On May 15-16, these "road scholars" will visit campuses in Harrisburg, Hershey, Berks and Williamsport, tour businesses, schools and civic organizations and hike through the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton. Why?
"It's refreshingly uncool," Susan Squier, Julia Gregg Brill Professor of women's studies and English, said. "The president comes in and realizes that he has new faculty that might enjoy seeing other campuses and learning a little more about the place they work and does something about it."
The "Tour of the Commonwealth" will give faculty hired since July 1, 1994, the opportunity to do that and more. By the end of the two-day journey, new faculty should have a great deal more insight about the various regions of Pennsylvania that are served by Penn State and see the vast impact the University has on the state as a whole.
"I see this as a positive sign that Dr. Spanier would like us to be exposed to a lot of things about Pennsylvania at large. I'm personally interested in learning and knowing more about the state and how we are making a difference," Ahmed El Sherbini, research associate in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, said. "I think this will help us look at how we are currently teaching and performing research and it will make us think about how we can tailor our methods to meet the needs of students and Pennsylvanians." Sherbini has been here for two years and like his colleagues on the trip, has seen very little of the state. Before joining Penn State, he was in Egypt.
Faculty will also have the opportunity to meet Pennsylvania legislators on the tour.
"I'm very interested in that," Marlena Frackowski, music and audio visual cataloguing librarian, said. "It will be interesting to hear from their mouths their reasons for cuts in education, and it will give us the opportunity to argue the points with them." Frackowski has been with the University for one and a half years.
All meals, lodging and transportation for the tour will be provided by the University.
Oh, and for those faculty going on the trip: the official brochure warns you to wear casual clothes and leave your suits and ties home.
Back to special features index
Back to Intercom home page
Back to University Relations home page
Back to Penn State home page