State Conferences, as a forum for the public and industry to address issues required to advance the broadband plan for the sake of economic development, education, telemedicine and more.


EDUCATION

By Melissa W. Kaye

DURING THE TEEN PREGNANCY PREVENTION CONFERENCE in April, held at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, organizers polled audiences during the morning and afternoon keynote addresses as part of an effort to incorporate more technology into this and other conferences. The polling utilized technology that allows participants to answer questions with their cell phones. “We thought it was appropriate with this audience, because we wanted these professionals who work with teens to use the technology teens are using—primarily cell phones,” said conference organizer Heidi Watson, clarifying: “for texting, not for talking.” It was a learning experience for the conference participants—made up of professionals ranging from educators, to legislators, to counselors—who believed that teens’ communication tool of choice is e-mail.

C

BOREDOM

MBAT

DR. LINDA CALDWELL IS THE DEVELOPER of a curriculum and school-based prevention program for students to reduce risky behaviors by managing their free time. It’s been applied and proven effective in different settings—from the Harrisburg, Pa., School District to South Africa. Now Caldwell, professor of recreation, park and tourism management, has been working with her students on a servicelearning project for Operation: Military Kids (OMK) in Pennsylvania to target the curriculum, TimeWise, to military kids. “We made an emphasis on the issues these kids are more likely to encounter, such as dealing with the anxiety of having a parent deployed,” explained Caldwell. Susan Smith, coordinator of OMK in Pennsylvania, which is offered in the state through Penn State Cooperative Extension, said that during deployment, families often get so wrapped up in trying to fill the void left by a deployed

parent that they often don’t take care of themselves. “Kids take on extra chores, such as caring for younger siblings or grocery shopping. Some kids get angry and resentful during deployment and can lash out in negative ways, such as using alcohol, drugs or cutting school.” The OMK TimeWise program, which includes a DVD aimed at kids and a parent tip sheet, reminds families how involvement in leisure activities can help curtail these risky behaviors. Penn State recreation, park and tourism management students Shanna Servant and Jason Forsythe contributed to the DVD. Seven teens previewed the DVD and reacted positively, reports Smith. The resources will be disseminated this fall through OMK’s Hero Pack Program, which presents backpacks around the state to children of deployed military personnel from all branches of service. Courtesy of Linda Caldwell

MAKING SENSE OF TEXT MESSAGES

The morning keynote speaker, Dr. Landi Turner, assistant professor of psychology at Eastern University and adjunct professor of human sexuality at Widener University, asked attendees: “What percentage of young people use e-mail?” Most who participated said that 95 percent used email; however, in actuality, only 36 percent of young people prefer e-mail over cell phones. The conference was organized and sponsored by Penn State Outreach’s Conferences unit, Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development, the Pennsylvania Learning Academy for Sexuality Education, and the Pennsylvania Coalition to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Watch a video about the conference at: http://tiny.cc/10dzt.

A video focuses on time management for military kids.

Fall 2010 · 23


ENERGY & THE ENVIRONMENT

GREENER PASTURES THIS OCTOBER, GOLF ENTHUSIASTS will be focused on the professional and charity tournaments closing out the golf season, including the Ryder Cup and Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. But what most fans won’t notice is the turfgrass on the courses. And that’s too bad, because the quality of the turf can affect a player’s game. “A well-maintained turf can provide superior playing conditions—faster, truer greens, excellent fairways lies— that would enable a skilled golfer to score better,” said Dr. A. J. Turgeon, Penn State professor of turfgrass management and director of World Campus turfgrass programs. Students in online turfgrass management programs— including a newly launched Master of Professional Studies in Turfgrass Management, offered by the College of Agricultural Sciences through World Campus—are learning how to maintain golf courses and other sports fields, and it can be a challenge, said Turgeon. “Turfgrass is actually many living organisms living in close proximity that can become diseased, attacked by insects and other pests, stressed by adverse environmental conditions and damaged by play and mismanagement.”

