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Alumni pledge $ million
Orion program orients freshmen
Camera provides X-ray view of universe
Associate dean sought
ICDE speaker offers possibilities
Memorial service planned
|Penn State news bureau|
University alumni William L. and Josephine Berry Weiss have committed $4 million to the University to expand student financial aid programs in engineering and the liberal arts, and to help the University Libraries.
William Weiss, chairman emeritus of Chicago-based Ameritech, recently accepted a volunteer position as a vice chair of leadership gifts for Penn State's forthcoming capital campaign.
"The University has played a very important role in our lives. In fact, Jo and I first met while we were students there, and we want others to experience the benefits of Penn State as we did," he said. "In addition, we hope that our commitment will inspire others to get involved as the campaign begins to take shape, and help Penn State strengthen its position as one of America's greatest universities."
A substantial portion of the Weisses' gift will be used to establish a graduate fellowship program in the colleges of Engineering and the Liberal Arts. Over the period of the gift, 96 fellowships will be awarded. These students also will participate in a unique interdisciplinary seminar. Additionally, about 40 undergraduates will receive scholarships throughout four years of study. Preference will be given to first-generation college students. The Weisses also have designated part of their gift to support the University Libraries.
Bill Weiss graduated from Penn State in 1951 with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering. Jo Weiss is a 1950 liberal arts graduate. The Weisses' gift is only the most recent in a series of financial contributions the couple has made to Penn State. The couple is now responsible for gift commitments totaling more than $7 million in their lifetime.
The Weisses have previously established faculty fellowships in engineering and the liberal arts, the Josephine Berry Weiss Chair in the Humanities and scholarships for financially needy students.
Bill Weiss, a native of Big Run, began his career with Bell Telephone Co. of Pennsylvania in 1951. He rose through that company's management ranks, becoming a vice president in 1973. Three years later, he became vice president of operations for Wisconsin Telephone and served in various executive posts with other components of what would become Ameritech when that firm divested from AT&T in 1984. He served as Ameritech's first chairman and CEO until retiring in 1994. He also has served as a Penn State trustee since 1994 and has received the University's Distinguished Alumnus award-- the highest recognition Penn State bestows on its graduates. He has been active in civic and cultural affairs throughout his life.
Jo Weiss, a Lock Haven native, has held leadership positions in many Chicago-area civic and educational groups. She serves as a member of the board of directors of the Chicago Child Care Society, the Women's Board of Northwestern University, the Adler Planetarium board and the president's council of the Museum of Science and Industry. She also serves on Penn State's Libraries Development Advisory Board.
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Snap-Tite Inc., a local manufacturer of fluid power components, has endowed a $100,000 scholarship at Penn State Erie, Behrend College, to provide recognition and financial assistance to students at the college.
The scholarship will first benefit employees of Snap-Tite Inc. and their families. Consideration will then be given to graduates of Union City High School.
Snap-Tite, which makes quick-disconnect couplings, played a major role in the development of Penn State-Behrend's School of Engineering and Engineering Technology. George A. Clark , chairman and CEO of the firm, serves on the board of directors of the College's Council of Fellows.
Both George Clark and his son, Gary L. Clark, vice president and chief administrative officer of Snap-Tite, were recently honored by the Board of Trustees for their gift.
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Workers from Paragon Construction & Development Co.
of Montgomery, Ala., are moving quickly to erect the shell of the new child
care center near the Penn State Conference Center Hotel on the University
Park campus. When completed, the 13,000-square-foot facility will house
about 200 infant to school-age children.
Photo: Greg Grieco
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By Lisa M. Rosellini
For decades, Penn State has been a leader in providing distance education and is now planning to swing its doors wide open to the global community with the establishment of a 'World Campus' -- so far, the ultimate concept in distance learning.
From his first months at Penn State, President Graham B. Spanier has alluded to what in other circles has become known as the "virtual university" -- an educational institution with no walls, where learning is accomplished via the Internet or other new technologies. The 'World Campus' envisioned by University leaders will be designed as a distinctive outreach campus of the University and will offer a broad spectrum of educational activities.
According to an April 29 report by an 18-member study team looking into the 'World Campus' concept, Penn State is preparing to offer as many as 30 academic programs through a variety of delivery methods. By the year 2002, more than 300 courses could be offered online or on CD-ROM, in combination with some traditional methods such as video and audio cassettes and textbooks. For students, particularly those who are place-bound, the World Campus offers increased accessibility for obtaining an education and will increase active, "hands-on" learning. Nontraditional students, like workers who must upgrade skills, would find the World Campus a welcome solution.
For Penn State, the World Campus paves the way for new international perspectives and partnerships that will enhance the learning enterprise and will help the University meet the explicit needs of learners. It also addresses demands from a changing student body.
"The global growth in population, combined with the information revolution, has created a demand for education and training that is outpacing the ability of traditional institutions to respond," James Ryan, vice president for outreach and cooperative extension, said. "The solution is not to build more physical campuses, but to create a new approach to education that effectively uses technology."