Priority on Sustainability A growing trend is a focus on sustainability. “With new techniques that reduce water usage and provide more targeted chemical applications, the environment is the beneficiary,” said Jeff Bollig, senior director of marketing and communications for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, which—through its organization The Environmental Institute for Golf—is leading an industrywide sustainability effort for golf facility management. Penn State keeps up on these trends, and it shows in the University’s turfgrass alumni. Matt Shaffer, who graduated with a Certificate in Turfgrass Management in 1974, is a sustainability advocate and keeps up with the latest turfgrass developments by talking with Penn State faculty and

24 · Penn State Outreach Magazine

Courtesy of College M. Scott of Agricultural Johnson Sciences

With turfgrass rooted in science, a complete online portfolio of courses gives students the tools to maintain fields in sustainable ways

Turfgrass expert A. J. Turgeon

attending University conferences. As director of golf course operations at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., he keeps soil moisture levels on his course “painfully low to reduce the need for chemicals,” using wireless underground sensors to monitor temperature, moisture and salinity in greens, tees, fairways and bunkers. The sensors have led to a 15 to 20 percent reduction in water usage. At Rock Spring Club in West Orange, N.J., assistant superintendent Joe Guanill, 2009 graduate of the online B.S. in Turfgrass Science and Management program, uses strategic applications of water and chemical fertilizers, along with appropriate mowing practices for specific course areas. This is also helpful in course consistency, Guanill explained, helping golfers know what to expect and how to plan their shots. — Deborah A. Benedetti

GROUNDBREAKING ONLINE PROGRAMS The recently launched online Master of Professional Studies in Turfgrass Management program, offered by the College of Agricultural Sciences through Penn State World Campus, completes the online turfgrass management portfolio, which includes two certificates and associate and bachelor’s degrees. For information: http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/ MasterinTurfgrassManagement.shtml.


STUDENTS SPOTLIGHT IN THE

Computing Solutions IN PHILADELPHIA, CONSUMERS AND BUSINESSES have been warned that their electricity bills could increase by as much as 20 percent when electricity rate caps expire at the end of 2010. While the expiration of rate caps is an issue everywhere in Pennsylvania, the threat of rising costs led Randy Ingbritsen, assistant director of Continuing Education at Penn State Abington, to approach campus information sciences and technology (IST) faculty about developing courses that would address an emerging interest in green computing. IST senior lecturer Ed Green, whose name makes him perfect for the task, was interested. “Green computing is the application of computer technology to improve the energy, sustainability or environment of something,” he explained, “like using computer technology to control the heat in a building or re-using the energy generated from a computer.” They started to explore the issue, and existing research was limited. Aside from the usual “turn out the lights” and

“don’t print out more than you have to” advice, they couldn’t find a lot of information on the subject. Green then came up with the idea of having students from his capstone IST class conduct research and design curriculum materials on the topic. The result: A new noncredit certificate program based on the students’ semesterlong work is being offered for the first time this fall. The target audience is mainly senior information technology (IT) practitioners tasked to achieve some kind of significant energy cost reductions in energy use through the use of IT.

The Final Product The nine-module course covers everything from the basics of sustainability, to hardware and software considerations, to emerging wireless technologies, to risk management. Exercises focus on having participants conduct research on buying and implementing new products and technologies. Ryan King (’10) said that during the semester, he and his classmates realized how scarce this information is. “Contributing to this issue is very satisfying,” he said. Vince Pettinato added, “The great deal of work that [we] put into research and sections led to a fantastic final project. The course will allow professionals to learn ways to build their personal knowledge base in order to improve energy issues. This will save companies money as well as conserve energy.” — Melissa W. Kaye For more information: Penn State Abington Continuing Education http://www.abington.psu.edu/psasite/ce

ENERGY FACTS t The amount of money that would be saved if the energy efficiency of commercial and industrial buildings improved by 10 percent: $20 billion t Portion of energy in buildings used inefficiently or unnecessarily: 30 percent t Combined annual energy costs for U.S. commercial buildings and industrial facilities: $202.3 billion Source: Energy Star


ENERGY & THE ENVIRONMENT

Ken Tamminga

E X TREME WE ATHER

The team embarks for a study area via ferry on the west branch of Lake Volta, Ghana.