In a recent talk before hundreds of distance educators at the 18th International Council for Distance Education World Conference, Spanier said that the growth in knowledge also has fueled an overwhelming need for lifelong education in order for people to keep current and remain competitive.
Spanier said that by some estimates, "workers will need to spend at least 20 percent of their time engaged in learning, every day."
"Others say that just to keep even, we will need the equivalent of a full year of college instruction every seven years," Spanier said. The president said that in the United States alone, that translates into more than 20 million new full-time students each year.
"They would fill 672 residential campuses with an enrollment of 30,000 students each at a cost of $235 billion to build and $217 billion each year to operate," he said. "To meet the demand between now and 2010, this would require a campus to open every eight days.
"We can create those institutions, or find new ways of working together to meet these learning needs," he said.
Although the idea of a virtual university may sound like something from a sci-fi movie made in the mid-1980s, many institutions and private educational service companies are inching toward the development of just such a model. One consortium of universities in 13 western states, the Western Governors University, will roll out its first degree -- an associate arts degree -- in 1998, according to Robert Albrecht, director of academic development for WGU. Highly publicized in recent months, WGU plans to use existing institutions, existing courses and existing faculty in a far-reaching collaborative effort. So far, WGU is only concentrating on serving students in the western part of the United States. Within the corporate world, increasing numbers of corporate virtual universities are rushing to meet the professional education and training needs of employees.
"Penn State is talking about distance education that is comprehensive in scope and commitment," Spanier said. "It is a natural transition for us and it will put us at the forefront of distance learning."
The courses being discussed for inclusion in Penn State's World Campus run the gamut from those that lead to a bachelor's or master's degree, to non-credit courses that would help people upgrade current job skills or be more competitive in the job market. According to a 1995 study by the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center, more than 80 percent of adults age 30-49 reported that they had participated in work-related training or education in the last three years and were likely to do so in the future.
Some areas identified by the World Campus study team as potential start-up programs include engineering, turfgrass management, anesthesia, child care, chemical dependency , geographic information systems and nutrition. Programs under consideration, according to Ryan, must be in areas where Penn State is already a proven leader and where there is a clear demand for the program.
In addition to looking at potential programs, the study team also has been looking into external funding possibilities from corporations and private organizations that would help support the World Campus concept.
"The World Campus is more than just a mere expansion of distance education programming," Ryan said. "It's an information-rich environment that is highly interactive. It will provide students with a lot of access to faculty and a lot of collaborative opportunities."
Ryan said there also is a heavy focus on evaluation and assessment to ensure the continuous improvement of World Campus programs.
"We foresee dynamic communications between and among students, faculty and international experts," Ryan said. "We have identified programs within markets and there is now energy being spent on organizing department and faculty support, and setting up some teams to develop the courses."
But is the rest of the world really ready for cybereducation?
Gary Miller, associate vice president for distance education and a member of the study team, said a recent Odyssey market research study revealed that 46 percent of households with computers are now online and that those households now spend an average of 9.4 hours a week online -- a 59 percent increase over the previous year.
"The information technology revolution has changed education and society," Miller said. "The World Campus will create a total learning environment that responds to the needs and circumstances of the learner. Our history in distance education gives us an edge in this arena and we should take advantage of it."
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Two participants in Penn State DuBois' Young Astronauts summer course pretend to be members of the command center for a shuttle mission to Mars. The course is one of 30 offered during the summer months as part of the campus' "Kids in College" program, now in its 12th year of existence. The program, which runs through Aug. 1, is designed to enrich early learning experiences.
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Charles E. Scott, Edwin Erle Sparks chair in philosophy, is the author of On the Advantages and Disadvantages Of Ethics and Politics, published by Indiana University Press. In his work, Scott examines the paradox that our ethical and political ideals may perpetuate the very evils they intend to prevent.
He takes as his point of departure the question of ethics: that values and their pursuit in the West often perpetuate their own worst enemies. At issue are the dangers in the structures and movements of images, values and ways of knowing that are most intimately a part of our lives. Scott examines the thought of Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault and Levinas on questions of responsibility, transcendence, tragedy and self-fragmentation.
Scott also is the author of The Question of Ethics, The Language of Difference and Boundaries in Mind: A Study of Immediate Awareness Based in Psychotherapy.
Kinderculture: The Corporate Construction of Childhood, edited by Shirley R. Steinberg and Joe L. Kincheloe, examines the role corporate moguls and the media have played in shaping the experience of childhood today.
The book's authors, including College of Education professors Jeanne Brady, Henry Giroux, Aaron Gresson and Joe Kincheloe, analyze the products and messages corporations target to children in order to make a profit. The book also reviews the impact that TV shows, popular books and video games have had in shaping a new era of childhood.