GLOBAL WARMING, or climate change, is a subject that shows no signs of cooling down. In Africa, considered by experts to be the continent most vulnerable to climate change, many people are struggling to simply survive, let alone prepare for the future impacts of global warming. That’s why Dr. Petra Tschakert, assistant professor of geography, and an interdisciplinary group of colleagues are working with residents of Ghana and Tanzania to better anticipate and prepare for the challenges that climate change may bring. “I hope that our project will foster people’s capacity to influence their future through iterative planning—repeated

steps that build on prior cycles of activity—rather than learning by shock,” said Tschakert, who is the primary investigator for the three-year project, which received a $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation Human and Social Dynamics Program. Tschakert and her team have been working in Ghana and Tanzania for several months at a time over the past two years. Using focus groups, surveys, videotaped treks through working landscapes and other participatory methods, their goal is to help individuals understand the causes and consequences of climate change while eliciting memories

of how people previously adapted to extreme weather events. Africa is almost entirely dependent on rain for its agriculture, making subsistence farmers particularly vulnerable to climate change–induced droughts and floods. However, according to Tschakert, the vulnerable are not necessarily passive victims. “We want to highlight people’s skills, knowledge, strategic responses, anticipatory capacity and ability for adaptation planning,” she explained. “Recently in Odomase, one project community in Ghana, the people explained that they understand the value of anticipatory learning in their uncertain lives. More outreach efforts will follow, including environmental theatre, to broaden awareness at the regional level.” Other team members are Ken Tamminga (landscape architecture), Dr. Robert Crane (geography) and Dr. Esther Prins (education) from Penn State, plus Dr. Chris Hoadley, a faculty member at New York University; and representatives from the University of Ghana, University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), University of Cape Town (South Africa), the Red Cross/Red Crescent and the Afram Plains Development Organization. — Amy Milgrub Marshall

RAISING THE ROOF THE PENN STATE CENTER—Engaging Pittsburgh teamed up with Allegheny County to assist in the process for installing a green roof on the County Office Building; the project serves as a way to educate building owners about green roof technology. Green roofs are, as the name implies, plantings that are placed on the roof of a building. Green roofs can reduce city “heat island” effect, reduce carbon dioxide impact and reduce summer air conditioning costs, among other things. As an educational opportunity, “visitors to the roof will be able to see the different types of green roofs available and understand the soils and membrane

26 · Penn State Outreach Magazine

municipalities and other institutions.” required,” said Darla Cravotta, special For more information, contact De projects coordinator for Allegheny CounCiantis at 412-263-1000. ty Chief Executive Dan Onorato. She — M.K. added that the roof will also mitigate the impact of storm water runoff and decrease the energy use of the County Office Building. Dr. Deno De Ciantis, director of The Penn State Center—Engaging Pittsburgh, added: On top of the Allegheny “We hope to use this County Office Building as an educational site for promoting and training on green roof issues to


HEALTH

By Sara LaJeunesse

Faculty focus on ways to improve communication skills among those with disabilities A MOTHER BURSTS INTO TEARS at the sight of her 17-year-old son chatting with a group of girls at an art exhibition. She is delighted to see the boy, who has autism, behaving like a normal teenager. According to Dr. Michael Murray (M.D.), an assistant professor of psychiatry and director of the Division of Autism Services in the Penn State College of Medicine, the boy’s behavior is an example of how individuals with autism can improve their communication skills if they are given an opportunity to practice. Through the Multi-Media Social Skills Training Program—a project funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare’s Bureau of Autism Services’ ASERT grant and offered through Autism Central PA—Murray is helping teenagers with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Disorder learn to behave appropriately in various social situations. Autism Central PA is a partnership among the Penn State College of Medicine and the local nonprofits Philhaven and The Vista Foundation. First, the teens use television shows, movies and specially designed videos as the basis for discussions about social behaviors. Then, they practice what they’ve learned in a real-world setting: a photography class in which half of the students are mainstream teenagers. “At the beginning of the course, an autistic student might look at a peer’s photograph and say to him, ‘It’s green. I like green,’” explained Murray. “By the end of the course, that same student might say, ‘The green in this photograph reminds me of you because you have such an outgoing personality.’”

Teens with autism took a photography class with mainstream students; the above photo was taken by one of the participants with autism.

According to Murray, the number of adults with autism in Pennsylvania is expected to increase by up to 800 percent by 2015. “The earlier we can diagnose individuals and expose them to skill-building programs the better. Currently, the average age of diagnosis is 3,” he said. Earlier diagnosis is the basis of another Autism Central PA project—

seminars and educational materials for doctors. In addition to such initiatives, Autism Central PA has a resource center that serves as a point of support for individuals, families, care providers and communities dealing with autism. For more information, go to http:// pennstatehershey.org/sites/autismcentralpa.

BUILDING LANGUAGE SKILLS Two new interactive Web sites (http:// aackids.psu.edu and http://aacliteracy. psu.edu) focus on helping children with autism and Down syndrome, as well as other disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, to improve their language and communication skills. The former Web site focuses on early intervention; the latter focuses on literacy skills. Launched in 2009 by faculty members in Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development (Drs. Janice Light and Kathy Drager) and College of Education (Dr. David McNaughton), the sites provide step-by-step procedures to help children with special needs learn to communicate and read. For example, children can be taught

at a very early age to use a variety of tools to communicate—including gestures, signs, photographs, line drawings and computer systems. Light reports receiving positive feedback on the Web sites from around the world, with more than 2,000 visitors to each site a month.

http://aacliteracy.psu.edu


HEALTH

CARDIAC CARE

FOR CHILDREN BEFORE MAGGIE WAS BORN, David and Sandra Murray knew she had a lifethreatening heart condition. “She had hypo-plastic left heart syndrome,” said Sandra. “We were devastated.” The Murrays sought help from Dr. Stephen Cyran (M.D.), chief of Pediatric Cardiology at the Children’s Heart Group (CHG) at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. “The left side of Maggie’s heart never formed, so we reconstructed it through a series of open heart surgeries,” explained Cyran. Despite some permanent heart issues, the girl, who now is 9 years old, is able to play soccer, swim and dance, just like any other kid. “We live in Wilkes-Barre, about two hours away from Hershey, yet we still were able to receive care for Maggie

without having to lose a day’s work and disrupt our other children’s lives.” That’s because the CHG maintains a satellite clinic in Wilkes-Barre, as well as 21 other towns throughout central Pennsylvania. Since 1995, the clinics have provided a full complement of cardiology services to children. Staff members travel to each of the satellite clinics monthly, weekly or daily—often leaving at 5:30 a.m. and returning home late in the evening. “But the long days are worth it,” said CHG staff physician Dr. Devyani Chowdhury. “It feels really great to bring high-quality care to children who might not otherwise have had access to it.” Using sophisticated equipment that often is transported, along with the

BE T T E R S MILE S AN ESTIMATED 14,000 RESIDENTS in Clinton County—nearly half of the total population—do not have dental insurance. That’s why Laurie Weinreb-Welch, an educator with the Penn State Clinton County Cooperative Extension Office, helped to open the Clinton County Community Dental Clinic in Lock Haven in October of 2009. “Many folks in Clinton County work part time with no benefits or have jobs that do not provide dental insurance,” she said. “At first, most of our patients came in for emergency extractions; they had teeth that could not be saved due to the severe nature of the decay.