The authors agree that this "corporate kinderculture" is harmful to children. It produces violence, reinforces gender stereotypes and racism, and speaks to the status quo -- ignoring the reality for many children growing up at or below the poverty line. Collectively, the authors encourage parents and teachers to carefully examine media messages, discuss them with their children and students, and become politically active in order to hold corporations accountable for their actions and the negative effects they have on children.
Benedictine Roots in the Development of Deaf Education, written by Marilyn Daniels, associate professor of speech communication at Penn State Worthington Scranton, examines the educational instruction of the deaf from its Benedictine beginning to present.
The book, published by Greenwood Publishing Group Inc. in Connecticut, traces the historical pedagogical affinity among Pedro Ponce de Leon, credited as being the first teacher of the deaf, and Juan Pablo Bonet, Charles Michael de l'Epée, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Edward Miner Gallaudet. It also provides the historical and philosophical basis for Jewish and Christian beliefs concerning the condition of deafness.
Daniels also is the author of The Dance in Christianity: A History of Religious Dance through the Ages (1981).
William Crisman, associate professor of English, comparative literature and German at Penn State Altoona, recently published a book with the support of the Penn State Altoona Advisory Board. His book, The Crises of "Language and Dead Signs" in Ludwig Tieck's Prose Fiction, treats the language of romanticism and its relation to modern language theory. The book was published by Camden House, associated with the University of South Carolina. Crisman has published extensively on German and English-language romanticism and has written more than 30 articles.
Though long ignored, children have an undeniable and telling history of their own, argues a Penn State professor in a new book titled Growing Pains: Children in the Industrial Age, 1850-1890.
Priscilla Ferguson Clement reveals that children are and have throughout history been actors in their own right. The book, published by Simon & Schuster MacMillan's Twayne Publishers, is the first of its kind published on children from this era -- a time in American history when children made up half the U.S. population.
Though today's children share a common culture of MTV, Sesame Street and the same toys bought at the same chain toy stores, their worlds also are remarkably different. Growing Pains sheds light on the magnitude of these differences, revealing how critical historical events, such as the Civil War and industrialization, dramatically altered children's lives and set the stage for many of the disparities they face today.
Ferguson Clement, an associate professor of history at the Delaware County campus, has written extensively in books and scholarly articles on children in history, often focusing on women and children in poverty and on welfare.
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Raymond Yoder, a worker with the David Maines & Associates
Construction Co., is putting
a new slate roof on Weaver Building on the University Park campus. The orange tiles that used to
grace the roof were too fragile to salvage. Weaver Building is one of the structures benefitting
from the University's five-year, $476 million capital construction plan.
Photo: Greg Grieco
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About 1,100 individuals from a random sample pool of 2,500 responded to a recent Intercom readership survey. The survey, mailed in late April to readers of this publication, sought information from the University community on how well Intercom meets its goals of educating and informing faculty and staff members. The questionnaire was sent to a cross-section of employees at all Penn State locations.
The answers and open-ended comments supplied by the 1,100 who participated are being compiled and will be analyzed later this summer. The information will be used to not only gauge how well the Intercom meets reader needs, but also to guide the Intercom staff in its news delivery and judgment in the future.
Thanks to all those who participated. A report on our findings will appear in a later issue of Intercom.
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Duane Duncan, senior extension agent in Cumberland County, was re-elected secretary for the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
Evelynn Ellis, minority coordinator for the College of Arts and Architecture, was awarded the Andrew V. Kozak Fellowship from the Penn State Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, a professional education fraternity. The Kozak Fellowship is awarded annually to doctoral students for research toward completing dissertations. With the money from the fellowship, Ellis will complete her dissertation on the effects of race and gender on doctoral studies.
Elizabeth Hanley, assistant professor of kinesiology and director of the Penn State Dance Ensemble, has been invited by the president of the International Olympic Academy to direct the dance workshop for the 37th International Session in Ancient Olympia, Greece. She also will attend the International Olympic Academy Alumni Conference in July as official representative of the U.S.A.
At the recent annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics, M. Kathleen Heid, associate professor of education, was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Mathematics Education Award. For more than 25 years she has been involved in the research and teaching of mathematics, both at the high school and college levels. She has made more than 140 invited presentations to teachers, mathematicians and researchers in 33 states and in three foreign countries. She has served as principal or co-principal investigator on 17 funded projects and has directed a series of multi-year NSF projects.
Donald W. Leslie, associate dean for undergraduate studies in the College of Arts and Architecture, presented the keynote address, "Shared Professional Responsibility in the International Marketplace," at the Second International Symposium on Asia Pacific Architecture "The Making of Public Places," at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.
Mary-Ellen Madigan, director of admissions and financial aid for Penn State Erie, Behrend College, has been elected to serve on the board of directors of the Alzheimer's Association.
Gregory L. Morris, associate professor of American literature at Penn State Erie, Behrend College, has been selected to participate in a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for College and University Faculty. The institute will focus on "The Environmental Imagination: Issues and Problems in American Nature Writing."
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