28 · Penn State Outreach Magazine

Previously, these people had ended up in the emergency room, where they were treated for pain and infection. To help avoid these problems, we focus on teaching proper dental hygiene.” Weinreb-Welch added that, although preventive care is new to many of the clinic’s patients, most have embraced the concept and regularly return to the clinic. The new clinic, which Penn State Extension opened in partnership with Clinton County Healthy Communities, provides full dental services, including exams, X-rays, cleanings, fillings and extractions. Individuals who have no insurance are charged a sliding-scale fee based on income and family size.

Devyani Chowdhury, left, says the long days are worth it.

staff, to the clinics, the group treats children with a wide variety of heart problems, including birth defects, such as holes in the heart; rhythm problems; and problems related to high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol. CHG’s motivation to help an even larger group of children led to the implementation of a child wellness program in the Hanover, Pa., public schools in August. “The ability to provide services in schools may help to lower the risk of future heart attacks for a larger number of children than could be served by outreach clinic sites alone,” said Cyran.

Others, who have a medical access card, are able to use the card as a form of payment. So far, more than 2,400 Clinton County residents have received services at the clinic.

A patient is seen at the new dental clinic in Clinton County.


INTERNATIONAL

By Sara LaJeunesse

F CUS

on

The Greater Allegheny campus works with a Vietnamese university as part of Vietnam’s ongoing effort to attract international business

Courtesy of Penn State Greater Allegheny

VIETNAM THEY ARRIVED AT MIDNIGHT, weary after a nearly 30-hour journey from Vietnam. As they disembarked the plane, the 17 professors were greeted by a welcoming committee of at least a dozen people … and a lion, the Penn State Nittany Lion, which immediately launched into a series of cartwheels and back flips. “We wanted to show our visitors how excited we were to have them,” said Dr. Kurt Torell, director of academic affairs at Penn State Greater Allegheny. With the support of the campus’ chancellor, Dr. Curtiss Porter, and Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training, Torell had done extensive work with Bao N Le, an administrator at Duy Tan University in Da Nang, Vietnam. The result of their work is the establishment of a four-year agreement between the campus and Duy Tan University to improve the Vietnamese professors get a taste for quality of business courses at the Vietnamese university American business at a chocolate factory. by adding elements of American business teaching and learning practices. provost at Duy Tan University. “I learned so much, from the “Over the course of four years, we plan to train about 100 teaching material, which comprised advanced topics from diffaculty members from Duy Tan University to deliver 24 busiferent fields of studies, to how to effectively teach the materiness courses,” said Torell. als and manage a class. I also learned a lot about American According to Torell, the Vietnamese government is working culture and business practices through actual field trips and to improve the quality of higher education in the country. visits to local businesses.” “Historically, Vietnam pedagogical strategies have focused In future years of the agreement, Penn State faculty on memorization of course content, instead of active learning members will travel to Vietnam during the summer months to strategies that enhance problem solving and critical thinking deliver the train-the-trainer program at Duy Tan University. skills,” he said. “Since the latter skills lead to better middle One of the tasks they will be engaged in will be to observe and management decision making, they are particularly immonitor the Vietnamese professors as they implement the portant to Vietnam’s ongoing efforts to attract international strategies they have learned. businesses and to further develop as an emerging nation.” “Penn State has embarked upon a long-term strategy to internationalize all aspects of the teaching and learning In the Field experience at the University,” said Porter. “We hope the Duy The Vietnamese professors spent six weeks during June and Tan agreement will be the beginning of a long and beneficial July at the Greater Allegheny campus. “The visit to Penn State relationship that will reinforce the global emphasis and the was an amazing experience,” said Phu Nguyen Huu, vice future development of both of our universities.”

Fall 2010 · 29


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

+ From stones to satellites, this Web-based series examines how we became reliant on geospatial technology IF YOU’VE EVER RELIED ON THE INTERNET to get from one place to another or heard the slightly condescending voice of a robotic, emotionless woman emanating from your car’s dashboard, you’ve used geospatial technology. But if that’s all you know about this technology, you’re in for a surprise. Digital mapping is used for everything “from crisis response to how a city does business,” said Cheraine Stanford, associate producer of “The Geospatial Revolution Project.” The Penn State Public Broadcasting-led (PSPB) project aims to educate the public about the importance of digital mapping. PSPB released the first of four Web-based episodes in the project series Sept. 15 via the project Web site (http://www. geospatialrevolution.psu.edu), the National Geographic Education Web site (http://education.nationalgeographic.com/ education), YouTube and Facebook. “We are hoping our viewers will realize how broadly, deeply and irrevocably these technologies are part of our lives,” said PSPB writer-director Stephen Stept. “We want folks to share these stories and even join the revolution in some way.” Viewers can join the revolution with what’s known as Volunteer Generated Information. For example, they can hold parties to map their neighborhoods. Also, thousands of people from around the world used such crowd-sourcing techniques to create maps of Haiti during the earthquake to help responders on the ground.

academic standards and includes a video clip, background essay and discussion questions. Educational collaborators—including National Geographic Education, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, AmericaView and the GeoTech Center—will share the videos with their networks and members. Though mapping can help drivers find the right exit and enable governments to better respond to emergencies, it also has its drawbacks, which the series will examine. “There are privacy issues that will come into play,” Stanford said. “It’s great that you can locate exactly where something is, but there’s some question about if that’s a good thing and how far that can go.” For example, people have complained about street-level photos—of license plates or people in their homes—in clear sight on Internet mapping programs. The first episode is a primer in digital mapping. “We will introduce the world of geospatial technology in an easy way for the viewers to understand,” producer Stephanie Ayanian said. Subsequent episodes will focus on history (from stones to satellites), the Haiti earthquake response and the future of technology. — Erin Rowley and Bianca Barr

Classroom Directions Educators can teach students about geospatial technology with a variety of digital learning objects created by PSPB to complement each episode. Each learning object is tied to

30 · Penn State Outreach Magazine

Navigation has never been easier.


UNLOCKING BARRIERS

FOR PITTSBURGH GIRLS

TECHGYRLS IS A YWCA HALLMARK PROGRAM providing hands-on exploration in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to school-age girls. Tahirah Duncan, who tailored the program to low-income, African American girls in the Pittsburgh area, described an encouraging experience involving one of the participants, a 12-year-old girl with a learning disability. Duncan, director of the Educational Opportunity Center of Southwestern Pennsylvania at Penn State Greater Allegheny, said at first the girl seemed uninterested. However, Duncan said all that changed when the girls—ages 8–14—went on a field trip to Fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed house built over a waterfall in Mill Run, Pa. Duncan said it was remarkable how moved and inspired the girl was by the architectural design and, “It was like having another student after that. I was thrilled to see the way she reacted to seeing Fallingwater.” The wide range of activities in the TechGYRLS curriculum, customized for this Pittsburgh audience by Duncan and Greater Allegheny student-mentors, aims to increase interest in STEM education. Such activities include robotics, scaffolding, math enrichment, life skills courses, career development and field trips like the one to Fallingwater and to Science Exploration Day at University Park. “At the Bryce Jordan Center, the girls were able to see how hovercrafts are made and ride on a hovercraft, do hands-on projects, and see NASA and materials science demonstrations,” said Duncan. African American women have historically been underrepresented in the STEM fields. In response, Penn State Continuing Education at Greater Allegheny and YWCA Greater Pittsburgh teamed up to offer the program, which takes place on Saturdays throughout the year. Dr. Anthony B. Mitchell of Continuing Education arranged for program financing with a Technology Innovation Fund grant from the College of Education.

http://www.wright-house.com

Engaging science education provides an opportunity to move past challenges at home

One student found inspiration in an architectural masterpiece.

Duncan stated that beyond the benefits of science education, the program offers the girls a way to move beyond challenges they may face at home, such as financial stress and neighborhood violence. She added that the participants’ success rates have gone up at school. — Kyle Casey

Fall 2010 · 31


ENDNOTE

REEL IMPORTANT

FILMS

Penn State Public Broadcasting’s rare archival footage—ranging from the famous Stanford Prison Experiment to a study of attachment in primates—educates a new generation of students LET’S SAY YOU AGREED TO BE A PART OF A TWO-WEEK EXPERIMENT where the researchers simulate a prison environment in order to study its psychological effects. You have been assigned the role of prisoner. You’re then “arrested” at your home and taken away in a police car, strip-searched, chained, given a prison uniform and thrown in the slammer. The guards—who have been told to give the prisoners a sense of powerlessness without any actual physical contact—at first don’t seem so bad, but after some initial rebellion from a few of the prisoners, they start to crack down. There’s even a guard who seems to be taking his role a little too seriously; his tactics earn him the moniker “John Wayne.” What would you do? How much would you put up with? The results are surprising for those who participated in what’s known as the Stanford Prison Experiment, led by Dr. Philip Zimbardo. Because of rising ethical questions about the cruelty and resulting suffering taking place in the faux prison, the study was shut down after only six days. However, it’s all documented in the 1971 film distributed by Penn State Media Sales, “Quiet Rage”—which features archival footage of the study, post-experiment interviews with the prisoners and the guards, and narration by Zimbardo. Commonly sold to military academies, the film has been used to educate role-playing military interrogators on the potential dangers of abusing their power against others who are role-playing spies and terrorists. It’s just one documentary distributed by PSPB’s Media Sales. In addition to the films that PSPB has produced in recent years, Media Sales is the owner and the exclusive distributor of a great deal

32 · Penn State Outreach Magazine

of unique and archival research footage—with close to 3,000 titles in its library. Back in the 1940s, a Penn State professor started accumulating some of these films when he saw the benefit of using them in the classroom. A Penn State cinema registry was thus created, and PSPB eventually became the holder of the library about 20 years ago.

Studies on Celluloid Media Sales is the exclusive distributor of Stanley Milgram’s film “Obedience.” In it, individuals are instructed to shock a person in another room, with increasing amounts of voltage, when they gave an improper response to a question. In reality, the person receiving the “shocks” is not being harmed at all but is acting. With each buzzing sound, a yell can be heard off in the distance. As a result, one man argues that he wants to stop administering the shocks—but continues, obediently, when the researcher firmly repeats the directions. Conducted and filmed in 1963, the experiment measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience. “The film showed how the Holocaust could happen,” said Denise Hartman, marketing manager for Media Sales. It was also thanks in part to this film that official federal guidelines were created to protect human research subjects. Besides being a part of many psychology courses, “Obedience” has also been used by military academies. In addition, “Law & Order Criminal Intent” producers worked footage of the film into one of the show’s plots. “The Three Faces of Eve” is a 1954 case study of a woman with multiple personalities. Eve White is conventional, shy and insecure. At the researcher’s request, she can eerily turn into Eve Black, who is saucy and flirty. Jane is the most sensible of the three. When asked by the researcher to select a dress out of some provided, Eve White picks a long-sleeved, conservative


Photos courtesy of Penn State Public Broadcasting

By Melissa W. Kaye

black dress. Eve Black comes out wearing a halter dress edged in white tulle. Jane likes the practical and light colored suit. This film is used mainly for educational purposes and is an important work in the history of multiple personality disorder. The case was also the basis for the 1957 Hollywood adaptation of the same name. Penn State also distributes the world’s only collection of historic lobotomy films, which has been used by medical schools as well as by Paramount Pictures for its recent film “Shutter Island.” Less disturbing—at first—are the cute baby monkeys in the silent documentary “The Nature and Development

of Affection.” This film analyzes what variables affect attachment in primates. Here’s where it gets controversial: The researcher separated the infant monkeys from their mothers at birth and presented them with another “mother” made of either soft cloth or a wire cage. Which one would you prefer? The monkeys with the soft cloth mom were happier. Some psychologists have argued that it was unethical to allow the monkey raised by the wire mom to fall into the extreme state of psychosis depicted in the film. “Finding out that the psychological damage was irreversible made the film even more controversial,” said Hartman. While there is a variety of genres in the library, Lisa Gilson, customer service representative for Media Sales, said the majority of sales are psychology footage. “Some people call knowing what they want and others only a little about a title,” she said. “I ask questions and together we figure out what will work best for them.” “It’s amazing Penn State represents and owns all these very important films,” added Hartman. “We have a stewardship responsibility for the works in the collection, and maintaining that role is key to its continued success.” For more information, go to http://mediasales.psu.edu.

PENN STATE OUTREACH EDITORIAL STAFF Vice President for Outreach Dr. Craig D. Weidemann Executive Director Outreach Marketing, Communications, Recruitment and Admission Services Tracey D. Huston News and Communications Director Dave Aneckstein Editor-in-Chief Melissa W. Kaye Art Director Steve Burns Senior Writer Deborah A. Benedetti Writers Bianca Barr Elizabeth Bechtel Sara LaJeunesse Proofreader Kay Shirk Production Assistant Selma King

Penn State Outreach is published by Penn State Outreach Marketing and Communications. Penn State Outreach Marketing and Communications The Pennsylvania State University The 329 Building, Suite 408 University Park, PA 16802 Phone: 814-865-7600 Fax: 814-865-3343 E-mail: outreachnews@outreach.psu.edu Web site: http://live.psu.edu/outreach This publication is available in alternative media on request. Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce. U.Ed.OUT 10-1190tdh/dxa/mwk/smb © 2010 The Pennsylvania State University. For permission to reprint text from Penn State Outreach, contact Selma King (814-865-7600; sqk9@outreach.psu.edu).

Facing page, Stanley Milgram explores obedience to authority; this page top photo, monkeys miss their moms; directly above, Eve shows her shy side.


Penn State Outreach Marketing and Communications The Pennsylvania State University 329 Building, Suite 408 University Park PA 16802

Penn State’s Commission for Adult Learners Penn State’s Commission for Adult Learners is composed of faculty, staff, and students from several University locations. Members are dedicated to improving the adult learner experience at Penn State. The following is a list of commission members: Dr. Ann Williams, Chair Chancellor, Penn State Lehigh Valley

Armánd Dotsey Graduate Student, Penn State Great Valley

Jane Ashton Director, Continuing Education Penn State Wilkes-Barre

Anna Griswold Executive Director, Student Aid

Dr. Martha Aynardi Director of Academic Support and Special Projects, Penn State Berks Dr. Lori Bechtel-Wherry Chancellor, Penn State Altoona Paul deGategno Director of Academic Affairs, Penn State Brandywine

Dr. Linda C. Higginson Assistant Dean for Advising/Division of Undergraduate Studies, University Park Dr. R. Keith Hillkirk Chancellor, Penn State Schuylkill Martha Jordan Director, Adult Learner Advocacy

Beth Ann Delaney E. Alliance 5 Coordinator/Faculty Management Development

Leslie A. Laing Coordinator, Adult Learner Programs and Services

Gloria Deschler Campus Registrar, Penn State Beaver

Dr. Gary M. Lawler Chancellor, Penn State Hazleton

Spencer Lewis Director of Development, Outreach Dr. Jane Owens Statewide Continuing Education Amy L. Pancoast Assistant Director of Admissions Services & Evaluation, Undergraduate Education Dr. Karen I. Pollack Director of Academic Affairs for Undergraduate Programs, Penn State World Campus Karen Sones Lead Counselor/Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies Department Rachel Stover Assistant Director, Institutional Data Research, Outreach Debra Straussfogel Director of Academic Affairs, Penn State DuBois Dr. Careen Yarnal, Faculty Senate Liaison; Associate Professor, Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Management Commission for Adult Learners Administrative Support Assistant— Judy Wills

Penn State Outreach Magazine Fall 2010  

Penn State Outreach Magazine Fall 2010

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you